90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Industry Expert: After Newtown, Guns Easier To Own In Some States

Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (Jessica Hill/AP)

Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, in Hartford, Conn., Jan. 28, 2013. (Jessica Hill/AP)

It’s been almost one year since 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by gunman Adam Lanza in Newtown, Conn.

What’s happened on gun control since then?

Not much at the federal level, though Democrats and Republicans do seem to be in agreement on extending a ban on plastic guns that expires on Monday, even though the ban is widely viewed as flawed because it won’t stop people from making plastic guns with 3D printers.

And while some states have toughened gun restrictions, others have loosened them. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson discusses the year in guns with Paul Barrett, senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek and author of “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun.”

Do you think it should be easier or harder to get a gun, nearly a year after Newtown? Tell us on Facebook or in the comments.

Interview Highlights: Paul Barrett

On why change at the federal level is so difficult

“We got no significant change in federal gun control rules as a result of the atrocity at Newtown. The pro-gun forces, even though they may be a minority in the country overall, are a very, very well organized minority.”

“The way we are organized right now — with the tremendous influence that the far right has over the Republican Party, which after all controls the House of Representatives — it is a political impossibility to put anything through Congress that would in anyway be a meaningful addition to the federal rules that already exist.”

On why tougher gun laws won’t stop the next mass shooting

“In a country that is already permeated by gun ownership, where the civilian possession of guns is seen as commonplace, it’s simply not as easy — and shouldn’t be as easy — to simply say, ‘This isn’t the country I want to live in, I want to live in a different and better country.’ That just doesn’t take you anywhere. In the case of the Navy Yard shooting, I think the only applicable thing to talk about is mental health treatment.”

“Talking about tinkering with the rules about how we lawfully acquire guns doesn’t address the mass shootings situation, and I think it’s also the case that it doesn’t really have much to do with violent crimes on the streets on a day-to-day basis.”


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • dialyn

    It’s not the organization that matters, but the mountains of money stuffed into the pockets of politicians to keep anything, even reasonable restrictions, from happening. The NRA wants everyone toting a gun so that the gun manufacturers get rich. It’s pretty simple.

    • justaguy

      They “sell fear”?????
      I carry a gun and fear nobody because I can defend myself.
      The ones who should walk in fear are those unable to because they have chosen to place themselves at a disadvantage to the criminals walking the streets.

    • fun bobby

      how much of your money have you contributed to restricting gun rights?

  • Zoe Brown

    The guy you have on is just plain wrong on his facts and very biased in favor of guns. Couldn’t you find someone a bit more even-handed? Very disappointed.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      A bias in favor of rights? Good for him.

    • fun bobby

      any fact specifically he is wrong about?

  • Blue_To_Shoe

    I’m not a gun person, but I think gun people have every right to advocate/fight for their gun rights.

    To be fair, there are countless good-hearted Americans whose daily lives depend upon guns: I watched the entire marathon of the ‘SWAMP PEOPLE’ – (the people that make a living hunting for alligators) – this past Thanksgiving, and was very impressed by the traditional, hard-working values on display.

    I just don’t like this Bloomberg stuff – telling grown men and women what to eat, drink, etc.

    However…there are some American congressman that are just spiteful (as spiteful as those ol’ segregationists that are seen on old civil rights era archive footage, and as soon as Obama said this was basically a priority that he was going to ‘get done’, that pretty much GUARANTEED that it wasn’t going to happen.

    • fun bobby

      except in this case the president and others are arguing to take civil rights away from Americans not grant them

      • Blue_To_Shoe

        No one’s “coming” for your guns, man.

        • fun bobby

          that would not be true if I lived in Ct or San Francisco where they are confiscating peoples guns. Obama administration wants to have “mandatory buybacks”.

  • Peter

    i agree–fairly biased discussion. Kept talking about restrictions on “law abiding citizens.” This is intentionally misleading. Background checks do nothing to stop law abiding citizens from acquiring guns. Illegally acquired guns do in fact play a large role in killings, on the street, mob related killings, and yes, some of the mass shootings. Pointing out that a couple of the mass shoots would not have been prevented is intentional misdirection.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Background checks do nothing to keep criminals from getting guns. The whole point is to control good citizens.

    • fun bobby

      the Obama admins analysis says its unlikely that expanding background checks would have any effect on crime

  • Sd55217

    The movement for common-sense gun legislation is not only alive and well, it is working. Groups like Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America is linking with other long established groups like the Brady Campaign and mayors against illegal guns. We have been successful in enacting better legislation at the state level, and pressuring corporations to enact gun sense as well. The movement will prevail because 8 children and teens dying from gun violence every day is horrific and yet preventable.

    I would like to add also a point about Mr. Barrett’s assertion that laws are not effective in reducing gun violence. In fact, had the assault weapons ban of 1994 been in place at the time of the Newtown shooting, Mrs. Lanza would not have been able to legally purchase the weapon that her son used to murder 26 people. That weapon, the one that got 154 rounds off in less than 4 minutes on that horrible day, the one that riddled those 6 year-olds with up to 11 gunshot wounds, was wisely banned years ago because there is no logical reason why anyone would need a weapon that is meant for the battlefield. We can assume that Lanza still would have gone into the school that day. But would he have had that weapon? Likely no. Would more people survived his rampage? Likely yes. So, Mr. Barrett, you are simply wrong on that score.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Common sense is the phrase people use when they have no facts or logic to support their cause.

