#NEVERAGAIN

I always pause and give serious thought to writing about hot button issues on the blog.  General theory is that it’s “bad for your business or brand” to comment on anything politically charged. But today I  find the topic of gun violence in America neither political or something I’m willing to ignore for the sake of my brand.  I believe that the serious issue of senseless deaths in the country from mass shootings and gun violence isn’t political but rather a humanitarian issue of the highest order. Its about moral values and what we as a people treasure above all and are willing to sacrifice lives to protect.

And as of right now, apparently thats guns.

As someone who lives in a very liberal state with rather tough gun laws (check your state grade here), I have not been as directly affected as many of you. We have a ban on high capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons and require all gun purchasers to obtain a license. However, we do not impose a waiting period (arggghhhh!).   So thankfully these issues are not something I encounter every day.  If someone were to walk through my local Target with a gun slung over their shoulder- shit would hit the fan, even though you can open-carry with a license to do so.  Guns just are not a big part of our local culture here.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit back and be quiet.  It doesn’t mean I’m not scared shitless to send my sweet boy off to pre-school next year.  Just look at Connecticut which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and the unfathomable Sandy Hook tragedy that occurred there. State laws are a good start, but they do not solve this problem.

I cannot look at the pictures of those sweet children’s faces and not picture my own child’s among them. And the shooting in Florida is a reminder that we did nothing about it then, and so here we are again.  And next time it could be Henry.  And that sinking feeling of dread and fear makes me want to go flip dumpsters in the parking lot in rage. For these kids. Their parents. And every other person or relative of a person killed in the over 150 mass shootings we’ve had in this country  (400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook alone!) I mean, the CPSC banned LAWN DARTS after three children were killed and a few more injured from playing with them. LAWN DARTS YOU GUYS.  And yet with guns, we can’t come to a unanimous decision that we need to do something.  It’s pathetic.

I’ve been vocal about this topic on Instagram and Facebook and have heard a variety of arguments against gun control reform.  I am not someone calling for a complete 180 on our gun laws. I’m not advocating “taking all your guns away”.  With proper background checks, waiting periods, licensing requirements and common sense Red Flag Laws, I think its possible to responsibly own  a handgun or shotgun for self-defense or hunting.  I, however, think that all semi-automatic guns and/or at least high capacity magazines used with guns like the AR-15, should be banned.  There is no reason a civilian needs access to this grade of weapon. NO NEED.  And I’ve heard and read so many arguments against this practical, life-saving concept that really make my blood boil. For example:

The Second Amendment gives me the right to bear arms.

When the second amendment was written there weren’t semi-automatic weapons and America didn’t extend past the Mississippi River (and also the “frontier” was basically lawless so you HAD to defend yourself- as well as hunt for food).  It was legal to own slaves in some states and women couldn’t vote. THINGS HAVE CHANGED, PEOPLE.    The evolution of society and it’s technology require us to adapt our laws to reflect the modern day issues.  This is why Constitutional Amendments have been passed.  Other countries have changed their laws on guns after far fewer mass killings and rampant violence and IT’S PROVEN TO WORK.  The evidence lies in the numbers, which CANNOT be disputed.

Crazy People Kill People, Not Guns

Women suffer from mental health issue just as much as men, so why aren’t there a bunch of female mass shooters too?   And mental illness is just as present in other countries, so why are their numbers not as hideous as ours? Oh right– gun control laws.  Don’t get me wrong, mental health absolutely plays a part in this, we do not do enough as a country to support those that are suffering through proper health care (even if you have it, usually the coverage is basic and short lived).  But lets stop the gushing artery bleed before we address the cancer.  Mental health reform will take much longer and is much more complicated a task. Lets start by taking the really crazy weapons out of the hands of the ill.  Then lets try to help them get better.  You don’t give a toddler a knife and then slowly start teaching it how to use it, because in the meantime they will hurt themselves and others. DUH.

But Cars Can Be Used To Kill People And We Don’t Ban Them

This one really makes me want to scream.  Cars have other purposes than killing people. Transportation for one. An AR-15 has one purpose- to take as many lives as possible as efficiently as possible.  You can’t ride an AR-15 to work. It’s not going to teach your kids how to read.  Never mind the fact that cars are regulated better than guns!  I mean, you can’t just choose a military tank as your family vehicle because you think its cool.  Those kind of vehicles are to be handled by trained professionals only– for a reason.  No one is saying that banning semi-automatics is going to end all killing- there is too much hate in this world for that- but it’s a start.  Sure, someone could drive a car into a crowd. Absolutely. But why not give them fewer options on how to murder groups of people? Why not TRY???  It’s like saying- well, we can’t cure all cancer so lets not cure ANY cancer. That’s just stupid.

Good Guys With Guns Stop Bad Guys With Guns

So we should just arm EVERYONE? We should be giving our sweet kindergarten teachers an apple and a Glock? Or spend zillions of dollars on armed guards for every public place? We don’t have that kind of money, and I certainly don’t want to live in a society where everyone has to carry a gun. It would basically bring us back to the Wild West.  And there are many instances where this argument holds about as much water as a sieve– Las Vegas for one (good lucky taking out a sniper), Orlando for another (if everyone had a gun in a dark, crowded nightclub can you even imagine how many more deaths there would be from confusion and terror?)

