Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Guns In Our Lives" Interview on OPB -- Part II

Last Tuesday, on Oregon Public Broadcasting's radio's "Think Out Loud" program, host Emily Harris interviewed Penny Okamoto, executive director of Ceasefire Oregon, an organization working to prevent gun violence, and Kevin Starrett, president of the Oregon Firearms Federation, a hard-line pro-gun organization.

The link to the episode's home page:  There you can listen to the entire episode as well as download the .mp3 file of it.

In my last post, I examined roughly the first half of the show and interview, with contrasting opinions on how to view a recent accidental shooting of a child and comparisons between death by car vs. death by guns.  What follows is a review of the second half....

Next the show took a call from a caller named Heather, from Oregon City (the same city where the accidental shooting had been the week before).  Heather described how her two boys had grown up around their father's guns, had been in Boy Scouts and learned gun safety, and had family friends in law enforcement who had guns and shown the boys safety training.  Even so, after an incident when Heather's 7-year-old son had found a gun under a friend's parents' bed, and the lack of concern or compassion by those parents when confronted, she asked her husband to remove guns from their own home.  She felt her sons were simply too curious and impulsive, just like, well, nearly all children are.  They didn't even allow squirt guns.

Yet, despite all of her precautions, Heather's sons had been in the attic and found an unlocked gun there, tucked away and forgotten.  Her 15-year-old said to his younger brother, "See, the safety's on.  Click, click!" then he pointed the gun at his brother and pulled the trigger, thinking it was unloaded.  The gun fired, and the younger boy was shot and injured (eventually making a full recovery).  Heather admitted that it was her and her husband's own fault for not thinking to search the attic and took responsibility for the accident.  She added that, though some blame lay on the 15 year old, children of that age are not fully developed and mature enough to resist their impulses.
(Around 30% of homes with children also have firearms.  40% of those keep the guns unlocked, a quarter of which are kept loaded [ LINK].  In 2007 alone, at least 613 children died from accidental shootings [LINK].)
When asked for their reaction to the caller's story, the responses from Okamoto and Starrett once again illustrated a major difference between the two sides:

Okamoto's response:  "As a gun owner you need to be prepared to be responsible.  When you purchase that weapon, you need to be prepared to say, 'Am I willing to bring this into my house where someone, my son, my daughter, could accidently shoot himself, shoot herself.'"  "Some 60% of gun deaths are suicides.  That gun owner needs to think about the reasons for having that gun and be prepared to take responsibility.  Heather's case was different because they didn't even know there was a weapon in the attic."  She later added, "Ceasefire teaches children gun safety in what to do when they find a weapon."

Starrett's response:  "This was a situation where there was a terrible shooting that took place because, however well-trained these people felt they had trained their children, it wasn't sufficient.  But it is far easier to gun-proof your children than to child-proof your guns." (I disagree with that statement!)  "My children grew up in a house with a firearms instructor, and wouldn't in a million years dream of pointing a gun at another person.  You have to take into account the maturity and the ability of each child involved."  When the host pointed out that the caller questioned the maturity of a 15-year-old, Starrett added, "Well, you know, I have an 11 year-old who would never point a gun at another person.  So, yeah, obviously every child is different.  Kids go through extensive driver's ed and still go out and get killed in crashes because they have their friends in the car and they drive too fast and they exercise poor judgment.  That is a responsibility of the parent to inculcate their children with the best information they can."

The contrasting responses are pretty typical of the two sides, I feel.  Like Starrett, most pro-gun folks I've talked to or exchanged comments with on this blog use the "not my child" response.  Parents are rarely willing to believe that they could have failed to instill sound judgment in their children -- until it's too late.  I agree that children differ in maturity and impulsivity, but even the most responsible child will have moments of impulsive behavior, and you can't very well control the actions of their friends.  I'm thinking the caller, Heather, probably would have used the "not my child" excuse about her sons prior to their own accident, too.