      • Sd55217

        Fact: 30k people die each year due to gun violence in the US. Fact: half of those are suicide by firearm. Fact: one is 9x more likely to be successful at taking his or her life when they have access to a firearm. Fact: the average time that a person contemplates suicide is 5-9 minutes. It is an impulsive act in many cases and having access to a firearm makes following through on that impulse very likely.

        Now that the President has lifted the moratorium on gun violence research (and why, do you think, has the gun lobby worked so hard to keep the CDC and NIH from conducting research for the past several years??) there are several studies (and more to come) on the link between rates of gun ownership and rates of death by firearm.

        So those pesky facts are all over the place. They translate into a message that urges a broken nation to do something that, yes, makes common sense – something that is for the common good.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Fact: Suicide is death by choice. It’s interesting that only approved choices are allowed.

        • fun bobby

          those are funny facts. who does not have access to a firearm?

          why is it that in the places where guns are actually banned the suicide rate is so much higher than here?

          congress cut the funding for gun control research because the study it produced (the infamous Kellerman study) was so distorted it had to be recalled by its authors.

          actually I think that’s the study you then referred to with this :there are several studies (and more to come) on the link between rates of gun ownership and rates of death by firearm.”
          the study came to a Ludacris solution it had to be recalled and people who are bad at math are still quoting it. that’s why the funding had to be pulled. disinformation is dangerous and should not be publicly funded. what do you think needs to be done for the common good?

          • Sd55217

            I loved Ludacris in that movie with Matt Dillon and Sandra Bullock, didn’t you?

          • fun bobby

            auto correct is getting a little ludicrous. I note you choose to focus on the autocorrect error and not the content of the post

        • RustyBrass

          Fact: you choose the term ” gun violence” and ignore plain old “violence” which kills far more people.

          Blame the people, not the tools they use!

          Guns, if they could have an attribute of good or evil (they can’t) would be considered to be good.

          Why? A gun is the BEST tool that an 80 year old grandmother, or a pregnant woman, or a person in a wheelchair, or a teacher in a classroom can use to deter a bad person bent on doing evil.

        • fun bobby

          you know 2/3 are suicide right?

    • Jonathan Vanderhuge Spear

      Groups like Moms Demand Action for bull haven’t managed to do a single thing aside from piss off local businesses by vandalizing their property with ‘no guns’ stickers.

    • Leadbelly

      Both of the organizations named above are misnamed. Moms Demand Action, in truth, should be called Moms Demand Defenseless Crime Victims. Why not call Mayors Against Illegal Guns what it really is: Mayors (many of which are convicted felons, themselves) Against Law Abiding Gun Owners. Not one of their actions or screeds has anything to do with illegal guns. Their target is, and always has been law abiding gun owners. Their goal is to concentrate all power in the hands of the political class. As for the moms – they apparently live in fear of anything outside their comfortable middle-class suburban existence.

      • fun bobby

        those moms need guns

      • Sd55217

        Why the judgment? Why the assumptions? Isn’t this where we’ve gotten off track? I haven’t the slightest clue who you are or what you’re about. For all I know, we might well get along just fine. Yet you assume things about my background and my life, my beliefs, my values, even my so-called fears. I don’t hate gun owners. I don’t hate guns. I just want people to be safer and I happen to believe that there are some common sense things that we can do to reduce that enormous number of deaths each year. For the life of me, I cannot understand how some folks (maybe you, maybe not) can draw a direct line from that position to one that claims that “we” want to take all the guns away. That simply is not the case. We must be civil and respectful if we are to engage in productive debate, no?

        • fun bobby

          what do you think can be done to reduce violence?

          • Leadbelly

            I’m afraid that is going to require a few million years of evolution.

          • fun bobby

            when we ended the prohibition of alcohol the murder rate dropped 99%. We could see a similar reduction by ending our current prohibition. to solve the problems requires looking at the actual causes and not worrying about gun control laws because guns do not cause the problem

        • Leadbelly

          Bloomberg is an autocrat who believes he knows what is best for the rest of us, and sadly, he has the resources to effectively push his personal agenda in more areas than gun control. Remember the Big Gulp Ban? My opinion of his actions are no reflection on you, whatsoever, unless you are actively promoting his authoritarian ideals for “progress”.

          As for Shannon Watts and Moms Demand Action, first of all I have my doubts about her sincerity. The typical turnout at one of her public demonstrations consists of a handful of her personal friends and a smattering of local followers – usually far outnumbered by counter demonstrators. My question is : where are the donations to her “cause” go? On the subject of her proposals, she is guilty of the same emotion driven over-simplification you display in your response above. There are no “common sense” solutions to gun violence.

