Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed | TheHill

On a Friday morning in December 2012, a gunman burst through the doors of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., committing one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history that left 20

Source: Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed | TheHill

Trump unleashes in lengthy exchange with reporters at White House | TheHill

 President Trump, facing criticism on multiple fronts from his handling of the economy to his relationship with the NRA and statements on Jewish Democrats, unleashed on the press Wednesday during lengthy comments to reporters.

The president defended himself against the idea that he’s waffling on support for stronger gun background checks; rejected allegations of anti-Semitism for questioning Jewish Americans’ loyalty; slammed Danish leaders for dismissing a possible sale of Greenland to the U.S.; and insisted his posture on the economy was a winning one despite signs of a possible recession.

The marathon media session ahead of Trump’s trip to Kentucky for a speech to AMVETS and a political event lasted roughly 40 minutes.

The president grew animated at times — at various points chastising NBC and The New York Times and CNN over the outlets’ credibility — as he sought to stave off concerns that his agenda is faltering.

Trump made headlines a day earlier by saying Jews who vote for Democrats either “lack knowledge” or show “great disloyalty” as he railed against two progressive congresswomen who have criticized the U.S.-Israel alliance. He escalated the controversy Wednesday, telling reporters that allegations the comments were anti-Semitic were “only in your head.”

“In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House.

The president has made support for Israel a centerpiece of his foreign policy, and asserted Wednesday that he has been responsible “for a lot of great things” for the Middle Eastern ally.

But he took the fight to another longstanding partner by chastising Denmark’s prime minister over her dismissal of a possible sale of Greenland. Trump announced late Tuesday he would no longer go to Denmark next month after Danish and Greenlandic leaders said a sale of the island was a non-starter.

Trump reportedly mused about the idea privately, and publicly said in recent days he viewed it as a strategically interesting venture. But he took exception to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen calling the proposal “absurd,” saying her response was “nasty” and “sarcastic.”

“I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something. They could have told me no,” Trump told reporters. “She’s not talking to me, she’s talking to the United States of America. You don’t talk to the United States that way.”

Trump was forced to defend his domestic agenda as well, with talk of stronger gun laws and the state of the economy consuming the White House over the past week.

The president see-sawed over his stance on background checks, simultaneously insisting he had an “appetite” for the legislation while parroting pro-gun groups who believe the laws would be a “slippery slope” to confiscating legally owned weapons.

“We have background checks, but there are loopholes in the background checks, and that’s what I spoke to the NRA about yesterday,” Trump said. “They want to get rid of the loopholes as well as I do. At the same time, I don’t want to take away people’s Second Amendment rights.”

Trump has taken heat for appearing to cave once again to groups like the NRA, but he insisted he remained open to a compromise with lawmakers.

On the economy, Trump similarly tried to have it both ways.


Source: Trump unleashes in lengthy exchange with reporters at White House | TheHill

Print-your-own gun debate ignores how the US government long provided and regulated firearms : The Conversation

The current debate over a Texas company’s “right” to allow anyone to download blueprints to its 3D-printed guns is following the same well-trodden terrain as every firearms fight for the past few decades: differing interpretations of the Second Amendment.

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed and the creator of the first working plastic gun in 2013, argues it’s about every American’s right to bear arms. “I believe that I am championing the Second Amendment in the 21st century,” he told “CBS This Morning.”

On the other side are the federal judge who is temporarily blocking the release of the blueprints, the eight state attorneys general who sued Wilson’s company from putting the designs online and gun control advocates across the country who want the government to do more to regulate firearms.

This misses the point. Government regulation and the gun industry are not natural enemies. They have a historical synergy that long predates Supreme Court rulings on the constitutionality of gun control legislation. It was not until 1886 that the Supreme Court even addressed the federal government’s ability to regulate gun ownership. For most of the nation’s first century, the government perceived its constitutional duty as providing guns – not protecting an open-ended “right to bear arms.”

