Stop. Drop. And Play Dead.


Stop. Drop. And Play Dead.


The other day (okay, a few weeks ago), I was working out at the gym, taking a break between sets during an intense leg workout. Well, let’s be honest. It was a leg workout, made intense by the fact that it involved work.

I don’t know what triggered the thought, but as I finished taking a sip from my water bottle, I remember thinking to myself.

“If a shooter were to walk in right now and start shooting up this place, would I have anywhere to hide? Where is the emergency exit? Do I know how to play dead?”

Not so bizarre. Not anymore.

I find myself thinking about those things more and more these days. I don’t think it’s hubris – I’ve never been one to be paranoid about protecting my life. I will jump on a trans-Atlantic flight, go on the most daredevil, heart-pounding roller-coaster and can go on a passionate carbohydrate binge that would have me banned from South Beach forever.

When I was in elementary school, we did fire and safety drills all the time. Every year, the firemen would come in and reiterate the same message about how the real dangers of fire were not in the flames, initially, but in the fumes.

“Stop! Drop! And ROLL!” We were taught and we would have to demonstrate one by one that we knew how to do the roll.

“Roll away from the smoke!” The firemen would indicate where the fake smoke was coming from.

And we would have to get on the floor and roll down the hallway or the pavement, with our arms pressed against our sides.

And now I wonder if I am supposed to be teaching my children how to play, “Stop. Drop. And play dead” instead.

Reality Check.

I watched the news the day of the Newtown shooting from my office. When I first saw word of the gun shooting online, it had estimated two dead. When I was leaving the office to grab lunch and passed by the TV, my heart dropped when I saw the revised numbers.

A few of my colleagues were standing with me and one of them said, “Yeah, just watch the gun control freaks have a field day with this one.”

My idea of field day is quite different than anything I saw in the news that day or in the following weeks about what happened in Newtown. See, having a field day involves doing things like a 50 yard dash or playing tug of war. Jumping towards a finish line in a potato sack.

It doesn’t involve children being slaughtered to death.

“It’s not guns that kill people!” my co-worker explained. “People kill people.”

Yeah. No shit, Sherlock. People kill people. Usually with guns.

Of course there are other weapons and other means to kill. But that doesn’t mean that anything has the power of an assault weapon of the caliber used in Newtown.

So call me a freak. But first call me an American.

I am an American. Born and raised on this soil, I am proud of my country. I’m a patriot. I love my country. Like most things I love, like my husband, my children, my family, my friends and even myself – I love my country, not with the false belief that it is perfect. I am under no illusions that my country is perfect.

A blind love is never a healthy love, you see.

Being a patriot to this country is not just in honoring those who fight in the name of this country. It’s not standing with a hand on my heart during the pledge or even the fact that I often cry during the National Anthem.

Being a patriot to this country also means acknowledging the imperfections that tarnish the soil that we love. It means acknowledging that what was done to the Native Americans in a quest to drive them away from their homes was a travesty. It means acknowledging the stains of our own intolerance in the Japanese internment camps that were a part of this land.

“This lands was made for you and me.” It’s a beautiful song. But it’s hardly one that we have always sung together.

Being an American patriot means acknowledging that slavery existed in this country even while the Founding Fathers were writing a document that we immortalize with reverence.  There was a time when American fought against American in this land because of the difference in opinion that we could “own” the bodies of other men and women. Our fellow brothers and sisters. It means recognizing that segregation in this country existed until just a few decades ago.

So I’m an American. I love this country but I won’t ignore the flaws of our past and look at anything in our history or any document in our history as beyond questioning.  As unquestionable or perfect in any way.

The Founding Fathers. They were mortals. They wrote the Constitution under the crushing pressure of trying to obtain freedom from England.

They were people who made mistakes. They were people who did not have a crystal ball. They were Renaissance men, the lot of them, yet they had no concept of things like the Industrial Revolution. They never imagined cars. They didn’t ever foresee large vessels that could fly across oceans in the air or do the same things in the deepest recesses of our oceans.

They never saw a television. They never saw a man walk on the moon. They never imagined the mass production and unethical means in which we would harvest our animals. They never had the internet. Or a phone. Or electricity.

They owned muskets. They had harpoons.

Muskets, people.

They never imagined gang wars. They never saw the technology that could create guns that could kill so many people so quickly. They never saw an AK-47 blow someone’s head off. They never imagined the number of civilian deaths, that would take place and grow each year on American soil.

I will tell you one thing. They never imagined Columbine. They never imagined Newtown.

“Don’t take away my Second Amendment freedoms!”

Settle down. First of all, let’s stop looking at this as religious scripture. And stop attacking anyone who asks if guns should not be better regulated in this country. Well, if the laws we have are not enforced, then we don’t need more laws. We need enforcement and we need laws that make sense.

I feel like we are sitting at a critical juncture as a country. There will be another shooting. There might be another Newtown. There is just a sense of when, how, where? that I feel smothers us like a blanket.

I just want to know why I feel like the moment I question better regulation, people feel like their rights to own guns are being threatened? Hey, nobody’s saying you can’t hunt. Nobody’s saying you can’t own guns for self-defense. Heck, keep your arsenal for your hypothetical militia.

We have a problem here. An epidemic, if you will. Why is proper licensing of guns not considered acceptable? Why are more stringent licensing practices not being issued?

I keep hearing, “Well people will get guns without licenses!”

Probably. But it will be illegal and they should be penalized under the law. A person cannot legally drive in this country without getting a license. It doesn’t mean that people aren’t driving illegally every day. But that’s no excuse to stop overseeing it.

And why do we do that? Why do we require driver’s licenses? Because we like waiting online at the DMV? Because we like the way we look in the pictures? Does anyone actually like to go through the process of car inspections, vehicle registrations and wasting half a day at the DMV. Every stupid year? For every vehicle you own?