          Universal background checks, according to our own Justice Department analysts, cannot work without universal registration, which has been proven to be subject to abuse by agenda driven politicos. If you don’t believe it, check out what is going on in San Francisco and New York City. Firearms that were legally purchased and registered are being confiscated or forcibly modified according to recently passed ordinances. In NY owners of innocuous .22 rimfire rifles and common hunting shotguns are, overnight and through no action of their own, declared felons for the crime of owning a long gun capable of holding more than five rounds. Guess what – ALL .22 rifles, other than single shot youth trainers, hold more than five rounds! In more than one case in the news owners of rifles that are both family heirlooms and valuable vintage artifacts are being offered the choice of selling, surrendering, or permanently modifying (thereby destroying the value of) treasured antiques. Would you find it acceptable to force collectors or museums to apply flame retardants to a twelfth century tapestry? How about compelling the fitting of anti-lock brakes, airbags, and catalytic converters to a million-dollar Bugatti automobile. Grotesque! A crime against history! In San Francisco gun owners are not even being offered compensation for their seized personal property. These guns, some rare national treasures, are to be DESTROYED!

          When people speak of restrictions on gun ownership based on mental health, what exactly do they mean? Will this include anyone who has ever taken an anti-depressant? How about a prescription sleep aid? How long ago? Dianne Feinstein has already proposed that our veterans be barred from gun ownership because of the elevated RISK of PTSD! Our veterans! These proposed regulations are so open to abuse and selective enforcement as to be truly frightening.

          “Common sense” is not enough, particularly when the people advocating legislative solutions display a profound ignorance of all things relating to guns. This lack of knowledge and understanding extends to not only technical matters, but includes lack of understanding of laws already on the books.

          And before you repeat that old lie of “no one wants to take your guns”, consider the examples of New York City and San Francisco given above.

          Finally, I agree, I know nothing of your personal life or beliefs. When you act or speak publicly in support of laws or policy I find abhorrent, though, I feel justified in speaking out in opposition.

        • PavePusher

          I have no obligation to be ‘civil’ to anyone who wishes to deprive me of my rights.

    • michaeljball

      How on earth do you LOBBY for gun control and not even understand what you are talking about? The gun he used was not banned, and under the new proposed ban a gun that functions in an identical manner also would not be banned. Educate yourself on the Assault Weapons Ban with this video I made:

      Furthermore, these are not weapons of the battlefield. I’ve been on a battlefield, you have no concept of weapons of war. Furthermore, the AR15 is considered not even powerful enough to hunt deer with by LAW in many states.

      If you are going to lobby for more gun-control, go ahead, but how on earth do you do this with zero idea of what you are talking about?

      • fun bobby

        too bad the gun grabbers wont watch it and if they did they would want to ban them all

        • michaeljball

          Semi-automatic firearms are almost undoubtedly protected under Heller, and popular opinion, so let them try. It would further destroy their credibility when it comes to them having any idea what they are talking about, as well as any political foothold they have. The funny thing is, they actually think an AWB would do anything.

          • fun bobby
          • michaeljball

            Thanks, I refinished the stock myself (0000 steel wool alternated wtih 12 layers of linseed oil over two weeks), don’t worry though, it was a reproduction stock from CMP.


          • fun bobby

            beauty, those cmp guns are no longer cheap. I will be refurbishing an old Russian surplus maybe I will follow your method. you must be one of the lucky country dwellers who are allowed firearms in the commonwealth.

          • michaeljball

            Haha, I am in the Western part of the state currently, but my hometown which boarders Boston recently got a new police chief who apparently is more gun-friendly than the last, none of my friends have had issues getting the restrictions removed from their licenses as soon as he took up shop.

            The CMP guns are nice (the whole thing was re-parkerized as well). I am tempted to get another before they are all gone, but I have a bunch more EBRs on the list, as well as I really want an M1 carbine and some other American milsurps first. I’ll probably greatly regret not ordering another one now.

          • fun bobby

            its crazy that our rights are at the whim of unelected bureaucrats and there is no real recourse. one of obamas EO will make it more difficult to get milsurp

    • justaguy

      That gun was never “meant for the battlefield”. It is a neutered version of the M16′s used in wars and in fact would never be issued to soldiers because it lacks the abilities of the REAL weapons of war.
      You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.

      • michaeljball

        Thank you. Here are some weapons of war you may find in an infantry platoon: TOW guided missile system, Javelin fire and forget missile system, LAW light anti tank weapon (rocket), AT4 84mm Anti-tank rocket, Mk32 Grenade launcher, M203 grenade launcher, M2 .50 cal belt fed machinegun, M240 Medium Machinegun, Mk19 beltfed grenade machine gun, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, and many more which I am leaving out, M67 fragmentation grenade. Finally, you have an automatic or burst capable M4/M16, which is NOT the same thing as an AR15, and hardly a “weapon of war” like the above mentioned weapons are. But continue to pretend to know what you are talking about.

        • justaguy

          Wonder if anyone on the show today mentioned anything about Class III licenses?

          • fun bobby

            that would make things too complicated .guns r bad mkay, and if you have guns then you are bad because guns are bad mkay so don’t own guns mkay

    • fun bobby

      26 people in 10 minutes is less than 3 per minute. you can do that with a musket or a pointy stick. the most deadly school shooting was achieved with standard sized pistol magazines and pistols. the columbine shooting took place during the AWB.

    • wysoft

      Your entire argument is null and void, because Connecticut is one of the few states that retained a law mirroring the provisions of the 1994 AWB.

