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Gun Violence

June 6, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The December 2012 shootings in Newtown, Conn., reignited an urgent national conversation on stopping gun violence. But when lawmakers, activists, reporters and concerned citizens looked for research to guide them in what measures do and do not work, they noticed something curious: Although public health researchers were churning out an abundance of intriguing studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that research pretty much dried up around 1997....
April 3, 2014 | By Alan Zarembo, Richard Simon and Joe Mozingo
KILLEEN, Texas - Beyond the mystifying question of why a person goes on a rampage to kill innocent people, residents of this military town have to deal with an even more vexing one: Why does it keep happening to them? "There's a psychological toll on this town," Terrence Barksdale, 44, said at his tattoo shop just outside the base. "This is the second time. The next person might try something even more asinine. " With two long wars, his staff had already gotten accustomed to the somber task of regularly inking memorial tattoos for soldiers who died in combat.
January 9, 2013
Re "The trouble with satire," Postscript, Jan. 5 I was one of those taken in by Daniel Akst's satirical piece - sort of. I recognized that the Dec. 28 article, which Op-Ed editor Sue Horton clarified was satire, was completely wacko, but I also know that The Times publishes opinions that are opposed to its editorial position, we presume, to open a window on "what's out there. " What makes Akst's position possibly serious is that it's really not that far removed from reality.
April 2, 2014
Re "Georgia bill would go far in expanding gun rights," March 31 It is sad and appalling that legislation passed after high-profile shootings has resulted in an easing of gun rules instead of the sensible gun laws that we had anticipated, such as closing the gun show loophole. According to Jerry Henry of, we are not going to "stop crime by disarming good people. " Americans today have more than 300 million firearms. By Henry's measure we should be the safest country in the world; however, in 2010, guns took the lives of 31,076 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings.
February 22, 2013
Re "Killer an obsessive video gamer," Feb. 21 The shooting of Courtney Aoki by Ali Syed and the spree that followed in Orange County should serve as a warning to parents. A child who isolates himself from the real world and lives in a fantasy realm of video games may be suffering a mental condition that can result in such violence. Parents should be monitoring what videos and games the child is viewing, and under no circumstance should that child have access to any weapons. This tragedy may not have happened if Syed's parents had not bought him a shotgun a year ago. Robert C. Thompson Marina Del Rey Re "O.C.
April 8, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- After a two-week spring recess, Congress returns to work on Tuesday for a make-or-break legislative sprint on two White House priorities - gun violence and immigration reform - in a session that could help define President Obama's second term. Spurred by the elementary school shooting last December in Newtown, Conn., tightening the nation's gun laws was expected to be the top order of business when the Senate reconvenes. But the gun violence bill could be delayed as negotiators struggle to reach accord on a provision that would require law enforcement background checks for nearly all gun purchases.
December 22, 2012
The reaction to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last week was immediate and voluminous. Of the more than 600 letters sent to on the topic, about 120 of them mentioned mental illness as a cause for the violence. A handful of writers warned against jumping to conclusions and stigmatizing those whostruggle with mental disabilities; one writer even turned questions about psychology into ones for gun advocates. Here is a selection of those letters. In a letter published Tuesday, Michelle Uzeta, legal director of the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, wrote: "The tendency in our society is to label what happened, pack it in a box and tuck it away somewhere.
December 14, 2012 | By Paul Thornton
Since news broke of the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school Friday morning, The Times' has received more than two dozen readers letters; nearly all of them express outrage over the political third rail that gun control has become. So far, one letter writer has warned against calling for gun prohibition. The following are a selection of those responses. Of course, it wasn't immediately clear how the shooter got his guns or whether stricter firearms laws would have prevented him from obtaining them.
March 29, 2001
Guns don't kill people, but they make it a whole lot easier for people to kill people. KEITH LOGAN El Monte
January 11, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Film and television industry groups that met with the White House on Thursday evening vowed to engage in a "dialogue" over the issue of gun violence in America.                                                           "The entertainment community appreciates being included in the dialogue around the administration's efforts to confront the complex challenge of gun violence in America," said a statement from the Directors...
