January 11th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Tucson tragedy enough to change gun laws?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's a debate almost as old as the country itself: whether it's a good idea for private citizens to own guns.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/11/art.glock.jpg caption="A Glock 19 handgun."]
And when something like the Tucson massacre happens, the debate roars to life all over again.

It was remarkably easy for the shooter - Jared Lee Loughner - to get his hands on a gun in Arizona, which has some of the laxest gun laws in the country.

The 22-year-old passed an instant background check in a sporting goods store before purchasing a Glock 19 - a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. He also bought an oversized magazine that allowed him to fire 33 shots without reloading - instead of the standard 10. Some lawmakers want to ban these oversized magazines nationwide.

They're already outlawed in at least 6 states.

But not Arizona - where a recent law allows anyone over 21 to carry a gun without a permit. Guns are allowed almost everywhere in Arizona - including the state capitol, many public buildings, in places that serve alcohol and on school grounds.

Meanwhile, by many accounts, Loughner is being described as mentally unstable and someone who should have never been allowed to buy a weapon in the first place.

He failed the "drug screening process" for the military and was rejected. Loughner had five run-ins with his Community College police before he was kicked out of school for disruptive activity.

But instead of becoming stricter, the nation's gun laws have actually become more lax in recent years. Examples include the removal of Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban and an amendment to allow gun owners to carry concealed and loaded weapons in national parks.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Tucson tragedy be enough to change the nation's gun laws?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Stacy in Florida writes:
There are enough gun laws now that aren't enforced. Gun laws and gun stores are for hunters. The bad guys buy them in the alley. Laws don't mean anything in the alley.

Sarah in Florida writes:
We should take this as a wake-up call. A mentally unstable young man who was thrown out of community college for his frightening, erratic behavior and was rejected by the U.S. Army walked into a store and walked out with a gun. Put your agenda aside for two seconds and think about that. We should be ashamed of ourselves collectively as Americans for allowing this to happen.

David in North Carolina writes:
Our democracy ends when people lose their 2nd Amendment right to own and carry guns. As long as the people own and carry guns, the government is held in check. An unarmed population leads to tyranny and a dictatorship. The 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution to protect the people from our government and keep potential tyrants and dictators in check.

Cal in Denver writes:
Jack, Not going to happen either way. The 2nd Amendment will not be affected. Both sides of the discussion will fight tooth and nail to get what they want, but it will stalemate again in the Supreme Court if it gets that far. It is both a gift and a curse, but it was done with good intentions at the time. Just right now it allows the wrong people the right to bear arms.

B.J. in Illinois writes:
The only time that anything gets done or pushed through is when it affects someone important. So it is possible.

Dick writes:
I think quite the reverse. If everyone had a gun at that event, I suspect that Loughner would have been full of holes after a couple of shots.

Lisa in Connecticut writes:
The Columbine tragedy should have been enough but the gun lobby is too powerful.

Filed under: Firearms • Law Enforcement • Tragedy
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Name*Stacy St. Augustine, Fl

    There are enough gun laws now that aren't enforced. Gun laws and gun stores are for hunters. The bad guys buy them in the alley. Laws don't mean anything in the alley.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  2. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Tucson tragedy enough to change gun laws?
    The "2" have nothing to do with each other.
    Guns don't shoot innocent people, other people do
    & it'd be much worse if those ( other people ) knew
    "WE" didn't have a gun.
    Just look @ our government spending [ most ] of our tax dollars on guns { 'i' know that's a very simple minded way of saying it, but it's true!

    January 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  3. terry

    no – these isolated incidents always give those anti-gun proponents fodder to go to the other extreme ..................had there been an armed person ( other than the shooter ) in that crowd in Tuscon, perhaps not as many would have been killed/wounded ..........

    this is a century-old debate ...............the 2nd amendment is clear on what was intended

    January 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  4. Will

    We are no longer in the 18th century when the bill of rights was written. Times have changed, society clearly has changed and the new reality is that we need to impart some common sense and legislate restricedt access to guns by people with known psycotic issues like the loony in Tuscon. This subject, like every volitile issue facing our country needs a meassure of common sense, balance and a little bit of (dare I say it) compromise- for the common good.

    New York

    January 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  5. Valerie in Raleigh

    MY guess is no. The NRA has the Republican Party in their pocket meaning there will be no change. Logic and common sense do not play a part in the gun lobby of this country – they feel everyone should have the right to be armed to the teeth anywhere and everywhere. Should anyone speak against them, they attack in formation to embarass and discredit the person speaking. It will only get worse. Very sad.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  6. ron....Michigan

    why should the gun laws have to change if these people we have in our government [ congress and senate] who do nothing to change

    January 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  7. Carl


    No is the answer, and why should they? Drugs are illegal, and anyone who wants them, has them. You need to understand that if a criminal wants a gun, he will get a gun, it's just that simple. To make or change the gun laws will stop the honest person from having a gun, what is so hard to understand about this?

