Will something be done?

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As in past mass shootings, elected officials across the nation take to the airways demanding “we do something.” Once again, our President utters the same cry to Congress: “do something”. But our representatives typically fail to even mention the estimated 100 million guns illegally acquired in circulation or the estimated 300 million legally acquired. Even an immediate end to gun sales would leave the U.S. with a larger civilian arsenal than all western nations tougher.

Yet we often hear demands for better background checks. Or more monies for mental health programs. But no suggestions to reducing the astonishing large 400 million weapons in circulation throughout the nation. Indeed, our representatives even have difficulty over whether illegal ownership ought warrant incarceration.

Seems our elected representatives expressing their outrage really have no detailed plans on how to end gun homicides in our nation. Not much discussion about the 10,000 annual gun homicides in our major cities. Nor is there much discussion on how to substantially reduce the annual 30,000 auto death toll. Or even the annual 100,000 death toll from opioids including Fetanyl crossing the southern border. Or reducing the large flows of illegal weapons from Mexico. If all lives are equal why don’t we care about violent ends?

Even if we offered serious incentives for the 300 million legally owned guns in circulation to be turned in, we’d still have 100 million illegally owned weapons in circulation. That’s clearly an untenable situation. An America where gun ownership isn’t legally possible beset with 100 million illegally owned weapons is a clear non-starter.

Clearly the “big elephant” in the gun control problem is how to remove the 100 million illegally owned weapons from circulation. Many are owned by otherwise law-abiding citizens living in major cities beset by sharply rising violent crime and dispirited police forces subject to “defunding.” Possibly a draconian solution of $500 or even $1000 buybacks and mandatory serious prison sentences for illegal possession might help. But for a nation where tens of millions go hunting, it’s hard to imagine America is willing to give up its guns.

Truth be told America is in a unique position with respect to guns and occasional mass shootings. No other western nation matches or even comes close to our lethality from firearms. Some have suggested we’re also a standout when it comes to violent movies, TV, websites, social media, etc.

And those familiar with our complex history of both internal and external wars well understand our history of violence. Together with widespread gun ownership we have a uniquely American major league gun violence problem. And our elected leaders haven’t even begun to seriously talk amongst themselves or with the public on how to help resolve our gun violence issues. Nor is the public seemingly impressed by figures suggesting we’ve killed more of our own citizens by gun violence than those who have given their lives to preserve our freedoms fighting for our liberties here and abroad.

If we’re to make any serious headway on this notoriously difficult challenge we need demand our elective representatives begin doing some serious discussions. Otherwise, we’ll continue to have mass shootings as far into the future as one can imagine. And as a nation we need to begin to ask why we can’t do better than accepting 10,000 gun homicides yearly in our big cities, 30,000 annual auto fatalities and 100,000 opioid fatalities. We need to realize we’re all in this together. Every life is precious. And calls to defund the police aren’t helpful.

Finally if we can’t begin to seriously discuss our gun violence problem in America after a horrific mass shooting of young children at school then when would be a better time?


Peter I. Berman


Mack June 3, 2022 at 7:38 pm

Excellent piece Mr. Berman. You covered everything so well and in my opinion put our elected representatives, in both Washington & Hartford, on notice that they need to get serious on dealing with these issues. For the life of me I just don’t understand why we let these jokers get away with mediocrity. We accept their dismal performance, year after year and never seem to hold them accountable at election time. Promises after promises are made, with few fulfilled. Accusing one side or the other, with lots of finger pointing and blame, while prioritizing themselves and special interests. Unfortunately I don’t see it ever changing. I blame each and everyone of them for allowing these problems to continue. Seriously, isn’t this why we elect these boys and girls and send them to Washington & Hartford in the first place?

Justataxpayer June 3, 2022 at 10:30 pm

Very well written and spot on Mr Berman.

1) Can we hear from our politicians how our plans to keep schools safe compare to the findings out of Parkland in Florida?

2) What do we want in major cities? Stop, question and frisk or the current circular arrest and release of criminals?

3) can we look at the statistics of cause of death for children via weapons and solve that problem?

