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.

About the writer

Kiran is the founder of Simply Om, a fair-trade jewelry company dedicated to fighting global oppression of women through fashion. When she gets overwhelmed by parenting, she wanders the make-up aisles of Walgreens and makes bad eyeliner choices.  She writes a lot of crap over at Masala Chica and on "the Twitter" as her Ma likes to call it.

From Around the Web


shellybean 1 year ago

I’m pro-gun. I have guns in my home for hunting and for recreational shooting and they are safely locked in a secure gun vault. If my home were broken into, I would have the means to defend my home and family. One reason I’m not very comfortable with more regulations and laws is because of the fear of having something taken away a little at a time until its gone…hopefully that makes sense anyways. I honestly think the best way to stop many of these unbearable killings though is to pay closer attention to our kids. Is my kid being bullied or is my kid the bully or is everything just fine? Many of these killings are due to bullying. People being ridiculed and mistreated so badly and pushed so far that they step well out of reason. It’s sad for both sides. I’ve noticed that majority of these incidences have been some kid who got sick of it and snapped. Bullying has took to a whole new level in the last 15 years or so because of all the social websites where humiliating someone can go viral. It’s awful. People kill people because most of the time….someone has given them a reason to want to kill people.

Important Link 2 years ago

Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give
a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your
posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
Many thanks!

Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson 3 years ago

I just meant that the original Constitution was amended to ADD the Bill of Rights. Our framers understood that we could change things. There are allowances we give our government, but they can be changed.

Tryamour 3 years ago

” We are not bound by the 2nd Amendment. It was already a change — hence the word amendment.”

That’s actually wrong. The first 10 Amendments were the Bill of Rights. They weren’t changed, they were added at the insistance of Jefferson and others that the Constitution needed to be EVEN MORE CLEAR in the powers & protections it afforded the people. It wasn’t that the Constitution originally said “citizens shall not bear arms”, and later the 2nd Amendment changed that. The first 10 Amendments were written almost immediately after the Constitution and are considered the foundation of our country. They are the allowances we give our government, not the other way around.

Tryamour 3 years ago

I understand your position, but there are many factual errors in your post. Not a big deal, since this is more an opinion piece and god knows the internet is full of unchecked facts anyway. But you do seem to focus on the founding fathers and their intentions with the Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights.
I don’t think you grasp WHY it was such a world changing document. This was the first time a government was created to be ruled BY the people. Do some more reading into what this meant then, and now.
You say they couldn’t have meant for citizens to be armed with automatic rifles because back then they had muskets. This isn’t really logical because they were smart enough to understand thattechnology progresses. That is why it says “bear arms” not “bear muskets”, or “freedom of quill & ink”. To say they only meant muskets is to say freedom of speech doesn’t apply to the internet.
They also knew that a “democratic republic” was not the norm. Throughout all of human history there have been small groups of people who maintain the majority of power. For a democratic republic (the United States of America) to succeed, the people MUST be active in their government, and be the watchdogs of their representatives.
Our founding fathers penned the 2nd amendment because they knew that power corrupts. An armed population not only keeps criminals at bay, but also keeps tyrannical government from growing. To us it seems hard to conceive, that our government could be corrupted and turn against us. But this is the norm throughout human history.

Again, you’re entitled to your opinions on guns and I can definitely see where you’re coming from. But don’t misrepresent our Constitution and Bill of Rights. If you find it outdated and don’t agree with it, that’s one thing. But first try to understand it.

And as far as gun restriction laws making us safer…the areas in this country with the most murders also have the strictest gun laws. I wish we could throw all our guns & bombs in the ocean…but the criminals won’t.

Jacob 3 years ago

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.

jacob 3 years ago

History majors up top! *high five*
Seriously though! Socialized medicine, disarming the people, what’s next blaming our economic problems on Jews?

Jacob 3 years ago

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?

P 3 years ago

Kiran- I AM scared. One of my best mom friends thinks that all teachers should be armed; says that if they were well trained, then she would totally be in favor. This is a woman for whom I have immense respect, but I just cannot understand her view. As a former teacher and now mom, I have a few thoughts:
1) Thank GOD a teacher’s union would never support this (please tell me there aren’t any that do).
2) Oh yeah, because between training in their content area, in special ed/exception child, in standardized testing, and lesson planning they definitely have time to learn how to use a firearm.
2b) Not to mention, having a gun in a room of 30 curious Kindergartners…hmmm…which is “less bad”: having the gun on your person for a kid to grab, or having it hidden somewhere for a kid to find?
3) And really, NRA? One guard per school? Because there’s only one entrance to any school? Also, please visit my former school and meet our “security guard”: an overweight, 60 year old woman who suffers from asthma and who I’m pretty sure would run in the opposite direction if shit got real.
The purpose of a gun is to harm someone, even if you are a “good” guy trying to stop a “bad” guy. More guns mean more harm; no one will ever convince me otherwise.
I cried for 10 days after Newtown. It is unfathomable to me that people can fight against gun regulations (NOT banning guns) in light of all those lost little lives.

NewtownMama 3 years ago

Please tell me who will determine who is too stupid and/or ignorant to own or a fire a gun? And how will this be determined?

Because if it were up to me, I’d probably determine YOU were too stupid to own and operate a gun, simply based on the ignorance in your post. NOBODY IS GOING TO TAKE AWAY YOUR BLOODY GUNS. Research the proposed legislation before you open your big mouth.

Ntricksteinbach 3 years ago

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.

Newtown 3 years ago

:::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.

Newtown 3 years ago

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.

Newtown 3 years ago

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.

Newtown 3 years ago

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?

Monkey 3 years ago

You rock, Erin.

Monkey 3 years ago

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.

Monkey 3 years ago

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.

Jacob 3 years ago

If anyone wants to see why the idea that the second amendment was meant to apply to muskets is utterly ridiculous please reference comment 36.

Stop drop and play dead won’t work if the shooter walks into a room he has not entered yet and sees a bunch of kids playing dead on the floor with no blood spatter like you see from a body hit with a bullet. He will just shoot them in the back of the head. Leave this to the professionals hon.

Jacob 3 years ago

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.

rebekah 3 years ago

Banning high powered assault weapons was something Australia did years ago. It has actually worked very well for us, and the majority of us feel safer.
Hitlers reign on some countries in Europe had nothing to do with guns, but fear.
Face up to the fact your country has a problem. Perhaps a trip to war torn countries in Africa will show you what real corruption is.

Heather 3 years ago

This is one of the reasons why are country struggles so much. we spend so much time bashing one another for having an opinion and belief on something. To say I feel sorry for the future of your children for a women’s view on gun control is horrible. There is nothing wrong with a good debate but don’t get personal, state your point…argue your case. How can we as a country move forward if we can’t agree to disagree, and stop personally attacking one’s family, life, ect because they don’t want guns or they want to abolish abortion. I am tired of this crap, I respect both sides of the argument here. That’s all, I just wanted to vent because I was getting angry reading these comments.

Aimee 3 years ago

Excellent post. As a CT resident, watching the coverage of Newtown was horrifying in a whole new way to me. Whether it’s because I wasn’t a mom the last time we had a mass shooting or because this happened in my home state, the state where I will raise my children, a state that is liberal and left-leaning, this particular tragedy was so hard to digest. I mean they were babies. But watching the coverage of the shooting and all the damage the automatic weapons are capable of is so incredibly frightening.

Renee A. Schuls-Jacobson 3 years ago


You have written about this topic beautifully and passionately, and I am not surprised that it has moved and turned in many directions. This is a heated issue for people.

My father and I recently talked about the issue of “What can we do?” and “What do we know?” We sat at our computers and started to dig up information. And here’s what we came away with: All shootings that occur take place when there are guns involved.

Sounds silly, right?


But if you tally up the number of accidental shootings that occur in people’s homes — when folks misfire or when children are shot (intentionally or otherwise), when there is a domestic argument and one spouse shoots another (intentionally or otherwise) — and if you add that to the gun violence we see in public venues at movie theaters and shopping malls, on college campuses and in schools — the number of fatalities is not insignificant.

I don’t like to talk about the “founding fathers” because — as I recently learned that term is a relatively new term (coined by President McKinley), and it is almost always used in the pejorative, to establish what the framers of the Constitution would have wanted or what they wouldn’t have wanted. Truth is: we don’t really know what they would have wanted.

And yet.

I can say this.

The people who framed our Constitution understood the concept of Amendments. They made room for our laws to change so that our doctrine would remain a living document. We are not bound by the 2nd Amendment. It was already a change — hence the word amendment. We CAN choose to make changes. What those changes might be will be up to us.

Like you, I would argue we cannot afford to sit idly by and shrug our shoulders.

Of course, there are sick people in the world who will always try to hurt people.

We don’t have to make it so easy for them.

And as we sit on our couches in our warm homes, maybe we need to consider that we aren’t as civilized as we like to believe.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Okay, here we find some common ground. I agree with you. Had you stated your feelings this way in your original comment, I doubt I would have misunderstood what you were trying to say. Thank you for clarifying and I apologize for my snarky response above.

Ariesa 3 years ago

You are absolutely right Kristen, and I certainly never meant that – my kids also go to day care and I myself come from a divorced family many times over. I apologize if you took my post offensively but I do believe that if families were not in situations were working to survive is the primary focus meaning that they are not doing it on their own (divorced) or working two jobs (daycare), children with these issues would not slip through the cracks as they so often do.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Yeah, you’re right… you’re not in attack mode at all. You seem like a perfectly calm, rational person.

Have a lovely day. :)

Ariesa 3 years ago

First off its a FB post not a thesis, and secondly it’s from an iPhone written on a train ride while multi tasking. Don’t use the transposition of a few letters fool you, I absolutely am not in attack mode. I could care less about your personal feelings of mentally ill individuals, and would certainly not take the time to respond to your ridiculous post with some sort of well thought out essay – you and your delusions are not worth that much of my time. But I will thank you for helping me realize that I do actually hope this country splits in two with all of you and your over zealous love for control and pathetic denial for the obvious can be on one side and us with our guns and mental institutions can be on the other. What ever you want to call the mentally ill is fine with me, but if you love this person so much you should really reconsider the basis of my argument and be a better advocate for the talk about mental health issues instead of trying to focus on an argument that will never fix the problem.

rebekah 3 years ago

From an outsiders point of view (an Australian) I dont understand why anybody would need such a high powered weapon to protect themself with? We manage to survive harmoniously here in Australia without everyone carrying guns. Your country needs to move ahead and realise it is a different age now, with different values, ethics, mindsets. You’re not living in a war zone? So why the need for guns? Seems simple… take away the guns = no mass shootings. People will always be able to make new weapons (knives, baseball bats, fists), however the severity of it would be less. Stop holding on to your rights, and your past, and burrying your heads in the sand. Move on from the violence of guns.

missy 3 years ago

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.

Robin Frisella 3 years ago

Thank you Paul.

Robin Frisella 3 years ago

Back to the actual post: well stated, well thought out, and in my book, completely en pointe. Blind love isn’t healthy and we must acknowledge all of the history, not just the parts that allow us to pretend we are perfect. In the microcosm, we need to do that on our own personal levels as well.

Petra Zahn Swenson 3 years ago


Petra Zahn Swenson 3 years ago

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.

Cara 3 years ago

If we applied that logic across the board, what’s that point of having any law or regulation? Since any law only applies to those that are willing to follow it?

Paul 3 years ago

I am not an expert on this issue and I try not to get too opinionated, however I would give up my second amendment right to own semi automatic assault weapons if it brought back even one child from the newtown massacre.

Melissa 3 years ago

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.

Alexa 3 years ago

If we want to pull at heart strings, and use emotion and tragic stories to justify our arguments, how about this woman’s argument against gun restrictions on law abiding people:

Again, for many of us who are against the current proposed legislation, is not because many of us are against reasonable control (education, safety, enforcement of current laws that prohibit guns from being sold to criminals/insane/abusers/etc…), but are against the unreasonable assumption that cosmetics are what determines violence.

Erik Nelson 3 years ago

A friend of mine shared this article. You say the founding fathers never saw gang war, never saw the damage an AK-47 could do. I’m afraid you don’t know much about warfare, firearms, or history. Most of the founding fathers had extensive military experience. It was not drill and ceremony, and it was not from casual skirmishes. Most of the drafters of our Constitution had served in the British or American armies. They had fought against Native Americans and foreign nations over the span of some decades. In these wars, there were no prosthetic limbs, or trauma centers, or body armor. Men were hit by massive, large-calibre rounds that overwhelmingly produced festering infections and amputations. They saw war on a scale unimaginable by modern Americans, where every community lost at least a few loved ones to raids or attacks of some kind. Many of them had fought in the frontier wars, which were bloody, violent affairs that took the lives of hundreds of militiamen and other ‘civilians’. Your argument that the founding fathers couldn’t imagine ‘war’ is a ridiculous one- I think it’s us who can’t imagine the kind of hell they went through. And they still felt it was of the utmost importance to ensure that ready and willing persons could stand up and fight, armed and ready, when needed.

Laura 3 years ago

Well, I’m not going to join the debate on gun control, but it is sad that now, instead of fire drills, our schools are having intruder drills (what the students/teachers/administrators are supposed to do if a gunman enters the school).

