Senator Boxer on the NRA, Gun Violence, and School Safety
Friday, December 21, 2012
Today the head of the National Rifle Association blamed everyone except his own organization for gun violence in America and showed himself to be completely out of touch by ignoring the proliferation of weapons of war on our streets.
The NRA is now calling for stronger security at our schools. They should endorse my bills to fund security upgrades for schools and trained law enforcement personnel to protect our kids. To read more about my legislation, please click here.
In the days ahead, I will work for a comprehensive strategy that includes sensible gun laws, a focus on mental health, and school safety.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
(NEW) Thanks for leading this fight. We are gun owners, support 2nd Amendment, HOWEVER support your efforts with assault weapons ban, reduce magazine sizes, close gun show loophole, national registry. THANK YOU!
(NEW) Keep up the fight against the NRA! Why not impose a steep tax on purchasers of assault weapons so they pay for the extra security? The NRA argues that they have the right to bear arms, but what about responsibility? Sure the vast majority are responsible but unfortunately they have carry the burden of those that aren't.
Eric, South San Francisco
(NEW) I am a strong believer in the 2nd Amendment and do NOT want to see my rights trampled on. While what happened in Newtown is very saddening, taking away the gun rights of law-abiding citizens will not solve anything. Criminals that want to commit crimes with guns will find a way to do it regardless of what laws are in place. (They would probably rob gun stores, rob homes, or get them from somewhere else). Please Senator, do not let my 2nd amendment rights be destroyed by useless laws that won't protect our future- our children.
(NEW) A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. This is the second amendment. It specifies that the right to bear arms must be part of a well-regulated militia. How many of members of the NRA are part of a well-regulated militia? One spokesman for the NRA said that we have to have guns if we need to overthrow a tyrannical government. In that case, which is ridiculous, a well ordered militia would be formed. Another interesting thing is that historically the NRA position was in regulating the ownership of guns: being sure everyone was well-trained and the guns were in the right hands. No one in the US needs automatic assault weapons. If hunters are using them, the animals don't stand a chance and it's not a sport; it's a massacre. I think NRA's opposition to gun control is offensive.
(NEW) I know this will be like talking to the wall, but we don't need more gun restrictions, just enforce the laws we already have. We Need more people control, not gun control. The 2nd amendment is not about hunting, it is about equal defense.
(NEW) Why not use the DMV model to license gun owners and register guns on a continual basis? Like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Firearms for each state would issue learner permits, then after 6 months, a test would be given and then a license issued to the gun owner. Every time a gun is purchased by the licensed gun owner, it would need to be registered and fees paid every year that it is owned. If the owner of the gun sells it, the new owner would need to re-register the gun and pay the fees. The owner's license would be renewed periodically (just like a driver's license). The license, registration and fees required would certainly curb the proliferation of guns in this country. And the states could use the money. Also the new Department of Firearms in each state would create jobs.
(NEW) It would also be an appropriate time to stand up for non-violence, e.g, ban on assault weapons and massive sales of ammunition, as well as real background checks, waiting periods, and proof of knowledge of how to operate a gun and gun safety. After all, we require registration of cars (and access to registration data by law enforcement), as well as licensing of all drivers only after they have passed driving tests. Nobody considers this a slippery slope leading to the confiscation of cars. Nobody regards the law that trucks must have appropriate signage if carrying flammable or explosive materials a slippery slope toward abolishment of the trucking industry. Are vehicles more dangerous than guns? Do individuals have to learn to drive but shooters just somehow know how to do it? Should individuals be held responsible for damage they do with cars but not guns? When did we get this crazy? Your sane constituents are counting on you.
(NEW) I know that some of the community feels that these kinds of gun laws should be passed so that they can feel more safe about sending their children off to school. NOTHING should make parents feel more safe. Killers walk the streets everyday. That won't change with new gun laws. I see the problem just as clearly as anyone else does. I am an advocate for guns…. I am asking as a concerned citizen, that you vote NO on ALL of these frivilous proposals. There are other ways of solving this problem. Thank-you very much for reading.
Candace, Mountain View
(NEW) It seems that you have already spoken out about gun control. I want to support that effort. We need to follow the ideas of Joe Biden and Barack Obama in this. I especially think there is no reason for anyone to have an assault weapon. They are only to kill other human beings. I do think that people who pass rigorous background checks should be able to have handguns for protection and hunting rifles. But that is all!!! Thank you for considering these proposals.
(NEW) My wife and I both urge you to support the President's gun control measures. Citizens do not need assault rifles to defend themselves, they should be banned and turned in for destruction. A ten round magazine, as required by California law, should be standard throughout the US. If that's a problem with the Second Amendment, then we urge you to initiate a repeal of that amendment. We have too many paranoid citizens who should not be allowed to possess military weapons. We are not afraid of our government, we are afraid of these nut cases.