Okamoto's response, however, suggests that all gun owners should be prepared for the worst scenario and take responsibility for it.  Guns and children don't mix. 
[Among gun-owning parents who reported that their children had never handled their firearms at home, 22% of the children, questioned separately, said that they had.  When household guns are kept locked up, youths typically know where the key is kept, the combination, or are able to break into the gun cabinet.]
The host, Emily Harris, next asked Okamoto and Starrett, "Do you share some common ground on who shouldn't have a gun, like people who have mental illnesses perhaps, or experiencing them at moment, or people who have felony backgrounds?"

Starrett:  "I certainly think that anyone who is pre-disposed to acting violently or is not mentally competent should not have a gun.  I think the difference is that I believe that many of the proposed solutions are fantasy.  And in fact, I think in many cases are counter-productive.  Trish [the Oregon State Police ID Services representative from earlier in the broadcast] was discussing the mental health changes that were made in 2009.  Their records are frequently faulty and people who are entitled to guns are denied or delayed."  He went on to complain of false-positives, where law-abiding people are confused as criminals and have to defend themselves at their own cost to qualify for gun purchase. 

When asked by Emily about "false-positives", Trish indicated that she is "not aware of that being a problem."

Okamoto's response about common ground:  "I have no idea.  I know we shouldn't have felons with guns, or people with restraining orders, or people who have been adjudicated mentally ill.  One of the problems we do have, however, is that when people go to purchase a weapon they go to a federally-licensed firearms dealer, they go to a gun show, they have to have a background check.  But if you're a felon, a drug user, any of these prohibited classes, you don't have to go to a federally-licensed dealer, you can just go to anyone." 

Emily asked, "Is that the root of the movement to ban guns?  How do you handle that problem?"

Okamoto replied, "First, we would ban assault weapons, not guns in general.... But this has nothing to do with banning guns.  It has to do with keeping an eye on who has access to weapons.  Who's getting these weapons?  How are the children getting weapons?  You have to remember, every time a child has a weapon ... it's gone through the hands of an adult first.  And it's so easy to get weapons in Oregon."

It's interesting to note the difference in the two responses.  Both agree that violent people and the mentally ill should not have guns.  The difference is that Starrett, and organizations like OFF and the NRA, offer no solutions to do anything about it.  Okamoto and organizations like Ceasefire Oregon and the Brady Campaign to Reduce Gun Violence at least offer real solutions, like expanding background checks, increasing funding to update databases with mental health records for those background checks, and child access prevention laws, all of which are actively opposed by the pro-gun side.

Finally, when asked what legislation they would like to see, Starrett replied, "Top priority: to clean up the pistol license system so that people aren't being denied and that people from other states would be welcome here as well [regarding conceal carry permits from out of state]." 

Okamoto replied, "Universal background checks and prevention of access by minors."


  1. Okamoto replied, "First, we would ban assault weapons, not guns in general.... But this has nothing to do with banning guns.

    I cannot fathom why people still say absurd crap like this. So-called "assault weapons" are hardly EVER used in crimes or suicides. The vast majority of shootings in this country are with handguns--you know this, and I'm sure Okamoto knows this as well.

    So why the constant, relentless push to ban a (largely imaginary) class of weapons that simply are not a public safety issue at all?

    Because they are ugly weapons, easy to demonize to a mostly ignorant public who can be tricked into thinking they are machine guns. The point is not to save lives, obviously, but to ban any weapon they might be able to ban (easiest first) while simultaneously say it's not about banning guns. It obviously is.

  2. Again, worlds collide. There are clearly two distinct views about what to do about senseless gun deaths. One side ( the gun lobby) maintains that having more guns is the answer and fewer restrictions on the guns and their owners. This side is in clear contrast to those who actually want to do something concrete about keeping guns away from children, and prohibited purchasers. Can these two worlds come together to do the right thing? Time will tell.