Bad Guys Will Get Access To Guns No Matter What Laws We Put in Place

I’m going to call bullshit on that one right off the bat.  Even if that were true, WHY NOT MAKE IT HARDER???  Why not make it really, really difficult to buy an AR-15 than have it take 5 minutes in your local Walmart? And no, you can’t use heroin or some other illegal drug as an example of laws not working properly.  They don’t offer heroin at Whole Foods, you can’t just waltz into Starbucks and order a latte with a side of meth.  There are a lot of deaths from illegal (and some legal) drugs, but at least we TRY.  We recognize the danger and make policy change based on evidence. So why not with guns?

Ok, now my heart is racing and I’m typing very violently.   I have reached a point where I have to say something and do something.  And I would call on other people with a platform, large or small, to do the same.  It’s time.  We are failing our children as adults. We are not protecting them, and they are fed up with our inaction.  And in time, I do believe these changes will happen because those kids will age and become voters and politicians and will do it themselves.  But lets not wait for them to grow up and in the meantime suffer through countless more shootings. Lets do it for them and act like the responsible caring adults we know how to be.

Get involved- I signed up for Moms Demand Action locally and will volunteer my time and my money.  I’ve also donated to Everytown and Sandy Hook Promise.  It’s time to stop just talking about this and DO SOMETHING. It requires effort and time, which is hard, I know– but this is important. I don’t want Henry to grow up and ask me what I did to stop this and have to tell him “Oh,I wrote a blog post”. I will meet.  I will march. I will do whatever it takes. Even it all that effort results in just ONE person changing their stance on our gun laws.

Because I cannot and will not sit down and take it. I have to do something.

For my son. For everyone’s son.

 

With Respect,

Erin

229 comments

  1. You and your brand are, and always have been, on the right side of history. There may be some haters and trolls out there (THERE ALWAYS ARE) but it’s really very simple: if you were to put your brand (aka your income) before anything else (your beliefs, your values, your family, the future, etc) how would you be any different from these god awful GOP senators who put their greed (and, in this particular case, NRA campaign donations) before LITERALLY everything else, even the lives of innocent children?! Be different. We all must. It’s literally a matter of life and death these days. That’s how I see it at least.

  2. Woohoo! You go Erin! Agree with everything you said. I’m starting to believe that like the #metoo movement, it is going to take the actions of women and now our children to effect real change. As a professional on the ‘frontline’ of treating mental health, there is so much that needs help in this area. Research has given us some solid avenues to address what is lacking, but policy and public understanding are so slow to catch up. Frankly it’s overwhelming: the number of people asking for help is a tsunami smashing against my little boat full of life preservers. I find myself lying in bed puzzling over how can I reach more people, more effectively, sooner? But while those answers still elude me, I do know that we need to keep searching, keep speaking up, and fight mass shootings from all angles possible. Thanks for this blog post; I would argue that it gives your brand even more integrity than it already had. :)

  3. Thank you for speaking out about this! Our local high school had a kid bring a gun to school last week, the DAY after the Parkland shooting. Now the gun nuts are out in force demanding we arm the teachers but can not fathom how guns might be at fault here and how more guns is a bad idea. Makes me want to scream!! I’m in Texas so I am surrounded by so many redneck, gun nuts.

    We have to vote the Republican NRA Congress out if we ever hope to see real change. Early voting starts TODAY. We can do it!!

  4. I am a Canadian. This recent shooting left me, like many others stunned. Our countries share many similarities and we often vacation in Florida, I love the USA but these shootings are getting out of control. My eldest granddaughter is currently at the university of Mississippi & I worry about her & I shouldn’t have to any more than most American parents who are sending their children to school every day. Canadians cannot access these assault weapons, this seems like an easy & quick fix, no-one should be able to buy such dangerous weapons. Social media plays a role in young people who feel disenfranchised & mental health is also a major concern. Every country deals with these issues, the one difference is young American lives are paying the ultimate price. The time is now for change.

    1. So stay in Canada if you are so concerned. You don’t have a voice here. You rely on the protection of the United States and then try to act holier than thou. What do people in Canada kill each other with?

      1. Kathleen- she, like you, has every right to comment on here. Please stop being so rude to others who want to voice their concern on this topic- American or not. You have complained that people are being mean to you on here but then do the same thing to others (who were not even mean to you in the first place!) We are not the only country in the world and your nasty comment is a poor reflection on how we view our place in a global society. Other countries have solved their gun issues, we should take note.

      2. Maybe I got tired of all you self-righteous people. I truly am curious how do they kill people in Canada? Maybe they don’t have murder? It is a fact Canada depends on the US for their protection. And Erin why is your solution limited gun rights for law abiding citizens? I don’t see any discussion about steps to elimate the threat by arming a guard at each school.? Or any of the other plausible suggestions? If you want a legitimate discussion why isn’t there any talk of what was proposed yesterday? All the checks and balances that were already in place didn’t stop what happen but you want even more regulation. Our government didn’t do a great job stopping this student,but your solution is to stop law abiding citizens from buying the gun they want and to impose even more regulation. Because you have determine no one needs that weapon. There is no answer to human evil. You blame it all on the gun.
        Don’t lecture me. I’m not one of your minions. You are a bully with a big megaphone and lots of followers who think you walk on water. My nasty comment? America is the greatest country in the world. There is not another like us for so many reasons. Let me know if you need to be reminded. How we view ourselves in the global society? Name another country that is free? Not really sure what you mean? But my guess is you are embarrassed by the greatness of America? We probably need to apologize for it right?