My research on the history of the government’s intervention in the arms industry suggests a return to its role as guarantor of the gun trade would allow it to do more to reduce gun violence and mass shootings without trampling on the Second Amendment.


Source: Print-your-own gun debate ignores how the US government long provided and regulated firearms : The Conversation

Officer ‘failed to confront’ school killer : BBC News

An armed officer assigned to the Florida school where a gunman killed 17 people last week stood outside the building during the shooting and did not intervene, the local sheriff says.

Deputy Scot Peterson has resigned after being suspended, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.

“I am devastated. Sick to my stomach. He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said.

Earlier this week President Trump said arming school teachers could prevent school shootings.

The proposal has long been championed by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) gun lobby.


Source: Officer ‘failed to confront’ school killer : BBC News

My view, how will one more gun or guns on campus avoid another shooting.

It would appear Deputy Scot Peterson came on campus about 90 seconds after the first shots were fired and then proceeded not to go any further.

Surely the sounds of the gun fire attack would have been heard.

Currently no one knows why Peterson did not venture to stop the attack.

Would arming a teacher or teachers have made any difference, I would say not, for if it is known that teachers will be armed then the shooter will shoot the teacher first.

If teachers are armed, what would stop a teacher from having an occasion to create their own gun atrocity due to stress or some other breakdown.

By having teachers armed it is one more gun that could be obtained to create another atrocity.

The only way to stop this occurring is to minimise the availability of guns, especially the semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle and other equivalent weapons.

Most of the argument rest on the “2nd Amendment of the United States of America Constitution“. This was adopted in 1791 when America was much different than it is today. Is it an individuals right to bear arms or the right to form a militia. Law enforcement in 1791 was no way near as effective and extensive as it is today.

In the Gun Control Lobby the argument is not about removing the right to bear arms, but to remove certain weapons from the right to bear. Say it is an individuals right, why would an individual need to own one semi-automatic assault rifle, let alone a number of them. Yes, I am in the UK, where it is difficult for individuals to own any firearm and we have great difficulty in understanding why any ordinary individual needs to own any firearm, but we do accept that this is for America to decide. So why not retain the right but ban the owning of  semi-automatic assault rifles.

Also health issues need to be taken into account when obtaining gun licences.

President Trump is right to mention mental health issues, but not that alone for it comes together with the banning of semi-automatic assault rifles.

Only then will the safety of the American public be maintained.




Calls for new gun laws are falling on deaf ears : The Hill

Renewed calls for stricter gun controls following a school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead are falling on deaf ears.

Legislators in states across the country have delayed, defeated or refused to take up new measures to prevent more gun violence — despite the impassioned calls of victims from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

In Florida’s legislature, House Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to revive debate on a measure to ban assault weapons with student survivors from Parkland watching in the gallery.

The bill, introduced after the 2016 killings of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, failed on a party-line vote.

Students from Parkland who have blanketed the media to call for gun reforms have expressed incredulity at the lack of action.

“It seemed almost heartless how they immediately pushed the button to say ‘no,'” Sheryl Acquaroli, a 16-year-old student from Stoneman Douglas, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Advocates for gun control also ran into opposition in other states.

In Arizona, Republicans blocked a Democratic effort to force debate over whether to ban bump stocks and other modifications to increase weapons’ rate of fire — and instead voted to debate an anti-porn bill.


Source: Calls for new gun laws are falling on deaf ears : The Hill

5 types of gun laws that the Founding Fathers supported : Business Insider UK

The Second Amendment is one of the most frequently cited provisions in the American Constitution, but also one of the most poorly understood.

The 27 words that constitute the Second Amendment seem to baffle modern Americans on both the left and right.

Ironically, those on both ends of our contemporary political spectrum cast the Second Amendment as a barrier to robust gun regulation. Gun rights supporters – mostly, but not exclusively, on the right – seem to believe that the Second Amendment prohibits many forms of gun regulation. On the left, frustration with the lack of progress on modern gun control leads to periodic calls for the amendment’s repeal.