  3. Baldr,

    You stated in your post that 20% of the children knew the combination or the location of the key even when parents locked up the firearms.

    So, how is another law (Texas has a child prevention law like many states) going to change things?

  4. Watch the language, Guav. Normally I would delete for foul language.

    Assault rifles are hardly imaginary, as any big city cop who has dealt with gangs can tell you. It's true that only a small percentage of crimes are committed with those compared to handguns. But unlike most handguns, assault rifles are intended to kill large numbers of people quickly and, sometimes, designed to be compact enough to hide on one's body. Despite your paranoia, banning those insidious weapons isn't the first step to banning all guns, but rather to remove the most dangerous of weapons from our streets and the hands of madmen.

  5. Bob, that statistic illustrates that gun owners with children must try harder to keep their children safe. Better yet, avoid having guns in the house at all, with children around.

    As I mentioned in the post, child access prevention laws have been shown to be effective to make those parents more responsible. Ideally you shouldn't need a law to do that, but clearly it works. Other than simply being opposed to authority and the creation of laws in general, is there any good reason not to have CAP laws? Holding gun owners responsible is a step in the right direction.

  6. Have you contacted the Eugene PD and informed them that they use "insidious weapons"?

    Why not?

    According to you, it matters not WHO has them, but that they are insidious on their own accord.

    Do you advocate banning these guns from the cops as well?

    Why not?

  7. Anonymous, I have no problem with law enforcement having and using assault weapons, nor are there proposals to prevent law enforcement from having them, including Eugene PD (whose SWAT team uses them). They need to be better armed than the criminals they are up against.

    And yes, they are insidious in the hands of criminals.

  8. Baldr,

    You didn't answer the question. Many states have child access prevention laws.

    Do you agree with that?

    It is common sense - to steal a phrase -- that parents should prevent access.

    How is another law going to change what people do?

    Please provide your evidence for the claim that CAP laws make parents more responsible.

  9. And lets talk about those statistics.

    In 2007, 613 children (are they counting as children 18 and 19 year olds?) died in accidental shootings.

    There are 280,000,000 million firearms out there.

    613/2,800,000 *100 (to express as a percentage) = 0.0002189%

    You are advocating making a law based on that statistic?

    Let's give you more advantage.

    Let assume 40,000,000 households with firearms.
    613/40,000,000*100 (to express as a percentage) = 0.0015325%

    You want to pass a law based on that statistic?

    Let me rephrase that....You want to pass another law based on those statistics?

    how about the statistic that 80% of crime is related to drug trade or gang?

    Shouldn't we address that problem first? Before we start trying to legislate common sense that the overwhelmingly vast majority of the people are already using?

    And would you care to address the fact that many of those accidental shootings happen in households where the owner is a felon in possession?

  10. Bob, I agree it is common sense to prevent access to guns, and yet some parents still do so, and children die as a result. CAP laws have been successful at reducing child deaths and injuries, presumably by encouraging responsible behavior. Here is one study that shows it:

    Hepburn L, Azrael D, Miller M, and Hemenway D, “The Effect of Child Access Prevention Laws on Unintentional Child Firearm Fatalities, 1979-2000,” The Journal of Trauma, 61(2)(2006):423-428

  11. Here's an article about the child shooting in Oregon City that they refer to at the beginning of the radio program:

  12. Bob, regarding your statistics: Why do you persist in refusing to consider homicides and suicides? Do you not understand that the guns used by juveniles in those incidents are also passed through adult hands? It is true that the vast majority of guns are not used in crime. But that does not excuse the excessive number that are.

    Here are some relevant stats for you:
    Homicide and suicide are the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, among teens ages 15 to 19, after unintentional injury. Firearms were the instrument of death in 85 percent of teen homicides and 43 percent of teen suicides in 2007. While almost one in four youth firearm injuries results in death, non-firearm injuries result in death in only one out of every 760 cases.

