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Lock and Load
NY Times ^ | November 13, 2004 | NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Posted on 11/13/2004 2:34:57 PM PST by neverdem

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Nothing kills Democratic candidates' prospects more than guns. If it weren't for guns, President-elect Kerry might now be conferring with incoming Senate Majority Leader Daschle.

Since the Brady Bill took effect in 1994, gun-control efforts have been a catastrophe for Democrats. They have accomplished almost nothing nationally, other than giving a big boost to the Republicans. Mr. Kerry tried to get around the problem by blasting away at small animals, but nervous Red Staters still suspected Democrats of plotting to seize guns.

Moreover, it's clear that in this political climate, further efforts at gun control are a nonstarter. You can talk until you're blue in the face about the 30,000 gun deaths each year, about children who are nine times as likely to die in a gun accident in America as elsewhere in the developed world, about the $17,000 average cost (half directly borne by taxpayers) of treating each gun injury. But nationally, gun control is dead.

So it's time for a fundamentally new approach, emblematic of how Democrats must think in new ways about old issues. The new approach is to accept that handguns are part of the American landscape, but to use a public health approach to try to make them much safer.

The model is automobiles, for a high rate of traffic deaths was once thought to be inevitable. But then we figured out ways to mitigate the harm with seat belts, air bags and collapsible steering columns, and since the 1950's the death rate per mile driven has dropped 80 percent.

Similar steps are feasible in the world of guns.

"You can tell whether a camera is loaded by looking at it, and you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it," said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Professor Hemenway has written "Private Guns, Public Health," a brilliant and clear-eyed primer for the country.

We take safety steps that reduce the risks of everything from chain saws (so they don't kick back and cut off an arm) to refrigerators (so kids can't lock themselves inside). But firearms have been exempt. Companies make cellphones that survive if dropped, but some handguns can fire if they hit the ground.

Professor Hemenway notes that in the 1990's, two children a year, on average, died after locking themselves in car trunks. This was considered unacceptable, so a government agency studied the problem, and General Motors and Ford engineered safety mechanisms to prevent such deaths.

In contrast, 15 children under the age of 5 die annually in fatal gun accidents in the U.S., along with 18 children 5 to 9 years old. We routinely make aspirin bottles childproof, but not guns, even though childproof pistols were sold back in the 19th century - they wouldn't fire unless the shooter put pressure on the handle as well as the trigger.

Aside from making childproof guns, here are other steps we could take:

Require magazine safeties so a gun cannot be fired when the clip is removed (people can forget that a bullet may still be in the chamber and pull the trigger). Many guns already have magazine safeties, but not all.

Finance research to develop "smart guns," which can be fired only by authorized users. If a cellphone can be locked with a PIN, why not a gun? This innovation would protect children - and thwart criminals.

Start public safety campaigns urging families to keep guns locked up in a gun safe or with a trigger lock (now, 12 to 14 percent of gun owners with young children keep loaded and unlocked weapons in their homes).

Encourage doctors to counsel depressed patients not to keep guns, and to advise new parents on storing firearms safely.

Make gun serial numbers harder for criminals to remove.

Create a national database for gun deaths. In a traffic fatality, 120 bits of data are collected, like the positions of the passengers and the local speed limit, so we now understand what works well (air bags, no "right on red") and what doesn't (driver safety courses). Statistics on gun violence are much flimsier, so we don't know what policies would work best, and much of the data hurled by rival camps at each other is inaccurate.

Would these steps fly politically? Maybe. One poll showed that 88 percent of the public favors requiring that guns be childproof. And such measures demonstrate the kind of fresh thinking that can keep alive not only thousands of Americans, but the Democratic Party as well.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; democraticparty; firearms; guncontrol; gunvote; secondamendment
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This clown is a glutton for punishment.
1 posted on 11/13/2004 2:34:57 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Good gravy. They still don't get it. First it was moral issues. Then it was gay marriage. Now it's guns.

The '06 and '08 elections are shaping up just fine.