      That being aside, the 1994 AWB has already been determined to have not been a factor the the prevention of any crimes during that period. Do you know who came to that conclusion? The Department of Justice did: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/340941/doj-memo-assault-weapons-ban-unlikely-have-impact-gun-violence-eliana-johnson

      Columbine occured during the AWB – the two shooters simply carried a large amount of ten-round magazines.

    • PavePusher

      Bullshit. The very same gun could still have been purchased. Your ignorance of the law is not an excuse for your idiocy.

  • Mike

    Much has been said pro- and anti- gun control. A little has been said about mental health care to stop gun violence.

    Obama-Care requires health insurance to cover mental health care. My insurance policy did not– I suspect most health insurance did not cover mental health care (it is expensive and not easy). So, in the long run (changes this big will take time), will this gradually reduce violence?

  • Ross M Donald

    Wow. No push back? One reason why we have had no new regulations to help prevent gun violence is that the media has served as an uncritical platform for pro-gun talking points. To allow an industry “expert” to spout off unchallenged is a disgrace. Next time, please find an interviewer, who is up to the task.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Reality supports gun rights.

    • fun bobby

      really? better to have Bob costas as long as he is towing your line right?

  • USAAllTheWay

    I thought it was a great show!

  • tribrn

    Wait, so preventing people from buying guns is “very extreme”, but involuntarily taking people into custody and treating them is quite reasonable?

    Also, for somebody who claims to be for universal background checks, he seems to argue against universal background checks a lot.

    • fun bobby

      we used to hospitalize crazy people now we hand them a bottle of pills and send them on their way. is that good for them or us? or is it just a way to save money?

  • PA Jack

    Chicago and New York City have an almost virtual ban on handguns and yet they have some of the highest rates of gun violence in the United States, why is that? did you ever wonder why the vast majority of mass shootings have occurred in “gun free zones”, including the one in Aurora, Colorado? because gun control doesn’t work! BUT … I am completely in favor of background checks just like the comprehensive checks that we have here in Pennsylvania, even for background checks on ammunition and components, if the system could be upgraded to be able to handle it. But what I found really ludicrous was the uproar made about the comment of “a good guy with a gun” and yet when the children from Newtown were taken to their new school it was proclaimed to be the “safest school in America” and I wonder why that was, because it was surrounded by people with guns!! how hypocritical.
    My wife and I are responsible gun owners, we participate in shooting sports and we train numerous times during the year in self defense tactics using our handguns. Even though you are trying your best to take away my right to own a firearms you can rest assure that if your life is being threatened, and I’m there near you, I will do my best to defend your life even though I’m quite sure you “wouldn’t be able to” do the same for me.

    Best, Jack

  • Jordan

    Yet, no one manages to discuss the number of kids killed or horribly injured due to bicycle related accidents. Which, by the way, dwarfs those killed by any type of gun related violence. And last I checked, you don’t have to get a permit to buy a bike, there are no classes to take, no background check on the people that buy bikes, no waiting period to buy a bike, no limit to the number of bikes one can purchase and no registration of bikes either. Consistency people, how about exercising some?
    And here’s something else for you folks waving your authoritative finger at people…. Over 85 MILLION law abiding gun owners shot NO ONE today.

  • OgunquitR

    Seems to me this wasn’t much of a discussion. Mr. Barrett had a lot of “facts” at his disposal, but think they were far from unimpeachable. It would have been a lot better if someone could have challenged him on some of his more sweeping generalizations.

    It’s gotten to the point in this country where a mass shooting can no longer be considered an anomaly. And I don’t believe that a recall election on pro-gun control state legislators in an off-cycle election precisely demonstrates national lack of support for tightening the laws on universal background checks.

    • fun bobby

      A perfect universal background check system can address the gun shows and might deter many unregulated private sellers. However, this does not address the largest sources (straw purchasers and theft), which would most likely become larger if background checks at gun shows and private sellers were addressed. The secondary market is the primary source of crime guns. Ludwig and Cook (2000) compared states that introduced Brady checks to those states that already had background checks and found no effect of the new background checks. They hypothesized that the background checks simply shifted to the secondary market those offenders who normally purchased in the primary market.

      • Wfeather1942

        Perfect universal background checks requires registration, then again, when one reviews gun policy dot org, a international gun control database, we see how even rabid gun control countries, at best average around 25% of their guns being registered, hmmmmmm. Reality is there is no such thing as a perfect universal background check system and never will be!

        Not to mention the BATF refusing or unable to prosecute more than 1% of the 2,043 mil rejected since 1997, or the 95.52% (over 21 mil) who dont even attempt to buy from a licensed source to begin with, or the 2.23 mil straw buyers the BATF let pass the background check.

        But most of all, they would have to repeal the 5th amendment to make any law requiring a bad guy to identify themself as licenses, background checks, registrations etc,etc…do, for it not to be a violation of their 5th amendment right of no self incrimination.

        Yeah, so sad the bad guys cant be punished by a law, the anti gun nuts claim will reduce violence by said bad guys, what an oxymoron that is!

        • fun bobby

          the statement above was taken directly from an Obama administration report. its a pipe dream if they think gangbangers are going to go the gun store and pay for a check to buy a gun from an illegal gun dealer

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    It’s easier to own a gun? That’s how it should be. Gun ownership and carry is a right.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    We trust teachers to take care of students hours a day for ten months out of the year. Why don’t we trust them to defend those children’s lives?

