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Jun-29-2015 12:23printcomments

Will We Learn From the Charleston Killings?

About 34% of all gun deaths in the U.S. (11,000+ in both 2010 and 2011) are classified as homicides.


(SAN FRANCISCO) - Dylann Storm Roof, a 21-year old white supremacist, is accused of murdering nine worshippers at the historic Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C. President Obama called the shootings "senseless murders" and suggested more gun control is needed in the wake of the tragedy.

But in this violent nation of ours, there seems to be a disconnect between our Second Amendment "right to keep and bear arms" and the number of mass killings in this country.

People with guns kill thousands of Americans each year. And remember, the right to bear arms is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.

Incongruous though it might be, while Charleston and the rest of the nation were mourning the dead, at the same time Charles L. Cotton, a National Rifle Association (NRA) member, was blaming one of the slain, Clementa C. Pinckney, a pastor and state legislator, stating, "And he voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead.

"Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue," said Cotton.

Does anyone really believe that if the worshipers were "packing heat" at the church, the shootings would have been prevented?

It took the the December 2012 killing of 20 children and seven adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School to reach a tipping point, causing reasonable gun control legislation to be proposed at the federal level. However, Congress failed to reinstate the assault weapons ban.

Other legislation failed to pass, including tougher laws on straw purchases and illegal gun trafficking, efforts to increase school safety, keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, and universal background checks and restrictions on the size of magazines so as to reduce the number of bullets that can be fired before reloading is required.

Will the Charleston killings be another tipping point, providing the impetus for the actual passage of reasonable gun control legislation at the federal level?

Certainly, there will again be calls for federal gun control legislation, but unfortunately such efforts will probably be doomed because too many members of Congress are still overly responsive to the NRA lobby, in tandem with gunmakers and importers, military sympathizers, and far-right organizations.

And after all the sound and fury is over, the cycle of killings, hand wringing, and mourning will likely continue ad infinitum.


Ralph E. Stone, Salem-News.com Writer was born in Massachusetts. He is a graduate of both Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School. We are very fortunate to have this writer's talents in this troubling world; Ralph has an eye for detail that others miss. As is the case with many Salem-News.com writers, Ralph is a war Veteran. Ralph served his nation after college as a U.S. Army officer during the Vietnam war. After Vietnam, he went on to have a career with the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney specializing in Consumer and Antitrust Law.

Over the years, Ralph has traveled extensively with his wife Judi, taking in data from all over the world, which today adds to his collective knowledge about extremely important subjects like the economy and taxation.

You can send Ralph an email at this address: stonere@earthlink.net

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Ralph E. Stone July 8, 2015 7:53 am (Pacific time)

A new study found that states with higher rates of firearms in the home have disproportionately big numbers of gun-related homicides. The findings suggest that measures to make guns less available could cut the rate of killings, the researchers say. http://www.livescience.com/39754-states-with-more-guns-have-more-homicides.html

Anonymous July 1, 2015 5:18 am (Pacific time)

I hope people realize that declaring "No Guns Allowed" invites such attacks. How many mass shootings have happened at the NRA headquarters? At gun shows?

Anonymous June 30, 2015 2:40 pm (Pacific time)

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Only because the liberals and progressives are afraid of guns, the American people have to give up their gun right. The terrorists and the gangs and the criminals always will have guns. And Obama will make sure of that. The terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood, the domestic terrorists of the Black Panthers always will have guns. The gangs who run the cities always will have guns and they will not give them up. And no one will confront them to turn them in. Don't be stupid. The second amendment is there to protect yourself from harm from other people. Maybe you should do your homework and read the constitution and really find out what the second amendment is all about. Hitler disarmed the German people, look what happened to them. Hitler today would be very proud of our so called Government today. Not much different. It appears sometimes that I relive 1939 all over again. Look at Cambodia after they took away the guns of the citizens. Millions of people were killed by the Government. You don't think it can happen here? It will happen here at it's closer than you think. The Government is a dangerous crime organisation. It's all about control, total control of the people.

Wendy Sells June 30, 2015 1:45 am (Pacific time)

with the president of the United States President Obama should drop the gun controls because it is dangerious to keep guns around little kids,

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