Where my ears close is when people blame these shootings on a former President or gun manufacturers. There are 11mm legally owned AR-15s in the US so 99.9999999% have never been used in a mass shooting.

Of course, our current President is doing a great job and will get this solved. Oh wait, $5 a gallon is forecast for later this month.

josie sangione June 4, 2022 at 8:46 am

Bottom line, bad guys will always get guns. Good guys need them to protect themselves. The politicians keep the bad guys out of jail, regardless. Now, who is really the bad guys here?

Piberman June 4, 2022 at 12:04 pm

According to “Giffords.org” some 130,000 individuals have Federal gun licenses allowing them to buy and sell guns. Lots of room for malfeasance here. Reportedly only about 10,000 Federal inspections take place yearly and virtually all gun dealers cited for infractions are allowed to continue selling guns. Assuming each individual is doing a million dollars annually we have a $100 billion plus a year “industry”. Securing a Federal firearms license is not difficult. Clearly we have some “room for improvement” in reducing both the numbers of licensed gun dealers and substantially increasing Federal inspections to secure legal Federal compliance.

No other modern nation has anywhere near 130,000 licensed gun dealers. Or our annual toll of gun homicides. A good question is why our Congressmen haven’t paid more attention to those securing a Federal firearms license and substantially improving standards. Rather than focus on passing new laws we ought spent time and resources with the ones already on the books. Reportedly most mass shootings are made with legally purchased weapons made in the USA.

For comparison we have about 15,000 auto dealers and about 15,000 hardware stores in the US. But nearly 10 times the number of licensed gun dealers. Some of the larger retail gun stores are awesome in size with astonishing inventories. Clearly we ought ask why the nation is “well served” with 130,000 authorized Federal firearms licensed dealers ? Was that the intent of the original writers of the Constitution ? The basic facts are that selling guns is big business in the U.S. and guns are easily purchased. The estimated 30,000 gun homicides/suicides annually bear testimony to the “vigor of the industry”. We need more than “speeches”.

Even in CT our elected officials have resisted requiring weapons be stored in “gun safes”.
California requires gun safes. As does virtually every western nation. If we can’t get any enthusiasm for “gun safes” in a State with a dreadful history of a mass shooting then we know our future. More gun violence. Reportedly CT requires “gun safes” for pistols stored in autos. But not for homes. Go figure !

CT-Patriot June 5, 2022 at 10:16 am

What happens now that Democrats want to defund the police?

They also want your firearms.

Who do you think doesn’t worry about background checks? Criminals, they will always obtain firearms regardless of bands, background checks, red flag laws etc.

Firearm bands impact those who own firearms and use them responsibility.

What is needed is an open discussion on the break down of our culture and broken families, lack of church attendance etc.

It may be time to bring back ROTC training in schools, and the draft system to bring young folks into the armed services and learn discipline, respect and that firearms are to be understood for what their uses are. To kill a human being.

After years of having rifle teams, and sport shooting to today where young mostly men abuse firearms to inflict death to innocent people and children. What makes a young man who sits in his room, maybe on his bed loading a firearm and just decide to go kill children? What triggers this?

So, what transpired between the days of school rifle teams, rifles in cars and trucks or brought to school for use in rife shooting sports and teams?

Democrats just go to the easier “scary” item than discussion on society, culture, family values etc. We need to find the root cause and put a stop to these shootings be it at a school or in the neighborhoods.

M Murray June 6, 2022 at 10:31 am

Politicians refuse to lock up violent criminals for life or extended periods of time. Most cases of gun violence occur from repeat offenders. If violent offenders were locked up for 30-40 years without parole, they would be unable to re-offend, except against each other. Many of the “gun violence” statistics presented also include suicides. If you eliminated suicides from the statistics, and removed the violent offenders from society for extended periods of time instead of allowing plea bargaining, probation, and parole, much of this gun violence would be reduced.

Mack June 6, 2022 at 1:08 pm

While I personally do not own a gun of any kind,
I would support a vigorous background check for any individual who so desires to legally purchase one. But only if a similar type background check is performed on each and every person who enters our country, whether it be over the river and thru the woods at our borders, along with issuing them a photo ID, or at a ports of entry. In addition, a background check for every person who registers to vote, as a US citizen, also with a photo ID.

