Monday, January 14, 2013

Gun Control



My heart is broken for the families that have been touched by the Newtown shooting. I truly have no idea how I could continue breathing with such a loss. 

Comforting words from A Holy Experience:
When you can hardly even ask where the heart of God is in all this evil and dark...God takes our broken hearts and gives us His own still-beating heart, His pierced right through and made whole heart...so we can still keep breathing... When our believing runs out, God's loving runs on...His inexplicable love somehow beating unstoppable.

To go from such a tragedy to the always hot topic of gun control is a bit tricky, but it is one of the most important issues facing our country today. It has been jolted to the forefront in light of these recent events. I will be as brief as I can:

- Taking away everyone's guns does not suddenly make law breaking crazy people sane.
- When there are laws against owning firearms, the law abiding citizens turn in their weapons. The law breaking citizens do not.
- The law breaking citizens are then able to use their illegal firearms to attack/bring violence upon/murder/etc. innocent civilians, who now have no way to defend themselves against the crazies.

Allowing responsible adults to own guns will not cause additional gun violence. Taking away guns from responsible adults will not decrease gun violence; the EXACT OPPOSITE happens.

LISTEN: If you actually care about LEARNING something about all of this - putting politics aside and learning from someone that knows guns, if you have learned all you know about guns from TV, if you want to EDUCATE yourself on the matter to be able to have an intelligent debate, read THIS.

"Those who trade liberty for security have neither." - John Adams
Free men do not ask permission to bear arms. 
Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them. 
Know guns, know safety. No guns, no safety.
Assault is a behavior, not a device.
You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
You don't shoot to kill, you shoot to stay alive. 
64,999,987 firearm owners killed no one yesterday.
The Second Amendment is in place in case the others are ignored.
Gun control is not about guns. It is about control.

The 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights. RIGHTS. It is not the Bill of Needs. Too many people in this debate are trying to frame it by what they think we NEED, which is in itself contrary to the intent of the Bill of Rights. These words cannot be interpreted any other way, and should not be distorted. As anyone with a proper historical perspective knows, when the founders said, "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," they meant gun ownership is a RIGHT and it shall not be infringed upon. Period. The comma between the militia part and the individual part clearly separates them into two distinct statements. Any effort to distort that is an effort to ignore all of the supporting documentation from the founding fathers behind this wording.

Since we all have the right to bear arms, I obtained my concealed handgun license earlier this year and believe it is one of the smartest things I have done in my life. I am fully able to protect myself, my children AND OTHERS if need be.

Did you see this news story about the Georgia mother that shot their home intruder five times after he cornered her and her twins, 9 years old, in their attic? What would have happened if she was not armed and able to defend herself? This is a perfect example of why limiting rounds is a horrible idea. Five bullets to the face/neck region, and he still did not die. What if there would have been more men? We would be reading three obituaries instead.



There are numerous studies done showing that having guns actually prevents more crime. One great example occured in Florida about 10 years ago. (I cannot remember which city...will try to remember /research and update here...) Rape occurrence was off the charts, and within months of arming women in the area, the rapes drastically reduced. The facts do not lie and study after study after study - real life example after real life example after real life example - show the detrimental effects of gun control and gun bans.

A great video can be seen HERE on the gun control in Australia and the horrendous consequences it has had for its citizens. Watch and weep...
Armed Robberies increased by 69%
Assaults with guns jumped 28%
Gun Murders jumped 19%
Home Invasions were up 21%

Why on earth would a bad guy think twice about breaking into a home, knowing the inhabitants are unarmed?


This is a wonderful book on the topic: More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott, Jr. - click here to purchase 


Interesting...

SCHOOL OBAMA'S DAUGHTERS ATTEND HAS 11 ARMED GUARDS

Some interesting news has broken in the wake of the latest push for gun control by President Obama and Senate Democrats: Obama sends his kids to a school where armed guards are used as a matter of fact. The school, Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, has 11 security officers and is seeking to hire a new police officer as we speak

If you dismiss this by saying, "Of course they have armed guards -- they get Secret Service protection," then you've missed the larger point. 

The larger point is that this is standard operating procedure for the school, period. And this is the reason people like NBC's David Gregory send their kids to Sidwell, they know their kids will be protected from the carnage that befell kids at a school where armed guards weren't used (and weren't even allowed).


Shame on President Obama for seeking more gun control and for trying to prevent the parents of other school children from doing what he has clearly done for his own. His children sit under the protection guns afford, while the children of regular Americans are sacrificed.


Guns, Mental Illness, and Newtown - The Wall Street Journal
By David Kopel - 12.17.12
(Summary if you do not read the entire article: People who are serious about preventing the next Newtown should embrace much greater funding for mental health, strong laws for civil commitment of the violently mentally ill—and stop kidding themselves that pretend gun-free zones will stop killers).
Has the rate of random mass shootings in the United States increased? Over the past 30 years, the answer is definitely yes. It is also true that the total U.S. homicide rate has fallen by over half since 1980, and the gun homicide rate has fallen along with it. Today, Americans are safer from violent crime, including gun homicide, than they have been at any time since the mid-1960s.
Mass shootings, defined as four or more fatalities, fluctuate from year to year, but over the past 30 years there has been no long-term increase or decrease. But "random" mass shootings, such as the horrific crimes last Friday in Newtown, Conn., have increased.
If you count only such crimes in which five or more victims were killed, there were six in the 1980s and 19 in the 2000s.Alan Lankford of the University of Alabama analyzed data from a recent New York Police Department study of "active shooters"—criminals who attempted to murder people in a confined area, where there are lots of people, and who chose at least some victims randomly. Counting only the incidents with at least two casualties, there were 179 such crimes between 1966 and 2010. In the 1980s, there were 18. In the 1990s, there were 54. In the 2000s, there were 87.
Why the increase? It cannot be because gun-control laws have become more lax. Before the 1968 Gun Control Act, there were almost no federal gun-control laws. The exception was the National Firearms Act of 1934, which set up an extremely severe registration and tax system for automatic weapons and has remained in force for 78 years.
Nor are magazines holding more than 10 rounds something new. They were invented decades ago and have long been standard for many handguns. Police officers carry them for the same reason that civilians do: Especially if a person is attacked by multiple assailants, there is no guarantee that a 10-round magazine will end the assault.
The 1980s were much worse than today in terms of overall violent crime, including gun homicide, but they were much better than today in terms of mass random shootings. The difference wasn't that the 1980s had tougher controls on so-called "assault weapons." No assault weapons law existed in the U.S. until California passed a ban in 1989.
Connecticut followed in 1993. None of the guns that the Newtown murderer used was an assault weapon under Connecticut law. This illustrates the uselessness of bans on so-called assault weapons, since those bans concentrate on guns' cosmetics, such as whether the gun has a bayonet lug, rather than their function.
What some people call "assault weapons" function like every other normal firearm—they fire only one bullet each time the trigger is pressed. Unlike automatics (machine guns), they do not fire continuously as long as the trigger is held. They are "semi-automatic" because they eject the empty shell case and load the next round into the firing chamber.
Today in America, most handguns are semi-automatics, as are many long guns, including the best-selling rifle today, the AR-15, the model used in the Newtown shooting. Some of these guns look like machine guns, but they do not function like machine guns.

Back in the mid-1960s, in most states, an adult could walk into a store and buy an AR-15 rifle, no questions asked. Today, firearms are the most heavily regulated consumer product in the United States. If someone wants to purchase an AR-15 or any other firearm, the store must first get permission for the sale from the FBI or its state counterpart. Permission is denied if the buyer is in one of nine categories of "prohibited persons," including felons, domestic-violence misdemeanants, and persons who have been adjudicated mentally ill or alcoholic.
Since gun controls today are far stricter than at the time when "active shooters" were rare, what can account for the increase in these shootings? One plausible answer is the media. Cable TV in the 1990s, and the Internet today, greatly magnify the instant celebrity that a mass killer can achieve. We know that many would-be mass killers obsessively study their predecessors.
image
AFP/Getty Images
State troopers leaving Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14.