  • Duane_Dibbley

    I tuned in today to this story and I had to check my radio dial to make sure I wasn’t listening to Rush Limbaugh. The guest’s assertions were not questioned in the interview. More balance, please.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      There are a lot of gun control advocates interviewed on NPR. Listen to a new point of view.

    • https://twitter.com/NPR_Watch National Progressive Radio

      Uh, they are BOTH gun control advocacy journalists. I guess you’re used to more strident gun control advocacy on tax – subsidized “impartial” NPR.

    • michaeljball

      Leave it to an “open minded” NPR listener to discount anything they don’t agree with as propaganda and “rush Limbaugh.” BALANCE means you may not necessarily agree with everything you hear, or have everything you hear backup your baseless assumptions. As someone who most certainly would not identify as a democrat (or republican for that matter) I consider NPR and WBUR specifically as one of the least bias news stations there is.

    • fun bobby

      which specifically did you think should be questioned?

    • brianparker

      You have never actually listened to Rush Limbaugh, have you?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Exactly. Gun laws have loosened, and violent crime rates are at a decades-long low.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Violating the rights of citizens should cost politicians their jobs.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Supporting the rights of citizens isn’t cowardly or lazy. It’s the right thing to do. Watts desires to have our rights violated.

  • peter

    Mental illness is the common thread in all of these shooting. Diagnosed psychotic patients can go out and buy guns because gun sellers will never know they are ill. What can be done to prevent this?

    • fun bobby

      for one thing the state of MA does not share their records of those determined insane by the courts

    • Leadbelly

      Please be aware that tying gun rights to mental health issues is a good idea, but open to abuse by the powers-that-be. Do we ban every one who has ever been prescribed an anti-depressant or sleep aid at any time in their life? If so, that’s about half the US population in one fell swoop. Dianne Feinstein has stated that our veterans – OUR VETERANS – should be forbidden to own arms because of an elevated risk of PTSD. Who draws the line?

  • https://twitter.com/NPR_Watch National Progressive Radio

    Another H & N “balanced” piece of journalism–in the NPR alternate universe sense of the word. All sides of the Left, with dialog between 2 gun control advocacy journalists.

  • Mattyster

    I am really sick of hearing that no gun control law would have made any difference in any terrible incident or any day-to-day gun violence. That is just plain BS. Mental health care needs to be improved but in the gun debate it’s a red herring. The reason we have so much gun violence is because we have so many guns. And just for the record, until the recent ruling by our extreme conservative activist Supreme Court everyone knew that the 2nd amendment was never intended to mean that anyone anywhere can have any weapon of war that they want for their personal use. The current situation was bought and paid for by the gun lobby, including whipping up the persecution complex among many gun owners.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The right of the people–it’s so hard to understand what that means?

    • 1 former democrat

      We live in a violence worshipping society. How many hours are spent watching college and pro football every week end? Millions at least. Who wants to ban football besides me? The reason we have so much gun violence is because people are violent.

      • Trey

        1/2 right at best. Humans are violent, and violent humans that are not opposed tend to become more so,

    • fun bobby



      if they were not persecuting us we would not be concerned

    • RustyBrass

      You’ve been listening to the MSM too closely.

      Your use of the term ” gun violence” is a tip off.
      Violence is bad, ALL violence, except for the necessary capability to defend oneself.

      Weapons of war? Yes that is exactly what the 2nd amendment was about!

      The 2A war written and agreed to, to prevent a tyrannical central government from running roughshod over the rights of we the people.

      The current situation is a grass roots response or educated people to the faulty logic and ignorance of the liberal media, coupled with the venal efforts of politicians that want a monopoly of force.

      • Trey

        Please define weapon of war.
        would any of these count for you ?

        Pointed sticks (Spears)
        Stones (sling)
        Butcher Knives (daggers)
        Hatchets (Battle Axe)
        Base Ball Bats (Club/Mace)
        Tow chain (flail)
        Wooden dowels ( Quarter Staff)
        16 penny nails (Caltrops)
        Leaf Springs (1/2 way to Crossbow)
        Baboo (Punji Sticks)
        Chlorine Bleach + various (chemical weapons)
        Car Bumpers (Rams i.e. ships)
        Information (C3I )
        Gasoline and Soap flakes (Napalm)
        Match Heads (Blasting powder/propellant)

        The list goes on of course… the “weapons of war” meme covers what ever the .gov wishes really.

    • Trey

      Actually there are a good number of studies that show the violence level in USA is culture not tech.. oh and by the way that gun free paradise of Jamaica is far more violent than the USA.

  • JP

    thinking about policy that would impact or reduce mass shootings –
    could making gun owners accountable for the crimes that are committed
    with their weapons have an impact on violent gun crime? Guns should be
    locked and secured when not used, and owners should be held responsible
    if they aren’t taking this precaution and their weapon is used in a
    violent crime. Much in the same way that parents are now being held
    accountable if minors drinking in their homes endanger themselves or
    others in the process.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      No more than car owners should be punished if drunks steal their cars and hurt people.