      3. I think that anyone has a voice regardless of where they come from. As a proud Canadian I can honestly say that gun culture is not part of the fabric of our life. Yet we are able to function and carry on in our daily lives. It has been asked many times why is it that a country that does allow firearms has a much lower per capita gun violence rate? Well Kathleen I think it has a lot to do with how we view and treat each other. We are what I would call a “socialistic” society. One that looks out for one another. Take our Universal Healthcare for instance. I have no issue in paying a little more for tax so that ALL Canadians have equal access to Healthcare. But Americans have a completely different view. Your view is “I have mine” “I am not paying for yours”. Until you start thinking of the “we” instead of the”me” nothing will change. And it is quite obvious from your discussions that you have no thought or wish to learn about me or my culture. But instead have spat out your vitriol as if by having your Military might in protecting us and others it gives you the right to throw it back at everyone. When we all work together we are One. When we help each other everyone is better off. When you have gone to war we have helped where we can…when your Twin Towers fell we cried with you. But when it comes to guns it so divides you all. No One , and I mean No One should have access to an AR anything. It was made for one purpose…that is killing. I think perhaps your anger and heated comments might be better served over on another Blog or discussion board. You have shown nothing but disrespect for Erin and for her readers. And I mean this with the utmost respect towards you….but having an open, fair and respectful discussion has always been Erin’s mandate. Peace!

  5. Erin,
    I love your arguments. So level headed. One thing I want to add regarding cars. I’ve heard and read many people say “So what, we get rid of Ford or Chevy every time a drunk driver kills someone?” How can someone even compare this to a mass shooting where so many people are killed by guns? It’s all about INTENTION. A n unfortunate drunk driver is not getting behind the wheel with the intent to kill someone, or many people. The mass shooter has only one thing in mind–murder. Violent video games, movies, and mental health issues, exist all over the world. So why is it only affecting the US? Plain and simple. Our gun culture and gun laws. I believe sensible gun owners who get that changes need to be made are our best asset. Thank you to those smart gun owners who have spoken up. You are the ones who really need to write congress and speak out to the NRA!

  6. Thank you for posting this. It is spot on! It’s time to donate our time and/or money to this cause. We cannot let it keep continuing.

  7. It sounds dumb to say, “thank you for being brave enough to post this,” but that’s what I’m here for. I am with you; actually, like you, I am with all Americans. They will eventually see it, thank you for this. Thank you for being a light in the darkness.

  8. I’m proud of these children who are advocating for their own safety, and I feel for their loss. I’ve always thought that if Sandy Hook couldn’t make a change then nothing could. Maybe these Florida students can shame these politicians into supporting gun control and getting off the NRA’s tit.

  9. Hello Erin and thank you for your brave position. Your post is spot on and most importantly, you are doing something guided by your conscience and heart. It’s important that business leaders and media bloggers stand up for what they know to be true. It’s time we all join in and stop waiting for someone else to do something to stop this insanity. I admire the risk you take, losing some of your subscribers, but be assured that you have won the respect of your followers and you will only attract more who know that life is precious and our children and family members, irreplaceable. Thank you, also, for your suggestions of support for Moms Demand Action, Everytown and Sandy Hook Promise. Bravo.

  10. Hi Erin,

    I’ve followed for years, and I’m not the one to comment on blogs, but I couldn’t let this one pass. Thank you for taking a stand regardless if it affects your brand or not!

  11. Excellent post. I’m in DC and will be at the march on the 24th. My older two are coming home from college for it, and I’ll host their friends. And my youngest will join them. We have to do something to stop this madness. #neveragain

  12. Amen. Young people are not going to stand for this. You can see they are demanding action now. Gun control is going to happen at some point and history will not be kind to all the weak politicians who stood by and allowed this to happen to our country and did not take action to protect our citizens. At some time sanity will prevail!

  13. Yes. A million times, yes! Donate, volunteer, speak out and vote. These laws are so antiquated it makes me want to flip dumpsters too!

      1. Kathleen- you are the most hypocritical person I have ever encountered. I’m done interacting with you. If I so offend you I invite you to go follow another blog. I’ve had enough of your nasty comments to my other readers.

      2. WOW the most hypocritical person you have ever encountered? You’ve had enough of my nasty comments to your other readers? Can you look back on what was said to me? How come you didn’t come to my aid? Why don’t you get back to what you know – design? You live in your own little bubble and have no idea how most of this country lives. Like I said you are a bully and if someone doesn’t follow lock step with you it makes you angry. Too bad Erin.

  14. Thank you. Please continue to update us with the organizations that have earned your time and dollars, so I may also.

  15. Here we go again. The second amendment was put in place to protect us from a tyrannical government. Any restrictions added to gun laws is a slow attack on the second amendment. The laws that are in place now didn’t protect these children. The majority of Americans do not agree with you Erin.

    1. Then the majority are wrong. No need to say more.
      Signed
      A european who cannot understand what is happening in this so called civilized country

      1. European thinking is bleeding into our country. Study the founding of the United States and why gun rights are so important to so many Americans. I didn’t say your opinion was wrong. Why do you say my opinion is wrong?

      1. Polls can be skewed. Look at the last Presidential election.

        Do you honestly think stricter gun laws will stop these shootings?

      2. ABSOLUTELY. Not having access to this type of weapon will help. It’s common sense. If you can’t buy a rifle that shoots 45 bullets a minute at Walmart you can’t shoot a group of people in this manner. Cause and effect.

      3. Kathleen, you can dig a hole with a spoon, but it’s a lot quicker with a backhoe.

        You can kill people with a truck, or a knife, or try to build a bomb, but it’s a lot quicker, easier and more efficient to obtain a gun.

