Will gun controls work?

President Obama recently unveiled his proposed gun control policy reform in the wake of the latest tragic school shooting, which took place in Newton, Conn., last month.
Jan 25, 2013


The proposal, which comes at the end of a month-long review process, is broken down into four key components: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety, and mental health.

The cost of these proposals is a cool $500 million.

Here's the problem:

The president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. He recommended reinstating the assault weapons ban. He recommended restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition and eliminating armor-piercing bullets.

None of those proposals would have in any way helped prevent the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The shooter didn't use an assault weapon. He didn't use extended-size clips. A background check wasn't going to prevent him from stealing the guns he wanted.

And what difference does it make if his bullets were armor-piercing or not?

Make no mistake — assault weapons have no place on our streets or in our homes. Neither do armor-piercing bullets or 50-shot clips. They're not necessary for recreational or competitive shooting.

But will banning these things help limit what type of weapons criminals or those with serious mental issues can get their hands on? Of course not.

Marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs are illegal in the United States. Does that mean criminals have a hard time getting their hands on them?

In the end, the only ones gun control laws hurt are the honest, law-abiding citizens who jump through all the bureaucratic hoops to own their guns legally.

We're all for the other aspects of Obama's plan, including the increased funding to help deal with those struggling with mental health issues.

After all, it's people with very severe issues who are the problem, not the tools they choose with which to carry out their misguided plans.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



This brought to us by the same guy who compares "true" conservatives (whatever that means) to Dave Brubeck.....lame. Glad we're moving on from Bill/Monica jokes.


Trying to understand, much less diagram, the foregoing stream of consciousness is beyond me. However, if I understand your penultimate sentence, that you will not support any additional federal gun control measures if the current Feinstein legislation passes and is signed into law by President Obama, I am indeed pleasantly surprised and I salute your future restraint on this subject.


Aside from reading and understanding my made-for-comment-format sentences, I would not want to burden you further with diagramming.

I find this most helpful with dealing with insufferable foo....people of other political leanings...hope you do too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c...


Some inconvenient truths: http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom...


All signs point to a strong swell of support for the tightening up of gun public safety measures. 74% of NRA members support common sense restrictions that the Obama/Biden task force is calling for, such as closing the loopholes that prevent criminal background checks. Poll after national poll is showing increasing knowledge of and support for better public safety gun measures.

The newly-emerging, powerful "Mayors Against Criminal Guns", with over 700 mayor members (many from Michigan), along with local law enforcement, are working hard for law and order, life and death issues, by promoting stronger background checks that cuts down on criminals having easy access to illegal guns.

Anti-gun control forces, especially the NRA, a gun manufacturer lobby, have done a great job of taking ownership of the gun culture, whipping up paranoia. They are doing a bang-up job for their employers - the gun manufacturers - as I understand the sale (and retail prices) of guns, especially military-style assault weapons and ammunition, is sky-rocketing. Why didn't we buy stock in Bushmaster Firearms Int, LLC back in November?

I concur with Mystic Michael. Arguments galore are being made against gun safety policies, but who really wants to live in a dystopian, dysfunctional society where everyone carries a gun everywhere, and criminals and the mentally ill have easy access to any kind of firearm they choose. Even with more stringent policies in place, people will still get killed from guns, of course. But we have to rally as a society and take a stand that guns do not have more rights than our rights to the public safety, especially our innocent children.


people kill people with knives, do we control length of blade of knives sold? They have killed people with hammers, do we control the weight of the hammer? the answer is not control of items but it is control of the media reporting of such crimes. giving the person the 15 minutes of fame is the problem. we over do the reporting i do believe that what happened at sandy hook school was very bad but having it on the networks for days just makes others want to do the same thing. the mental health community needs to be part of the gun permit background check system.

Mystic Michael

Last I checked, most knives were NOT intended to be used as a lethal weapon. And hammers are typically not considered a weapon at all. But what other purpose is there for a high-caliber automatic assault rifle but to kill?