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

And FWIW, I agree that lack of family values and parents turning a blind eye to their children are contributing to the violence in our society. I even said as much in a comment above. However, I do not believe that these two things automatically go hand in hand with divorce situations and/or parents who work outside the home. I know plenty of happy, well-adjusted kids who attend or have attended daycare (including mine), as well as plenty of happy well-adjusted kids whose parents are divorced. It is absolutely possible to have excellent family values in both of these scenarios and to think otherwise is just plain ignorant.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Adam Lanza was a deeply, DEEPLY disturbed individual. By all accounts, he had lost the ability to feel or show remorse. I can’t feel sympathy for him and, in fact, think he was a monster. But as someone who loves someone who suffers from mental illness, I object to the use of the term “crazy” and “lunatic” to describe the mentally ill in general.

But why am I wasting my energy trying to clarify this with someone who is clearly so deep into attack mode that they can’t even be bothered to put together a coherent response that isn’t riddled with spelling and grammatical errors – something that always helps in engaging in intelligent discussion.

Let’s just agree to disagree, shall we?

nicole stephenson 3 years ago

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

Ariana 3 years ago


Karenelise Metz 3 years ago

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.

Alexa 3 years ago

A BB gun can easily shoot 50 rounds per minute, and kill a squirell, and not much else. So would the .22 that grandpa used to hunt bunny rabbits. All semi-automatic fire arms, that have been common in the US since the mid 1800s, can fire at a rate of one bullet per trigger pull, and that is quite a bit. Even a bolt action rifle, can be fired by a shooter, darn close to that rate. About the only guns that can’t fire at that rate, are the old black powder rifles, from the Civil war or revolutionary war.

Machine guns, that fire hundreds of rounds per minute per single trigger pull, have been regulated since the 1930s. Not illegal, but regulated.

Here is a link explaining the difference between what a machine gun (e.g. what modern militaries use) and common civilian guns.

There is a dilemma as well, what makes a gun lethal, is what makes it good for self defense. If we want to say that citizens dont have the right to self defense, then sure it is easy to say that civilians dont need the guns that fire more than a few bullets per minute. But if we still wanna claim that citizens have that right, then why limit their ability?

It would be like saying people have the right to travel in moving vehicles, but the vehicles could only move 5 mph. Kinda kills the utility/validity of that right when you cripple it to the extent that it is practically un-usable.

Alexa 3 years ago

Huh? These were the guys who were familiar with the violence associated with the slave trade and running slavery (e.g. I have not read any accounts where slaves were coerced into slavery and made to do work by simple good argument of their white owners). These were guys used to the idea of raids by Native Americans into settler camps, that killed man/woman/child, regardless of whether European wars were encouraging these raids or not. They came from an era where men duelled over petty matters of honor, using their guns. They came from an era where people still butchered each other with swords, and if you think shooting someone from a distance is nasty, imagine the kind of people who had no problem butchering other human beings in mass, up close and personal, where there is no instant death, but the slow and gruesome cruelty of being hacked to death.

We can argue that our modern day arms are nothing to the militaries, but guess what. The musket was standard issue military rifles, the common american back then had a rifle (theres a huge difference). The rifle was a far superior weapon, and would be like todays civilians having fully automatic machine guns, and the army only having single shot rifles. SO if anything they had no fear of the civilians being more heavily armed than the military.

Whether they were right or wrong, I cant say, but its easy to find out what they were familiar with and what they feared. Their thoughts werent a mystery, but were well written in various journals, and more importantly the federalist papers, the campaign they under went to convince the people of the colonies that things, such as freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, etc… were good things.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Jillian Mitchell 3 years ago

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.

Jillian Mitchell 3 years ago

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.

Sharon 3 years ago

I agree with you, Kiran, it is a very sad state that our society is in and I don’t know what the answer is. I wish (and hope) that guns upon guns is not the answer.

I have been doing a little research on the issue and came across this study done by criminologists that appears in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. While one would think, (it would certainly seem logical) that more gun control would be the answer, this study has proved the exact opposite (see link below).

I think that whatever gun control laws that we do or do not make, need to be based on fact, evidence, and research rather than our own emotional response to the problem. (I’m not saying that our emotions are not valid, I’m just saying we can’t make laws because we are angry or panicked over a situation, or because sick people violate the laws we already have in place.)

With that said, thank you for sharing your honest thoughts on the matter and for opening up this topic for discussion. It is a discussion that needs to be had by people all over America, and one that our lawmakers need to listen to. Here in NY, we have just had some very strict gun laws shoved down our throats with absolutely NO public discussion. To me, that’s just wrong whether you agree with the new laws or not.

(For the record, I don’t own a gun, I don’t like guns, and I don’t think I could even shoot an animal. However, I support the right of law abiding citizens to be licensed and trained to own and use a gun if they feel necessary, to protect themselves and others.)

Jillian Mitchell 3 years ago

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.

Christina 3 years ago

What needs to change is that the current gun laws need to be enforced. If that would happen we would all be safer. But the Justice Department says they don’t have the resources to do this so they need new laws. Stupid

Barb 3 years ago

I am a patriotic, left leaning American. (We lefties come in patriotic, too.) My feelings about guns are different than those of most of the posters here. I would be very happy if we did not have guns in the hands of citizens. The 2nd Amendment says nothing about an individual protecting his family or hunting; it ONLY mentions keeping a gun to raise a militia – the guns back then were muskets, not assault rifles.
OK, so I am anti-gun. No guns in the hands of citizens? That would make me happy. However, I realize that will never happen in this country. I also realize most gunowners are responsible people. I can compromise: require extensive background checks on every gun buyer. No one with a person in the home with criminal background or mental illness or history of domestic violence should be allowed to keep a gun. Register every gun. Prohibit all assault type guns.

Why am I anti-gun? I never knew my grandfather. A Chicago banker, he was shot three times in the chest and abdomen in front of his teenage children (my Dad and my aunt) in their kitchen. His blood spattered into the dinner my teenage aunt was cooking. Police theorized that it was a kidnapping attempt and when his assailants broke in and he thrust his hand into his vest, they thought he was going for a gun and shot first. His murderers were never caught.
Years after his father’s slaughter, there was an armed robbery my Dad’s office. Dad hit the tear gas button, the robbers started shooting; Dad fired back. After the air cleared, Dad saw all his employees and customers lying on the ground. No one moved. He thought they were dead. They were not hit, just scared to death and afraid to move. Police told Dad he had done the stupidest thing he could have done, that he should have given them what they wanted and called the police. They said more people were killed when someone started firing back than taking that other action.
When I was thirteen, I was galloping my horse across a 40 acre field. It was posted “No Hunting.” The first bullet came from behind and I felt it (or air displaced by a close bullet) along my right cheek bone. The second bullet came over my left shoulder and the third off to the left somewhere. Had that idiot had an assault rifle, I surely would have been hit. Of course, they never found him either.
Years later, as I was walking through the school library to the cafeteria, other teachers were gathered around the TV. There was a shooting at a school 40 minutes north of where we taught: Columbine.
Yes, we starting having lockdown drills at that point. Not sure how much good they’d do. It’s a sham. The inside door faces a solid wall; the outside window the other solid wall – no place to hide – you are vulnerable from either the door or the window.
A few years later, I looked out my classroom window one Monday morning at a nearby church where three people had been shot and killed the day before just after Sunday morning services. Some of my students were still visibly shaken; they had been there at the time.
Last summer, a movie theater an hour from where I sit was shot up – you all heard about that.
There is hardly a day that goes by when there is not a shooting reported on the news in the town where I live.
Colorado is considering arming teachers. A friend who was a policeman said they had extensive gun training every month and if they failed they were on the desk until they passed. So, now teachers are going to take on the burden and responsibilty protecting the kids with a gun and the training that entails in addition to lesson plans, teaching, meeting with parents, grading papers. I can just picture it. Where would I keep my gun where it would be handy…ah, the chalk ledge…oh, wait, I teach 12 and 13 year olds…better take the bullets out. Gunman blasts his way into the room. Teacher: “Wait, sir. Don’t shoot yet. I have to load my gun. Better get down, kids. I’ll just kill this guy and we’ll get back to studying direct objects.” Better plan: Keep gun in locked drawer. Gunman blasts into the room. Two kids are bleeding on the floor. Teacher to remaining kids: “Don’t worry, kids. I’ll shoot him back. He won’t kill more than a few of us. Teacher to gunman: “Wait. Don’t kill anybody yet. I have to unlock the drawer and get my gun.” OK, that won’t work. I’ll carry my loaded gun in a holster strapped to my waist. Really, really smart with volatile 7th graders in the room.
The school where I taught has an armed guard now. Kids think that is normal. How desperately sad is that. What a commentary on our violent society. How do we expect our children to grow up to be kind, loving, peaceloving, respectful people when they expect adults to carry guns just in case… Of course, maybe that’s not what we want our society to be. Never mind. Never mind. That’s it. I have held the wrong view of society all my long life. We aren’t supposed to expect peace. We expect, even participate in shootings in city streets. We kill each other. We love violence on TV and in the movies. Anything less is pretty boring. There is air of excitement as we go into a restaurant, into a parking lot, a theater, a mall, a church or temple, even our own houses. Keep your hand on your loaded assault weapon. You may have to fire back. Keep an assault weapon in your nightstand in case you have to defend your screaming children – that was yesterday’s congressional hearing. Of course, you’d better not keep the drawer locked or you’d never have a chance against the gunman. Just hope your toddler doesn’t get hold of the gun and accidently blow the baby’s head off.

Surely a population armed with assault weapons can’t be the answer. I read a lot of comments by responsible gunowners on this post. Obviously more gunowners are responsible and careful than not. However, there are many people out there who are only too willing to kill others. Some are mentally ill. (One out of five of us is mentally ill. HOWEVER, not every mentally ill person is violent; in fact, most aren’t.) When assailants use guns rather than knives, they kill more people. (The day of the Newtown massacre, a man in China claimed 22 children in a school as victims. They all lived. His weapon was a knife, not a gun.) When people start shooting with assault type weapons, they kill more people than they did with the muskets that people used when the 2nd Amendment was written. Surely, the Founding Fathers did not have this in mind when they penned that 2nd Amendment.

Stephanie 3 years ago

1st, Why is the government trusted with assault rifles? They’re just people too and every term the corruption becomes more and more obvious.
2nd, You say the criminals who already have hoards of illegal assault rifles without license to them should just be penalized? Have you paid ANY attention to the war on drugs in this country? The police forces slowly loses ground.
3rd, ANYONE trying to fight these restrictions realizes the real concern here. It only starts with assault weapons. In as little as 10 years that can turn into them trying to ban all guns. Who else thought that was a great idea for their country? Hitler. Educate yourself before you start preaching to online communities with your opinions that hold no grounds.

Pam Brown 3 years ago

Thank you, Margaret. Spot on.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thank you for that, Arnebya. There are parts of this discussion that have been truly wonderful and no, not just the ones that are in agreement with me :-).


Pam Brown 3 years ago

Melissa, I agree with you. Sigh.

Kiran 3 years ago

Bravo, Angie. Thank you, Kristin!

Kiran 3 years ago

He didn’t. It has been confirmed that he used a Bushmaster. If you question me, please look up more than one news source before you reply.

Kiran 3 years ago


Thanks for your voice here. By no means am I saying there is a cut and dry answer. I do think it’s crazy we are where we are today. And I think the collective answer does not reside in just one action.

People are screwed up. But there is nothing screwed up about the kids getting targeted. And if as a society our solution is to just continually add more guns to the equation, well, I think we have failed.

Thanks for being a part of the conversation.

(Got your email. Glad I know you too, sister).

Kiran 3 years ago


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.

Alexa 3 years ago

The reason you want a “assault rifle” ala an AR-15, is because you dont want to kill your neighbor’s kid when you shoot your armed attacker with your deer hunting rifle (most commonly a 30-06) which will not only go through your attacker, but probably through your house wall, through your neighbor’s wall, and still be lethal enough to kill their child sleeping. The reason you want a more than 10 rounds, is because the AR-15 is using a lighter round, that doesnt have the penetration/destructive power of your deer hunting rifle (or your shotgun loaded in 00 buckshot), so it wont accidentally kill your neighbors kids, you will most likely need most of your 30 round clip to drop a grown man. If you want a reality check on what guns kill and how they kill, check out this vid from a doctor giving a lecture on treating gun trauma:

Again, the current proposed legislation does nothing to address the lethality and problems this doctor sees every day in the hospital, but everything to do with what CNN, ABC, CBS shows on the evening news. Gun crime in general is down, to historic lows. Most people who die from guns, die from self inflicted wounds (e.g. suicide).

Sure educate people, make gun safety/training mandatory (alot of states have this already). Make safe storage and handling of firearms mandatory (alot of states have this already). Have proper enforcement and reporting for background checks (often the government fails to register those medically pronounced unfit in the database of those unallowed to own guns). Make it easier for people to be committed if they do indeed pose a threat to themselves or others. Etc… Dont glorify killers by spending months of TV news coverage making them famous, and an ideal example for other disturbed individuals looking to be noticed (how many shooters can you name vs victims of the last 4 mass shootings reported on the news).