2 posted on 11/13/2004 2:37:40 PM PST by Texas Eagle ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into." Jonathan Swift)
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To: neverdem
What a Lock and Load
3 posted on 11/13/2004 2:38:13 PM PST by Reagan Man ("America has spoken")
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To: neverdem

They will never get it!LOL


4 posted on 11/13/2004 2:39:28 PM PST by JessieHelmsJr
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To: fourdeuce82d; Travis McGee; Joe Brower

BANG


5 posted on 11/13/2004 2:39:52 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi min oi)
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To: neverdem

Wouldn't it be much easier to make word processors "media proof"?


6 posted on 11/13/2004 2:41:26 PM PST by Dalite (... Comment to all)
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To: Dalite
For all REAL DEMOCRATS - Put this on your car.


7 posted on 11/13/2004 2:42:20 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (I got political capital and I intend to spend it!)
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To: neverdem

Guess Nick never heard of "Treat EVERY gun as loaded.".


8 posted on 11/13/2004 2:43:30 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: neverdem

The NYT shows its ignorance (again) by printing a bunch of stupid suggestions that were old 20 years ago.


9 posted on 11/13/2004 2:43:45 PM PST by ozzymandus
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To: neverdem

The left is right.They didnt get their message out.They need to keep preaching on gay marriage,more gun laws ,how the military is bad,raising taxes on the rich ,christians are idiots,Then only then will they win.I'm trying to give them good red state advice. Dont forget to knock Nascar fans that will really go a long ways,You will be sure to pick lots of votes!


10 posted on 11/13/2004 2:44:14 PM PST by JessieHelmsJr
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To: neverdem
Actually he DOES get it--it's his solution that's all wrong. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating his position at all. But he is doing for guns what would be the equivalent of Pro-Lifers throwing in the towel. He's saying the Dems are perceived as having all the wrong answers and can't just SAY things differently or shoot a couple of geese. They have to start changing.

I completely disagree with his position and his answers, but this is the one Dem I've read recently who is saying "We have to change or our party will die." Fortunately, no one will listen, and those who listen will, as he does, come up with the wrong answers.

11 posted on 11/13/2004 2:44:16 PM PST by Darkwolf377 (If it is not fearful, it is not worthwhile. - Paul Tornier)
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To: neverdem
This is the same f'head who lied about guns in Michigan.

but to use a public health approach to try to make them much safer.
This shows his true colors right there. "Guns are a disease" according to the public health fascists(and that's exactly what the public health lobby is).

"You can tell whether a camera is loaded by looking at it, and you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it,"
Guns are always loaded, dummy. They must let anyone into Harvard nowadays.

Require magazine safeties so a gun cannot be fired when the clip is removed (people can forget that a bullet may still be in the chamber and pull the trigger). Many guns already have magazine safeties, but not all.
One of the first training rules is remembering that in semiautos, there's one in the chamber.

This innovation would protect children - and thwart criminals.
Will the cops use smart guns?

This guy needs to get bitchslapped again in 2006

12 posted on 11/13/2004 2:44:17 PM PST by Dan from Michigan ("No time for losers, cause we are the champions...of the world!!!")
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To: neverdem

So what's wrong with these ideas?

Guns could and should be made safer.

Although attempts to ban older "unsafe" guns should be resisted, I see no reason why we should knee-jerk reject the very idea of making guns safer.


13 posted on 11/13/2004 2:44:19 PM PST by Restorer (Europe is heavily armed, but only with envy.)
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To: neverdem
you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it," said David Hemenway

How about this, Dave? If you see a gun, it's LOADED!! The rest of us seem to be able to comprehend that, even if you can't.

14 posted on 11/13/2004 2:44:43 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: neverdem
Lock and load.
15 posted on 11/13/2004 2:45:57 PM PST by ol painless (ol' painless is out of the bag)
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To: neverdem

Lost in the political wilderness without a map, compass or flashlight.

They are toast.


16 posted on 11/13/2004 2:46:34 PM PST by najida (Owner of a certified pair of Austrian Peasant Hips.....Patent Pending.)
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To: Dan from Michigan

"One of the first training rules is remembering that in semiautos, there's one in the chamber."