When the time comes that we have developed knives or hammers that can instantly kill 50-60 people within 50-60 seconds, from a distance, with virtually no defense possible by the victims, then you will have made a persuasive point. Until then, your analogy to high-powered and/or automatic firearms is just silly.

As to the sensationalism or glorification of gun crimes by the media, what practical, effective response would you suggest? Should the public not be informed of such crimes when they occur? If so, where should the line be drawn - bearing in mind that unnecessary constraint upon the First Amendment is no better than unnecessary constraint upon the Second Amendment?

Lastly, I agree that the mental health profession does indeed need to be involved in the background check system. Unless I miss my guess, this is precisely what the Obama Administration proposal suggests.

Walking Alive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fir... is a law that was controversial at the time, but was signed into effect by then President/god Ronald Regan in 1986. And we all know why the Brady Bill was written, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bra.... Those in power have always used those powers to basically control the population. No one is going to turn in their arms or ammunition, and stores can't keep that stuff in stock. And the prices have doubled or tripled. Terrible acts by individuals seem to trigger this type of response, it isn't unusual. It just seems louder on both sides this time.


Mystic Michael - Your reference to "High Powered, Automatic Weapons" shows your ignorance. A .223 caliber rifle is a medium-powered round, pretty much the bottom of the barrel among those allowed for hunting deer. Fully automatic weapons have been VERY tightly regulated (banned) since 1934. Your differentiation between a rifle with High Cap magazine and any other weapon (hammer, knife, shotgun, boxcutter, Baseball Bat, Tire Iron, pistol)is willfully ignorant, since the victims are normally unarmed and can not fight back against ANY weapon.

Another sticking point is that you are justified in responding with deadly force against any potentially deadly threat. It does not mean only another gun. If I see a man killing children with any weapon, including his bare hands, you can bet your life that my firearm will be used to stop him before he can hurt anyone else.

The perpetrators of the shocking, tragic, senseless and unfortunate mass killings could have done just as much damage (or perhaps more) with a single-shot 12 gauge against children and unarmed adults, while reloading one shell at a time. Blaming the inanimate object is not what we should be doing, nor is blaming groups like the NRA or Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners. Blame the insane killers and criminals, and put things in place to stop them.

I suggest that be good guys with guns - ELIMINATE GUN FREE ZONES! When you dial 911, what are you calling for? A GOOD GUY WITH A GUN!!!

Mystic Michael

Your assertion that a 12-gauge shotgun is at least equivalent in its killing power to a high-powered military-style assault weapon is not only directly contradicted by the facts, it doesn't even pass the "common sense" test.

The fact is that the shooter in Aurora last summer was able to murder as many people as he did precisely because he didn't need to interrupt his killing spree after the first shot - or even after the first two dozen shots - in order to reload. The fact is that it was possible to subdue the shooter in Tucson the year before ONLY once his high-capacity weapon jammed while he was in the act of carrying out his killing spree.

In each case, the shooter used a specialized firearm that had been designed from inception to inflict as many casualties, in as brief a span of time, as possible. Are you seriously putting a 12-gauge shotgun into that same category?

In such an extreme scenario, I also would look for protection from a "good guy with a gun". Apparently unlike you, I expect that guy to be a well-trained, highly-disciplined law enforcement professional - NOT some goober with a private arsenal sufficient to supply a small army, an itchy trigger finger, and fantasies of personal glory, who's been watching too many "Dirty Harry" movies!


Enjoy your after life if some "goober" doesn't come along and save your sorry butt with "itchy trigger finger." Really, are you an adult or just playing one! I suspect the goobers you so disdainly mentioned have been trained and have used weapons more extensively then many in law enforcement. You are only here to perpetuate the blather regarding guns and do not really want to solve the problems we have in our culture. Because of your lack of knowledge regarding "assault weapons" I suggest you go back to watching Survivor to really learn how to fend for yourself in this world.


He's baaaack! Jeez Wing - did Vlad put you up to this?!


