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5 Key Takeaways from CNN's Town Hall on Florida Mass Shooting

The gun-control consensus that is forming should be particularly troubling to "mentally ill" Americans and skeptics of unrestrained police power.

Last night, CNN hosted a nearly two-hour-long "town hall" that gave a platform to students, parents, and others directly affected by last week's mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Hosted by Jake Tapper, the event also brought a number of high-profile politicians, gun-control activists, and defenders of gun rights into mostly heated conversation.

Here are the key takeaways from the town hall:

  1. Like President Trump's "listening session" at the White House, this was as much about grieving as anything else. CNN's overall coverage of the mass shooting doesn't mask its interest in giving students air time to vent their anger, frustration, fear, outrage, and demands for gun control. Despite being a strong defender of Second Amendment rights, I don't mean that as a criticism, but simply as an observation. I watched the town hall while following Twitter at the same time and all the people who were crowing about teenagers "dunking" on Marco Rubio and National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch (more on that in a moment) were missing a crucial dimension. After a traumatic event such as a school shooting, the act of being able to express anger and rage is ultimately less about what shape the future will take and more about processing the immediate past and present. Donald Trump's White House event was vastly different in temperament and tone for all sorts of reasons, but it served the same essential function of giving survivors a place to grieve and mourn in public.
  2. A shared gun-control agenda focused on bump stocks, databases, and mental health is coming into focus. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he remained a strong gun-rights advocate but agreed with increasing the age for rifle purchases, which is currently 18, to match that of handguns, which is 21. He's reconsidering reducing the size of magazines and actively supports the idea of "gun violence restraining orders," which would make it easier for law enforcement, family members, and mental-health professionals to at least temporarily void gun rights of individuals. Those are not small concessions, especially from a Republican, but it's far from clear that he will be joined by many GOP members of Congress. Everyone, including NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, is on board with banning bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to approach the firing speed of fully automatic weapons (which are mostly illegal). The databases comprising the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) are seriously incomplete and need better compliance. This wouldn't represent an expansion of background checks but a fulfillment of the original intent. While having more complete databases wouldn't necessarily disarm mass shooters, the failure to get even close to full participation by states, the military, and other reporting entities is deeply troubling. According to a 2013 FBI report, "at least 25 percent of felony convictions" are absent from NICS and last fall's Sutherland Springs shooting by a former member of the Air Force disciplined for domestic abuse underscored the military's lack of compliance. Finally, everyone agreed that "mental health" is at least either the problem or a major contributing factor. If you draw a Venn diagram of agreements last night, people with "mental illness"—a notoriously slippery and self-interested category under the best of circumstances—are facing heightened scrutiny in a way that should worry all civil libertarians.
  3. Forget the poundings that Rubio and Loesch took from the angry crowd, the worst onstage participant was Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Both in the hall and on Twitter, Rubio and Loesch clearly took the most abuse, despite their willingness not only to be present but to engage in good-faith debate and discussion. Israel, who appeared in a segment with Loesch, embodied why trust and confidence in law enforcement and the criminal-justice system has been erratic at best since Ferguson in 2014. In 2015, Gallup found confidence in cops dropped to a 25-year low. It's since rebounded somewhat but remains below its recent highs. Israel constantly invoked Florida's "Baker Act," which lets police and others force individuals deemed to be a threat to themselves or others to undergo involuntary psychiatric evaluations, as a means by which alleged shooter Nikolaus Cruz could have been stopped and as a reason he wasn't. He brushed off reports that agencies had been notified 39 times over the previous seven years about Cruz as irrelevant while bluntly stating that the police "need more power." At no point did Israel concede that failures of law enforcement were at work and seems to live in a world where the cops never abuse power. The only thing you can say about him is that he at least showed up. Unlike the FBI, which said it couldn't send anyone because its investigation of the shooting was ongoing.
  4. The Florida shooting is unlikely to seriously alter the historically high consensus that law-abiding individuals have the right to own and carry weapons. Again, the event's main function—a good one, I think—is to give a forum for people to express their anger, sorrow, and even despair. But that's primarily about mourning, not setting new policy. Since the mid-1990s (and even after Columbine inaugurated the current era of school shootings in 1999), Americans have become more, not less, supportive of gun rights. In 2000, according to Pew, 29 percent of Americans thought the government should "protect gun rights." By last year, that figure was 47 percent. And the feeling is actually stronger among millennials than older people. Despite the intensity and outpouring of grief and energy right now, there's no reason to expect it to sustain major gun-control legislation, and possibly not even any of the proposals outlined above.
  5. Jake Tapper is cable news' indispensable man right now. If the public is losing confidence in government in all its emanations, we are even more skeptical of the news media. Yet CNN's Jake Tapper, who once worked at what is now The Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence, is nothing less than inspiring in his genial-yet-tough fairness and decency. We don't need another Walter Cronkite (who was never the "most-trusted man in America" anyway), but it's good to see a thoughtful, well-informed news anchor and interlocutor who consistently asks difficult questions of all his guests and also gives them the time to answer. Even though the crowd was particularly hostile to the NRA's Loesch, he made sure she was given opportunities to make her points. Like Chris Wallace at Fox News and Brian Lamb at C-SPAN, Tapper is that rare breed who surely has a personal point of view but nonetheless is rigorous and fair. And unlike Wallace, Tapper, who wrote for early webzines such as Salon and Suck.com back in the day, is fully immersed in social media, maintaining one of the liveliest and wide-ranging Twitter feeds in media. I like subjective and point-of-view-driven media, but we all benefit from having down-the-middle types who can facilitate ideologically inclusive conversations.

Watch the entire town hall below. Go here for shorter clips.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Call me a loon if you want, but the "database" part is the first real step to confiscation.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Indeed, gun control activists have been pining for that for far too long for me to be sanguine about it.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    They're not talking about a gun ownership database but a prohibited persons database, which wouldn't help at all with general confiscation.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    That would depend on 1) how a person is put into such a database, and 2) if a fair due process means of getting off of it is available.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    The NICS database already exists and has well-defined criteria for getting on, and a process for getting off. Not sure how this is controversial, unless you disagree with the criteria, in which case the database isn't the problem.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I'm familiar with the database as it currently exists. My concern is with the criteria being changed.

    I'm also concerned about talk about forbidding gun ownership to anyone on a "terror watch list". The criteria for that database is ridiculously loose.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    According to PBS, over 90% of people on a terrorist watch list who applied for a gun permit got the permit. It's reached the point where anyone diagnosed with mental illness is better off joining a terrorist group, so that neighbours respect his fundamental rights.

    Does anyone want to revive the JDL? They're the friendliest terrorist I know of.

  • Eidde||

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Because over 90% of the people on a terrorist watch list aren't terrorists, have zero association with known terrorists, and present ZERO threat. As Enjoy Every Sandwich said, the criteria by which people end up on "terror watch lists" is insanely loose.

  • FlameCCT||

    I believe the issue is that the Progressives want a list similar to the No-Fly list not the NICS database.

  • TW||

    Naturally they're not talking about it now - but if I wanted to create a gun ownership database and knew that there was a very organized and effective group who would block me from doing it, I'd try to get the infrastructure in place and public support for something similar and then later try to expand it to gun ownership.

  • ranrod||

    depends on how its expanded...you dont believe the govt doesnt want you disarmed??

