Category Archives: Gun regulation

Fear vs. Hope: What Kind of a Country Do We Choose?

by Tom Buglio: remarks at International Day of Peace observation, West Chester 9/21/16

buglioThank you for inviting me to speak here today. I am the director of the Chester County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and I have chosen the theme of my talk to be “Hope vs. Fear: what kind of a world do we want for our children and families?”

We are truly blessed to live here in beautiful Chester County. These rolling hills are such a wonderful place to be, with good schools, lots of open space for biking, hiking, and walks in the woods. And we can experience the wonder of the 4 seasons, with Autumn being my favorite time, with the crisper air, changing colors of the leaves, and fall festivals galore. We all strive for a home where our children thrive, and enjoy everything life has to offer,… where we can live in a truly peaceful world.

However, this peace can be shattered by someone who should not be permitted to use a gun, somehow getting a hold of one and using it badly with tragic results. There are stories in the news of this happening around the country every day. Although it does not happen often here in Chester County, we are not immune from the tragedy of gun violence.

So I ask again, what kind of a world do we wish to live in?

Let me paint a picture of two different visions of our world. The world of Fear is populated by an armed society, with every able-bodied person owning and carrying a gun for self-protection, where all feel it is their personal responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones from the bad people in the world.

The world of Fear has a vision of the “good guy with a gun” being a hero if anything goes wrong. The world of Fear believes that you can’t wait for the police to help you, you have to take the law and justice into your own hands, and that this is the best way to keep yourself safe.

The world of Fear is populated by the fear of the OTHER — those who don’t look like you, speak like you or have the same religion as you. The world of Fear does not trust immigrants, or people of different races or nationalities. The world of Fear does not trust our government or our police. The world of Fear is the world that is fostered by the NRA and other gun rights organizations, which paint a dystopian view of society, with not just the freedom to buy as many guns as you want, but the absolute need to do so. Continue reading

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Oppose HB 2258 and SB 1330!

Please call or email your state representative and senator today and tell him or her to vote NO on HB 2258 or SB 1330, both giving the NRA and other gun organizations an artificial standing to sue cities and towns without needing to show damages. Please write; playing defense is no fun, but important!

From CeaseFirePA:

The gun lobby and their friends in Harrisburg seem to be in a timewarp. Just like two years ago, they are trying to ram through the special standing bill during the short time between summer recess and the elections. As you remember, this is the bill that allows the NRA and other groups to sue our cities for trying to make their communities safer.

And we know from experience what this means. It’s not hypothetical. Last time when this bill passed, the NRA and several extremist gun groups sued Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lower Merion Township. These time-consuming and expensive lawsuits could bankrupt your city.

The Supreme Court struck this law down in June because of how it was enacted in 2014, so the gun lobby is trying again. They know they can’t just stick it onto another bill like they did last time, so they’re trying right away to pass it on its own.

Please tell your legislator you’ve had enough and to vote No on HB 2258.

Download the texts of both bills here (just enter HB 2258 or SB 1330 into the Legislation Quick Search box).

Thousands Petition To Allow Guns At Republican Convention For ‘Safety’

by Andy Campbell, Huffington Post, 3/26/16

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to allow guns at the Republican National Convention — all in the name of safety.

The Change.org petition, which had more than 26,000 supporters as of Saturday evening, claims that the arena’s weapon ban makes those who attend the RNC in July “sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers and criminals.”

It’s addressed to Republican candidates like Donald Trump, who’s quoted as promising to eliminate gun-free zones in schools should he be elected.

“Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America,” the petition states. “By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site.”

The argument that gun-free zones are dangerous is thrown around loosely in political circles. It’s often legitimized by misguided anecdotes….

read more and see news video at Huffington Post

Guns RNC petition
Above is the beginning of the petition at change.org. Read the text there.

STUDY: States With Loose Gun Laws Have Higher Rates Of Gun Violence

by Zack Beauchamp, Center for American Progress, Apr 3, 2013

… While many factors contribute to the rates of gun violence in any state, our research clearly demonstrates a significant correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and the prevalence of gun violence in the state. Across the key indicators of gun violence that we analyzed, the 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have a level of gun violence that is more than twice as high—104 percent higher—than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws….

The CAP report’s finding is yet another contribution to a growing body of empirical evidence that strong gun laws work. A prior, less comprehensive study also established links between gun deaths and loose gun laws. After Missouri repealed its background check law, gun homicides went up 25 percent despite a national and regional decline. Three independent papers have found that counties with more guns have higher rates of gun death….