    (source, with citations:

  13. Bob, using the same twisted logic, you could also argue that regulation of vehicles is unnecessary. After all, there are about 68 million cars in America, but only 40,000 deaths a year from auto accidents. That's a rate of only 0.06% of cars involved (assuming 1 death per accident). That rate is comparable to the one for gun deaths of children from all causes (0.004%). Do you also argue that safety regulation of vehicles is unnecessary? Of course not. It is just as ridiculous to say so for guns.

  14. Baldr said:
    "assault rifles are intended to kill large numbers of people quickly"

    Yes, by a relatively very, very few people. Just like any firearm, some people intend to use them to kill. the overwhelming majority of owners of all firearms, even what you call "assault weapons," intend them to be used for target shooting, sports competition, or hunting small game. LAWFUL purposes.

    You're throwing the baby out with the bathwater, trying to ban a firearm that is overwhelmingly used lawfully for good purposes, and that is used in (last I saw) 1% of violent firearm-related crime.

    There isn't even any ANY military force in the world that is issued any of these "assault weapons" you want to ban. All military forces are issued FULLY automatic firearms not included in any "assault weapons" ban.

    Can you tell me the FUNCTIONAL difference between one of these "assault weapons" and any other semi-automatic firearm?

    (Hint: There IS none!)

    I have disproven your argument that the primary purpose, or intent, or function of firearms (with very few exceptions) is killing. It simply isn't true, and the statement is your OPINION not backed by the facts.


  15. "Why do you persist in refusing to consider homicides and suicides?"

    Because homicides and suicides are intentional actions. As intentional actions, they are completely different from accidents, and preventing them is a completely different strategy.

  16. Heather, having a gun accessible to minors increases the risk of them committing suicide (and succeeding) and increases the risk that they or their friends will use the gun to kill others or be killed themselves. It's not rocket science to understand this. Prevention is more involved, but access to guns is an important aspect nonetheless.

  17. Now, Let's talk about automotive laws.

    1. Does any state require parents to lock up the keys to prevent access by minors?

    I know of no state that does.

    Yet, you want to require it of firearms. Shouldn't by your own logic support a child automotive access prevention law?

    Do you offer any evidence that state laws have reduced unlicensed drivers, uninsured drivers, unregistered cars?

  18. "Now, Let's talk about automotive laws." No, Bob, I'm not going to debate auto laws with you.

  19. Orygunner, it's true that assault rifles are used in a small percentage of crimes. But as generally they are made to hold more bullets, have folding stocks and smaller profiles (sometimes) to allow for concealment, pistol grips to facilitate one-handed shooting, and a barrel designed to accommodate flash suppressors and silencers (or even a bayonet). These are all characteristics that allow them to be deadlier and less detectable. All of these characteristics make them more deadly and less detectable, with the primary purpose being to kill more people in a shorter period. This is not necessary for self-protection or hunting, and though it may be fun to shoot them (I have), that hardly justifies them in society.

  20. @Baldr: Well, first of all, owning firearms is protected by the bill of Rights, not the bill of "Necessary"

    Your excuses for why each feature should be banned have very thin logic if any at all.

    1. Folding stock: These guns are hardly even used for crimes, and there are handguns capable of firing even MORE powerful ammunition than "assault rifles" that are even more easily concealed. Why are you not suggesting banning those first?

    2. Pistol grips. One handed shooting? You have GOT to be kidding, right? You think shooting less accurately makes something MORE dangerous? I'm surprised you didn't claim they're desired to be fired from the hip.

    3. Flash suppressors and sound mufflers? These are commonly used in crime?

    4. A Bayonet? Because of course we have so many bayonettings occurring on a regular basis.

    This is frankly, all total BS. If you really wanted to have an effect on violent crime, why don't you go after handguns, which are used for the majority of violent firearm-related crime? If you wanted to go after rapid-firing weapons, why don't you go after banning all semi-autos? If you wanted to go after powerful weapons, why don't you go after deer hunting rifles?