  • MamaLiberty||

    And NO "database" can prevent evil people from harming other people. Evil people do not obey "laws," any more than they worry about being on a database, or stealing any weapon they want.

    Assault and murder have always been "illegal."

  • Cyto||

    Call me a loon if you want, but the "database" part is the first real step to confiscation.

    It is truly amazing how much the US has changed in the last 25 years.

    In the 70's if you so much as hinted at a national database you'd be run out of town on a rail. The same goes for any sort of national ID.

    We ridiculed totalitarian societies, saying things like "Show me your papers" as a shorthand for how free we are and how free they aren't.

    Now we are marching in the streets demanding that every building have metal detectors, every gun be registered, every purchase vetted....

    There probably wasn't a Democrat in the 70's who would have proposed any of these things.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Again, it's not a gun ownership database, it's a prohibited person database. Not sure how the comparison to the 70s makes any sense since they didn't have the technology to check against a list of prohibited persons in any efficient way. Nearly all the federal prohibited categories were in place in 1968.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Actors were blacklisted under McCarthyism. We had the technology for a database a long time ago.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The blacklisting was done by Hollywood execs themselves.

    Free country to run your business as you like and most Americans did not want to see socialist useful idiots on screen or writing Communism-loving movies.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Well those were the days....

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""It is truly amazing how much the US has changed in the last 25 years.""

    This!!!

    Perhaps as time passes from having to fight a major evil empire, we forget the methods they used on their citizens, and why.

  • James Taggart||

    Maybe the lesson is that if you don't resist evil empires you become one.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Enough Americans have been convinced that gun databases, background checks, "assault weapons" bans, etc are Constitutional.

    First of all , there is zero authority for the government to create a database to gather names of Americans who have a constitutionally protect right to keep and bear arms.

    Secondly, the government at the time of the Founders could have keep paper files of which Americans had guns and they didn't.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The baby boomers got old and frail, and then spent the past 30 years putting any male identified as rebellious on Ritalin. American society has lost its chutzpah.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Raising kids is hard. Boomers did not want to do hard, so they gave speed to their kids.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I suspect it was less the Boomers than the Gen-Xers that are mostly responsible for the "drug little boys into a stupor" phenomenon. The latter generation has always been extremely risk-averse when it comes to just about anything due to the various social and media hysterias that have cropped up during their formative years, and it didn't help that they absorbed a lot of hippy-dippy bullshit from the Woodstockers and burnouts that ended up becoming teachers.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Oh come on, name one nation that confiscated guns from people on a database without eventually trying to exterminate those people.

  • ||

    Call me a loon if you want, but the "database" part is the first real step to confiscation.

    Also, they're just focusing on the real sources of danger, handguns and weapons of war. The long gun that your grandpa got when he was a teenager and that he gave to you when you were a teenager isn't on the table. You don't need to worry about not being able to own the long rifle that you use for hunting either. They make all this perfectly clear when they use the exceedingly narrow legal term "rifle".

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""The long gun that your grandpa got when he was a teenager and that he gave to you when you were a teenager isn't on the table.""

    I don't think that's true. Almost all of my grandfathers hunting rifles are semi-automatic.

    There is talk about banning semi-auto weapons.

  • DarrenM||

    I believe he's being a touch sarcastic there.

  • DatCrazyMongoose||

    You don't think that the government is already secretly keeping a detailed list of every NICS inquiry?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    The gun-control consensus that is forming should be particularly troubling to "mentally ill" Americans and skeptics of unrestrained police power.

    For convenience's sake, the first step is to change diagnostic criteria so that skepticism of unrestrained police power IS a mental illness.

  • sarcasmic||

    Paranoia, Failure to Respect Authority Disorder, Thinks the Constitution Means Something Disorder...

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    I take it Rubio is not planning on running for prez again in 2024? I hope not for his sake, cuz he just destroyed his chances of getting the nomination.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He won't be prez for other reasons but who cares what some lefty gun grabbers in Florida think.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    "I absolutely believe that in this country if you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle, and I will support a law that takes that right away," Rubio, a conservative, said at the CNN town hall... He also said he believes there's possibly enough votes in the Senate to change the legal age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, also a Republican, said Wednesday he'd back such a proposal.
    "I have traditionally not supported looking at magazine clip size and after this and some of the details I have learned about it, I am reconsidering that position and I'll tell you why," he said. "Because while it may not prevent an attack, it may save lives in an attack. ... I know there are, for example, handguns that have 17. So we'll have to get into that debate, but that is something I believe that we can reach a compromise (on) in this country, and that I'm willing to reconsider."
    "I've already announced ... a concept called a gun violence restraining order that allows authorities -- and it has to be someone in your immediate family, it has to be somebody you live with, it has to be a parent, it has to be an administrator -- can go to authorities and allow someone to not just be prevented from purchasing any firearm and allow those to be taken from them -- and the person will have due process," he said. "I support that and I hope they will pass that."
  • Longtobefree||

    Interesting that he proudly admits he is in favor of taking a constitutional right away.
    So an administrator saying a kid is nuts is 'due process'? I am reminded of the accuracy of the no fly list, and how easy it is to appeal your inclusion in that database.
    WHY don't they just repeal the second amendment? They will never have a better chance.

  • ||

    I am reminded of the accuracy of the no fly list, and how easy it is to appeal your inclusion in that database.

    My memory doesn't go back that far. Only to the recent Texas Church shootings.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    If you are old enough to volunteer for the Army or register for the draft, you are old enough to own any gun that older adults can own. Before we even consider raising the age for gun ownership, we should raise the age for the draft to 21, and make the draft laws gender neutral.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    These are(eligible) voters that we're assuming aren't responsible enough to buy a long gun. Some are parents.

  • Headache||

    You can serve in the militia, but you can't participate in its mission.

  • SIV||

    "gave a platform"

    I think you mean a stage

  • p3orion||

    In all this media adulation of the anti-gun activists from the Parkland high school shooting (but only the anti-gun ones) does anyone else get an unpleasant flashback to Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protester that Maureen Dowd claimed had "absolute moral authority" because she was the mother of a son killed in Iraq? Or, for that matter, to those who claimed that Dylan Roof's racist attack in Charleston somehow meant Confederate monuments had to be destroyed?

    "Something terrible happened to US, so you MUST do as WE say, or it's like we're being attacked all over again! You're not showing sympathy unless you give in to all our demands!"

    "Daddy, I skinned my knee! You HAVE to give me ice cream!"

  • Rhywun||

    I think the worry is over the inevitable redefinition of "mental illness" that will remove the rights of more and more people.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, I think that's what the scare quotes are for. Restrictions for people with diagnosed psychosis is one thing. But I could see it gradually broadening to include more people who just need a little help with some anxiety or depression.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    From Wiki.

    Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)[1] is defined by the DSM-5 as "a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness".

    No guns for anyone.

  • MarcS||

    Quick way to eliminate the gun rights of 70 million americans. Let's not forget that people with diagnosed mental illness are twice as likely to be victims of violence than the general population and commit significantly less violent crime per capita.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Um, somewhere in there lies a risk that some gun-licensed Evangelicals will consider any LBGTQ person they see as 'fair game'...

    No risk there, or "Unintended Consequences"?

    Not actively trying to think Outside the Box, but just wondering if the Box has any limits to its size...

  • Headache||

    "I agree that a true medical evaluation always needs to be in the hands of true medical professionals, and not bureaucrats or politicians."

