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Gun control: New York does it better

Jared Loughner Could the Tucson shooting rampage been avoided had Arizona made it harder for would-be gun owners to get a pistol permit? Maybe. Robert Spitzer, political scientist and author of "The Politics of Gun Control," joined Terry Gross for Thursday's episode of NPR's "Fresh Air" to explain.

"Mental health information is gathered on a state-by-state basis, and state practices vary widely. So in the state of Arizona, [accused killer] Jared Loughner didn't need to get a permit at all to get a handgun, and the only real requirement he had to fulfill was the federal requirement of a background check through the federal provision enacted as the Brady Law back in 1993. His name was not already on a list in the federal data bank, so his name was not rejected for the handgun purchase he made last November. Even though it was clear that he had mental problems, nobody in his family or the college where he has been attending had actually taken formal steps, nor the local police, to actually get a judge to actually say, 'This man is mentally incompetent and should undergo treatment.'"

Now, if Loughner lived in New York, there's a very good chance he wouldn't have been able buy a gun, legally at least. Spitzer continued:

"I would also make the comparison between a state like Arizona and a state like New York state. In New York state, when citizens apply for a pistol permit in order to then purchase a handgun legally, the state of New York asks for quite a bit more information. They ask for four character references, and the permit applicant needs to go before a local judge and say, 'This is why I would like to have a handgun,' before they can get the OK to do it. And in that more lengthy and detailed process, including the process of interviewing and consulting with character references; had Mr. Loughner lived in New York state, it's abundantly clear he would not have been able to get a permit."

That certainly seems like a more responsible approach. One flaw, however, is that if you make it too hard for people to get a gun, they may just take their exasperated selves to the black market, where it's not only easy to buy a weapon, but it's possible to have the barrel of the gun cut up (like one might take a razor blade to their fingertips) so that the weapon and the bullets become untraceable. Or they could just buy a used gun at a gun show.

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-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Arizona massacre suspect Jared Lee Loughner. Credit: HO / AFP/Getty Images

 

Comments () | Archives (25)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Duane Seigler

http://arizonashootingupdates.blogspot.com/

Pizzedoff

"...Could the Tucson shooting rampage been avoided had Arizona..."
"...MAYBE"! MAYBE, MAYBE, MAYBE, MAYBE... ad nausea...
That's the best you NWO, liberal communist loving drones ever come up with to fester your onward march to a better totaliarian world. Nothing but empty EMO whiney distorted logic.
Look around you fem morons, planet Earth is not exactly a polite whistle stop in karmic evolution.
Just "MAYBE"... you sopping rags should read John R. Lott, Jr's, "More Guns, Less Crime Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws"!
Tell you what; HERE'S A COPY FOR A FREE READ/DOWNLOAD so you have no excuse to continue being a loser drone for the NWO. Get it here: http://rapidshare.com/files/445046415/More_Guns__Less_Crime__3rd_Edition_0226493660.pdf
When you're finished feeding your logic circuits, buy several gift copies for your equally EMO brainwashed friends.
"...An armed society, is a POLITE society".

jimg9x21

Everyone can play “what if” but the fact remains that Arizona has the same laws as New York and the same incentive to report the mentally unstable. The people in New York are no better or worse than those in Arizona when it comes to identifying these people and the chances that this shooter would have been denied a gun are no better or worse in New York than in Arizona. I would also bring to your attention that the FBI’s NICS system has had almost no effect on those trying to buy a gun illegally. For the years 2002 and 2003 the FBI processed 17,000,000 requests. Only 120,000 (.7%) applications were rejected (mostly for clerical mistakes or identity confusion). Of this number only 154 (.13%) were prosecuted with just 10 (6%) convictions. Does that make you feel safer?

Anonymous

If they had the same requirements to Speak (a First amendment right) the media might not be so liberal. Image asking a journalist for four character references, and the permit to write applicant needs to go before a local judge and say, 'This is why I would like to write about this topic,' before they can get the OK to do it. And in that more lengthy and detailed process, including the process of interviewing and consulting with character references. Imagine if the only people who could publicly speak were already cleared by peers and character witnesses to actually have detailed knowledge about their topics with proof about what they said. Imagine if those self appointed Climate Change "experts" didn't stifle opposing opinion and fabricate data, and had to actually defend their views BEFORE they were published. I think the LA Times and the New York Time would be out of business. You should be granted a gun unless someone objects. It's your right. The parents of Loughner should have been responsible for reporting him UPFRONT, not as part of a background check. His record, already available to the government, should have triggered his background check to deny him. He was cleared because the government is completely disorganized and their records are not linked. To have to go through the process of PROVING you're entitled to your rights like in New York is a burden on citizens.