Loren Coleman's 2004 book "The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines" shows that the copycat effect is as old as the media itself. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1774 classic "The Sorrows of Young Werther" triggered a spate of copycat suicides all over Europe. But today the velocity and pervasiveness of the media make the problem much worse.
A second explanation is the deinstitutionalization of the violently mentally ill. A 2000 New York Times study of 100 rampage murderers found that 47 were mentally ill. In the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law (2008), Jason C. Matejkowski and his co-authors reported that 16% of state prisoners who had perpetrated murders were mentally ill.
In the mid-1960s, many of the killings would have been prevented because the severely mentally ill would have been confined and cared for in a state institution. But today, while government at most every level has bloated over the past half-century, mental-health treatment has been decimated. According to a study released in July by the Treatment Advocacy Center, the number of state hospital beds in America per capita has plummeted to 1850 levels, or 14.1 beds per 100,000 people.
Moreover, a 2011 paper by Steven P. Segal at the University of California, Berkeley, "Civil Commitment Law, Mental Health Services, and U.S. Homicide Rates," found that a third of the state-to-state variation in homicide rates was attributable to the strength or weakness of involuntary civil-commitment laws.
Finally, it must be acknowledged that many of these attacks today unfortunately take place in pretend "gun-free zones," such as schools, movie theaters and shopping malls. According to Ron Borsch's study for the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, active shooters are different from the gangsters and other street toughs whom a police officer might engage in a gunfight. They are predominantly weaklings and cowards who crumble easily as soon as an armed person shows up.

The problem is that by the time the police arrive, lots of people are already dead. So when armed citizens are on the scene, many lives are saved. The media rarely mention the mass murders that were thwarted by armed citizens at the Shoney's Restaurant in Anniston, Ala. (1991), the high school in Pearl, Miss. (1997), the middle-school dance in Edinboro, Penn. (1998), and the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. (2007), among others.
At the Clackamas Mall in Oregon last week, an active shooter murdered two people and then saw that a shopper, who had a handgun carry permit, had drawn a gun and was aiming at him. The murderer's next shot was to kill himself.
Real gun-free zones are a wonderful idea, but they are only real if they are created by metal detectors backed up by armed guards. Pretend gun-free zones, where law-abiding adults (who pass a fingerprint-based background check and a safety training class) are still disarmed, are magnets for evildoers who know they will be able to murder at will with little threat of being fired upon.

People who are serious about preventing the next Newtown should embrace much greater funding for mental health, strong laws for civil commitment of the violently mentally ill—and stop kidding themselves that pretend gun-free zones will stop killers.


A brief history lesson regarding gun control via Doug Giles January 6, 2013
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th century because of gun control: 56 million.
You won’t see this data on the U.S. evening news or hear politicians disseminating this information. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

He also goes on to comment on the "Demand A Plan" video compiled by several celebrities demanding action on guns:
Hollywood has even cobbled together a little tsk-tsk black and white video demanding our government do something about gun violence. That would be the very gun violence they have glamorized on the big screen for the last few decades. Hello.
I believe the total head count of the people slaughtered on film from all the participants from the “Demand a Plan” anti-gun clip comes out to a whopping 100,000 on screen murders.
Yes, Hollywood, please lecture us about gun violence wrecking our culture. Life imitates art, morons, and your films probably spawned half of the killers’ bloody dreams for the last two decades. Lecture us? Please. Physician, heal thyself...If you truly want to stem the tide of violent deaths, you should have made a video about the danger of hammers and clubs, as the FBI reports they kill more people every year than rifles do


Vermont State Rep. Fred Maslack has read the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as Vermont's own Constitution very carefully, and his strict interpretation of these documents is popping some eyeballs in New England and elsewhere.

Maslack recently proposed a bill to register "non-gun-owners" and require them to pay a $500 fee to the state. Thus Vermont would become the first state to require a permit for the luxury of going about unarmed and assess a fee of $500 for the privilege of not owning a gun.

Maslack read the "militia" phrase of the Second Amendment as not only affirming the right of the individual citizen to bear arms, but as a clear mandate to do so. He believes that universal gun ownership was advocated by the Framers of the Constitution as an antidote to a "monopoly of force" by the government as well as criminals.

Vermont 's constitution states explicitly that "the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State" and those persons who are "conscientiously scrupulous of bearing arms" shall be required to "pay such equivalent." Clearly, says Maslack, Vermonters have a
constitutional obligation to arm themselves, so that they are capable of responding to "any situation that may arise."

Under the bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their name, address, Social Security Number, and driver's license number with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is not prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says.

Vermont already boasts a high rate of gun ownership along with the least restrictive laws of any state...it's currently the only state that allows a citizen to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. This combination of plenty of guns and few laws regulating them has resulted in a crime rate that is the third lowest in the nation.

There is no reason why gun owners should have to pay taxes to support police protection for people not wanting to own guns. Let them contribute their fair share and pay their own way.

At least we're covered down here. 

Giving advice to Americans, an elderly man at the end of the video on the devastating effect of Australia's gun control states plain and simple: "Never ever EVER give up this freedom."



89 comments:

  1. OK, I am now done with the blog. Not interested in political rantings of either side, and this is what this has become. I was very interested in the paleo entries but you are way too judgmental for me. Peace.

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    1. Oh Anon, this was not a political rant, merely a presentation of factual information, and far from judgmental.

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  2. While I totally respect your opinions [you know I adored you!] and the fact that you researched this post so thoroughly, I am not sure I can totally co-sign this post. I was raised in a "Liberal-tarian" house [believing in minimal government intervention, but when the government does play a role, that it gives people the benefit of the doubt -- no government in our relationship choices, religious choices, etc.] and learned how to shoot a gun when I was 5 -- I haven't touched one since. I now live in concealed carry state, and often find myself spooked at the notion anyone could be carrying a gun. But it is my right to be spooked, just as it is that person's right to carry.

    I am obsessed with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and believe that ANY amendment which aims to restrict or obliterate an individual's rights [banning alcohol, limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, etc.] is not only a waste of tax dollars and time but a direct assault on the very principals upon which our great country was founded.

    My interpretation of the current debate is this: it is quite obvious that our current system is severely broken; something is very wrong -- a national conversation about gun safety is necessary. Some call gun safety "gun control"; some believe that we should ban all guns, no matter what, while others believe that a gun in every household is the only way to secure peace -- but it isn't that simple, it is not a black-and-white scenario. It is possible to find myriad studies supporting each and every single position, and I think that is wonderful; we need to take a closer look at each side of the argument, at each possible outcome. [The Policy Matrix was easily my favorite thing I learned while studying Political Science -- obsessed!] I feel that saying households with guns are categorically safer is as naive and starry-eyed as saying that banning guns entirely is the only way to guarantee safety; we need balanced policy initiatives that address the rights of the individual to bear arms as well as the rights of the individual to be safe; there is no excuse for school shootings, no excuse for armed robberies, no excuse for gun running -- just as there is no excuse for blaming an entire political party for the actions of an individual. Just my two cents!

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    1. THANK YOU for a constructive comment!!!!!!! So nice to see brain cells at work! xxSF.

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    2. great comment and so much more helpful than "I don't agree with you, so peace out."

      My mom is getting us shooting lessons and hand guns for xmas. My boyfriend/partner is STRONGLY anti-gun (I wonder if mom'll pack at the wedding), and you're right- the discussion is complex and the proposed solution reductive.