Not only that, but if you drop a magazine in combat, the one in the chamber can save your ass.


17 posted on 11/13/2004 2:46:37 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: neverdem
I like the idea of gun safety classes in every school a lot more. I hope the nee AG gets very aggressive in restoring 2nd amendment rights for every person in the union. I noticed he is from TX. I hope that is a good sign.
18 posted on 11/13/2004 2:46:39 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: neverdem

So now leftist girlymen are advising firearms manufacturers. Cool. Maybe colorblind nudists should start advising the fashion industry


19 posted on 11/13/2004 2:47:30 PM PST by muir_redwoods
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To: neverdem
Create a national database for gun deaths.

how about one for hiv infections while they're at it...
20 posted on 11/13/2004 2:47:40 PM PST by mental
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To: neverdem

BTTT


21 posted on 11/13/2004 2:48:14 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Restorer
I see no reason why we should knee-jerk reject the very idea of making guns safer

My guns are already safe.

22 posted on 11/13/2004 2:48:27 PM PST by paul51 (11 September 2001 - Never forget)
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To: neverdem

A magazine is not a clip, and vice versa.


23 posted on 11/13/2004 2:48:36 PM PST by lancer (If you are not with us, you are against us!)
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To: JessieHelmsJr
That's excellent advice!

I also think they need to send a loud, clear message that a bug-chasing, Christain-hating man buggering another anonymous man in an SF alleyway is refreshing --a mark of idealism and freedom.

Why did they lose?

I think it's clear they just need to keep repeating that kind of message again and again until it's really, unforgettably seared into the minds of middle-class Americans living in "Jesusland".

24 posted on 11/13/2004 2:49:34 PM PST by gaijin
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To: Restorer
I love my firearm! It's safe and fun!


25 posted on 11/13/2004 2:50:10 PM PST by airborne (God bless and keep our fallen heroes.)
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To: Restorer

Make guns safer? They are desinged to KILL, not be some form of metallic artwork!

The point of our rebuttal is just that. Next they would want to make knives safer. How, by making them dull?

Guns are inherently safe. It's the HUMANS that are the safety concern. Guns don't just jump off of the shelf and shoot people, any more than SUVs intentionally run down little old ladies in crosswalks all by themselves.

There are already over 30,000 laws on the books regulating the gun industry. You want to throw some more in there? What part of "SHall not be infringed" don't you get? HUH????


26 posted on 11/13/2004 2:51:10 PM PST by datura (It's Time To Destroy The MSM, And Their Politically Correct Ideology/Gay Agenda)
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To: neverdem
Create a national database for gun deaths

There it is! Took a little bit to get to but I knew it'd show up.

27 posted on 11/13/2004 2:51:30 PM PST by Uncledave
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To: neverdem
The model is automobiles, for a high rate of traffic deaths was once thought to be inevitable. But then we figured out ways to mitigate the harm with seat belts, air bags and collapsible steering columns, and since the 1950's the death rate per mile driven has dropped 80 percent.

And we have fewer traffic accidents? Substantially fewer deaths?

Reliance on simply making equipment more complicated to save lives does not work. Operator training is the key.

Driver's Ed (now removed from many school systems in favor of putting condoms on cucumbers) did help people be more competent drivers.

Firearms safety education eliminates accidents. More complicated firearms are of questionable value.

If all firearms are considered loaded all the time (rule no. 1), no one gets shot unintentionally.

If you depend on gee-gaws to make you safe, you are dead and you don't even know it.

28 posted on 11/13/2004 2:52:07 PM PST by Smokin' Joe (I'm from North Dakota and I'm all FOR Global Warming! Bring it ON!)
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To: neverdem
Grip safety is a feature in Browning's 1911. I confess to being grossly ignorant, but the author writes about grip safeties in 19th century pistols, i.e. preceding Browning's design, and I've never heard of any such firearm. Is it a regular BS, or are there some exotic 19 century firearms for which it is true?
29 posted on 11/13/2004 2:52:10 PM PST by GSlob
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To: neverdem
"You can tell whether a camera is loaded by looking at it, and you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it," said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center. Professor Hemenway has written "Private Guns, Public Health," a brilliant and clear-eyed primer for the country.


