What to do about gun violence in Oregon and beyond
11:49
The Oregonian: 
Welcome to our live chat. Erik and Susan will join us at noon, but you can go ahead and submit questions and comments now. Once we get started, there will be a short delay between submission of your comments and their arrival in the chat.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 11:49 The Oregonian
11:51
Can gun violence be significantly lessened through legislation?
Yes
 ( 75% )
No
 ( 25% )

Wednesday December 19, 2012 11:51 
11:58
Erik Lukens: 
Hello, and thanks for joining our chat. Just to get things rolling, we do intend to write about gun control proposals on Sunday, and one idea we support is Sen. Ginny Burdick's proposal to ban large-capacity magazines. As always, please keep the discussion civil.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 11:58 Erik Lukens
11:59
Erik Lukens: 
We're having some technical problems. We'll take questions momentarily.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 11:59 Erik Lukens
12:00
Erik Lukens: 
Amost there.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:00 Erik Lukens
12:01
Erik Lukens: 
JohnB asks how large capacity magazines are defined. The working definition is anything that holds more than 10 rounds.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:01 Erik Lukens
12:01
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
After the previous assault weapons ban the CDC, FBI and other agencies study the effect of the ban. All found that the ban had no noticable down tick in gun violence. What makes anyone think itnwould be different this time?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:01 Guest
12:01
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: I am not confident that it would reduce gun violence ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:01 Erik Lukens
12:01
[Comment From bailiebailie: ] 
It is too late to make meaningful changes in gun control laws. The weapons are spread throughout the U.S. We have created a culture that can't be reeled in. It is very similar to the alcohol industry that our society considers deaths and problems as collateral damage. Can we change our culture?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:01 bailie
12:02
Erik Lukens: 
However, I think limiting magazines to 10 rounds would at least force people in mass shootings to pause to reload. A small but meaningful change.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:02 Erik Lukens
12:02
Susan Nielsen: 
Bailie -- I'm not sure if it's ever too late to study responsible legislation and see if something might be both constitutional and effective.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:02 Susan Nielsen
12:02
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
how is the media defining "large capacity"?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:02 JohnB
12:03
Erik Lukens: 
JohnB: large capacity is anything holding more than 10 rounds, according to most definitions.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:03 Erik Lukens
12:03
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
not really. CT has a AWB law..which was in place and the rifle met that requirement...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:03 JohnB
12:03
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
better off with laws for reporting loss, requiring locks or locked storage, etc
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:03 JohnB
12:03
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
some talk of total ban and turn-in..will never work...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:03 JohnB
12:04
Erik Lukens: 
JohnB: We have not said we'd support a ban on so-called assault weapons, but we do support a ban on big magazines.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:04 Erik Lukens
12:04
[Comment From NomoregunzNomoregunz: ] 
I'm curious how many owners of assault weapons truly consider them an essential part of their personal security and can justify their need for them over than a conventional pistol or rifle.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:04 Nomoregunz
12:04
[Comment From bailiebailie: ] 
Limiting the size of magazines? What good would that do with millions of large capacity magazines already available?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:04 bailie
12:04
Erik Lukens: 
bailie: Re. what good would ban on big magazines do? I think it's important to be honest ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:04 Erik Lukens
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
up front about effectiveness of such policies. In this case, it wouldn't do much - if any - good for some time. ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
The expired federal assault weapons ban exempted pre-1994 magazines, and there were a lot of these around. However ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:05
Erik Lukens: 
bans on manufacture that stick around long enough can have an effect on the supply eventually, I'm sure.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:05 Erik Lukens
12:06
Susan Nielsen: 
Hi Nomoregunsz -- It's hard to make any generalizations about gun owners and why they buy what they buy. This is another reason why it's very difficult to design legislation that is fair, effective, comprehensive and constitutional.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:06 Susan Nielsen
12:06
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
The debate is important but also seems pointless. The Second Amendment isn’t going away, nor is opposition to gun control. Americans love guns and that’s not going to change no matter what. Disagree?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:06 Guest
12:07
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: I don't consider debates pointless, though I do agree that the second amendment isn't going anywhere. I think if debates can lead to meaningful (if necessarily limited) restrictive policies can be useful.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 Erik Lukens
12:07
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
Gunz..yes, they are a vital tool in some areas (not for personal defense) such as on a large ranch to protect against predators
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 JohnB
12:07
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
200+ million guns in US...good luck trying to get them all...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 JohnB
12:07
[Comment From DominicDominic: ] 
Why should we continue to focus on the sysptoms of a problem instead of the underlying cause. A good doctor doesnt just give meds to mask the symptoms he finds out what is underlying and works to fix it...why not the same approach?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 Dominic
12:07
Susan Nielsen: 
In terms of what gun owners "should" be able to possess, it's useful to look at what the Supreme Court's Heller decision said ....