    January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  8. Ike J

    I hope so...

    January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  9. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think so Jack. If a person wants to kill someone and they can not get a gun to do it they will simply use something else. 9-11 had no guns involved just box cutters and airplanes and many people died, Cars kill people every day Jack and no one is going to take them away because of it.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  10. Steve

    Anyone who even mentions changing gun laws in your country is promptly stomped into submission by the NRA and others..If Fort Hood, Columbine, James Brady etc,etc,etc couldn't change the laws, this won't...

    January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  11. Dennis north Carolina

    Why does it take a death or a tragedy to raise public opinion? W chose to look at the tool instead of the operator of the tool! the gun is a tool but it can not kill with out the operator. you can take all the guns away but that will not stop the killing of people. we have knives, swords, bombs, cars, planes and many other items to in flick death but the only thing that they have in common is the operator of the tool. the top court has limited the power government to protect us from the operator of these tools until the crime is committed which is called personal rights vs innocent lives. the court has to live with this blood on their hands and should be held accountable for their action. their words are the fingers on the tools that are used. the founding fathers are shaking their heads in shame and discuss!!!!!

    January 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  12. Terry in Chandler, AZ

    I would like to see the gun laws changed. Nothing will happen unless the NRA and the gun lobby realize a need for a change and start the conversation. It is the kiss of death for a politician wanting to be re-elected to initiate the dialogue.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  13. Bradley, Portland, OR

    It won't happen.

    The Republicans and Tea Party won't let it happen.

    January 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Steve

    I got it a few years ago watching Chuck Heston accept being President of the NRA...he's holding up a musket...symbol of the revoultion...Americans should own these, not crazy people and assault weapons!!!!

    Vernon Hills, IL

    January 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  15. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    There have been far too many tragedies from wackos with guns and not one of them has led to any changes in gun laws. This recent tragedy won't make one damn difference. We've got a representative here in Minnesota that is even saying what happened in Tucson points out why people should carry. We have well and truly entered the crazy years.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  16. bonnie from nj

    It should be, but it won't. We will get the old, "well if someone in the crowd had a gun he could have shot him." I don't understand the need people feel to own a gun, especially a high powered weapon. I know the saying that "power is an aphrodisiac" and a gun certainly gives you power. The gun lobby cannot see any reason for any restrictions for ownership. This thinking fits right into our current political climate of only my opinion is correct and you must be an idiot to think any differently. Everyday I am reading about some shooting somewhere in this country ending in tragedy for innocent people. We can only hope that this will bring about change but I am sure it will not.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  17. Ed

    No because laws don't keep people from breaking the law. And the law against killing other people should be sufficient to put this guy away for a long time. Same as it would if he had used a homemade pipe bomb or something like that.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  18. andy

    how many people have to die before the gun laws DO change?

    January 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  19. Jane (Minnesota)

    Sadly, it won't becasue the Gun Lobbies have too much influence over our politicians.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  20. Andrew- Regina, SK

    It's certainly a lovely thought, but realistically it's not going to change anything. To tighten the gun laws requires lawmakers to weave through the complex world of the second amendment, have to deal with the right-wing loonies who wants everybody to carry guns, and to deal with the biggest hurdle; the National Rifle Association, one of the biggest and most influential lobbyists organizations in the entire country. Unless the police and gun control advocates can figure out how to stop the NRA's string pulling, any chance of keeping guns out of mentally unfit people is dead in the water.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  21. Bob in Fla

    Hopefully. Perhaps reinstate some of the laws that lapsed in 2004, but other than that, not very likely. Americans have a love affair with guns.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  22. Pete from Georgia

    There is NOTHING you can do in a truly free society to eliminate a clever but mentally unbalanced person from obtaining a weapon and committing a capital crime.
    Liberals will jump and hollar from the rooftops for all guns to be destroyed, zero gun ownership. The absolute opposite of logic and freedom. What a surprise.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  23. Slotl - Marietta, Ga

    Change the gun laws? Be realistic, the actual result of this tragedy will be just another reason for the NRA to line the pocketbooks of Washington politicians. Did that sound like illegal payoffs? Sorry, let me phrase it a different way: "more contributions by the NRA to the re-election campaign coffers of our Washington politicians".

    January 11, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  24. Scott Stodden

    I Believe And Support The Constitution When It Says That We Have The Right To Bear Arms But With The Right Should Also Come Responsibility And Common Sense. Of Course Every State Should Have Guidelines And Laws For People Who Want To Purchase Guns Including Passing A Backround Check And Making Sure That People Who Purchase Guns Are Not Crazies Who Will Do Anything To Hurt People! Laws In Arizona Need To Change Immediatly Because Its Crazy To Allow People To Carry Guns In Parks, Bars And Schools And Governor Jan Brewer Should Do All She Can To Tighten Gun Control Laws Or She Should Get Out Of Office!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    January 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally I wonder why our politicians haven’t done more to protect us from each other before now. How we got from “regulated militia” to every nut case has the right to own as many assault weapons as possible is beyond my comprehension.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  26. Anne

    The right to bear arms should be banned once and for all. We no longer live in the Wild West. We are becoming a pathetic nation when it is no longer safe to go anywhere without fear. We live in the 21st century and it is time we acted like we do.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  27. David

    We should but we won't. No Politician has the guts to do it. Maybe A.G.Holder had a point when he said that "we'er a nation of cowards".