Norwalk Republican June 6, 2022 at 6:48 pm

Liberals want only the police to have guns. I thought ACAB was the phrase? If only the police have guns, we will all be safe right??

Nonsense and unconstitutional.

David Osler June 7, 2022 at 10:35 am

I have a very simple view on guns as far as any form of long gun goes rifle shotgun military great firearms should be legal and in many cases outside of the large cities probably mandatory ownership. As far as handguns go that’s another discussion I would like to see a huge amount of weapons training and recertification in order to own one. I do not believe in banning guns at all I know where that road leads to alsoany humans have an instinctive need to be armed with something when they feel threatened. Not to mention there are very few incidences where the police use guns properly most recently they failed to do so allowing several additional children to be killed over a 40 minute time window so they could get somebody qualified to take action. As far as protecting kids if the teachers don’t want to be armed arm the custodians they don’t want to be armed we have a lot of highly trained returning war vets from our last 20 years of war they can protect schools as a job and do it better and more capably than any other security force that could be realistically assembled and probably cheaper.

Your piece is very well written and I agree that there’s a major issue with our politicians not getting a single thing done and continuing issues out forever the immigration and guns debates started when my grandparents got back from world war II and there’s been no resolution. Interestingly when my grandfather’s were in high school they were required to bring a gun to school and undergo weapons training their senior year of high school something you may want to consider reinstating given the current rash of school shootings over the last 20 years. Shootings I should point out that have been increasing as that generation has been rapidly dying out. I also think we should probably organize actual militia forces on county levels so you do have a well regulated militia with the ability to respond to extremely dangerous situations I honestly expected that to happen after September 11th

Piberman June 7, 2022 at 7:15 pm

If history is any guide Congress will hold hearings, speak on TV, write columns and when the dust settles we’ll still have an estimated 400 million weapons in circulation with 100 million or so illegally obtained. Criminals will continue to have no problem securing guns and know that even if caught odds are slim they’ll do jail time. And our local State officials, especially in CT, will take to the airways and newspapers demanding “action”. Instead of pointing out that CT with its post Sandy Hook laws has demonstrated that sensible laws can reduce gun homicides. CT now ranks 4th in the nation.

Our elected officials will studiously avoid mentioning that the US is no more violent than most modern nations. Only that with much easier access to weapons the disputes are oft settled violently. While school shootings make the tragic headlines its domestic gun violence that provides the most homicides.

Our elected officials will pillory so called “assault rifles” even though its ordinary semi-automatic pistols that are used in the 40,000 or so annual homicides. And they’ll pillory the NRA too. Nor will our officials mention that most gun homicides involve suicides.

Curiously our elected officials have not suggested a Statewide or National standard for fortifying our public schools. With single point of entry, bullet proof doors, remote locks, cameras, etc. We’ll hear calls to stop gun manufacture, ban the NRA and outlaw assault rifles. Ignoring the 100 million illegally circulating guns.

At day’s end our elected officials will never mention that most American adults do not own weapons. And in some states less than 10% of the population own weapons. It’s a good bet our officials will not demand mandatory jail time for using/owning illegally acquired weapons. Nor will they discuss illegal weapons and Fentanyl flooding across our southern border.

The sad reality is that even within several weeks of two mass shootings that have galvanized the nation neither our Congress or President are working to make some sensible recommendations on reducing the carnage. They’re focused on the fall elections. And speaking on TV shows. We deserve much better. We’re not going to make much if any progress with the estimated 400 million weapons in circulation.

CT-Patriot June 8, 2022 at 7:23 am

It doesn’t help when you have “music” videos of mostly young men holding a handgun sideways in the videos or just brandishing it to make it look “cool” or acceptable.

We all have seen these and in TicTok.

This style of videos contributed to more gang shootings, simple disputes or minor disagreement.

Until there is serious talks of the breakdown of society and broken families lacking discipline these shootings will continue.

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