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    3. Girl, anytime! And, duh, it should read "ADORE" you -- present tense! Thank you for offering your blog as a forum for further discussion about a very important issue. [And, for those who don't believe political discourse is appropriate for a lifestyle blog...well, did they forget you are a mother?!]

      One thing I meant to include is a very astute observation my brother made over Christmas. He shared, "The saddest part of this aftermath is that the majority of policy makers and citizens alike are choosing sides of the argument based upon the people who support it -- liberals don't like conservatives, and conservatives don't like liberals; no one is taking a moment to look at which policy is actually the best course of action -- we're all obsessed with the letter after someone's name." It's time to move past the letter.

      Incidentally, pick up a copy of "Policy Paradox" [http://www.amazon.com/Policy-Paradox-Political-Decision-Edition/dp/0393912728/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358225724&sr=8-1&keywords=policy+paradox], you'll love it!

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  3. Have you seen this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrJjlPH1dqo&feature=player_embedded
    Amazing!!

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  4. Anon that posted at 7:42, I am so sorry but I accidentally pressed Delete instead of Publish when I clicked. The two options are right next to each other. I copied and pasted from my email:

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Gun Control":

    i am now done with this blog as is my entire design team of 25+.
    you are out of your mind.
    -------
    I hope your entire design team of 25+ knows you are speaking for them! Yikes!
    I am sorry you feel I am out of my mind, but I just prefer to stick with the guys that founded our great country. I don't think they were out of their mind at all, and am proud of what they did for us that lives on to this day. I feel privileged to be able to speak of the Bill of Rights, and to still be enjoying the freedom they worked so hard to give us. But, most people back then probably thought they were out of their minds, so perhaps I should take your comment as a compliment :)

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    1. No, Ms. Sheridan. You are wrong. "Most people back then" did not think the Founding Fathers were out of their minds for including the right to bear arms, it was embraced. Why? Because the United States did not have a standing military, and had to depend on militia armies in the event of an attack or necessary defense....THAT IS WHY THE 2ND AMENDMENT WAS ADDED TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS/CONSTITUTION!!!

      "Any effort to distort that is an effort to ignore all of the supporting documentation from the founding fathers behind this wording." - Sheridan, since you are clearly all-knowing, could you please provide and cite this supporting documentation?

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    2. You think I am all-knowing?! Thank you ;) That bit you site is actually my husband's opinion. I'm sure he would love to speak to you more in depth about it if you are interested. Let me know!

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    3. That is absolutely hilarious. I was honestly going to include in my initial comment,"please don't use your husband as your citation!"

      For future reference, a cite/citation deals with referencing a source. A site is a location.

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    4. Riiiiiiight, and I did not take that from any supporting documentation. It was an opinion, and I gave you the source. I can lie if you prefer and say CNN??

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  5. Once again, THANK YOU! For voicing your incredible informed opinion, and for reiterating our nation's great history. I hope our culture can somehow get through the haze of all the political rhetoric, but unfortunately, history has shown to repeat. I think it's interesting in a post focusing on our rights and freedoms, anonymous readers want to stifle that right, through nasty comments about leaving your blog...A little tolerance goes a long way to an open, enlightened mind!
    God Bless America! (we need it)

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  6. Did someone actually put that sign in their front yard? Man talk about throwing someone under the bus!

    I don't subscribe to either extreme view. I guess I end up somewhere right of the middle on this. When I studied the second amendment in law school I wasn't able to definitively come to a conclusion about what I thought the founders meant. So I just leave it up to my husband to take the extreme view as the gun fanatic and I have my own extreme views on other issues.

    But one thing I hope that comes out of all of this is more money for public schools to be able to afford adequate security (and better school funding in general!). My mother in law is an elementary school nurse at a low income school in TX and they used to have onsite security (I believe it was an armed police officer), but with all the school budget cuts in the past several years that was sadly one of the things to go. Just one example of how I think there are a lot of positive things that can come from this public debate as we re-examine what's important, and like LFM said they aren't all black or white.

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  7. Shout it to the rooftops, Sheridan! We must stand up and protect our freedom. Hard topics such as these must be talked about and defended. I agree with every point that you have made. I am thankful that you have the courage, foresight and media source to get this message out. Thank you!

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  8. I think it's sad that people are going to stop reading your blog (and take their co-workers with them) simply because they don't agree with the views you've shared in the two political posts you've written (maybe there's more - I've only seen two). I applaud you for writing about and standing up for what you believe in...signed, a loyal reader :)

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  9. Before your founding fathers instituted gun rights, this country was already founded. By 9 million Native Americans. They were rounded up and nearly exterminated. With guns.

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    1. How did I prove your point?

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    2. If they had guns they could have defended themselves.
      (I'm saying this with a smirk. I do understand what you were intending to say).

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  10. Amen, Sheridan! All you have said here is right on and last I checked, it's your blog, so you can post whatever you damn well wanna post! The root of the tragedies is mental illness and big pharma/psychiatrists pushing psychotrophic drugs that make people more angry, more suicidal, more out of their minds, more depressed, etc. And, for some reason, we have this "hang up" with mental illness...it's okay if the rest of the body fails you, but when it's the mind, we want to brush that under the carpet and blame the guns. It's ridiculous!

    ps...do you know you have 25+ design team "crazies" reading your blog? arm yourself! Amy Hodge

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  11. Kudos to you for voicing your opinion! I completely agree with you and have learned a lot from this. I applaud your bold decision to post this, thank you!! I am glad someone has. God bless you and your family, absolutely love your designs and blog!

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  12. Many years ago my grandmother was living alone after my grandfather passed away. A lady that worked in my family's business was staying with her one night because of some crime in the area. One night a man (who it turns out, had been committing the aforementioned crimes) broke into her home, followed her upstairs and attacked the friend with a knife, slashing her across the face and ear. My grandmother ran to her bedside table and grabbed the loaded revolver my dad had given her. She told the attacker if he took another step towards her she would shoot him. He came at her and she unloaded the gun on him and killed him. If my grandmother hadn't had a gun she and her friend would be at a minimum severly injured, and most likely dead, from being stabbed by this man. Having a gun saved her life and our friends life. I'd like for everyone who has commented that they will never read this blog again to tell me whether, if that was their family member, they would still be for banning guns. I appreciate that you take the time to do research and provide support for posts like these. I, for one, will continue to be a fan. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for sharing that Meredith. xxS.

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  13. i am pretty middle of the road when it comes to this subject, but for all of the stories of people defending themselves in their homes and killing intruders who wished to do them harm, there are also stories like this: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/01/03/3631184/fort-worth-man-shot-trying-to.html. i don't believe the right to bear arms should be taken away, but i think there needs to be a major discussion about gun safety and awareness.

    i do, however, believe that no private citizen should be allowed to own a semi-automatic weapon. our forefathers who wrote the amendment lived in a time when loading and firing a gun was a several minute long affair. i don't think they could have ever dreamed up a semi-automatic weapon, let alone believed private citizens should have one. semi-automatic weapons are not for hunting...if you use one for that purpose, you probably shouldn't be hunting in the first place. they are for killing people. no one needs to possess one in their home.

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    1. +1 on this entire comment. Also, I want to add, as a lawyer I spent two entire semesters studying the constitution. I read cases and scholarly articles - not just news coverage. The "well regulated militia" part of the Second Amendment has meaning. If you only focus on the second part of the sentence, you completely remove the meaning of "well regulated militia." The founding fathers would not have included that statement if they did not intend it to have meaning.

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  15. Wow, what a GREAT post! Once again, thank you for having the guts to post something so controversial. I completely agree with you and cannot for the life of me understand why people would not want to have the legal ability to protect themselves! My family owns several guns and I wouldn't hesitate for a split second to use any one of them to protect my precious loved ones! Thank you Sheridan for another awesome post!!

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  16. Hi Sheridan,

    I love your blog - particularly the family life posts, and the contraversial debate ones! :) I don't always agree with you, but I love a good debate and reading opinions which differ from my own.