Again, these are common sense measures that would have an immediate effect on gun deaths, but are missing from current proposals, that only focus on 1% of the actual reality of gun violence, but instead focus on 99% of the political/media agenda.

Another good link for gun stats, that are real and not simply re-hashed by a news org with an agenda:

Kiran 3 years ago

He used a Bushmaster -AR15.

He killed himself with the rifle, not most of the children.

Jessica Smock 3 years ago

Yes, as Kiran says, nowhere in the post does she attack the 2nd amendment. And I can’t imagine what people are thinking that they read one post on a site that they otherwise like, and then they will never look at it again. Talk about living in a media “bubble”… And, so, okay, you have a “right” to own guns? Does this mean that — unlike in every single civilized society which in every case have a small fraction of our gun deaths — your “right” to be afraid of any sensible government regulation means that our country has to be less safe? My master’s degree was in American history, and I taught history for more than 12 years, and nowhere do I remember reading in colonial documents or any secondary analysis that our country’s founders intended “a well-regulated” militia to involve semi-automatic weapons and clips that fire hundreds of rounds. It shouldn’t be easier to own a gun than to get a driver’s license (in many areas of our country).

Kiran 3 years ago

That’s terrible, Sharon. Yes, I saw the post.

Yeah, at this point in the game, I think that’s where we are at as a society. Armed gunmen in school. And that sickens me that we are there.

We can take immediate measures now, but the long term plan cannot be to allow the status quo.

I just think there is a point where guns upon guns upon guns is not the answer.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thanks for your points, Rebekah. And again, thanks for contributing in such a healthy way to this conversation. It IS appreciated.

I don’t think that alcohol should be banned even though I know drunk driving will happen. People need to make the right decisions around this. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t constant vigilance about this as a society. Awareness has increased greatly and the stigma associated to drunk driving does prevent a lot of people from taking to the roads drunk.

That doesn’t mean that people still don’t die as a result of poor decisions made by the people who get behind the wheel. Nor does it mean that people are guilty of doing it everyday and don’t get caught.

I just think that saying no increase in awareness, in education, in training, in resources – that it doesn’t make a difference.

This post was not about taking away weapons or disarming America. It’s about putting some checks and balances and controls in place.

Ariesa 3 years ago

Yea OK you’re right Kristen someone who walks into a school and blows away kids is certainly not a “crazy” an definitely didn’t come from a broken home or mentally unstable environment and I am certain you’re right that the majority of them didn’t come from an abused situation. What was I thinking the breakdown of the home, marriage values and people being forced to spend less time with their children has absolutely NOTHING to do with all of the violence in children now days! You are soooo right.

Allison Zapata 3 years ago


Allison Zapata 3 years ago

Right? I loved it. And I loved what you wrote, too! The thing that irks me SO MUCH is that some of the 2nd amendment-humpers are the same ones who want gay rights and abortions banned….HELLO HYPOCRITES.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thanks for your support, Kristin. I will!

Kiran 3 years ago


I thought we were adults, but I feel like we are so busy screaming that it does remind me a bit of a toddler play date.

Thank you.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thank you, Sue.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thank you, Paula. I absolutely agree. Fear mongering on either side of the argument should not be what we seek either. A conversation based on facts is where we should be going.

I do not believe that all good gun owners fit a stereotype. I am friends with pro-gun advocates and I have friends who are extremely passionate about their right to gun ownership.

I do find, however, that when I feel mist disturbed about where the conversation is heading, there is a particular profile that continues to come up. It’s an extremely aggressive person WHO LIKES TO YELL AT ME IN CAPS. (sorry, not yelling). Theories of conspiracy abound and no matter how many times I say, you’re still going to have guns, all they want to do is scream.

I think some of them were here today. Just a guess.

Thank you for the reminder that no matter which side of the argument we are on, we should know the facts and understand the truth versus just rhetoric. I believe the same about any issue.


Mark 3 years ago

Wow, you are one of the stupidest people I think I have ever seen. Unbelievable. Go back to Fox News.

Kiran 3 years ago

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.

Stefanie 3 years ago

Again, talk to yourself as you try to put words in my mouth. You talking to yourself is not a debate. May wanna get that checked.

Kiran 3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this, Allison. Definitely interesting reading!


MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Kiran Ferrandino 3 years ago

Thank you, Erin.

Kiran 3 years ago


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


Monique 3 years ago

Playing dead makes them an easier target. Teach them to run like on an obstacle course. It’s tough to hit a moving target, especially if they’re moving unpredictably. It empowers them as well instead of playing (dead) victim, they have a hand in their own safety.

Kiran 3 years ago

Hey guys. Wow, what did I miss? Quite a lot, it seems. For those of you who took the time to read through this piece in its entirety, I’d like to thank you.

For those of you who took this as an attack on your right to own guns, the post never says that guns should be banned. Nor do I mention in the post taking away guns. My question was why can we not evaluate what is happening in our society and place the proper checks and balances in place to ensure that we don’t become a war zone.

There comes a point where no weapon is big enough. I’m going to say something that may sound really simplistic. You know that saying, “Too many cooks in the kitchen”? Basically after a certain level of saturation, the benefit of adding resources in a constrained environment is marginally decreased with each new cook you put in there. By the end, with every cook you add to the kitchen, you will eventually get to the point where nothing will happen.

Just a bunch of bitchy and grumpy cooks with knives.

So. At what point do we say that our society has reached a saturation point where additional arms are not necessarily the answer? Do we continue to add more guns, arm our children, our teachers, our grocery store checkout kids?

At what point do we say that the tone of our society has changed from civility, to one of madness? This post makes it extremely clear that nobody is saying “take away your guns.” Just asking for anyone who wants to procure them to go through some kind of process that makes them accountable and marks the ownership of these guns.

The first person who posted, gosh I forgot your name – it’s been a while! mentioned that the boy who held the gun in the Newtown shootings was mentally ill. You are correct. He was and my heart bleeds for any child, any parent who is living with that in their lives. It’s incredibly hard.

But if we had appropriate laws in place, and the proper enforcement vehicles, do you think maybe risk levels could be associated to people who are buying a gun? A few people said there shouldn’t have been a gun in Adam’s house.

How would anyone know that it should be removed if nobody even knows its there?

A bunch of you feel that it was irresponsible to write a piece like this without mentioning mental illness. Mental illness is a huge problem in this country. There are a lot of issues that can be linked to violent crime, however. Mental illness, poverty, lack of education.

This post is not another “gun control” post without respect to those things. All of those things are part of the “context” which I say we as a society need to evaluate.

Thanks to Jill for allowing me this platform to share the post. It’s extremely brave of her to do so, and I don’t take that lightly, especially after reading through the comments here.

I have never felt more strongly about the need for a civilized dialogue. One that doesn’t end with more parents having to face a horrible tragedy.

For those of you who do not agree with me, but have kept this dialogue fruitful, thank you for that. It makes me hopeful that we can continue to figure out the right balance between a person’s right to own guns and society’s right to also not feel like this country has become a war zone.

For those of you who have supported my sentiments and continue to support Jill and this community, thank you.

For those of you who support what I have said here but feel intimidated in speaking, I completely understand.

Thanks all.

Sarah 3 years ago

I understand your trepidations, but to be completely blunt, I would much prefer that my child learn how to evacuate (the main thrust of ALICE) and counter, if they had to, than to hide under a table or in a bathroom, waiting to be picked off. Plus, ALICE is geared towards teachers knowing what to do to evacuate and counter– not the children themselves. It’s a common misconception.

Look at it this way– In Alabama this week, the older children who got the door in the back of the bus open and started pulling the younger children outside were countering an armed threat. They weren’t attacking him; they were countering his plan to take two children hostage and evacuating by the means possible. The only ones they didn’t save with their maneuvers was the bus driver (who did not effectively counter the armed intruder; confrontation is not countering, God rest his soul) and the poor boy who allegedly fainted. I think people often misunderstand what the training is meant to do.

Sharon 3 years ago

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.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Way to generalize the children of working and/or divorced parents. If that’s all it takes to make someone mentally unstable, then I dare say a good percentage of today’s children are doomed.

Furthermore, how does coming from either a broken home and/or a childcare setting increase the likelihood of molestation or abuse? Please show me the statistics to lend credence to that theory.

And finally, the mentally ill are just that – ill. They are not “crazy,” nor are they “lunatics.” And the fact that you (and many others) think of them as such only exemplifies and perpetuates our nation’s broken mental healthcare system. No, stricter gun control (read: legislation, NOT a ban) is not the only answer; we as a nation also desperately need to focus on mental health awareness and reform. But your angry, ignorant rhetoric is only lending to the problem, not helping it. Unless, of course, you’d rather not put your money where your mouth is and instead place all the blame on parents and a lack of family values.

I just can’t with this entire comment.

HisGirl 3 years ago

I will NEVER allow the school district to teach my children to counter a armed attacker. If our school district attempts this with our middle or elementary schools they will have a fight on their hands.

jane 3 years ago

I could not agree with you MORE. Well said. I live in Texas, and normally love it here, but I am hitting a brick wall trying to talk to my friends and neighbors about reasonable gun restrictions. I don’t understand why reasonable people are not reasoable about this! It just makes sense.
I don’t understand how people are not outraged at the events that have happened lately. It’s time for a change.
Our country is better than this. It will have to happen on a national level though, or I’m going to be out of luck out here in the wild west.
Keep voicing this! You have a platform.

Julia 3 years ago

Kiran, I read this post on your site and again here. These words need to be heard. I agree with this post so strongly and something does need to change. If someone who was not an American shot 20 first graders we would be going to war, it would be terrorism and I think as moms we should fight for change. Kudos to you and Scary Mommy for this.

Ariesa 3 years ago

You know you had me listening right up to the point you said “you people scare me” don’t lump me as a gun owner into a group of people you find your self to be superior to. Don’t assume that because I do believe in the people’s right to protect themselves against the tierny of evil men and their political agendas and obsession with power and control. That does not make me likely to snap and start shooting people, the people who scare me are people who like you are delusional enough to think this is a gun issue and taking away from the focus that this is mental health issue, why don’t you spend time thinking about how you can help people put value back in marriage and raising their own children and society not requiring both parents to have jobs to support a family in the middle class, then maybe we won’t have lunatic kids who get molested or abused come back after 10 years for vengeance because their parents where too busy working to pay attention to their kid who clearly needed mental help. I can definitely agree that a class training people how to use a gun before they become an owner is a AWESOME idea, but do you think that’s going to stop someone from killing people if they are crazy? No more than having a license stops drunk drivers. It’s about choices not tools

Charlotte 3 years 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.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. You are so very right. I have always taken issue with people who claim that speaking out against ANYTHING means we are not patriotic in any way. If anything, I think that’s what makes this such a great country: the whole freedom-of-speech thing. That being said, I can hardly imagine that our founding fathers would have put guns into the hands of civilians if they knew so many would abuse the right.

Such a great post. Thanks for sharing!

cemoma 3 years ago

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.

Kelly 3 years ago

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.

Doni 3 years ago

Great post. I’m so tired of people trying to justify owning a gun that shoots off 50+ rounds per minute. If you really think that there’s some scenario that you need that kind of weaponry to defend yourself — you probably should visit a mental health professional.

I HATE guns. However, I’m not asking anyone to give up their “personal liberties” of owning a gun for home defense or hunting. But licensing and limitations (yes, more people are killed by cars, that’s why there are laws and speed limits, and training/skills required before you can get a license) — are a must.

Jessica 3 years ago

“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?

Stefanie 3 years ago

I support the right to bear arms , love my country and I also agree with this post 100%. I recently used the same example about driver licenses. I do not believe it infringes upon my rights whatsoever to pass a background check and also if training (and passing that training) were required. If you understand why a license is needed to drive a car (and the test that is required to pass and get that license) then I do not think it is difficult to see that gun ownership should also be handled responsibly and carefully. Do I think that will stop criminals, no. But I do think it will help people be safe and responsible about firearms that are law abiding citizens. I also think the training would make sure that those firearms were used, maintained and stored properly and give the user a sense of confidence in owning and using it.

Ashley Austrew 3 years ago

No one is criminalizing good citizens. We’re saying rights come with responsibilities, and when your right to own a firearm infringes on my right to life, changes need to take place. No, the founding fathers did NOT imagine Newtown or Columbine. They did not imagine a world where people would be massacred outside of war time for no reason at all. There just is not a justification that is good enough for me to agree that things should stay as they are; that, like the writer, I should be at the gym wondering what I’d do if a psychopath with a gun walked in and started shooting. There is no justification. No one has the right to make their fellow citizens live in fear. No one deserves that.

Deedra 3 years ago

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.

Stefanie 3 years ago

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.

Ashley Austrew 3 years ago

M. Cooper, “for what it’s worth..” Noah Pozner’s jaw and left hand were blown off. Handguns don’t do that.

Scary Mommy, thank you for posting this article and for inviting the obnoxious debate that you knew would surely follow. I wish we could all agree that our kids shouldn’t be dying and that guns ARE the problem. Alas, some think it is more important to worship the founding fathers as though they were infallible deities than it is to make necessary changes that would protect our fellow man.

