It didn’t take long after the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Conn., for the mainstream media to jump on the gun control bandwagon. Leading the charge was Piers Morgan, who just minutes after learning of the tragedy, and without any information on the shooter, the guns used, or how those guns were obtained, had called for a ban on all handguns. He then retweeted Michael Moore, stating Americans are entitled to free mental health care “and an end to violence as public policy.” Dozens of pundits and politicians joined in the chorus of restricting access to handguns and an across-the-board ban on assault rifles…

Then there was Soledad.

In an interview this morning with Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., Soledad O’Brien brought up a question I hadn’t yet heard since the tragedy: “What is the normal amount of guns that people can own?”

The CNN host has previously stated guns are the problem, as have many journalists in the mainstream. That we expect and endure. Now it seems the discussion is turning to support an invasion into our homes; to support a governmental responsibility limiting the amount of weapons citizens are able to obtain to protect themselves and their families.

“We know he used guns and that’s how he killed 26 people, and then took his mother’s life and then took his own life,” O’Brien stated. “It was guns.”

Yes, Soledad, it was guns that killed these innocent children, but it was a maniac who pulled the trigger. There is a lot we still don’t know about 20-year-old Adam Lanza. We don’t know the toxicology reports and whether he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Reports state that he suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, but Asperger’s and schizophrenia are very closely linked with many patients being diagnosed with both simultaneously. We don’t know if he was taking psychotropic drugs or if he hadn’t been treated at all. We don’t know if he sought out for help prior to this, or if there are computer records indicating he had planned it or had help in planning it.

What we do know is that he stole these weapons from his mother. He did not obtain them legally. In fact, Wolf Blitzer reported this morning that Lanza tried to obtain his own guns at a local gun store using his brother’s license but was denied anyway because he didn’t have the proper permit. That development seems to suggest that Connecticut’s gun laws worked.

It’s impossible to have a genuine discussion about limiting access to certain types of guns and the amount of weapons a law-abiding citizen can keep in their home, if we don’t know all of the details. The truth is, we never really know why these things happen, but as Mary Bono Mack responded to Soledad this morning, “The guns didn’t make him snap. He snapped and then sought out the guns.”


25 thoughts on “Soledad O’Brien: What is the normal amount of guns people can own?

  1. “It’s impossible to have a genuine discussion about limiting access to certain types of guns and the amount of weapons a law-abiding citizen can keep in their home, if we don’t know all of the details.”

    We know a lot of details about previous shootings: Columbine, VT, Aurora etc. We have enough info for an adult conversation.

    Soledad’s question was certainly ill-phrased. But only on guns do we have this idea that we need to wait to talk about the issue. We don’t do this for DUIs, terrorism, contaminated food, etc. Harping on the timing or awkwardness of a question is a smoke screen for having an adult converation on what we can do to prevent these shootings (19 in 5 years according to Huffingtom, citing FBI).

    • Ice picks, automobiles and mines. Or… Choices crazy people make. Organized crime has been known to use ice picks through the ear drum to kill leaving little trace evidence that can be used to identify the specific user or specific ice pick. We should outlaw ice picks. Cars kill more people than any other tool – we should absolutely outlaw them. Mine disasters are common throughout the world and we should outlaw them and cement them shut.

      COME ON PEOPLE! The common denominator is not the type of weapon – it is people making crazy choices. Criminals steal and guns can be stolen, just like this maniac did. If every adult in this school were trained in the use of firearms and they all carried them, it is likely that fewer deaths would have occurred.

      Almost everywhere, almost all crimes facilitated by the use of a firearm have significantly higher penalties. Outlawing guns, cars, ice picks or mines will not reduce crazy, criminal behavior. Reducing access to any one of these just increases the shock we feel when something bad happens. Are we shocked when mixed martial arts combatants, race car drivers or soldiers are harmed in the practice of those professions? Sad, upset, or angry, maybe, but not shocked.

      If an administrator at that school been trained and was carrying a firearm, would we have found it justified if the criminal was shot by them after the criminal had begun shooting? YES! Because it would not have been a user malfunction. Would it have been sad that a criminal was hurt or killed after hurting or trying to hurt someone? Sure, but he would never have gotten off enough shots to kill 27+ people in front of an armed policeman or other responsible armed citizen.

      • how many children died by ice picks through their ear drum? And what does automobles and mines have to do with murder by guns? 35,000 Americans were killed by guns last year, how many died by ice pick?