        Do you truly believe that if the US military were to try and fight the people, American citizens would be any match for them? Also, do you truly believe our troops would do this? This horrible opinion of the US military always stuns me.

    2. Any rational person can understand that the men who wrote the Second Amendment could not have fathomed the kind of firepower we have today. They also wrote that you could own other people legally so……Evolution is inevitable and pointing to a document written eons ago is just so out of touch and not applicable to a modern society.

      1. It is a good argument. We have close to a million abortions a year in this country. Why isn’t there outrage? You just don’t have an answer for it that is why you don’t like it. And your language – hope you don’t talk like that in front of your little boy.

      2. Kathleen, by the same logic you’re trying to apply, if you’re pro-gun you must be pro-choice. And against the death penalty.

        But being anti-abortion has much more to do with if you think a bundle of cells qualifies as human life because it has the potential to be life. And being (constitutionally) pro-gun has to do with if you think you need weapons to go up against the US military some day, and if that threat trumps children dying. And both these issues have shades and shades of gray (being anti-abortion only after 20 weeks, allowances for life of the mother, being pro-gun for self-defense rather than constitutional reasons, etc. etc.).

        It’s almost like these are two totally separate and very complex issues!

      3. I’m free to question anything I want. You used shit-storm – that is foul language. Not the first time you use vulgar language in your posts. How DARE I? Boy, the outrage is real with that reply. I guess you only want reader’s that totally agree with your viewpoint.

      4. Kathleen- I’ll use whatever language I want. This isn’t the 1950’s. Kids are dying, and you are defending the weapon killing them. So yeah, I’m pissed off. As I said, you are welcome to clutch your pearls all you want, but I’m here to defend my child, my right to free speech and my belief that our government is full of hypocritical, greedy, self-righteous people who are completely out of touch. Have a good day.

      5. If you read what I wrote I never said I was against banning this weapon. What I said was the majority of gun owners feel that taking away any gun right will just be the first small step to completely illuminating gun ownership. I can give examples of different areas this has happen. But I won’t. I will only be attacked over and over. My point was that you can make all the laws you want and it won’t change a thing. I understand everyone’s outrage over this. No one is happy with what happened on February 14th. I apologize for the foul-mouth comment. Oh and by the way, I don’t own any pearls. You don’t know me either.

      6. Kathleen is a warrior!!!! This is how tolerant liberals react when confronted with an opposing point of view. My husband graduated from the university of Chicago. When he went back for a reunion he was invited to an alum’s house. There was an argument about Bernie versus Hillary. My husband stood there quietly not saying anything. When asked what he thought, he politely said he was on the other side politically. The host ridiculed him in front of all the other guests. The left is Smarter, more sophisticated, morally superior than the right. I say stick these people on the south side of Chicago without protection. There were 650 murders in Chicago last year. They sit in their elite enclaves and preach to the rest of us. Don’t worry… I heard Jennifer Lawrence is taking a year off from acting to fix our democracy and “stuff”. Keep speaking out Kathleen!

      7. Diane, what are you even talking about? You want to put anti-gun liberals in the south side of Chicago, unarmed, and see how they fare?

        Tell me, what would that solve and what would it prove?

        There is not a proliferation of firearms in Chicago’s south side because it’s full of right-wing conservatives. Adding more guns to the mix will only beget the kind of violence so many people wish would end.

      8. Diane, I don’t think either liberal or conservative holds a high ground on treatment of those on the opposite side.

        Each side likes to play the victim – it’s just human nature. For a couple quick examples – conservatives call liberals ‘snowflakes’, yet Fox annually goes apoplectic about an imagined ‘war on Christmas.’ Liberals call conservatives intolerant, but will try and prevent conservative speakers from speaking on a campus. Your post is actually a good example of a conservative embracing victimhood. There are plenty of liberals that do the same. None of us should be ‘snowflakes’ and all of us should listen and discuss.

        Liberals don’t corner the market on acting like they have the moral high ground – just try being a liberal person who doesn’t believe in God, or is pro-choice, or thinks that sex ed is important, etc., etc., in a conservative environment. I’ve been there, and literal threats of brimstone and eternal damnation are not unusual.

        Neither side is innocent of accusing the other that they’re naive or uninformed, either! Conservatives often think that the multicultural, kumbaya ideals of liberals just show how little they understand the realities of the world. Urban liberals, to pull one example, who live in cities where terrorist attacks actually happen and people of all different races, speaking different languages, from different socioeconomic classes are friends, or at least coexist peacefully, think rural folks concerned about their own safety have a bit of a screw loose.

        Ultimately, the sides have different moral values, and different corresponding fears. I found this TED talk about this topic very illuminating and it’s helped me to look at the ‘other side’ in a much more constructive way. If we’re throwing around accusations that ‘conservatives lack all empathy’, or ‘liberals think they’re better than everyone else’, no one’s getting anywhere, and we’re playing into the extremes that are hurting our country. https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.

      9. Diane, I asked you to explain what you meant because I am interested in knowing why you think your suggestion (which was to put unarmed liberals in Chicago’s south side to see how they would fare) would improve the situation. You’re claiming that liberals think they are superior to conservatives and are out of touch with the real needs of the people. In most circles, people consider the exact opposite to be true.

        Pitting liberals against conservatives (and vice versa) does nothing to help solve the problem of gun violence. It’s a humanitarian issue that claims lives regardless of party affiliation. We’re talking about innocent children, specifically.