Karen 3 years ago

You expressed my feelings to the tee. THANK YOU.

m.cooper 3 years ago

hear! hear!

m.cooper 3 years ago

uh…your link only describes weapons *seized* not what guns were *used.* In any case, my point is that “assault weapons” are not the problem.

Laura 3 years ago

I’m a Canadian too and I pretty much agree, but I just wanted to correct you on something. As far as I can tell there are not more guns in Canada than in the states, based on population. According to Wikipedia, we have 30 guns per 100 residents whereas the US has 88. If you have a source, by all means cite it.

But I think you’re right – control and regulation is in everyone’s best interest.

Brad 3 years ago

“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.”

They lived through the French and Indian war, and then the Revolution. The Hurons and Iroquois made the Crips and Bloods look like Cubscouts, and the battles of Oriskany and the Monongahela make Columbine and Newtown look like Sunday School picnics. The Founders were very familiar with slaughter.

And not to trivialize the recent crimes that have us all horrified, but the homicide rate isn’t “growing each year on American soil”, it’s been decreasing dramatically for twenty years. And most of our homicides are gang-bangers whacking each other over drugs in the inner cities. I’m all for addressing problems, but let’s do it rationally, not emotionally, and let’s not criminalize good citizens collaterally.

MILF Runner 3 years ago

I can’t even read the comments because I am so in agreement with you.

My 13-year old came to me the other day and said, “Pretend we’re in the Revolutionary War times.” He wielded an imaginary rifle/musket and said, “Dance!” And proceeded to imaginarily open fire on me, taking at least 60 seconds between “shots” to reload his “weapon.” Who can’t see the HUGE difference between that and being fired upon by an automatic or repeating weapon?

The Second Amendment is antiquated. Let’s not forget that we needed a whole new amendment to allow women the right to vote because our all-seeing, all-knowing forefathers didn’t see fit to provide for that. Lack of gun ownership regulation is bullshit. I completely agree with this post.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Colette 3 years ago

Pfffft. I’m thinking the thousands of new subscribers she’s getting (because this has gone VIRAL on fb and twitter now) will comfort her.

m.cooper 3 years ago

For what it’s worth…assault weapons did not kill ANYONE at either Colombine or Newtown. The weapons used were handguns (and only handguns at Newtown), rifles and shotguns. I’m tired of people talking about banning assault rifles. That won’t solve the problem.

(Also for what it’s worth, I subscribe to the “guns don’t kill people; people kill people” school of thought, but I’m not against more stringent requirements for firearms permits.)

Nicole 3 years ago

Thanks to your article Scary Mommy, you will have one more book purchase in April as well as a new subscriber to your blog! It is comforting when we (us Canadians) hear and read insightful, intelligent, and sensible views on guns from our Southern neighbours. Thank you again for giving us hope that your country is not “lost” :0)

Melissa 3 years ago

As a Canadian reading this, I felt I should weigh-in. We have LOTS of guns in Canada. The same or perhaps even more guns per person based on population.

Do you know how many people were killed by guns in Canada in 2012?? 165. Do you know how many Americans were killed by guns in 2012? Over 11,000. ELEVEN THOUSAND PLUS!

The difference? Better gun control laws here in Canada. Bash gun control all you want but those numbers are all the proof you’ll ever need.

It’s called gun CONTROL – not gun REMOVAL.

Overly Opinionated Mommy 3 years ago

This post was so well written and said everything that I have been feeling lately when it comes to gun control. I also think that we need better mental health services in this country, as well. My husband & I are both gun owners and he is a member of the NRA and, surprisingly, we both think that current gun laws need to be enforced better, that thorough background checks need to be made for those purchasing firearms, and everyone who plans to purchase a firearm needs to have license to do so and go through certain safety courses. Thank you for this post, it was excellent.

byebye 3 years ago

Bye, Scary Mommy. You can count on one less book purchase in April, thanks to this. Chucking the book I own in the fireplace tonight. You asked for it.

Annie Maryhew 3 years ago

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!) :)

Dr. Mom 3 years ago

Great post. I am not an American but I agree 100% with your comments.

AJ Collins 3 years ago

Kiran, I loved this post. I was recently talking to a conservative friend about this exact thing! “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people… yeah… with GUNS.” I am pretty appreciative of the fact that it would be really difficult for another country to come in and invade the US. I’ve read that it is estimated that there are about 270 million firearms in the US (it’s estimated because we are one of the only countries in the world that does not require every gun to be registered)… that’s nearly 90 guns per 100 people in our population… so, in theory, we are pretty safe? But with that many guns we should all be required to take a class on gun use and safety… maybe at age 16?? Compare that to 254 million registered cars… and there seems to be an irony unfolding…

I really couldn’t have said it better myself. I am so glad to be one of your “bloggy friends” 😉

Stefanie 3 years ago

Didn’t you also just throw in YOUR ‘expertise’?

Petra Zahn Swenson 3 years ago

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….

Petra Zahn Swenson 3 years ago

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.

Julie S 3 years ago

I totally agree Kiran!

AJ Collins 3 years ago

I talked with my kids in a general way about the Newtown tragedy. (I know my kiddos, so I knew how to approach it) We live in CA, and regularly have “Lock-Down” drills and actual Lock-downs… we’ve had a person with a gun in the park by our school… the school responded appropriately.
When I was a child (during the cold war) we had bomb drills… get down under your desk (because that will protect you from the radiation… what?) All of this is sad, but necessary. In a few more years we will have another crisis in the US and we will come up with a way to protect our children yet again.
Something needs to change… but we tend to blanket it with one answer… “God in Schools”, “Unarm the population”, “Better mental health care”, “fewer criminals on the streets”. People are screwed up. They just are. I don’t know what the answer is… but I loved this post and this comment. :) Thank you Kiran and Crazy mama for posting it!

Julie S 3 years ago

Well said Erin!!

Colette 3 years ago

Thank you ScaryMommy, thank YOU for this. And pay no mind to the idiot brigade who will play this as a 2nd Amendment issue. It is not, as has been decided many many times over the last 200+ years. It is a national crisis, a worldwide embarrassment and an insult to right-thinking people everywhere to cloak oneself in the flag or the Constitution and claim regulation is infringement. I am the child of a gun owner, and the wife of one (non military, non-LEO). He is feeling PERFECTLY uninfringed by the proposed Assault Weapons Ban. Millions of gun owners agree – whining for assault weapons to be “protected” is codifying the Walter Mitty Militia, and it will not happen. For those who are coming at the current events and debate with decades old rhetoric, hear me: Newtown changed EVERYTHING. I and millions of other Americans are galvanized now to stop your insanity, your INFRINGEMENT on OUR rights. The NRA will stand down or die off as the fringe/cult/hate group they really are. We are taking our Constitution back. We are saying ENOUGH.

Stephanie 3 years ago

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).

Ryanrules 3 years ago

Last statement on this subject.

I’m proud of you for speaking your mind. I do believe change is needed as long as it is done reasonably and within our rights as American Citizens.

I will continue to be in the middle on this subject as I am not strongly for one side or the other. I just want something to be done, but not to the extent of mass punishment on the people for the work of a few crazy men.

I apologize if I seem crude at times, it is not my intent.

Rebecca 3 years ago

I am a mother of 3, grandmother of 8 bran the ages of 8-1. I support gun education and teaching our children the value of human life…actually the value of all living things. I also believe in teaching children to protect themselves WITHOUT scarring them into seeing all strangers as bad guys, but as someone to be respectful of, and avoid contact with.
Really people. How many of our freedoms have been restricted, and eventually legislated till the original intent was lost. Example: food production, can you grow and sell food you have grown to the public without restriction. Did you know, some local gvts have regulated this, then eventually banned it.
We can go on and on with examples of society gone wrong, legislators trying to fix it with laws, and we end up loosing another freedom.


Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

I fully agree that bad parenting can breed bad children. Then again, bad parenting can also breed good children and good parenting can very well breed bad children. But that’s really neither here nor there in terms of my point.

I am simply of the personal belief that if you allow a child or teenager – particularly one who is mentally ill – sit in front of a screen for hours on end playing violent video games, then you are asking for trouble. I personally support the 2nd amendment and am in no way against the banning of guns. But I do believe that a lack of stricter gun control legislation (and by extension, its enforcement) combined with a failing mental healthcare system and the widespread use of violent video games by kids whose parents DON’T monitor such things is breeding a trifecta of violence in our society today.

Lou 3 years ago

Beautifully written article. The cretins who are exercising their right to hateful speech are not to be reasoned with; not even deserving of a derisive retort as they are severely unevolved spiritually. As human beings when we stop looking out for our fellow man we have lost the very essence of what it means to be a great American.

They will continue to criticize your opinions, belief systems, intellect and even your grammar in an attempt to bring you down to their level (and face it its hard to breathe down there) but we will keep on and we WILL win the right to the safety and peace of mind that our families and especially our children deserve…

In the meantime a simple LOL is all the response they need..

AJ Collins 3 years ago

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.

Jess Clifton 3 years ago

Haters will no doubt (continue) to hate on you for putting this out there, but I’m SO with you, sister!

I don’t know if you caught Piers Morgan on Jay Leno last night (two men I’m warming up to more and more), but he presented many of the same points you do here, along with some extras that surprised me (i.e. 40% of guns are purchased/sold with NO background check whatsoever & gun/ammunition sales skyrocketed after the Newtown shootings – so much so that even Wal-Mart issued a limitation on purchases).

Yes, we should keep rights to guns, but we obviously need better regulation (not to mention stricter penalties, better mental health consideration and less copycat-inciting media sensationalism).

I commend you for being brave enough to put this out there!

Leigh Ann 3 years ago

I just replied to one of those comments. So dumb.

Leigh Ann 3 years ago

Ha! Really? You’re going to write off a blog you like because she shares a post that contains an opinion with which you’re not comfortable? A guest post, no less? Must be nice in your little bubble there.

AJ Collins 3 years ago

You rock MarySunshine!!

CMND 3 years ago

I enjoyed ready just about everything on this website until yet another person had to go and discuss his or her issue on gun control. Not interested.

Megan 3 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with every sentence, every word, of this post. I always say it is not “un-patriotic” to question our country, to question our government, to want it to be better. It is EXTREMELY patriotic to want to fix what is broken, and make our country better. Those with blind faith and blind love are the unpatriotic ones. They are the same ones who turned their backs on slavery, and segregation, and women’s rights, and gay rights. I am one frustrated, patriotic American right now.

Jennifer 3 years ago

Kiran, I love your post. I commented on your original post so you know my opinion, but I’ll comment again here.

My husband and I are pro-gun (which feels like such an odd comment). We have guns in our home, we actively teach our children about gun safety and responsibility, and my husband has a concealed hand gun license. At the same time, neither of us see the purpose of assault weapons being available. They are completely unnecessary.

I think it is time for responsible gun owners to be just that, responsible, and admit that access to guns and stricter gun control laws are necessary. It is our responsibility. I also believe that the penalties for possessing illegally obtained weapons should be strengthened and enforced. I work down the hall from the ATF. I’ve seen the amount of weapons they bring in after a raid. It is unbelievable.

I also think we need to focus on providing better mental health services in our country, and develop ways to identify and assist people that need these services. There just has to be a better way. I will not accept that there isn’t. Although it seems like the people sitting in their bunkers hoarding their guns are the same ones that decry paying taxes or supporting universal healthcare to address these issues. You really can’t have it both ways.

Amy 3 years ago

Thank you for this post – it’s like you are in my head.
I love that you are calling for bettering our current regulations and creating a safer situation for all, not just a blanket ban on guns. (“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.”) It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation, in my opinion, if we don’t make it into one.
The situation actually baffles me. I would think that especially people who own guns and know the power they yield firsthand would WANT there to be required education, strict regulations and safety precautions for all. I don’t get the resistance…

Ryanrules 3 years ago

Didn’t take it as a personal attack at all. I’m just stating the true fact. There is no hard evidence that says video games/movies make a person more or less violent. (They are actually working on a study as we speak I do believe). I have seen proof of bad parenting breeding bad children however.

Jennifer 3 years ago

Wow. Paranoid much?

Kamille RN 3 years ago

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.

Kristin @kdwald 3 years ago

Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy in many of the arguments.

Rebekah C 3 years ago

Actually, I am an excellent sharpshooter. I also don’t own a gun, lol. That said, this comment strikes me as a bit uh, short-sighted (no pun intended!).

One night, when I was about 16, we woke to the sound of some laughing and shouting coming from the side of our house. My father took a look and discovered a group of young men sitting on our car. Some of them had the hood up and were in the process of taking the bits and pieces of our car apart. My father realized that they were clearly not sober and probably not especially dangerous but there were a lot of them and they were takign apart his only means of getting to work and provide for his family. So he took care of it. Legally. He went and got his registered, pump action shot gun (our home protection weapon was chosen specifically for it’s impressive personality, lol) and quietly slipped out of the house and cocked it. The perps really didn’t need any more encouragement than that and they quickly dispersed. The fact the gun wasn’t even loaded was sort of lost on them as nobody facing down a large man with a shotgun is going to ask, “Oy, is that loaded?!”.

