On the EDge: Is it safe to talk about gun violence yet?

Bullet holes in glass, Photo by IndiaUniform iStock / Getty Images Plus; Nevada tribute, Photo by tatadonets iStock / Getty Images Plus; St. George News

OPINION — Is it safe to talk yet?

Has enough time passed that we can initiate a conversation about the horror that overtook Las Vegas?

If not now, may I ask when?

More importantly, will that conversation ever really take place?

In the aftermath of the worst mass-murder spree in U.S. history, there were those who tried to stifle the outrage, the pain, the anger that the ways and means of slaughter remain so readily available.

“It’s too soon,” some said.

“It’s political,” others said.

“We need time to heal,” many said.

In other words, no dice. We are afraid of any real conversation about real solutions to an unreal set of circumstances that keep slapping us in the face, over and over and over again.

So, you tell me, when can we talk about it?

When can we make suggestions, have some meaningful dialog, ask what we can do to stop this insanity, ask what went wrong with this guy’s wiring?

When can we ponder what should be done to eliminate these events from our lives?

Or, will you continue to shout down the voices of sanity and reason that want to initiate a conversation about how to help us keep from killing each other?

Too often, over the course of the last week, I have heard the lame, juvenile idiotic reasoning that, “well, they use cars, trucks, bombs, airplanes … should we outlaw those?”

What, are you some 6-year-old on the playground trying to counterpunch with words that reveal ignorance rather than care about solving our murder problem?

You want to bring up the problems in St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, New Orleans or Birmingham, Alabama – the top five places in the U.S. where you might be killed – or anyplace else? Great, let’s put that on the table, too. You want to include Chicago just because that is where our former president is from and you think the murder rate there reflects poorly on him? Go for it. I’m game, and I’m sure he is, too.

Look, if you have followed my little corner of the world for any time at all, you know that I have supported the 2nd Amendment, that I am a former gun owner myself.

But, that support is gone.

It crumbled because we have proven, time and again, that as a nation, we are not mature enough to handle lethal weapons, that too many of us have the Wild West mentality, that too many are willing to take up arms against their fellow citizens or the government for some ill-perceived notion or momentary lapse of sanity.

Do you really think a bunch of rednecks with AR-15s could stand down the U.S. military in a firefight?

Do you really think that the answer to all of our woes comes from fire power?

As it has passed through the courts, one of the reasons many bring to the argument is that it allows citizens to put down a tyrannical government.

But, do you really understand tyranny?

If so, why are you supporting a suppression of the media, collusion with foreign powers to influence an election or the use of the bully pulpit to repress free speech among those who would protest inequality and injustice?

Do you also really understand that among the many reasons for a “well-regulated militia” was to ensure the ability to put down slave rebellion?

I saw a number recently that I had to research because, quite frankly, it sounded like the kind of unchecked hysteria that has marked our current political discourse, that since 1968, more civilians in the United States have died from guns than military personnel lost in all of our wars combined.

It just could not be, right, could it?

I was wrong.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5 million U.S. citizens died of gun-related incidents since 1968, including, of course, suicides. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 1.2 million service members have been killed by guns in all of our wars combined.

I’ve heard defeatist attitudes that seem to accept that fate, that we are resigned to losing millions to gun violence, that it is somehow worth the carnage just to allow some whack job the right to amass as many weapons and ammunition as his means will allow.

No, that won’t wash, not now.

The victims of the lunatic who opened fire on a concert crowd in Las Vegas were dishonored when White House flak Sarah Huckabee Sanders shut down reporters asking about gun legislation.

“There is a time and place for political debate, but now is a time to unite as a country,” she said. Gun issues and legislation are “something we can talk about in the coming days.”

She then went on to defend the National Rifle Association, a staple of Republican political fundraising.

“The only person with blood on their hands is the shooter,” she said. “This isn’t a time for us to go after individuals or organizations.”

If not now, then when?

Please, let me know the time, place and date because this is a conversation we must all participate in.

But, just for the record, here’s one suggestion.

If legislation is passed to ensure true accountability in the path that weapons make into a bad guy’s hands, perhaps that would help.

For example, if somebody sells a weapon to somebody without doing a background check and that person uses the weapon to commit a crime, the seller should also be charged with the crime as an accomplice.

Restrict the amount of heavy ammunition or reloading materials a person can purchase. By doing so, you are allowing for a longer cool-down period. It could, at very least, make it more difficult to pull off something like what has occurred with such tragic frequency.

Ban the sales of assault-style weapons or any long rifle that uses a multi-round, interchangeable magazine. I mean, seriously, if you are a hunter and you load up your trusty weapon with a 30-round clip, I’d suggest you spend more time at the range learning how to shoot that weapon rather than trying to take down your deer, elk, moose or bear with a spray of bullets.