Laninvain!...now your gonna start with the black helicopters...really, before you know it you'll be suspecting every new neighbor that moves into the neighborhood!

Don't worry I'll soon tire of the left dribble and move on to more enlightened conversation.


Now don't be making promises you can't keep....


Until we can as a society place value on life and treasure life as a blessing from our Heavenly Father, no legislation and no law will prevent or change the killing or harming of innocent individuals. We need to honor and to respect not only life, but the Holy Scriptures as the true words of God. Until we do, we will continue on this one-way road of self-destruction and you could almost say, we deserve it, but our children do not. God Bless the United States.


blessing from our "heavenly father"? that is laughable,your heavenly father killed more people in the name of religion than all mass murder in the past 100 years.


The toothpaste is out of the tube. So many undocumented firearms, way to many miscreants having some sort of access to them.

Criminals do not obey laws. Allow the law abiding citizen some sort of protection. Do not make them a criminal by default because they have a need to defend themselves.

Limit armor piercing weapons by all means, fully automatic weapons and "cop killer" munitions too.

But who really needs high capacity magazines?

If you can't hit your deer the first or second shot, should you really be hunting??

Mystic Michael

What is there about this issue the brings out the most thoroughly irrational, completely nonsensical arguments in support of the dysfunctional status quo, from the opponents of sensible gun policy reform? And why are they always the very same simplistic, two-dimensional, recycled, brain-dead arguments - no matter the platform, no matter the environment? Could there be some kind of subconscious groupthink occurring among the unenlightened?

For example, there's the tired old saw that "anything can be used as weapon, so where do you draw the line" (Um, how about at high-capacity, high-powered firearms whose ONLY purpose is mass slaughter)? And there's the silly assertion that a simple single-shot handgun, shotgun or rifle is functionally equivalent to the most technologically sophisticated military assault weapon (this is so clueless, it shouldn't even require a response).

There's the equally silly claim that "firearms don't kill people, people kill people" (actually people WITH firearms kill people). And there's this oldie but goodie: "Criminals will just violate the law anyway, so why even bother to pass such a law?" (Uh, we also have laws against armed robbery, against extortion, against burglary, against theft, and against assault. Should we just repeal those laws, because the criminals refuse to obey them?")

Finally, if/when one succeeds in climbing out of this particular rabbit hole, one is met with the ultimate reactionary non sequitur: the firm, yet completely deluded conviction that President Obama and his secret army of gay Marxist devil-worshippers will be rolling through downtown Grand Haven with their tanks any day now, in order to confiscate Uncle Harry's target pistol.

With people who are so impervious to reason and common sense, how do you even begin to maintain a rational dialogue - let alone persuade them to lend a responsible, factually-informed voice to the shaping of public policy?

Oy vey!



MM - I've come to the conclusion that the answer to your question shall remain one of the mysteries of life - right up there with questions about the afterlife and our purpose here on earth.

The gun issue has been a hot topic on these pages and in my conversations with friends/family, and it is truly amazing to see the juxtaposition of passionate rhetoric and suspension of rational thought.

Looking at the big picture, I do think good work will be accomplished in the coming months/year. But we will need to follow the words of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords - Be bold, Be courageous.


I am one of those silly and unenlightened gun owners, Mislead Michael, and you helped prove a point in your name-calling comments above. Yes, robbery, extortion, theft and assault are already against the law, but none of us is arguing for repeal of those laws. The gun violence and mayhem that is so much in the news lately is being committed by criminals and nutcases who are violating laws that already exist, and installing yet more laws will do nothing to stop that. The same government that wants to impose more restrictions on us cannot even begin to control the flood of drugs and illegal immigrants into this country, but we need more laws that do little other than make some people feel good? Many of us are sensitive to what seems an assault on our second amendment rights because it appears a Democrat-led group is seizing upon the Sandy Hook tragedy to push their long sought goal of civilian disarmament and/or drastic firearms restrictions. These are the same posturing Democrats who saw more than 40 murders this month in their big city to the south of us. We don't really fear that President Obama will order tanks into downtown Grand Haven, but we do know that he is surrounded and influenced by some folks who loathe firearms and civilian gun ownership. Most of us gun owners and NRA members think a "sensible" gun policy should begin with stringent enforcement of current laws and closing the gun show "loophole," if one exists. I know that seems "impervious to reason and common sense," but what is wrong with our society is not as simple as a shortage of laws and the prevalence of guns. There are some huge cultural issues playing out here, but that's a conversation for another day.