        Erin is speaking to us in this post as a parent, and what all parents want is for their children to be able to go to school without the threat of a mass shooting. EVERYONE, parent or not, wants to be able to go about their daily business, wherever that may be, without that threat. I know I do. You probably do, too.

      10. Exactly the reason we need tougher gun control laws – so they don’t get into the hands of nut jobs like Kathleen.

    3. Kathleen, I think you are getting off topic – you questioned Erin’s parenting (‘hope you don’t use bad language in front of your little boy’, etc.) – I don’t know any mom – liberal, conservative, pro- or anti-gun that would take that sitting down!

      I think you are brave to comment here knowing you’re going to be in the minority based on tenor of the post – but it isn’t constructive to make personal attacks.

      It is very hard discussing this issue. I sometimes think we are speaking different languages. Our fears are so totally different.

      I find the threat of the government becoming tyrannical, and individual citizens being able to overthrow the military / government IF this ever occurred about as far-fetched as the zombie apocalypse. In colonial times this was possible with single-shot muskets, in modern times, there’s just no way. However, I see real children dying every day – in mass shootings, in accidents, in domestic violence incidents. I see that this doesn’t happen in other countries (and they’re not being overtaken by tyrannical governments). I see other countries who had a problem and solved it (Australia). I was in France and a terrorist attacked at a train station – he had a knife, he killed 2 people – it didn’t even make US news or delay the trains – imagine how many people he could have killed with a gun?

      My fears seem very real to me, yours seem like fantasy. It is very hard for me – even having grown up hunting, with all the adults in my life owning guns – to understand. I can’t help but think it all comes down to guns being fun to shoot, and making you feel powerful – experiences I’ve had myself before. But I’m happy to give that up, and have.

      1. I knew I would be attacked. Your fears are real and mine are a fantasy? For me owning a gun has nothing to do with being fun to shoot and it has nothing to do with feeling powerful. Is this what you really think gun ownership is about? Good for you giving up your gun. Thank God we live in a country where we all can make our own decisions about gun ownership.

      2. The fear of a tyrannical government that could be “taken down” by civilians armed with guns is not a possibility nor a reality. Getting killed in a mass shooting is however.

      3. Hi, Kathleen. I get where you’re coming from – I just don’t understand it.

        Yes, to me the fear that you need to have guns due to the hypothetical threat of some future tyrannical government that you would have a chance in defeating with your guns is fantastical, whereas my fear of sending my kids to class seems reasonable. Just like you don’t find me particularly reasonable in being afraid of the permeation of guns in our society. My son’s preschool went into lockdown when a man with a history of domestic violence, who happened to be a gun owner, threatened police and then ran into the woods behind his school. I considered that a reasonable response in this day and age, which makes me incredibly sad. So yes, my fear seems more ‘real.’ To me. I know to many this is an acceptable way of life.

        I’ve discussed this at length with many (very conservative) loved ones, and no, I don’t expect to change your mind, and I’m not attacking you or laughing at you. I don’t think guns are a laughing matter. But it is hard for me to understand. My stepdad, a highly-trained special forces veteran, lives off the grid, is a prepper, and owns I don’t know how many guns. He says he’s been to places where the rule of law has broken down altogether, and if that happens here, he wants to be ready. He sees this existential, hypothetical, and yes, currently fantastical threat as more serious than mass shootings, terrorists armed with guns, the suicide rate in this country, accidental shootings, and on and on. But, I’m still afraid to send my toddlers to day care – to me this trumps his concerns, and gun control is urgent and the need for it apparent.

        And yes, he also loves shooting guns because it’s fun. I don’t know anyone who owns guns who doesn’t hunt or otherwise enjoy shooting. And if they didn’t make you feel powerful, they wouldn’t make you feel safe. The fact is – they are powerful. They kill people. That has to be part of it, or you wouldn’t want a gun.

    4. Kathleen, the majority of Americans do support common sense regulation, and the data clearly shows the skyrocketing rate of carnage that has happened since the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire. If it hadn’t, or if we had at least banned those weapons after Sandy Hook, this latest mass murder wouldn’t have happened. The killer was enamoured with the gun. He was able to purchase a killing machine, and he posted that he wanted to try it out.
      As for the second amendment, the NRA’s campaign of fear (Government tyranny!) and misinformation (they’re going to disarm you!) since the 1970’s has created this current culture. This was not the intention of the founding fathers. Here’s a very thorough and interesting piece: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856

  16. The ‘bad guys will get guns anyway’ argument is beyond infuriating. It’s not an argument in favor of guns, it’s literally an argument against the rule of law at all. By the same token – why make murder illegal? Murderers will still murder! Why make robbery illegal? Bad guys will rob.

    Applied anywhere – including to guns – this argument is preposterous.

  17. ” We have a ban on high capacity magazines and semi-automatic weapons” – No you don’t. Since you know less than nothing about guns you would realize almost every gun made is a scary “semi-automatic”. MA absolutely does not ban semi-autos.
    23% of MA residents own a firearm…not exactly a small number.

    I wish you would just be completely honest and say you want guns banned outright. Stop the BS’ing.

    You believe only rich celebs and politicians should be afforded armed security. We ‘deplorables’ aren’t nearly important enough to be like Kim Kardashian and have armed security (which she admitted she does). Watch the Oscars this year and see the hundreds of armed guards there, but I bet they are just “more important” than the rest of us.