Require all who purchase a weapon to legally register it and attend a safety course for which they will receive a license, renewable every two years. Fail to renew your license and you forfeit your guns, simple as that. You need a license to drive a vehicle, you need a license to hunt or fish, why not a license to own a lethal weapon?

I realize this guy in Las Vegas probably purchased all of his weapons legally. He was a nut job who came unhinged. He was also a nut job with, apparently, a lot of money and able to afford not only the alarming arsenal he owned, but the ability to score such a high-priced sniper’s nest at a ritzy hotel.

It was a perfect storm of horror, to be sure.

But, what if assault-style rifles were not available to him?

What if he was unable to use oversized ammunition magazines?

What if he was unable to acquire so much ammunition?

There would, undoubtedly, be a fair number of people who would have escaped the slaughter in Las Vegas and be alive today.

So, you let me know when you’re ready to talk, OK?

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • Real Life October 10, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Going out on a limb here, but there might be a few replies to this article.

    • high5 October 10, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Ya think ???. Ed is so entertaining – maybe that’s why they keep him.??

    • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 10:35 am

      I definitely think this website thrives on the caricatures Hyde and Kociela seem to provide. The images they use for these opinion pieces definitely add to the click bait appeal.

      • comments October 10, 2017 at 11:47 am

        i agree, fish, Ed Kociela really is a caricature of an extreme brainwashed leftist/sjw. You’ll find that hyde can be more agreeable most times… usually.

        • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          I phrased that poorly. I believe both columnist write sincerely. That said, a relatively new platform like this website uses those diametrically opposed voices to feed off of each other. Click bait works.

          Ed isn’t anymore brainwashed than Hyde. They all seem to genuinely care even if I disagree with them on substance or tone. They just clearly have radically different world views and values.

    • .... October 10, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Idiot !

  • Mike October 10, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Well with all that crying you forgot to mention that YOUR president Obama allowed this guy to buy a bump stock! Now this method of bump firing has been around for years but Obama allowed manufacturers to perfect it and sell it to nut cases! You also failed what really needs addressed is how we weed out nut cases from getting their hands on these weapons. Mental heath in this country is out of control! Everyday it’s some nut case killing people by burning, shooting, stabbing, starving, leaving kids in hot cars, drunk driving, torture, drowning, terror and so on and so on! Until we get this under control I want all the self defense means I can get!

  • Anon October 10, 2017 at 9:00 am

    You mention the “idiotic, juvenile reasoning.” That sounds rather ignorant to me. There are many other methods to kill someone. The issue isn’t the weapon of choice, but the attitude/illness/ideology of the person behind the violence. For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 35,092 people died in traffic crashes in 2015. That is nearly as many as the number you cite for gun deaths (if figured on a yearly basis, 1.5mil/49yrs=30,612/yr). But any rational individual will attest that the car was not the culprit in the death (with perhaps the exception of that poor Star Trek actor and his jeep), but the road rage, the drunkenness, the impatience, the inexperience, etc. of the individual. Perhaps even more appalling, according to the same Center for Disease Control is the number of cigarette smoking related deaths. This number is 480,000 per year. Take that number multiplied by the same number of years (49) and you have a staggering 23,520,000. That is nearly 16% higher than the number of guns. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 88,000 die per year, 4,312,000 in that 49 year period. 610,000 people (CDC) die of heart attacks every year, or 29,890,000 in that 49 year period. Basically, what I’m trying to point out here is, when is it going to be time to talk seriously about driving safety or the devastating effects of alcohol and cigarette smoke or cardiovascular research funding? Interesting as well, that no one has mentioned that this guy came from a “blue county” and was firing into what most likely were Trump supporters. But that would be counter productive to your argument to disarm the masses.

    • Law24 October 10, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you for referencing cigarette/tobacco and alcohol related deaths. Both of these substances are disgustingly toxic to the human body and yet, as a society, we consume it in insane quantities. I wonder if the figure given for cigarette related deaths includes those caused by second-hand smoke?

      • Anon October 11, 2017 at 8:37 am

        That is a good question. I don’t think it broke it out. So there is a chance that the second-hand smoke would add to that number.