    No, you're picking on "assault weapons" because they're "scary, black evil rifles" that LOOK LIKE military firearms - anything more is a gross stretch of logic. None of the features you listed make them any more dangerous, or any more deadly, or change their function as a semi-automatic firearm.

    In a free society, we don't have to justify a single damn thing. When we start having to come up with justifications for things, our liberty suffers, and I will fight such BS, misinformation, and propaganda on every front I am able.


  21. Wow, Orygunner, that's a pretty inflammatory response. You really want to paint me as some sort of naive fool.

    I'm not. And neither is the general public, which backs the banning of assault weapons according to recent polls, along with the vast majority of chiefs of police and the departments they represent. We see assault weapons as analogous to an angry tiger, ready to leap, where you would see it as just another cat. You downplay their danger, make believe they are no worse than any handgun, and mock us by saying we're against them because they look scary. Consider that between 1998 and 2001, 41 of 211 law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty were killed with those "scary, black evil rifles."

    I think your last statement sums up your attitude pretty well, Orygunner. You feel you "don't have to justify a single damn thing," even when people die, for your extremist sense of liberty.

  22. Folding stocks make the gun easier to fit in a case, so I don't have to carry a tree trunk of a case to a match like I do when we're shooting a Garand match. Telescoping stocks are important because it can be adjusted for shooters of different body sizes, in addition for being useful for transportation.

    A pistol grip facilitates one handed shooting? Have you tried holding up an AK-47 or an AR-15 solely by the pistol grip? You'd have to be pretty built to pull this off. Maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger could do it in the movies, but in real life it's not a viable way to wield a rifle or shotgun.

    Flash suppressors and bayonet mounds are purely cosmetic. They have no effect on a gun's lethality at all, unless you actually mount a bayonet on it, in which case you just made a pike. Either way, I use the bayonet mount on one of my AR-15s to mount a flashlight, and there are other things that will mount to a bayonet lug. Flash suppressors I could care less about, but banning them is beyond silly.

  23. Consider that between 1998 and 2001, 41 of 211 law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty were killed with those "scary, black evil rifles."

    OK, say you ban them, and miraculously they also disappear from the black market too. Would it matter if the were shot with a gun that didn't have a flash hider, folding stock, pistol grip, or bayonet lug? An M1 Garand is far more powerful than any "assault weapon," unless you want to ban that too. Even so, Grandpa's deer gun will zip through police soft body armor like a hot knife through butter.

    What Orlygunner is saying is that it's silly to ban some semi-automatic rifles and not others. You suggest that because there's no political support for doing such a thing, since it would ban many commonly owned rifles. Most people, when they hear "assault rifle" think machine guns. This whole issue has been deception from the get go.

  24. Sebastian, mounts for flash suppressors, silencers, and bayonets are not cosmetic, they are functional to add those items and make them more deadly or harder to detect the shooter. Those items add to the lethality of the weapon.

    Yes, these are not sold in the U.S. as fully-automatic machine guns, but many can be converted:

    Again, you guys like to pretend these weapons aren't so deadly, or that they are primarily for sport shooting. It's like you live in another world.

  25. Baldr Odinson: "Yes, these are not sold in the U.S. as fully-automatic machine guns, but many can be converted"

    If that is indeed the case, how many people in the US have been shot recently with guns so converted?

  26. As a moderate gunowner, I supported the Assault Weapon Ban as a reasonable compromise. One reason is that the law specifically listed 650 hunting rifles and shotguns as being exempt from the ban, and many prominent gun control advocates pointed that out to get support from moderates like me (it worked). Yet when legislation was proposed to "renew" the ban, the proposes legislation would have REVOKED the list of exempt hunting guns and would have expanded the law to specifically ban guns from the list of hunting guns that gun control advocates had promised NOT to ban.