Guns, ultimately, are tools. As I said in my own post, responsibility and the ability to think wisely isn’t something that can be legislated.

Please do not assume that people who are against more useless laws don’t benefit from weapons. I could flood you with stories from just my own family where someone being armed saved a life, prevented a serious problem or allowed someone to protect herself (my Aunt has a license to carry a concealed weapon because of a crazy ex who was trying to hurt her). If you really wanted to, you could find this information for yourself. Even Youtube is full of stories and videos where a responsible gun owner prevented a crime by being armed. The government and it’s entities cannot always be there to protect us and ultimately, it’s our responsibility to protect and defend ourselves.

Yes, there are irresponsible jack-offs that own weapons. There are always going to be idiots. However, much like people who choose home-birth, gun owners, particularly gun enthusiasts, tend to be a self-selected group of well educated, responsible people who not only understand but respect the nature of a weapon: They aren’t toys, they’re tools. It is the unfortunately very loud, well funded minority that gives people like you the impression you have. Which is bad for all of us, not just gun owners. I could rant about idiots with too much money for days….

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Can I just point out how ridiculous it is to stop following a blog that you otherwise enjoy just because the blogger dares to have a different view as you on a hot-button issue? Why all the insults and name-calling and hate? Do you also end friendships over this sort of thing? Whatever happened to simply agreeing to disagree?

Kristina Hockman 3 years ago

These weren’t caused by mental health or lack of morals and values. Some don’t realize their three year old can pull a trigger or that their children know where or how to access their guns! This is just one city. And it’s not gangs it’s many children under twelve. It could be your child just going to a birthday party and never making it home. So keep using those excuses while our children DIE everyday.

Cheryl 3 years ago

How was Heidi’s opinion an attack?

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Um, yeah… we are parents. We do have the ability to monitor what our kids do. But unfortunately, many parents don’t do this. Thus, my [quite valid] observation that these types of games are contributing to the desensitization of violence in our country. I’m not quite sure why you took this as a personal attack, but it was certainly not meant to be.

Liz 3 years ago

SO LONG Scary Mommy. Liked your blog until now. Clearly you are uneducated in this area and have no idea what your are talking about when it comes to the second amendment.

Rebekah C 3 years ago

Thank you. I am a mother, yes, I have three children, ages 8, 5 and 3. My oldest two are daughters and I have one son. The day that the shooting occurred, my MIL texted me that “someone is shooting the kindergarten” and I completely freaked out because my 5 year old was in school. It was a mistell, she didn’t mean to make me think it was happening at our school. The truth is that I am scared of what could happen, too.

Currently, we don’t own any guns. We have a very small house bursting with small children and I don’t feel we have the space to safely store weapons at this time. However, as my children get older, we will teach them the proper maintenance and care of guns and how to use them effectively and responsibly. That is what they are *for*.

That said, I DO think we need to take the issue seriously. It’s not about guns, really, it’s about the motivations driving the people that commit these atrocities. I wish, I truly do, that more regulations on guns and more enforcement of the laws would work. It just seems so simple! Unfortunately, the application of critical thinking quickly makes it clear that in a case such as the Newtown tragedy, the lack of guns would have only meant that the perp would reach for something else. I hate to put it so bluntly but dead people, children and otherwise, are dead people. It doesn’t matter, at the end of the day, if they died in a gunfight or an explosion, the fact is that they died and for nothing. THAT is the problem and it is this problem we should be trying to solve and prevent, imo, not just removing the weapons. If we want people to stop killing each other, we have to get to the root of the issue. If it was a simple matter of removing all available weapons, we could just de-hand people after a first offense and be done with it.

Ryanrules 3 years ago

Violent video and online games?

We are parents are we not?

We have the ability to monitor what our kids do, do we not?

When did we become so “busy” that our kids are not our #1 priority?

I obviously can’t see what my kids are doing at this very moment, because I’m 7,200 miles away. My wife, however, can.

Rebekah C 3 years ago

Thank you! I don’t think it’s necessary to be condescending. I think the issues raised are completely valid and I do agree with the sentiment from the OP. I just think intelligent discussion and a realistic point of view will go a long way towards working out a solution to this serious problem, rather than knee-jerk reactions that are designed to make people feel better rather than actually solve any problems.

Leigh Ann 3 years ago

As I get ready to send my older 2 girls to kindergarten, I get more and more nervous. I wish that emergency drills wouldn’t have to be a regular part of their school year, and it makes me sad that some people want to place armed guards at the doors of schools. That shouldn’t be the atmosphere to which we send our kids to learn. So much has to change. SO much.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Kiran, I’m so glad Jill picked this up and gave you an even bigger platform to share this thoughtful, articulate piece. I already commented on it yesterday on your blog, so I’ll keep this one brief. But I will reiterate that while I agree with you, I think we also need to take a hard look at our nation’s failing mental health system, not to mention the widespread use by kids of violent video and online games.

Shannon 3 years ago

Please for the love of God, get your facts right first. Please. Everyone is so upset about the “assault rifle” that was used in the Newton shooting. The “assault rifle” was found in the trunk of the car. TRUNK OF THE CAR. He was found with 4 HANDGUNS inside the school. HANDGUNS.

Now while you are at it, ask a holocaust survivor if they wished they had an assault rifle to “protect” their family from being slaughtered.

Read this article below. Be informed before speaking. Do you OWN research. We are all parents that want to protect our family. I will do anything to do so.

Sharon 3 years ago

Let’s ask the parents from Sandy Hook if they wished there was an armed guard there that day.

Kristin @ What She Said 3 years ago

Well said.

motherof2kids 3 years ago

I completely agree! I am not anti gun, nor am I anti gun laws, but I do think instead of making more laws, we need to enforce the ones we have, or make better ones. I don’t want to take away anyone’s right to have a gun, but maybe machine guns and assault weapons should only being carried by people protecting our country. Because if you need an assault weapon to hunt deer,….you need to pick a new hobby.

Carolyn Mower 3 years ago

I only wish I had written this post myself. Well done, Kiran!

Lisa 3 years ago

I live in the gun culture of the South and I am mostly afraid to speak to anyone about gun control. The sad truth is I would be ignored at best, isolated and called a fool or worse, threatened. I hope that the majority of Americans will realize that if we have to be licensed to drive, and tracked with a social security number, that having some gun regulations such as background checks on all gun sales don’t take away anyone’s rights. If you are a law abiding citizen, what do you have to fear? The far right ideas of many NRA members truly frighten me. When we refuse to compromise or even discuss something calmly, we reveal ourselves to be childish, selfish and paranoid.

Maggie 3 years ago

Um, that would be ‘Martial Law’…Though I am also not interested in living under the control of a discount clothing chain.

Dani (Melbourne Scary Mummy) 3 years ago

Marnie, once I’ve finished bawling my eyes out, I’m going to go and hug Mast. 7 and Miss. 4 extra tight. (I’ll have to be super quiet about it, because it’s 3am here now)
A respectfully written piece about such a tragic and horrible topic. My heart truly aches for Noah’s parents, and the parents of all of the other victims.

Ryanrules 3 years ago

I want you to realize that I handle “dangerous toys” for a living. I’m properly trained on them, and I have not and do not wish to shoot ANYBODY. I will however pull the trigger to protect my fellow soldiers, my family or myself. I am trained not to shoot first, but to shoot when there is an imminent threat to those I love, those I serve with and to my person. I am not left wing nor right wing. I would also like to add that I am not trying to argue your opinion, I am simply stating my opinion.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Melissa 3 years ago

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??

Krystin 3 years ago


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.

Ryanrules 3 years ago

True statement here. I’m just saying, training for something that is a possibility has been a part of schools for decades. There was a high risk of nuclear attack back then, much like there is a high risk for shootings (or worse) these days. It’s nothing new to the American society, people just don’t cope with it as well now a days. Americans need to be more resilient again so we’re not so shocked that bad things can happen. It is the way things have always been.

Ariana 3 years ago

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.

Melissa 3 years ago

It did in only gun violence or did it contribute to an over all decrease in murders (with cars, knives, bombs, etc)?? I can’t find anything that will answer that question.

Ariana 3 years ago

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.

Patty 3 years ago

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.

Cheri K 3 years ago

I’m with Amy H. I agree 100%. Thank you.

Marnie 3 years ago

The holocaust comparisons are ignorant and offensive. As so many have pointed out, it’s not about disarming the people, but reworking the current gun laws.

I loved this piece. I highly recommend this one as well, about Noah Pozner’s mom’s description about her son who died in Newtown…the saddest and most chilling account, but should be a mandatory read for all Americans:

shelly 3 years ago

Rebekah***You are fantastic, and if your a Mom ( in which I’m sure you are) props to you! There is no doubt that your kids are safe in your gun capable hands.I also have full intention to teach my little girl one day how to hold her own as an adult. I will not raise a “vitctim” to be used as target practice! My husband, with military training under his belt, took both his teens to the shooting range.The daughter is a wonderful shot, in cadets, and is looking into staying in to get her PhD. The critic’s of guns need to look into the “Lubby( is that how you spell it?) case” in Texas in the 90’s and see what that women said after losing both her parents in a mass shooting in a gun free zone ( at that time) 😉

Jess 3 years ago

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.

Dani (Melbourne Scary Mummy) 3 years ago

While I don’t think that my own country (Australia) is anywhere near perfect, I do like that one of the biggest ‘worries’ I have when I send my kids to school each day is whether or not they’ll eat their lunch.

I’m also very glad that we now have Medicare# funded psychologist/psychiatrist care available to us.There is still a *very* long way to go with our mental health system, but it’s a babystep in the right direction.

As for the gun debate- We had a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 (Google ‘Port Arthur 1996′), and our then Government acted. It caused debate and controversy, but more importantly it caused changes to be made.I am glad that there are fairly strict rules for *responsible* gun ownership in Australia, because if you aren’t able to get a gun licence & legal firearm, it’s probably for good reason.(Farmers, hunters & sports shooters get permits) I’m not kidding myself either – I know that it is still pretty damn easy to get guns illegally if the want/’need’ arises – but I haven’t seen any of our primary schools getting massacred in recent times, so something must be working.

#Medicare is our Government funded healthcare system, that is available to EVERYONE who lives here, whether rich or poor. There’s even extra benefits for those on low income or welfare. That’s right, FREE healthcare, and they added mental health to it.

TeeKay 3 years ago

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….

Britteny 3 years ago

I respect your opinion and some of it I agree with. Yet I think you are missing a key item that needs to be addressed. Family situations and I am not talking about single parent vs two parent. I am talking about parents holding their kids responsible and teaching them about that responsibility. I was taught by my grandpa how to shoot a gun (and yes I can hit a barn with my shot), but before I could even hold an unloaded gun, even in its case. I had to attend a gun safety class (ours here is a few weeks) and pass the test to his satisfaction, not just the required. Til I became an adult, I was not allowed to use the guns without him, my grandma, or my dad being present. (Mom is anti-gun and was very displeased my dad let me). Yet I would never think about shooting anyone unless you threaten my children. With the guns locked up and the ammo in another spot (just in case any child or someone else gets a hold of them), I keep pocket knife close or the decorative swords put up. I have a 4 and soon to be 6 year old boys and have discussed what they are to do if there is ever an intruder in the house. I would rather get my family out of the house safely than use the gun, but I will not hesitate if it ever came to it.

Erin 3 years ago

These spray and pray moms scare the crap out of me.

Exhaustomom 3 years ago

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.

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

#1, I think you ought to know: I like curry, and I’m white as a marshmallow.

#2: I agree with you so much on this it hurts. I wrote a gun post also. I have friends and family on FB who talk about “those gun-control freaks” and I guess they don’t know or care… that I’m one of those freaks. It’s a little scary that the kind of person who would publicly and flagrantly call their loved ones “freaks” are the kinds of people who are so desperate to have guns, and so against regulations. I see some issues with the ‘logic’ there…

Suzanne 3 years ago

*standing ovation*

Have you joined One Million Moms for Gun Control yet?

There are local chapters too. It’s getting national coverage. We can make a difference.

Megan 3 years ago

Love this post.

Maggie 3 years ago

Reading this objectively, I don’t hear “guns kill people, get rid of them”. I hear, “regulate them like we regulate everything else”. I don’t believe in taking away anyone’s right to bear arms. But I do believe in background checks (how many of us have to have background checks just to get employment?), licensing, and training. This, to me, is a well-thought-out plea for better regulation. That’s all. Not disarmament. Those of you who are freaking out about it are not reading this objectively. I don’t want to live under marshall law any more than anyone else. But I also don’t want to see anymore children’s faces on the news ‘In Memoriam’. There are other ways to help fight this epidemic, of course. But better regulation and enforcement is imperative, in my opinion. Yes, mental health plays a huge roll in these mass-shootings. Schools, families, employers, etc., all need to work harder to identify individuals who are at risk. Better treatment options need to be made available and easier to obtain. Our society has treated mental illness like a plague and ignored it or distanced ourselves from it for FAR TOO LONG. It’s time we ALL become more pro-active in recognizing and treating mental illness, rather than turning away from it and ignoring it, hoping it will go away. It won’t.