  • KarenS October 10, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Sorry, Ed, but when our little comments section even has a Sandy Hook denier, the case for gun safety seems quite hopeless to me. I will continue to write to legislators and try to do what I can to keep the voices of the Sandy Hook families alive out of respect for their loss. The Sandy Hook denier from this comment section presents the ludicrous claim that the parents, siblings, grandparents, extended family, friends, acquaintances, local leaders, police, first responders, local media, even the governor of Connecticut are just “crisis actors” playing a part for all these years. According to the denier and other conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, the kids never existed. No matter that there was an open casket for at least one of the children with the governor in attendance. All the memories, photos, books, and articles that have been written over the last 5 years are still part of some elaborate continuing scheme according to the deniers. It is beyond cruel to the memories of these children and adults who died that day. One of the childrens’ families had moved from Utah to Newtown a year or so before the tragedy and I have followed their lives over the years as they have tried to keep the memory of their daughter live with her remaining sisters. I have followed other families as well.

    There are thoughtful people on both sides that may be able to engage in conversations about gun safety and maybe something may come of it. I hope so.

    • comments October 10, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I delved into the whole sandy hook hoax conspiracy for a short time. The conclusion was that most of them are nutjobs. But these nutjobs go to huge lengths to concoct these stories, and some of them ARE VERY GOOD STORYTELLERS, and until one realizes that these clowns are nutjobs/trolls or have some sort of agenda, some of these stories are so well put together that they can really draw a person in. On the other hand, would some elements of our own gov’t train/brainwash a loony/autist like adam lanza to carry out a massacre like that to push some sort of agenda? I fully believe they are capable, and would if the opportunity presented enough reward for them. I’m doubtful about any such thing. But many who rule over us are complete psychopaths and I know they’re capable of it. Crisis actors? Nope! They’d have no reservations about blasting away a bunch of kids for real to accomplish an agenda.

  • NotSoFast October 10, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Excellent and timely subject? I suppose so. You being a some what educated and a logical fellow, why don’t you share with us your understanding of why the framers of our nation saw fit to include the subject of the 2nd amendment so high up on our nations founding documents. I would be interested in your answer.

  • Brian October 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

    The 2nd Amendment exists for one main reason: to allow citizens to protect themselves from oppressive government. Period. Full stop. End of sentence. Yes, protection from criminals (again, including the government), home-invaders (again, including the government), muggers (again, including the government), etc is part of it, too, but the real reason is to protect against government tyranny.

    To understand why just look at the 20th century: a minimum of 150 million (and possibly as many as 262 million, see https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM) people died during the 20th century because they couldn’t defend themselves against their own government. Roughly 11.4 billion people lived at least one day in the 20th century. Do the math and people living in the 20th century had roughly a 1 in 76 chance of dying as a direct result of government tyranny. Almost all of them were unarmed and had no way to defend themselves against this tyranny (ie. the people feared the government but the government didn’t fear the people).

    So, how does that compare to living under the 2nd Amendment? Long story short, gun deaths in the US would have to more than TRIPLE before we’d be better off without the 2nd Amendment.

    But liberals place no apparent value on history (except to use it as a club to beat people over the head about slavery and racism) and are quick to say we’ve moved beyond that and that they’re better at governing. Which is why they were cheer leaders for Hugo Chavez and his “democratic revolution” in Venezuela 10 years ago, and were mocking conservatives that called it socialism and said it would end badly. Guess what: it’s socialism and its ending VERY badly (and is nowhere close to done; unfortunately Venezuela still has a lot of pain and death in its future).

    Gun violence sucks, but it’s caused by bad culture, bad characters, and bad mental health, not by the guns themselves. This is where the discussion about Baltimore and Chicago, etc come into play. #BlackCultureMatters But liberals never want to have that discussion. They don’t want people, families, and neighborhoods to change themselves. They want the government to change us. That never ends well. But that will never be discussed by liberals, including Ed.

    • reddirt October 10, 2017 at 9:50 am

      Well said Brian.

    • comments October 10, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Well said brian. I dont trust our govt or any govt to have ALL the firepower. Look how europe is as a mostly disarmed society. The govts of europe have welcomed in hoards of muslims and these muslims manage to smuggle in all kinds of weapons and explosives passed whatever border checks. These disarmed citizens are like pigs to the slaughter for these fully-armed muslim hoards. Many of these countries have to function as a police state just to thwart and dissuade muslim terrorism. There are certain things our govt doesn’t dare do to us here in the US for the reason that WE ARE an armed society, and if they push so far… the citizens will push back. If it came down to a war in the streets the people of this country would prevail over a corrupt militarized govt.


    • MeandME October 10, 2017 at 1:59 pm


    • Anon October 11, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Wow. Just… wow. That is incredible. And insane.