    Well it just so happens, when a six year old misbehaves in school they are diagnosed with ADA and put on drugs.

    Almost all these kids killing kids have been on some sort of behavioral drug.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I heard that claim, too, and was / am concerned that people are concluding that having been Prescribed those drugs Is The Reason some go on killing sprees.

    As I posted to FB a day or two ago, I've been on Prozac and Zoloft for several decades, now, and have not done any intentional harm to ANYONE.

    It's an issue of What Problems Were in place BEFORE the drugs were prescribed, not the drugs themselves.

    I'm afraid that part of the alleged 'discussion' has been lost.

  • MamaLiberty||

    I'm so glad you are not one of the aggressive/suicidal people who take these drugs. There is simply far too much solid documentation of serious adverse reactions, resulting in a great deal of tragedy beyond the rare mass shootings.

    As a retired APRN, I can assure you that young children who are given these drugs actually commit suicide heartbreakingly often... and as young as 9 years old.

    There are much better ways to deal with life's problems. I sincerely hope you will look for them and learn to live without these drugs.

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    And it isn't as if the civil commitment process wasn't abused in this country in the past. That's not even considering how some regimes have locked up political opponents as "mentally ill".

  • Mark22||

    Most forms of actual mental illness are not associated with murder.

    Furthermore, progressives and socialists tend to expand the definition of "mental illness" to "disagrees with our ideology" because, they reason "our ideology is rational and rooted in science, so if you don't agree with us after we present our arguments, it must be because you are mentally ill".

  • ||

    which didn't really start happening until the mid to late 1960s.

    WTHF?!?!

    There are documented mass *and* school shootings going back to the early days of the American Frontier. Killing firstborn sons en masse is as old as human conflict itself. Even fucking mammalian predators and pack animals practice that shit.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    There were no mass shootings during prohibition? And what about the 1890s when there was that whole Wounded Knee thing in the West? I think every generation of Americans has lived through a time when marginalized groups shot back.

  • Headache||

    "seemingly at random for no obvious apparent motive or reason."

    Yet, most of the perpetrators had some sort of connection with the institution involved.

  • plusafdotcom||

    yep, the "... seemingly at random for no obvious apparent motive or reason." part kills that 'argument' dead, so to speak.

    They all may have had some identifiable "mental illness," but darned near every one claimed some "reason" for what they did or were about to do.

  • MarcS||

    Only about 20% of mass shooters have any mental health history, which is roughly the same rate as the general population.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    A few years ago the National Institution of Health pushed for an entirely new system of diagnosing people with mental illness, because the DSM is so incredibly flawed. This news never made it outside of the medical community, because most people think of the local psychiatrist as that great guy who makes energetic boys take Ritalin that makes them sit quietly and gets crackheads out of jail time. In other words, they provide cover for bad parents.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The pastor at my local historically black church is also skeptical of psychiatry. He noticed that opioid use was a crime when black people did it and became an illness recently when white people started doing it.

  • Headache||

    Gun control was implemented to keep guns out of the hands of black men.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I googled "reasons for the second amendment" and found quite a few links that invalidated that claim.

    and historically, opium was 'illegalized' because the Chinese coolies working on the railroads enjoyed it.

    Go figure.

  • Cyto||

    I already posted about CNN's "overall coverage" in another thread, but it bears repeating here.

    CNN's 22 headlines "above the fold" on their website are 100% partisan hit pieces.

    One is about Russia conspiracies and Fake News.

    21 are about the gun control debate and how evil the Republicans are. "At least Rubio Showed up" was as nice as they got.

    They only mentioned Trump by name once, despite his "listening session" that got such great reviews from Nick. Apparently one student thought his idea was stupid.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, I appreciate Nick taking one for team here but there's no way in hell I'll visit or watch that cesspool. This event sounds like it was largely shaped by actual people though, not by CNN's warped view of the world, so there is that.

  • Cyto||

    Not if you ask this kid.

    Apparently CNN asked him to be on, having been an on-site hero of sorts. But when he proposed a question that suggested using veterans as security guards, they offered him their own scripted question.

    He declined.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    He should have said OK to the scripted question and then asked the one he wanted to ask when he was on camera. It's possible CNN would have had one of their well-timed "technical difficulties" but worth trying.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, saw that after I posted. I hadn't considered how low they could sink - my bad.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    I watched parts of it and it seemed like the whole thing was scripted. They picked and chose who they wanted to speak and screened the questions beforehand. They wanted to make sure that any question asked by the students would be anti-gun. This and the kid who's dad was an FBI agent snapchatting about gun control while there was an active shooter at his school makes me leery of the whole thing.

  • Headache||

    Well it is operated by Hanoi Jane's husband.

  • Cyto||

    Apparently CNN was monitoring reason.... they've altered their above-the-fold headlines quite a bit in the last 20 minutes.

    Now only two columns (of three) are devoted to anti-republican gun control hit pieces.

    They've added this non-sequitur way of "bringing it home to you": "More than 800,000 students live in school districts where shootings have happened"

    Huh? Broward County is the 17th most populous county in the nation, and has the sixth largest school system in the country.

    What a nonsensical statistic. "More than 12 million people live in metropolitan areas where terrorist attacks have occurred!!"

    Anyway... that third column on CNN. Still mostly anti-republican and more specifically anti-Trump.

    Two #meToo articles. One more about the shooting. One about Chris Cornell's widow. The rest are Trump hit pieces, except for this: Opinion: Obama was asleep at the switch.

    Wait, what? Oh..... it is about "Why didn't Obama stop Russia's meddling in the election." Oh. So kinda sideways. Oh wait, not sideways at all. The actual article starts out with "Trump and Romney were right about Russia", but they quickly pivot to "Trump is weak on Russia, much weaker than Obama and not doing anything about it". So a bait-and-switch hit piece.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    CNN was monitoring Reason, huh?

    Fuck you CNN!

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Or CNN uses a cookie individualized the front page that it shows to each viewer. That's sort of standard practice now. Welcome to the individualized world wide web where everyone seize the articles that conform to his viewpoint.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Time for a ton foil hat on your laptop.

  • Hunthjof||

    "Trump is weak on Russia" That is until he isn't then it will be "TRUMPS GONNA KILL US ALL!!!"

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " Yet CNN's Jake Tapper, who once worked at what is now The Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence, is nothing less than inspiring in his genial-yet-tough fairness and decency."

    To paraphrase, "The main thing is fairness and decency; Once you can fake that you've got it made."

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Even though the crowd was particularly hostile to the NRA's Loesch, he made sure she was given opportunities to make her points.

    Seems likely he gave her opportunities to talk because the crowd was hostile. Tapper is a leftist propagandist douche in every other environment. It's like praising Big Brother for giving Emmanuel Goldstein five minutes of face time every day.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Nor was it any accident that the crowd was hostile. The crowd was curated to be hostile.

  • Longtobefree||

    "Sincerity, General, don't forget sincerity."

  • ThomasD||

    Fair and decent enough to sit back and do nothing while Rubio and Loesch are equated with being murders.

    Christ Gillespie, take off the kneepads and give it a rest, you are not getting called up to the Majors. Ever.

  • Headache||

    I was surprised Nick could write this article while his head was up Tappers' ass.

  • Fancylad||

    "Jake Tapper... his genial-yet-tough fairness and decency."
    My jaw dropped when I read that too.

    The fact that Nick seems to think Tapper's Potemkin village meeting illustrates fairness and decency is sad.

