Nathan B. Oman: Good guys, bad guys and gun control

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  • Malachi Riverton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    We should point out that Connecticut has had one of the most restrictive sets of gun control laws in the United States since 1994. Do you see exactly how much it helped at Sandy Hook?

    We should also point out that contrary to media reporting absolutely none of the guns that were used in killing 26 people in Sandy Hook would qualify as an assault weapon. None. And every one of the weapons used were legally registered.

    Please consider that after the assault weapons ban that existed from 1994 to 2004 a commission studied the effectiveness of the ban and determined that it had absolutely no effect on crimes which used such weapons. None. Criminals simply don't care about such laws. That is why they are criminals.

    So we are left to ask what exactly is the best thing to do about violent crimes such as Sandy Hook. May I suggest that we begin in Hollywood by eliminating all the movies that glorify mass murders and violence? Or would that tread on yet another culture that has become more mainstream? And is there a connection? ...

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 11:41 a.m.

    Redshirt, I would have to question your gun ownership and "expertise" simply based on your reading comprehension.

    You might take note that Open Minded Mormon did not advocate banning a gun simply based on its expensive price tag. His question was, if someone can spend SO much on a weapon, why can't they also spend a fraction of that amount on a safe to secure them?

    In your subtle name calling at the author of the article, which makes me question how you handle situations, you use cars as a comparison point. With cars, we require training (driver's education), testing (DMV), and licensing (by the state through the DMV), and periodic renewals. We also require the owner to insure their vehicle. I'm not advocating banning all guns, but I certainly think that we would could put more training, testing, and licensing in place. If nothing else, this places better trained individuals in place to use a weapon when it is needed. And maybe a requirement of owning a gun should be some form of insurance (I.e. owning a gun safe).

  • durwood kirby South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 22, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Mr. Oman is spot on. Thanks, Desnews, for printing this one.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    I keep seeing comments about robbery. Please remember that if an unarmed burglar is stealing your stuff and not threatening your life, and you shoot him, that is murder.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Dec. 21, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    "These also are not the kind of people who start shooting innocent children, nor does their culture encourage such things."

    I totally agree with everything stated in this op-ed except that staement above. Unfortunatelky we ALL live in a culture that encourages such things. Look at the most popular video game sales. Look at the most profitable movies. Look at virtually everything about our culture and it equates to a culture where might is greater than right and the meek and peaceful are not only subject to the harm perpetrated by the bad guys but are typically ridiculed by the good guys as well. Until we return to a peace loving culture that values reasonable discourse over paranoia and false images of John Wayne heroes we will continue to see tragedies like Newtown occur more frequestly.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" but according to the FBI, most deaths caused by homicides where a gun was used involve hand guns, not rifles. See Washington Examiner article "If you want to end gun deaths, don’t start with rifles" Apparently handguns are used more tha rifles. In fact, according to FBI statistics, more murders are committed with knives OR hand and feet OR other non-gun weapons than are committed with rifles.

    Again, the statistics and data show that rifles are not the weapon of choice for crime. They are blamed the most, but not used the most.

    According to FBI statistics we should ban hand guns if you want to blame a gun. However, when you read "MILLER: Gun ownership up, crime down" in the Washington Times you find out that we need more people with CC permits and handguns because that helps to lower crime rates.

    You want to take away people guns, but don't want to take responsibility for the increased crime that comes with it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 21, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    Aurora, CO
    I am quite curious as to the mechanism of making it harder for criminals to obtain guns.


    Do you know what a gun "SAFE" is?

    Read the comments.

    Even the Police and Military keep then under lock and key 24/7/365.

    You guys all want your guns (aka, assault rifles are weapons, not guns)
    but don't want to take or accept ANY of the responsibilty they entail.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Dec. 20, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    I am quite curious as to the mechanism of making it harder for criminals to obtain guns. Please tell me how enacting another law on top of the existing laws would be more effective in restricting criminals from obtaining guns. If it is currently illegal for a felon to have a gun, and it is, then how is making another law prohibiting a felon from having a gun going to be more effective? Hint: they are criminals already because they broke the law, so breaking another one doesn't matter. Refer to Oregon and Connecticut, one stole the weapon, the other killed to get it. So? How is this going to work?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 20, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    Why don't you pose your questions to Justice Scalia? He believes the proper reading of the 2nd amendment would allow banning some firearms--such as those used for military purposes.