Both of these beliefs ignore an irrefutable historical truth. The framers and adopters of the Second Amendment were generally ardent supporters of the idea of well-regulated liberty. Without strong governments and effective laws, they believed, liberty inevitably degenerated into licentiousness and eventually anarchy. Diligent students of history, particularly Roman history, the Federalists who wrote the Constitution realized that tyranny more often resulted from anarchy, not strong government.

I have been researching and writing about the history of gun regulation and the Second Amendment for the past two decades. When I began this research, most people assumed that regulation was a relatively recent phenomenon, something associated with the rise of big government in the modern era. Actually, while the founding generation certainly esteemed the idea of an armed population, they were also ardent supporters of gun regulations.

Consider these five categories of gun laws that the Founders endorsed.



Source: 5 types of gun laws that the Founding Fathers supported : Business Insider UK

If Trump’s blaming mental health, why did he gut this Obama gun-check rule? : euronews

By Euronews

One gun-control group says the law would have prevented potentially irresponsible and mentally incompetent people from being able to buy guns

Adam Edelman

Gun control advocates slammed President Donald Trump on Monday as a hypocrite for having signed a bill earlier this year that rolled back a regulation making it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy firearms even as he blamed the mass shooting in Texas over the weekend on “a mental health problem.”

“Trump is wrong — study after study shows that stronger gun laws can save lives — and a hypocrite of the worst kind,” Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, the gun control group started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told NBC News. “One of his first actions as president trashed a new regulation that would have prevented potentially irresponsible and mentally incompetent people from being able to buy guns.”

Ambler added, “Blaming mental health is a tactic straight out of the gun lobby’s playbook that’s meant to paralyze Congress. Donald Trump’s goal is to make people think our leaders don’t have the power to prevent gun violence.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., echoed those remarks, telling NBC News, “Any link between mental health and gun violence in a particular situation cannot be used as an excuse for inaction on common sense gun violence measures.”

“It is the height of hypocrisy for President Trump — who called the latest tragic mass shooting ‘a mental health problem at the highest level’ — to have rolled back a rule specifically designed to prevent some gun violence deaths,” Blumenthal added in a statement.

In February, just weeks into his presidency, Trump signed a bill eliminating an Obama-era regulation that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to purchase a gun.

Related: Trump Signs Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People With Mental Illnesses

The rule, which had been finalized in December 2016, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background gun-check database. Had the rule fully taken effect, the Obama administration predicted it would have added about 75,000 names to the database.

The National Rifle Association applauded Trump for signing the bill. Chris Cox, the group’s chief lobbyist, said at the time that it marked “a new era for law-abiding gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.”

Obama proposed the now-nullified regulation in a 2013 memo following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At the time, the measure was hotly contested by gun-rights advocates who said it infringed on Second Amendment rights.

It isn’t clear whether the now-eliminated rule would have applied to the gunman in the Texas church shooting, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley. Kelley had a turbulent past, including a court-martial from the Air Force for assaulting his first wife and child, an animal cruelty arrest and a habit of harassing ex-girlfriends.

Earlier Monday, Trump said that Sunday’s mass shooting at a Texas church — the largest in the state’s history — “isn’t a guns situation” but instead “a mental health problem at the highest level.”

The massacre left 26 people dead, including up to 14 children, and 20 more injured.

“Mental health is your problem here,” said Trump, who was speaking in Japan at a joint press briefing with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Source:  If Trump’s blaming mental health, why did he gut this Obama gun-check rule? : euronews

A teenager knocked on the wrong door. Now he’s dead, and the homeowner is accused of murder. – The Washington Post

The shooting left locals wondering how small mistakes had taken such a large toll.

Source: A teenager knocked on the wrong door. Now he’s dead, and the homeowner is accused of murder. – The Washington Post

Obama Says He’ll Meet With Attorney General on Gun Options

President Barack Obama will meet Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch to discuss executive actions he could take to make it harder for “a dangerous few” to get their hands on guns

Source: Obama Says He’ll Meet With Attorney General on Gun Options