Editor’ Notebook: Is it Time to Talk About Gun Control?

Three gun related incidents in the past 30 days in Benicia and the horrible shooting in Colorado last week might mark the time for a discussion about reasonable gun control.


  • June 27, fired a weapon at a car that was fleeing a crime scene and had hit .
  • Thursday, July 12, a 17-year-old Benicia boy was arrested on drug and weapon charges after a traffic stop.  According to police, the boy had a small amount of marijuana and a loaded .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol wrapped in a shirt on the back seat of his car.  The gun was determined to have been stolen though police don’t believe the Benicia boy was the thief.
  • Saturday, July 14 a suspect in a stolen car, fleeing from police after a traffic stop, .  The officer in the police cruiser wasn’t hit but there were three bullet holes in the windshield.  It was determined that the weapon allegedly used was also stolen.
  • Last week, early in the morning of Friday, July 20, James Holmes walked into a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire with a legally purchased assault weapon.

Groups For and Against Gun Control 

The National Rifle Association website doesn’t mention the Aurora shootings.  However, an article in the San Francisco Chronicle alludes to the political power of the NRA by pointing out that there have been few if any calls by members of Congress for new gun control legislation, not even a new law to ban assault weapons.

A quick check at Gun Owners of America website shows an article titled Tragedy in another “Gun Free Kill Zone”.  That article argues that had there been an armed citizen in the theater then the body count might have been much lower.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.  That website offers a petition that can be signed and will be sent to both Governor Romney and President Obama as well as an article titled 60 Mass Shooting Since Tucson.  The website also offers articles on Common Sense Gun Laws.

What do you think?  Can we have a discussion of gun control in this country? Is it time to ban assault weapons?  Should citizens who have a history of severe mental illness be banned from owning guns?  Tell us what you think in the comments section.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

John l. Sheveland July 31, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Hey mr. uniformed would you like to see the scars on my back from surgery and the electrical wires running up my spine fom doing my job??? I* got hurt on the job and I am one of the old fart retired guys that still believe in protecting citizens like you. I got shot at, cut with a knife, spit on thrown to the ground by a judo expert hit in the face and all parts of my body and kicked I can,t count how many times but according to you I don't deserved my disability pension your tax dollars pay for. I paid taxes all my life. While you were running away ,cops and firemen were running towards the threat. Thank the LORD for all of them.. I'm too much of a gentleman to really tell you what I think of you
John l. Sheveland July 31, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Bobby, Why don't you get over your black thing. It's really getting old. I don't care what color that piece of trash was that entered the theater in Colorado and neither should you. He shot anyone he could including little children and in a darkened theater I don't think he could see their skin color. We're all Americans, not African, Chinese, Norwegian, Green, Blue or any other color. Just Americans and I thank the LORD every day that I live here in the land of the free and so should you.
John l. Sheveland July 31, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Once again a total nut job goes out and creates mayhem and all the goody two shoes want to ban guns from people that had absolutely nothing to do with it
Steve Bahr July 31, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a peoples Militia to defend their country. The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations. The Swiss army has long been a militia trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression. Swiss males undergo basic military training, usually at age 20, after which Swiss men remain part of the "militia" in reserve capacity until age 30 (age 34 for officers). Each is required to keep his weapon (Sig 550 rifle for enlisted and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home. Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm) was issued as well, which was sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place. The ammunition was intended for use while traveling to the army barracks in case of invasion.
Steve Bahr July 31, 2012 at 02:50 PM
In October 2007, the Swiss Federal Council decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers shall stop and that all previously issued ammo shall be returned. By March 2011, more than 99% of the ammo has been received. Only special rapid deployment units and the military police still have ammunition stored at home today. When their period of service has ended, militiamen have the choice of keeping their personal weapon and other selected items of their equipment. In this case of retention, the rifle is sent to the weapons factory where the fully automatic function is removed; the rifle is then returned to the discharged owner. The rifle is then a semi-automatic or self-loading rifle.


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