    1. Rob, I’ll quote a friend’s recent post for a suggestion on a complete gun-control “package” – it would allow for plenty of room for keeping guns for self-defense and hunting, and I think would be supported by the vast, vast majority of liberals. He also, as a veteran and a gun owner, should have gun knowledge that reaches your standards:

      AR15s are not the problem alone. Yes, it’s the most popular military-style rifle, and it is designed to kill people effectively. But banning one model of weapon will just make people switch to other, equally effective killing machines. If you banned the Toyota Camry, would people stop buying midsize sedans? No, you’d just end up with more Honda Accords on the road. If you want to fix the problem, you have to ban all semi-automatic rifles. Semi-automatic means the weapon is loaded with a magazine (or belt in some cases) with multiple rounds; and for every trigger squeeze, one bullet is discharged. There is no real need for these weapons in civilian use. They aren’t necessary for hunting, where the point is to kill the animal with one shot. It is only useful for killing a lot of things in a short amount of time or having fun at a gun range. I think our children’s lives are more important than a fraction of the population’s fun shooting a bunch of rounds quickly at a range. They’ll cope.

      Handguns are far more responsible for gun deaths in America than semi-auto rifles. Though most handgun rounds aren’t as deadly as rifle rounds, it’s inconsequential at short range. And handguns are far easier to conceal than a rifle. With the exception of maybe revolvers (which have 5-6 round max before reloading), I believe handguns should be outlawed. The Virginia Tech massacre, the most deadly school shooting in American history, was accomplished with handguns only. Don’t underestimate their lethality. I think military style rifles only account for about 2% of gun deaths each year. If you want to solve the problem, semi-auto handguns have to go, as well.

      If we really want to make a difference in gun deaths, we need to do WAY more than universal background checks and better mental health screening. Banning all semi-automatic weapons would make that difference. Keeping shotguns, revolvers, and bolt-action rifles legal accomplish all the typical, common uses of guns. (Bolt-action rifles are typical hunting rifles that you have to reload between shots.) With these types of firearms legal, you can still hunt, defend your home, and compete in sport shooting.

      Combine the following with the semi-auto ban:
      Government buy-back program of all semi-automatic weapons. Once a grace period for turn-ins ends, possession will be a felony without a special (and rare) license for Federally approved dealers and collectors.
      Gun licenses for all who want to continue to own approved firearms. Licenses will be granted by completing a comprehensive background check, psych evaluation, safety training, marksmanship training, and meeting strict storage requirements. Storage requirements would include safes, weapons unloaded, with ammo stored separately. Licenses expire after a certain number of years and all the requirements must be completed again for license renewal.
      Registration of all firearms.
      Insurance for all firearms. If your gun is used in a crime or if there’s a accident with your gun, your insurance company is liable for damages. Let the insurance market set rates based on their analysis of risk. Then, people can decide if it’s financially worth it to own a gun.

  18. Just catching up on your blog and had to read this post. Well said. I’ve heard those same excuses over and over again, and I am so sick of them.

    No civilian needs to own an assault rifle of any kind, period, end of story.

    Tighter gun control is absolutely necessary. The second amendment belongs to those of us advocating for stronger gun control measures, too, and we deserve to be protected FROM it as much as we do BY it. It is beyond time to update this law.

  19. Catching up a few days late here, but got all fired up and had to comment. Erin, normally I hate when someone inserts politics into non-political spaces – like, gimme a break, I’m trying to have a good day here! EXCEPT IN THIS SITUATION. Do I hope that you start writing about politics every day? No. Am I a conservative Republican who probably disagrees with you on a lot of political issues? Yes. But this is so so so SO different than any of that. We have to talk about this. And keep talking about it until something changes.

    I think part of it is figuring out how to make this discussion separate from and above all of the rest of it. There’s so much other garbage and distraction and disagreement out there. We need to have a clear conversation about assault rifles and how we as a society are PUTTING those bad guns in the wrong hands. I know…”slippery slope”, “what will they take next?”…sorry, but I think that’s a risk that as a society we should be willing to take.

    We should also applaud the President for his review of legislation on bump stocks. Does this fix everything? Has anything actually happened yet? No and no, but it’s a start and we should show him that he’ll get a positive reaction from the American public for this kind of behavior – and maybe we can incentivize more of it.

    I so appreciate your calm, common-sense, views (with supporting information and links! so thorough and unlike so much of what is online these days!). I think conversations like these are the ones that can ACTUALLY CHANGE MINDS.

    1. Things were not so calm during the CNN debate the other night. Senator Rubio and others were insulted and mocked. Dana Loesch literally had to be escorted out of the building with guards due to the threats made by the audience.

      President Trump handled the conversation in a mature caring manner. How was that meeting covered by the media? All they concentrated on were the notes in his hand. I’ve never spoke publically without having notes in my hand to remind me of what I want to say.

      I don’t consider Erin’s views presented calmly – there was no two way conversation.

  20. Every one of your words so perfectly describes my thoughts. Thank you.

    I’m a socially liberal Californian living in Dallas. My husband (for his job) owns a handgun that he keeps in his work vehicle and for our safety at home he keeps a revolver. I do not agree with his ownership of guns but he has made some very valid points as to why he keeps them, so as long as I do not see them and they are not accessible, I have agreed to allow them.