No. It’s a goddamn pain in the ass is what it is. But you do it. And it makes sense.

We do it because we know the power we hold behind the wheel. We know that we can kill, we can destroy, we can maim if we don’t know what we’re doing.

So why then? Why, why would we allow people to own guns without the appropriate training? Without appropriate documentation of what guns are where? And if it’s because we are going to talk about the people needing a way to raise a militia against the government, the people who are raging about wanting to have a right to raise a militia are usually the people I would NEVER want to see raise a militia.

That’s right. You people scare me.

I don’t know what will happen if I am at that gym in a middle of a workout and a gunman comes in raging. I haven’t thought through that yet. But I know that I think about my children every day. And my friends’ children. And my neighbors’ children.

And I’m not ready to teach them to stop, drop and play dead.

Something needs to change.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 1

    Danni says

    I really loved your website till I read this. Guns aren’t the problem ..I will always preach that. The problem is people do nt respect guns how they use to. As a means of protecting the home and providing food for family. What people over look are situations like the Newtown shooters mom was trying to get him committed cuz she coundnt care for his crazy ass anymore. The most logical and positive change, at least in my mind, is to match those residences who are mentally disturbed with the ones that own guns and take access out of those homes. If making things illegal solved problems we would have no black market drug dealers or gang menbers or any sort of illegal under ground activity in a perfect world those approaches work… We don’t live in a perfect wold which explains why they haven’t worked yet!!

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    • 2

      heidi crowley says

      I agree with you . For her to asume our countrys foundig fathers had not the forsight to think we would evolve in the weapons department is just ignorant. Remember a bguy named Benjamin Franklin, one of the best minds of invention during that time. If they thought we would only ever need muskets it would specify “the right to bear muskets” . It doesn;’t takea freakin rocket scientist to realize that historicaly when the people are outarmed by the government bad things happen. LIke the holocaust. Has no one been paying attention to the news of military training exercises going on in ouer major citites? Houston, laredo, miami, St louis to name a few, why would our military being trainging for anyhting in our cities rather than on their training camps. Duh, to practice martial law. Igt seems iminent, the us banking syste had it’s largest withdrawl of funds the other day since 9/11 happened. So scary mommy I will not support you or any other lame brained idiot who thinks enacting a massive gun ban will fix things. We have laws that make it illegal to kill someone but hey 20 kids ended up dead anyways. To tell you the truth I live 12 minutes from andy hoook and the majority of feeling here in this area of CT is that it was a black flag operation, now don’t go calling me a conspiaracy theorist. Don’t go thinking “our government would not kill kids to get there way” they do kill men women and children every day in other coutries, on the day sandy hook happened they blew up two elementary schools in afghanistan, with children in them. Hitler used the “let’s save the kids” platform to convince an entire nation to disarm itself, how did that work out?

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        • 4

          MarySunshine says

          As a fellow history major I disagree with the use of holocaust to describe this, in all aspects of the definition (which before *the* holocaust was defined as a mass loss of life, especially by fire.)

          I would also hope, as history major and budding historian, you would remain objective in your research of the topic and issue at hand. Has the proposed legislation actually stated it will “disarm the people”? As I’m reading right now, the legislation calls for criminal background checks on all gun sales, a ban on assault weapons, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, closing loop-holes in the sale of guns at gun shows, putting *more* counselors and resource officers (who do carry guns), lift the ban on federal research into gun violence and provide better access to mental health services.

          I have yet to read anywhere that the President and government want to take away our guns. The only large scale organization saying that is the NRA.

          And before I am accused of being a leftie, liberal, gun-hating whatever let me share that I am not anti-guns. I come from a family that enjoys hunting and guns. I don’t hate guns. I don’t dislike them, or gun owners.

          What I do dislike is people using their “expertise” to throw their opinions around. Regardless of the past, if you are not informed of what’s happening in the present, opinions are invalid. As history majors we study the past. And yes, we compare the past to the present to study trends, if there are any. However, we should remain objective in our studies; put our personal opinions and beliefs to the side when presenting our findings. I feel the same about journalism, but that is a rant for another day.

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          • 7

            MarySunshine says

            Please elaborate. I’m confused as how I threw my “expertise” (which I by no means am an expert of anything). Is it because I disagree with the use of the term holocaust? I guess you got me there.

            Or, is it because because I went and looked up the proposed legislation on gun control and repeated it here? You don’t need to be an expert in anything to look up documentation. The Internet has made obtaining information easy for everyone.

            My only opinion based on Jillian’s post above is if she wants to use her position as a history major as a way to show he credibility she needs to present some actual facts. She leaves us, as the readers, with a vague, ominous statement. There’s nothing there to explain her position. It makes her look like a fear monger.

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          • 8

            Stefanie says

            MarySunshine I can see that you desire to talk down to others, I refuse to engage in it. I simply pointed out the hypocrisy of stating your own ‘expertise (History Major) and then commenting that you “What I do dislike is people using their “expertise” to throw their opinions around. ”
            As for the rest of your response to me, you are basically talking to yourself.

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          • 9

            MarySunshine says

            Stefanie, I’m sorry if you took my response to your original snark as talking down to you. If you don’t want a healthy debate with someone don’t engage them in the first place. Have a great weekend.

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          • 11

            Kiran says


            Thank you for stating that so perfectly. I think there might be some “putting down” going on, but it’s not from you.


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          • 12

            Jillian Mitchell says

            I am most certainly not a “fear monger”, and I claimed no expertise. By stating that I am a student of History I was only identifying with the familiarity of things I have learned in my studies. There is a pattern of abuse among the worlds leaders and ours are not exempt from that pattern. Choose whom ever you wish as a corrupt political leader and there can be a connection made between now and then.