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

YES. YES. YES. You are so right.

Melissa 3 years ago

This made me tear up. I don’t know if it’s just that time of the month, but your post made me emotional. You hit the nail right on the head and in no way did you use name calling or belittling to get your point across. I commend you. =)

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

I agree with you 100%, Heather.

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

Respectfully, I disagree. That’s not why the government revived the assault weapons ban – two dozen children killed with a crazy person with a gun revived the discussion. The government doesn’t come up with these things all by themselves – there are millions of people crying for the children we have lost and trying to find a solution. I fully admit that I don’t have the answer, but surely we can do better.

Arnebya 3 years ago

While I agree with Kiran’s post, I am enjoying more, this open dialogue. No matter what side you’re on, we have to find measures to fix things. No idea should be shunned, no one person’s agenda higher than another’s. But what we do need to do, respectfully, is listen to each other, see how the guns fall into the hands they do, why people do what they do. I’m not saying hold hands and say oh no you first, no please, you, but we won’t get any further by arguing who’s wrong/right or name calling. I’m glad there hasn’t been much of that here.

Angie 3 years ago

Isn’t it insulting to our enlisted men and women to suggest that we fear being unarmed because they may turn on us? I mean, that’s the crux of the NRA argument that the public will be helpless without their weapons, right? Our military personal are raised with free will and opportunities for education. They are not a legion of mindless killing machines. If ordered to turn on unarmed American citizens under the command of a crazed tyrant, they would revolt. To think otherwise is a slap in their face.

Becca 3 years ago

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From a family of over zealous, gun totin’ republicans, I’m shocked at how they can not see these shootings taking the lives of children and young adults so frequently and not think some REGUlATION is needed. It’s funny, because people will
Spout out how we need guns to protect from instances like new town, well you all have them and nothing changed that situation. No one is saying you can’t have them, just report them and get them in the right ways.

S. 3 years ago

To those claiming that Lanza didn’t use an assault weapon you are wrong and listening to crazy conspiracy theorists. It is clear, and has been reaffirmed by CT state police, that he used the rifle to kill the children. A handgun did not blow off the bottom half of Noah Pozner’s face and one of his hands. It is mind-boggling the lengths that some will go to deny the rights of our children to be safe from assault rifles.

Jamia 3 years ago

Thank you for your brave, brave post and intelligent thoughts on this difficult subject. And — to your critics — I will say that I don’t think ANYONE is suggesting this is a one-dimensional issue. It’s not about guns OR mental health. It’s BOTH. Why do we have to choose? Why can’t we address multiple issues simultaneously to make things better and safer for our families? But change is necessary. Now. And these are the types of thoughts and dialogues that will get us there eventually.

Sharon 3 years ago

Sorry you’re having a hard time making the connection.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Heather Searcy 3 years ago

Yeah, because thats what we need, more people with guns. So they can shoot at the shooter but miss and kill more kids. I agree we need armed guards. But I don’t want Joe Shmoe, no matter how well trained he is, to be in my kids school with a gun.

Jules 3 years ago

Would you argue against the “fact” that an assault weapon was used in the killings is the MAIN reason that congress is trying to revive the assault weapons ban? I’m not against gun legislation, just wish people would be honest. That kind of deceit on the part of the media and the government gives fuel to both sides. Just asking for honesty in all these discussions about how to make our country safer.

Tytia 3 years ago

Well said Kathy!!!
But you know it’s not going to change anyone’s mind that’s a gun “enthusiast.” It’s as if they’ve all been brainwashed and they keep on saying the same old arguments over and over and over. Sad and scary.

Heather Searcy 3 years ago

I love this. I love everything about this. We do need to regulate who owns guns and what type. I dont care about rights of people who want to own assault rifles and ammo that can allow them to fire 100 rounds per minute our whatever. I don’t. Screw them. I care about my children and their safety. Other countries with stricter gun laws have very low gun violence. So say what you will I’ll never change my mind. And you will probably never change yours.

Mary 3 years ago

Well said! I don’t want to take away people’s hunting rifles or handguns they use to protect their homes. But background checks, proper licensing, limiting assault rifles and definitely better mental health care opportunities.

Sharon 3 years ago

Frankly, Ashley, it won’t, and I never said it would. The point is, it is illegal to kill innocent people with guns here in America. Why is it then legal to kill innocent unborn children? There is deep hypocrisy in our thinking and our society that says it’s ok to kill a child because of their age (stage of development) and location (the womb) and because it’s not being done out in the open where all can see. That’s all I’m trying to say.
I’m horrified at both the Sandy Hook killings and the killings that take place across America’s abortion clinics each day. A child is a child.

Melissa 3 years ago

Thank you! For all you do for our country and for stating what should just be blatantly obvious.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

Thank you!

Melissa 3 years ago

=) I’m pretty sure most of the people who like to call Fox news “faux news” have never actually watched Fox news… just the news, not OReilly Factor or Hannity. Clearly those are opinion shows, much like Piers Brosnan’s show or the Rachel Maddow show…….. but don’t you remember when NBC edited their piece about George Zimmerman to make him seem like a racist?? And lately, Martin Bashir made a piece about “hecklers heckling” a greiving father whose son was a Sandy Hook victim. So maybe it shouldn’t be referred to as “Faux” news after all.

Stacia Cooper 3 years ago

I want to hug you! Thank you for this post as I feel like there are still sane people.

MarySunshine 3 years ago

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.

Clancy 3 years ago

But of course….the Conneticut police have confirmed that the assult rifle was not used in the school…and what ever happened to the person in the sweatshirt that the cameras showed being chased by the police into the woods??

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

Who cares what kind of weapon? The problem is that kids are getting shot in school, a place where they should be safe. That argument means nothing.

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

Apparently you didn’t realize that this is not a post about abortion. I didn’t state my views on it; I am saying that this is not the forum for an abortion discussion. It’s not right for you to hijack the discussion.

shelly 3 years ago

Wow, bingo!

Kacie 3 years ago

I figured Id get my 2 cents in here. I think your piece was very well written, and although I am fairly conservative, I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think this is a black and white issue, I think the solution will be in the grey area. Do I have the answers? No, but something needs to change. Maybe we look at mental illness and Dork on that. Im not sure what we should for. I understand hunting is a huge issue, and we shouldn’t take the food out of families mouths, but I also know babies shouldn’t die.

Kathy 3 years ago

I love this post. This comment is directed towards your critics.

For those using the same, tired NRA rhetoric as your argument against this well written, well thought out post, just stop. Please. It’s old. I swear that whenever someone writes a pro-gun control piece and I hear or read “guns don’t kill people” et al, it’s like seeing Pavlov’s dogs and you all just heard the bell ring.

Would your opinion change if you knew that the federal gun tracing system is entirely on pen and paper? And that the NRA has fought tooth and nail against any legislation to modernize it?

Would your opinion change if you knew that it is illegal for law enforcement to exchange data on gun crimes and until recently, a member of law enforcement could do jail time for doing their jobs? And who has fought to keep law enforcement agencies from exchanging information that may help reduce gun violence or help catch criminals? If you guessed the NRA, you are correct.

Would your opinion change if you knew that people who buy guns and then provide them to people who aren’t supposed to have them can basically get away with it because the laws don’t do enough to punish these so-called “straw purchases”? And guess who opposes fixing this? The NRA.

Now why would an organization who is supposed to work for keeping your gun rights and gun safety work so hard to prevent law enforcement from protecting the public from criminals and gun crimes?

Because they are more interested in selling guns than protecting your rights.

Wake up. The NRA doesn’t care about your rights. They care about gun sales, even if it means making it easier for people who should not have guns to get them and even if it means they play on your own fears and lying to you to keep you supporting them.

Katie 3 years ago

Wow! You hit the nail on the head with this article! I love everything I have read of yours, but this, by far, is one that hits this country right where it needs to be hit. Completely concur, I consider myself a patriot as well, and agree that regulations on guns is not saying you can’t have guns, just tighter laws in regards to them. Guns for the use of hunting or self-defense don’t need to have the power to shoot off 100 rounds in 2 minutes!

Thank you for this article! You rock!

Megan 3 years ago

Good guys with guns ARE the only thing that stops bad guys with guns. No, I don’t think I should be able to do whatever I want with my guns, but I should be able to have as many of them as I wish and they should be able to fire as many rounds as I wish. And, I believe that every weapon purchase SHOULD have a mandatory background check, I just don’t think that said background check should be used trivially. It should be used to determine whether or not someone has demonstrated that they truly cannot be trusted to use their firearms responsibly. Also, people should be held responsible if they don’t properly protect their weapons from falling into the hands of those who don’t use them responsibly. And my guns are not more important than your children, nobody’s personal possessions are more important than anyone’s children, but if your child’s life is in danger and I’m around with my gun, your child has a better chance of surviving the threat from the bully with the gun.

Jenn 3 years ago

There have been far more shootings than there have been nuclear bomb attacks on American soil.

Grits 3 years ago

Very well written piece. I agree with you 100%. To those who think that tighter gun regulations are useless, take a look at the statistics. Many other countries including Australia and England have much stricter regulations than the US. They are not living in Police or Nanny States, but they do experience exponentially fewer violent gun deaths every year. The U.S. sees more gun deaths than the next 10 countries combined every single year. How does that not speak to you? I’m sure we don’t have any more mentally ill people relative to population size than those countries. The problem is, if a criminal steals a gun that obviously wasn’t stored properly, then the person who bought the gun can just shrug and say “Oh it was stolen.” and that’s that. I think it’s safe to say that those guns may not have been stolen had the owners faced the potential of being charged with a felony if a crime were to be committed by the person who stole the gun. It’s a shame that people still think that gun control advocates (who also firmly support the 2nd Amendment and every other part of the constitution) want to “take r gunz!” That is so far from the truth. We just want to see some changes take place that lessen the likelihood that our children would suffer a fate like those poor babies in Newtown. It’s ridiculous that some think we shouldn’t even try.

Sharon 3 years ago

Apparently you don’t realize that abortion kills innocent children. How sad for you that you don’t believe that unborn children are people. I thought this post was about saving the lives of innocent children. Abortion instruments kill more children than any other weapon thought of. Oh wait,.. it’s not the instruments themselves…it’s the people who use them and the people who believe that it’s OK to do so.

Sue 3 years ago

Adam Lanza used tear gas though didnt he? Another item that should be left to the pros. So both the Aurora shooter and the Sandy Hook shooter just happen to have left their “assault rifles” in their cars? What did the Sandy Hook shooter use then?

Ashley Quite Frankly 3 years ago

Hmmm…if banning guns supposedly won’t stop gun violence, why are we so sure banning abortions will stop abortions?

jules 3 years ago

You all realize Adam Lanza did not use a high powered (or any type) of assault waepon, right? He used hand guns and left the rifle in the the car…..

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

I can’t believe you just pulled the abortion card in a post that has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. Who cares what kind of gun the shooter used in Newtown? A crazy person with a gun is a crazy person with a gun. If we don’t figure out how to improve our society as a whole, we’re going to have more and more of these incidents.

shelly 3 years ago

Stats show that these mass shootings where committed in “gun free” zones, soooooo, that being said, these idiots where breaking the law before they even pulled the trigger. Israel has armed guards at schools protecting their children, teachers have training as well! I would never feel comfortable with telling my child to laydown and play dead….never, and be a victim? That’s a shame!!! I’m not American, so maybe I’m over stepping my bounds here, Its not my intention to offend anyone. But your President has secret service men protecting his children at all times, even at school! I say, regardless of how the 2nd admendment revision laws take hold, or when, children should be safe at school with armed guards protecting them from a crazy nut who commits s felony in a gun free zone, of obtains one illegally! What makes Mr.Obamas children more important than yours. If mass shootings are occuring where the psycho killers are using guns, and they know they can kill the masses with no challege, they will continue to target schools, have armed guards at the schools, and broadcast it all over the news. I’m sure that shootings will then be just as frequent as they are on places where people are armed, for example a police station or a military base 😉 I would home school, before ever told my child to play dead, because the people who are there to protect them are totally defenceless!