  • plusafdotcom||

    I missed the Trump part but caught part of the CNN Town Hall, particularly the part where Dana was trying to speak.

    Tapper really pissed me off, because any allegedly 'fair and impartial' moderator would have stopped Dana from speaking while the crowd booed or yelled. Not letting her speak without that background noise was rude and unfair.

    I lost virtually all respect for that jerk because of that. Tell the fucking crowd to show at least a LITTLE respect and STFU when EITHER side is speaking... if not, then it's the RNC Convention all over again... outshout the speakers to prove that you're right and they're wrong.

    I call BS on Tapper as well as a high level of bias and incompetence.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    The senator from Florida agrees with gun control advocates that a your man or woman below the age of 21 is not mature enough to buy a long firearm, yet aren't these the same gun control advocates who say that young men and women below the age of 21 are mature enough to be the drivers of restrictionist policies? That much is suggested by how the Media and left-leaning politicians highly tout these young people's insight. I really thus do question the consistency of a measure that in no uncertain way declares these people's lack of mental competency to handle a particular instrument.

    If High School-age kids are wise enough to know the type of policies that should be imposed on a free people, then what on earth are these wise people doing in High School? Why are parents harming their kids' chances to be the next cadre of public policy-makers by making them go to school to learn useless facts?

  • Cyto||

    We also give these same kids an M1 Abrams tank to go and kill people with on our behalf.

    I'm not really sure we have thought this one all the way through.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Little Marco just wanted to make the crowd like him.

    Same thing I fear of Trump.... he is too invested in getting people to like him (along with being a lifelong Dem). He will betray the gun rights community, probably very soon.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. This is incremental gun control [period]

    The gun grabbers want to prevent 21 and under from having guns, then under 30, then everyone.

    Take a rusty scythe to these gun grabbers knees attempts at violating the 2nd Amendment. End all background checks, databases, and arm bans (arm bands haha).

  • Headache||

    Obama made millions of Americans ineligible to procure firearms by enrolling these people on SSDI via mental illness because they were unemployed for 2 or more years.

  • Mark22||

    The senator from Florida agrees with gun control advocates that a your man or woman below the age of 21 is not mature enough to buy a long firearm, yet aren't these the same gun control advocates who say that young men and women below the age of 21 are mature enough to be the drivers of restrictionist policies?

    Sounds like you're on board with raising the voting age to 21, or maybe even 30 then. How about it? I'm sure Republicans would be more than happy to. Vile "restrictionists" like myself certainly would be!

  • Rhywun||

    I would settle for 26. If people under that age can't be expected to support themselves, why should they be allowed to make decisions for the rest of us who do?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    As long as you're a dependent on someone else's health insurance (including government benefits) you can't vote. Now that's a policy.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    No voting rights for people over 67. Social Security retirement income is welfare.

  • ThomasD||

    "Social Security retirement income is welfare."

    Sadly true. SCOTUS ruled long ago that FICA contributions are part of the general revenue. Legally they are a tax, as such no sort of ownership stake accrues to the 'contributor'

    Whatever you may receive as an SS recipient you receive at the Federal government's discretion.

    It is welfare.

  • Thrackmoor||

    As long as we are consistent, I don't care what the age is. If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote, buy guns, drink alcohol and do everything else an adult can do. Just pick an age and stick with it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    TOP MEN have the solutions. The final solution.

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, they are mature enough to decide on their own to kill a baby, or to undergo permanent life altering surgery, so why not mature enough to exercise an actual real written down constitutional right?

  • plusafdotcom||

    Or, as a few FB posts said, "the same kids that are eating Tide packets are going to decide gun control laws?!"
    That's a classic WTF if there ever was one.

  • Cyto||

    Absent anywhere from this debate:

    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

    Look, I understand that we've collectively decided that we are mostly going to ignore the constitution. But you really can't "not infringe" the right to keep and bear arms while passing gun control legislation.

    If any of them were the slightest bit serious, they'd be proposing a constitutional amendment that says "you can own a gun if the government says it is OK".

    Shall not be infringed is really, really absolute. Infringed means you not only can't prohibit people from owning weapons.... you can't even make it more difficult. Because that would infringe upon the right.

    The law can be really difficult. But this one isn't hard at all. The only way to legally get any reasonable restriction on weapons in the USA is to pass a constitutional amendment.

    It is sad that simply pointing this out relegates you to the Group W bench with the father rapers.
  • Cyto||

    It is also sad that a typo in your closing tag can't be edited. Oops.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    There was gun control legislation at the time the Second Amendment was passed. Several state constitutions explicitly exempt concealed carry, for example, from being covered by the right to bear arms.

  • Cyto||

    That was prior to 14th amendment incorporation.

    When they believed in federalism and local control of such issues.

  • Cyto||

    BTW, my argument isn't that this is good policy. It is that the letter of the law is absolutely clear. Saying that Emotional Opposition Animal cannot own his own .50 cal machine gun turret is completely unconstitutional. It isn't even close. That doesn't make it a good idea.

    My argument is more basic. If you want to pass gun control, do it legally. This "we will ignore the law when it is inconvenient" approach is much worse than the consequences of having to wait for an amendment to pass.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    I don't believe in incorporation personally.

    And telling me that SCOTUS says so is irrelevant unless you agree with the Dread Scott decision, for example.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'm more interested in what Senator Howard had to say about it, actually.

    "Such is the character of the privileges and immunities spoken of in the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution. To these privileges and immunities, whatever they may be — for they are not and cannot be fully defined in their entire extent and precise nature — to these should be added the personal rights guarantied and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution; such as the freedom of speech and of the press; the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances, a right appertaining to each and all the people; the right to keep and to bear arms; the right to be exempted from the quartering of soldiers in a house without the consent of the owner; the right to be exempt from unreasonable searches and seizures, and from any search or seizure except by virte.of a warrant issued upon a formal oath or affidavit; the right of an accused person to be informed of the nature of the accusation against him, and his right to be tried by an impartial jury of the vicinage; and also the right to be secure against excessive bail and against cruel and unusual punishments."

    ...

    "The great object of the first section of this amendment is, therefore, to restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect these great fundamental guarantees."

  • Brett Bellmore||

    In short, you can not believe in incorporation all you like, it doesn't change that it was the purpose of the 14th amendment.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    And Thomas argued that incorporation was a "fiction".

    He argued MacDonald on the basis that the right to arms was a privilege or immunity of American citizenship.

    Funny, in Dred Scott the SC said that "Before the Civil War, in Dred Scott, the Supreme Court said that "if blacks were citizens they would have the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went".

    Seems Thomas is right.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    And what did Howard say? That the 1st-8th amendments are identifiable privileges and immunities.

    What Thomas argues is that incorporation via "substantive due process" is a fiction. Incorporation via Privileges and Immunities is what the 14th amendment was written to accomplish.

    It makes a big difference, because everybody in the country is entitled to due process, but only "the people" are entitled to privileges and immunities. So the substantive due process scam extended the rights of citizens to people who just happen to be physically present in the country, maybe even illegally.

  • SimonP||

    That was prior to 14th amendment incorporation.

    LOL. So you're a strict constructionist when it comes to the Second Amendment, but a living constitutionalist when it comes to the Fourteenth. Genius.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gun control since the 2nd Amendment was ratified was largely racist attempts to keep free blacks from having arms.