    However, BOTH of us are in full agreement that the use of semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the hands of civilians is absolutely unnecessary. These death machines should have never been allowed outside of the military. In addition, we believe that it should be difficult to obtain any type of gun by way of several levels of restrictions such as background checks, waiting periods, training, testing, licensing, and minimum age requirements. After Sandy Hook, we have both done everything you have suggested, however living here in Texas, I fear that our voices continue to fall on deaf ears. I hope that things begin to change and one day these crazy Texas that surround us will see the light at the end of this dark and bloody tunnel of death that we keep encountering.

    1. Gigi,,do your homework please. semi automatics are handguns. .380, .32, .25, .44, .45, .40 cal,,,are all SEMI-AUTO. it just means their bullets are fed into the chamber by way of a magazine, instead of revolving cylinder of a revolver. I’d like to know what you think the difference is between a semi auto and a revolver. Both fire one bullet with each squeeze of the trigger. A .45 semi auto handgun usually hold 8 rounds in the magazine and one in the barrel. A revolver holds 5-6 bullets. Speedy reloaders are available and can be switched out to reload in less than 2 seconds.

      As for automatic weapons, those are illegal. Civilians can’t own them unless you have an FFL license (government licensing to those who are dealers).
      Here in Calif, there is a waiting requirement on all weapons. I do agree on training, testing, licensing, and everything else you mentioned, except the exclusion of semi automatic handguns!
      Guys, come on….if you’re coming on here to spout off about gun control matters, at lease educate yourself on more than the liberal stance. Do yourself a favor and actually learn a thing or two about handguns, rifles and military weapons. The AR15 is not an assault rifle. You all sound ignorant protesting something that you have no idea about what they really are.

  21. Bravo Erin!!! I’m also getting involved with my local chapter of Moms Demand Action – we have got to do everything we can to protect our sweet children -it’s what Mama Bears do!

  22. I have followed you for years , Erin, and I now admire you even more. Thank you for using your voice in this way. We have to stand up and demand change. Lives depend on it. #timesup

  23. If it wasn’t for our armed civilian population we would have never been able to fight off the attacks of England, Spain and Canada to name a few.

    The answer to all of this is not in the Constitution it is in the book of Romans.

    1. Kathleen,
      Regarding your comment about abortion above ,which has nothing really to do with this topic, but because you mention it…..I am pro life, but I am tired of our lax gun laws. Why are working so hard to protect the baby while it is in the womb, but we could care less once it is out? Regarding our individual rights. Individual rights are not okay, when they take away others rights. Having the right, doesn’t make it right. We need to meet in the middle with new gun laws.

      1. I’m all for a discussion on how to meet in the middle regarding new gun laws. However, that is never what I hear. What I hear is an attack on GOP, NRA and gun owners. Name calling and questioning sanity. Maybe if both sides would agree that we all love our children, we all want our children to be safe all the time. And my comment about abortion does have relevance. Why aren’t more people outraged by the amount of human life destroyed daily? But after this horrible shooting and I dare to comment I’m the biggest piece of scum on the planet. I just see an injustice happening to our children in many areas of our country.

      2. But you AREN’T trying to meet in the middle. I, however, am and being met with every excuse in the book from the opposing side as to why they should not have to budge an INCH and blaming everything under the sun except the actual weapon. I’d rather all guns were banned, but I know that many Americans do not and therefore I’m trying to meet in the middle with a suggestion to ban on a certain type of gun that has only one purpose- to kill viciously (you should read this doctor’s account of what the bullets from an AR-15 do to a human body) and closer regulation of other kinds of guns. As well as increased focus on mental health, reporting suspicious people, etc. How is this so offensive to you? It still allows for your right to self-defense and hunting (and” fighting a tyrannical government”) but takes a step towards stopping mass murderers by limiting their access to military grade weaponry. I really do not understand how this is not okay to responsible gun owners.

    2. Which is not relevant to modern society, nor it’s evolved weapons, in 2018 in the least. Armed civilians are not going to be able to fight off invading countries if that happened.

      1. This whole discussion has turned into a tit for tat. I have been a devoted reader since the start of your blog Erin. You are so talented and I enjoy how you write. Your book is my favorite design book I have ever read. I literally cracked up reading it! I’m sorry if I insulted you with any of my responses. I will never make the mistake of responding to any idea you have that is contrary to mine.

      2. You absolutely have every right to respond, I have never said you don’t. This is a topic that is a very emotional debate– which means I have my right to question your position and you have a right to question mine. It’s just how this goes. Nothing gets solved by being polite and keeping our thoughts and opinions to ourselves. I appreciate your support and comment about my book. We shall agree to disagree, but I do not plan on censoring what I write here about this very important topic. It’s far too important to me.

  24. I think all problems get solved by being rational and polite. Maybe I’m wrong. You told me I could “leave” in one of your responses. I guess I took that as not having a voice on your blog. I probably misunderstood.

    For the sake of discussion, responding to me you replied “I’d rather all guns be banned.” Many gun supporters fear that sentiment is the true feeling of the majority of people trying to get stricter gun laws. Many gun owners think that it will be a slow and deliberate attack on gun rights until they do away with all guns.

    1. Kathleen…in response to your abortion comment..people like you and I see murder as murder. We don’t pick and choose depending on the method. People can now plainly see that a baby in the womb is a life! We name our babies months in advance….we decorate their rooms to fit what we imagine their personalities to be…we mourn over still births and miscarriages. If we were to try and restrict abortion they would have an absolute melt down. I’m joining you and keeping my mouth shut on this topic…I too, have enjoyed this blog for a long time and bought more than a few products Erin has promoted. If you saw President Trumps sit down with the victims and the rally with all the name calling, etc. I think you can see that a differing opinion is NOT welcome.

