The View From Over Here: Taking it to the Gunmen

Reston residents protest against gun violence to NRA.

On a blustery Friday last week, more than 60 residents of Reston and Herndon assembled in front of the National Rifle Association headquarters offices on Waples Mill Road in Fairfax.  They gathered to protest in memory of the 20 children and their brave teachers murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.   The rally began at 9:30 a.m. - the same time as the Newtown massacre.

The Reston-Herndon Committee  Against Gun Violence gathered and marched on the frigid morning not only to commemorate  the deaths of the children and their teachers, but also to demand action by their government to stop the epidemic of death by gunfire in this country. 

The protesters, marching back and forth on the sidewalk fronting the huge NRA office building, carried signs with varied, poignant messages. Among the signs were:  “Protect our kids, No Guns in Schools”, “Civilians Don’t Need Assault Weapons”, and “5 percent of the world’s population with 55 percent of the guns in civilian hands”.  And, of course there were numerous signs referring to the high gun death rate in the U.S. and the recent gun massacres, the names we all know:  Columbine, Virginia Tech, Tuscon, Aurora, and Newtown. 

The Committee supports the actions proposed by President Obama to reduce gun violence, and plans more actions to press for the necessary legislation and public policies to achieve that goal.  The Second Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution certainly allows for such minimal restrictions on the right to
bear arms.  Even Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in writing the most expansive opinion ever on the subject and ignoring the Amendment’s “well regulated militia” language altogether, leaves room for modest limits such as the President proposes.

Nonetheless, the President is going to need the support of all of us who want long-overdue, common sense gun control measures enacted if he is to have a chance to succeed in reducing the killings.

Anyone interested in working against gun violence should contact Committee leader Joanna Simon at joanna.simon@verizon.net



