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The most surprising way to honor rural gun culture in 2019? Gun control

photo of man holding rifle inside gun shop
REUTERS/George Frey
Even hard core gun enthusiasts should support basic restrictions, like registration and background checks — which we don’t have — because they aim to ensure Minnesotans use firearms responsibly.
Ellie Hansen

Since the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting on Valentine’s Day last year, state governments have passed more than 50 new gun laws. Minnesota isn’t one of them.

Tim Walz, who will take office as governor today, supports gun control — he didn’t used to. In a MinnPost article in September, Walz is quoted explaining that he shifted his stance because of rising gun violence.  Walz also says his fellow rural Minnesotans see gun control as less “urgent” than urban residents because of rural gun culture.

Walz is right. I’m a college student from Walker, a small town, where perhaps unlike the Twin Cities, guns are part of growing up. I’m here to argue that while we’re not all gun-crazy, this year rural Minnesotans urgently need to reconcile our gun culture with the need for gun control.

Symbol of individual responsibility, self-sufficiency

I was 10 years old when I learned how to shoot a gun, spending quality time with my father in northern Minnesota. Here, rural gun culture is ubiquitous and not strictly conservative — I come from a long line of gun-owning Democrats. Instead, rural Minnesotans like guns because we value self-reliance above damn near everything else. The ability to hunt and provide meat for our families is an enormous source of honor. Guns are a tool. They’re also a symbol of individual responsibility and self-sufficiency.

But our values contrast sharply with those of people like Parkland assailant Nikolas Cruz. Last year, Cruz entered his high school with an AR-15 assault rifle. He fired rounds into the hurricane-resistant windows — his target was not a pine tree, like mine, but his fellow classmates. He killed 17 people.

Mass shooters like Cruz pervert guns as rural Minnesotans see them, using them to kill and maim innocents — and Cruz’ betrayal of our values is hardly an exception. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2018 alone there were 340 mass shootings in America, and 14,596 people died from gun violence.

And therein lies the tension surrounding gun control for rural people. We see guns as an individual honor and responsibility. But that no longer matches our reality of mass shootings that harm large groups of people. That is not to say that rural people are callous. My community, of course, is devastated by mass shootings. Many support measures like background checks, and some even back banning bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.

The ‘slippery slope’ argument

Too many, however, espouse the National Rifle Association’s “slippery slope” argument: the fear that if we let our government implement basic gun control, we’ll be stripped of our weapons — in our minds, left utterly defenseless.

It is entirely natural for my community to defend rural gun culture. However, we are mistaken if we believe that gun control advocates want to take this away. The NRA’s argument that gun control supporters want to take all guns has been proven false. People who support gun control do not want to strip the rights of the individual — they want to protect the collective, children and communities, from violence from people who misuse guns.

Seen this way, gun control actually aligns with rural values. Even hard core gun enthusiasts should support basic restrictions, like registration and background checks — which we don’t have — because they aim to ensure Minnesotans use firearms responsibly. In other words, how we know guns should be used.

We can even support banning assault weapons. An assault rifle cannot shoot a deer to feed your family. It can kill and maim hundreds of people. If a gun cannot fulfill its proper purpose, but can cause unimaginable tragedy, why should we support its legality? The idea that we must defend all guns in order to defend those that are useful is a fallacy.

Respect and protection

I learned to shoot a shotgun when I was 10. But I also worry about my brother, and the potential for a mass shooter to attack his high school. These facts are not in tension with each other, as they might seem. We can respect and promote rural gun culture while protecting our communities.

Rural Minnesotans know that guns are a symbol of independence, a means to obtain food — not weapons of mass violence. In 2019, we must recognize gun control for the urgent issue it has become, support legislation that ensures people who own guns are qualified, and withdraw support from weapons that can only be abused. In other words, to protect our communities, and our gun culture, we can and must support gun control.

Ellie Hansen is from Walker, Minnesota. She attends Columbia University.