    This has been really interesting to read, as I live in London where this just isn't a topic of debate and NO ONE (legally) has guns. However, a year or so ago, I recall there being a bit debate in the media and amongst politicians about the increase in knife crime and various ongoing measures to reduce it. The problem with knives is the complete inability to regulate them, due to their availability as everyday kitchen items.

    I think that given the ability to monitor gun ownership, the middle ground between allowing citizens who wish to to continue to protect themselves and ensuring that guns don't lead to more problems lies here. My personal opinion is that if someone wants to buy a gun to protect themselves, there should be a mandatory requirement that they first learn how to use it properly before being allowed to buy it - and by this, I mean not just learning how to physically fire it, but the real reasons as to when and why using a gun for personal safety is appropriate. To return to the knife crime example - there were many stabbings which apparently happened because people reached for the knife in a 'hot headed' rage, rather than as a rational decision to defend themselves. Had they not had the knives in the first place, this wouldn't have been an option - we need to be sure that people don't reach for a gun 'because they can', when actually it might not be appropriate, or the best approach in a situation. I appreciate of course that split second decisions need to be made in dangerous situations - but this is the sort of thing which should be covered in training.

    I also think that if someone is serious about wanting a gun for the right reasons, they will be willing (and wanting) to go through training and get signed off on this before they are allowed to purchase a gun. I think anyone not willing to do so, probably wants a gun for the wrong reasons - and is likely to be susceptible to the sort of hot-headed momentary rage which we need to try to avoid. It's like learning to drive - you can't just learn to operate the car, you need to know about road safety too :)

    Please keep up the controversy!! And perhaps mix it up with some pics from Munch's birthday! :)

    R xxx

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  17. Sheridan,

    Well done. Thoroughly researched and spoken. Keep it up!

    Anon that posted at 8:30pm - the second amendment wasn't written for hunting, it was written for killing people. I realize we often don't stomach that well. But the WHOLE point of 2A is to defended PEOPLE from PEOPLE! These reasons were viewed as the most important:

    deterring tyrannical government;
    repelling invasion;
    suppressing insurrection;
    facilitating a natural right of self-defense;
    participating in law enforcement;
    enabling the people to organize a militia system.

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  18. Great post Sheridan, thank you for posting, I find it interesting that Obama wants lifetime Secret Service protection for him and his family after he leaves the White House...doesn't he believe in his own gun control he's trying to force on the rest of America? I grew up with guns in the house (mostly for hunting) my husband who is Canadian and brought up with no guns in the home has bought a shot gun and pistol and got his concealed weapons permit this past year because he wants the right to protect us from harm.

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  19. Sheridan - you said it yourself:
    "My heart is broken for the families that have been touched by the Newtown shooting. I truly have no idea how I could continue breathing with such a loss.. . . . .
    To go from such a tragedy to the always hot topic of gun control is a bit tricky."
    You have not made the transition well, and you have minimized the tradegy in such a way to suit your platform. Millions of Americans understand that the issue CT was not one of gun control,but you have manipulated it into such. In your term paper of a post you do cite someone who cites mental illness awareness as an issue, which I truly believe to be the strongest issue. My post has nothing to do with gun control and I don't have an opionion of your feelings towards gun control. My heart is broken for the families who lost children. My childhood friend's daughter was in the bathroom, locked with her classmates and listening to gun fire and screaming. This first grader saw blood smeared on the walls as she was escorted out of the Newtown school. My friend is driving her two children to the new elementary school every school week day and passing homes of families whose children were killed so recently. Your little blip about CT followed by your opionion and every other opinon you could scratch up and quote is an affront to the heart wrenching emtionional hell that CT community is truding through.
    Samantha

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    1. While I totally agree (and appreciate) your comment, the truth is, what a lot of people are not saying here (and elsewhere) is that the killer in Newtown, got his guns from his mother, who bought them legally, had plenty of training, she even took her son to target and shooting lessons as well had a permit. There is NO question or controversy when it comes to most of us agreeing that our health care system is broken when it comes to the mentally ill, but that is only half the equation. So it is more complicated then simply being trained, and having a permit. It is such a complicated subject matter, that needs to be addressed. The old argument that the NRA has going-"People kill people, not guns" is just used up now. I think we all know that a gun in the wrong hands can kill a whole lot more people than say a knife. I wish we could take some clues from other countries such as the UK and Japan, Etc when it comes to gun violence in the USA-honestly it's a shameful thing here. Not a lot to be proud of when it comes to the massacres that have happened just in the year 2012 alone.

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  20. Wow...what a well thought out post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Because a lot of folks defended the right to speak our minds, you did a great job. Never thought I'd see a post on gun-control in a lifestyle blog. I appreiciate them.

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  21. Samantha, I appreciate your comment. I am so sorry your friend is having to go through this so directly, and live day to day what all of us only see on the news and in headlines. With all due respect, I am not the one who has manipulated the issue and made it about gun control, our current President and those beneath him have. I am simply voicing my opinion, and sharing others', on what should be about mental illness and prescription drugs, but instead has been turned into gun control. I agree that CT should NOT be about gun control at all, but since it has been made so, we have to face the reality of what the potential policies being tossed around could mean for our personal liberties and lives. Again, I am so sorry for you and your friend, and I truly tried my best to discuss this very hard topic as gently as I knew how by presenting articles written by others rather than making it a heated political debate. You have my sincerest apologies if any offense was caused, as that was certainly not my intent.

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  22. Sheridan for Senator....franki

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  23. Kudos and support! Awesome post!!

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  24. Awesome post Sheridan! Either way people view gun control, I'm proud to be a follower and admire you for putting facts/your views out there, as you do with many other controversial subjects.

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  25. Great post! You really put into words how I feel about this whole debate.

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  26. As the owner of a small firearms store, I'm so happy to see you writing about this. I'm amazed that there are people who actually believe that it is the gun that's the problem here. It truly floors me. How can people not understand what gun control does to a society? How can they look at places like Chicago, and not see the plain reality that the toughest gun laws = the most murders and crime? It's really not that hard to understand. Look at what Australia and the UK are dealing with now that their law abiding citizens are unarmed. That WILL happen here if we don't protect our 2nd amendment. The whole point of the 2nd amendment is to protect the citizens of the United States from tyranny.

    I see that NY just passed the "toughest gun laws" in the country yesterday. And now we can sit back and actually watch the crime increase in that state. We'll see how proud those law makers are of their new laws as the murder rate doubles. Unbelievable! I feel sorry for law abiding gun owners in NY!

    Lastly, I just want to urge everyone who believe we should keep our 2nd amendment to speak up and do something. You cannot sit here and not do anything about it. You cannot complain about it on facebook or to your friends or yell at the news you see on the TV. You must act but contacting your congress people and Senators! The firearm manufacturer Ruger made things very easy for you. You can go to this website and they'll send the email out for you. It literally takes about 2 minutes. http://www.ruger.com/micros/advocacy/

    Thanks again!
    Jenny

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    1. Er, what exactly is 'happening in the UK'?

      To give you another perspective:

      Guns, and gun crime, are very rare here (out with the very worst parts of our biggest cities). Most people haven't even SEEN a real gun. Gun control laws are relatively very strict.

      There are 88 guns for every 100 people in the US. In the UK, there are 6 per every 100 people. I am 28 and have never set eyes on a gun. I don't know anyone who owns a gun, or keeps one in their home - especially not for 'protection'. Some people in very rural areas may keep guns, and people do shoot for sport, but neither are particularly common.

      Even our police aren't routinely armed. Most officers do not carry guns.

      On the whole, our crime rates don't seem to suffer from our low number of guns. This report(http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crime_stats_oecdjan2012.pdf)shows crime rates in developing countries. It makes interesting reading.