Robert and Carolyn, Fallbrook
(NEW) I am continually dumbfounded by the opposition to stricter gun control, horrified by the escalating gun violance and frustrated by the inexplicable arguments from the gun rights side which seem to defy logic and common sense. I am so proud of our President for representing the rights I believe in and his honest and sincere efforts to force action in this debate. I have attempted to keep an open mind, listened to NRA lobby positions and talked to friends who are gun owners, to make every attempt at understanding their side of the debate. Yet as the rhetoric heats up, the speeches and positions taken by the "gun rights" side sound more hollow, lacking foresight and become more narrow and self serving with each passing day. I am fully confident our Founding Fathers would be equally horrified by the violence and killing precipitated by the easy access to hand guns. They would be appauled by the selling of semi-automic weapons with large ammunition clips. The Second Amendment to the constitution, written and debated almost 250 years ago could not have been meant to give rise to allowing the ease of access to such powerful and deadly weapons into the hands of people ill equipmed to even manage their every day lives and social interactions, let alone be responsible enough to handle a deadly weapon. The President is correct in forcing action and I fully believe the public is behind this. We must maintain a stronger voice and a voice that speaks louder than the vocal minority of the NRA lobbiest. Please continue to work as hard as you can, to take action and work to inact legislation that creates sensible safeguards, safe guards that will help to protect my family, friends and neighbors and does not bend to a vocal and illogical minority with a skewed sense of what is right. thank you for your support.
(NEW) Lots of good debate in the media, in government, and in local conversation on this issue due in part to recent tragedies. It's all going nowhere unless we can find a way to talk to people who hold to the notion they are safer with guns. Safer from crime, safer from government tyranny, safer from wild animals- you choose. Those folks may feel safer "armed", but even if you believe a gun will protect you, that feeling comes at the expense of a functioning civil society. I'd be happy with basic sensible gun control measures. Ban assault weapons. Let every adult who wants to own a gun, as long as its registered, and as long as the owner passes a periodic background check (not just a one time check). How can that be unreasonable, except to those with criminal intent? And if you're gun is not secured, and if its stolen and later used in a crime, you bear a portion of responsibility for the damage done due to your negligence. We are all capable of stupid or senseless acts, regardless of whether we are law abiding or "responsible" citizens. There is no test for lifelong sanity. To argue otherwise is naive.
Brian, Los Angeles
The speech from the NRA was pathetic and insulting. They want to create a police state so they can sell more guns. Please be strong about gun control legislation...we must get these assault weapons out of stores, gun shows and the black market. We must ban cartridges and insist on background checks. I am grateful that you represent my thoughts. Keep up the good work.
Pam, Carmel Valley
I am truly disgusted with the violence due to automatic weapons, and the ease of obtaining large quantities of ammunition. Please add my vote to ban automatic assault and hand weapons and ammunition, and require strict licensing requirements for gun owners. Remove mail order access to minors, and educate the existing owners on gun safety and storage in locked places.
I am a social worker, educator, union leader, veteran, and gun owner. I support the entire Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment. I am concerned with the proliferation of gun laws that serve only to limit the rights of law abiding gun owners. I do not believe that my rights should be limited due to the horrific act of a mentally ill person. I do agree that we need to do more to protect our schools. We also need to devote more resources to serve those with mental illness. I am with you on these points. However, I do not agree that curtailing my rights is part of a reasonable solution.
The apology given by the NRA's president was hollow and only demonstrated how self serving the current leadership of the NRA is. The nation needs strong and reasonable gun control laws. I would like to suggest a regime based on federal aviation regulations. Like gun ownership the use of the nation's air space is a right guaranteed in the Constitution. A reasonable series of ratings could then be established so that the rights of gun owners to own various types of guns and the rights of the rest of the public to safety can be assured. That's my contribution in this debate. I hope that it can help.
Keith, San Jose
Thank you for speaking out about addressing the issue of gun control. I would like you to speak more directly and strongly about the need to BAN assault weapons and clips. No civilian needs a gun that shoots automatically and continuously. Please be a leader in defining what the second amendment means in the twenty-first century.
Sharon, Palo Alto
I've had it! The killings in CT put me on a crusade against assault weapons. I'm sick and tired of the old mantras "guns don't kill people" and "now is not the time". If not now, when? I'd like to see a permanent ban on all assault weapons and large clips, a forced recovery of all assault weapons and large clips, a strengthening of registration rules and application process for ALL other weapons, an annual licensing fee for ALL weapons that goes toward mental health, and insurance paid by all weapon owners that gets paid out to any victim or victim's family. It's time to get serious, deadly serious.