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Comments (46)

  1. Submitted by Greg Fynboh on 01/07/2019 - 10:26 am.

    I agree with your opinion almost entirely, Ellie. However, I do question that we lack basic restrictions like registration and background checks. I haven’t bought a gun for twenty-some years, but I have neighbors that buy a gun every year and they must register and wait for their background checks to clear I’m told. I’m not in the market for a gun, but must I go buy one to know what the truth is for sure? At any rate, if more opinions were formed with the rural knowledge you posses I believe there wouldn’t be much of a gun-control debate. Thanks for your article.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/07/2019 - 10:54 am.

      None of her proposals would prevent a single mass shooting. Registration only means confiscation is next. Criminals don’t register their guns and don’t go through background checks.

      Even Law Enforcement wants more law abiding citizens armed. They know they can’t be everywhere all the time.

      • Submitted by John Clouse on 01/07/2019 - 11:46 am.

        B.S. Mr Barnes. Is the price for your ability to own a gun the lives of 14,000 of your fellow Americans? That’s an extremely high price.
        If the NRA were obliged to pay for the funerals of those 14,000 souls they might have a different perspective on guns.
        Heck, if either you or the NRA were to even attend those 14,000 funerals you might have a different perspective.
        Try it.

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/07/2019 - 12:32 pm.

          Is the price of you owning a car those 35,000+ lives lost every year? See how ridiculous your claim is? Most of the gun deaths are suicides. Most of the rest are criminals getting guns illegally. Background checks, registration etc won’t stop any of that.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 01/10/2019 - 08:55 am.

            There is a price to pay for that. If you own a car, you are required to go through training, get a learner’s permit, take driver’s education courses, mandatory behind-the-wheel training, and then pass a proctored exam in order to attain a licence. That’s just for the licence.
            If you own a car, you are required by law to purchase insurance for the vehicle, in order to help protect not just you, but other motorists. The auto companies are under strict safety regulations for how their cars are built so as not to be a danger to the general public, and there are no laws that grant car makers immunity from prosecution or scientific research. There are strict laws that restrict or remove the ability of the owner to use the car if they are found to be negligent. The car must be registered every year with the DMV, and you are required to renew your licence on a regular basis.

            I think these are all sensible options to (start to) deal with the gun crisis in America.

            • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/11/2019 - 07:36 am.

              Your reply supports the point you are challenging. You compiled a list of requirements and expenses that don’t prevent 35,000 highway deaths every year. 380 Minnesotans died in car crashes in 2018, an average of one each day. If we wanted to save most of those lives, we (state or nation) would limit road speeds to 25 MPH. In Minnesota, we could save over 300 lives and millions of dollars in medical expenses and property damage.

              If it would save but one life, we should do it – so the argument goes. However, it would be terribly inconvenient, and it would change our way of life. These lives we knowingly and willingly pay each year to travel as we please, moving swiftly from point A to point B and back. Our legislators will do nothing about it, yet it is the biggest killer in our state.

              • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 01/11/2019 - 12:29 pm.

                Traffic deaths are defined as accidents, not intentional acts. If it’s intentional, it’s vehicular homicide. The majority of gun-deaths are intentional acts.

                The point of insurance is to cover the cost of the accidents. The point of the regulations is to make the environment safer for all involved.

                For example, if trigger locks and storing ammunition separately were required under law, along with mandatory training and licencing, and along with civil or criminal penalties for gross negligence in home with young children, it would probably lead to fewer accidental gun deaths annually. Frankly, it would probably lead to a slightly lower percentage rate of firearm suicides.

                The vehicular analogs to the points above would be things like seatbelts, airbags, mandatory safety recalls, speed limits, drunk-driving laws, etc. Without that infrastructure and regulation in place, there would be a great deal more traffic deaths annually than 35k, one could very reasonably surmise.

                • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/11/2019 - 01:48 pm.