      In the US, there are 5 homicides per 100,000 people per year. In the UK, there are 1.1. So your murder rate is almost five times what ours is. Just speculation: but that must in part be down the number of guns in the US?

      Rape and robbery rates are very similar.

      However, the US has lower burglary and assault levels. Perhaps that's because a criminal is more likely to think twice before breaking into someone's house/assaulting them as they may well have a gun?

      Also important: the UK has had three mass shootings in 25 years (Hungerford in 1987, the terrible tragedy at Dunblane Primary School in 1996 and Cumbria in 2010). Three too many, but NOTHING compared to the US.

      So my main point is:

      I just wanted to refute the suggestion that the UK is somehow suffering from its citizens not being armed, or its strict gun laws. I think the overall picture shows we are far better off without guns. Some societies CAN and DO live safely and well without guns - it is possible.

      However, I understand how difficult it is to change the massive gun culture in the US. Where do you start? You take guns away from the law abiding citizens, but then lots of guns are still left with the criminals - and people aren't safe in their homes. Reducing the number of guns in the country would not be a simple process.

      I really don't know what the way forward is to cut the number of people dying from guns. It's a complicated and interesting issue, which I look forward to reading more about.

      Jennifer

      PS, I really enjoy your blog - it's very interesting to get a take on life as a glamorous Texan!



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  27. Very interesting. As someone who did find some of your former "controversial" posts judgemental and patronizing, I feel like you are taking some of that feedback to heart about making posts like this more open-minded and earnest in the desire to discuss and learn from each other, not inform of the correct way to live. Thank you. :)

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  28. You are only posting comments you agree with. LAME. You need to stay in the fashion game and take yourself out of the rest of it - what are you trying to accomplish anyway? This seems unfair to those KIDS. It's about those KIDS NOT YOU.

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    1. Anon, I post every comment I receive, unless they use foul language or are degrading in some way, and don't have any relevant contribution to the post. I have posted every single one for this post so far, and if you read through them all, there are several that strongly disagree with information I presented. Please re-read the posted comments more carefully.

      No where in the post did I say it was about me. The administration has made this an issue of gun control, which it should not be. Again, please re-read the post more carefully.

      The "fashion game" is never as important as real life, which I will never "take myself out of."
      -SF.

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  29. You are spot on in this post.
    Thanks! Ashley (naturalelementsbyashley.com)

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  30. Appreciate and value this post! It's factual and unbiased and it's your blog so write about whatever you damn well please! I grew up in a household full of guns, used for hunting and recreational shooting and have a husband who is presently becoming more of a gun fanatic himself. As a southerner, a mother and a small-framed female, my husband just bought me a gun which I intend on learning how to use and also intend on getting my concealed carry. I was (and am) absolutely heartbroken over the Newtown tragedy and placed myself in the shoes of those parents who lost innocent, fragile children. It's unfathomable, it's sick and I will do anything in my power to protect my child. And kudos to the Georgia mother who shot that lousy excuse for a human being IN THE FACE for attempting stepping into her house and intending to do God knows what to her and her babies. I just pray that whatever steps are taken to protect our citizens is not one that strips those who are law-abiding of their rights. Thank you for this, I've been waiting on it!!

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  31. As an Australian I just wanted to express my concern about relying on an outdated youtube clip to form opinions on such an important topic. I would like all your readers to know that the majority of Australians are passionately supportive of the current gun control laws (I can honestly say, that I don't know one person that is against it). We are proud that we took such a strong stand against crime and the results have been good. Please look at these sites for some valid statistics on Australia's gun crime rates and please dismiss the unjustifiable information of the previously mentioned clip (I would greatly appreciate its removal).
    http://guncontrol.org.au/



    http://www.aic.gov.au/crime_types/violence/weapons/otherdocs.html

    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/10/5/280.full


    http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp

    Read the explanation at the end of the post- an important reminder about the manipulation and misuse of statistics and how they can sway your thinking.
    Cheers

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    1. Hi Sheridan,
      I regularly read your blog and while I don’t agree with some of your stances, I admire the passion with which you put your arguments forward. This is your blog and you can post any opinion you like.

      I have felt compelled to comment on this however as I agree with the above post; please do not use these Australian statistics as evidence as to how gun control does not work. There has not been ‘horrendous consequences’. I am Australian and gun control has worked in Australia. I do not know anyone who opposes this legislation. Additionally, you cannot use percentage changes as statistical evidence to the contrary. The prevalence of gun crimes in Australia was low to begin with, therefore any changes are not ‘statistically significant’ and would of course result in large percentage jumps/decreases. The only statistic I consider to be definitive is the fact that Australia has not a single mass shooting in 16 years, compared to the 11 mass shootings which happened in the decade prior to these gun laws being implemented.

      I do not think I have ever seen a gun in my life however I understand why you want to carry a gun to protect your family given the prevalence of guns in the US! I would too!!! It is a really different culture in the US in relation to guns however I cannot wrap my head around how people use the couple of hundred year old Bill of Rights as a reason for their right to bear arms. I consider Australia (and many other developed countries in the world with tight gun laws) to be a very free country (with all the rights I deem important, intact) and we seem to be doing OK. We, of course, still have problems with violence which we are dealing with, however I certainly do not feel unease that someone may be concealing a weapon, as I have felt in the US.

      I don’t know what the solution is (it will have to be an extremely complex set of solutions with a combination of mental health initiatives, awareness campaigns and not to mention a huge cultural shift) however I think that tighter gun control is an essential starting point. More guns in the US=more gun crimes in the US in comparison to other countries. Just my two cents worth!

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  32. I realize you have every right to discuss whatever the heck you want on your personal blog, but since we're sharing opinions on the internet, I'd like to point out that posts and articles like some of the ones you shared are part of the reason why people are reacting as though we have only two options - ban all guns or make no changes to our laws.

    Those types of generalizations make little/no distinction between a sportsman's rifle/shotgun, a handgun for personal protection, or an assault rifle capable of killing a room full of people in seconds. They are not the same thing, and the acceptable potential for a citizen to do harm is something that should at least be discussed calmly.

    I don't think anyone is naive enough to think that possessing firearms is going to become against the law in America, but it sure makes for good television and gets a reaction from people. Hopefully as discussions continue, some voices of reason will rise above the chatter.

    P.S. I'm a gun owner, and there are lots of other responsible gun owners out there who agree that it high-powered weapons should at least be monitored as closely as Sudafed. It's not a black/white issue.

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    1. Amen! I have read through all the replies and am astounded at the responses. Everyone, of course, is entitled to his/her opinion, but the post was biased and the references were one-sided. I am not a gun owner, but know many, and grew up in a family where my Dad hunted and guns were in the house. I don't care about your gun as long as you use it responsibily. However, as Haley stated above, semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilians' hands. REASONABLE gun control is what I and many others want--not banning ALL guns. Gun advocates should be the first to support sensible legislation. You are the ones who are familiar with guns, and you know how much harm they can cause. You should lead the charge--not throw flames on the fire by implying that those who want gun control wish to ban all guns. That is simply not the case. It is just more of the same tired old scare tactics...

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    2. I don't usually comment (just a long-time reader!), but comments like Anon at 6:39p get under my skin, because this argument is simply not very well thought out.

      We can debate about what might constitute a reasonable gun restriction, but what this comment and some politicians are currently lobbying for--banning semi-automatic weapons--would require a lot of people who legally have handguns for personal/home defense and hunting to surrender them. "Semi-automatic" is a phrase that sounds scary and militaristic, but it is the technology used in many of the most popular handguns and rifles today. (Revolvers are a notable exception, because they are not semi-automatic, but it should be noted that a revolver is a very effective firearm, too.) The semi-automatic technology has been around for over a century. All it means is that the next bullet automatically advances once the prior bullet has been fired. You still have to pull the trigger every time you want a bullet to come out, which distinguishes it from a fully automatic weapon, which unloads all of its bullets as long as you have the trigger depressed.