    How could a gun ban help? Yes, the U.S. is awash in guns. Perhaps we should ban/restrict certain kinds of ammo. Eventually, if firearm restrictions were inacted and stayed in place, certain guns would be more difficult to get, more expensive etc. Perhaps it wouldn't be so easy for a criminal to obtain one.

  • 5th grade Slc, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 5:28 p.m.

    I am a 5th grade teacher and a retired Deputy Sheriff. I am tired of the word (Assault Weapon) when ever their is a debate on guns. First of all in the two shootings the one in Conn and Oregon the shoot used hand guns. Not assault weapons, but the media wants to get the big ban for the story so they lead with the term Assault weapon.

    The Constitution is clear and that is why Assault weapons have not been banned as of yet. Guns kill, people kill. It doesn't matter the type of weapon. I just wished everyone would get off the ban assault weapons when someone gets killed.

    When the police were called they all showed up with Assault weapons ready to use. No they showed up with guns and were prepared to use them to stop the threat before them.

    As far as banning looked what happened when the Brady Bill went into effect, all everyone did is run down and buy the gun that they were going to ban and when it was all said and done the guns were not banned because the constitution said they could not ban them.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" tell me what the difference is between the Bushmaster XM-15 and a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch. Why should one be banned and the other remain legal? Just because you were trained doesn't make you an expert. I could buy a Cabela's 50th Anniversary Citori Shotgun by Browning for $2200 does that mean that it should bin included in your gun ban?

    Your closed minded attitude shows that you live a double standard. You want to ban a gun based on appearance or cost.

    Also tell us, how many people commit crimes with guns that they legally own and are permitted to carry?

    If it is all about being responsible, should we also require "breeding" permits for people to have children? I would hate for people to be irresponsible with children and for any crimes or accidents that the children may commit. What about vehicles, should we make it tougher for people to get a drivers license? Look at the number of deaths due to cars.

    You may have been in the military at one time, but it does not seem like you learned much while in training.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 20, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    I spent 12 years in the Military.
    He were all trained in using all sorts of "assault" weapons (they are not 'guns').
    We all passed extensive background checks.
    We all were "fit for duty" - including "mentally".

    Guess what? M-16 were all secured in safes under lock-and-key -- 24/7/365.

    MPs even had a SAFE in the chowhall at breakfast/lunch/diner.

    The problem is the irresponsible Joe-Q-Public citizen.
    Leave weapons (they are not guns) only accessible to those responsible enough to have them.

    Why do "citizens" have $1500-$2000 for a Bushmaster XM-15,
    but can't afford $399 for an 18 gun safe?

    They are called SAFEs for good reason!

    In the seerve, we were held personally responsible for any and all crimes or accidents for the weapons in our possession.

    That’s what the mindset and responsibilities he had as soldiers.

    Kind of goes the lines of all those yahoo's who insisted Pres. Obama was responsible for Fast and the Furious?
    Why the DOUBLE-Standard about-face now?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    To "Nathan B. Oman" since you are a smarty pants lawyer, explain to us why making it more difficult for law abiding citizens to buy guns keeps them out of the hands of criminals? Japan has the laws you are asking for, yet their criminals find ways to get guns.

    While you are out thinking, tell us how many violent crimes are committed by people who legally purchase and use their weapons.

    To "4601" what good is a sports car that can go 150 mph? It has no purpose other than driving fast. Should we ban cars that go more than 75 mph from everybody except for race car drivers driving on a track?

    Why can't citizens have something like a semi-automatic rifle (Assault rifle is a meaningless term because it is justa semi-automatic rifle) that they can go and shot targets or varmits for fun?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    No, Grundle. I didn't.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Re: "Are there any other responsible gun owners out there willing to do their part to reduce gun violence in America?"

    Millions of us.