    At that point, I changed my position and opposed "renewal" of the ban. I am STILL open to reasonable compromise -- but I don't see it.

  27. Baldr,

    I would really appreciate an acknowledgment of the comment I made.

    I am starting to doubt your integrity regarding open conversation.

    If there was anything offensive in my comment, please tell me.

    Otherwise, I'll wonder why you don't want to address the points I raised in my reply.

  28. @Baldr,

    Re-reading what I wrote, I see that I did not phrase things exactly how I meant.

    I was not implying that YOU believe assault weapons are simply "scary looking," but that IS how you, the other gun control advocates, and even some of the media paint these "assault weapons" to the general public.

    The reason that there is as much public support as there is for a ban is because of the lies and misinformation put out there to gain that public support. Phrases like "rapid firing," "powerful," "weapon of choice for gangs," and other half-truths and outright lies to "sell" the public on the ban.

    You didn't answer my questions about banning OTHER types of firearms instead of "assault weapons" - why not? Because you couldn't get enough public support to ban handguns (more concealable than "assault weapons" are), all semi-automatics (just as rapid-firing as "assault weapons" are), or deer hunting rifles (most use much more powerful ammo than "assault weapons" do).

    For exactly the same reason the gun control movement re-named inexpensive handguns as "Saturday night specials" or "junk guns" to get public support for a ban, they've renamed some semi-automatic firearms that look like military issue firearms as "assault weapons." They aren't after assault weapons because they're more dangerous (they're not), more powerful (they're not) or used in a majority of crimes (they're not). They (and you) are only going after assault weapons because THAT is the best thing you have a hope of gaining public support for banning, using misleading propaganda, mis-information, and "selling" the public on the lie that these firearms have no place in our society.

    Some of that public support comes from dishonest news stories on major networks which show footage of fully-automatic assault rifles while talking about "assault weapons." People have been misled into believing that these are machine guns, or the same firearms used by the military, when their main function is completely different. I struck up a conversation with my own step-mother about "assault weapons" and discovered that's what SHE believed, because all the facts she ever got about them were from the news, and she believed it.

    Fortunately, the key to combating this ignorance is the truth. The more facts we share with the public that prove almost everything you and other gun control advocates claim is false, you have less and less chance of convincing the public, and your support falls.

    I find it strange that you provide statistics on police deaths by criminals using "assault weapons" for such a limited time period, and during the "assault weapons" ban. I would like to see a more comprehensive list by year to see if the number has been effected whatsoever by the ban in 1994 and its expiration in 2004. I would predict that the "assault weapons" ban had no significant effect, just like gun control never does.

    I'l finish this up with a quote:
    "Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."
    -Josh Sugarmann, Assault Weapons and Accessories in America, 1988

    That pretty much encapsulates all the dishonesty right there - using MIS-information and ignorance to "sell" their agenda to the public.

    Ye shall know them by their fruits.


  29. What is a mount for a silencer? typically that's threads on the end of the barrel, which not many firearms are equipped with. If you want to put a can on the end of something you usually have to get a gunsmith to thread the end of your barrel first.

    When was the last time a criminal bayonetted someone to death? And a flash suppressor doesn't make the shooter harder to detect. It's meant to spread out the burning gasses so the shooter isn't blinded by a flash when firing under low light conditions.

    Any semi-automatic rifle can be converted to fire fully automatically if you have a reasonable machine shop. But if you have a reasonable machine shop you could make one from scratch without too much trouble too.

    And it's funny that you mention they aren't primarily for sport shooting when the only reason I have an AR-15 is for competition. I don't keep it ready for home defense or for any other purposes. It's for service rifle matches.

    I would not argue these firearms aren't deadly, but they are no more deadly than any other semi-automatic rifle, and in some cases less so, because a semi-automatic hunting rifle is generally going to fire a much more powerful cartridge.

  30. Bob, I already told you I am not debating the value of auto laws.

  31. @JayF: Irrelevant. I don't know a number, but even if none have been killed, I don't want to see the opportunity there for abuse.