    • fun bobby

      those are already laws. Nancy lanza was in violation of her states firearms storage laws. like most sensible gun laws they are already laws

      • Wfeather1942

        Funny, why was there in the recently released police report on the Sandy Hook incident, a photo of the Lanza home, with a gun safe for storing guns, as part of their evidence, hmmmmm.

        • fun bobby

          having a gun safe and securing your guns from your insane son are not the same thing. Clearly she did not have the gun that was used to shoot her in the face inaccessible to her son as required by CT law did she?

    • Trey

      So you will hold those who have cars stolen to the same standard..

      And cash.. a lot of evil can be done with cash too.

  • Concern11111111111111

    I was in Real Estate for 9 years and this is what I learned about guns from going in and out of people’s homes. A careful gun owner is fine and they keep their guns secure but I was shocked at the amount of guns that people own that I saw lying around in garages, sheds, attics and basements that anyone could have taken and the gun would not have been missed. Usually the gun owner had past away or moved out for some reason and the gun was left. I think we need more education and a buy back program for guns that are no longer wanted to keep these guns off the street.

    • fun bobby

      lucky for you there are several. they have no impact on crime but are a popular feel good activity for gun grabbers who can boast about how many guns they got “off the streets” meanwhile those guns were just rusting in a dead mans garage otherwise

      • Trey

        they can also be fun for private and well heeled citizens to pick up a few bargins.. never had the chance my self as “buy backs” don’t much happen in Texas

    • Trey

      They often have knives and “bomb making materials” c.f. Molotov cocktail too. So what is your point ?

      and the .gov can not buy BACK what was never theirs to begin with.

  • it_disqus

    Once again Jeremy Hobson asks questions and does not listen to answers. He just continues to try to steer the “interview” the direction he wants. He even ends with something like; we would like to hear from you our listeners on how to create the outrage that called for gun control we had the days right after New Town. Not hard to see which side this news guy is playing for.

  • Bev

    I have said for the last 15 years that the problem is mental health not gun-control. Whenever I mention mental health as a solution eyes glaze over and in a very short period of time the conversation goes right back to the subject of gun-control. Unfortunately, in the US the average person doesn’t understand good mental health and insurance companies are not funding good mental health anymore. Due to the strong insurance industry lobby, legislation and funding for good mental health education and treatment would, of course, be a much harder fixed. But until we accept that we are only putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg we will continue to have these horrific mass killings while scratching our heads and wondering what to do.

  • IdahoMan

    “After Newtown, Guns Easier To Own In Some States”


    The current laws we have on the books now are dangerous and serve no purpose other than allow for the government to go after gun-owners. They should have never been placed there and need to be repealed.

    No paperwork should be involved in the transfer of a firearm. Like private sales.

  • road.rep

    There is nothing wrong with our gun laws. There is a lot wrong with our mental health laws. The left wing loonies are going to whine and complain forever, pretending that they can pin the problem on the gun. The gun is a tool. The person using the tool is the problem. Our gun laws do not need revision. Our mental health laws do!

    Want proof? Just look at Chicago where guns are not sold and are outlawed for almost everybody. But I seem to remember hearing about a shooting or two (or maybe 200) in the windy city. When the left wing fixes gun violence with gun legislation there, I’ll listen to what the want to do elsewhere.

    • fun bobby

      actually I think you have it figured out. they are crazy and if we start having a lot of scrutiny on mental health they might all end up in the looney bin

  • JodiB

    In CA, if a person is involuntarily admitted to a psych hospital they must sign a form that tells them they can’t buy a gun for 5 years. They can refuse to sign but the law remains. I have no idea how or if the law is enforced. In Colorado, however, there is no such law.
    (Sorry if this is a repeat post, I wasn’t sure my first went through.)

    • Don

      Actually, an involuntary commitment is prohibiting at the Federal level FOR LIFE.