    We and our kids/grandkids are safe with and around our guns, but they are reasonably available to protect our families in our homes. We are trained and ready to use them as protective tools -- many, like myself, during long military or police service. We often carry them with us [concealed, of course] into places where, though we hope it will never be required, but where we could protect ourselves -- and you -- in the face of a monstrous evil like Newtown.

    We ask no thanks or permission, but we do wonder at the curious motivation of one so personally affected by monstrous evil, who would so willingly surrender to it and invite others to do the same.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 9:14 a.m.


    "Good guys and bad guys aside, no gun control as a policy is insane."

    Fortunately for us, that condition does not exist.

    Re:One Old Man

    "DO NOT denigrate their courage with a post like yours."

    You missed the point.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    Lledrav, when you are waiting for the fire department or police to arrive, time slows down dramatically.

    But dispatch records in Connecticut indicate the first officers entered the building less than five minutes after the call was received.

    The entire shooting incident took less than ten minutes -- allowing time for someone to make the initial call.

    Someone firing and semi-automatic weapon can get off more than one shot per second.

    The officers who first entered that school knew full well what they were up against. DO NOT denigrate their courage with a post like yours.

  • JKR Holladay, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:59 p.m.

    Today I took care of a man shot 4 times in a carjacking and robbery in Texas. His life is forever changed. I have helped take care of one survivor from the Trolley square shootings. Both these men are confined to a wheelchair and have terrible, chronic medical complications from their injuries.

    I am also a gun owner. All 3 of my guns are locked tightly in a steel cabinet. They won't protect me in the event of a home invasion, but I recognize that they are far more likely to be used in a homicide or suicide within my home. Locking up my guns is part of protecting my family. My children don't have access to the guns. In fact, as a responsible gun owner, I am willing to follow the European lead, and would be willing to lock these guns up at a shooting range. Are there any other responsible gun owners out there willing to do their part to reduce gun violence in America?

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    Assault rifles are for, well, assaulting. Good for our military, but with no civilian purpose. You collect them? The next thing you'll tell me is that my mustard gas collection is a danger to the public.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:51 p.m.

    A gun is the manifestation of the designer's and manufacturer's intent for it's use. So I can say a gun does kill and still be referring to it's designed purpose and it's creators.

    After all, if a loaded guns fall off a table and kills the owner who killed him? The gun of course. In a court someone may sue the manufacturer for a faulty trigger design in such a case.

    Buy all the guns you want. If your gun is used in a crime because you didn't secure it you better hope I'm not on the jury.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:36 p.m.

    Some of you talk like the 2nd amendment was written by God himself. It wasn't, and it has clearly been made obsolete by time and technology. Even the term "militia" is outdated. The 2nd amendment needs to repealed and replaced with language to protect legitimate uses of guns by law abiding sane citizens while giving Congress the power to reasonably prevent weapons designed for military and police use from being sold and used by the general public. Those that oppose this badly needed public reform will have innocent blood on their hands.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:34 p.m.

    @ Hutterite, We have all seen Obama's gun control policy, its called fast and furious and it is very defiantly insane, including his executive order cover-up.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    Good guys and bad guys aside, no gun control as a policy is insane.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 5:50 p.m.

    When are we as a society, our politicians and our policy makers going to have the courage and integrity to address the real questions at hand instead of just treating symptoms.

    1. Why do we have so many who do not honor and uphold the rule of law ie it is only wrong if you get caught?

    2. Why do so many have so little regard for human life?

    3. Why are so many of our children and young adults without a properly developed conscience and empathy for their fellow men?

    4. Why do so many have a sense of entitlement and a lack of respect for being as self reliant as possible?

    5. Why do so many people have children and put less thought or preparation into bringing a child into the world than they would getting a new pet?

    6. Why do children and young adults value and seek notoriety and 15 minutes of fame (even if is evil) above being respected and respecting others?

    It is time to treat the disease not the symptoms.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    Re: "Quite discouraging that gun owners' response to the shooting of children is 'Nothing we can do about it. That's the way life is. Accept it.'"

    No gun owner I know suggests that.