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          • 13

            MarySunshine says

            I don’t think you were trying to be moderate by mentioning the Holocaust. No one uses the Holocaust, or even just the word, unless they are trying to drive a point home. The gun control issue and Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust have all been thrown together in the national debate. You knew what you were implying by using holocaust as a comparison.

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          • 15

            Jillian Mitchell says

            I suppose I am imposing presentism on this issue, but it is difficult to me. I am not however trying to relate the Holocaust specifically to the gun issue, but to the level of control our government is attempting to gain by way of frightened citizens. I find it difficult to remain objective because so many people are quite literally freaking out on all sides of this issue. I do not think that the government is trying to “take away” our guns, I do think that banning them in any fashion is a violation. People say why do you “need” an assault weapon, why do you “need” that much ammunition? My response is always that I do not “need” any of that, I own an “assault rifle” because guns and the sport of shooting are a hobby that my family and I enjoy. Tearing through a bunch of ammo, letting lose on an old washing machine out in my pasture is fun for us. No one needs these things, no one “needs” a fancy sports car, no one “needs” a lot of the things we have and enjoy the right to own, but we do and its not illegal. People kill people with cars every day and that is not illegal and we are not seeking legislation to make it so. I want there to be a happy medium for everyone, and I want people to stop hurting other people, absolutely. I however do not want for my family and the millions of others who enjoy the sport of shooting gun to lose something because other people don’t care, don’t like, don’t want, or can’t be trusted with one. If not a high capacity gun, then it will be something else, we can’t ban everything that people use to kill other people. Its the people we need to look at, not their tools.

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      • 17

        Megan says

        You just posted the dumbest thing ever. Benjamin Franklin may have been a great mind, but he wasn’t a psychic. Your comments are extremely uneducated and that of a conspiracy theorist. Be paranoid all you want.

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        • 18

          Jillian says

          It is easy to hide behind “faith in our government”, yes to say these thing sounds like conspiracy theory, but the truth is often mistaken for such when it is too painful to accept. Do some research into this topic, CNN has a lot of good information that regular network television is unable to share.

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      • 20

        antygonnee says

        The holocaust would not have been prevented if the citizens of germany had been armed. Also it is historically inaccuate to say that the nazis disarmed their citizens the Versailles treaty did that years before Hitler came to power. The gun laws were then relaxed in a way that allowed all citizens, except the Jews, to be able to own guns and the holocaust syill happened. So you do need to check facts before going off and sounding silly.

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      • 22

        Bravidvalour says

        Australia has an effective citizen gun ban, only licensed feral animal shooters can get a gun, and then only with massively restrictive license. Gunshot deaths are close to statistically ZERO, & people get upset now if the cops use Tazers, let alone fire a sidearm. London Cops don’t have guns…never did since the ‘Peelers’, Sir Robert Peels, first promulgated ‘Police Force’, in the early 1800’s. Most states in Australia now ban the carrying of ANY knives, I was given official warning by police for having a paring knife, together with an apple, in a backpack.
        Violent Crime is so low, with blanket ban on ALL citizen weaponry, Queensland Police just retrenched 300 Police Officers. I am routinely seeing single women, out at 12midnight, without fear, in the Tourist hotspot of Airlie Beach, because their is no guns or knives, and knee to groin is therefore fully effective. Britney Spears, can only get on or off Public Transport on her own and unarmed…in this weapon free culture, that I have witnessed on 3 separate occasions, on her pre-divorce Holiday, at her well chosen destination.

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        • 23

          TeeKay says

          Well according to the Australian Government Institute of Criminology & The Australian Bureau of Statisitcs:
          Homicides from knives and sharp objects is on the rise.
          Assaults, Robbery & Home Invasions have been increasing NOT decreasing. Reported sexual assaults have increased by 51% since 1995. The overall treand for all assaults has been upward, with an increase of 55% between 1996 and 2007 alone. I tend to believe what they have to say over what you have posted….

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        • 27

          cemoma says

          How will these regulations help stop another Sandy Hook? Adam Lanza tried to purchase a gun, he was denied. CT had an assault weapons ban, a firearm licensing requirement as well as registration requirements. The owner of these guns met all requirements for ownership. Her guns were stolen. Adam Lanza stole them. He stole the ammo as well because he was also denied the ability to purchase ammo. Same thing happened with Columbine. Everything was purchased and amassed illegally, and wasn’t discovered till after the crime. Chicago (Cook County)has EXTREMELY tough gun control laws and bans. It’s also a reality that most if not all of those committing murder every day in Chicago are incapable of owning or purchasing firearms or ammo according to these strict regulations. But they do, and they are committing these crimes. Not to mention that anyone bringing a firearm into these places where mass murders typically occur is already committing a crime, as is using one unlawfully to harm or threaten another person. There’s also the issue of “assault weapons” myths, and the lack of correct information about their capability with respect to the fact that they aren’t the “most lethal”, they aren’t the most powerful, and determining the power of a firearm based on what type of grip it has or if it “Looks” more frightening than another is ridiculous.(because that’s EXACTLY how it’s being determined…seriously talk to a gun smith these determinations are baseless) Restricting how much ammo a magazine can hold only means the shooter needs to carry more magazines, because they’re going to fire as many rounds as the have and can within their time frame and it’s pretty easy to carry multiple magazines. So my question remains…how are these proposed laws and “tougher” regulations supposed to keep our children safer? Im not at all saying everyone should be armed. I fully believe in the personal responsibility, and law enforcement. I absolutely want to help my children live in a world where they don’t have to have active shooter drills in school. My concern is that we are looking for a seemingly easy fix that is only going to provide a false sense of security, because we have completely ignored the root causes of this type of violence.