                  Yes, if there were less safety equipment, there would be more traffic deaths. If speed limits were reduced significantly, there would be significantly fewer deaths. However, we are totally down with the current rate of road carnage. How else to explain the lack of calls for changes in the law? Dead is dead, the cause doesn’t even get a mention on the tombstone, nor often in the obituary. Why is there no great concern regarding the leading cause of deaths? Because it isn’t a partisan issue.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 01/07/2019 - 01:32 pm.

          It’s ironic to start a response with “BS” and then follow it with BS.

          70% of gun related deaths are attributed to suicide. Somehow I don’t think my ownership of firearms is what’s troubling those poor tortured souls.

          • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 01/10/2019 - 03:18 pm.

            Are deaths that are the result of suicide less important? Two facts that are true about suicide is that 1.) in most cases, it’s an impulsive decision and 2.) an overwhelming number of survivors don’t attempt again.

            Making access to the most effective means of suicide might in fact have a significant impact and save a number of lives.

            • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/12/2019 - 10:57 am.

              Where did you get your “facts”? Both are dangerous and popular misconceptions. Stop repeating them.

              From the New York Times, regarding second suicide attempts.

              “A common yet highly inaccurate belief is that people who survive a suicide attempt are unlikely to try again. In fact, just the opposite is true. Within the first three months to a year following a suicide attempt, people are at highest risk of a second attempt — and this time perhaps succeeding.”

              https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/well/live/after-a-suicide-attempt-the-risk-of-another-try.amp.html

              From Sage, regarding impulsivity.

              “It is widely accepted that suicidal behavior often occurs with little planning. We propose, however, that suicidal behavior is rarely if ever impulsive—that it is too frightening and physically distressing to engage in without forethought—and that suicidal behavior in impulsive individuals is accounted for by painful and fearsome behaviors capable of enhancing their capacity for suicide. We conducted a meta-analysis of the association between trait impulsivity and suicidal behavior and a critical review of research considering the impulsiveness of specific suicide attempts.”

              https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868314535988

              • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 01/14/2019 - 02:06 pm.

                Your own source shows that only about 5% of folks who survive a suicide attempt ultimately end up succeeding in the future. It also states that “The study also showed that the odds of successfully committing suicide are 140 times greater when a gun is used than for any other method. Dr. Bostwick said that most suicide attempts are “impulsive acts, and it’s critical to prevent access to tools that make impulsive attempts more deadly.”

                And yes, it’s true that there are other countries that have higher suicide rates than we do. No one is suggesting that presence of guns in our society is the only issue that drives suicide rates. What we’re suggesting is that some common-sense gun control steps could further lower our rates.

                • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/17/2019 - 06:45 am.

                  According to the New York Times article linked above, “one in 25 patients presenting to hospital for self-harm will kill themselves in the next five years.” While it may seem like a small percent to you, it represents thousands of people, all suffering from debilitating mental illness.

                  To truly address a problem, you must first determine the root cause. Otherwise, you are just playing around the margins, wasting time that could be aimed at root cause.

                  In South Korea, the most effective suicide methods are hanging and leaping from a height. Regulating ropes and tall buildings really isn’t the most effective actions available.

            • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/13/2019 - 08:29 am.

              These false notions regarding suicide are promoted by anti-gunners because it bolsters their narrative that suicide in America is a gun issue.

              Suicide is a mental health issue, it is not a weapon of choice or availability issue. In South Korea, a gun is very rarely used in a suicide and gun laws are very restrictive. Even so, they have a suicide rate twice that of the United States. Source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/suicide-rate-by-country/

        • Submitted by Jon Esch on 01/08/2019 - 11:11 am.

          John, the nearly 15,000 deaths attributed to firearms includes suicide, accidental death, gang related violence, homicide, and, unbelievably, legal use of defensive force. That includes police shootings. The numbers of gun related homicides are closer to 3,000 annually.

      • Submitted by Greg Fynboh on 01/07/2019 - 05:10 pm.