    On the other hand, ALL liberal "response" to this tragedy indeed, DOES amount to a suggestion we accept insufferable violence as the new normal.

    Literally NOTHING they are suggesting will make our kids the slightest bit safer.

    The only measures that have a chance of actually increasing safety involve training willing teachers and staff and permitting them to carry the tools -- guns -- necessary to actually respond to crazies and criminals. And, these measures, in addition to providing a meaningful response, would also present a powerful deterrent to the cowards considering monstrous evil.

    EVERY measure being suggested by liberals will have only one effect -- increasing the size of the defenseless victim pool currently being provided, by law, to the criminals/crazies.

    Discouraging, indeed.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    patriot said:
    As a side note the day after the Connecticut shooting I signed up for NRA membership and bought a .40cal semi-auto.
    Can you say knee jerk reaction? of course not.

    "I sure hope I can restrain myself from shooting up a Wallmart after I get my gun and permit after all it's the gun that kills not the person. Right? "

    No it's the person who sells the gun remember what you've been saying for months about the fast and the furious, and how Obama Killed a Border patrol Agent, probably not as your completely inconsistant.
    Fear and Paranoid people rushing out to buy yet more guns. Really pretty sad as moderate pointed out.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Re: "Let's make it more difficult for the bad guys to get guns."

    If that's what we were talking about, most gun nuts would be right there beside you.

    Unfortunately, that's not liberals' real aim.

    The writer admits as much when he says, "I am not talking . . . about laws banning . . . handguns. I am talking about . . . mak[ing] it harder for the bad guys to buy large-magazine, semi-automatic assault weapons at gun shows."

    He then goes on to note, however, "I honestly don't know if such laws would have prevented the killings in Connecticut."

    They certainly would NOT. The size or shape of the gun reduces the evil not a whit.

    But, it WOULD bring us closer to the ultimate liberal goal of banning guns.

    We can NEVER trust liberals to say what they actually mean. This is just the latest in a series of disingenuous liberal nostrums intended to lull those they consider ignorant hayseeds into accepting an innocent-sounding, absolutely worthless, incremental step toward their ultimate goal.

    Now's the time to stop them.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    ban all guns and all alcohol!! No more gun related deaths and no more alcohol related deaths. Right?? Just ask Bob Costus. Yes prohibition worked really well after all we wouldn't have moon - shiners today were it not for prohibition! For heaven sake look at Chicago for a wonderful success story of gun banning. Violent gun crime has all but disappeared in Chicago now...right? And those silly folks in Switzerland who thought they could reduce violent crime just by arming and training their citizens. How dumb is that. Liberals are so smart.

    As a side note the day after the Connecticut shooting I signed up for NRA membership and bought a .40cal semi-auto. My wife and I are now set to take concealed weapon training. I sure hope I can restrain myself from shooting up a Wallmart after I get my gun and permit after all it's the gun that kills not the person. Right?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 2:17 p.m.

    Quite discouraging that gun owners' response to the shooting of children is "Nothing we can do about it. That's the way life is. Accept it."

    Dec. 19, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    The author paints American gun owners as "frightening and dangerous". At first, he avers that this is a perception by non-gun owners. But afterward, he states it as given.

    As to the NRA, it is not a radical organization, unless one believes that the adamant protection of a fundamental right that many wish to eviscerate is "radical".

    The plain fact is that keeping and bearing arms is a constituttionally-protected natural right.

    Heller held that the people have an individual fundamental right to keep and bear arms for lawful purposes not dependent upon militia service, that holding has been incorporated to the states, and Justice Scalia (in the Heller holding) clarified what the U.S. v. Miller (1939) decision actually said (small arms "in common use" that "bear[s] some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia" enjoy constitutional protection).

    So let's just stop all the nonsense. The current media hype and statist pronouncments of the administration do not alter the truth.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 19, 2012 11:56 a.m.

    Conservative Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in Heller v DC:
    "The Second Amendment right is not unlimited. We do not cast doubt on concealed-weapons prohibitions...Also, the sorts of weapons protected are the sorts of small arms that were lawfully possessed at home at the time of the Second Amendment’s ratification, not those most useful in military service today, so “M-16 rifles and the like” may be banned."