      If you believe that semi-automatic weapons have no place in civilians' hands, it would be more accurate to say that you think the Second Amendment should be repealed, rather than that we should have "reasonable" gun control measures, because that position isn't reasonable, and it definitely isn't legal. The Bill of Rights says that Congress cannot infringe the right of the people to bear arms, and it is patently not a reasonable position to say that "arms" to mean "revolvers only," let alone "just slingshots and baseball bats." (I know people like citations, so here is one: District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).)

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  33. Woza I was just hoping to find out about some new gucci shoes and what you wore:)

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  34. Before I get into it, I must state that I completely agree with you that this is not a gun control issue. Trying to prevent similar acts of insanity with such legislation will not prevent this from happening again... I strongly believe that preventing and mitigating the insanity of the person would be a far more productive route.

    HOWEVER, I agree with others who have commented about the one-sidedness of your arguments. Although I don't know that you intended to do it (you even stated that this should not be a gun control issue), you come across as someone who is entirely pro-gun, no matter the circumstances. The research you've cited and the anecdotes you've provided are so biased in your favor.

    I did a little digging just to prove this point and found an incidence in YOUR HOMETOWN where a drunk young man who went to the wrong house was SHOT AND KILLED by the homeowner who thought he was an intruder. This would NOT have happened if she did not possess a gun. http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/01/03/3631184/fort-worth-man-shot-trying-to.html. How does this fit in to your argument? What are the numbers of accidental deaths by legally-obtained handguns?

    I'm not trying to argue for or against gun control. I just want to point out the evident biases in your arguments (this post is not the only one). You may want to throw in a little research that doesn't directly support your argument every once in a while. You lose more and more credibility the more politically charged posts you have. I think that is the reason that people are leaving your blog, NOT because they disagree with your views. Since you love posting quotes to support your arguments, I offer you a few:

    “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions." ― Albert Einstein (Essay to Leo Baeck, 1953)

    "One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him. - Lao Tzu

    "I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine. - Bertrand Russell

    "The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately. - Bertrand Russell

    "You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters." -Plato

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    1. Anon, that was actually a very close friend of mine, James, that was shot and killed that night so I am all too familiar with what actually happened. There will always be accidental tragedies - that night just over a year ago - as well as so many others, but these incidents are few and far between. No issue is black and white, but we have guidelines to follow - our Constitution, the Bill of Rights - that cannot be broken.

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    2. I agree with you and apologize for bringing up something that hits so close to home. That was not my intent. But this act of violence was also "few and far between" in the grand scheme of things. I think it may be one of the worst tragedies our country has ever experienced, and I cannot even begin to put myself in the shoes of those involved, but I also don't think that placing armed guards in every single one of our schools is the answer. Let's take that money (which would be extraordinarily expensive) and put it into programs to stop troubled ones from ever being able to do this to begin with.

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    3. YES - I couldn't agree more!! Australia spent half of a BILLION dollars rounding up and destroying all of those guns. This is about mental health and the terrible side effects of drugs. Not a single cent should be wasted on making this about gun control, but rather dealing with the actual issue at hand.

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  35. To link the Holocaust or any massacre of the 20th century with the issue of gun control shows that, despite what you claim, you have no proper historical perspective and it's actually offensive to read this. My grandparents are Holocaust survivors: I can guarantee you that they never ever emitted the idea that having guns would have helped them save their friends and family. Also, the Right has to stop comparing Obama to Hitler or Staline. That you can voice your opinions publicly is a pretty good sign that you do NOT leave in a tyrannical state.
    S

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    1. Hi Anon, That was taken from another article as I referenced above. I would read it in its entirety if I were you as there is much more behind it.

      Delete
  36. what you & the NRA are failing to mention is that as the children of the President, the Obama children are high value targets for international terrorists, rogue nations, and other criminals. This is just one hole in the argument you present.

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    1. Of course, which is why they each have personal secret service assigned to them. The school itself has several armed guards, and I am sure that not every child there is a target as you say above.

      Delete
    2. In response, I didn't say every child was a target but as long as you bring it up: every president has had this. And generally speaking many of the children at this school are high profile targets, so there is that. Sad in general that this is how the NRA (and Sheridan French) is marking the one month anniversary of so many innocent lives lost.

      Delete
    3. Exactly. Not every child is a target, but if their parents choose, they should be able to attend a school with armed guards. Just because they are potentially high profile targets does not mean they deserve special protection and treatment that others may not be allowed to have, given new gun bans. Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought liberals were all about equality? Everyone on the same level? Same privileges for all? For some schools to have protection while others cannot is the height of hypocrisy.

      Again, neither the NRA nor myself have made this about gun control, but rather the current administration. To have Diane Feinstein issue her gun control proposal two DAYS after the shooting is in the poorest taste imaginable. I am simply commenting on what President Obama and those beneath him have thrown to the forefront.

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  37. It astonishes me how a "business woman" as yourself continues to alienate some of her customers. I was interested in purchasing one of your handbags, but now I think I'd rather support someone who is less offensive, combative, and ignorant.

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    1. Gosh, if I let myself be alienated simply by other's differing opinions or views, I'd never watch TV, purchase magazines, or buy half the things I do.

      There are far more important things in life than growing a business. Holding true to my beliefs supersedes attempting to take the middle ground and appease everyone, which never works.

      Delete
    2. Sheridan, that is why I appreciate your blog- what you said right there. I am a liberal, and I agree with you entirely on the subject of guns. Gun control would only create bigger problems; violent people are going to be violent. I would feel much better knowing my children were in school where every staff member carried a concealed weapon. The problems we are facing with violence are not about guns, it comes back to the culture, the way people are raising their kids, how we are handling mental illness, the normalcy of gun violence within our youth due to the desensitizing of the endless video games. There are so many questions left to be asked regarding Adam Lanza's upbringing. I am an inherently peaceful person, and I choose nonviolence always, but if I were in a situation where I had to kill to protect my children and family I definitely would. This is a "lifestyle" blog, and if paleo, guns, and being a conservative are part of your lifestyle- so be it. I appreciate your voice, opinions, and design sense.

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  38. Sheridan-I've been reading your blog for a while now. I was put off by your last political post, though I stuck with you through it, hoping that you would stay away from political rants. What a controversial topic to try and tackle in a style blog, why? While I whole-heartily disagree with almost everything (with the exception of our health care system needing to address mental illness in this country). I do not believe that more guns are the answer ever. As a former teacher (and mother of two teachers) and coming from a long line of teachers, I am appalled at the thought of having to go through gun training to teach our young ones. What has our country come to when that even is a suggestion? The fact that The NRA came out with such a horrid video today and used the Obama Children as examples is just ridiculous. The need for people like you and NRA supporters is to understand that our country is not what it was when our forefathers wrote the 2nd amendment. We did not have assault weapons that could take out the lives of twenty five innocent people in such a short amount of time. Look at Columbine (which I lived through as well) . An armed gunman was at the school. There are thousands of rebuttals to your argument. Shame on you for using your style blog to promote NRA propaganda.

    No one is talking about taking away all guns, we are talking about a need to look at our laws as they are, enforce them, and ban all assault weapons.

    I am done reading your blog, and done buying your clothing line.

    Respectfully,

    Sara

    (Former teacher, resident of Connecticut & Colorado, registered independent)

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    1. Hi Sara,

      This is not a style blog, has never been, and never will be. I am sorry you are put off by others' opinions, even if they are very strong. It is unfortunate that some people are so easily alienated these days. Me saying I would boycott Hollywood films simply because the actor in them is liberal is just plain silly. But, of course, each to their own.