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 Susan Nielsen
12:07
Susan Nielsen: 
... In the Heller case, the court ruled in favor of the individual right to possess a firearm, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. The court also held (and I'm quoting from the syllabus here): " Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those 'in common use at the time' finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons." Pp. 54–56. ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 Susan Nielsen
12:07
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
I found Mapes' piece this morning on Australia's experience with gun law reform interesting. I too wonder if the United States has a prayer of changing our culture. How would we contain or get back all of those semi-automatic weapons that people now legally own?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:07 Guest
12:08
Susan Nielsen: 
... I think the Heller ruling is very useful, because it helps explain both why 1) the govt shouldn't jerk law-abiding citizens around when it comes to owning some traditional means of self-protection and 2) the govt can, in fact, regulate and limit your right to own hard-core weaponry, including the M-16 and its civilian equivalents.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:08 Susan Nielsen
12:08
Erik Lukens: 
Guest: Re. Australia. Frankly, I don't think that we should try to recover or ban semiautomatic weaponse a la Australia. I think a ban on big magazines ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:08 Erik Lukens
12:09
Erik Lukens: 
would limit the functionality of semiautomatic weapons, regardless of whether they're classified as assault weapons or something else.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:09 Erik Lukens
12:09
[Comment From bailiebailie: ] 
My point is that these controls should have taken place decades ago. This is typical of our government action. Always too little, too late. Not any differently than PERS. All that is left is grandstanding by politicians.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:09 bailie
12:09
[Comment From JohnBJohnB: ] 
10 years ago, Oregon basically started to de-fund mental health care and turn it to counties and cities to handle. hundreds were turned out from state facilities into local communities
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:09 JohnB
12:09
Susan Nielsen: 
Dominiz -- you raise a good point. Here's a useful remark about guns and violence by the NYT columnist David Brooks: "I think it is because we have a mobile, spread out, atomized society, where people with mental illnesses can fester and turn murderous. It’s notable that as murder rates have plummeted, the rate of rampage killings has skyrocketed. That’s not about gun control or any sociological trend. That’s about mental illness, the lust for media coverage among the ill and copycat behavior."
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:09 Susan Nielsen
12:10
Erik Lukens: 
JohnB re mental health care. Talking about access to mental health care is a good idea.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:10 Erik Lukens
12:10
[Comment From DominicDominic: ] 
So lets follow your process. We ban big mags and things dont stop or slow down. The gun control lobby will want more steps.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:10 Dominic
12:10
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Will Oregon’s proposed gun bans stand up to court challenges? Didn’t Chicago’s gun ban get struck down by the courts?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:10 Guest
12:10
Erik Lukens: 
Dominic re. our process: I think each proposal to restrict gun access further ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:10 Erik Lukens
12:11
Erik Lukens: 
should be considered and either adopted or rejected on its own merits. Saying "yes" ...
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:11 Erik Lukens
12:11
Erik Lukens: 
to a ban on big magazines doesn't mean you have to say "yes" to the next proposal that comes along if it's a bad idea.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:11 Erik Lukens
12:11
[Comment From bailiebailie: ] 
Erik, I appreciate the intentions of limiting magazine size, but there are literally millions of them easily available. It is nothing but symbolic.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:11 bailie
12:11
Susan Nielsen: 
Hi Guest -- I think the Supreme Court made clear that people have an individual right to possess guns in their home for traditional self-protection. The court also said it was OK for the government to place limits on the Second Amendment right, especially regarding 'dangerous and unusual weapons"......
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:11 Susan Nielsen
12:12
Erik Lukens: 
Bailie re. symbolic: I think it's a bit more than symbolic, though it won't have any effect in the short term. Your skepticism is appropriate.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:12 Erik Lukens
12:12
Susan Nielsen: 
.... but the court left open for another day many questions about the application of the Heller decision. The lower courts are duking it out.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:12 Susan Nielsen
12:12
[Comment From NomoregunzNomoregunz: ] 
I also think the context of the Second Amendment needs to be considered. There were no machine guns at that time, and there was no organized police or national guard organization. Citizenry was an essential part of national defense. Today, we have several branches of the armed forces and police protection.
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:12 Nomoregunz
12:13
[Comment From Thad StevensThad Stevens: ] 
How about civil and/or criminal liability for gun owners who fail to secure guns. Both of the recent mass shootings involved "stolen" guns (not to mention the 11 year old kid in SE portland and hundreds of kids' accidental shootings). If there were some consequences to failing to secure weapons, maybe guns would stay in the hands of "responsible" gun owners?
Wednesday December 19, 2012 12:13 Thad Stevens
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