  • RW

    I must say, I was pleasantly suprised while listening to this segment on my way home today. Normally I cringe whenever I hear a piece on gun legislation come on the radio or tv. Although many who have commented below have derided Mr. Barrett’s position and logic, I found his opinion to be a very clear, concise and realistic view of the subject. I also believe that it was a very neutral prospective of what has become an extremely divisive subject.
    I am a legal and responsible firearm owner as is my wife. We both work in elementary schools and wish that the “Gun Free Zone” legislation was repealed, not because we are slobering bloodthirsty gun toting rednecks but because we feel that “Gun Free Zones” have the potential to endanger our lives and those in our charge by placing a rather large target on our foreheads. Are we members of the NRA, you bet! Is Mr. LaPierre a good spokesman in my opinion, NO but then again I don’t think my Senator is doing a hell of job either. So why are we members? Because the NRA for all of its bad press speaks up for our rights and does a damn good job of it. As far as the protection of my Second Amendment rights goes, I have more faith in the NRA then my Senator. President Obama was very fond of the phrase that 98% of Americans were for “Common Sense gun legislation”. Well apparently either his precentage, his idea of “Common Sense” or his tactics were wrong. Maybe it was all three!
    The First Amendment of the Constitution affords every citizen the right to speak his or her mind on whatever subject comes up and I applaud that right. Do I feel that it is wrong to burn the American flag, absolutely but I respect the right of the individual that does because he is exercising his right under the First Amendment. What people fail to realize is that the Second Amendment is not just about my right to own a gun, more importantly it affords every American a means of defending those rights we hold dear from those who would take them away whether they be foreign or domestic. The Second Amendment is the protector of all of our rights and for that I believe it is our greatest and most important Amendment.
    Is it tragic that innocent people are dying at the hands of others every day…absolutely! If a man, after breaking up with his girlfriend stops by his favorite watering hole for a few too many before going home and on his way home drives his automobile through a crowd of grade school students waiting for their bus to pick them up from a field trip, killing 20 students and 6 teachers would that not be a tragedy of the same magnitude? In that instance do we place a ban on automobiles or alcoholic drinks? Does the President then come down to use this tragedy as another opportunity to once again be in front of the cameras with a group of grief stricken school children and their parents to rail against the automotive industry, an industry that produces and markets a 2+ ton object with the ability of traveling 75 miles an hour and has the potential when used improperly to destroy the lives within as well as the lives it comes in contact with? No, the driver is irresponsible and the cause of these horrible deaths, not the automobile and he should be held accountable not the automobile industry nor all those who own an automobile and use one responsibly on a daily basis. If we can agree that the this is infact ” Common Sense” then why can we not agree that the firearm like the automobile is nothing more than an inanimate object and no more at fault, that it is merely an instrument used improperly and recklessly. And if we can go that far can we not also agree that it is the person who uses it improperly that is at fault.
    A lot has been said about “Common Sense” when it comes to guns. Common Sense is locking them up so unauthorized users cannot gain access. Common Sense is teaching family members of all ages to respect the power of a firearm and not to think of it as a toy. Common Sense is keeping tabs on our childrens habits, tempers, relationships, hobbies etc and owning up to our responsiblities as parents. Common Sense is instructing our children to be mindful of those around them and the situations they find themselves in so they can identify when danger is present and take the responsiblity to say “Hey, I think there is something wrong here and I should tell someone”. Common Sense is prosecuting those who commit violent crimes to the fullest extent of the law using the laws already on the books. Common Sense is also admiting that violence in whatever form while tragic is sometimes unavoidable, it has been a part of the human experience since Cain killed Able.

    • fun bobby

      liberals were too late to save able with sensible rock control legislation they had proposed

  • justaguy

    Criminals STEAL guns; they do not go to the store to buy them. Gun control only affects the law abiding.

  • justaguy

    If Background Checks were around at the time of the founding of this nation, the Founding Fathers would have been shot by the British with that information.

    • Trey

      Some are now pushing for the you can own it but it has to be in a state run arsenal … of course the reason for Lexington and Concord was exactly that ! shame schools no longer (for the most part) teach History.

  • justaguy

    For all of those who want more Gun Control, please Google: “Castle Rock Gonzalez NYTimes” and click on the link for the New York Times.
    Long story made short: You have NO Constitutional right to police protection

  • justaguy

    A gun is the ONLY THING ON THE PLANET which puts a 100 pound woman on equal footing with a 300 pound man? Who could be against that???????

    • Bigred2989

      The 300 pound man obviously.

  • justaguy

    If gun control really worked, “gun free zones” such as schools would be bastions of safety. Instead, the opposite is true.

  • justaguy

    If owning a gun carries a risk of causing unjustified injury or death, then why don’t insurance companies offer “gun-free home” discounts for liability policyholders who do not own guns? If anyone is able to quantify such a risk, surely the insurance companies could.

    • fun bobby

      I bet the crooks would love a list of gun free homes

      • Trey

        Given the massive fraud in the insurance industry do you really think most of the ones listed as gun free would be ?

        Also they would much prefer the gun in place list so as to wait for a good chance to break in and avoid all the red tape the law abiding have to deal with.

        • fun bobby

          probably plus guns are expensive you want to make sure you can replace them if they are stolen so probably a good idea to make sure they are on your homeowners plan

  • justaguy

    Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

  • justaguy

    I wish every legislator who votes against guns would tell their secret service agents to disarm. Only then would we see who truly is against guns.

    • fun bobby

      and get rid of their guns as well

  • justaguy

    Experts agree that everyone needs a 401k to prepare for retirement. And experts also agree that everyone should have a fire extinguisher…..and smoke detectors, and 6 months savings in case of emergency.
    Why do experts have you prepare for every possible contingency except for the most precious of them all- your life? Makes. Absolutely. No. Sense.

  • justaguy

    Why does the so called “right to privacy” extend to those getting abortions but not to gunowners?

  • justaguy

    Imagine for just a second the United Nationspassed a worldwide resolution proclaiming that people worldwide could not punch back if they were punched in the nose. An action should be met with a proportional consequence, but the United Nations wants to stop this and have everyone put their hands up. That would be crazy, not to mention immoral and unethical. People the world over would say they are not complying with such a resolution, and justifiably so as self-defense is a basic human right. But that is precisely what is happening when guns are not allowed in the hands of law-abiding citizens!

  • justaguy

    Imagine a Byzantine system of 22,000 varying laws from state to state dictating what words could and could not be said. Who in their right mind would think this would be Constitutional for even a minute? How is the 2A any different?

    • fun bobby

      imagine needing a voting permit. a may issue voting permit!

      • Trey

        Far easier to vote than buy a firearm from a FFL. You even have to show a Photo ID. shocking I know!