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        • 28

          Sharon says

          Easy for Austrailia to control their boarders and people/firearms from entering as it is fully surrounded by water. The US is not that isolated and its boarders are not protected. So, banning all weapons/firearms is not reasonable or logical here.

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      • 29

        Karenelise Metz says

        wow, Heidi. when you start attacking the very real feeling for the majority of women in this country (recent polls suggest that over 70% of women are in favor for stricter gun laws. ie licensing and the banning, again, of assault weapons), you lose any credibility to your argument and defy the very document that you were just beating your chest over. everyone is allowed to have their own opinions on this, let kiran have hers. if you don’t like what you’re reading here, then you don’t have to. leave. but you don’t need to attack someone before you do.

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          • 31

            Karenelise Metz says

            by using the words “ignorant” and “lame brained idiot”, she attacked a very real sentiment of people across this country (about gun laws and protecting our children), myself included. Heidi’s entitled to her opinion about the article, I merely stated that to get her point across she didn’t need to insult the writer, or anyone who thought differently than her.

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      • 32

        Ariana says

        Guns don’t kill people? Ok, People with guns kill people.

        Anyone who believes that their guns will protect them against our government has never heard of unmanned drones. But, we are not Afghanistan, we are not Nazi Germany, we are the United States of America and we have a political system of checks and balances that will not allow for sudden Martial Law. Even if you do think that our President would want it, even if he is Commander in Chief, we have something called Congress that would prevent it from happening.

        Scary mommy, thank you writing this. Sensible gun control, registration, background checks, and mandatory liability policies can and will keep many guns away from the “bad guys”, and allow the good guys, the police, to do their job.

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        • 33

          Petra Zahn Swenson says

          exactly. We are completely outarmed by our government, regardless of how many guns we have. i really wish that people would just stop regurgitating these arguments that make no sense! What are these weapons used for, other than killing lots and lots of people at one time? there is just no practical use for them….

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          • 34

            Jillian Mitchell says

            It is not about practicality. No one is telling people they can’t have a certain number of cars (which kill people). No one is saying you can’t have a certain amount of alcohol in your home (which kills people). No one is saying you can’t stuff your face with a certain amount of junk food (which kills people). That all sound just ridiculous doesn’t it. Well that is exactly what it sounds like to people who enjoy and appreciate the right to own and use whatever high/low capacity handgun/rifle we wish to. Maybe we should ban McDonald’s for killing so many people? No? No that wouldn’t make any sense at all would it because those people had a choice about consuming that Big Mac didn’t they? And it is not our government’s place to take away that choice. The man that shot those children had a choice and he made it. If it hadn’t been a gun it could have been a homemade bomb and could have done even more damage. Could is a big word here. Banning certain guns and ammunition COULD help but no one knows if it will or not. Then what do all the supporters of the ban propose to do about all the guns that are already out there? This is not a solution. We cannot idiot proof the world and try to make all the people that are scared feel better. There will always be something scarier out there and there will always be more idiots to be afraid of and more idiots to protect.

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          • 35

            nicole stephenson says

            jillian you should probley , (along with the rest of the people that dont agree with the websites point of view) GET A GD LIFE STOP AGRUING WITH A COMPUTER AND LEAVE THE DAMN PAGE. if you dont agree you dont have to post long drawn out posts about how YOUR right and everyone else is wrong ,just unlike the page and .. wait for it … WALK AWAY

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          • 36

            Petra Zahn Swenson says

            Yeah, you’re right. Let’s ignore “practicality” and just idealize everything! YAY! The guy who shot those kids did have a choice, again you are correct. He had a choice just like Mr. I -eat-big-Macs-everyday-and -now-I’m-dead. However, those SIX YEAR OLD CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS did not have a choice! And again, I agree, COULD is a big word here. and i think if banning certain types of ammo and guns COULD save the life of an innocent friggin’ KINDERGARTENER (or 20), then I think we SHOULD do anything we can. Yes, cars can kill people, but they also have a practical use, don’t they? Unlike said assault weapons and large clips. And the use of these potentially-deadly vehicles is heavily regulated and monitored, isn’t it? And, Yes, eating too much junk can kill us, but we can simply choose not to eat all that crap. the idea that machine guns are no less dangerous than a cheeseburger is just a stupid notion. Your right to get your jollies shootin’ dem big guns DOES NOT take precedence over my right and the right of my children to be safe in the world we inhabit.

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          • 37

            Jacob says

            But it won’t save anyone, Timothy McVeigh killed over 100 people and injured six hundred including an entire class of daycare kids and he did not use a firearm. He used a bomb. The day after Sandy Hook a man in China stabbed 22 school children with a combat knife, he did not use a gun. Connecticut HAD a law in place identical to the gun control legislation that has been proposed by the Democrats. It did not do anything to save those kids, because the AR was obtained illegally. The head of the commission on gun control, Vice President Biden, admits (on his public Google hangout you can see it on youtube) that AR15’s are not nearly as big of a threat in a school shooting scenario as a shotgun.

            Now on to your claim that the founding fathers meant “muskets”. Most of the technology that we have today is a result of the men who signed the constitution, without Ben Franklin the face of today would be drastically different, you think he didn’t know we would have weapons that would shoot multiple rounds without reloading one day? Get real. The Supreme Court has ruled that the 2nd Amendment AS IT IS WRITTEN applies to ALL small arms that are currently in service with the United States Military(1958, Miller v. United States). This ruling still stands. Anyone who argues that the founding fathers intended for us to have muskets should also remember that at the time the Military used Muskets. I am sorry, but the argument that the founding fathers only extended the 2nd Amendment to Muskets is on the border of imbecilic.

