Guns: Put Up or Shut Up!

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

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Consistent

Minneapolis, MN

#1 Jan 5, 2013
Guns: Put Up or Shut Up!

by Geoffrey R. Stone.

Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago

In 1990, 78 percent of Americans thought we needed stricter gun laws. Today, only 44 percent of Americans think so. What has caused this dramatic shift in public opinion?

It is not because more people now own guns. In 1990, 48 percent of Americans had guns in their homes. Today, 45 percent of Americans do.

It is not because gun deaths are no longer a problem. Since 1990, a quarter of a million Americans have been killed by guns.

Why, then, has there been so precipitous a decline in the percentage of Americans who support stricter guns laws?

The answer lies largely in the democratic process. Those who oppose stricter gun laws have organized, they have aggressively promoted their positions, and they have been extraordinarily effective in electing candidates who support their policies and defeating those who oppose them.

The nation's largest and most potent anti-gun control organization, the National Rifle Association, increased its annual revenues from 1990 to the present by approximately 400 percent. It now has an annual operating budget approaching $300 million and 4.3 million dues-paying members.

The largest and most potent pro-gun control organization, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, has an annual budget of approximately $6 million and fewer than 30,000 dues-paying members.

The National Rifle Association spent more than $10 million in the 2012 election. The Brady Center spent less than $10,000.

These numbers bear repeating: The NRA has 140 times more dues-paying members than the Brady Center and it spent 1,000 times more money than the Brady Center in the 2012 election.

Is it any wonder, then, that those who support stricter gun laws are losing? This is, after all, a democracy. Advocacy, debate and politics matter. As Justice Louis Brandeis observed more than 85 years ago: "Those who won our independence believed" that the best "protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine" is freedom of speech, that "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people," and that "public discussion is a political duty."

That is why the NRA is winning. Their members are not "inert." They oppose and oppose and oppose what they deem to be "noxious doctrine."

Of course, the NRA does get a ton of money from gun manufacturers and vendors (including those who manufacture assault weapons and high-capacity magazines), such as Arsenal, Beretta, Browing, Brownells, DPMS Panther Arms, Glock, Remington Arms, Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger & Co, and Winchester.

But the majority of the NRA's funds still come from ordinary citizens -- from its 4.3 million members.

Those who want to see more rational gun laws in the United States have to do more than complain about the NRA. We have to ask ourselves: Do we care enough about this issue to DO something about it? If we don't, then we can be sure there will be millions more needless and heartbreaking funerals in the decades to come.

Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoffrey-r-ston...
goose

Chicago, IL

#2 Jan 5, 2013
Sorry, we HAVE rational gun laws!
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

#3 Jan 5, 2013
If that were true, they'd work.... Ask the dead kids or hearer goers....
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

#4 Jan 5, 2013
If that were true, they'd work.... Ask the dead kids or theater goers....
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#5 Jan 5, 2013
I wonder what the Constitution of the United States says about gun ownership?
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#6 Jan 5, 2013
I wonder what the Supreme Court of the United States says about gun ownership?
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#7 Jan 5, 2013
I wonder what Barry Obama says about gun ownership?
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

#8 Jan 5, 2013
I wonder why you can't see dead Americans, without your "political" blinders ???
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Jan 5, 2013
Amused Slew wrote:
I wonder why you can't see dead Americans, without your "political" blinders ???
Some of the Jews in Nazi Germany said that just before Hitler took away their guns too.
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

#10 Jan 5, 2013
Hitler drank beer, we're still drinking beer.... Your Hitler reference is calls Godwin's Law and pretty ridiculous...

There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#11 Jan 5, 2013
Amused Slew wrote:
Hitler drank beer, we're still drinking beer.... Your Hitler reference is calls Godwin's Law and pretty ridiculous...
There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress
Hitler took away the guns. Obama wants to take away guns.

The US Constitution and the US Supreme Court say US citizens have the freedom to own guns.
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#12 Jan 5, 2013
The Truth wrote:
I wonder what the Constitution of the United States says about gun ownership?
2nd amendment, some leftists actually want to kill gun owners now, so needless to say they never cared for the constitution before why start now.
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#13 Jan 5, 2013
Amused Slew wrote:
Hitler drank beer, we're still drinking beer.... Your Hitler reference is calls Godwin's Law and pretty ridiculous...
There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress
tradition, as if topix matters? lost, kinda like a game, a really long game 16-19 hours a day, huh thanks for that insight into the mind of slew... rather sad life you live
Amused Slew

Seattle, WA

#14 Jan 5, 2013
Be eagerly awaiting your "Saturday night song" , loser !

Hitler drank beer, we're still drinking beer.... Your Hitler reference is called Godwin's Law and pretty ridiculous...

There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress
The Truth

Minneapolis, MN

#15 Jan 5, 2013
Amused Slew wrote:
Be eagerly awaiting your "Saturday night song" , loser !
Hitler drank beer, we're still drinking beer.... Your Hitler reference is called Godwin's Law and pretty ridiculous...
There are many corollaries to Godwin's law, some considered more canonical (by being adopted by Godwin himself)[3] than others.[1] For example, there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress
Did Hitler take away the guns? Does Obama want to take away the guns? Stop trying to divert from THE TRUTH.
digger

Minneapolis, MN

#16 Jan 5, 2013
Amused Slew wrote:
If that were true, they'd work.... Ask the dead kids or hearer goers....
No, if the laws were PROPERLY APPLIED, we wouldn't have such a problem.
Lowell

Minneapolis, MN

#17 Jan 5, 2013
Visted a credit union this morning, there was an armed guard there protecting the money.

Sorry kids you don't count...
Consistent

Minneapolis, MN

#18 Jan 5, 2013
The Truth wrote:
<quoted text>
Hitler took away the guns. Obama wants to take away guns.
The US Constitution and the US Supreme Court say US citizens have the freedom to own guns.
The US Constitution is a living document that can and should be changed.
DSM Local

Ankeny, IA

#19 Jan 5, 2013
Lowell wrote:
Visted a credit union this morning, there was an armed guard there protecting the money.
Sorry kids you don't count...
why didn't they protect you too slew
Consistent

Minneapolis, MN

#20 Jan 5, 2013
DSM Local wrote:
<quoted text>
why didn't they protect you too slew
DSM Loco says" Look at me, I'm a right wing extremist nut!"

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