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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Slow down the rush

Uploaded: Jan 15, 2013
Vice-President Joe Biden has submitted his task force's recommendations for reducing gun violence to President Obama with a public release expected later in the week.
What's been remarkable in the understandable public furor after the Sandy Hook massacre is how little attention has been paid to what might actually work versus politicians simply looking for symbols—the "assault weapons" and high-capacity magazines. Personally I cannot understand the need for a 30-round clip for a semi-automatic rifle, but I am not a gun person.
That said, where is the discussion about the overwhelming gun violence—young black man against other young black men. Look no farther than the biggest city in our county, Oakland. Four murders last weekend.
The victims were not killed in a school classroom by a deranged gunman, but were a part of a continuing pattern of violence. I will be astonished if the president and other politicians address this violence. It's easy to pander with assault rifles and over-sized magazines—what's far more difficult is the ongoing murder rate in the inner cities.
Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner was out pitching her proposal last week to track all of the ammunition sold in the state. But California has pretty strict gun laws that do not seem to be making much difference in Oakland.
It's easy to get caught up in the hysteria and miss the larger picture. Part of that picture is what business the federal government has with tracking gun ownership. These awful events invite government over-reach and each time it further limits our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.
The potential national registry would focus on law-abiding citizens who choose to own guns. Of course, what other registries are in play for constitutionally guaranteed freedoms? Amazingly, you have to show identification to cash a check or get on an airplane, but not to cast a vote. When I was actively working on education reform, there was no way to track a student who left one school and moved out of town or to see how high school graduates performed once they moved on to college.
We saw similar over-reach, with arguably a better cause, in the first editions of the Patriot Act that ignored privacy rights and gave the government substantially more power to investigate activities of private citizens.
What's required is a deep breath and a thoughtful conversation—not a rush to judgment driven by pandering politicians.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Jan 15, 2013 at 9:27 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Simple, Uncle Joe would much rather take the easy route and blame inanimate objects than the nutcases who use them. There are already plenty of guns laws on the books and adding more may make politicians feel better, but unless they address mental health deficiencies, we'll continue to have tragedies like Sandy Hook.
Of course, the 'task force' lead by plugs Biden is political and has no intention of actualy solving anything other than undermining the lobbying efforts of the NRA.

Regarding big city violence, you probably noticed that Chicago had over 250 gun related murders last year. They also have lots of gun laws on the books in Illinois, yet we need more laws to make the low information voters think our politicians care about our safety.

But guns are the problem...they are bad, very, very bad. Maybe if the NRA contributed more money to dems, the focus would not be solely on guns.

Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

I haven't seen any consideration of technology-based methods of easing the problem. What if every gun sold after 2018 must be equipped with user recognition so that only an authorized user could shoot? How about GPS tracker chips in every gun? Require gun storage to be in safes equipped with auto-dial-a-cop in the event that they are forced or moved. Register all users of psychotic drugs.

Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley,
on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:17 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

Purchase of a gun should require a prescription from a mental health professional.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 16, 2013 at 11:32 am

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


I don't know if you are being sarcastic, but I like some of the ideas in your first message.

I had two rifles and a shotgun stolen from my house in Culver City 22 years ago. Guns don't stop thieves from robbing your house. They entice thieves with a highly marketable commodity they can sell on the black market.

I don't know what happened to my guns or if they were used in a crime, because they were not registered, bullet rifflings was not stored in a national database, and there was no tracking system to locate them and keep them from being misused by criminals or crazy people.

One of the catch phrases of the NRA is, ""If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns." Yes, they will have your guns and mine.


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Jan 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Roz, even with all the fancy, expensive tracking you'd still be without your guns, plus if they were used in committing in a crime, it all leads back to you and the fact you didn't have them stored in a gun safe.
It's irresponsible gun owners that open up the opportunity for thieves to sell them on the black market. Or worse, as in what happened in Sandy Hook....she knew her son was deranged and yet she left her guns where he could use them. Kinda like leaving your keys in the car and wondering why your car is now missing.
Of course, had you been home, you could have proven that having a gun is valuable for protecting yourself and your possessions....or, you could have called he police and waited while the perp did whatever he wanted.

Posted by Casanova_Frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jan 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Casanova_Frankenstein is a registered user.

Tim's right! The corpses of these poor children in Newtown have barely had time to cool and already we're talking about making sure this never happens again?! Slow down there, pardner! We need more time--time to allow people to forget, time for another few mass murders, time for the NRA to work on their spin.

Listen, this whole gun thing is new to the United States. We need time to really think about this. Besides, isn't the Second Amendment the unquestionable word of God Almighty himself? It would be unthinkable to reassess it. UNTHINKABLE, I say!

As Sarah Palin once so wisely said, don't retreat, reload!

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Jan 17, 2013 at 9:27 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

In the immortal words of Rahm Emmanuel, "Don't let a crisis go to waste".
Welcome back to our local dem apologist, casanova. How about those of your ilk focus on enforcing the already onerous gun laws in existence, instead of grandstanding with even more legislation and using victimized children for cover at news conferences?

Is it any wonder there's so much violence in the world when so many act on emotion rather than logic. Dems M.O. is to project that they are in touch with the common man's 'feelings'. This eliminates all logic from discussions about issues like gun control.

Posted by Casanova_frankenstein, a resident of Old Towne,
on Jan 20, 2013 at 7:00 am

Casanova_frankenstein is a registered user.

Disease is right! It's wrong to listen to our feelings when children are shot dead. What's the matter with you crazy libs?!? Instead, try some good old-fashioned conservative logic: guns+more guns=less death. Surely you diseased Dumocrats can understand at least that simple equation!

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