    January 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  28. Anthony from Swedesboro, NJ

    Gun control is but a pipe dream. This is one issue that will create another Civil War. The best we can do is slowly whittle away at the endless rights the NRA now enjoys just as the pro-lifers are doing to abortion. The forefathers know not what havoc they would unleash by the Second amendment. Pistols and automatics should only be in the possession of law officials. The gun lovers would rather give up their toys at the end of their cold, dead hands.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  29. Viv from NY

    It is NOT just the Tuscon tragedy . These types of home grown terrorist attacks have been going on for years and now we are seeing atleast one a year. How many more do we need to realize the second amendment not working out well Jack ?

    People are crossing borders to go to the weak law
    gun states to buy guns. Time we ask gun rights supporters did the system work ? Why is it a person who is mentally unstable able to buy a 9 mm Glock? How many more tragedies like this do we have to watch before we say enough!

    January 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  30. Marguerite

    Seattle, WA

    Yes, but it don't think it will ever happen.

    However, I have a suggestion. How about we require an annual license fee on all guns owned just like we have to pay a few annually for our cars. The large the weapon, the more the cost and anyone found to own weapons and not have them properly licensed would pay a fine and have the guns confiscated.

    At least may that would help to reduce the number of weapons owned by everyone and would require more control of the sale of weapons at gun shows and the like.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  31. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    It certainly Should Be! Until things change I'm staying out of Arizona. Thanks for the info Jack.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  32. jim west virginia

    There are some people who are looking for any reason to take away the right to bear arms in this country. One of the first articles of communism is to disarm the people, when that is done they can't resist..

    January 11, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  33. Mark

    Yes, it is. Gun laws should be changed to make it illegal for cities or states to outlaw the ownership of guns and it should be LEGAL for citizens with no criminal record to carry a firearm without a permit.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  34. Liz in Arizona

    I say no, to the ban on guns. What we do need is a better background check system. This "instant" check obviously points out gaps. With this day and age of technology, and how one can be prevented a job by what they have posted online, goes to prove more effort should be made to provide police reports on an individual, a statement saying denied by the military and similar items for those background checks when purchasing a firearm.

    I as a private citizen should have the right to own a firearm and not have that taken away because of some nutcase committing a horrible act. If that is the case, why wasn't firearms banned when President Kennedy was shot?

    January 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  35. Dick B

    I think quite the reverse. If everyone had a gun at the rally, I suspect that Loughner would have been full of holes after a couple of shots.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  36. Cal in Denver


    Not going to happen either way. The 2nd Amendment will not be affected. Both sides of the discussion will fight tooth and nail to get what they want, but it will stalemate again in the Supreme Court if it gets that far.

    It is both a gift and a curse, but it was done with good intentions at the time. Just right now it allows the wrong people the right to bare arms.

    Cal in Denver, CO

    January 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  37. Luci

    A hard question to answer. I am against carrying guns of any kind.
    They should only be used for Police etc. or for hunting.
    You know if President Obama tackles this problem, it will cause the hate spouting as usual. I am so tired of hearing they're going to take our guns away from us. I haven't seen anything like that happening.
    I think owning guns only strokes their egos and makes them feel superior.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  38. Claire, Melbourne FL

    It'll never happen Jack – the NRA owns Congress....both sides. There are too many cowards in Congress....they don't really represent we the people....they're afraid of the next election. I think we need term limits -NOW...then something might get done for the middle class, which is rapidly diminishing.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  39. david


    Living in Canada does not make our lives safer from the violence which recently happened in Tucson. Common sense however would have eliminated one warning and risk, that would be to have a Doctor's approval before being issued a firearm licence. I have to do that before I get a Driver's licence!


    January 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  40. Terry- Greensburg, IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    it's a good idea for private citizens to own guns.

    The 22-year-old passed an instant background check in a sporting goods store before purchasing a Glock 19 – a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. ((sporting goods store )) get them!!!!
    ban these over-sized clips nationwide – the're suppose to be already banned except for military use.
    Loughner who should have never been allowed to buy a weapon in the first place. That's where the problem started, it's not the gun – it's the owner.
    Should the Tucson tragedy be enough to change the nation's gun laws?Should the Tucson tragedy be enough to change the nation's gun laws? Like 'i' said earlier – one has nothing to do with the other.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  41. Mark....in Houston


    Of course it is but it will never happen.