Your argument is full of holes. 1.) Deportation of illegals under Obama is at an all-time high. Yes, I know, this isn't what you've been told, but look it up.

2.) As far as more laws and regulations, the congressional GOP at both state and federal levels has spent astonishing amounts of time, energy, and money pushing regulatory legislation in recent years on social wedge issues, infringing on the rights of American citizens, and ignoring the serious issues we all face.

3.) Your claim that Democrats are behind a..."goal of civilian disarmament" is ridiculous, irrational, and false. The push for closing loopholes in existing laws, and reinstating the expired Assault Weapon Ban (going back to Ronald Reagan, and the machine gun laws of the 1930's) is increasingly a bipartisan one, as more and more congressmen/women are listening to their constituents, who are overwhelmingly in favor of better gun public safety laws.

4.) As a NRA member, you should be aware of the fact that 74% of NRA members favor gun control efforts, despite the rhetoric of the top dogs. Most reasonable, responsible gun owners realize this is a no-brainer, and want to see the closing of gun show loopholes (40% of guns are purchased at gun shows with no background checks), addressing mental health issues, and making some attempt to address the current easy access to guns by criminals.

5.) What is so scary about the fact that there has not been word one about "civilian disarmament"? I do believe you folks just love to have a bogey-man - this must be your "bogey-man du jour".


Mysterical Michael's smarmy, supercilious, and blunderbuss-like broadsides are a fine advertisement for what passes for reasoned arguments on your side. At least I know that you listen and think about arguments on the other side, even if you eventually provide a reply that incorporates all of the liberal progressive talking points.

Mysterical Michael writes derisively about Obama sending tanks to take your guns, and many on your side tell us that Obama's Executive Actions (like his version of the Dream Act providing amnesty to some illegals, on gun control, on illegally making recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess) are completely democratic and nothing to raise concerns. Those of us who know some history feel differently.

Suppose I said "Obama will throw people into camps based on their nationality through use of an Executive Order." You and your friends would say I am afflicted by the right-wing, crazy, Black Helicopter syndrome. Yet that is exactly what the Great Progressive did to the Japanese - see Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942) http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.....

Suppose I said "Obama will criminalize the private ownership of gold because private hoarding is harming the econony through use of an Executive Order." You would have the same reaction as to the camps. Yet that is exactly what the Great Progressive did to the private ownership of gold - see Executive Order 6102 (April 5, 1933), http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/w... "I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section do hereby prohibit the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of this order:"

Inasmuch as Obama has stated many times his admiration for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he has said we are in the worst economy since the Great Depression, that his advisers and Congressional democrats have recommended that he ignore Congress and the Constitution on increasing the debt limit, and are completely hostile to our 2nd Amendment Rights (see Gov. Cuomo and New York Democrats http://www.examiner.com/article/...), please at least recognize that I, and people that think like me, have a valid concern about a too powerful government infringing on a number of our rights, and especially by non-democratic, unconstitutional means. Thank you!


Vlad - Surely there are many other examples of presidential overreach and constitutional tweaking that could have chosen. Going back to WWII and FDR's Executive Order 6102 is a bit specious, no? During a time of severe crisis and rationing, he had an obligation to put a halt to the panic hoarding that was putting the war effort into jeopardy. Besides, I personally have several family members who fought in WWII (plus being a huge fan of "Foyle's War") and your example has more sting than I think you realize.

Perhaps a better example would be the much more recent unconstitutionality of Reagan's Iran-Contra affair.