            I am an Officer in the United States Army. I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Gun control makes no one safer, just look at Britain’s 2,400 violent crimes(per 100,000 people) to our 446. If the Federal Government decides to continue its assault on the Constitution. I hope everyone is ready for the consequences. Because the loss of the right to keep and bear arms has greater consequences than any advocate of gun control has the mental capacity to imagine.

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          • 38

            Newtown says

            :::knocks on pedestal:::

            Adam Lanza’s Bushmaster was purchased legally, and registered, by his MOTHER…with whom he lived. He then killed his mother and made out with her guns and ammo. Heh. The gun used to kill 26 students and teachers (less than a mile away from my house) was definitely legal in CT because it was grandfathered into the 1994 AR ban.

            Get off your high horse. Why the hell do you think that Western Europeans and Canadians rarely want to come here to the States? Even with the economy in Europe in the toilet, they still live quite a bit more peacefully over there….without guns.

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      • 40

        Petra Zahn Swenson says

        So.. should private citizens be allowed to own drones, or nuclear bombs, in their private homes? Because, I’ve got news for you. Unless you are packin’ some of those babies in your closet, YOU ARE ALREADY OUTARMED BY YOUR GOVERNMENT. Your Bushmaster ain’t gonna save you. But remove these assault rifles from homes, and lives might actually be saved. We need to look at the reality, not the hypothetical “government takeover” theory.

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        • 41

          Jacob says

          The Mujahideen didn’t have nuclear weapons or drones, or an Air Force, or Uniforms, or even formal supply lines. The American Colonists didn’t have Cannon, Brown Bess Muskets, or a Navy. Yet the Mujahideen defeated the Russians, the American Colonists beat the British, and look at what happened in Vietnam. There are cases throughout history of the little guy milita taking the fight to the larger forces and beating them soundly. The Bushmaster won’t “save you” but you can certainly hold your own with it. You know, for people who are supposed to be so forward thinking I find liberals rather backward and clueless about history.

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      • 42

        Kelly says

        should we all have missles too? How do you define “arms”? what makes some “arms” – i.e. assualt rifles- ok and not other arms such as heat sinking missles? Your logic makes no sense.

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      • 43

        Monkey says

        Wow. I love the pro-gun lobby coming out in droves to attack this post – and having the decipher the poor grammar and spelling mistakes that come along with being so closed-minded and uneducated about the world about you.

        Go back to your Fox News and your arsenal of weaponry that has a higher chance of killing your own family than an intruder.

        Might want to learn a bit of English, too…you are the people who seem to upset that people refuse to learn English coming into this country; yet you can’t even spell things properly, or put together a proper sentence. Go figure.

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        • 44

          Jacob says

          Did you ever consider that it might not be the pro-gun lobby? Did you ever consider that its actual Americans that want to maintain their right to their property, as well as their right to bear arms? By the way “wow” is not a complete sentence, and as such I find your previous comment about bad grammer rather ironic.

          I argue that the anti-gun lobby is closed-minded and uneducated about the world, considering that if you read the violent crime statistics from countries with stringent gun control laws you would not be part of the anti-gun crowd. Furthermore, did you ever consider that if more than half of the country (according to gallup) opposes your point of view that you might be wrong?

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    • 45

      Exhaustomom says

      I totally agree. A house with a person living there who has shown violent tendencies should not have guns in it, I hold that mother partially responsible. He should have been institutionalized, not exposed to weapons.

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      • 46

        Patty says

        His mother was trying to get him institutionalized, but it is nearly impossible. I think we need to take a hard look at how we deal with mental illness and it needs to be done soon. To regulate and ban guns to the 99% of Americans that use them properly and ignore the 1% who are mentally ill, is just asking for another mass shooting. Hell, the goverment is getting control of our healthcare system, shouldn’t be that hard to find these people and treat them.
        PS- Adam Lanza did NOT use asault rifles to kill those children…he used hand guns…the assault rifles were in the trunk of the car he drove.

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        • 47

          Newtown says

          Really Patty? REALLY? “PS- Adam Lanza did NOT use asault rifles to kill those children…he used hand guns…the assault rifles were in the trunk of the car he drove.”

          Not sure where you get your information, but it’s completely erroneous. Adam Lanza used an assault rifle. He was able to shoot hundreds (HUNDREDS) of bullets in less than FOUR minutes. Had he had to stop and re-load even once or twice, MY TOWN would more than likely be mourning less than half the amount of victims we are.

          But that’s besides the point now. By propagating grossly inaccurate information, you’re disrespecting the victims.

          Why is it that all you pro-gun freaks love to take away from the problem at hand?

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    • 48

      Erin Zito says

      Danni, you’re part of the problem. You read this intelligent, articulate, reasonable statement and turned it into “The liberals r cummin to take r gunz!!!” Grow up and turn off faux “news”. Guns should be better regulated, period. If the mother of the Newtown shooter had been required to re-register her guns every year the way we are required by law to re-register our cars every year and questions had been asked about who lived in the home where the guns were kept, maybe, just *maybe*, this tragedy wouldn’t have happened. If you turn every statement regarding better regulation of firearms, especially the ones that are made for no other purpose than to kill as many human beings in as short a period of time as possible, into a paranoid delusion, a reasonable discussion will never happen. I urge you to drop your NRA filter and re-read this.