        Her proposals might not prevent a mass shooting. If guns are indeed not being registered they need to be. If we must register a vehicle, then for sure we should be registering our gun. This is done to help catch criminals, not prevent criminal activity necessarily.

        • Submitted by Jon Esch on 01/08/2019 - 11:13 am.

          Cars to guns is apples to oranges. One is a privilege, the other is a right. Registration hasn’t been proven to reduce or catch criminal activity. Serial numbers are routinely filed off by the criminal element.

  2. Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/07/2019 - 10:52 am.

    AR15s can kill animals for meat including deer (however the DNR does not allow them for large game like deer). A AR 10 can be used for deer as it is a .308 caliber.

    Restricting or banning guns based on 1 mentally ill persons actions is absurd. Also there were not 300+ mass shootings last year, more like a dozen or less.

    Almost every actual mass shooter passed a background check. Criminals don’t even try to buy from a licensed dealer anyway. None of these proposals would do anything to stop gun crimes. And might I also point out that violent crime in general has been falling for 2 decades.

    This article is full of inaccurate stats and claims. I suggest people go read the research done by John Lott for actual facts.

    • Submitted by John Clouse on 01/07/2019 - 11:50 am.

      B.S. Mr Barnes. If the DNR does not allow AR 15s to be used for deer hunting isn’t that a form of gun control? You had better get after that “slippery slope!”
      Every instance of 4 or more people killed at the same event is a “mass killing.” Look it up somewhere objective, not “John Lott.”

    • Submitted by James Miller on 01/07/2019 - 12:45 pm.

      Please mention the verified and refuted aspects of John Lott’s work. Also discuss who funds his work. If you feel that this article is full of inaccurate claims and stats, please refute them. If you’re unwilling to do that, please don’t waste everyone’s time by throwing letter bombs w/o any substantiation.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/07/2019 - 04:29 pm.

        John Lott posts his data online so you can see it, fact check it or even try to refute it. The same cannot be said of many other groups who claim the US is one of the worst when it comes to gun deaths. I even gave you a link to his work refuting the claims that most mass shootings happen in America.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 01/08/2019 - 10:11 am.

          John Lott – the guy with the fake accounts praising himself? That guy is the biggest fraud around. You have zero credibility if you cite that guy.

    • Submitted by Payton Powell on 01/07/2019 - 01:10 pm.

      Wow Bob, not even close. MSR’s in .223 are 100% legal to use for deer in Minnesota so you’re wrong there, the bare minimum is .220 and must be a centerfire cartridge. Technically speaking, you could use .32 ACP as a hunting caliber but I am not sure why you would. Modern .223 is more than adequate to take deer so long as you are making shots at under 200 yards (not a problem in North woods of MN). In fact Federal Ammunition, based here in Anoka, makes several .223 rounds that are specifically designed for deer hunting.

    • Submitted by Curtis Tuma on 01/09/2019 - 04:18 pm.

      It is legal to hunt and take deer with a .223 AR-15 of any capacity in MN. People that make statements and don’t know what the law is should either keep quiet or learn the law. MN law allows taking of big game with all calibers of handguns also(with the exception of .22 rimfire). I am a deer hunter and I also instructed MN youth hunter safety for thirty three years(By the way NRA hunter safety).

      In addition, for some of the people making comments, the second amendment has nothing to do with hunting period!

  3. Submitted by Pat Watson on 01/07/2019 - 01:42 pm.

    The author throws out so many straw men it’s almost comedy. You want to work with rural (and urban) gun owners to help prevent violence? Then first of? Stop othering us. Then, stop trying to prohibit us from technological advancement. The 1st Amendment gets to advance to the world of the Internet and mobile devices? Then guns do too.

    Instead of the red herrings presented here – lets come together over the #1 cause of “gun deaths” – suicides. Red Flag orders won’t get a significant reduction in suicides – but, providing rural healthcare including counseling services, WILL….and thats just one example.