I am a retired high school English teacher. I spent 37 years in the classroom and know what it is like to take responsibility for the students that were in my charge. I know how vulnerable my school was even though updated security measures were in place. There is no way to be safe enough unless we begin to change our outdated, senseless laws and social practices. I am ashamed that our society has become so violent. People like me have paid only lip service to the need to change laws regulating war weapons. We now need to act and act until some real change takes place. We cannot just shake our heads, shed a tear and move on. Not this time. Enough is enough. Please know that I support your bill and pray that others like me will act in like manner. We must stand up to the ignorant and greedy gun czars who have ruled our world.
Please help do something about the proliferation of guns in our society. We need a ban on assault weapons and magazine clips that hold multiple rounds of ammunition. It's time that the NRA and other powerful gun lobbies be stopped.
Thank you for your recent email about gun violence. Thank you also for supporting stronger legislation to control gun violence. I am a gun owner myself, but I believe that there are just way too many guns in America, and they are not sufficiently controlled. I don't see why they can' t be at least as controlled as motor vehicles, with more extensive background checks than currently, and yearly renewals of the registration. I also think that criminal laws should be amended so that any crime committed with gun involvement should require much stiffer penalties. I think that the location and ownership of every single gun America should be known and tracked by the ATF. The red herring about better mental health treatment is ridiculous. No mental health provider can possibly be expected to know what a patient may be capable of except perhaps in extreme cases. That type of legislative response to a tragedy like this could actually keep some people from seeking treatment. Better security at schools may be a somewhat effective, though very sad, response to the recent tragedy. The root cause of all this senseless violence, though, is quite obviously the availability of so many guns. Thank you again for your work in this area.
John, El Sobrante
I regretfully contact you on such a matter concerning the law abiding citizens of the United States Second Amendment Rights, directly after such a horrific tragedy in Newtown CT. Senator Boxer the answer to this tragedy is not to ban fire arms from law abiding citizens. If a drunk driver kills someone in an accident, do we take the privilege of driving from the rest of the United States Citizens? No. We have made laws more severe to those that have broken the law. Senator Boxer, as Senator to your State, the people of your state elected you to keep our laws within the Constitution, preserve our Constitution, and keep our rights secure. I pray you strongly reconsider the fire arms ban on moderate capacity fire arms like the AR 15. Such a matter is very important in your state. I will be following your voice on this matter when it comes a crossed Legislation, as well as the majority of your constituents. Please uphold the Constitution.
Thank you for speaking out. Now create and pass legislation for Gun Control.
Joannie, Los Angeles
Although it is very sad that a crazy person killed children and teachers, the rifle used was not the culprit. Crazy people cannot be allowed to have access to guns. Secondly, creating gun free zones, encourages evil people to attack those places, knowing everyone is unarmed. Chicago and Washington DC are pretty much gun free and have them most gun violence in the country. Dallas, Tucson, and Reno have the most armed citizens, and also have the lowest gun crime. Law makers don't understand this. Armed citizens are never victims. Everywhere we disarm people, we have only criminals with fire arms. It's time to have someone armed at schools, on campus's and in our malls.
Thank you for being in the forefront in the efforts to enact sensible gun control legislation.
Shari, South San Francisco
Senator, please reconsider your position on banning military type weapons? The founding fathers considered this right necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed! Consider US vs. Miller, 1938, US gov't argued military type weapons are "militia" weapons, protected by the 2nd Amendment. A free state requisite is a well informed, politically engaged and well armed citizenry, capable of rebellion against future tyranny, or otherwise illegal militarized police state. The people need military weapons, simply put, hunting rifles and hand guns are no match for fully automatic weapons and military hardware any police state legally possess. Criminals only victimize the weak and defenseless, not the strong or the armed! Do not sentence the American people to a potential future tyranny because A minority of criminals use these weapons to commit their heinous acts of violence against defenseless citizens. Do not use this crisis as an excuse to disarm American citizenry and further strip away our Condtitutional rights in the name of protecting us! We do not wish to be protected against terrorism or criminals by dismantling our Constitutional rights! I further ask that the Hugh's amendment aka, Gun Control Act of 1986, be amended to permit automatic weapons made after 5/19/1986, be legally transferred for civilian use, so that non-wealthy citizens can also bear these arms, under NFA regulations. I do not argue against rigorous measures or precautions taken to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or the mentally il.. Perhaps the press is to blame for making gun criminals infamous and fanning copy cat crimes! Thank you for letting me be heard. Sincerely yours,
Marshall, Los Angeles