Atheists are a small minority in the U.S.  Advocates of gun control might be a minority in America as well. In light of the recent shootings in Aurora I am curious as to how atheists in this network view the lack of gun restrictions.  There are probably divergent views.

I have trouble believing that both presidential candidates are steering away from any call for reform after the horrific mass shooting. In my opinion it is insane to allow citizens access to assault weapons that can kill scores of people in a few minutes.  It was even more shocking to hear on a news show that a family had to raise money to pay for the immense hospital bills for one of the victims while they were already crippled with medical bills from the mothers fight with breast cancer.

As a Canadian I came to stand with my U.S brothers for the reason rally and freedom from religion.  I would be willing to come down to the capitol and march for two other important causes.  Gun control and universal health care.

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So tell me, why [the CDC] shouldn't be able to study the issue and provide a report.

Russell, I'm unable to answer that question. We might agree on why the CDC hasn't been allowed to study the issue and provide a report--too few Americans have told the Congress to ignore the NRA.

How do we change that?

Tom I heard a senator say this during the recent filibuster. It shocked me that lobbyists have been able to not only keep assault rifles available to questionable people with no checks, but they also are controlling what the CDC can study.

I can't change much because I don't vote. People in the U.S. who vote have a lot more power to change things. All I can hope for is that discussion helps.

Russell, you've probably heard that story about the mule driver hitting his mule with a two-by-four to get its attention.

Being a pragmatist, I'm thinking many Americans will pay attention after we have dealt some more with our overpopulation problem.

Wow. Did not know that about the CDC. The very fact that our country is struggling with strict gun laws or getting rid of them all together scares me.

Alexandra - John Oliver discussed the NRA being responsible for the muzzling of the CDC this week. Even Dickey wants to repeal the Dickey amendment

My letter in the Toronto Star today:

Instead of going after easily accessible guns after the Sandy Hook massacre of children, weapons enthusiasts doubled down and said that schools should have armed security guards. Rosie DiManno informs us that Omar Marteen was a licensed court security guard by profession and his ex-wife tells us he was not a stable person. So that was a bad plan and it appears that it is time to try another strategy.

Rather than going down the road to eventually arming every American resident with assault rifles to protect other innocent Americans from haters and unstable people (who sometimes are security guards) maybe it is time to stop the manufacture and easy distribution of an armament that is intended for warfare to ordinary citizens.

Russell Pangborn, Keswick

20th down

Lax Gun Laws are at the root of us crisis

Darrin Bell's cartoon encapsulates some of the fallacies of the proposed "more guns" "solutions":

The NRA's Solution (dark crowded room with a 'Bad Guy', identified with glowing lettering, with a gun, and about a dozen similarly labeled 'Good Guys' whose bullets magically dodge and weave around bystanders and other Good Guys to arrive at the Bad Guy)

GC, some cartoons make their points more effectively than others.

After all, bullets do travel along straight lines.

I see Mr. Bell's point as exactly that: the cartoon's weaving, dodging, looping magic bullets have nothing to do with real life.

(Also that in real life, the good guys and bad guys aren't conveniently labeled in glowing lettering!)

Russell, I grew up in America and think violent Americans are at the root of our crisis.

Guns by themselves do nothing. Do you think I'm wrong?

I think that the easy access to weapons of war makes America more violent. Poverty and lack of opportunity are also factors. I would like to draw on the rat park example where the popular mindset had people hopelessly under the thrall of drugs and being losers. An experiment was done with rats where you had one in a sterile cage with nothing to do and access to a drug drip. That rat would spend most of its time taking the drugs. But if you put a rat in an entertaining rat park, it rarely used the drug. So part of the solution is to treat people better.

Portugal has had a lot of success changing their approach to drugs based on that research. Sweden has had a lower recidivism rate in treating their prison population very well.

Don't make guns easily available and treat people better in society could be the solution.

Just going to leave a link to a Scientific American article which summarizes my thoughts fairly well. Decently backed up with citations (some links are broken).

Also the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Global Study on Homicide in case you're interested.




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