    Lets not listen to the big national lobbyists – both on the gun control AND civil rights sides….instead, let’s solve it like Minnesotans.

    • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 01/10/2019 - 08:29 am.

      “Then, stop trying to prohibit us from technological advancement.”

      To what are you referring? Broadband? Something else? And what have the Republicans done to get those things to you besides nothing?

  4. Submitted by Payton Powell on 01/07/2019 - 02:22 pm.

    While I admire young people like Ms. Hansen who have the gumption and energy to want to go out and “fix things” that youthful energy often lacks the wisdom that comes with time. In my younger days I may have agreed with her, in fact I probably felt quite similar but that changed as I have grown older and have learned the benefit of balance. The biggest failure in her desire for gun control, especially here in Minnesota, is that it doesn’t account for who it will actually affect. So much of the desire by white liberals is to prevent young white men from shooting young white students in their classrooms, that is a very serious problem to be sure. However, the vast majority of gun related homicides in the United States aren’t school shootings, in fact the majority of victims aren’t young white students being massacred in high school and college campuses but actually young black men in the streets.

    It is this fact, that over fifty percent of gun related homicides are African Americans, and most of them being young black men, that highlights the real cause of gun violence: socioeconomic inequity. Because of this, stricter gun control will make regular, law abiding gun owners criminals for merely possessing things that neither they nor their kin were ever likely to use in any sort of crime. It also will mean that the demographic who suffers the most amount of casualties (the African American community) will also likely be the ones who face the punitive measures in the streets.

    The more we do to create better access to healthcare (including mental health), quality education, high quality food, higher education, and quality full-time work, the better chance we have to reducing violence of all kinds.

  5. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/07/2019 - 06:02 pm.

    While I appreciate the author’s sentiment and purpose in writing this piece, it’s evident that the mere mention of the phrase “gun control” evokes an emotional reaction more than it fosters rational or intelligent debate. Safety belts never ended traffic highway fatalities but they were among a host of safety improvements to vehicles and highways from safety laws that have kept the carnage from vehicular accidents to lower levels. Firearm regulations won’t stop people from being killed or maimed by knives, baseball bats or other weapons. But a few measures like mandatory universal background checks to close the private sale loophole, and other specific measures will help make America a safer place.

  6. Submitted by R. Hanson on 01/07/2019 - 09:10 pm.

    The results of the gun control debate will be determined due to demographic changes. Rural MN is depopulating at such a rate that a congressional seat will be lost in the next decade. Outstate residents in MN’s truly rural counties simply will have no vote on the issue.

  7. Submitted by Don Arnosti on 01/07/2019 - 10:50 pm.

    Thanks for your thoughtful commentary Ellie. Food for thought.

  8. Submitted by Ole Johnson on 01/08/2019 - 07:17 am.

    If you think that guns need to be regulated, please begin the process to amend the Constitution.

  9. Submitted by nick nohava on 01/08/2019 - 10:26 pm.

    This is the dumbest crap I’ve read in a while. I made an account just to comment. If you think that we don’t have gun control measures in place already you’ve clearly never tried to purchase a gun.
    If you think the majority of minnesotans much less rural minnesotans support gun control I implore you. Get more than 30 minutes away from the city, park your car and listen. Odds are you’ll hear some sort of firearm within an hour. Max. Further away you get from the twin cities the more guns you’ll hear.
    We fought the last government who tried to disarm us. And that’s why “shall not be infringed” is written there plain as day.

  10. Submitted by Allen Soderbeck on 01/09/2019 - 12:29 am.

    A well written article but I disagree with most of it. One does not need to justify a right. It is that simple. Everyone should understand what a right is.

    I too grew up learning to shoot at an early age. I enjoy shooting firearms of many different types. I like to be good at whatever I do and with firearms, so practicing is both training and enjoyment. Not one firearm in our house has shot anyone yet. Every single one of them requires a person to pull the trigger. Pulling that trigger comes with personal responsibility. That is another aspect that has seemed to diminish over the years.