John Williams

Yes, New York does deny peoples rights better than Arizona.

How on Earth can one argue that providing four character references to exercise a right is the right way to govern a state?

What about voting? Does one need to submit a list of agreeing neighbors in order to cast a ballot?

The State of New York is part of the United States. As such, it surrendered the power to deny anyone the right to keep or bear arms. The law in this country forbids anyone from INFRINGING upon that right. Apparently, in New York State, the law is read to say that one shall not DENY anyone the right to keep or bear arms. But, we can infringe all we want.

But, the law means what it says, and it says, "do not infringe".

Now, a mentally incompetent person can be denied all rights on judgment by a court; so, one might argue that Loughner should have failed a background check on that account. But, from news reports, he was not insane and planned the shooting; so, it isn't clear that any kind of "gun control" would have stopped him from stealing guns from a cop car or from a relative.

Killings, by cellphoning driver, shooter, or careless airplane mechanic always are going to occur, not matter how any law is written. So, if we are going to use legislation to try to guarantee total safety and eternal life, at least let's write legislation which conforms to the supreme law of the land and does not infringe upon the rights of others illegally.

Captain America

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_cities_by_crime_rate

Here are the facts.

Rrrreally?

Dude was on a mission. Nothing would have stopped him from trying to accomplish it. If he couldn't get a gun, he would've tried to stab her, now ban knives. Maybe he would've tried to beat her with a bat...time to ban baseball. Run her over in....gasp....a Car...better ban cars! Get real people, it wasn't the gun, the ammo, the laws, or anything else but a CRIMINAL on a mission that did this!

Joseph V. Lieu

Mexico has 100% total gun control and look at the results yourself. No need for lab test or theory. 100% gun control = 100% more crime. More than 10,000 dead in a year even though they have military and police patrolling the street. Civilians there couldn't get involved even if they wanted to.

Jim Kendall

WHY does anyone need a gun?
WHAT are they AFRAID of?
If they're that INSECURE,
maybe they shouldn't be armed.

Bernardg

Are you serious and these are the professionals....
please tell me what was legal about what he did? If it was in his mind to do it he would have easily made an ilegal gun purchase elsewhere. New york takes pride in its gun control but in the first 11 weeks of 2010 saw 103 murders up 20% and that was just the first 11 weeks of the year. For the first time in my life I will VOTE REPUBLICAN ....

glenn grab

the author has a premise....this wouldn't have happened in New York...then in the last paragraph he states that it could have just as easily happened there and tells us how...typical LATIMES misleading headline...

Sean Chen

So if one person abuses his SUV by running somebody over, everyone should be suspect in buying an SUV?

This moron's homicidal actions should not affect my ability to protect my family.

The criminals will ALWAYS have/get/carry guns!

Passing more laws won't change that. Criminals by definition do not follow the law.

Gun control works...

to disarm the victims for criminals

Sean Chen

+1 as posted by Joseph L.

Mexico has 100% total gun control and look at the results yourself. No need for lab test or theory. 100% gun control = 100% more crime. More than 10,000 dead in a year even though they have military and police patrolling the street. Civilians there couldn't get involved even if they wanted to.

Sean Chen

In response to Jim K.:
WHY does anyone need a gun?
WHAT are they AFRAID of?
If they're that INSECURE,
maybe they shouldn't be armed.


Tell that to the gangbangers, robbers, rapists, and drug dealers! Gun owners are not insecure, just realistic.

Why do you have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and an escape plan for a fire in your home? When was the last time you had a major fire that risked the lives of your family in your home?

Why are you so insecure that you feel it would be prudent to be prepared for such an emergency?

BECAUSE THE LIVES OF YOUR LOVED ONES DEPENDS ON IT.

A gun is a fire extinguisher for a specific type of fire. When the criminal is armed and you are not, you may have to change your title from

FAMILY to VICTIMS to DECEASED

Female victims are subject to being raped as well. Are you planning watching as it happens? Do you KNOW you'll be able to TALK your way out of it and REASON with CRIMINALS?

I change the batteries in my smoke detectors once a year. We practice our fire drill twice a year. Extinguishers are replaced as required. Hasn't been a fire in over a few decades. Doesn't mean I'm going to assume that tomorrow there will be less of a chance of a fire than there was today or yesterday.

Does calling people INSECURE for being prepared really work?

Were you the kid in school that made fun of other kids that bothered to do their homework and study for their tests?

jeff adamson

You dont need a "pistol permit" to buy a gun in Arizona. There are only a few states in America where you need a permission slip from the government to exercise that civil right.