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      • 52

        Kamille RN says

        Ya know I agree with some restrictions like do I really need a gun that shoot off 30 rounds in less then a min geesh, excessive! But I have had 2 attempts of a man trying to get inside my house and as a single mom with 2 kids felt pretty vulnerable with us standing in the kitchen, dog, knives and baseball bat in our hands and calling 911. Let me just say it took the police 15 min to get to my house both times! First attempt I turned lights on and started screaming cause I realized being paralyzed with fear waiting on cops that this guy would be in before they got here, door knob was already hanging off door! It scared him off thank God! 2nd attempt the guy was drunk banging on door and screaming scary things. After about 5min he left, another thank God! But what if either one had come in? I’m in no shape to take on a full grown man. But having a shot gun I’d feel like I could protect my kids, I would not be as terrified. I hate guns but they are needed at times. I just hope that this road were on does not LEAD to the taking away of citizens rights to be able to protect themselves. I also don’t feel that if you have someone not of a healthy mental state in your home you should not be able to have guns in your house. Their are lock boxes that require hand prints to get into. Their should be more funding and help going into mental healthcare! It is soooo underfunded its pathetic. I knew of a boy who stuck a screwdriver down a dogs sexual organs and the family could not get him comitted. They took him to the ER and they turned him away. This is one scary kid! The family lives in fear and never lets him out of their sight. He was seeing a psychiatrist who told the step mom he does these sorts of things cause he hates you, like it was normal! Wow.. Is that a normal response for a kid to have when they don’t like their step mom! A complete over haul of mental health care is needed! I’m not looking for a fight I just needed to vent a little. Please be civil with me! Thanks.

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        • 53

          AJ Collins says

          Your situation is one where I feel having a shot gun or even hand gun would be useful. You would have the time to take it out of the safe, load it and protect your family… but assault weapons aren’t necessary.

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        • 55

          Monkey says

          If a grown man is trying to come into your house, and you’re trying to protect your family, do you really think if he REALLY wants to get in to do harm, you’ll have enough time to go to your gun safe, take out and load a gun, in the time it may take someone hellbent on destruction to get in? NO. Because, as a responsible gun owner, you would make sure your guns are unloaded at all times, and in a SAFE, under lock and key, where NO CHILD can find it by accident.

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    • 60

      Jessica says

      “The problem is people do not respect guns how they use to. As a means of protecting the home and providing food for family.”

      As she explained above, she isn’t advocating a BAN on guns, simply restrictions and licensing. She said nothing about taking away guns for hunting or protecting the home. What exactly is the problem with the proper registering of guns?

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    • 61

      missy says

      You women disgust me, America has a huge problem with gun control. For you to ignore the facts shows just how uneducated and underdeveloped as human beings you are. Perhaps you should take a look at your lovely neighbours to the North…you know, the massive piece of land we like to call Canada. We do not have nearly as many issues with gun control and mass shootings. Please go ahead and do the research, compare the school shootings/mass shootings and tell me which country is leading in those numbers. I feel for your children, they have a sad future ahead of them.

      Thank you scary mommy for this wonderful post.

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      • 62

        Ntricksteinbach says

        Or germany where this American and her child live and will continue living. No society is perfect but wow are there simple, common-sense ways of making it better.

        And these people who spout off about nazi germany and gun ownership limitations need a history lesson. Neither accurate nor contextually relevant.

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  2. 63

    Alison says

    Kiran, I admire and respect your courage in speaking your mind, taking a stance.

    At the end of the day, no matter whether we’re with or against you, we are moms, wanting the best for our children, wanting to protect them. No matter what you write about, that always comes through.

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  3. 66

    Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog at The Suburban Jungle says

    Regardless of your position it’s nice to see someone take a stand for their beliefs … I think that’s very American of you. Nice Job!

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  4. 71

    Ashley Quite Frankly says

    What a brave and intelligent piece, I really enjoyed reading it. Guns aren’t the problem, people aren’t the problem–guns and people are the problems. I don’t understand people’s insistence that it can only be ONE problem; it can only be mental health, it can only be violent video games, it cannot cannot be easy access to high powered weaponry that can kill many people on a quick impulse from a distance. Ridiculous and selfish. I have to show ID to buy Sudafed…but the very mention of one more rule, one more safety net for guns and people go berserk. Really? We’ve finally done something so perfectly that it never ever needs to be reviewed or revised again for the rest of history, regardless of current trends or technology? Right. Keep telling yourself that so you can keep your toys, that’s what’s important here.

    Sadly, I have taught my 6 and 9 year old to stop, drop, and play dead and I have never had a harder conversation in my entire life. It breaks my heart my first grader’s teacher frequently practices locking them in a bathroom together instead of learning. This is what our rights have brought us.

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      • 73

        Jess says

        Sadly, Ashley’s last paragraph is completely true. My first grader has “emergency” drills where they practice hiding in their cubbies at school, but don’t know why. It just breaks my heart… I don’t care who you are, or what side of the politicial spectrum you’re on, we all need to acknowledge that something needs to change.

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        • 74

          Deedra says

          They just started having those drills at my daughter’s pre-school. She is 4. She told me that they had to practice how to hide and be really quiet in case a bad person came into the school to hurt them. She asked me why someone would want to hurt her. I told her that some people are not well and that they can hurt other people. She said she was scared. I told her I was scared too.

          I don’t know what the right answer is, if it is more guns, less guns, more mental health care, more laws, better regulation of current law but I do know that having that conversation with my child made me feel less free. It made me question if I’m really living in the greatest nation in the world. I can’t do everything, which is why I voted and “hired” those people in D.C. I expect them to get to work finding a way to fix this.

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    • 75

      Newtown says

      Yes, when my husband tells me about the lockdown drills he has with his students (in a very affluent town), it’s incredibly upsetting.

      When school districts are talking about doing lockdown drills, with gunfire simulation, I get scared and nervous. This was not the world I grew up in (the one I grew up in was more violent, unfortunately), and it’s definitely not the world I want my children being raised in.

      My child is only 2 years old. But I’m definitely not looking forward to teaching him to stop, drop and play dead. I’m really not looking forward to telling him why he will more than likely be one of the first classes to go into a new school, because the old one in our district is too sad to go back.