    We go through this debate with each new "gun created" tragedy....and we will go through it again with the next.

    This country's display of grief and mourning for gun shot victims is probably the best in the world but our elected officials lack the courage to take necessary steps to restrict the cause.

    Our congress is more apt to pass a law dictating the mourning process than create a law that would help prevent their need.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  42. Derrick

    How can we mourn over this shooting as tragic as it is when it was done in a state that allows citizens to carry weapons. Is it that you can carry a weapon in Arizona but you can't use it or is that you can carry a weapon and decide when to use it. This citizen obviously excerized his second ammendment rights. Until the laws are changed we can expect these types of acts.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  43. Jean

    No , its not the laws that are the problem its people. A few weeks ago a man went into a school board meeting with a gun. This kid new what exactly what he was doing. Stop trying to make more issues.
    It is simple, people who want to use guns to kill and hurt people, will find away to get guns. Legal or not. Stop making excuses for these people who kill and hurt people. This was not political attack. Just a person that wanted his 3 minutes in the lime light.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  44. Gail, Plano TX

    Ir should be, Jack, but will never happen. Here in TX, citizens are encouraged to bring their weapons to the Capitol building. Rick Perry, endorses this. We lead the world in gun ownership. Now doesn't that make us proud? Even when the Reagan assassination occured. and his collegue Jim Brady was so terribly maimed, the Brady bill met with a lot of resistance on Capitol Hill. Money talks, Jack. It's all about the NRA buying the congress and using the constitution to back them up.
    Sure hope I don't get deleted today.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  45. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    The Columbine tragedy should have been enough but the gun lobby is too powerful.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
  46. BOB K OHIO

    Columbine wasn't enough, Virginia Tech wasn't enough. What makes you think the Tucson Tragedy will be enough?

    January 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  47. Paulet

    I hope that we can at least go back to law that existed until 2004 - Congress should support Mrs. McCarthy and at least get that 31 shot clip off the retail shelves the only thing that is good is hunting the two legged - at least it won't take 20 years to fix like the mental health law as well as the data base to support it.
    The country is divided on the gun laws but at least getting the clip off the shelves should show some bipartisanship.
    As far as Congressmen totin' guns - probably seems like a good thought to them until one shoots his foot is a good judge here.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  48. Tim in Texas

    This tragedy is one in a long string, and yes, it should compel us to consider not 'gun control' laws, but 'civil protection laws'. Most people – yes even those of us on the left, respect the fact that people want to have guns for various purposes. But that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be any protections for us regarding who can have them, where they can have them, and what kind of guns they are. We have rights too. We have the right to walk down the street with some security that we are not going to be shot. And we have the right to not have to carry a gun to protect ourselves.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  49. Jim


    Oh, would that it were so! But let's be honest. The prevailing mood in this country for some time now has been that occasional mass deaths at the hands of some gun-toting lunatic, even the deaths of children, is a price we're willing to pay to preserve our right to tote guns. Even modest proposals to restrict semi-automatics, which have no purpose other than to kill several people quickly, fall on mostly deaf ears. Proposals to register personal weapons are shouted down as encroachments on our freedoms by persons who have no issue with registering their automobiles. We're not really a bad people, Jack. In most ways we mean well and strive to be noble. But we really are incapable of rational thought when it comes to guns.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  50. BOB K OHIO

    The attention span of Americans is just a fraction of what it used to be as a result of the instant update of everything via cell phones, iphones, ipads, netbooks, notebooks,etc. Tucson will be long forgotten a week from now. Do you reaaly think any legislator would commit political suicide by inttroducing gun control legislation?

    January 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  51. Frank - Ft Worth, TX

    Jack – The Tuscon Tragedy should be enough to bring the gun law issue into sharper focus. The gun laws do need to be re-written. I do believe in the 2nd Amendment: The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed'. But as with all rights..come responsibilities. It is above all common sense that there are some settings where carrying is just not necessary or smart.

    There are distinct types of weapons...and the types' purposes are equally distinct. Hence, the re-writes need to identify, clarify, and then modify said distinctions. The needs for hunters simply are NOT the same as our military fighters on the front lines......PERIOD!

    January 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  52. Gina, Pomona, Ca

    It should be...but it won't.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  53. Gigi Oregon

    Yes. Arizona is already a State with controversial opinions. It's enough to keep me home this year from baseballs spring training events.

    January 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  54. Alvin

    Oh, great! Less than one percent of the population commits these terrible crimes and another freedom restricting law that will affect ninety-nine percent of the law abiding population is made. Why? One selfish act and everyone must suffer. There is a better way. How about just enforcing the current laws? All of them. Doing so will certainly cut down on the tension americans are feeling. You can't just put a new law on the books when so many are not enforced. Why not simplify our laws to a point where all could be inforced? People are angry because the problem solvers have one answer to every problem, a new law. We have so many that people unknowingly violate them, daily. It would seem that so many laws restricting 280,000,000 people for the crimes of 20,000,000 is a bit redundant.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  55. Patrick

    How many lives a year must the right to bear arms cost us before we realize we are wrong?