  • snowflake1 October 10, 2017 at 9:36 am

    This is a mental health issue! ……rant time …How do we compare gun deaths to troop deaths. Troops are killed by accidents, missles, bombs, explosives. Not only by guns. It’s a ridiculous comparison. And it ignores all the millions of people our great country killed in these wars. More reason we need guns to protect are selfs from a government who murders civilians and shows it on the news all day all becuz bin laden killed people w airplanes.(talk about acting like a 6 year old)Cars and guns kill about the same amount of people a year. We all own cars so no one complains much. If You don’t own a gun it’s easy to say get rid of em. But its are right. It’s are right to own ANY gun. Be careful You’ll need a gun one day Ed ….to protect your self from GMOs

  • reddirt October 10, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Ed, with all due respect sir your anger is misguided and misplaced. It appears that the suspected shooter was radicalized and also he did not act alone. Simply listening to the audio of all of the videos from individual cell phone attendees at the concert will bear this out. Also the original shots as reported by witnesses and even police audio indicate shots coming from left of the concert stage away from the Mandalay Bay and the 32nd floor. This attack was premeditated and executed by people intent on either terrorism or social engineering ( see false flags and 9/11, where some in government allow events to happen, to allow the implementation of agencies and laws that would be rejected by the majority save for the event, ie: NSA, TSA, Homeland security , GUN CONTROL,etc etc. ) You speak of tyranny Ed , funny you would equate the disarming of the individual with granting him more freedom in defending himself. Socialist utopia’s such as China, Russia, and Cuba having done extremely well at disarming their populations, so your right Ed a bunch of rednecks with AR-15’s probably wouldn’t do so well against the might of our own military, but at least they would have a choice to fight if their home’s or lives were threatened by any enemy foreign or domestic. It is truly tragic and sad that laws have been altered to now allow our own military to be used to potentially quell domestic violence, courtesy of the Obama administration. A citizen can now merely be labelled a domestic terrorist and be detained indefinitely without due process by our military , once again courtesy of the previous administration. Ours is a very troubled world at the moment Ed and I would gladly endorse complete disarming of everyone, if you could assure me that the bad people wouldn’t have any guns either. Bad men will always be with us, as such there will always need to be good men willing to live and die if need be to protect themselves and those they love , dare I say it with a gun or any equal force as needed. A truly free and good society does not go looking for a fight but they can “defend” themselves, tell me Ed , what would your world look like if only those that rule or disobeyed the “laws” had guns? The argument has also been floated that only police would have guns, how great would that be? Sadly just as in regular society you have a few cops that exercise bad judgement and are on a power trip of using lethal force before any other deterrent is even tried. There is no magical solution other than to stay the course as a nation as the founders originally intended, leave people alone to decide what course of action best suits them in being able to protect and defend their freedom,property and families! Yes Ed that might even mean owning a “gun” , but just as you choose not to anymore, let others decide for themselves how best to provide for their own defense.

    • Real Life October 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

      And conspiracy guy checks in.

      • .... October 10, 2017 at 12:18 pm

        and No Life checks in

        • Real Life October 10, 2017 at 1:30 pm

          Is there a reward for your return?

    • comments October 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

      Govts have a clear track record of terrorizing their own citizens, even our own. At the very least Bush/cheney and crew allowed 9/11 happen on their watch. I think they had a much more active role tho. The vegas massacre is a good example of the type of thing a gov’t would do to push some sort of agenda, but I’m skeptical that that was the case this time around, because i don’t imagine the donald signing any type of gun control even if it was somehow pushed thru congress.

  • John October 10, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Shall not be infringed: The Second Amendment does not grant any right to bear arms. Furthermore, the rest of the Bill of Rights does not describe any right to do so. These rights are thought of as natural rights or God-given rights. In the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment is just a reminder to the government that they should not try to stop people from having this right. In other words, THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS NOT NEGOTIABLE !

  • RevWillieG October 10, 2017 at 10:25 am

    The problem, Ed, is that most of the gun laws that those on the left want to pass, already exist. Background checks already exist. Automatic weapons are already banned. Legally purchased weapons or those sold/traded to a FFL dealer are already registered. Am I supposed to attend a safety class each and every time I purchase a firearm? I have been shooting guns for over 40 years. Had the shooter been required to take a class prior to buying each of the weapons he legally did so, would that have prevented this? How do you limit ammunition sales? If I go out to the desert and shoot all the ammo I own, am I not allowed to buy any more?

  • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 10:57 am


    I understand the emotion and sentiment. I understand the desire to “have some meaningful dialog”. But I don’t understand how you can say that and make claims about “lame, juvenile idiotic reasoning” of others and then engage in exactly that. Using petty name calling like “a bunch of rednecks with AR-15s” not only exposes your own immaturity but also a lack of educated reasoning on the subject. You undermine the very “meaningful dialog” you claim to want.