    • We don’t do this for DUIs, terrorism, contaminated food, etc? This is what gets me about the gun control debate. You are trying to compare it to DUIs, terrorism, contaminated food, etc. By that logic, when someone gets drunk and kills a couple people with his car, instead of locking him up, we should shut down Ford, Dodge and Chevy. The next time a terrorist crashes a 757 into a high rise, instead of looking for the mastermind behind the attack, we should shut down Boeing and Airbus. The next time a worker at Taco Bell forgets to wash his hands and gives a dozen people E coli, instead of punishing him or Taco Bell, we should ban pooping while at work for all restaurant workers. None of that is the case…we always go after the PERSON. But some whacko goes and shoots up a bunch of people and we ALWAYS go after the tool he used. Why don’t we go after the person in these cases? Is it because he is usually dead? Do you just need something to blame?

      • Martin,

        You number is highly inflated. Only about 8,500 people were murdered in 2011 by firearms. The numbers have been declining since 2005. Considering there were approximately 12,600 murders in 2011, some 32% of murders were done with non-firearms including knives, blunt objects and perhaps an ice pick or two.

        It might also interest you to know that nearly 47,000 people die from alcohol related causes every year. Also about 40-50% of violent crimes involve alcohol or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

        Are you ready to start talking about banning alcohol and putting more restrictions on drivers?

    • Worrying that another horrific tradgedy which took the lives of so many young and innocent might infringe on your rights to bare arms is a sick priority, you have lost touch with humanity, and reality.

      • Really, you are the one who needs a reality check. It does not matter, a lunatic will
        find a way to do something if that is what they want to do. My rights do matter, it is a sick priority for our leaders to use a tragedy to diminish or infringe upon the 2nd amendment, period, and it shames me that i even fought for our liberties for this to be

  2. What are you afraid of? The world you have made? I’m afraid of that world, and you should be too. There are no grizzlys behind every tree, nor a red coat. This is 2012, not 1776. Mad men do mad things all over the world, and you can’t do much to stop it. But you can make it more difficult, and that is worth a try. If I were a gun totten sort of person then I would want strict gun totten laws. What do you have to be afraid of? No one is asking to banned guns, only for responsiblity, is that so hard to understand? Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to defend all those evil, or dysfunctional or whatever they are who put a bullet in the head of a 5 year old while he’s getting ready to start his day at kindergarden? Or maybe you would like to lower the age limit so that 5 year olds could protect themselves by packing fire arms in grade school. That’s the world you are creating. Nobody, in any society, has rights without responsiblity. You have to earn them, and it is about time you all stopped living in a vacuum. Gun control should be your highest priority, defending the right to bare arms for those who can take the responsibility for the reasons the constitution so specifically lays out. It is more a case of distiction than denial. Worrying that another horrific tradedy which took the lives of so many young and innocent might infringe on your rights to bare arms is a sick priority. You have lost touch with humanity, and reality. Fight for gun control, fight for your right to bare arms, for responsible people, for the right reasons, if you have no hidden motive to bare arms then you have nothing to fear, and maybe you can save the life of an innocent child.

    • You bare your arms and I’ll bear mine. Also, please look up totten if you can find a dictionary. Stay away from firearms if you do not know how to use them safely and consider staying away from writing in public when you do not know how to use the language.

    • Martin, I fear you more than I fear the extremely rare madman. You and armies of other sheep are in favor of preventing me from defending liberty. You are in favor of the state controlling every part of my life, and I say neither you nor the state are qualified to do so.

      By the way, Totten is a mountain in Norway.

  3. How many grade school children died from being stuck by ice picks in their ears? And what the F–k does mining and car accidents have to do with murder by guns? By the way, how many people died by ice picks last year? 35,000 died from guns last year.

    • 43,000 people died in automobile accidents in 2005. It is not the tool you use, it is how you use it that makes the difference. I aim to hit paper targets or legal game, in season. The criminal aims the gun at you and what will you do? The inattentive driver aims his car at you and what will you do? The common denominator remains to be the operator of the device, not the device.

      Laws are reactive toward drunk drivers that do more damage than guns. Why would we do more than be reactive to the use of a different tool that is used criminally? Our laws are quite good and restrictive enough.