    Gun violence has never been a major killer in the USA. Disease, the elements, and war have though.

  • ravenshrike||

    Hey now, New York was pretty progressive about it. Their gun control was meant to keep guns out of the hands of those damned wops.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Then those negroes who came up from the South.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Out West it was to keep guns out of the hands of those dirt worshipers.

  • Headache||

    More people die from FDA approved drugs than from firearm usage.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "to keep and bear".

    you can bear openly or concealed.

    therefore both are covered under the 2A conditions at the time and the state constitutions notwithstanding.

    infringement is infringement.

    the right is absolute.

  • Chip Woodier||

    Too bad for Cyto that rights weren't given to militia but to the people. Nowhere can it be inferred that you must be in a militia to keep and bear arms.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""that rights weren't given to militia but to the people""

    The militia, the entity, did not own or have weapons. So it makes no sense that the right would be given to that entity.

    Having a personal weapon in good working condition was a requirement to join the militia. The 2A is a right of the people, so that you would be eligible to join the militia.

    In clear text, the 2A says "right of the people". I don't even see how it's debatable.

  • AZ Gunowner||

    "Arms", not "weapons".

    All arms are weapons, but not all weapons are arms.

    ALL fire"arms" are arms.

    The AR15 is a firearm, therefore it is protected under the 2A.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Arms are armaments and ammunition.

    Ships, canons, rifles, pistols, swords, grenades, bombs, dynamite, tanks.... All arms.

  • Dabalu||

    Which well-regulated militia did Nicholas Cruz belong to?

  • Chip Woodier||

    Which well-regulated militia did Nicholas Cruz belong to?

    The unorganized militia, as defined in U.S. Code ' Title 10 ' Subtitle A ' Part I ' Chapter 12 ' § 246
    Source

  • Dabalu||

    So not the well-regulated one then?

  • Mark22||

    but it served the same essential function of giving survivors a place to grieve and mourn in public.

    And that "function" is "essential"... why? On average, 30 people are murdered with guns every day in the US. If it's "essential" for family of murder victims in schools to grieve in public, why not for family of other murder victims? Why the double standard?

    Hey, Reason, how about some rational analysis, instead of simply repeating what you hear on CNN?

  • Rhywun||

    Good point. Don't think CNN doesn't have an agenda here.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Most Americans feel that it's different when this happens in a school district with a good reputation. New York City public schools have had metal detectors for generations without anyone noticing.

  • Dabalu||

    Because there's a difference in degree in mass shootings. They're worse - it's usually mostly kids and a lot of them.

  • chemjeff||

    I'm starting to watch the townhall right now. What strikes me isn't so much the partisan tone of it, but that this is what happens when you give agency to an emotional mob right after a tragedy. This is exactly what James Madison warned against when he spoke of the dangers of the "passions of the mob". He wrote, "In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the scepter from reason." I don't really blame the mob for being passionate after a tragedy. Of *course* they are going to demand gun control or whatever else they think will most directly assuage their pain. If there had been a "CNN Townhall" right after Kate Steinle was murdered, I'm sure there would have been demands of "why doesn't ICE go door-to-door to hunt down every illegal immigrant?" If there had been a "CNN Townhall" right after Bernie Madoff's swindles had been discovered, I'm sure there would have been demands of "why doesn't the government impose the death penalty for financial fraud of this magnitude?" That is *what mobs do*. They don't reason, they just reach for the nearest "solution" that is the most emotionally satisfying. That is why the justification of "because the people want it" is never good enough. I do blame CNN for empowering the mob in this way, although in fairness, their job nowadays, like all cable news, isn't really to inform, but to entertain.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    Exactly this. Think about decisions that you've made (or seen made) that involved anger, or frustration, or grief, or fear. Emotional decisions are known to be universally poor, but after one of these things that universal knowledge is pitched out the window in the furor to DO SOMETHING.

    Any attempt to be calm or rational during the immediate aftermath of this type of event is dismissed as being heartless. If you're trying to be a detached rational adult you "don't care about the victims".

  • Dabalu||

    Yeah God forbid parents should be emotional after their kids are gunned down. Humans, eh?

  • Nardz||

    Yea god forbid legislators should be rational when making decisions that affect hundreds of millions of people

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's not to inform or entertain, but rather to propagandize.

    The reason they do things like this, is that they realize the policies they favor are rejected by most people while in a calm, rational frame of mind. So every time the opportunity comes around, they try to stampede people into implementing them before they cool down and start thinking again.

    It's a conscious strategy.

  • ThomasD||

    "It's not to inform or entertain, but rather to propagandize."

    Well constructed propaganda will be both informative (speaking not only to what was, or is, but most importantly towards what should be) and entertaining (how else do you get, and keep their attention.)

    Propaganda that is boring will be ignored. Propaganda that does not communicate the desired information is worthless or worse.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Didn't say they weren't willing to entertain people if it advanced their propaganda ends. But if they stumbled across a way to do a phenomenal job of entertaining and informing people, but it happened to cause them to adopt views CNN doesn't like, they'd reject it.

    The cause comes first.

  • ThomasD||

    Entertainment is not an optional aspect for any successful propagandist.

    CNN may be doing this for the ultimate goal of ratings/profit.

    They could have chosen to target a different demographic, but instead I think they chose the one that was also most amenable to the tastes and values of their management and upper staff.

    Also, cocktail parties really do matter.

  • SimonP||

    The reason they do things like this, is that they realize the policies they favor are rejected by most people while in a calm, rational frame of mind. So every time the opportunity comes around, they try to stampede people into implementing them before they cool down and start thinking again.

    Reminds me of the strategy around the tax scam bill.

  • KevinP||

    Youtube: CNN Town hall crowd cheers banning every semiautomatic rifle in America

    The CNN crowd cheered when Senator Marco Rubio pointed out that an AR-15 ban would result in banning every semiautomatic rifle in America.

  • colorblindkid||

    Every argument by the gun control crowd is identical to the people who gave us the War on Drugs. Every "solution" to the "gun problem" will have the same exact results as the War on Drugs. Government prohibition of something that is in demand always causes far more harm than good.

    The Democrats and progressives have completely rewritten the origin of the Drug War to absolve themselves of any blame. But these same "we must do something!" attitudes is what caused it. Black urban leaders ASKED for more police and harsher sentences for crack dealers, and the people who opposed the new rules were called terrorists who hated America and wanted people to die from drugs.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    This should be the Comment of the Day.

  • DajjaI||

    Yep and same for mental illness. A program for 'early intervention and treatment' will only create more nuts, like this kid. But the kids and Trump seem to be going wild over it.

  • SimonP||

    Every argument by the gun control crowd is identical to the people who gave us the War on Drugs. Every "solution" to the "gun problem" will have the same exact results as the War on Drugs. Government prohibition of something that is in demand always causes far more harm than good.

    This is such a lazy argument. Drug prohibition has caused such harm because it's been coupled with heavy-handed, selective, and discriminatory enforcement, steady degradation of privacy rights, and regular legislative malfeasance. There's no reason to expect gun prohibition to result in the same kinds of effects.

  • colorblindkid||

    Most illegal drugs (other than weed, obviously) are indeed incredibly dangerous. Most people won't die, but tens of thousands of people still will, orders of magnitude more than the number of people who die from "mass shootings" with "assault rifles".