I realize that a lot of people like to have a thread of drama in their lives, but really, my study of history (yes! - some of us have studied history in HS and college, and might even have a degree in it!) tells me that Obama's Executive Orders are typical, average, modest - and necessary for responsible governing in the face of opposing irrational congressional forces that are quickly making themselves irrelevant. Convincing ourselves that these orders are any way unconstitutional, undemocratic, or extraordinary may provide some drama, but probably shouldn't be used as a rebuttal.

Yes, Obama has stated his admiration for FDR, Teddy R., Lincoln, and even that pesky Ronald Reagan. I can't believe you mentioned the worst economy since the Great Depression, knowing it could lead to another one of my repetitive blasts on the evils of Bush, but, although it would make for great drama, I don't think we're going to see a version of the Invasion of the Obama Gun Snatchers - he's a pretty smart guy, you know. He's not going to do something stupid and spoil his legacy.


I get it! The Kool-Aid is so deeply ingrained that it is reasonable to equate an illegal operation to fund anti-Communists in Nicaragua, which was never the subject of an Executive Order and which three independent investigations never tied to President Reagan, with two actual Executive Orders, signed by FDR, one of which used American troops against American citizens and the other stole American's privately owned gold under penalty of criminal prosecution by the federal government.

Little Stevie Wonder could see the difference, but not a true believer. Well played, Lanivan, Well Played.


Another example of our differing paradigms. I omitted a word - "arguably" unconstitutional. Certainly there is a connection with the IC affair and your insinuation that Obama's Executive Orders are "arguably" unconstitutional and represent a breach of presidential powers. The Iran-Contra deal revealed the Reagan inner circle of powerful advocates for: 1.) expanded presidential powers, 2.) a circle of (Republican) protection of the president, 3.) the lesson learned that, in the end, they could get away with it.

And both have to do with the sale of guns, with the biggest difference between the two examples being that the IC deal was covert and clandestine, while Obama's efforts are transparent, inclusive, and broad-based.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rick... Here are the 23 Obama gun safety executive orders. Please elaborate on which ones you imply are on a par with FDR's WWII orders.

But don't forget, again, recent polls show nearly 100% approval for most of Obama's executive orders as well as corresponding legislation, especially regarding criminal background checks. You can argue the point til the cows come home, but, to some degree, it will happen.


If you could clear the talking points swirling in your head and read what I actually wrote, you would discover I never said any of the Obama gun executive orders are on a par with FDR's internment of American citizens, I merely asked you

"please at least recognize that I, and people that think like me, have a valid concern about a too powerful government infringing on a number of our rights, and especially by non-democratic, unconstitutional means. Thank you!"

I guess that was a bridge too far to cross. If I were Art Carney I would be worried; if Obama learns of your existence, Boy Carney is under the bus - you are more adept at pushing the talking points than the current Press Secretary.


Your back-handed compliment is much appreciated, and is a definite improvement over the usual "piece of work".

I'm so relieved you didn't pick up on my Reagan/IC connection, because that would mean an off-topic discussion of the resultant powerful newly-emerging RR administration neo-cons that created the PNAC, the 1998 Iraq Regime Change Manifesto, the evil Bush/Cheney, the real reason we went to war and a $trillion into the hole, and the witches brew of carefully staged vitriol against Obama, and the current focus on the secondary concern for gun rights.


Hit the wrong button (no snide remarks please): I just try to make the best with the hand I'm dealt with. In this case, I will really go down the garden path and for a short while dismiss the feeling that it's all just smoke and mirrors, and acknowledge that perhaps you do indeed have a right to your concern about presidential overreach. Although, given you have enough brass to compare yourself, a "true" conservative, to Dave, it will be a very short while.


My right wing brother in Idaho informed me today that the Roosevelt Executive Order was actually authorized by Congress - http://newdeal.feri.org/acts/US0... (See Title I, sec. 2). My Bad.


Sorry - meant to clarify the one confiscating gold only.



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