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Newtown School Shooting: McCollum Urges Immediate Congressional Action to End 'Epidemic of Gun Violence'

Do you agree with Rep. Betty McCollum? What do you think is at issue in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting? Is it gun control? Addressing mental health? Both? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Fourth District Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D) issued the following statement .

"Today’s elementary school shooting is heartbreaking. As a mother, the mass murder of young school children and educators is incomprehensible. My prayers are with all families of the victims.

"The time has come for President Obama, Congress and the American people to come together to act immediately to end the epidemic of gun violence and the proliferation of guns designed to be weapons of mass murder. Inaction and obstruction by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to common sense gun laws is not tolerable.”

Susan January 17, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Clarification: I oppose the majority vote on policy. I do think we should have let the majority of the vote decide who gets elected.
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Gun control is a slippery slope. If you give a little to start with it will not seem like a big deal, then you give up a little something else then a little more and before you know it you have given up your rights. Gun control is my line in the sand and I willingly give nothing.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Jim, do you support the entire second amendment, or just the last line that says "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 01:24 AM
I believe in the entire 2nd amendment and believe it was written to stop tyrannical leaders from doing what they want. Like bypassing the legal system and mandating law. Obama is a low life to be kind. Why did he do nothing about gun control for his first four year in office if it was soooooo important to him? Because he knows he could not have been reelected if he tried. So he waited for an opportunity, whipped up a few tears and now dictates what he wants, and if you don’t follow his lead you are evil. If Obama keeps up what he is doing we will need a well regulated militia to protect our other freedoms. And if Blondie8508 is truly with law enforcement that is just another reason to be well armed.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 01:32 AM
Well now, after that last line, how could I argue with you? :-) As I said, I certainly need to read more about the executive order (and all that it entails) this weekend. I will however, pose a question to you. Obama was certainly not guaranteed a second term. If he wanted so badly to take away our guns (or even regulate them) why did he wait until a second term, when a second term was not guaranteed? If it was his true motivation or his hidden agenda, it would be a bit silly to wait for a time when he might not be president, don't you think? I fear you are falling for the NRA's fear mongering, but I trust that you do more reading than their (and Fox's) websites...?
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Because he had zero chance of a second term if he went for our guns in a first term. It was more important to get a second term. Or maybe guns were not an issue before Election Day. If you believe that I have misjudged your IQ by quite a bit.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 02:23 AM
I choose to believe that THIS event prompted him to act as no one before has had the guts to....if that diminishes my IQ in your view, I'm okay with that.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 02:24 AM
Conspiracy theories are not my thing. I choose to judge, react, and decide based on evidence and facts. Anything beyond that is for the fringe elements on the internet....but that's just my opinion.
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 02:26 AM
So none of the other shooting were a big deal the Oboma I guess.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Wrong, and please don't twist my words. If this particular event didn't hit you hard or harder than the rest, you don't have a heart.
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 02:50 AM
I will go back to what I said earlier. Obama know he could not win a second term if he went against the gun lobby. So he waited for the time to be right and whipped up a tear. He is not a stupid person and plays his cards well. We will have to wait to see who has trump.
Markus January 17, 2013 at 03:05 AM
"our Congress is so dysfunctional right now that I really don't have too many objections to side stepping them at this point" You should object with every fiber of your being! If you really believe in a republican form of government, which you say you do, the actions of the current president (and former presidents as well) should make your blood boil. Regarding your "well regulated militia" qualifier for the second amendment, you're way off base. How can it be that every other amendment in the Bill of Rights pertains explicitly to the rights of individuals, but you read the second amendment to somehow apply only to a "well regulated" organization? That simply doesn't pass the logic test and it's clear that was not the intended meaning. '"How much freedom are you willing to give up to be "safe"?" This is nothing more than a cliche.' You suggest that disarming law abiding people will keep you safer. If the police had the ability to search anyone at random, wouldn't that potentially keep us safer? How about if we didn't have to fiddle around with a trial for a heinous criminal. We could just shoot them. That would keep us safer wouldn't it? So let's get rid of the fourth amendment and the sixth amendment as well. We would all be much safer then. Because isn't safety our ultimate goal? I don't think you really understand what freedom entails. It entails responsibility and risk. Absolute safety is an unachievable pursuit.
Jim Flaherty January 17, 2013 at 03:22 AM
I have never committed a crime any worse then a few speeding tickets over 20 years ago. But the President has no issue trying to take away a gun or two I may have. Why? What did I do to be treated like a criminal? Will the 4th amendment help me? Not if Obama has his way. I’m a little concerned about the 22nd as well. And again Gun control is my line in the sand and I willingly give nothing.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Sure, just as GWB used ground zero as a backdrop (for a tear) so he could squash our right to privacy...I'm sure he was just waiting for it to happen. Or are you one of those who think it was staged so the president could promote his true and secret agenda? Again, I will say...give me a break!
Susan January 17, 2013 at 01:37 PM
Markus wrote: "You should object with every fiber of your being!" Oh, for crying out loud, Markus, it was a joke, and I clarified that with the next sentence that you chose to either ignore for your purposes of correcting and scolding me, or you just didn't want to consider it. You wrote: "Regarding your "well regulated militia" qualifier for the second amendment, you're way off base." No, I'm not. The gun advocates love to quote the second half of the amendment but often want to ignore the first part. The amendment clearly says that the militia must be well regulated. In 1791, the term "well regulated" meant "well trained". You want to own any and all the guns you want, and I want to make sure you are well trained in the laws, the use of each of the weapons, and the consequences of mistakes and sloppiness. You CAN NOT demand one line of an amendment be recognized and ignore the other, it simply does not pass the smell test. You wrote: "You suggest that disarming law abiding people will keep you safer." Now you are just making crap up! I've never suggested that we disarm people, make guns illegal, etc. What I want are some common sense items apply to the purchase of guns – training, universal background checks, etc. I understand freedom. I also understand anarchy. Do you? Instead of claiming that everyone who disagrees with you 'just doesn't understand', maybe you should take a look at your own position.
Markus January 17, 2013 at 03:05 PM
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand? The "well regulated Militia" is not a qualifier. To read it as a qualifier you would have had to have flunked English class. In order for it to mean what you want it to mean it would have to read "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the well regulated militia to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Or how about this? "Only a well regulated militia shall have the right to keep and bear arms, the right of the unregulated people will be infringed." You didn't address the clear intent of the Bill of Rights that explicitly pertains to "the people". An accurate paraphrase of the 2nd amendment could read "Since we need a well regulated militia, the people should be well armed in the case they are called into action, so the right to bear arms shall not be infringed". Even if you could make the argument more laws would keep us safer (which you can't), forcing people who have not broken any laws to be subject to a background check, which is tantamount to a search, is also a clear violation of the fourth amendment. On another note, we need more in Law Enforcement to be like this guy. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/01/16/pine-county-sheriff-vows-to-ignore-new-gun-restrictions/
Susan January 17, 2013 at 05:10 PM
So Markus, you prefer anarchy to a civilized society, good to know. It's not surprising to me why the Libertarian party cannot seem to get a good hold in this country. You are doing nothing more than word play with the second amendment. Tell me, in your opinion, why did our founders even bother with the words well regulated militia?
Markus January 17, 2013 at 06:52 PM
"Tell me, in your opinion, why did our founders even bother with the words well regulated militia?" Reread my post. I explained it pretty clearly. I recognize the sovereignty of the individual and subscribe to the non-aggression principle. That does not equal anarchy in the sense you think it does, as democratic majority rule (which is what we really have now) doesn't equal civilized society. In fact quite the opposite. History has borne out the fact that democracies always end and are replaced by a totalitarian government. http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/democracys-road-to-tyranny/#axzz2IG3nrhet
Susan January 17, 2013 at 07:13 PM
You wrote: "You didn't address the clear intent of the Bill of Rights that explicitly pertains to "the people". An accurate paraphrase of the 2nd amendment could read "Since we need a well regulated militia, the people should be well armed in the case they are called into action, so the right to bear arms shall not be infringed". Okay, I think we are missing each other's point. I understand that you are saying that in order to maintain that well regulated militia, we need to allow everyone uninfringed access to guns. Does this mean that they should be free? What about people that can't afford to buy a gun? Your assertion is that the founders were saying that people should be allowed guns to maintain the well regulated militia. I am saying that the founders wanted a well regulated (trained) militia by the people. Either way, it's clear that their goal was a well reglulated militia. How can we do that when no one is held to any standard for training? Thanks for the links. I will dig into this deeper this weekend and please feel free to list more you think I may find helpful. I really do appreciate your input and position and pushing your buttons occasionally is my way of better understanding where you are coming from, why, and the ideology behind it.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I think our big difference is that I recognize that not everyone has good and honest intentions and many are selfish, inconsiderate, and even nefarious. We need laws and regulations, as they do work to deter some bad behavior. Even more importantly, we need to punish those who do violate the laws much more severely. We need to make the punishment more of a deterrent as obviously people just don't care anymore whether they get caught breaking laws (and/or regulations). The problem with these shootings is that most are on suicide missions...what is worse punishment than that? All we can do is try to stop them before they do it. Of-course the question is how.
Susan January 17, 2013 at 07:43 PM
One other thing and then I promise to stop rambling; I really do understand your most important point which is that our freedoms are being chipped away slowly but surely. I am only trying to find a balance between legitimate laws that are indeed needed and those laws and regulations that are ridiculous and creating more problems than they are fixing. I also understand most issues regarding gun control (and what 'shall not be infringed' means), but I feel that when we can recognize and act to stop an individual that meets those five criteria that I have listed before, stopping these events WILL be possible. Yes, we do need to try to stop it from happening...and I know this is our other big difference, IMHO.
Markus January 17, 2013 at 09:56 PM
"Does this mean that they should be free" Nothing is free. "Yes, we do need to try to stop it from happening." You can't stop it. Once you come to realize that you might come to understand my rationale. You can't stop people from using alcohol or drugs, from driving drunk or too fast, or from committing some sort of random crime. Adam Lanza broke all kinds of laws, so logic would tell you passing more laws would not prevent it from happening again. We could get by with about 1/100th of the laws on the books. We need to repeal 99% of the laws and "reboot". The 10 commandments are really all we need. Don't kill, don't steal, don't bear false witness, honor your parents, don't covet your neighbor's stuff, don't sleep with your neighbors wife, etc. Actually, since we have a secular government and you're not really religious, let's dispense with the first four. There's nothing particularly religious about the last 6, in fact most are codified in current law. If Joyce is lurking, this may bring her out of the shadows. :o)
Susan January 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Well, how would someone who wants a gun, but can't afford to pay for it, get one? Isn't cost an infrigement, if one doesn't have the money? You're fine with some idiot teenager drinking a twelve pack of beer and driving down your street at 80 mph on a Saturday afternoon putting everyone outside at risk, but you would put me in jail for sleeping with my neighbor's husband? (I haven't and wouldn't!) Are you fine with someone buying the house next to yours and blasting their music outdoors all night long? How about trying to drive to work with no speed limit? Businesses polluting and knowingly poisoning (not enough to kill) people? Laws are made to deter behavior and protect citizens. If we have a free-for-all in society, where everyone is able to do whatever they want, with their only fear being someone's retaliation, what happens to those who are unable or don't want to fight back? They stay locked in their homes hoping those who are reckless and evil leave them alone. This IS NOT freedom! I could list pages of examples like the drunk teenager, where laws deter behavior and help protect society, but I'm sure you see what I am saying. Yes, I agree that many laws are redundant and ridiculous, but we do need laws. I don't want to live in the wild west, especially factoring in all of today's technology. I'm not sure that I've read anything from Joyce about gun control, but this new line of thinking may bring her out, if this thread is on her home page.
OLD MORT January 18, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Congress woman: Talk the talk but don't help Obama take our 2nd amendment rights away from us. Three wackos kill a bunch of people including kids...Three wackos and now the government wants to take our 2nd amendment rights away from us...how stupid is that?
Markus January 20, 2013 at 11:13 PM
This summarizes the absurdity of more gun legislation. http://karendecoster.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/weapon-guide.jpg
Markus January 21, 2013 at 03:18 PM
"You're fine with some idiot teenager drinking a twelve pack of beer and driving down your street at 80 mph on a Saturday afternoon putting everyone outside at risk, but you would put me in jail for sleeping with my neighbor's husband?" That's a stretch to say I'm fine with reckless behavior. The effects of adultery can be measured in millions of destroyed families. The resulting collateral damage is countless times worse than anything most "drunk" (.08) drivers do. So who should go to jail? I've always found it interesting that a person can cheat on their spouse, violate the marriage contract, completely destroy a person/family emotionally and financially and never spend 1 minute in jail while some guy has two beers with dinner and spends the night in jail and the next five years paying for it! It seems a little backwards. If any driver hurts or kills someone and they're found to be grossly negligent regardless of whether they've been drinking or not, their punishment should fit the crime. Obviously we need some laws, but most laws currently on the books could be condensed into a few basic laws protecting our life, our liberty and our property. "Businesses polluting and knowingly poisoning (not enough to kill) people?" The city puts a known poison in our water supply and people drink it every day. Ever heard of aspartame? The FDA is totally OK with poisoning the population with that. Our government is probably the worst offender and it's perfectly legal.
Susan January 21, 2013 at 03:31 PM
What's funny here is that I don't think that I can disagree with any of your statements in this last comment. Again, our difference is that you think (a lot) less laws will solve the problem and I think that common sense laws will solve the problem. Drunk driving laws do stop most people from driving drunk, but yes, the current limit is asinine. I don't think you can argue that without drunk driving laws, we would have a lot more drunk drivers on the road. One question: are you advocating that the government punish what it deems to be destructive sexual behavior? I don't disagree with your assessment of the results, but I can't believe YOU would suggest such a thing.
Susan January 21, 2013 at 03:39 PM
I'm going to change my conclusion just a bit. From what I have read, I think that you might be saying that we CAN'T fix the problems as bad people will be bad people, and making more laws only makes more problems. How close am I?
Markus January 21, 2013 at 06:45 PM
"From what I have read, I think that you might be saying that we CAN'T fix the problems as bad people will be bad people, and making more laws only makes more problems." Now you're getting it. "I don't think you can argue that without drunk driving laws, we would have a lot more drunk drivers on the road." The whole idea of "drunk" driving is a little specious and arbitrary. I would argue that you would have a lot more normally law abiding people who have consumed alcohol driving because they wouldn't be terrified of the consequences of getting pulled over. It's doubtful it would keep really drunk drivers since drunk people typically have little judgment making ability and will drive anyway. I'm not arguing the government punish adulterers. However, the wronged party should be able to sue for damages, but with our "no fault" divorce laws that's impossible. I've seen too many people get taken to the cleaners by a spouse who decides they don't want to honor their vows. Marriage is a contract and contract law should apply.
Susan January 21, 2013 at 08:16 PM
I think I've always understood it, it's just that I'm still trying to find that balance. It seems that the big question is whether or not laws deter enough bad behavior to be beneficial to society. Also whether the government should intervene with laws that help protect the innocent citizens' freedom and rights from those who do not respect those rights and freedoms. Two interesting points and great topics for (more) debate. I think I will check in with our old thread and see if I can get any of the others back in this. I also may start digging for information on the internet regarding both items. I would think it would be very difficult to measure whether laws deter behavior and/or actually protect the innocent as there is no way to measure something that doesn't happen.

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