      Read this article and tell me – should we also seek to outlaw knives? China School Attack: Knife-Wielding Man Injures 22 Kids, 1 Adult Outside Primary School: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/china-school-attack_n_2298430.html

  4. From the brain trust that is CNN: Riddle me this Soledad, at some point, when have you made enough money? To quote your Lord and Savior! If a person could kill with their bare hands, do we lop off hands? What a Pathetic excuse for even yellow journalism.

  5. Liberals shoot off at the mouth before they have any facts, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg was one of the many. Guns aren’t the problem, jacked up people are the problem. Where there’s a will, no matter how sick, there’s a way.

    Good column Jessica.

  6. Bravo for this inciteful piece. Unfortunately, gun control simpletons do not understand some of the complexities of the world. Because they are godless, they are under the misimpression that man can control all events, and can even control evil. More people are killed by baseball bats and 9-irons than guns, so do we outlaw these instruments? No, we do what we can to stop the evil madmen, say by having police officers guard are schools as zealously as they guard our military bases or Fort Knox’s gold, but we do not harm liberty.

    Hitler and Stalin treated their people like sheep, killed millions, and they were the strongest proponents of gun control. If evil men like that are in favor of taking our liberties, I’m in favor of fighting the bastard simpletons.

    I don’t own guns and am not an NRA member, but I love freedom and hate to see it being diminished by a sick statist monstrosity.

  7. Readers here may also appreciate the article interviewing Ted Nugent: “Criminal Monsters’ Will Not Be Deterred By Gun Free Zone Laws”
    Found here:
    People who leave themselves defenseless in spite of what has been referred to as a growing threat set themselves up for defeat. Bullies are cowards and pick on defenseless people. There is something (not necessarily clinically insane) that is “off” or wrong headed in attacks against defenseless people. If the bullies or crazy people are confronted by a well trained and prepared defensive posture – not passive alarms and locks – the bullies back off. Guns work best as a deterrent, but if present when one of these criminals acts out can also serve to actively defend. Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals is not feasible, but allowing well trained and armed citizens to be present anywhere will absolutely act as a deterrent.

  8. Though sad, I do not understand why people get whipped up in a frenzy following these “mass shootings.” But, actually I *do* understand how it happens. The media plays dramatic music and shows pictures of the slain and the bereaved. We had a ban on assault rifles, it went into effect in 1994, and expired in 2004. Smack dab in the middle of that is the possibly most famous “mass shooting” in our history when Harris and Klebold stalked the halls of Columbine with a couple of handguns, a shotgun and some improvised explosives. They killed 12 students, 1 teacher and ultimately themselves. They caused injuries to twice that many and scarred our national conscience. But what could have been done to prevent it?

    They obtained their guns illegally, so restricting the purchase of guns wouldn’t have been likely to prevent the shootings. One of the pair was seeing a psychiatrist, and was prescribed anti-depressants – so is getting teens more access to therapy going to help? They were both under probation, so apparently observation by law enforcement didn’t give the community any forewarning.

    The truth is that the world is not a safe place. We can put reasonable precautions into place, and I think we have them. It is fairly difficult to legally obtain a handgun in most states, but not impossible. It’s fairly easy to obtain a shotgun, they also make better weapons in most circumstances, but no one is talking about banning all guns, just hand guns. Why? Because that’s what the media is selling, and they are doing that because they have to keep people in an uproar.

    I am not opposed to a reasonable discussion on the dangers of hand guns and what should be done about them. I have gotten involved in several of those over the years with friends, colleagues and co-workers. BUT you better come armed with reasonable arguments and facts. Just pointing to the tragic video of a mother mourning the loss of her five year old son is not going to persuade me. More people die because of traffic accidents every year than all homicides. There are many more suicides than homicides as well. We have a societal problem, not a problem with the tools that are available.

    Seek peace.

    • There is also the story about the High School Principal in Pearl MIssissippi who stopped a young man from shooting up a nearby school. No shots fired by the Principal but he did use a .45 handgun to persuade the shooter to give up. Unfortunately 2 people died (the shooter’s ex girlfriend was one of them) and 7 people wounded but it could have been a lot worse.

  9. What is the normal amount of guns 1 can own? Well to start with i don’t own any guns and have never shot one before neither and im in my upper 30’s. But to answer that question fairly you have to ask why do have the guns. And i would guess most ppl would say to keep them safe. So then you would ask well how many guns do you need to make you feel safe. So to me the normal amount would be how ever many you need to make yourself feel safe. I don’t need any bc i feel pretty safe in my world but others aren’t as lucky as i am so they need guns.

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