    The Gun Control Act of 1968 requires anyone engaged in the business of selling guns to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and keep a record of their sales. However, this law does not cover all gun sellers. If a supplier is selling from his or her private collection and the principal objective is not to make a profit, the seller is not "engaged in the business" and is not required to have a license. Because they are unlicensed, these sellers are not required to keep records of sales and are not required to perform background checks on potential buyers. Prohibited purchasers can avoid required background checks by seeking out these unlicensed sellers at gun shows.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 19, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I wonder what Nancy Lanza would be saying today about her hobby (and introducing Adam to it) if she had not been the first victim.

    Utah ranks #8 nationally for most suicides and #21 (highest-lowest) for number of deaths per 100,000 by firearms.

    Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that suicide rates among children, women and men of all ages are higher in states where more households have guns. They controlled for measures of poverty, urbanization, unemployment, drug and alcohol dependence and abuse, and mental illness. The study appeared in the April 2007 issue of The Journal of Trauma. Among persons less than 30 years old, suicide is one of the top three causes of death.

    More than 90% of all suicidal acts by firearm are fatal. By comparison, individuals who use drugs to attempt suicide, which constitute 75% of all attempts, die in the attempt less than 3% of the time.

  • Lledrav West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    I was sickened and infuriated again last night as I watched an interview with a teacher at the Sandy Hook school. She said she huddled with her class and just listened to the spaced and steady "pops" continue for 20 minutes or more. There is no way it took 20 minutes to get a cop to the school! When did the first responders arrive? No one wants to criticize the police response but what were they doing? Crouched outside the doors till the shooting stopped like they did at Columbine? “Instead of going into the school and searching for Harris and Klebold, they set up a perimeter and waited "for the assault to end." William Erickson, chairman of the Columbine Review Commission. If only there had been an armed teacher at Sandy Hook I think at least some lives would have been saved. In Israel every teacher is armed. They would not have sat and listened to children being murdered for 20 minutes.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    The only arguement I have with this op-ed is that you can't buy a fully automatic rifle at a gun show unless you have the proper Federal Class III gun license. Or anywhere else for that matter.

  • common twit Vernal, UT
    Dec. 19, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    First of all, let me explain my political views. I classify myself as an independent. I have more liberal views than conservative views. However, I am a staunch defender of the second amendment. Just yesterday I read a headline in one of the liberal outlets. It read, Obama faces obstacle to gun control. The article did not mention it but the main obstacle is the constitution. I am getting a little tired of politicians ignoring the constitution.
    The fact is that we already have laws prohibiting criminals from buying guns legally. Gun shows have to follow those same laws. Private citizens do not have to follow those laws. And I, for one, do not need the government intruding more on private citizens.
    I shed tears for the children in Conn. It was an awful thing. Guns were the least of the issues involved in this. Divorce, mental illness violent video games all played a more significant role.

  • jackburton gary, IN
    Dec. 19, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    Google "Assault Weapons: Evil Black Rifles (or perhaps not)" to find out virtually everything the prof thinks he knows about guns is wrong. And yet HE thinks he is qualified to tell others how to run their lives. This is the type of "common sense" that those with no sense seem to want to influence the debate.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Dr. Oman,

    One point of correction. Fully automatic weapons are not easily purchased and were not part of the recent tragedy.

    Fully automatic means pull the trigger and the weapon keeps firing until there is no more ammunition. Semi-automatic means pull the trigger and the weapon fires once and reloads itself.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    @ Screwdriver. I need guns because there are people in America who do not obey our laws against murder, rape, robbery nor they obey any future laws banning guns. A gun in my hand is better than a cop on the phone for me and my family! The government can not, will not protect you either! I hope this helps you! Blaming guns for crimes is about as logical and blaming spoons for obesity.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 19, 2012 3:28 a.m.

    The American gun culture in the last few years has been to buy more guns and ammo because they are preparing to fight the government.

    These are the supposed mentally stable of the gun aficionados so when you throw in a little mental instability what did you expect to get?