    How many lives is this "right" worth to you?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
  56. Mary from South Carolina

    I guess now that public officials are bring targeted instead of just the unwashed masses...maybe we will see some gun reform.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  57. Reed from NYC

    All these people who continue to squawk about the right to bear arms should be given the chance to do so – they should only be allowed to buy MUSKETS, since that was the weapon of use when the 2nd amendment was written! Then again, a bunch of musket-toting extremists doesn't sound like a recipe for success either.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  58. David in Raleigh, NC

    Our Democracy ends when people lose their 2nd amendment right to own and carry guns.

    As long as the people own and carry guns, the government is held in check.

    An unarmed population leads to tyranny and a dictatorship.

    The 2nd amendment is in the constitution to protect the people from our government and keep potential tyrants and dictators in check.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  59. Shelby PA

    I think that being able to walk into a supermarket and reach for an item on a shelf while being safe is completely fine. Though we live in a world with violence and crime, so we must understand that. Maybe having an increase of security with government officals is reasonable, but not a full body scan or pat down before I walk into a supermarket. God bless the families of the victims in the Tucson Shooting

    January 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  60. neil

    If this is not enough; then what will be?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  61. Paul Quinn

    Last year here in Tennessee the legislature passed a law allowing guns in bars. Have we gone completely insane?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  62. Wally

    The gun laws remind me of a 3rd world country in Africa...out of control and neanderthal.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  63. Araba Ghartey

    Why do we need to experience something like this for a change to happen? Once this tragedy dies down this question will not come again until the next tragedy. We need to fix this problem once and for all. Not come to the realization we have a problem when a deadly tragedy arises.


    January 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  64. Jason

    Depends on the level of change you're wanting to see.

    This incident might possibly change the laws on extended clips, or ideally make the background check a little less useless.

    But one slightly overlooked fact: It's already illegal to shoot someone in the head. He knew he was breaking the law, and it didn't seem to bother him. At that point, having a potentially illegal clip in the gun probably wouldn't dissuade him.

    As for over-hauling gun ownership... not a chance.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  65. Joe NY

    The last thing that this country needs to do is put more pressure on pro gun law abiding citizens due to a hand full of nut jobs in this country. A majority of the people that commit these type of crimes are people that believe their country is turning against them. We need to pay closer attention to the way our children are being raised in this society and stop putting the blame on the weapon. Anything can kill a human we have thousands of car related deaths but we don't band cars!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  66. Dan Olive

    I don't think the Tucson tragedy, or any other tragedy, should be enough to change the nation's gun laws. It is a tragedy and it would be nice if it didn't happen, but we must remember that it isn't the GUN that caused it, it's the person.
    He could have stabbed some people with a household knife or made a pipe bomb or drove his car (which kills more people then guns do) into a crowd of people.
    I believe people have the right to own a gun if they choose to do so. I also think all states should have the same gun law as Arizona.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  67. Peter

    Yes, the gun laws should be changed. Why a 22-year-old young man wants to own a semi-automatic gun? This question should be asked even if the person is mentally stable. Jack, if you want to rent a car and your age is younger than 25, you will pay extra fees. They should change the age to own a gun. Let's say increase the age to 30.


    January 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  68. Julio Rosa from New York

           You want Tombstone? You got Tombstone! Unless we get serious people and serious laws that’s how it’s going to be. People will continue to be killed in our streets. Let’s get serious.
    And I quote Robert Kennedy
    “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

    January 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  69. jordan

    How many more tragedys like the one in Tucson will go on until people realize that the problem is that almost anyone in the states can go to a store and buy guns. I live 15 minutes from the border to michigan and when i visit an american mall i am shocked to see racks of assault rifles and any other kinds of firearms in certain stores. I believe that not just the tucson tragedy but also the murder rate in your country should be a good enough reason to change your nations gun laws. Jordan Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  70. richard mikesell

    No. We do not need more gun restrictions/laws. Enforce existing laws. The downfall of the Tuscon incident appears to be reporting a mental illness to the proper authorities. There is a law on Arizona's books. When the background check was done when the shooter bought the weapon, it worked. Nothing regarding his mental status had been reported by law enforcement – much as in the Va Tech incident. If a bad guy wants a high capacity magazine and they are illegal, he will find one somewhere.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  71. t.ciocca

    I have a concealed permit in the state of New York, and I can't stop thinking about how in certain situations it would be so helpful to be there
    in a time of need. I think it could stop or slow down the rage which could occur until the authorities arrived. It has proven to be very helpful in the past. Think of the shooting at the school board meeting and this recent event. We had citizens with permits stop these events in the past.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  72. Gabriel

    What is worse, one gun with a high capacity magazine or two guns with standard capacity magazines?