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  5. 77

    Exhausts mom says

    I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer here, but, guns regulated or not will ALWAYS fall into the hands of people who should not have them, I repeat ALWAYS. There are people everywhere who will steal guns, buy them from the Internet, or buy them from people who only care about making a buck. The story with our criminal justice system is that they do no penalize people with gun offenses severely enough and they keep letting them out Time.and. Time again, just like they let out rapists ,pedophiles and murderers,time.and.time.again.our society lacks a sense of outrage and keeps electing people who refuse to enact stiffer penalties for criminals, we are a society drowning in loners and unmedicated crazies who are ticking time bombs. Can that be “fixed”? Probably not. Another problem: schools are not only underfunded, but broke, and look the other way when dealing with ” the weird kid” who has parents in denial and a school system that does not have the resources to intervene and aid him so that he does become the the guy in the bunker holding that poor kid hostage.

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    • 78

      Grits says

      I agree with the last part of your statement regarding mental health and social skills. But the rest I have to disagree with.

      If we just didn’t regulate anything that criminals do because there will always be criminals, then what? Saying that there’s no need for regulation because “criminals don’t follow the law” is ludicrous. Will tighter regulations (like on gun shows, e.g.) stop all criminals from having guns? No. Of course not. But it will be a deterrent and an obstacle that most won’t be willing to try to get around. If we make gun owners more responsible for what happens to their guns (i.e. charging them with a felony if a crime is committed with their gun, regardless of who committed the crime) then you put in place a system that will encourage people to keep track of and secure their weapons properly. Mandatory background checks for any gun purchase should be a no-brainer. Hell, you have to get a background check for most jobs. Why would anyone expect anything different when it comes to purchasing a weapon that has only one purpose…to kill?

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      • 79

        Exhaustomom says

        I wholeheartedly agree with regulations, the right kind of regulations are extremely important in any law abiding society, including gun regulations. The Debbie Downer part of my response is the fact that those regulations will not stop these tragedies from happening, not that we shouldn’t stop trying, but that the other types of prevention are more important, and the gun regulations are pretty futile. Just being realistic.

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      • 80

        Stephanie says

        Grits – I have always agreed with your line of thought.

        Do we stop requiring drivers licenses because it doesn’t work 100% of the time? No. People still do stupid, stupid things in cars, but we don’t abandon the entire regulation process just because we can’t control ever single person.

        Or education – do we stop educating our children because not all people end up “smart” from their education? No – we keep trying, doing the best we can.

        Just because gun regulation may not prevent mass murders, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a step in the right direction to potentially creating a culture with less crime (read: not eradicate crime. LESS crime). And by “gun regulation”, I’m talking about the basic idea of making gun ownership as cumbersome as owning a drivers license, or even a gym membership (have you ever tried to change your name at the gym?! Good luck doing so without 50 pieces of documentation).

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      • 81

        Annie Maryhew says

        Grits, I absolutely loved your comment. In reading through all of the comments, I was saying to myself the same word: deterrent. I admire the precision with which you put forth your argument (I tend to be long winded and comments look more like a lecture, lol!) :)

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    • 82

      Heidi says

      Agreed. I very much appreciate your sentiment, and think it’s the root of the problem. Much like with immigration. The rules aren’t enforced.

      And while I don’t agree with Kiran’s post, it’s absolutely her right to say it. And mine to disagree. That’s America, folks. That’s the America my nephew went to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight for. These rights we so casually employ were earned with the blood and sweat of men using guns… ironic.

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      • 83

        Krystin says


        I agree with both your posts. I will admit that I am a fence sitter on the “gun issue”. While reading all the comments, it’s easy to see why this is such a hot button issue.

        I agree that we shouldn’t stop trying to stop tragedies such as Columbine, and Sandy Hook. I remember Columbine, I was a sophmore in HS. I remember vividly the “swat calls” that locked down my HS. This is something that I personally will never forget. That said, I had no desire to rush out and purchase guns. That’s just me. I am a little afraid of them to be completely honest. I don’t know how to properly use/care for one, therefore I don’t want access to one. However, I am not opposed to my home housing them. My husband and I have different views on the matter, I am on the fence, He’s very Pro! I feel like we need to stop making excuses… stop playing the blame game. Perhaps it’s time we start actually talking to our children, and I personally feel these changes cannot start anywhere but at home.

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        • 84

          Newtown says

          If you have guns in your home, it would be imperative that you know exactly how to operate them efficiently and safely. If you are home alone, relying on a gun to protect your family, and not knowing how to use it, you’re actually endangering your family even more.
          So what you say about not liking them, not wanting to know about them, learn about them; but yet not being bothered by one being in your home? Absolutely ridiculous, ignorant and downright dangerous.

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  6. 86

    Exhaustomom says

    Let me just add that I am absolutely in favor of banning high capacity assault weapons and completely agree with background checks, but do I think it will change anything? That’s a big fat no.

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  7. 87

    Jillian says

    People lose sight of the real issue and try to blanket the situation with “gun control”. The fact is that bad people are out there and taking away one thing will not stop them. They can really just as easily strap themselves up with homemade explosives and do the deed that way. I may sound a bit crass, but I really am tired of people thinking that gun control is the solution. In this situation a little digging has revealed that the man in Newtown tried to obtain the gun on his own and his background check was denied, the system worked. He however was able to steal one from his mother. Now add to this the fact that when the police entered the school the shooter was found with only hand guns, NOT assault weapons. The rifle never left his car, the victims however were killed with rifle ammunition. His hand guns and the rifle do not use the same bullets. Sick to think, but what a great way to scare the public into supporting extreme gun control. The police have already spoken saying that the shooter did not have an assault weapon on him, but did verify that the victims were indeed killed by one. There are things going on here that we do not know or understand. I’m certainly not trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, and this story is something I have been struggling with internally, but before we support a government ban on guns, we should do some soul searching and consider what this government is attempting and what they are capable of. Truly sad.