    In my opinion, core problems in our society and in the world are lack of human decency and a numbness to violence. There are many arguments on “how” we got here, but as a society, we have violence issues. The tool of violence does not matter. If not a gun, knives. If not a knife, then a hammer or baseball bat. The list goes on.

    Chicago is a perfect example of why gun control only punishes the lawful citizen. That state and city has extreme gun control laws, yet has more violence that most third world countries. Why? Simply because criminals do not follow the laws.

    Suicide is a serious problem in our society. We have mental health crisis. Guns make it easy and are quite effective at suicide. You are extremely naive if you believe the suicidal person will not choose another method.
    We as a society must examine why we have such a crisis.

    I emphatically disagree with the writer on the slipper slope argument. The source used for the writer’s argument if flawed. I would use a beaver and a tree as an analogy. The beaver does not just walk up to the tree and push it over. The beaver chews away at it a little at a time until the tree’s trunk is so small that it just falls over. As our rights are chiseled away a little at a time, the masses do not think about it. Eventually, everyone is numb to it and the rights are toppled just like the tree. It is unfortunate that people do not understand that.

    One thing is certain, we have a divided country and divided state in many areas. This is one of them. Unless we decide that people are the problem, not the tools, we will never make progress.

    I read the gun control bills presented in the last legislative cycle and was strongly opposed to every single one of them. People through out the term “gun control” and “common sense” without even reading the proposed changes to our laws. If they would have passed, many thousands in our state would be automatically criminals including me and my many of my friends. If I was to lead a rifle to a friend so their daughter could hunt, we would all be criminals if we didn’t get government approval. That is simply wrong. I do believe that some people truly have good intentions but do not understand. Those people listen to both sides and can have a real discussion about issues. There are the other people that have an agenda to push, do not listen, do not care what the other side of the issue has to say, etc. Those people concern me. They are as dangerous as a mass shooter. To me they are more dangerous because they attack our values and society as a whole. They have a solution in search of a problem.

    When the driver of a rented pickup trunk killed 11 in NYC last year, there was no outcry to ban pickup trucks or do background checks and have waiting periods to rent trucks. We simply attached the crime to the persons involved. Why are guns different ?

    I heard a quote on the topic recently. I do not know the source, but it was ” taking guns away from law abiding citizens because of the violent people in our country is like taking cars away from everyone because of the drunk driver.”

    I am not looking forward to the fight to keep my rights this year.

  11. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 01/09/2019 - 05:08 pm.

    Rural gun culture is really about hunting. If you hunt, you follow the rules. You buy a license. You hunt in season. You do not fire from a car and don’t have loaded weapons in a vehicle. You never point a gun at another person. If you see a no trespassing sign, you do not hunt there.

    The state of Minnesota is able to identify the state’s hunters by the licensing process, and is able to distinguish between those hunt with a gun and opposed to a bow and arrow. Are there any problems with this? Yes, but only from those who poach and otherwise break the law. Those people are criminals the instant they first break the law. There may be some people banned from getting guns who end up with hunting licenses but that is not something one reads about.

    And there is an amendment to the state constitution that guarantees the right to hunt, so wouldn’t that overrule any effort to take away hunters’rifles and shotguns. Approach gun control like we approach hunting regulations and we will be OK.

  12. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/10/2019 - 03:03 pm.

    Where are all the third amendment enthusiasts out there?

    “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

    Been a while since anyone claimed to have their 3rd amendment privileges violated and even longer since it was proven.

    Could it be that the third amendment is simply an antiquity of its’ time? With no real relevance in today’s world?

    A pretty convincing argument could be made. It directly reflected the circumstances of the revolutionary war and the British quartering of soldiers.

    And the second amendment? Pretty much the same thing. NRA types endlessly dance around:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,”

    But; we clearly know that this reflects revolutionary war militias that were integral to over throwing the British.