Gunalizer

Yes, New York certainly does it better. If the end result that's wanted is a police state. Kim Jong Il certainly approves. Needing character references to exercise a constitutional rights is not even legal according to our incorporated individual right to keep and bear arms. I predict a winning lawsuit.

nunya

Let's for a second ignore the fact that we are talking about guns and think about what you are asking for. You are suggesting that schools should be able to ask a judge to order people in for psychological evaluation, am I right? What school can and what school can't? Do you have a list of reasons the school can ask for this or should we go with "gut feeling" as a valid reason for this legal assault on someone? What if a teacher or school administrator just doesn't like this person, is it ok to report them? What if their parents are Christian? or Muslim? or "pro-choice"? I think all brown-eyed people are crazy, can I report everyone based on that?

I do not particularly like the ACLU but I would definitely support them when they went to court over any ill-advised legislation such as you suggest.

In the Tuscon case the police were contacted five different times about his threats of violence, and they chose to ignore it, saying they didn't want to make the situation worse. How would adding more laws correct that? More laws wouldn't, getting a Sheriff in office that is more concerned with law and order than progressive social ideals would fix it.

Saturn

I think people with "logic" like poster "Rrrreally?" should be banned.. Too bad that's not possible. Rrreally reasons that if he couldn't get a gun, then he'd get a knife or bat. What this person fails to realise is that 22 people wouldn't have been shot if he had a base ball bat or knife. He would have gotten Giffords, but she might have had time to run from her stab wounds while her helpers tried to stop him with his knife or bat etc. It's obvious that having it be a powerful gun, made it a much worse situation. The reason the country, and our world isn't doing that well, is due to clouded thinking like this person has. But maybe we should just give everyone free guns, because that would solve the problem. Oh, not really... -- I vote for more intellegient, well thought out, tests that a would be gun owner must go through. That statistically reduces the numbers.

B.G.

"I think people with "logic" like poster "Rrrreally?" should be banned.. Too bad that's not possible. Rrreally reasons that if he couldn't get a gun, then he'd get a knife or bat. What this person fails to realise is that 22 people wouldn't have been shot if he had a base ball bat or knife. He would have gotten Giffords, but she might have had time to run from her stab wounds while her helpers tried to stop him with his knife or bat etc. It's obvious that having it be a powerful gun, made it a much worse situation.
*****************
Erm, Saturn...
Loughner could also have used a BOMB, which I predict will become the weapon of choice for mass murder should your gun-free utopia come to pass. They work great in Iraq, according to all reports.
Hell of a bigger body count potential than a gun, last I checked. (And to ban bombs, you'll have to figure out a way to ban bird poop, among other things; lotsa luck with that one!)

Dan

It is no one elses business if I want to own a gun. Why do I need to involve other people into my private reasons for owning a gun. Having to have four character references, and asking for a permit applicantion before a local judge and say, 'This is why I would like to have a handgun,' before I purchase and gun. It is totally gun control in a around about way and agains't the 1 amendment. . And adding the more lengthy and detailed process, including the process of interviewing and consulting with character references is evasion of privacy. When will you gun control people learn that crimanils will get guns no matter how hard you make it for law abiding people and that laws need to be tougher on crimanils using guns. New York state has always had gun control and this is thier way around the Supreme Court ruleing. Hopefully someone will pick up the ball and file a law suit for thier right to bear arms being infringed.

gozar

Funny, he couldn't get a gun legally in NY but it about 5 minutes he could get an one illegally. In NYC only criminals are armed.

gozar

Funny, he couldn't get a gun legally in NY but it about 5 minutes he could get an one illegally. In NYC only criminals are armed.

Tim Bowman

I would also like to make a comparison of crime rates in New York and Arizona. What New York is doing is exactly what the architects of the Second Amendment feared: trying to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns.

FHA quality control

I go for gun control. Most of the people who have guns are more aggressive because they for them they are safe for they have guns for their protection. They are prone to murder. So it's better to control this.

loan compliance

There's always Good and Bad reason why people really needs/wants a Gun.Does have or doesn't have a permit of having a gun is always an issue.
By the way, lets focus first about the word GUN...actually the gun help us but in self-defense only.We can save the life of someone when we are trying to protect their life from the DEVIL one by using a gun...That's the good reason
Bad reason there is...If a person has a gun and he can't control himself, he can killed directly and there is a tendency that he will abused because he has a GUN...
Actually I would prefer of having a permit first if we wanted to have a gun like the New York's country did...


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