State gun violence ranking CAP 4:13

[According to the CAP’s full 2013 study “America Under the Gun,” Pennsylvania ranked in the middle of states, 27th in terms of ten measures of gun violence averaged together. Download the report here: AmericaUnderTheGun.]

Gun Reform

from O’Malley for President

As a nation, it is time for sensible gun safety laws that save lives. That is why Governor O’Malley has set a national goal of cutting deaths from gun violence in half within 10 years. Week after week, more images of horrific gun violence flash across our TV and computer screens. These tragedies aren’t isolated incidents; they are part of a full-blown—and entirely preventable—epidemic. We cannot afford to sit by and let this constant heartbreak become the norm.

As Governor of Maryland, O’Malley implemented some of the toughest measures in the nation to reduce gun violence. He put in place licensing, fingerprinting, background checks, and safety training requirements for all buyers. If a firearm was lost or stolen, owners were required to immediately notify law enforcement. And Maryland prohibited the sale of assault weapons and limited the size of magazines—all while protecting the state’s proud hunting tradition.

Governor O’Malley is calling for the nation to adopt similar, commonsense reforms—while also closing loopholes that allow prohibited individuals to easily purchase guns, prevent law enforcement from holding dealers and gun traffickers accountable when they break the law, and lead to the deaths of thousands of children every year. These proven solutions are achievable at a national scale—if, as a nation, we have the courage and conviction to do the right thing….

read more at O’Malley for President

3rd Democratic presidential candidates, passages on guns

3rd debate of Democratic presidential candidates, passages on guns, Manchester NH, 12/19/15

…SANDERS: It’s a country in which people choose to buy guns. I think half of the ? more than half of the people in my own state of Vermont, my guess here in New Hampshire, are gun owners. That’s the right of people.

But this is what I do believe. I believe that when we have some 300 million guns in this country, I believe that when we have seen these horrific mass killings, not only in San Bernardino, but in Colorado and movie theaters in Colorado, I think we have got to bring together the vast majority of the people who do in fact believe in sensible gun safety regulations.

For example, talking about polls, a poll recently came out, overwhelming majority of the American people say we should strengthen the instant background check….

Who denies that it is crazy to allow people to own guns who are criminals or are mentally unstable? We’ve got to eliminate the gun show loophole. In my view, we have got to see that weapons designed by the military to kill people are not in the hands of civilians.

I think there is a consensus. (APPLAUSE) Continue reading

3rd, 4th and 5th Republican presidential debates, passages on guns

3) 10/28/15 Boulder

QUINTANILLA: Mr. Trump, you’ve said you have a special permit to carry a gun in New York.

TRUMP: Yes.

QUINTANILLA: After the Oregon mass shooting on October 1st, you said, “By the way, it was a gun-free zone. If you had a couple of teachers with guns, you would have been a hell of a lot better off.”

TRUMP: Or somebody else. Right.

QUINTANILLA: Would you feel more comfortable if your employees brought guns to work?

TRUMP: Yes, I might feel more comfortable. I would say that I would and I have a permit, which is very unusual in New York — a permit to carry. And I do carry on occasion, sometimes a lot….

I feel that the gun-free zones… that’s target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill. That’s target. They look around for gun-free zones. You know, we could give you another example — the Marines, the Army, these wonderful six soldiers that were killed. Two of them were among the most highly decorated — they weren’t allowed on a military base to have guns. And somebody walked in and shot them, killed them. If they had guns, he wouldn’t be around very long. I can tell you, there wouldn’t have been much damage.

So, I think gun-free zones are a catastrophe. They’re a feeding frenzy for sick people….

4) Milwaukee, 11/1/15

Nothing on guns

5) 12/15/15 Las Vegas

Nothing on guns in the main debate

However, the Las Vegas “underdcard debate” did have one question to one candidate on guns:

HEWITT: … There is a terror watchlist. You can legally purchase a gun in the United States if you’re on that watchlist. Your old colleague, Peter King in the House, wants to change that law. Do you agree with him?

SANTORUM: I don’t. I don’t think we should be able to deny someone’s constitutional rights based on a list kept by the government that nobody knows how they get on it, or how they get off of it.

If you’re going to make that list public, if you’re going to put criteria out there as to how you’re going to get on it, if you’re going to deny someone’s constitutional right, than I think there has to be more transparency. Let’s just be honest, when someone applies for a gun, you do a background check. And, if you’re on the terrorist watch list, guess what very well may happen? You may get denied that.

That’s a discretion of the people — of the ATF in making that kind of decision. I want to leave that discretion — as long as this list is not well known, as long as it’s not transparent, we have to leave that discretion….