    • Trey

      Check the new IRS regs being proposed … well on the way to your scenario.

  • justaguy

    It’s already illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase long guns or ammo in many places; 21 for handguns or handgun ammo. It’s already illegal for anyone to be in possession of a loaded gun in their car or in public without a permit. It’s already illegal for anyone to do anything bad with a gun. If the police can’t enforce the laws we have already, how are they going to enforce new restrictions? The truth is, they can’t/won’t. They will depend on law-abiding citizens to cut another branch off the tree of liberty in exchange for yet another empty government promise of protection.

  • justaguy

    Cars are a deadly weapon and regularly kill many people…..one of the leading causes of death is MVA”s. I think everyone should have to show a special gas ID before they are allowed to buy gas. See how silly that looks? It is no different with guns.

    • fun bobby

      yup a child could buy some gas and burn down a crowded building of people. no permits needed

  • justaguy

    In reality, there should be ZERO gun laws. If one cannot be trusted to own a gun and to walk the streets among civilized men, then why should they be trusted to drive a car, or to be around knives?

    • fun bobby

      and those who truly should not have them will not be around long

  • justaguy

    The Battle of Athens TN,……why we have (and need) the 2A!


  • justaguy

    Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone


  • fun bobby

    this is a good read for any interested people

  • fun bobby

    that lady cop looks like she just found a turd in the punchbowl

    • Lencho


  • fun bobby

    that lady cop looks like she found a turd in the punchbowl. (for some reason this got deleted)

    • Rachel Rohr, Here & Now

      Hi @disqus_IO6TDHXEQX:disqus, We reserve the right to remove comments that violate our community discussion rules http://www.wbur.org/community/rules The comment was off-topic. If it was slightly crude but on-topic, I would have let it slide!

      • fun bobby

        it referred to the photo

  • Trey

    ” through Congress that would in anyway be a meaningful addition to the federal rules that already exist”

    or put another way

    through Congress that would in anyway be a meaningful reduction in the right of the people as stated in the Bill of Rights to keep and bear arms.

  • Mancave Heywood

    You guys want to see something really disgusting, go on facebook and check out “moms demand action for gun sense in America” try leaving a comment that doesn’t agree with their agenda and see how fast it is removed and you are blocked. This is going to be a hard a bloody battle soon that we are going to have to undergo if we want to keep our rights. These people are the perfect examples of sheep and are just here to be yes men to the overlords.

    • My2Bits

      Agreed (and banned as well) They are not interested in hear other opinions or ideas. Even when they are blatantly, factually wrong.

      • dust truck

        Considering the violent and hateful rhetoric who can blame them? You gun nuts are ticking timebombs just waiting for the “revolution” to start.

    • dust truck

      “This is going to be a hard a bloody battle soon” So you admit that you bought your firearms with the sole purpose of killing people? Good to know.

    • djstucrew

      Quite true. They blocked me, and I was polite in the extreme.

  • Barry Hirsh

    “What’s happened on gun control since then?”

    Not much. You see, the core issue has already been addressed:

    “[T]he enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” – DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER
    (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

  • rompus

    Let’s not forget all of the money that Bloomberg and others are dumping into the anti gun movement. So what if the gun makers get rich? They employ thousands of people in this country , and the vast amounts of guns they produce for civilian use are NEVER used to kill another human. I own guns and enjoy target shooting (I do not hunt) and just enjoy the sheer fun of shooting,which is true for many of us.

  • PavePusher

    Got to love the picture. If I was going to chose anyone who appeared to be totally incompetent with a firearm…..

  • fun bobby

    judging from the enlightened comments on this thread we may be turning a corner in this struggle to protect our civil rights

  • djstucrew

    What new law, I wonder, would’ve prevented Sandy Hook, short of shredding the 2nd Amendment rights of the innocent? People blurt “gun control,” but don’t usually mention any specifics. We know that NICS — the background check system — works fairly well, and many of us NRA members don’t oppose to making it truly universal, but the horrible mess of a bill they tried to foist on us was unacceptable. I, for one, hope they try again, putting NICS online for ALL sellers and making it FREE. That’s “criminal control,” not gun control IMO.

    Restricting access to guns to the law abiding does NOT affect criminals or gangs, who perpetrate most “gun crime.” Current efforts to do so are misguided. You can always tell a bad gun law from a good one this way: will cops accept it? If they want to ban standard sized magazines, will cops accept the same restrictions? Will they give up their AR-15 style rifles? The reason they want to be exempt is the same for me: those things save lives. Barrett has it right: those measures wouldn’t have stopped the Navy Yard shooting. Most others, I’d add.

    The focus must change. You can’t stop slander and plagiarism by banning word processing software; you can’t stop child pornography by banning video equipment; you can’t stop obesity by banning silverware. Those are all BEHAVIORS, and the focus, then, must be on the people and what drives those behaviors. People understand this. That’s why, even in our grief over the deaths of innocent children, there has been no “momentum” for new gun control.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 22 Comment

What Do We Have To Teach Plato?

Philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein discusses her new book "Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away."

April 22 20 Comments

Children’s Literature: Apartheid Or Just A General Lack of Color?

African-American children's book authors Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers weigh in.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.