    "heavy-handed, selective, and discriminatory enforcement, steady degradation of privacy rights, and regular legislative malfeasance". In what fucking universe do you live in that don't think this will have those exact same problems.

    60% of the murders in this country are by young black men with illegally obtained handguns. Who do you think will bear the brunt of any major efforts to stem gun violence through prohibition and force?

  • Chip Woodier||

    Drug absue is more akin to suicide than mass shootings. Neither drug abuse nor suicide should be criminal.

  • SimonP||

    In what fucking universe do you live in that don't think this will have those exact same problems.

    In the "fucking universe" where many municipalities and states already have very restrictive gun laws but those problems haven't arisen. Reality, in other words.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""There's no reason to expect gun prohibition to result in the same kinds of effects.""

    Already seen the effects of that in NYC under the Ghouliani administration. Stop and frisk people of color. Use a mass police presences to block off poor neighborhoods and require ID to get on your block. Also use that as a pretext to stop and frisk.

  • SimonP||

    "Stop and frisk" wasn't about gun prohibition. It was about so-called "broken windows" policing, and was politically viable only insofar as it was directed primarily at minorities. Plenty of cities have prohibitive gun restrictions without stop and frisk.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So the same entities that couple "heavy-handed, selective, and discriminatory enforcement, steady degradation of privacy rights, and regular legislative malfeasance" with drug prohibition will not do the same with gun prohibition?

    Does some magical guardian fairy guarantee that?

  • Pat001||

    Did I miss the town hall CNN hosted for Steve Scalise and other Republicans who were shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter last year in Virginia?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Of course not, they think republicans are fair game.

  • SimonP||

    Was FoxNews too busy?

    I, too, am distressed by the media's failure to reflect my biases back to me as reality.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Fuck off, troll.

  • DajjaI||

    First of all if there's a database, I will be the first to register. (Spare me your stupid jokes.)

    Secondly, it really annoyed me when the kids would say, "How can you promise me my school will be safe?" It was like they were extorting their leaders with the threat to play hookie. But really it suggested to me that they were aware of other threats, just like they all knew about little Nikky. Hopefully this will force these communities to confront their boogeymen. Instead of rounding them up and locking them away. That would be the single best thing to come out of this. Wishful thinking, I know.

  • SimonP||

    Secondly, it really annoyed me when the kids would say, "How can you promise me my school will be safe?"

    Uh, do you regularly go to public places where you believe you have a non-trivial chance of being gunned down randomly?

  • colorblindkid||

    But the chance of being gunned down anywhere outside a few gang-ridden neighborhoods is indeed trivial.

  • SimonP||

    If you're a high schooler, is that what you're thinking right now?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What they think is beside the point.

    Only facts matter.

  • Dabalu||

    Too bad those chances didn't apply to the 17 kids eh?

  • Dabalu||

    Too bad those chances didn't apply to the 17 kids eh?

  • DajjaI||

    Even if that's true - they should just make friends with the kid they think is going to kill them. Can't expect the police to solve everything.

  • ThomasD||

    Why would you register? What possible benefit would come of that act? Do you need to be registered? Are you not worthy of responsibility?

    Why not just go the full Monty and disarm yourself right now?

  • Longtobefree||

    The day one person of dubious mental health killed 17 people with a gun, 127 were killed by women 19 and under with the collusion of a doctor. (CDC statistics from 2014, evidently their most recent)
    In one case, there is an immediate hue and cry to decimate the bill of rights; in the other, there is hue and cry to suppress even discussing the issue.
    Nation of laws my ass.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It's a slippery slope to talk about mental illness disqualification for gun ownership, but it's not a slippery slope to define when personhood begins. What don't you understand?

  • SimonP||

    Seems to me every aborted fetus is just an NRA victim who escaped.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Such empathic and understanding writing from nick when it's time to discuss the latest team blue tantrum.

    Why is jake a treasure when he didn't challenge the sheriff on the 39 LE visits to Cruz's house, or is that reserved to just presidential debates? When he allowed a mob to engage in their scream therapy? It may make nick feel better, but this "feel your pain" emoting is conpletely irrelevant to the issue.

  • KevinP||

    Yep.

    Shooting Survivor: CNN Gave Me "Scripted Question" After Denying Question About Armed Guards


    Quotes:
    Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab said he was approached by CNN to ask a question at Wednesday night's town hall but decided not to after the network gave him a "scripted question," quashing one he wrote himself. Haab, a member of the Junior ROTC shielded students while the school was under attack from the shooter, said he was going to ask about using veterans as armed security guards.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    As I recall, gun control was not 100% effective in France.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Gun control is never effective at protecting the populace. In fact gun control tends to lead to government hurting the populace more than before.

  • Dabalu||

    Care to back that up with a source?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    If I can get an investor to back it, maybe I'll open a resort in Romania with a great gun range. Make Romania great again.

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    Wait, I thought Trump was LITERALLY HITLER. Why are progressives now begging him to disarm the populace?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So when the left impeaches Trump, Hillary can send political dissidents up against the wall.

  • SimonP||

    Because that's how impeachment works.

    No, don't worry - if/when Trump resigns in disgrace, it'll just be Pence warming his seat, and if not him then any of a long line of Republican asswipes. Hillary is nowhere near the presidency.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Because they're literally Stalin, and have a pact in mind?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    While having more complete databases wouldn't necessarily disarm mass shooters...

    ...let's push for it, anyway.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That crowd is clearly all pro-gun grabbing, so if I were a guest on there I would have informed them "that it is horrible that those kids died as a result of one person.

    Furthermore, we have a 2nd Amendment protection for all Americans to keep and bear whatever arms they want. If your schools did better, they would have taught you that.

    I would thank the kids for voicing their opinions but they and their fellow gun grabbers are a minority voice in America and they would need to repeal the 2nd Amendment to get what they want.

    Have a good day."

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I whole heartedly agree love-constitution, but you might want to put that sentiment into a letter to your elected representative and senators, just for good measure.

  • Dabalu||

    Things change.

  • Mauser||

    Eventually the right to own a firearm in America will be whittled down to the levels of other Western nations. The left, the federal government and various state governments have already passed thousands of laws regulating & restricting firearms. The left won't be satisfied until the second amendment is wiped out.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    For the last 20 years or so, it's been going in the opposite direction, in case you happened to not notice.

    In fact, it appears likely the outcome of this incident will be... no new gun control, and some schools start arming their teachers.

  • KevinP||

    Yep.

    Gallup Oct 2016: In U.S., Support for Assault Weapons Ban at Record Low


    Quote:
    The fewest Americans in 20 years favor making it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess semi-automatic guns known as assault rifles. Thirty-six percent now want an assault weapons ban, down from 44% in 2012 and 57% when Gallup first asked the question in 1996.

    Support has dropped in all groups: Republicans, Democrats, Independents, both gun-owning and non-gun-owning households.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think the drive to wipe out the 2nd Amendment is stronger now but as Brett points out, constitutional carry and 2nd Amendment protections are winning out against gun grabbers.

    It will be an endless battle though. A disarmed populace is integral to socialists controlling Americans.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    We've been going through regular cycles where the Democrats attempt gun control, suffer for it in the next election, stay away from it for a while, forget why they were staying away from it, and then attempt it again and get punished. "And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire"

    We just happen to be at the "attempt it and get punished" phase of the cycle.

    But the last couple times around the cycle they haven't actually gotten anything enacted during the attempts. They've gotten hurt at the polls for just trying.