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      • 89

        MarySunshine says

        Have you read the proposed legislation? It is not a ban on *all* guns. They want to *renew* prior legislation that expired. That legislation did not take away guns. Better background checks do not take away guns. Putting more resource officers in schools are not taking away guns. Better access to mental health services does not equate to taking away guns.

        Is it the ban on *assault* weapons and the limiting of magazines that’s bothering you? Because even a ban on assault weapon still leaves the civilians with hand guns and single action rifles. Those will still do the job, you might have to work on your aim.

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        • 90

          Melissa says

          You can work on your aim all you want. If the time came to defend yourself with a gun do you think your adrenaline rush would coincide with how often you work on your aim??

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          • 91

            MarySunshine says

            I don’t know if you saw my other post, Melissa, but I’ll say it again. I am not anti-gun. I don’t have a problem with gun owners. My dad, step dad, uncle, and grandparents all own guns, different types of guns even. So before you decide to aim your vitriol at me keep this in mind.

            More education is part of the legislation. IMO, that would include not only gun safety, but going to the local firing range or gun club and honing in on your shot. If you can’t fire your weapon properly, why have one? Why have one if you can’t manage to handle it properly in a crisis? That argument then leads to the response that only professionals, who have been trained to fire a weapon under duress, should be able to carry guns.

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          • 92

            Melissa says

            Well we will never find out until we’re under the pressure of having to shoot another person to keep ourselves safe, though. Let’s just hope that we never have to. I used to shoot guns when I was younger with my dad and I could only imagine shooting a target is much less terrifying and stressful than shooting a person.

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      • 94

        Kiran says


        Thank you for sharing this link. The pieces I had, which confirmed the Bushmaster-15 had been used were actually from conservative papers who wanted to clear the air in good conscience. This post is even more up to date than the last one I had which was from early January.

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    • 95

      Kiran says

      I’m confused at what point you mistook this post for “extreme gun control”? There is NOTHING in here that says to take away your guns. What it does say is we need some checks and balances.

      As for what “this government” is planning, were you saying the same thing last administration? Or were you one of the people who told me I was being un-American everytime I questioned something “small”, oh you know, like WMD.

      Good luck with your militias.

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  8. 96

    cindy says

    Bravo for having the courage to say what’s on your mind. I agree something needs to change as well. Technology has gotten away from us here and really, the average person doesn’t need an assault weapon in their home. I also feel as though a part of problem is being neglected. Mental Illness and Bullying are part of the problem. Calling people “crazy asses” doesn’t help. This Adam kid likely needed treatment for a while, and likely didn’t get any or enough. Guns are part of the problem and if we as a country can get ourselves together and agree on safety regulations for the sake of our children, the problem will get better. However, you need to address the causes of the shootings as well as the weapons themselves. Overhaul the mental health system, get better supports in place for bullying victims. We as a country have a choice, Address these issues or start teaching stop drop and play dead. I don’ t want to do the latter, do you?

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  9. 97

    beth says

    I don’t agree with all of what you wrote, but it was well thought out. I own a gun. I live in rural Montana. My dad fed the family many winters by hunting. I was taught from my first day that guns are not toys. I was in a rifle club, hunted, and took a concealed weapons permit class. Guns do not scare me, meth or other drug addicts so high they have no conscious scare me. Pedophiles scare me. People so desperate for money and to get by they will break into my home scare me. Looking at why people do what they do will solve much more of our problems then inflicting more regulations and laws. I plan on teaching my daughter to shoot. We live alone, and she needs to know what to do if I’m harmed first.

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    • 98

      Jenn says

      Way to have a spine! And not expect that rules and laws will protect you. This was a convenient crime for a gov’t with an agenda. Not saying it was a conspiracy, just saying….. regulations didn’t stop this horrific event, but if the principal had access to a concealed weapon, and didn’t have to resort to jumping the shooter unarmed, well this may have ended differently. Just sayin. Not pointing fingers, or ridiculing those scared of guns. But it is a proven fact that nothing stops a shooter better than return fire. Happy safe Friday Scary Mommy and fans. Never fear, not boycotting the site just cause I don’t agree!

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  10. 99

    Amy H says

    I couldn’t agree more. And to the people who say criminals won’t obey the law, that’s true of any type of law. Criminals will break laws. Does that mean we don’t pass any? We don’t even try? I have a first grader, and I have done some research into what semi-automatic bullets do to bodies, and I can’t imagine what those parents have gone through. There is no way I can sit back and accept business as usual after Newtown, and we shouldn’t have to. It changed me like nothing else, and we have to try something. We have to try something. We have to try something.

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  11. 100

    Aimee says

    Whatever the law is, there will be law-breakers. That goes for virtually every law everywhere. There has been a ban on assault weapons before but it didn’t stop people from getting assault weapons. Drug trade. Gun trade. Fake I.D.trade. This is our reality and it’s not likely to change.

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    • 101

      Amy H says

      So then we should stop doing anything to stop it. Just give in and buy a gun because we don’t have the power to change our world. I’m not ready to accept that, and I’m certainly not going to teach my children that.

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      • 102

        Aimee says

        Did I say that? No, I did not say that. It’s a statement of truth. I teach my children by living the example I want them to follow. Hopefully they take those lessons with them into adulthood. Each generation that teaches their children a different way makes the next generation that much better. So the things we try to do NOW to make our world better and less violent will eventually bear fruit. But it’s not likely to happen in OUR lifetime.

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