You CAN tell if every gun is loaded, because, as a weapon
you have to assume that it is.

It's rule #1 in firearms safety.....

(at least it's how I was raised)

8^)
30 posted on 11/13/2004 2:52:32 PM PST by The SISU kid (I'm the swizzle stick in the cocktail of life)
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To: Restorer

Guns can be made safer by prosecuting criminals to full extent. When thieves, rapists, and burglars are behind bars, we're all much safer. And make them do all the time they are sentenced to, instead of letting them out early.


31 posted on 11/13/2004 2:52:40 PM PST by Imabeliever (Islam is the religion of fear, hatred, murder, and terrorism.)
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To: neverdem
And once we've made guns safe, we can work on knives next!

Why, with those sharp metal edges, somebody is liable to cut themselves!

32 posted on 11/13/2004 2:53:38 PM PST by airborne (God bless and keep our fallen heroes.)
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To: paul51; Joe Brower
Eddie Eagle worked in the Orlando area when an off-duty cop unknowingly dropped his personal handgun in an elementary school auditorium and the kids knew what to do ... Stop, don't touch, leave the area and tell an adult ... and a whole bunch of them did. (source)

My 7 year old knows that by heart. Yours should too.

33 posted on 11/13/2004 2:54:43 PM PST by NonValueAdded ("We are in the process of allowing them to self-actualise" LtC. Rainey, Fallujah, 11/04)
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To: neverdem
Moreover, it's clear that in this political climate, further efforts at gun control are a nonstarter. You can talk until you're blue in the face about the 30,000 gun deaths each year, about children who are nine times as likely to die in a gun accident in America as elsewhere in the developed world, about the $17,000 average cost (half directly borne by taxpayers) of treating each gun injury. But nationally, gun control is dead.

Hey, computer geeks! Let's help this guy out with his statstics! I cannot remember much BASIC any more, but I am sure many people can write him a nice stat generator! I haven't touched this stuff since the '80's so let's clean this up and help this guy's intellectual honesty so he doesn't have to actually make it up himself!


0 REM FAKE GUN STAT GENERATOR

10 N=(RND(1)*50000)

20 CH=(RND(1)*9)

30 D=(RND(1)*20000)

40 PRINT N:PRINT "GUN DEATHS PER YEAR"

50 PRINT CH:PRINT "LIKLIHOOD OF DEAD CHILDREN"

60 PRINT D: PRINT "COST OF GUN INJURIES"

70 INPUT F$: TYPE "MORE FAKE GUN STATS? Y/N"

80 IF F$="Y" THEN GOTO 10

90 IF F$="N" THEN TYPE "COMPUTERS NEVER LIE" :END

34 posted on 11/13/2004 2:54:59 PM PST by Gorzaloon (So begins my new KERRY-FREE Taglines. Oh Relief!)
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To: GSlob

Smith & Wesson made a grip safety revolver many years ago, but I can't recall the model name or number.


35 posted on 11/13/2004 2:55:18 PM PST by Imabeliever (Islam is the religion of fear, hatred, murder, and terrorism.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Beat me by 25 seconds....

8^)


36 posted on 11/13/2004 2:55:20 PM PST by The SISU kid (I'm the swizzle stick in the cocktail of life)
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To: Restorer
"Although attempts to ban older "unsafe" guns should be resisted, I see no reason why we should knee-jerk reject the very idea of making guns safer."

Amendment V

nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MISSOURI, et al., PETITIONERS v. SHRINK MISSOURI GOVERNMENT PAC et al. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT [January 24, 2000]

Justice Stevens

"I make one simple point. Money is property;"

Make sure the taxpayer "compensates" gun makers for "taking" their property (money) for the public use of "safety," then we can start the debate of mandated safety features.

37 posted on 11/13/2004 2:55:37 PM PST by tahiti
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To: neverdem

This is unintentionally funny. I'm sure heads nod up and down in agreement when he runs this by his friends at Manhattan cocktail parties. Has this character ever changed the brakes or alternator on a car?