    But, yes, the fight is endless, as stupidity will always be with us.

  • colorblindkid||

    Al Gore's gun control platform arguably cost him the election. I'm still not convinced he wouldn't have also started wars in half the Middle East after 9/11, and I'm pretty sure his national fracking ban and carbon tax would have killed the economy.

  • Dabalu||

    Socialists already control America.

    What do you think Medicare, Medicaid, endless TBTF buyouts are?
    40-hour work-week, minimum wage, the elimination of child labor, yep all socialist stuff.
    All kinds of various public works programs.

    But go and defend your incredibly narrow anarchistic interpretation of the 2nd all you want, I guess.

  • Inquisitive Squirrel||

    A good piece until the praise of Tapper. I have admired Tapper to a certain extent. He has been able to keep a bit above the biased political demands of his job and employer, but only just a bit. He handled this town hall poorly and in treating such an event as anything resembling a legitimate debate on guns, he was being intellectually dishonest to himself and the world when it was simply a clear rating grab for CNN, nothing more. Tapper could be much more hard hitting, but he tends only to be hard hitting (against progressives) when progressive extremism hits absurd bounds, that's when he finally steps in to say something, and usually only relatively meekly. Moreover, I think his use (or any journalist's use for that matter) of Twitter in order to express opinions, troll, and get into arguments with people is so below bar that it demeans his position as a journalist.

  • colorblindkid||

    Tapper would be a mediocre journalist if we lived in a sane world, but we don't live in a sane world. Tapper was one of the only non-Fox News reporters who ever asked the Obama administration any hard questions or challenged any of their lies. He's the only major national newsperson that pushes back against fake news and bullshit from the left from time to time. I don't understand why he gets hate from the right. He's one of the few mostly straight-shooters that exist in that industry.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I think it's because of thwarted hope. Most of these clowns, you know for sure they're total partisan hacks. With Tapper you have reason to believe he'll be better, and then he disappoints you.

  • Inquisitive Squirrel||

    I definitely see what you are saying, and after the Trumpocalypse, he'll probably get a little better. But, it's just hard to be too happy when a journalist instead of being 100% against libertarian or right leaning ideas is only 80% against them.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    "Moreover, I think his use (or any journalist's use for that matter) of Twitter in order to express opinions, troll, and get into arguments with people is so below bar that it demeans his position as a journalist."

    Or as a POTUS; just say'n.

  • Inquisitive Squirrel||

    Oh, I completely agree. Trump's use of Twitter is as repulsive as it is sleazy.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    Isn't a list that can be used in this manner already in widespread daily use? Anybody with any type of mental health issue now, or in their past will be prescribed certain types of medications. The history of such could easily be 'proof' to perhaps deny one the right to own a firearm

    Moreover the medication list used as 'proof' could easily be expanded and made more vague-- for instance using blood pressure medicine or cancer medicine could be imagined to perhaps create a person who might be suicidal due to their bad health and then therefore seen as too high a risk for gun ownership...for their own good of course.

    Maybe I am too paranoid...

  • ranrod||

    read my comment below concerning drug confiscation

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    I'd say the #1 key takeaway from the event was that it was nothing more than a CNN-scripted Two Minutes Hate stretched into an hour-long format.

  • josh||

    Personally, I'm not sure a "news organization" is the place for a national catharsis. And you definitely can't blame Rubio and some others for showing up, because the last thing this was going to be was fair to the other side.

    My honest opinion is that while there's criticism to be put on the gun rights side, it's the gun control folks that are the most to blame for "common sense" gun laws not being passed more quickly. I don't say that with any suggestion that I agree with those proposals, but simply acknowledging that they're their own worst enemy.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Interesting. So, Tapper used to be a paid representative of Handgun Control Incorporated.

    But these days that's down the old memory hole, his CNN bio doesn't disclose it.

    I guess by CNN standards, that makes him the impartial choice to host the event.

  • AJ_Liberty||

    A stadium venue is not a great place to have a nuanced discussion.....people start to play to the crowd....and you get group-think responses. What was the point of the one kid asking Rubio to not take any NRA funding? The NRA did not go to Cruz's house 36 times and fail to report him as a threat. Most of the audience genuinely believes that the AR-15 is a weapon of war....and do not want to understand that only cosmetic differences distinguish it from a regular hunting rifle (that is not bolt action). They also do not appear to understand that many handguns also have magazines that would allow them to readily be used in a mass shooting. So, if you prune through their logic, they appear really only to want revolvers and maybe bolt-action rifles for self defense and hunting. You will never convince someone who does not want to better understand the technology....but I think it is fair to conclude that they want weapons that cannot fire lots of bullets...by significantly increasing the time required for re-loading. This is the overarching question: what is the appropriate amount of firepower for self defense....and what "nice to have" weapons should be sacrificed for overall public safety....and what increment in safety is realized? Yet one more set of questions to divide us....

  • SimonP||

    It's not really that hard to figure this out: Who owns an AR-15 for their "self-defense?"

  • KevinP||

    This guy.

    Man uses AR-15 to fight off armed home invader


    Quote:
    Jonathan Haith was asleep at his home in Henderson, N.C. when he awakened to a knock at his door. Haith initially ignored the knock, but when it was followed by a loud bang, he retrieved an AR-15 rifle and went to investigate. As Haith moved through his hallway, he spotted an intruder armed with a gun. The intruder fired at Haith, who responded by shooting the criminal in the stomach. The home invader fled the home, but collapsed nearby.

    Police captured the wounded intruder, along with an accomplice that was acting as the getaway driver. (WRAL, Raleigh, N.C. 05/11/14)
  • KevinP||

    And these guys...

    Cheltenham [PA] college student appears justified in fatally shooting intruder [with AR-15]:
    http://www.phillyburbs.com/my_.....mode=print

    Teenager Uses AR-15 to Defend Home From Intruder:
    http://www.libertynews.com/201.....-intruder/

  • KevinP||

    And while technically not an AR-15, this sure looks like an evil assault weapon.

    WXYZ Detroit: Mom Fires Assault Rifle to protect family during home invasion
    http://youtu.be/hGBEDCxmyzs

  • michaelvile||

    nope, its over..y'all want to cling to your 2nd amendment, go buy all the effing muskets you want...times have evolved..evolution is prettty much a proven fAcT..A truckload of prayers dosnt do anything, but take up space in the warehouse full of bibles, where a HALF filled box of gunlaws sit..you cant keep guns from idiots..period. The majority is going to vote guns out, thats a FACT! as a nation of whiney redneck bible thumpers, the majority, aka. the "popular" vote, will be taking the example of australia..

  • ranrod||

    when that happens....you deserve the consequences

  • Dabalu||

    What consequences would those be oh ye paranoid one? Living in peace? Perish the thought.

    "Australian independence didn't end. Tyranny didn't come. Australians still hunted and explored and big-wave surfed to their hearts' content. Their economy didn't crash; Invaders never arrived. Violence, in many forms, went down across the country, not up. Somehow, lawmakers on either side of the gun debate managed to get along and legislate.

    As for mass killings, there were no more. Not one in the past 22 years."

  • Chip Woodier||

    michaelvile, how am I supposed to kill you Marxists if you ever manage to take over?