March 30, 2014 | By Richard Simon
Its official name is the Safe Carry Protection Act. Critics call it the "guns everywhere bill. " Legislation awaiting the governor's signature in Georgia would allow guns in bars, churches, airports and schools. It has drawn national attention because of its sweep. The National Rifle Assn. called the bill's passage a "historic victory for the 2nd Amendment. " Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, the former Arizona congresswoman who was wounded in a 2011 shooting, called it the most extreme gun bill in the nation.
February 27, 2014
Re "The paradox of open carry laws," Opinion, Feb. 23 Only in the United States could there be a serious article on the advantages and disadvantages of carrying a gun openly or concealed; only in the United States could a George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn incident happen; only in the United States, among all developed countries, is there a mainstream culture of fear that accepts carrying a gun as necessary for protection. Some Americans still believe that Elvis is alive, that the Earth revolves around the sun, that the world is flat and that witches exist.
February 12, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly are writing a book on gun control. And while publisher Scribner describes it as a "book on America's gun debate," the title makes it clear that Giffords and Kelly are taking a side. The book will be called "Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence. " Giffords was an Arizona congresswoman who was shot in the head during a 2011 attack on a public meeting she was holding with constituents at a Tucson mall. Giffords was among 13 injured; six people were killed, including a 9-year-old girl.
January 16, 2014
Re “Shock and tears in N.M.,” Jan. 15 Regarding the article by Times staff writer John Glionna about the school shooting in New Mexico, there was one part that really captured the entire story for me: “Many children seemed in shock: tiny girls with glasses and mammoth backpacks, boys in sweat shirts bearing the school mascot bulldog, who maybe yesterday were too old to cry. But not today. One buried his face in his mother's chest and wailed. 'Mama's got you,' the woman whispered.
January 8, 2014 | By Cathleen Decker, This post has been updated and corrected. See the note below for details.
Three years ago today, she was in the most mundane of places, a supermarket parking lot in Tucson. She was engaged in the most meaningful act in political life, talking to the people who had sent her to Washington. Then a bullet pierced Gabrielle Giffords' brain. The Arizona congresswoman was one of 19 who fell to bullets that day. Six would die. Wednesday, she planned to jump from an airplane with a skydiving friend, another leap in her defiant reach for a life that came so close to ending.
January 6, 2014 | By Dahleen Glanton and Jason Meisner
CHICAGO - A federal judge Monday stripped away a key element of Chicago's gun ordinance, ruling that it was unconstitutional to prohibit licensed gun stores from operating in the city. U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang said Chicago had failed to persuade him that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence that has plagued the city. The ruling also would make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of firearms as gifts or in private sales as long as the recipients were over 18 and had state firearm owner identification cards.
July 20, 2012 | By Mark Z. Barabak
In all the reams of reaction over the cinema shootings in Aurora, Colo., California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was one of the few to introduce politics - albeit glancingly--into the national outpouring of sadness. “It is with great sorrow that I follow the news of today's tragedy in Colorado,” Feinstein said in a written statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of this senseless violence. “Today is a time for grieving," Feinstein went on, “but my hope is the country will also reflect on the roots of gun violence that has again visited terror on an American community, claiming the lives of more innocents.” Feinstein's outspokenness is not surprising.
December 14, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
As it struggles to deal with the latest deadly school shooting, Colorado finds itself in a familiar place, enmeshed in the ongoing debate over how to control gun violence. On Saturday, police continued their investigation into the latest attack, the third in which troubled gunmen opened fire in crowded places with which the state has had to contend since 1999. Karl Halverson Pierson, 18, apparently frustrated by being removed from the Arapahoe High School debate team and angry at its coach, entered the school building in the Denver suburb of Centennial with a shotgun looking for the teacher.
December 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The killing last December of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., was expected to finally change this country's apathy toward gun control. It seemed impossible, after so many 6- and 7-year-olds cowering in their classrooms were methodically shot and killed by a young man armed with a military-style semiautomatic weapon, that the nation's leaders would not begin to limit access to tools of mass murder. But it didn't happen. A year later, on the first anniversary of the Newtown massacre, reasonable gun control legislation has been blocked in Congress and it's still far too easy to acquire a weapon that can kill a dozen people in seconds.
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