38 posted on 11/13/2004 2:55:39 PM PST by dennisw (G_D - against Amelek for all generations.)
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To: neverdem
"You can tell whether a camera is loaded by looking at it, and you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it," said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center.

I can tell whether a gun is loaded or not. If it's disassembled, it's not loaded. If it's in one piece, it's loaded. That's not hard at all.

39 posted on 11/13/2004 2:55:47 PM PST by AlaskaErik
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To: Imabeliever

If the 2nd Amendment were fully enforced - without all of the modern infringements - the crimes you mention would be almost nonexistent.

An armed society is a polite society.


40 posted on 11/13/2004 2:56:16 PM PST by datura (It's Time To Destroy The MSM, And Their Politically Correct Ideology/Gay Agenda)
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To: neverdem

For a minute there, I thought I was reading something sensible. "Democrats have made a big mistake by P***ing off the voters with gun control. Photo ops of kerry carrying a shotgun followed by a safari bearer with a dead goose didn't do the trick. So we need to confront this issue and admit that gun control was a mistake."

Then he goes on to say, "Instead of p***ing off the voters by making guns illegal, lets p*** them off by regulating guns out of existence."

Sure, that will really appease gun owners. What a jerk.


41 posted on 11/13/2004 2:56:59 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: neverdem

What do guys who like this guy .....

think of this guy?

42 posted on 11/13/2004 2:58:07 PM PST by dennisw (G_D - against Amelek for all generations.)
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To: neverdem
Make gun serial numbers harder for criminals to remove.

Wonder how they plan on making the gun recognize it's a criminal removing the numbers.

43 posted on 11/13/2004 2:58:52 PM PST by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: Cicero

fake ...... is something every one sees now..... MSM doesnt understand and wont ..... they will just fade..


44 posted on 11/13/2004 2:58:53 PM PST by Gibtx (Pajamahadien call to arms.....)
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To: neverdem
Egads, they haven't learned a thing.

GOOD!


45 posted on 11/13/2004 2:58:56 PM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: AlaskaErik
"I can tell whether a gun is loaded or not. If it's disassembled, it's not loaded. If it's in one piece, it's loaded. That's not hard at all."

Unfortunately, you can't use logic against the Libs, It hurts their feeble little minds when you make them think...


8^)
46 posted on 11/13/2004 2:59:19 PM PST by The SISU kid (I'm the swizzle stick in the cocktail of life)
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To: Smokin' Joe
You make some great points, but this is hilarious.

"Driver's Ed (now removed from many school systems in favor of putting condoms on cucumbers) did help people be more competent drivers."

Thanks for the humor break.

LOL

Luigi

47 posted on 11/13/2004 3:00:21 PM PST by LuigiBasco (It's LONG past time to restart The Crusades.)
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To: neverdem
"You can tell whether a camera is loaded by looking at it, and you should be able to tell whether a gun is loaded by looking at it,"

OK, I'm calling bu!!$h!t here. I owned a camera that you could work the film advance lever on, and it looked like you had taken X number of pictures, and thus that the camera was loaded. The only way you could definitively tell was by opening up the back.

I missed about 40 pictures on a trip once because of this very issue. This guy has no understanding of technology whatsoever, and is thus unqualified to comment on guns.

48 posted on 11/13/2004 3:00:37 PM PST by Hardastarboard
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To: Gibtx

These libs are truly inhabitants of the twi-light zone.


49 posted on 11/13/2004 3:00:53 PM PST by appeal2
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To: neverdem
But nationally, gun control is dead.

And now let's start rolling back some of the existing gun control laws! We have the momentum on our side -- even the ultra-liberal, gun-grabbing Senator Kerry was running as a gunowner, and Mr. Kristof of the New York Times is conceding the issue -- we have changed the dynamic of the whole discussion. Now we should use that momentum to gain back some ground.

My first choice would be repealing the 1968 GCA, which would really put a kink in state laws that depend on it for definitions and regulatory bases.

50 posted on 11/13/2004 3:02:22 PM PST by snowsislander
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