      It IS appalling to think that we live in a country where it would be a better decision for teachers to be trained in the use of firearms, but that is the reality, plain and simple. Did you read the article I posted yesterday, entitled The Enemy Is Denial? Please do so if you have not.

      We cannot control what others do. Plain and simple. If someone wants to get a gun, they will find a way to do so even if it means breaking the law. We can be prepared as best we can to defend ourselves against the evil that unfortunately exists in our world today.

      Shame on me for using MY blog to post what I am interested in? Really? There are more important things than growing a business, and the fashion game will never take precedent over real life.

      With regards to the NRA using the Obama children in their ad, I agree that was not appropriate, however what did Obama do today? He exploited children to advance his agenda. An emotional ploy. They were used as props to appeal to emotions and deflect from the real issues. It was theatrical staging, with an implication that if you don't sign onto the President's proposals, then you are somehow not standing behind the children and treating them with disrespect. A choreographed moment to push legislation. Ridiculous. Furthermore, Obama can say all he wants that his children should be kept out of politics, and I agree, however HE has used them in campaign ads, referred to them in the BP oil spill, Michelle talked about one daughters BMI being too high, they used them when signing the healthcare bill...it goes on and on. When his back is up against a wall, he uses his own girls as references. Double standard.

      Democrats championed gun control two decades ago with Clinton and as a result of public opinion being so strongly against it, they didn't touch it for two decades. We as a nation have a HISTORY of gun RIGHTS and a gun culture, and a 2nd Amendment like no other country in the world. The assault weapons ban from 1994-2004, according to a study done by the DOJ, had ZERO effect on the rate of gun violence decreasing.

      So, when he said today that there needed to be a military style assault weapons ban? Why would this prevent Newtown if it didn't work before. He calls for a background check. Why? The guns used in Newtown were bought by the killer's mother, so that wouldn't have helped. He said they used the type of semi automatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban. WRONG. The guns used were NOT on the assault weapons ban list. NOTHING he said would have stopped Newtown if enforced, and simply gave the appearance of motion.

      Delete
    2. Ron Emanuel, Obama's first Chief of Staff, infamously said to never let a crisis go to waste, and what we are seeing is a gradual chipping away of our freedoms, and in this case, gun rights.

      I disagree as much as humanly possible when you say our country is not what it was when our forefathers wrote the 2nd Amendment. We are a FREE nation, and the issue here is FREEDOM. This is why it was #2 in the Bill of Rights. It is to allow the citizenry to guarantee themselves a free state, so that if the government turns on you, you can defend yourself. We have seen governments become tyrannical - Italy, Germany, China. The founding fathers were concerned with separation of power for a reason, letting congress legislate, not the President. Checks and balance.

      Obama has continually abused his power throughout his Presidency (Recess Appointments, Weakening of welfare work requirements, Executive orders to stop deportations of illegals when he couldn't' get the Dream Act passed, Obamacare being jammed through, DOJ refusing to uphold defense of marriage act, pushing through contraception mandate, no congressional approval for war on Libya...) and this is another case of that. Executive orders are not intended for this. Hence, why Americans are out in record numbers purchasing firearms as their 2nd Amendment rights continue to erode. We are looking at an overreaching of the federal government like we never have before, and people are going to protect themselves.

      --SF.

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    3. Typo - Rahm Emanuel - was typing too fast o_0

      Delete
  39. It makes me, well, kinda sad to come to your blog that I do enjoy so much-and find all the gun control blah blah blah issues-I think the reason you are getting so much negative feedback---it is so so your blog and post what you want for sure, but be mindful the reader comes to a lifestyle blog to check out your adorable clothes and what you wear rather than your stance on flipping gun control-gosh if we wanted that we would debate it on the fox blog and cnn---I think people s responses come from not your differing opinion or viewes but rather the forum to discuss it so, so strongly-on a lifestyle blog-I wish you would adhere your beliefs to Prada and Gucci-:)thats why I visit not because of gun laws or political elections-just food for thought-elizabeth

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  40. Sheridan, thank you for posting this. I am politically moderate and I work with indigent adults with serious mental illnesses, which often involves potentially dangerous situations. In fact, just today I was in a client's home when she became angry and threatening after her boyfriend greeted me. Fortunately I was able to leave quickly, ever so thankful for the mace i bring with me on home visits, (though against company dogma) even though I wasn't forced to use it. I decided,still shaking in my vehicle, that I will obtain my license to carry concealed. I agree especially with your take on mental illness. Unfortunately, it is not politically correct to associate mental illness and violence, and the party line in the profession is that we cannot force people to obtain psychiatric treatment.I disagree, we can and should, but we don't because we are too scared of stigma or other things, and it truly is a disgrace. Thanks again for such a bold piece.I posted anonymously due to the nature of the matter and my current employer.

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  41. As a current clinical psychology doctoral student and an avid follower of your blog, I do feel compelled to comment alongside a number of other individuals who clearly felt the same. It is difficult to present a balanced argument, as can be seen here. My point is simple: why would we not want a registry of gun owners in the United States?
    A previous commenter talks about the way Sudafed is controlled and draws parallels to a lack of gun control. I agree and ask -- isn't this fair? Is registering a firearm a bad idea? Presidents from both parties (including George W. Bush) have espoused views supporting a registry.
    Sometimes, it seems that everyone comes to the table with their mind made up already. This can be harmful when one's views blocks him/her from exploring alternatives or seeing the big picture.

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  42. I've never left a comment on your blog before, though I've read it for just over a year now and absolutely LOVE it!
    I just wanted to give you some more encouragement since there are quite a few nasty/negative comments, and I know that no matter how sure of yourself you are- it is hurtful to have those things said to you.
    I think it says SO much about your character that you put "good business sense" aside and use your personal blog as a platform to share your heart and not just try and say whatever it takes to get as many new customers as you can.
    I love that the way you write this blog always feels like having a great conversation with a friend- you're open and unguarded, you're so honest!
    This is no different, you're sharing what's on your heart the same as you always have.
    While I agree with everything that you've said in this post, and admire the grace with which you've responded to comments- that's not at all why I'm commenting.
    Only to encourage you that if anything said here has made you feel bad at all, know that you are still loved and understood by many!
    (my husband says I'm overly sympathetic and project my emotions onto other people.. So if you weren't even feeling remotely sad or hurt feelings here- then ignore this! Haha)

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    1. Aww thanks Katie <3 You are so sweet to comment. Glad you have been reading for so long! I have definitely developed thick skin over the past three years ;) Everyone always needs encouragement, so thank you so very much for your kind words. Have a lovely week and you'd better comment more often now ;))) xxxSF.

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  43. Everyone is going to have different opinions, but honestly, you present this information as factual when you're not really looking at the whole picture.

    The government is not attempting to take away our 2nd Amendment rights. Get off Fox News and realize that. They ARE attempting to tighten gun restrictions. Americans will NEVER give up their guns completely, nor should they. The government recognizes that. Come on, please.

    No, it is not the Bill of Needs, but there are plenty of other weapons that are banned, so what is the problem with banning one certain type of gun? Do you REALLY want people with semi-automatic assault rifles walking around your streets? I know I sure don't. I want those to stay with our military and our police, who are properly trained to use them.

    Arming our schools is just simply not the answer (in my opinion). Do you really want our country to be like those in the third world where guards with machine guns line the corners?? REALLY? And of course Obama's kids go to a school with armed guards, people in the public eye have to do so because their family gets death threats on the regular! Come on.

    Also, have you thought about the Bill of Rights in context to when it was written? Do you realize what types of guns that were available then? MUSKETS. Do you really think that their intention was to have such heavy artillery available to every citizen today? That can shoot off hundreds of rounds in a few short minutes? I don't think so.

