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What informs your position on gun issues?

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
January 19, 2013

President Obama has outlined his plan for reducing gun violence in the United States in response to several recent shooting incidents, including the December attack in Newtown, Conn. The president called on Congress to strengthen the background-check system for gun owners, restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and create a 10-round limit for magazines.

In addition, he said his administration will act on its own to better enforce existing gun laws and improve the ways federal law enforcement agencies communicate with each other.

Whether you support President Obama’s proposals on this issue or not — or maybe you’re still struggling with how you feel about them — your story can be part of this conversation, one that is civil and honest.

Our hunch is that people come to their ideas about guns less through the arguments of politicians and more through their own experience and the stories they hear from people they know. So we’re asking for your stories. We ask that you leave opinion and accusations at the door and just tell the real, personal experience that guides your thinking on this issue.

If you hunt or shoot guns recreationally, we’d like to know how that affects your views. If you’ve witnessed firsthand the effects of gun violence, please share your story. If your family or friends have shaped your views, let us know.

>> Tell us: What informs your position on gun issues?



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4 Responses to “What informs your position on gun issues?”

  1. Just J says:

    Chicago, New York, Washington DC, even Great Britain (with 3 times the per capita rate of violent crime as the US) – these are jut a few of the hundreds of indisutable proofs that gun control does not work. The President's proposals to effectively double down on demonstrably flawed methodologies can only work as well as you might expect, which is to say not at all.

    It's time to fight this problem in the way that made America great – with more Liberty instead of more law.

    Allow any law-abiding adult concealed and/or open carry as much as possible, reducing the pool of helpless victims. Eliminate so called "gun free zones", which to the psychotic and criminally inclined are simply seen as "target-rich and shooter-safe zones".

    Hate the messenger or the message all you want, but the NRA's ad is undeniably true – if armed good guys didn't make kids safer at school, the President and other government and media elite wouldn't send their kids to a school that had such guards. And if good guys with guns didn't make you safer, the President and other government, media, and Hollywood elite wouldn't surround themselves with armed guards while trying to deny you your right to provide yourself that same protection.

    Don't listen to what they say, watch what they do. If it's good enough for them, demand it for yourself.

  2. Kenny Myers says:

    my views are shaped by a study of history

    it seams to me that the founding fathers had it right only an armed society of free people can hold back the forces of absolute despotism .throughout recorded history disarming the people has always led to mass murder .When I stand before ST. Peter at the pearly gate I am sure his first question will be. Why did you not protect your wife family your children and your country ?

  3. jay leahy says:

    I base any of my comments and thoughts on two or three major events in my life. First I worked for the Vt. Army National Guard for 15 years. During that time(1980-1995) I was on the state's rifle and pistol teams for twelve years (If you look up the records you will see Vt. shooters were at the top for many years.) In 1994 I took forth place at the Army National Guard Championships in Little Rock AR, among over 300 shooters and was asked to join an international team. During this time I was also the main small arms instructor for my home unit. In around 1993 I also started working as the buyer for a sporting goods store near by. By 2004 I had gained a fair reputation as being a fair buyer and seller of guns as well as appraisals on even antiques and mounting scopes. I also became certified by VTF&G to be a hunter safety instructor and by the NMLRA as a range officer. The state I live in has some of the highest gun ownership and lowest crime rates with the least amount of gun laws of anywhere. Could it be that shootings are more related to mental health, poverty, unemployment, drugs, single parent households, as well as any number of other related issues.

  4. Tara W says:

    I started shooting in my backyard and at the Isaac Walton League when I was 11 years old. My stepfather introduced me that day to gun safety, then shooting BB guns and revolvers, then cleaning and storage of firearms and ammunition. He showed me reloading ammunition. The progression went to semi-automatic handguns, bolt action and lever action rifles. Then when I started dating my future husband, he introduced me to semi-automatic rifles like the SKS, AK-47, and the AR-15. My husband was in the Army National Guard at the time, then went on to become a civilian police officer moving to federal police officer, which he has been for the last 13 years.

    I have enjoyed target shooting for over 20 years as the secondary reason why I own various types of firearms. The primary reason I own and practice with firearms of all types is for what I consider to be my civic duty of personal and community protection. I have seen the effects of the real world through my husband's experience as a police officer…criminals are literally evil-minded, deranged, desperate addicts, retaliatory, and/or psychopathic/sociopathic. Attempts have been made on my husband's life and threats on our family have been made by these people, so yes, I carry concealed to protect myself and our son. I have a few loaded, but empty chambered, firearms stashed about my house to ward off intruders, in addition to my locked up firearms…many of which our current regime would have outlawed because they don't think I "need" them.

    But why do I take the stance that owning whatever firearm a law-abiding citizen chooses to own? Because of history…I enjoyed civics class and "mock Congress", history, and debate team in school. I learned that criminals are present at all levels of society…just recent history points to Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, and other dictators who's primary focus is to disarm the people or keep them disarmed, to oppress their human rights, and promote their own oppressive agendas while covered in the blood of their people. FAR worse than the results of an isolated mass shooting…we're talking MILLIONS of deaths, horrific experiments, loss of individual human value, all for the whims of the few and ALWAYS under the guise of "for the safety of the masses" and a loss of liberty for the People.

    I research regularly on firearm factoids, drawing from FBI statistics,, JPFO (Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Organization), Gary Kleck's survey on defensive gun use, the US. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and my husband's experience on the road, among other things. I am NOT an NRA member or member of any other organization, but I respect some of the things they support, along with Gun Owners of America. But I don't have to be a member of some group to see with my own two eyes why the 2nd Amendment is VITAL to our country's culture and our liberties, which remains the rarity that makes the United States of America a place where it's worth living. No matter what country you live in, violence will visit you in one form or another. But in the USA, a free citizen, has the RIGHT to do something about it instead of laying down and taking it, possibly dying for lack of self-protection.

    Our founding history teaches us the need to be equivalently armed to our military and police to prevent tyranny….that it is the individual's responsibility and duty to protect themselves, and if possible, their State and country. And although many look at tyranny and think it's an archaic word, they delude themselves and are blind to the fact that tyranny is still very much alive today. Outside the bubble we live in here, overseas and in South America people are arrested and put to death for practicing an outlawed religion, for protesting a government policy, for having an extra child…

    There are nearly 100 million legal gun owners in the USA, and 99.9% of us will never harm another person with our firearms. And yes, if we are comparably armed to the military, if our government should ever turn on us, we can overcome the 2 million in our military (should they defect on their oaths to defend the Constitution). No where else in the world is that possible. But it is our individual right, our need, to keep our country in the hands of the People, for the People, and by the People to protect our individual liberties and to keep our Government working FOR us, not against us.

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