      1. I meant to say comparing the Donald trump listening session and the rally where they were calling the senator Rubio and the nra representative that were “invited” to participate murderers. How is that helpful in any way on any planet?

      2. Thank you Diane. I appreciate your kind words and support.

        Huge difference between the talk between President Trump and various victims. Trump invited them to the White House. Sat down with them and listened. Then tune into the Rubio press conference where he was attacked viciously for things he had no hand in.

  25. Any conversation about moving forward is helped by knowing how we got here. For 200+ years our country and courts understood the second amendment was written with regard to militias. Extremists in the 1970’s took over the NRA and pushed out its directors, and began to change the narrative. Conservative republican Chief Justice Warren Burger called it “fraud on the American people”. This is so interesting, and history we should have as we debate the issue:
    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856

  26. Way to go Erin. I guess you have taken away my voice to respond. Won’t except my replies. Be aware readers she is censoring this blog. No telling what she will do to me next? There is no meeting in the middle hear. Erin didn’t like what I said so she blocked me from responding. Guess that is your privilege. Erin you are a bully wrapped up in pretty clothes. You don’t care what anyone thinks unless they think just like you.

  27. Kathleen needs help. That much ugliness comes from a very sad place. And if she thinks that the United States of America is the only free country in the world, she needs to get an education. There are currently 123 democratic countries in the world and many of them rival or surpass the United States in education, health care, environmental issues and more. Yes, America is great. I served proudly in its armed forces for more than 20 years. But we have a problem when it comes to mass shootings and our current laws haven’t slowed the killings. Why be afraid to try something else?
    Something that could make a difference?

    1. I need help? Exactly what type help would you suggest I get being you are so knowledgeable?

      We are not a democratic country Leslie. We are a republic. You probably are one of those that keeps saying Hillary won because you don’t understand how our electoral process works. It is you that needs the education.

      Every single one of the “laws” and “regulations” that prevent what happened didn’t work. Total failure. But you want to jump on me and insult my mental capacity.

      I’m not “afraid” to try something else at all.

      I don’t understand you comment “I served for more than 20 years” – many have.

  28. I agree completely with tighter regulation, licensing, mental health checks, waiting periods, etc. Absolutely. I’m a police officer so I think I’m well versed in my opinions and what I’ve seen over the years.
    Erin, first off, please, please, educate yourself on the topic if you’re going to denounce it. The AR15 is not an assault rifle. It’s not a military rifle. It’s a hunting rifle that is exactly the same as the wood version (I can’t post pics here so it won’t let me show you, but please Google what an AR15 is and what it looks like side by side w/it’s wood twin). when you talk about the “bullets from the AR15” and what they do to humans,,,,it’s a .223 round, the same one that’s used in hunting rifle. Again, the two weapons are exactly the same. one is wood and the other is plastic to look like a scary military rifle. That’s the only difference. So basically what you are saying is banning all rifles. you say the AR15 was made just to kill people. that is so not true. again, please do some homework on these weapons. Let me also stress that a .357 or .44 magnum round will do just as much damage to a human, and these come from handguns. a rifle round travels at a higher velocity, but the handgun rounds pack more of a deadly punch when hit. They ALL do great damage to human tissue. Your argument that the bullet in an AR15 is clearly ignoring that all bullets do damage to humans.
    .00 buckshot in a shotgun, or slug round in shotgun will do more damage at close range than an AR15.

    Again, let me stress, I’m all for strict control. But lets look at Chicago. the strictest gun control place in the nation and they had over 2000 killings in a year. majority of those were hand guns.
    I don’t think anyone should be able to buy a weapon over the counter and walk out with it 30 mins later. But I don’t think the government has the right to tell me I can’t own a weapon either.

    Are you aware of what happened in Australia after mandatory confiscation of all guns for citizens? There was a 60% increase in home invasion robberies. HOME INVASION. (not burglaries) Home invasion where they come in and hold the residents at gun point while they robbed. why do you think there was such an increase? Because the bad guys knew home owners wouldn’t be able to defend themselves. We have a much more violent/populated criminal population here in the USA. I want you to stop and really think about what you’re wishing for. But you’re prob thinking, “but I don’t own a gun and my friends don’t own guns and nothing like that has happened to us”. The reason is, “the criminals don’t know you’re not armed”. If they knew for sure you didn’t have a weapon, you’d be at their mercy.

    There are more than 350 million registered weapons here in the USA right now. That is not including black market weapons, unregistered or smuggled in weapons from Mexico. we all know that bad guys are not going to turn in their weapons. So I want you think a minute about what a total gun ban would mean. I’m sorry, but you guys that propose this are not seeing the big, gigantic picture. Do you think a gun ban would mean that bad guys could no longer get weapons to commit crimes? Do you think a gun ban would mean there would be no more mass shootings? Take off the PollyAnna hat and think about it. It’s too late for gun bans. you can’t compare other countries to us because of the sheer amount of guns/people that we have to start with. You can’t make all those weapons disappear. You also can’t make smuggling from Mexico and So.America go away, which would skyrocket w/a total ban.
    Heroin is completely illegal, banned and closely monitored. Heroin is easier to get than prescription opiates. Why do you think guns would be any different? seriously. have you looked at the totality of everything?

    In closing, I agree w/you on regulation. I disagree on gun ban, because, that’s an inane proposition that only benefits the criminal element and our government, should it ever start to swing that way. All I’m asking is that you educate yourself on the weapons you’re speaking about, and what you are proposing.

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