    My boyfriend served in the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We have guns in our house and know how to use them. He walked around Iraq with a very similar gun to what was used in Newtown. But even he knows that those types of weapons that are military grade shouldn't be readily available to everyone. We're not allowed to roam the streets in armed tanks, so what's the difference?

    Will banning assault rifles do anything to change the amount of gun violence in this country? I'm honestly not sure. There are so many other things that should be addressed in addition to this. But why not try? Why not do SOMETHING?

    Clearly, my thoughts won't change your mind at all, so I guess there really isn't a point in commenting here. I'm just SO SICK of everyone acting like the government is taking away all of our guns. WAKE UP. They're not!

    Also, seriously bad marketing move aligning your professional brand with a political opinion.

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    1. you voiced your opinion so perfectly & eloquently. Thank you. I just made a similar comment on her newer blog that f you believe that all people, everywhere should be able to own a gun, then you might as well support the notion of all nations having the right to possess nuclear weapons capable of reaching every other nation on the globe.

      thank you!

      PS-Iv'e just come across this on blogger & am not a regular reader (nor will I become one). Agreed, if I wanted political commentary such as this I would listen to Fox News, & if I wanted a more liberal view I would listen to MSNBC.

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    2. I'm glad you can stand up for you beliefs but as you both are asking of Sheridan I would ask you to inform yourselves a little more. First of all semi-automatic guns and automatic guns are different things. Not all semi-automatic guns are assault rifles. Kristin, I would advise you to speak with your husband or do some research on the many semi-automatic weapons that exist. Outlawing certain automatic and semi-automatic guns makes sense, but certainly not all.

      Also, Anon, your statement about the nuclear weapons is a bit of a stretch. Gun advocates are not stating that ALL people should be handed a gun freely and without question. Most citizens have the capability of owning a gun without seeking death and destruction. Not to mention no matter how many citizens own and use guns, they will never be comparable to a nuclear weapon. I would suggest that you take a step back from your obvious aggravation with this topic and think that statement through. It really doesn't make sense.

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    3. Emily- Thank you for pointing that out. I do not claim to be the most knowledgeable about different types of guns, but I am aware of the difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons. I don't think I made a mistake there, and I certainly never said I was in favor of banning all guns. (Which I am not.)

      That aside, the main point of my comment was to point out that the government isn't attempting to take away the 2nd Amendment and/or ban all guns as certain folks on the right are insinuating (and as is the entire point of this post). They simply just aren't, and that is a fact. What they're trying to do is restrict the TYPES of guns we are legally allowed to own.

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  44. Must be the ignorance of living in the South. Our country is not what it was when our forefathers wrote the 2nd Amendment. Yes, it's all about Freedom, but it is NOT to bring our country to be the wild west. The government isn't going to turn on you. Try to educate yourself beyond red and blue party lines. It is not necessary for any citizen to carry military licensed weapons, ever.

    Newtown is my home town and arming everyone with guns will NOT solve any problems, making them less accessible WILL.

    Some statistics to leave you with:

    The rate of death from firearms in the United States is eight times higher than that in its economic counterparts in other parts of the world.
    Kellermann AL and Waeckerle JF. Preventing Firearm Injuries. Ann Emerg Med July 1998; 32:77-79.

    The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 12 times higher than among children in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 1997;46:101-105.

    The United States has the highest rate of youth homicides and suicides among the 26 wealthiest nations.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Rates of homicide, suicide, and firearm-related death among children: 26 industrialized countris.
    MMWR. 1997;46:101-105

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    1. Wow. Did you really just begin your reply with "must be the ignorance of living in the South." What a close-minded, hateful, elitist thing to say. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Sheridan is simply expressing hers. Forgive me if I don't give much thought to yours. Not because I agree or disagree, rather because you chose to be insulting from the start.

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    2. May I please just say to you that your beginning statement is the most IGNORANT thing I have ever heard! Just incase you haven't noticed, our government is out of control. Spending, debt and unemployment are at an all time high, and I have never trusted an administration less. If you think our government is ethical and honest and only out to help us then you are highly mistaken. We do not live in a Disney movie and it is the intelligent thing to stand up for our rights and demand that our government work for us and not against us. Our citizens have been freely giving away our civil liberties for the past few years in exchange for longer unemployment benefits and easy to obtain government assistance. Pardon me if I am not willing to hand over my right to own and carry a firearm. No one is saying that we should give every person in the country a gun. Also, incase you think outlawing military issued guns will end mass shootings, the people who want to kill lots of people will find ways to get these guns anyway. Despite your "official" citations your opinion and your statement could not have come off any less informed or ignorant. Gun control is not the issue here, wake up and get past your obvious delusions.

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  45. I know that you think I'm a crazy flaming liberal, but I'm actually not. I am a gun owner. I think this situation is really just entirely too emotionally charged at present. Everyone on the left acts like you want to see children killed if you disagree with them, and everyone on the right is acting like the left is trying to take away ALL guns. There isn't even a debate anymore. The discussion has devolved into anecdotes on each side. The trouble with anecdotes is that they are... well, anecdotes. The right is making a huge deal out of the Georgia mother, but the current discussion surrounds assault weapons, which is NOT what she used to protect herself.

    We have a huge problem in this country right now. We have created a culture that glorifies violence in a country where mental health care can be difficult to obtain when it is desired by the patient, and nearly impossible to get when the patient is unwilling to seek help. It's a very dangerous combination, and it's a tragedy. Arming everyone won't fix this problem, but neither will removing certain weapons, or even disarming everyone. Until everyone on both sides is willing to have a frank, calm discussion about practical ways to address these issues, things are only going to get worse.

    Now would be a good time to talk about the merits of the Affordable Care Act with respect the mental health, and what can be done to help those who are unwilling to seek help. Looking through gun death numbers recently, I noticed that in 2008 and 2009 something like 800 teenagers killed themselves in each of those years. This is a terrible, senseless tragedy, and it is occurring every day. We need to get beyond hyperbole and divisive language and agree to work together to end these needless deaths.

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    1. Thank you, such a perfectly phrased comment. Everyone on both sides needs to calm down and actually talk things out. Which...may never happen, unfortunately. Kudos!

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  46. UPDATE: Here is a brief article about the difficulty of committing a mentally ill person before a tragedy like Newtown happens: http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2013-01-16.html

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  47. I'm very late to this post, but I am pretty passionate about this issue. Also, I just discovered your very nice blog.

    Ordinarily, conservatives send me heading for the hills, but I am working on not being judgmental of people who have views different from mine. Plus, I really like your blog and I think that you have an interesting life, even if I don't agree with your political view points. Just, please, no Ann Coulter. :)

    I am a liberal who supports the rights in our constitution. I don't think that our forefathers would have agreed with the right to bare assault rifles, but there's no way for us to know for sure since none of us were there.

    I do believe that it does not make sense that there are fewer restrictions on owning and operating a gun than there are to own and operate a car. I think that if state governments require you to responsible car owners, you should also be required to be a responsible gun owner. Our current laws do not require gun owners to be responsible. I do not believe that all gun owners are irresponsible. I'm sure that you and your husband are very contentious. However, there are may people who are not. Just like I'm sure that you would never drive drunk, there are many people who will. In order to protect us all from the reckless few, we need tighter regulations for those who choose to own guns. It's very unfortunate that it come to this, but that's where we are.

    I do not, however, believe that all gun owners should get rid of their guns. That's just silly and it doesn't solve anything. But I think having a gun license, in addition to a registration for your gun is not too much to ask. I also think that guns should have titles like cars. If you want to sell your gun to someone else, there should be a title transfer. I should be able to find out every person who owned that gun. Again, these are requirements for car ownership and operation. I do not feel like my right to own a car is being impeded by the government because they require this from me before I drive a car. I don't feel like what I'm saying is radical, but I'm open to other opinions. Thanks for having the courage to share your opinion.

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