Megan 3 years ago

Our system is very broken, no one can dispute that. I have no problem with background checks for gun purchases. I think that it is obvious that people should know how to use a tool that has the capacity to kill mulitple people before being allowed to own said tool. When you have these tools in the hands of responsible people, they are very useful in situations that we all hope will never happen, but inevitably will happen again, to someone soon. Whether or not we put bans on how many bullets our weapons can fire, or even whether or not we are allowed to have those weapons, someone somewhere will have them and will use them for evil. What are their victims supposed to do then? I support background checks (though I only support restricting access when it is shown that the applicant truly cannot be trusted to use weapons responsibly). However, I don’t support restricting the number of weapons a person may own, how many rounds those weapons may hold, or whether or not it is classified as an “assault weapon.” I have three children. All of them are too young to be taught how to use weapons responsibly, but I know how to use them responsibly and I feel safer knowing that I have those weapons in case I need to use them to protect my children. They are safely and responsibly LOCKED away where someone who isn’t supposed to access them won’t be able to, but where I may access them quickly if needed. When my children are mature enough to learn how to use them properly, they will be taught how to do so. Still, they won’t have access until such a point when there may be a choice between granting access or giving their lives over to a murderer or until they are mature enough to go through the process to legally obtain their own. Because I love my children, should I ever discover that they are in need of mental health services, they shall receive those services and not access to my weapons. I worry every time my children’s safety is not under my direct control, and if you’re trusting people you don’t know to protect your child’s safety you should be worried too. Just because I worry about my children doesn’t mean that I don’t ever let them out into the world without me. Children need those experiences to be able to care for themselves when I am no longer able. A feeble attempt at restricting access to criminals or mentally unstable people isn’t the answer, better protection against the possibility of those people harming us is. Do you think that a criminal who knows that guns aren’t allowed at our schools is going to tell himself, “I can’t take my guns there and shoot people. It isn’t allowed,” or do you think that the criminal will think that he has a better chance of shooting more people because the victims will be unarmed and unable to defend themselves? I don’t like that our world has developed to a point that I may need to teach my children to “play dead,” but I would rather teach them to play dead than to teach them it is okay to give your life to someone else because you want to play by the rules, even though not everyone will. Then, after they know how to play dead in the case they cannot defend themselves, they will be taught how to defend themselves so that they don’t need to play dead. Anyone who is backing more restrictions to weapons so that they don’t need to teach their children how to play dead are fooling themselves into thinking that this will eliminate the problem and sadly, makes their children a bigger target for those who will not abide by the new laws when they are enacted.

Erica 3 years ago

Yup, it once again shows that Ignorance is Bliss. Ignorance being the thought that its ok to have guns. Get rid of the pointless guns, change the stupid gun laws. Change is sometimes a really good thing, espeically when people are getting killed for NO REASON. Or you are more then welcome to Canada, where we will not allow guns, and your kids can go to school safely :)

Heidi 3 years ago

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.

Grits 3 years ago

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?

Amy 3 years ago

Thank you. There is an answer in between no guns and unlimited gun rights. We can find a reasonable solution that protects our children. Our children with pudgy hands and gap toothed smiles that deserve to be safe in schools and live long lives. Thank you.

Sharon 3 years ago

Kiran, I understand your feelings, I have 3 children of my own, but I can’t say I agree with your reasoning. First of all (not that it matters) the gunman at Sandy Hook never took his “assault rifle” out of the car. (I just believe if you’re going to write something publicly, you should have all your facts straight. Don’t worry the media never checks the facts either. They’re too busy promoting the White House’s agenda.)
2nd of all, if you were in the gym and a shooter came in, you could whip your own personal handgun out of your backpack(that you were licensed and trained how to use) and save yourself and the rest of the people there. (No stop, drop, and play dead necessary.)
Consider this, if there had been a trained armed guard at Sandy Hook near the front door, chances are, that guard would have taken him down before he ever had a chance to harm the children.
So… yeah, people do use guns to kill, but are you aware that in country’s like Russia with the strictest gun laws, they also have the highest murder rates? They just kill people with other weapons. If you’re crazy and you want to kill people, you will do it with or without a gun. Violence and mental illness is the problem, not guns. Meanwhile, people who use guns to protect themselves and their families will be penalized for the crazy people out there.
People have forgotten history. In every country where guns have been taken away from the people in the name of “protecting the children” the government has come in and slaughtered the people. The founding father’s meant to protect us from that happening. See, they knew what an oppressive government could do, and they wanted to make sure that we had the freedom to protect ourselves in the future should that become the case.
You know what’s scary to me….The current administration just decided to give about a billion dollars worth weapons to the country of Egypt whose leader believes in eliminating the Jews and Christians. Here’s a quote for you just in case you don’t read about thing like that or are not aware of them, “Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” Morsi has said. “They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.” This is Morsi’s core belief and we basically helped put him in power. How smart is that? How many innocent children’s lives will be lost with the war planes we’re sending him? You won’t see that on MSNBC.
If the president of the United States and the current administration cared about life, he wouldn’t be arming a volatile nation who’s intent it is to kill a people group.
And in conclusion, If our government truly cared about saving the lives of innocent children, they could stop the mass slaughter that kills millions of children every year through ABORTION.

Sue 3 years ago

This made me love your site MORE! The problem is anti-gun control people hijack the Constitution, compare the US to the nazis after WWI, but never bother to read what controls are even being considered. They put their fingers in their ears and sing “Mary had a little lamb” and quickly run to the most biased Internet sites around to help stroke and groom their beliefs. Before Newton, I preached about the Founders intent being that, yes, don’t take guns away. I don’t even own a gun! After, I realized that enough is enough. 11 of those bullets being blown into a 6 year olds body…there’s nothing left, they had no chance to run, throw a desk or push this guy. If he had a shot gun, more could have survived. Lets leave these WMDs, assault rifles/guns,whatever you choose to call them, to the pros. I realized it isn’t about anyone’s “right” it’s mainly about these people keeping their right to play with dangerous “toys”. The majority should just admit that it’s the fun they don’t want to give up. The rest are just creepy, living in a bunker with a can opener.

Amanda 3 years ago

Thank you. I think it’s tragic that our country is so slow to find any sort of common ground in the interest of improving our system. We need to keep talking about this, no matter how deaf the ears on both sides seem.

Wensdazechyld 3 years ago

For everybody who comments that altering the laws, or banning guns won’t make a difference – all I can say is – it DID in the UK. Look at the number of high school shootings. Look at when the last one was. Look at when the laws changed. In fact, why not look at the number of guns owned (legally and estimates for illegal weaponry), and then look at the number of deaths from guns. Heck, just compare the number of accidental shootings, and do a proportional comparison with population numbers for both the UK and US. The UK makes for a better comparison than any other country in Europe due to the cultural similarites.

But you can all shout how great it is to own a gun. You want them for protection right? But how many of you that shout so loudly could even hit the side of a barn with one if your life was being threatened? Probably very very few of you. You’re more likely to end up killing yourselves. So stop being so defensive about ‘rights’ that have done NOTHING for you in the 200 years or so since they were written (yeah, you’ve really needed to raise a militia :/)- except lead to lots and lots and lots of unneccessary deaths.

Rebekah C 3 years ago

“So why then? Why, why would we allow people to own guns without the appropriate training? Without appropriate documentation of what guns are where?”

This is actually very simple: the people that committed the atrocities you are referring to did not have legally obtained, licensed weapons. They rarely ever do. Gangsters do not go to Walmart and buy a gun, after the required waiting period, after having taken a safety course and a gun class.

I don’t disagree with your sentiment (that we need to start doing *something* to fix the problem) but the reality that people are not willing to hear is that more gun regulation for the LAW ABIDING public will NOT stop tragedies like this from happening. Insane people do not follow the rules. Gangsters and underground crime factions do not give a crap about gun control.

There are already regulatory laws in place that do exactly what you suggest. These are annoying laws that law abiding citizens happily follow just like they do with their cars. Heck, in my State you cannot even keep your gun and your ammo in the same place, even for your home protection weapon. You have to keep your gun in a locked safe and your ammo in a different locked safe. (Seriously, what intelligent person came up with that one? This law was intended to prevent in-home tragedies. “Excuse me, Mr. Intruder sir, please hold off on the raping and mayhem while I work the combination lock on my safe.”)

Do we have a serious problem? Absolutely. I’m all for doing something about it. However, more gun control is clearly not the answer. If that kind of regulation was effective, we wouldn’t have troubled, mentally ill, all-but teenagers shooting up little kids, would we?

My issue with “gun control” is not that I’m a right wing nut job quivering with paranoia. My issue is that it’s a giant steaming pile of bullshit. It’s like slapping a band-aid on a compound fracture and trying to pass that off as having “done something” to heal the wound. The current administration looks good politically for “responding” to these terrible events by passing out a few more regulations on already compliant, law abiding citizens that have nothing to do with the current problem but this “solution” doesn’t actually have any affect on CRIMINAL behavior.

I do not know what the solution to this problem is but I am certain it’s not a simple, one-size fits all sticker-slap that will make the ugly go away. I think there are many different societal issues that contribute to the problem and issuing more and more laws regarding gun ownership is just side-stepping the real issues entirely.

There are gun-nuts that are unreasonable fringe-hangers, sure. But most of us who disagree with your line of reasoning are responsible, reasonable adults who have simply given the matter a great deal of thought and come up with a different perspective than you.

In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up with guns. My father is a gun smith and a weapons instructor. I knew how to safely shoot a rifle by the time I was 8 and I was a fantastic shot. My father served in the Navy, one of my brothers is an instructor in the Border Patrol, the other serves in the Army National Guard. My sister serves in the Navy. We had lots of guns growing up, all legally obtained, all registered, licensed, and safely stored-all that.
It is easy to fear something you just don’t know but from the perspective of someone that was raised with a healthy respect for what a weapon is: responsibility cannot be legislated, it must be taught and demonstrated.

For the record, the worst school tragedy in US history happened before the invention of the assault rifle. The perpetrator (another very mentally ill person) didn’t use guns. He used dynamite and pyrotol. (have a look:

Melissa 3 years ago

It is a crisis. I don’t know if we’re just in denial as a nation or what the heck is going on!

Aimee 3 years ago

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.

Jenn 3 years ago

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!

Alma 3 years ago

Yesterday I went to pick up my 4 year old at school and spotted and ambulance by the front door and my heart dropped. The last thing you want to see as parent after the tragic events in Newton. We found out the secretary who suffers from a heart condition was having chest pains. All those thoughts have run through my head but I try not to let them campout there. Thank you this great insight into what parents are feeling right now.

Melissa 3 years ago

Amen, sister.

Kristin Shaw (Two Cannoli)’ 3 years ago

Great job, Kiran, and to Jill for posting. No one is trying to take away all guns, and there is nothing wrong with regulation. All we have to do is take a look at other countries with stricter laws to see that we need to take a look at ours.

kate 3 years ago

Thank you from Newtown. Thank you for being brave enough to post, because the ignorant opposition is fierce, and you’ll be bombarded with vitriolic responses, the most painful from folks who will surprise you. But take it from someone who lives here and knows: guns do kill people, and assault weapons and high capacity magazines in the hands of a sick young man did just that in my town Dec. 14th.

Enough. Write your legislators and tell them, enough. 20 dead kids is more than enough.

Ronnie 3 years ago

Beautifully written.

Suzanne 3 years ago

Very well written and definitely makes me think much deeper about this issue. I whole-heartedly agree with the BMV section.

Connie 3 years ago

I am not a “gun nut.” I have never fired one nor do I want one in my home. What I find inconceivable is that no one who favors gun restrictions realizes that they only apply to people who actually FOLLOW THE LAW. In the vast majority of these tragedies (and certainly in all gang violence), the people who have the guns have obtained them illegally. So now only the crazies and the criminals will have guns to use? Only they will have 10 bullets while we have 6? If you will notice, police groups all around the country have opposed the current executive orders and proposed legislatiion. If they were effective, don’t you think they, above all, would be lining up to support them? (P.S. To the person who said the police in England don’t carry guns, that has not been true for quite some time).

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

Hear Hear!

Jessica Smock 3 years ago

I never thought I’d see one of best articulated and most thoughtful pieces on gun control that I’ve read so far on Scary Mommy! Well done! I grew up in a very rural town where everyone had guns and everyone hunted, and I still don’t get it. We have the greatest number of guns in the world, and we top every nation in the industrialized world in the number of deaths from guns in every category (suicide, accidental deaths, homicides, mass shootings). If you own a gun, you are far more likely to kill a loved one accidentally (or have a loved one use it in an argument or in a suicide) than to ever use it in self-defense. We are simply not more safe because our society has so many guns, and it’s time our country wakes up to this reality.

Ryanrules 3 years ago

Just want to reply on this section.

“My kids have been going to school in an era where a lockdown drill is as commonplace as a fire drill.”

Most parents went through similar drills for nuclear bombs…

Bravidvalour 3 years ago

Either ban all citizen gunownership and any use…or get mentally and emotionally prepared for ‘Children with Guns’, in every class room and school yard across America…after one or two INEVITABLE teachers ‘going postal’.

Martina 3 years ago

Oh and this post is very well said!

Brittany 3 years ago

This is my favorite comment.

Kelley 3 years ago

Couldn’t agree more and I applaud your bravery in standing up to the gun nuts. Sad as it is to see some of them posting comments here.

Ryanrules 3 years ago

I fight for the Nation’s rights on a daily basis. I’m currently deployed in Afghanistan. I do not agree with taking guns away. I do believe there should be more training, but at the buyer’s expense. No reason not to be properly trained. I myself am trained on a variety of weapon systems, rifles and hand guns. I have yet to shoot anyone (fortunately). I have no desire to. I do feel it is our responsibility as a society to train ourselves and our children on how to use weapons and how effective they are. Once you are aware of what a bullet can do to another human, you think twice about pulling the trigger.

In summary,

Don’t take away our guns, take away ignorance and stupidity.

Martina 3 years ago

Pretty sure that nobody needs an assault weapon to defend their family or provide food, but I’m Canadian and we don’t have a 2nd amendment. And to the person who said “when the people are out armed by the government bad things happen”, you’re gonna need to get some tanks and stuff. Maybe a jet or two … haha holy hell.