  32. @JayF: I think it is a good idea to have a list of excepted hunting rifles. I don't know the thought process in removal of those from an exception list, but I think your criticism seems fair.

  33. @Baldr, Well, I think it is a good idea to not even have a ban whatsoever. You've given no sound reasoning why "assault weapons" should be banned, when there's more powerful, more easily concealable, just as "rapid-firing" firearms NOT included in the ban, and flash/sound suppressors are very very rarely ever used in crimes...

    My previous posts that I posted from home yesterday just aren't showing up, are you receiving them?


  34. Baldr Odinson: Irrelevant. I don't know a number, but even if none have been killed, I don't want to see the opportunity there for abuse.

    So, if for decades none have been killed by "converted" semiautos or bayonet lugs or flash hiders or threaded muzzles, it's irrelevant?

    I thought that you were concerned about real problems, not "opportunities" for problems that have almost never actually occurred.

  35. Baldr Odinson: "I think it is a good idea to have a list of excepted hunting rifles. I don't know the thought process in removal of those from an exception list, but I think your criticism seems fair."

    Thanks. The problem is that this sort of thing (gun control advocates reneging on reassurances to gunowners and doing what they promised not to do) happens fairly often, and pushes moderate gunowners like me further over to the "gun rights" side.

    I am getting tired of being told "We told you so" by other gunowners. My theory is that this is why those gunowners who polls show would agree to some gun control end up against it.

  36. CFO .. sad, lonely, pathetic, ineffective, delusional paranoids.

    Should you ever chose to leave your fears behind, and take responsibility for your lives, there are many people (whom you ignorantly despise) in the gun culture who will gladly work with you to overcome your terror and teach you how to be responsible for your own realities rather than sitting in your closets, rubbing gravel in your hair and waiting for your imaginary father figures to come and rescue you.

    Guess what girls... it's time to grow up. Those of us who have embraced adulthood won't hold our breathes.

  37. Kevin, I've posted your comment since you are a feature in this post. But, honestly, I can't figure out what the heck your point is other than to berate us. Normally I would delete the comment for that reason. Name calling is a pitiful and childish tactic.

  38. It's clear you cannot understand what anyone's point is but your own. Look at your own poll results.

    Look, you have powerful and unfounded fears of inanimate objects. Our foundation is willing, at any time, to help you get over them. You may consider that "name calling." But it's a real offer. We have provided classes for free all across this state. Anytime you want to step up and come to grips with your fears and take control of your life and your own safety we will help you at no charge. Guns are real and nothing you can do is going to make them disappear. Whenever you decide to overcome your terrors, we stand ready to help you. Real offer, no strings attached.

  39. @Starrett: Seriously? Name calling? Schoolyard taunts?

    Not very professional...

  40. @Baldr, well let's look at the "names" he called the CeaseFire Oregon organization.

    Sad. Well, not sure what he means by that, but many do seem sad when they can't get enough support for more gun control.

    Lonely. Certainly, in the online world, gun control supporters are overwhelmed, like the unpopular kids in the school lunchroom.

    Pathetic. Defined as: Arousing or capable of arousing sympathetic sadness and compassion. That does seem to be a tactic gun control supporters use to try and get public support.

    Ineffective. OFA and gun control in general certainly doesn't have any track record of success.

    Delusional. "Building healthy communities free from gun violence" is their motto, yet they are delusional if they think that gun control is going to accomplish this.

    Paranoids. Afraid to allow regular people to possess "assault weapons," "high capacity magazines." Afraid of the NRA, and afraid of the "gun lobby." Afraid of the mentally ill, and afraid of guns. All very plausible if you read the website.

    As far as "girls," isn't most of the CeaseFire Oregon organization women?

    Sure, Kevin could have sugarcoated it, but his observations actually seem fairly accurate, although perhaps a little on the crass side.