    Think about how the scenario would have been had he used 2 guns, that were 38 or 40 cals instead. Means he would have been able to shoot in 2 directions and would have gotten off 20 rounds. Would have made it harder to get to him.

    Had congress woman Gabrielle been hit with something other than the caliber round, her odds would be even worse than what it is now.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  73. stephen maguire

    If anyone in that crowd was armed, and had taken action, perhaps many of those shot could have been saved. Police can't be everywhere so people must be allowed to protect themselves. The first thing Hitler did to control the people who disagreed with his tyrany was to take away the guns of the public. How could you forget World War II. A nations people without guns are called slaves.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  74. Imran

    Jack, does a gambling addict with less money stand a better chance of not spending all of it ? Is a restriction on magazine size the solution ? I guess we are looking for the more complex solution here. As a nation we go back and forth but is there a danger that the majority of us believe this is not enough ? ?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  75. Rajinder Goyal

    There are far too many guns in America. Guns and bullets are designed to do only one thing – kill. Our love affair with guns has made us a society of gun trotters. We even allow guns to ba carried into the church in Louisiana. Bobby Jindal signed that into law. The question has to be asked, why do we need guns in the first place? We have law enforcement agencies like police. They are the ones who need to carry guns. Others who use guns for sports, should leave them at the venue where the sport is played. Otherwise, there should be no guns allowed. America needs to change its constitution. Its a tall order but if we don't do it, we can expect more and more tragedies like the one in Arizona. All that you need is a few maniacs with guns, and that's it..

    Americans should rise up to the occasion and grab this opportunity to bar guns, or, severely restrict it to those who need it.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  76. Richard Spradlin

    First of all, we need pray for those killed and injured in this tragedy and for their grieving loved ones. Second, we need to enforce the laws already on the books. Third, we need to devote more time, effort, and expenditure to improving the data base for those instant background checks already required by law in order to purchase a handgun. The accused gunman in the Tuscon tragedy had been (1) suspended by his community college for apparently deranged behavior and (2)denied enlistment in the United States Sarmy due to failing a drug test. These are not insignificant matters. If they had been incorporated into his data base, his background check would have immediately "red flagged" his application to purchase a handgun..

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  77. Kim

    The gun laws in the country are absolutely ridiculous. We have had so many mass shootings involving unstable individuals, with promises for change, but as soon as some time passes and the media frenzy dies down, nothing changes. The laws should be stiffer for anyone trying to buy a gun. Unfortunately, HIPPA and privacy laws prohibit medical records from being disclosed, so that is part of how these people fall through the cracks. I was under the impression that there was a 7-10 day waiting period to purchase a handgun. The fact that he could walk into a store, and walk out within hours with a gun is ludacris. I have family in the Phoenix area, and I now worry about there safety with such loose gun laws. We all can only hope that change is on the horizon.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  78. Joe Cobl

    Jack these horrific, unspeakable events always foster band-aids that do not address the real issue, mental instability. The local sheriff knew this guy was a trouble maker when he was barred from school. The West Virginia crack pot also showed these symptoms. The gun was the tool, take it away and they will use dynamite or acid or pipe bombs. The main tackler of Loughner was an armed, concealed carry citizen that had the confidence to tackle him because he was armed. Concealed carry works because the perps never know who might retaliate in kind. Read John R. Lotts, PHD books on FBI records regarding guns and crime, it might open your eyes to salient facts that government refuses to recognize. Never let a crisis go to waste is what we hear frequently

    January 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  79. George M. Jewett

    Our right to own firearms prevents an overbearing government to take away our freedom! During my lifetime I have watched the Federal Government change Americans perception of what is expected of our Federal Government from protecting us from foreign powers to caring for us from cradle to grave without our working for it!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  80. David in Raleigh, NC

    Don't let the anti-gun liberals use this mentally disturbed nut job as an excuse to end the 2nd amendment and take away our guns.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  81. Carol in Bensalem

    Jack, I ask myself this question after every tragedy. And somehow they never change. The 2nd amendment was written when guns were a necessary part of life, they are NOT a necessary part of life now. I honestly believe that more people are killed every year ACCIDENTALLY by guns in the home, than people are killed by a gun owner actually defending their home. I am so sick of that argument by the gun nuts.
    At the very least, it is time to make buying a gun much much harder. If Arizona had a much stronger law, this might not have happened.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  82. Jeff S.