    Any serious 2nd amendment supporter should be out claiming their right to modern/contemporary tools of resistance: rocket launchers, fully automatic weapons, artillery, personal nuclear weapons, etc…

    But they don’t because they know it is foolish to demand full stocking of their home based arsenal.

    Just as they know it is foolish that their AR15 will hold off the US Army.

    Little boys playing soldier and they will be damned if a few school yards full of murdered first graders will get in the way of their fun…

  13. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/11/2019 - 08:31 am.

    Who da thunk it??

    Trump is paving the way to real gun control changes.

    Let him build his wall through national emergency powers and our next D president, upon the inevitable first school shooting during their term, can similarly declare a national emergency, this time with real dead bodies, and implement the national gun registry and severe hand gun and magazine restrictions.

    Trump finally builds a legacy….

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 01/13/2019 - 08:28 pm.

      Real dead bodies? What type of dead bodies do you consider Officers Singh and Corona to be?

      Headline, “PERSON SUSPECTED OF KILLING DAVIS, CALIFORNIA POLICE OFFICER NATALIE CORONA FOUND DEAD”

      https://6abc.com/amp/california-rookie-officer-fatally-shot-responding-to-crash/5053383/

      “Corona is the second officer killed in California in the past two and a half weeks.

      Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot to death Dec. 26 after he stopped a suspected drunk driver.

      Gustavo Arriaga Perez, also 33, was charged with the murder. Authorities said Perez Arriaga was in the country illegally and was preparing to flee to Mexico when he was arrested. That killing rekindled a debate over California’s sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local officials with federal immigration authorities.“

  14. Submitted by James Miller on 01/07/2019 - 12:09 pm.

    Coda: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/data-confirm-semiautomatic-rifles-linked-to-more-deaths-injuries/

  15. Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/07/2019 - 12:49 pm.

    Rifles account for about 200 gun deaths a year, out of the 12,000 or so gun homicides. Those black rifles aren’t causing the problems you think.

  16. Submitted by David Lundeen on 01/07/2019 - 06:34 pm.

    This article is wrong on a lot of counts, but I don’t fault the young writer. The plain fact is that no should own an assault weapon, or a handgun. These are not weapons which accurately reflect rural Americans claims that guns are a symbol of self-reliance. Self-reliance is much more than being able to shoot a deer (something I love to do). It’s the ability to learn, improve yourself, and set yourself up for good opportunities, both personally and professionally, through hard-work and humility. The laughable claim about defending their liberty against government aggression is the most unlettered, uninspired and brainless argument a person can make. Case-in-point: our current administration’s debasement of the constitution and the norms and values which govern American civic and political life. Our President’s statements and actions are being used to justify human rights abuses in both the US and across the globe through autocratic regimes.

    Guns have simply become a surrogate symbol, cynically co-opted by the GOP (hypocritically they have no qualms about passing voter restriction laws clearly in violation of the 14th and 15th amendments) in order to have fearful rural voters elect GOP representative, when, clearly, they share no other common interests. I’d be shocked if the majority of rural Americans actually knew what conservatism was, the key intellectual figures and what conservatism means on a policy level, besides nominating a few ‘conservative’ judges. Rather, they vote on the deepest insecurities; their economic well-being (of which as a 2009 college graduate, I greatly sympathize with) through demagoguery wrapped in Christian idol-worship.

  17. Submitted by R. Hanson on 01/08/2019 - 09:28 am.

    The second amendment doesn’t mention hunting, but it does mention militias. The defense of liberty via the 2A is not a “brainless” argument, it is the standard argument. There is no amendment that suggests Americans have the right to go deer hunting.

  18. Submitted by Greg Smith on 01/11/2019 - 06:01 pm.

    So no defense against the like of the likes of the WI kidnapper?

  19. Submitted by Greg Smith on 01/10/2019 - 06:08 pm.

    Not should there be a mention of a right to hunt in the bill of rights. That right, among many others are retained to the people. the constitution does not grant us rights, it elevates the power of the people to the government.

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