Bravidvalour 3 years ago

What happens when a teacher…(now all getting skilled to use guns in classrooms), has a bad day, drinks too much the night before, has just been dropped by boyfriend, or sacked by the Principal, for lateness to work, or some other peccadillo…and before the Children know what the teacher is doing pulling his or her gun from teachers table…the children don’t even realise it is time to, STOP DROP AND PLAY DEAD. Then we begin arming children from say age of 9 years old, for self protection, against both teachers and bad-mad man.

Kat 3 years ago

In the days after Newtown, I asked my boys (10 and 15) if they had ever been in a lockdown drill. I don’t know what fantasy land I had been living in, but of course they had. I asked my 10-year-old what they did during these drills, and he told me the teacher locks the doors, pulls a curtain over the door’s window, and then the kids very quietly get in the “safe corner” (a corner where they can’t be seen from the door or the windows). He explained this all without any emotion — just like he was talking about eating a PB&J in the cafeteria. Simply a matter of the school day, business as usual. As horrifying as the events in Newtown were, his matter-of-fact acceptance of this as part of his life really just cut me to the core. My kids have been going to school in an era where a lockdown drill is as commonplace as a fire drill. Their world assumes the incidence of violence. They don’t know anything else, this is part of their experience.

Amy H 3 years ago

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.

Amy H 3 years ago

Erin, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Kristin @kdwald 3 years ago

Thank you for this, Kiran.

The paranoid fantasies and imagined tyranny that some people are using to defend the “right” to bear 30-round-magazines and arm teachers (as a teacher, this horrifies me) are eye-opening. No one is coming after your guns!

The idea that cars, food, marriage, Sudafed, voting, livestock, air travel all need to be regulated more than a firearm and its ammunition is ludicrous. What most reasonable people want (and when “gun control” is broken down into specifics, it is what MOST people want) is regulation of purchases and use. Just like a car. Just like prescription medication. Just like getting married.

Many opponents of reasonable gun regulation are allowing their fears of a tyrannical government (and if the Patriot Act during GWBush didn’t scare you, nothing will, folks) to keep them from seeing the facts.

Keep speaking out, Kiran!

Can’titbeaboutme 3 years ago

I couldn’t agree with you more. It baffles me how seemingly intelligent people can become fanatics when the topic of gun control comes up. NO one is trying to take the stupid guns away, yet they act as if the current proposals include a house-to-house search for guns. And the justification they use for their panic is based on lies and their own selfish desires to have the right to own whatever gun they want. Are we adults or toddlers?!?

I agree 100% that the main problem isn’t with the guns and much more has got to be done to find and treat the root causes, but if increasing moderate gun control can stop the shooting of even one child, how in the HELL can you NOT support it.

Desiree Eaglin 3 years ago

Very well said, Kiran.

Laura 3 years ago

I completely agree with you. And fortunately, most rational Americans want better, more effective gun regulations. I just hope that Congress cares enough about the American People to listen.

Heather 3 years ago

Maybe you should do a little more research before you start rambling your ideas. Better check again what type of weapon was used. The assault rifle never left his trunk. Thanks media for forgetting that minor detail. Use a source other than NBC next time.

Allison 3 years ago

I did not specifically mean teach our kids stop drop and play dead, but whatever the tools are to bet handle a horrible and dangerous situation, whatever they may be…

Bravidvalour 3 years ago

Taylor Swift has a greater chance of dieing in an aircraft malfunction than risk of violent weapon attack while attending the Kiss Concert in Mackay QLD…and flying is the safest form of transport, safer than walking beyond ur front yard.

Margaret 3 years ago

I think you may be over romanticizing the time period. This was a rough period of history.
You are right, they could not have known how society has changed. . . how the family unit has eroded. I wonder if Chicago would be a less violent city if there were fewer fatherless young men so open to the draw of the gangs. Think of it . . .500 people died in that city last year!
Perhaps the founders did not foresee the kinds of weapons we have now, but they did foresee a federal government that wanted to have weaponless themselves not allowed for the citizenry. This is why they penned the 2nd Amendment in the first place. . . they obviously were more clairvoyant than we give them credit.

meghan 3 years ago

Perhaps I agree with this article because I am Canadian… I know we have our issues in this country, but gun violence does not seem to be one of them. If someone tries to break-in to our houses in Canada, we generally defend ourselves with alarm systems, not guns. Oh, and we are still able to hunt, but just not people. Strict gun laws are not a bad thing people, at least we don’t have to lock our kids in closets for gun drills.

Mamarific 3 years ago

Thank you for saying everything I am thinking in a better way than I could. I really don’t understand why this is a political issue at all. It’s a people issue.

{sue} 3 years ago

As in other situations where laws need to be interpreted, we go back to legislative intent. What was intended by the 2nd amendment? I am sure that what we have now was NEVER what the founding fathers intended. I honestly can’t understand how ANYONE can look at those 6 and 7 year old children with their heads and bodies blown apart by a legally purchased assault weapon and not agree that we need stricter laws. It defies all logic.

Well said, Kiran.

Karenelise Metz 3 years ago

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.

Allison 3 years ago

We may not feel ready to tell our children to stop drop and play dead, but these are precisely the things we need to do to keep our kids safer. The biggest waste of time and resources are attention paid gun control ( sorry, but it’s true). Just like our government deals with international and domestic terrorism, the only way to minimize the situation is with information about specific threats ( people who appear dangerous and in need of services and or intervention) we must be the whistle blowers for the dangerous and disturbed, and we must make sure our schools are safe. Have you ever your administration whether the classroom doors are kept locked from the inside and closed at all times? It sounds simple but it could have saved many lives. Who does your school let in and how do they screen them? If your child says that a kid is creepy and scary inquire about that kid, if you have a weird neighbor, tell the police that you are concerned and they can keep an eye out. It’s the work no one wants to do that can be the first line of defense against a nearly impossible offense,.

Bravidvalour 3 years ago

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.

Buffy 3 years ago

You make your point well and have given me a lot to think about. I haven’t really decided where I stand on this. Our family owns guns, we take our kids to the shooting range and teach them gun safety. But we don’t own the kind of guns or ammo clips that they are trying to ban, and I don’t really understand why people want to. But I’m not sure if that choice should be made by our government. I guess I wonder if it would really change anything or if we should focus on something else, like mental health care. But I am sure I agree with one thing, stop, drop, and play dead isn’t the answer. So thanks for your opinion, and for writing it so well.

Liz Benishek 3 years ago

Wonderful piece. It is amazing to me that people will fight so hard to keep gun laws at bay, but have no problem going to the DMV. The disparity of knowledge and common sense is too great, very frustrating.

Sarah 3 years ago

I am a 2nd Amendment supporter who also supports stricter gun control and universal mental health care. I applaud you for your stance.

One thing to note, however: please don’t stop-drop-and play dead. That is the worst thing you could do. I work at a university, and we went through what we call Active Threat Training last fall. It’s also been called ALICE training. I suggest that everyone look that up and read the five steps. It’s quite different from how we respond to other emergency situations. Hiding in one place and not trying to evacuate is the worst thing you can do. We’ve seen that in both the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings.

Erin Zito 3 years ago

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.

Jillian 3 years ago

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.

antygonnee 3 years ago

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.

Kelly 3 years ago

Wow. Just WOW. Really?

Johanna 3 years ago

Great stuff! And yeah, I own a gun… but try to convince the grade-school drop-out, Jebus-loving ‘MURICA brigade to think logically on this issue. As long as they believe there’s a war on Christmas and Obama is a communist Kenyan, they’ll lap up the extreme NRA twaddle as well.

A sensible NRA-member

scared mom 3 years ago

Thanks for your thoughtful and courteous response on this ever important subject! When my daughter (7) came home from school and told me she had an intruder drill at school I instantly became sick to my stomach, while I was glad to hear that progress was being made for a better plan, I knew that I had to discuss the topic that I had been hiding from her for weeks. I still have not told her about the tragedy of Newtown and not sure if I ever will, but I did have to tell her how to protect herself. This involved telling her to play dead! When I asked her the details of the plan she instantly said “I would just use my tae kwon do and take his gun”, this made my heart cry and could not even hold my tears back to shield her from my pain. I immediately told her to play dead, do not move, and stay as still as possible and know that when you close your eyes that we love you. Play dead, that is what we are teaching our kids to do instead of approaching the real problem! It’s infuriating! “People do kill people.. with guns”

KellyR 3 years ago

To those bashing the opinion giving by the author, here’s the deal. Most people don’t want to take all your guns. The majority of people who want gun control want guns that were designed for the military to kill as many people as possible in the shortest time possible where it belongs. With the military. Not with Joe Blow. High capacity magazines and high powered rifles? You don’t need those for self defense or hunting. More stringent background checks for people buying firearms? THE HORROR! I don’t want my children scared to go to school, or anywhere, because they don’t feel safe unless someone has a gun. And the militia thing? Then actually form militias. Protect people, educate people, have the town arsenals in a centrally located area. Punish those legal gun owners who are not responsible with their guns. But to say that the founding fathers were able to see into the future of this country because some of them were visionaries is just about insulting to our intelligence. They were men. Smart men, yes. Not men who could see that muskets would go the way of guns capable of shooting hundreds of rounds a minute. If you feel safer with all your guns (hopefully locked away in your gun safe and not loaded and with child locks) that’s fine. But I have a really hard time with the “good guys with guns are the only thing that stops bad guys with guns” and “I should be able to do whatever I want with my guns” and “why should we have to have background checks to see who gets guns” statements. They make it hard to believe that these people are people I really want having guns. Unpopular? Maybe. But this is my country too, not just yours. Why are your guns more important than our children?

Paula 3 years ago

I know what you mean and I appreciate your honesty and knowledge of the flaws of our country. I am a mom too, and I have those same “what if” scenarios run through my mind when I am out in public. I respect your words and agree with many of them.
There is a lot more being proposed in regards to gun control than what you mention. There are policy makers who want to limit how many guns and what types of guns people have in their homes. They want to limit the amount of ammo people have in their homes. There are policy makers who want government officials to confiscate weapons from people’s homes. Did you know that now your doctor may ask you if you have guns in your home and then report it to the government because of the health care law? So, a new mother who is going to see her OB-GYN or mid-wife for post-partum reasons and needs anti-depressants may also be asked whether she has guns in her home and that will be reported to the government. I understand there are crazy people out there – people who should not be able to purchase and own guns – but there is also a huge stereotype against people who own guns. There are a lot of misunderstandings in the gun control debate from both sides. We have guns in our home – my husband is a state trooper, and so he has to have them. He also has one for hunting purposes. I agree that we need better enforcement of the laws we have. I also believe we all need to be better educated – myself included – on policies being proposed and being made.

Ashley Quite Frankly 3 years ago

What’s frustrating is some of the biggest new advocates for better mental health care were the same people who were howling and beating their chests about health care reform 4 months ago. Lanza’s parents were very, very wealthy–if they couldn’t/wouldn’t obtain proper care for their son, most of the rest of the population has no chance. And how do you decide who is too mentally ill to have their rights? “I see you went through some depression 2 years ago, no hunting for you.” It will make people with problems even less likely to get help. So that’s not the end all, be all either.

I definitely don’t think throwing up our hands and saying “Bad people will do bad things, too bad so sad” is the answer but it seems to be a favorite among gun lovers. That and putting a George Zimmerman in every school, which isn’t my idea of a solution at all.

Kelly 3 years ago

You my friend have wrote a great piece. You are an American with your eyes wide open.

Kudos to you.

Pam Brown 3 years ago

Another “gun” blog post without one mention of our country’s mental health crisis. Awesome.

Aimee 3 years ago

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 This is our reality and it’s not likely to change.

Amy H 3 years ago

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.

Megan 3 years ago

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.

beth 3 years ago

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.

Jillian 3 years ago

This is a new kind of holocaust we have on our hands. Disarm the people and keep them scared as a history major this looks frighteningly familiar.

Exhaustomom 3 years ago

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.

Chris Lappin 3 years ago

Ashley I find your last paragraph unbelievably sad.
Thank you Kiran for this debate.

cindy 3 years ago

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?

Jillian 3 years ago

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.

Exhaustomom 3 years ago

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.

olivejuice76 3 years ago

I too am not ready to teach my kids to stop, drop, and play dead. Something must change, beautiful post.

Exhausts mom 3 years ago

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.

Colleen Brown 3 years ago

Perfectly said!!

Ashley Quite Frankly 3 years ago

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.

Denise 3 years ago

This is all I’ve been able to write about lately. You state many of my own feelings so well. Thank you for sharing.

Kate 3 years ago

COMPLETELY with ya on this one, sister!

heidi crowley 3 years ago

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?

Shannon 3 years ago

VERY well said!!!

lydia 3 years ago

It’s like you read my mind…

Jenny Isenman AKA Jenny From the Blog at The Suburban Jungle 3 years ago

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!

Lori Beth Johnson 3 years ago

Bravo!! This is one of the best opinion pieces I’ve read on the subject. You’re absolutely right.

Robin @ Farewell Stranger 3 years ago

Honest and reasonable. Couldn’t have said it better.

Alison 3 years ago

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.

Danni 3 years ago

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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