    It's been documented throughout the years that Vehical accidents of all types Drug , Alcohol related, Medical problems behind the wheel, and Hit and Runs have killed more people per capita yet we do nothing to make stiffer laws or penalties. Next comes Kitchen Knives and Baseball bats, this mostly stems from women in abusive relationships, they use these items in defense or retaliation because they are handy yet we do not seek to outlaw these items. Lay them all on a table together and they are not dangerous or a threat to anyone until picked up and used irresponsibly and with malice. No one can account for insanity or irrational thoughts of others.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  83. Greg

    These gun laws are infringements as they are meant for disarmament with little of no bearing on actual crime control and crime control should be the actual focus. Will clip size or assault weapon bans stop crime? Isn't 271 plus Federally numbered statutes enough?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  84. jay

    Yea, when they come and take our guns and were waiting in line to turn them in, do you think the rapist, thieves, and car jackers are going to be in line too to turn theirs in?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  85. Robert

    I don't know if gun control can stop things like the Tucson shooting from ever happening again. However, I do not see any need to make it easier. I hear the arguement that a person that is determined to cause violence like this will get the gun or whatever weapon somehow or somewhere. That might be true. However, if this gun had cost $1000 or the bullets not so easily available maybe that would have deterred this guy. This is hard to judge, we only learn of the incidents where the crazy person follows through with it. How many have our existing laws prevented, or more strict laws could prevent? In this country we will never ban all guns nor should we. However, an ordinary person does not have the right to a rocket launcher, or a nuclear weapon or a high volume clip that carries this many bullets. It is common sense to me, that more regulation is needed to deter events like this or least not make is so easy. Doing what we are doing now or doing nothing is not an option. Lives depend on it.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  86. Leticia

    I think they should be changed. Today as I walked into a hardware store I took a look at the glass window display with numerous guns. I thought about how easy it was to purchase a gun while getting a copy of a key made. : ( No one should be given the opportunity to take away life.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  87. Donita Cole


    Instead of having our focus on the gun laws why don't we try getting help for the mentally disturbed? We seem to ignore these kinds of things. It is quite obvious that this young man was ill and had been for some time. Those who needed to get him help obviously did not . Some one should have.

    Donita Indiana

    January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  88. Vernon Pillsbury

    I live in Waukesha, WI and I am a gun owner. I have a rifle and two shotguns that I use for hunting. You ask if the gun laws should be changed? I ask, in what way? Although there are many concerns about the rights, pro and con, of gun ownership, let me answer tangentially by stating what I dislike. I don't believe in concealed carry. I don't like automaic weapons, assualt or hunting. For hunting they make poor and unsafe hunters. In that vein, I do not agree with mega clips for weapons. I do believe that the Second amendment gives us the protection from overt military governments in the right to own and keep weapons in our homes. With that said, I know there is a gray line between the ownership of guns and those who use them.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  89. Nina McGonegal

    This incident makes me sick to my stomach; it makes me hurt with unexplainable pain. How can we as human beings, as supposedly caring, feeling, beings, how can we not want to see an end to this type of incident? How can we not want to find alternative ways of personal protection, new ways of hunting, new ways for police to apprehend criminals, to protect themselves and others. And what in God's name is this "extended magazine" about? WHO is EVER in a situation where they would need an "extended magazine?" How can we NOT want to do away with guns forever?
    In this amazingly technical year in which we have the capacity to do the extraordinary with our knowledge, how can we not want to work to put an end to all of this senseless killing. Forget "personal protection" and forget all the other arguments, particularly from hunters. It's all about money and politics, what isn't these days.
    CHANGE the Second Amendment! Add a new paragraph, change a few words ~ I don't know. What will it take to make us wake up and DO something?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  90. Glenn in Canada

    No. It will never happen. The NRA and gun lobby are much too powerful. I'm a gun owner, but also very happy I live in Canada.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  91. mike run

    I agree the people should change but it is law that change peoples behavior. Beside it takes time until people become educated and believer of a law so we need to change the gun control law ASAP.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  92. christian in pa

    The same piece of parchment that allows all of you to speak your minds right now, is also the same document that allows us to defend and protect ourselves from lunatics like him. Think about that for a minute. We cannot regulate our rights, then soon they become privileges. If you get free speech then I get the freedom to own firearms. That's how that works.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  93. Sam

    I like Reed's idea. Muskets only!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  94. John Ruska

    NRA Stands for "No Rational Answer". How can they say, " now is the time only for prays for the victums."

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  95. Todd Simmonds

    I'm reading concerns about how this guy was able to buy a gun, he had the right. Again, if there were proper child care in this country, if people weren't so indifferent when they see a problem child, this man may have been on record as a nutter long ago.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  96. Ben

    It's always sad that one has to take something like a gun and use it for assault or murder rather than self defense. Simply put, the guns don't kill people. People kill people. Anything is lethal if used with intent to harm.
    It is indeed sad and tragic that these victims met their fate or were severely wounded. All Americans should be able to carry a gun for defense of one self or others. There have been many cases where guns have saved lives.

    My prayers go to the victims and the wounded.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  97. hugmamma

    Politics being what they are, I don't see a change in gun laws in my lifetime. It might be more pragmatic that states be required to include in any tourist PR and real estate material what their status is regarding guns. People could then decide for themselves if they want to put themselves in harm's way. I guess in this case, forearmed (with the facts) is forewarned.