  • ranrod||

    There are over 370 "mental disorders" listed in the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.) The list includes "Tobacco Addiction Disorder" among other equally mundane and ridiculous so-called "mental illnesses."
    If the DSM is the standard by which politicians wishes to remove our rights to own guns, then I'd guess 90% of the American people could probably be classified with a mental disorder of one kind or another.
    BEWARE, BEWARE

    Mental health is the avenue to gun control..
    American Psychiatric Asso says Half of Americans are mentally ill..
    After crafting by politicians and Media all will be crazy except for the media/politicians..
    300 million prescriptions for psychiatric drugs were written in 2009 alone..
    Your children on medication for ADHD?
    Single woman with children diagnosed with depression?
    be careful what you ask for

  • Dabalu||

    Ya, so what better thing to do with the mentally ill but arm them? Makes total sense! Somewhere.

  • ranrod||

    Mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin..

    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control...The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his "classical conditioning" theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods.

  • ranrod||

    First, you build a medical/pharmaceutical industry that successfully pushes the notion that every little sorrow, nervous twitch, or bit of restlessness is a "disease" that needs to be treated with psychoactive drugs. Then you go on a holy crusade to take guns away from the "mentally ill" (and all the bobbleheads who haven't thought about the implications repeat "good idea, good idea, good idea").

    So with the consent of the ignorant, complacent, well-programmed, and the devious slimeballs who take advantage of all of the above, any one of the millions who've been propagandized into taking one of those psychoactive drugs can become a candidate for losing his or her gun rights. No due process, no nothin'. (Added: Well, maybe the opinion of an authoritarian, anti-gun counselor or shrink.)

    It's just too-too perfect. Politically elegant.

    The people who are so eager to grab the guns (you will not be surprised) don't much care whose guns they take in the process. Because after all, the point isn't preserving rights, it's taking rights from one and all. Grab the guns from the "wrong" guy? But there are no wrong guys when it comes to taking away firearms!

    Oh yeah, and it helps if you also set up "medical privacy" systems that centralize your health-care data and share it willy-nilly with "authorities."

  • ranrod||

    Now as this trend takes hold, how many gun owners who might actually benefit by some of those drugs will avoid getting help because they fear the cop-knock on the door? We know that some murders have been committed because drugs exacerbated the problems they were supposed to help. How many other acts of violence may be committed because somebody who might have been helped by drugs goes over the edge?

    And how many gun owners who would never dream that their depression, anxiety, or ADHD constitutes a "mental illness" will remain blissfully ignorant until
    Authoritah comes for them?

    And how many of those gun owners will have, in fact, supported the laws to "take guns out of the hands of the mentally ill"? But wait! Not me! You were only supposed to take some dangerous wacko's guns! Sorry, guy. You're the dangerous wacko now, dontcha know?

  • zombietimeshare||

    I'm walking away with a whole lot less sympathy on several fronts. In the wake of previous shootings the answer from politicians and law enforcement was the "gun free zone" which is nothing less than the creation of a target rich, predator safe, hunting ground. Now all are outraged that a predator went on a shooting spree. It was predictable. All involved made the situation worse, not better, or safer.

    Second, the shooter was a monster of their own creation. It's come out that he didn't fit in and was bullied at school to the point where he was disenfranchised, marginalized and alienated. Surprise, this one came back to bite. The shooter is responsible for his actions but no one has clean hands. How many of these same students are engaged directly, and indirectly, doing the same thing to their current classmates right now—creating new monsters for the future to deal with.

    And the answer they demand is to hold liable the 230 million Americans, who had nothing to do with the shootings, and infringe on their rights? I don't think so. If anyone is to be held responsible going forward let it be the politicians, law enforcement, the relevant authorities, and the students who created the motive, means, and opportunity for this monster to exist and act.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    At least we're seeing a little bit of appropriate accountability.

    Deputy at Florida high school where 17 were killed 'never went in,' resigns

    He just stood outside the building while people were being murdered, doing nothing. Mind, that actually seems to be SOP in 'active shooter' situations, but I guess it was just too bad of visuals this time, what with him being on a security camera cooling his heels in safety.

  • Dabalu||

    Guess the whole "Good Guy with a gun" didn't work out so well this time.

  • Dabalu||

    I see. And you're holding exactly which of the 17 kids responsible for bullying Cruz? Oh you don't know? You weren't there? So the 230 million Americans are innocent, but you're more than willing to blame the victims when it suits you. Ok.

  • MikeyB||

    #1 All people who get a prescription for psychotropic drugs or antidespressants will have their purchase rights suspended indefinitely. A doctor can clear them and the doctors would be immune from liability. This could be done through the DOJ's prescription monitoring program.
    #2 All students who are suspended from school for most anything (TBD) will have their purchase rights suspended indefinitely. A doctor can clear them and the doctors would be immune from liability. Schools would NOT be immune from liability for failure to report.

    I don't think it too onerous to say that anybody who is mentally unstable (and both of these conditions indicate a problem) should have their ability to purchase suspended. And it's not too much of a barrier to let a doctor clear you as opposed to a judge.

  • JeremyR||

    If anything, the town hall shows how lynching by mobs worked. Get people worked up and let them go.

  • SimonP||

    Not like we haven't had enough experience with the ongoing Trump "campaign"/legal defense fund tour.

  • TxJack 112||

    Without the 2nd amendment, all other rights are left to the discretion of the government. I would love to ask many of these parents if they are ready to hand over their freedom to people like we see on college campuses who physically attack anyone who disagrees with them, silence anyone who says anything they do not like and destroy anything they see as capitalist. They hate our country and yet they are they very heart of the radical progressive left

  • SimonP||

    Without the 2nd amendment, all other rights are left to the discretion of the government.

    Oh, look, it's another one of these internet patriots!

    It might surprise you to learn that your carrying a firearm does not dissuade the government in the least from infringing upon any particular right you have, including your right to carry a firearm. That's just not how it works.

    Libertarians have this kind of bizarre notion that somehow a government can protect the right to obtain and own the instrumentalities necessary to overthrow it, for that precise purpose, but this is philosophically incoherent and terrifying in practice. Because who decides when the government goes too far? You? Me? Some other bozo with a chip on his shoulder? On which side are you going to stand, bucko, when the U.S.'s blacks and hispanics band together to resist the police state and ICE raids? Is it really liberty you're protecting, or just your entrenched entitlement?

  • DesigNate||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Dabalu||

    No U

  • KevinP||

    CNN Crowd Boos Pro-2A Rape Survivor

    The crowd seemed to prefer that she be disarmed and raped instead of owning a gun.


    Quote:
    The crowd at a Wednesday CNN town hall on the Parkland shooting booed when NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch brought up a rape survivor who supports the Second Amendment.

    Kimberly Corban was raped when she was under 21 years old and is an outspoken supporter of the Second Amendment, saying she wishes she could have tried to fight off her attacker with a firearm.

    Loesch referenced Corban's case as a reason why the NRA is reluctant to support a measure that raises the minimum age at which people can buy guns to 21.
  • Mitsima||

    "... it served the same essential function of giving survivors a place to grieve and mourn in public."

    Now I know I'm old: Back in my day grieving wasn't a spectator sport, it was something one did in private with the deceased's family and friends.

    And get off my lawn!

  • Dabalu||

    So weep and bear it? Nice and Stoic of you. How many private occurences have to occur before it's a public issue?

    America is weird. Someone patted me bum 15 years ago, omg by all means let's have a national handwringing about that. Someone guns down a bunch of kids - nope can't talk about that, now's not the time.

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