What to Do About Guns?

In the aftermath of two mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, Bay Area lawmakers and gun rights activists disagree on how to proceed.

The of six people over the weekend at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin was the second mass-murder committed using firearms in the United States within two weeks. The temple shooting followed in mid-July which killed 12 people.

The two recent attacks have raised the question of how best to prevent future incidents such as these from occurring.

California Democratic lawmakers such as Sen. Leland Yee contend that the best way to prevent mass shootings is by creating stricter regulations on the purchase of weapons, particularly assault weapons and semi-automatic weapons which have the potential to exert the greatest damage.

Yee recently introduced , a bill to limit the damage that can be caused by semi-automatic weapons and assault weapons. The intent, Yee says, is to prevent weapons from being easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.

Join this conversation in about the potential ban on the "bullet button."

“While most gun owners are law-abiding, it is a fact that such weapons are more likely to be used to kill an innocent person than used in self-defense," Yee said. "One only needs to look at England, Japan, and other nations with strict gun access to see that these types of gun control laws are effective in preventing gun-related homicides."

His bill has recently gained support from other Democratic politicians including Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Adam Keigwin, Senator Yee’s spokesperson, added that this is only one of many steps needed to reduce gun violence.

Other steps needed, according to Keigwin, include mandatory psychological treatment such as anti-depressant drugs, which would decrease the likelihood of a person in a volatile state from committing a violent crime.

Keigwin stressed that while Democratic lawmakers such as Yee support second-amendment rights including ownership of hunting rifles and other single shot weapons. The type of weapons on the market today are too harmful to be available to anyone," he said.

“Our founding fathers could not have imagined the weapons that exist today,” said Keigwin

Gun rights activists such as Scott Jackson strongly disagree with the regulatory approach being pursued by Democrats.

According to Jackson, the Chief Instructor for the Bay Area Firearms Training Group, blaming guns for mass killings is akin to blaming cars for vehicle accidents.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” said Jackson.

Jackson stressed that psychoactive drugs are the cause of mass murders rather than the solution.

“Every horrific crime is because people are on anti-depressants and psychoactive drugs,” Jackson said, adding that both the shooters in Colorado and Wisconsin were on such drugs during the time of the shooting.

Jackson contends that the reason drugs are framed as the solution rather than the problem is due to the money in the pharmaceutical industry.

“Pharmaceutical companies are liars and corrupt. They buy off senators and congressmen,” said Jackson.

Jackson said the ideal solution to gun violence is two-fold.

First, Jackson claims that allowing concealed weapons will act as a deterrent to potential shooters.

Jackson points out an example of a church shooting, where after the first shot was fired from the shooter, an armed parishioner returned fire, killing the shooter and potentially preventing a massacre.

Second, Jackson says media outlets must refrain from publicizing information about the shooters, as it encourages copy-cat killing.

Jackson discusses the example of Canada, where the media does not publish information about shooters; rather they are discretely tried and sent to prison.

“We have to stop making an idol of these kind of people,” said Jackson.

Both Yee and Jackson point to statistics on how their ideas of increased regulations or decreased regulations respectively can decrease homicide rates substantially.


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Jerry B August 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
All the gun regulations in the world will not stop the occasional deranged person from trying to kill people. They'll still find some way to try and do their work, and regulations on a particular type of firearm are useless. the author of this bill is just trying to make political points without really understanding the ramifications of this bill. I think it's our society as a whole that is the issue and creates this type of person. I don't offer any solutions but knee-jerk reactions aren't the answer.
jp August 07, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Leland Yee is a liar. He is pushing this agenda to obtain relevancy within the CA state senate. Yee wants to ban a rifle with a bullet button that can only/legally have 10 rounds in it. When the pistol grip is removed, that same rifle will LEGALLY be allowed to have 10,20 and 30 round magazines put in it. The only difference? A $20 part. Prime example of lawmakers making laws without knowing the facts. More wasteful dollars spent by Yee, (see violent video game legislation) All to ban a CA legal rifle that has never been used in a violent crime in its current configuration.
jp August 07, 2012 at 07:45 PM
For those wanting to know more about Senator Yee, Call his Chief of Staff Adam Keigwin and ask him about the Senators arrest in Hawaii for stealing sun tan lotion, and the inquiry into him soliciting a prostitute on Capp St. in San Francisco. These are the reasons Yee is trying to become more relevant by introducing this legislation. He has been one of California's least effective politicians in the last 50 years. The city of San Francisco completely reject him when running for mayor and the chinese community has rejected him as a leader.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive August 08, 2012 at 03:57 AM
We keep forgetting about the first part of the 2nd amendment. "A well regulated militia..." The most effective method of gun control is to require everyone who wants to carry to be willing to serve ion military or police reserves, and qualify physically and mentally to do so. We'd have a healthier population, for sure.


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