    "Sins of the fathers are visited upon the children," seems to fit the society we find ourselves in today. Millie from Seattle, WA

    January 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  98. Curt

    Gun laws are strict enough.

    He had no regard for life or laws, more laws wouldn't have stopped him.

    What does the D.C. ban repeal have to do with this event? Oddly, D.C. had it's lowest homicide rate in 45 years in 2010. I doubt that the repeal of the ban had anything to do with the decreased homicides. I can state that the ban certainly didn't keep D.C. from having one of the highest homicide rates for many, many years.

    Now bringing up the national park ban seems simply ludicrous.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  99. Joe NY

    Don't blame the gun that's getting old.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  100. Gary Keller

    It would be better to enforce the laws currently on the books instead of creating new ones that will not be enforced.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  101. Patricia

    Laws against driving under the influence do not stop a drunk driver from getting in a car and killing someone. What makes you think gun laws will be any different. People are at the heart of the matter. If someone is having difficulty with everyday living, laws will not stop them from acting out in a way that harms others. Building relationships with one another is the first step towards understanding what people need in order to start healing our country.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  102. Doug San Antonio

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Yes, but did you ever notice that the Republicans fight bills that would help...Gun Control. Health Care,(Mental Health Care) and so on. And now they are in majority. And they never have a position that would make the bills better, they just fight the good ones. It isn't a matter of disagreeing, it is just making the Rich Richer and who cares about the poor and the sick with the GOP.

    I get so tired of them calling for bipartisan bills when they won't go with any version but theirs and their bills don't help anything! Why do people keep voting for them?

    No gun control while they are in Majority, just watch!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  103. Cecil VA

    Yes the Tucson shooting is sad and my prayers are with the families but to say citizens should not be able to carry guns go against our Second Amendment rights. The truth is guns in the media are always shown in a negative light but we rarely see a story where a firearm was used by a armed law abiding citizen to stop a criminal. The story is told but the use of the firearm is left out. I won't say that it would have stopped it Tucson shooting but a trained law abiding citizen could have ended the shooting before so many lives were so impacted. After the shooting Loughner is being described as mentally unstable by people who know him but the truth is if this was reported before to the proper people he wouldn't have been able to pass the background check to purchase the gun in the first place. My final thought is: It is because of people like this I want to keep my right to have and carry a gun to protect myself and my family.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  104. Ronnie McCall

    If you are asking if we should enact more laws that will not be enforced, what's the point? As with the illegal drug traffic in this country, someone will provide the service if the money is offered.
    More stringent laws amount to an exercise in futility.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  105. Pat

    Hello Jack,
    What happened on Saturday was truly a tragedy, and my heart goes out to the victims of this shooting and their families. I do not believe
    that this terrible incedent however is totally due to lax gun laws. I believe that this troubled young man should never have had the chance to buy a gun. He acted oddly in High School, and was rejected by the Army for failing a drug test, and I am sure he was known by his local police as being a person who was not stable. So how is it that this young man passed an instant check to purchase a firearm. It seems to me that perhaps a school counselor or maybe a school principal, or the Army recruiter could drop a dime to the police department to say this boy is not right in the way he thinks.
    What this person has done is terrible but I don't think that we should punish a nation for the actions of a mad man.
    Would we say we needed stricter driving laws in the nation if one person drove his vehicle through a parade? or would we say that particular guy is nuts and we can be glad he's put away where he can't hurt anyone else.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  106. Brian

    I'm curious as to what the reemerging of this debate has done to gun sales across the country in the past few days as people try to stock up when they think something might not be available in the future. It is sickening that magazine clips of that capacity are legal for civilians and even desired. It seems wacky to justify being able to shoot 30 bullets at once in the name of self defense and caters toward paranoia. Do gun owners change their minds when it is a member of their family who is in an innocent victim of gun violence?

    January 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  107. Ron Dayton

    Last time we had a change, it only did stupid things like taking away a flash suppressor and a pistol grip for long guns and it did nothing to curb violence. This is more about our poor health care system. No one identified the problem and it never got treated. He could not have afforded it anyway.

    A good health care system, "Like the Rich have", insures you see a doctor once a year. That's called Preventive Medicine, Jack. That's how you preevnt this kind of mentally damaged young man from slidding through the Doughnut Hole which is our broken system! But the Republicans don't want Health care for everyone!!!

    And then we're back to if you make guns illegal, only the criminals will have them. There are no answers here. The system is broken as well as our Congress and you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube!

    January 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  108. Sean from Atlanta, GA

    My "large capacity" magazine saved my life and the lives of others when I was attacked by armed gunman. A ban in this situation will only hurt law abiding citizens that want to protect themselves from becoming a victim. If a person chooses to live outside of societies norms and commit acts of violence, then a law will not make a difference. There are much bigger questions that need to be asked and answered if we want to prevent another mass shooting like this from happening again.

    January 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm |