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A compelling argument for stronger gun-control laws.

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Grant Gallicho is an associate editor of Commonweal. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



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Hitler did not take away our guns. He ordered Jews to turn in their weapons -- in 1938, more than three years after he took power. That was not the first thing he did, and when he did it, it was Jews only. During the war Wehrmacht soldiers on leave were required to have their weapons with them wherever they went. That may be only a factoid to Alex Jones, but it is one they haven't learned because they always go back to Hitler taking their guns away.

To clarify: Hitler became chancellor in 1933, but he didn't become Fuhrer until 1934. I think it is only fair in timing the "first thing he did," which allegedly was to take away everybody's guns, from the date he had total power.

But when did he start lacing the water supply with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors?

I thought Hitler made everyone get vaccinated. That's how it all starts, you know...

WOW....just WOW.....I am sure there a better people to debate the issue. Just reinforces my decision to fast from network and cable news as another New Years "aspiration"BUT BUT BUTIs it true that all the perpetrators of mass killings were on SSRI's. I am not suggesting that this is a causal factor and I think that access to guns is a major problem. However, analyzing the problem of mass killings requires a dispassionate analysis of all of the relevant variables. And clearly the perpetrators were recognized by somebody (or themselves) as having a serious enought mental health disorder to require a pharmaceutical drug. Does this not perhaps point to better risk managment. Apparently the psychiatrist in the Colarado shooting at the theatre found the risk of the man who shot all the patrons at the theatre high enough so to breech confidentiality and warn the university.Also, is it indeed a fact that violent crime in the US has actually been on the decline in the last 20 years? and is it true that the UK has a higher violen crime rate than the US?

And let's not forget fluoridation. Under the pretense of preventing tooth decay, they are plotting to contaminate our precious bodily fluids.

SSRI's ARE absolutely implicated in mass shootings and suicides. [check out Gary Null on that one too].Access to guns, the use of SSRI's as the preferred treatment in a diagnoses of mental illness are all co- factors.We're giving them to 4 year olds and 8 year olds as childhood itself is becoming pathologized.Children are getting shackled even arrested for typical childhood behavior. Increase in childhood suicides can also be blamed on these drugs.Probably true for many veteran suicides as well.

The most depressing thing about this video is that a major news source seems to think that it's worth broadcasting this supposed "debate" (or "debase"). Perhaps the most interesting part was the claim (or almost claim) that Bush II was complicit in 9/11. If they'd gone on longer, no doubt we would have had proof that FDR provided the Imperial Japanese Navy with navigational aids to find Pearl Harbor, and told them what ships would be there for the sinking.

Yeah, that's nothing. This is what he recorded AFTER the show:

Guys --I watched most of that show. The crazy man was given the opportunity to defend his position, and he by his own choice ranted and raved and showed the audience that he is a nutter. I see no reason to fault CNN. Showing what the guy had to say *and* how he said it was much more effective than reporting what he had to say. CNN didn't in any way, shape or form approve of his nonsense.

Boy, I sure am glad Alex Jones has a right to have guns, lots of 'em and all kinds!I watched until he offered to get in a ring with red, white and blue shorts and let Morgan fight in the Jolly Roger, and decided this was not going to further reasoned discourse on gun control, constitutional rights, or any other matter that sane people care about.

Recently I visited a new doctor, who is affiliated with one of the foremost medical schools in the area. While filling out the forms about my medical history and lifestyle (e.g., Do you smoke?) one question intrigued and surprised me: Do you own a gun?

@ Helen: the question shouldn't have surprised you. Many doctors now ask their patients about guns in the house. Their concern is that if the guns are not locked up and stored separately from the ammo, children might get hold of the guns. Also, doctors care if any mentally unstable people in the family, who might kill themselves or others, have access to guns.Of course, to hear the NRA tell it, the doctors' questions are simply the first step on a slippery slope toward a database of gun owners, with the eventual goal of gun confiscation. In 2011 an NRA-backed bill barring doctors from asking patients about guns in the house was passed in Florida by a majority-GOP legislature and signed into law by a GOP governor. Fortunately, as soon as doctors' groups sued to have it overturned as a violation of their free-speech rights, it was overturned.

How many guns did German Jews have anyway: observant Jews don't eat meat unless the animal was killed by a kosher butcher. So hunting has never been a popular sport among Jews.

Angela, it wasn't how many guns the Jews may have had; the law was mostly to let them know they were not members of the Master Race. The fact that it took Hitler so long to get around to disarming them is an indication of how concerned he was about an armed uprising. The members of the Master Race were allowed to keep their guns. Herman Goering had a ton of guns and took visiting important American isolationists boar hunting. He was a morphine addict. He would not have been able to get guns legally in some of our states (not that he would be unable to get them.)

Angela: Almost a year ago I moved from Florida to the Philadelphia area . My surprise has to do with the fact that, as an adult, I was asked the question (to which I responded "No.") My understanding of the Florida issue is that it dealt with pediatricians asking parents the question.I do have strong feelings about gun ownership and found that in Florida it is quite acceptable. In 2008 a high school senior told me he was buying up some more guns because Obama was going to prevent him from doing so. (I assume he was 18.) In addition, a "not too tightly wrapped" (in my opinion) mother of one of my son's friends told me that she carried a gun in her purse for protection!

George D, It is not true that the US violent crime rate has consistently gone down since 1980. By the way, violent crime is not just murder but includes robbery, forcible rape (as opposed to statutory rape), and aggravated assault. The last year that the FBI has released estimated national data on violent crime was 2010. Between 1980 and 2010, there have been periods when violent crime increased and periods when violent crime decreased. If one only looks at murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (i.e., homicides), the number of these deaths peaked in 1993 at 24,526. It dropped to 15,586 in 2000 and then rose to 17,030 in 2006. In 2010, it was 14,748. I don't follow this area closely and so I am not aware of any good explanations for the ebb and flow of violent crimes in general, or homicides in particular, in the United States. In the UK, the number of homicides (murder, manslaughter, infanticide) has dropped from 1,047 in 2002/3 to 551 in 2011/12. To compare with the US stats from 2010, one needs to use the UK stats for 2010/11. During 2010/11, the UK had 638 homicides.Since the US had a population of about 308.7 million in 2010 and the UK had a population of about 62.3 million in 2010, one really needs to take the raw data on total number of homicides and scale it to account for differences in the population. If one does that, then the UK had about 10.2 homicides per 1 million people in its population while the US had 47.7 homicides per 1 million people of its population. In other words, after accounting for the different sizes of the populations in each country, the US had over 4 1/2 times as many homicides as the UK did in 2010.

Thanks for the research Elizabeth.

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