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dave February 05, 2013 at 12:13 PM
So what do they propose? You can't un-invent guns. Assault rifles are the same in function (one round fired per trigger pull) as a lot of hunting rifles, except one is black plastic, and one is wooden. If anyone bothered to look at the stats anyways, ALL rifles are used in something like ~300 of the 30,000 gun deaths a year. And again NONE of the actions proposed by our president would have prevented the newtown massacre. So again, why are we trying to punish legitimate, law-abiding citizens, make them jump through all sorts of hoops, when the criminals aren't going to bother with any of it, and it won't stop the crazy people from doing unthinkable crazy things?
John Lovaas February 05, 2013 at 12:48 PM
We are try to stop the senseless killing that makes America number one, by far, in the civilized world. Our people deserve the right to lose the fear of seeing their children, family, friends murdered. No one is proposing to take rights from legitimate hunters and sports marksmen and target shooters. None of them need automatic or assault weapons. Rather than take rights, we seek to protect the right of all Americans to be safe from death by gunfire. You make some good points toward a very strong case for banning guns more broadly, certainly including hand guns. You probably could convince me that would be an even better option for reducing the bloodshed to near zero just like they have achieved in countries with such bans--like most of Western Europe. Their people live in safety, have great freedom all at once. By God, I think you've convinced me!
DGeorge February 05, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Ah yes. People living in safety. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html#axzz2K1zIHlcR
Dave February 05, 2013 at 02:18 PM
John, automatic guns have been illegal for decades. Again, what is the difference between assault rifles and semi-automatic hunting rifles? Also, what has outright banning of things done in the past? We tried banning booze, didn't work. We tried banning drugs, hasn't worked. So we take away the 55 million guns, ~54,975,000 of which have never killed people and are owned by peaceful, law-abiding people, and leave the stolen and illegally obtained ones with the criminals. Why? Why punish law-abiding people, who have the right to defend their families, homes, posessions, and themselves? More people are killed each year with clubs, bats, tire irons etc. than rifles.
Skip Endale February 06, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Guns are for shooting people - plain and simple. If guns were for hunting then there wouldn't be any wildlife left - there are a total of 310 million guns in this country. I cannot imagine that nearly every citizen needs a gun, Seems disconnected from reality...
Dave February 06, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Again Skip, guns cant be un-invented. You can make them illegal, come take them from the already law abiding citizens, but you're still left with the criminals, that already had enough disregard of the law to obtain guns illegally, left with guns. Its an extremely simplistic idea to just think that if guns were made illegal, all our problems will disappear. Again, more people are killed with bats, clubs, fists etc. Than with ALL rifles. I have a right to defend myself from someone coming into my house to do God knows what. When your utopia of no bad people killing, raping, robbing and mugging arrives, i will agree with your views.
DGeorge February 07, 2013 at 08:25 PM
In Great Briton it is now, for all practical purposes, illegal to defend yourself. http://www.bookwormroom.com/2010/01/09/britain-outlaws-a-homeowners-self-defense-against-intruders/
Tammi Petrine February 08, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Could you "un-invent" or ban production of the ammunition and the clips for these non-hunting guns?
Tom G. April 23, 2013 at 11:48 PM
John, perhaps you should do some research on the issue before you demagogue it by invoking the deaths of children at the hands of a mentally deranged killer. 1) The term "well regulated" in the second amendment simply meant properly trained and disciplined. It has nothing to do with government imposed restrictions. And Justice Scalia does not ignore the "well regulated militia" language, he covers it thoroughly in the DC vs. Heller decision. 2) It's called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Needs. And your personal opinion about what people need for lawful purposes does not override other people's constitutionally protected rights to determine their needs for themselves. Furthermore, the second amendment is not about hunting and sport shooting. 3) So-called "assault weapons" function the same as other semi-automatic firearms and are only distinguished by stylistic accoutrements, like pistol grips, which apparently make them look scarier to some people. "Assault weapon" is not even a legitimate category of firearms (like military assault rifles); it is a term made up by gun control advocates (like "cop killer bullets") to make them sound unusually dangerous. 3) Criminological studies on the effects of effects of gun control legislation, in this country and others, show that at best it has no impact on violent crime rates, and there is considerable evidence that it lead to increases in violent crime. Gun control in the UK and Australia did not work.
John Lovaas April 24, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Tom and gun toters : just count the innocent people killed daily by GUNS in the land of guns and compare it to the numbers killed in societies where guns are strictly and rationally controlled by the will of the people. Here, the will of the people has for now been thwarted by gun makers and yourselves. For me, the annual killing of 30,000 plus untold thousands more left suffering is too high a price to pay for your twisted version of a "right".
DGeorge April 24, 2013 at 02:18 AM
John, you really need to do some research. You make some really, really foolish statements, as do many of the anti-firearm people. Get your facts straight then come back and we can have an intelligent exchange of ideas.
John Lovaas April 24, 2013 at 03:31 AM
There is no disputing the comparative gun deaths!
Tom G. April 24, 2013 at 09:13 AM
That's the point, though. The best evidence is that strict gun control laws at best make no difference, and there is compelling evidence that they often make the situation worse in terms of deaths. So what is "rational"? Consider: 1) At about 600 per year, accidental deaths by firearm are extremely rare in this country given the tens of millions of households with guns, and many more die accidentally due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, poisoning, burns/fire, choking/asphyxiation, and drowning. So your concern is a bit misplaced on this count. 2) Where strict gun control laws have been implemented, the suicide rate tends not to be significantly affected. Suicide is a deliberate act and those intent on committing suicide substitute other means if a gun is unavailable. 3) Murder (and violent crime) rates tend to increase where strict gun control measures are implemented. Why? Because by trying to limit the bad guys' capacity to cause harm with guns you also limit the good guys' ability to deter and/or combat the criminal. You see, the tools of violence are the same as the tools that protect and defend against violence. And since good guys tend to obey the law while criminals do not, the good guy is disproportionately affected by laws that seek to control access to these tools, giving the bad guy the upper hand. So, your naive point of view leaves law-abiding citizens, especially, more vulnerable to violent crime. Is that right?


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