    I would also submit that when you claim to no longer “support” the 2nd Amendment that you forfeit any middle ground for conversation. Same goes for punishing others for the actions of actual murderers. It doesn’t sound like you hunt if you want to ban long rifles with “multi-round” magazines. My .308 has a multi-round magazine that is perfect for hunting deer and elk. My 12 gauge has the same and is needed for waterfowl and upland game as anyone who has gotten into a covey knows. Your lack of nuance and awareness also undermines your goal.

    Its opinions and rhetoric like yours, in this specific instance, that feeds Bryan Hyde’s own extremism (and vise versa) that leads Americans far away from meaningful dialog. I think you can do better and need to if you are hoping to do anything more than fortify the political bubbles that led to outcome of 2016’s election. We’ve heard this rhetoric for 20+ years and it hasn’t affected the stalemate.

    • Ed Kociela October 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

      I would certainly hope you do not need a 30-round clip, as I mentioned in the column, to take down a deer or an elk. Might spoil the meat. Yes, many long rifles have multi-ammo clips, but as noted, if you need 30 shots to take a deer, elk or whatever, you should probably spend more time at the range. The rednecks with AR-15s? Do you not remember the photos of the Bundy militia drawing down on the feds or providing “security” at the scofflaw’s ranch? Finally, my decision to no longer support the 2nd Amendment in no way means I am not entitled to participate in dialog. There are many things that you and I do not support, but are willing to talk about to find a reasonable solution. As it stands, it is a very confusing piece of writing that scholars have debated for many, many years and everybody seems to have their own interpretation. To only have conversation with sides that support a particular issue means omitting an opposing view, making it a one-sided argument. What does that accomplish?

      • comments October 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm

        LOL Ed, when you lose the support of a fairly hardcore leftist like bikeandfish you know your views are way out there in lala land of hard-leftist lunacy. I bed your entire worldview will change after your visit to the congo. you just need to make it happen 😉

      • RevWillieG October 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

        Then people need to educate themselves before engaging in the conversation. Suggesting to implement laws that already exist or continuing to use a made up term (assault rifle) is not educating one’s self on the subject. I find it very discouraging to have a logical conversation with people on this topic, and when presented with facts, their only solution is to abolish the 2nd amendment.

      • Brian October 10, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        Ed, the 2nd Amendment has ZERO to do with hunting and recreational shooting. That is a complete and total straw man and a distraction. I address this in depth in my previous comment.

      • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm

        I have respect for you given your journalism background but that is also why I have higher standards for you even if this is an opinion piece. That includes expecting greater nuance and ad hominems attacks, which you have vocalized condemnation of in the past, like “red neck”. That is a loaded term that is clear pejorative and as such it tends to create a hostile, defensive environment. Rational and reasonable discourse is expected to avoid such rhetoric.

        I didn’t mention not having you at the table. Quite the opposite, I think that some of the content and statements you employed actually erode away at the little remaining ground we have to put a table on. Making a statement about not supporting the 2nd Amendment is a non-starter for a conversation about gun regulation in the US. Unless its amended the 2nd Amendment will always be the framework for that conversation wether or not those on the left support it. Making a statement about not supporting that framework undermines good faith efforts to find legislation, if any is even viable, to help reduce the rate and scope of these mass shootings.

        We can rightfully critique overly broad bans like you recommended. Stating you recommend a ban ” [sales of] any long rifle that uses a multi-round, interchangeable magazine” is not nuanced, even if you use an example of a 30 round magazine afterwards. If folks want gun regulations then they better start being very specific and recognize the way in which average gun owners ethically and legally use their weapons. The sad fact is far too many on the left are relatively ignorant of the very real nuances of guns and their common usage.

        You can clearly make your statements but your current strategy is a real variable in why we can’t even discuss gun regulation effectively nonetheless pass legislation. We can see from columnist on this website how the last 20 years of rhetoric is continuing to radicalize a subset of gun owners. Do we really want to justify their fear mongering and worldviews and make recruitment easier?

      • John October 10, 2017 at 1:21 pm

        Special Ed. I can have a 30 round clip if i want one. Just because you feel to mentally inferior to own a firearm , doesn’t mean the rest of us have to accept your leftist lunacy. The Second Amendment is in the Bill of rights. and those are there not because they are rights granted by the government, they are there to remind the government that they are “NATURAL RIGHTS” just like your right to breath. I can have 200 assault rifles if I want to. I can have 100,000 rounds of ammo. It is my right. Gun free zones have done nothing but increase the targets for these crazies. Ed, please tell us about the law that will stop a bullet from crashing through your skull. Ed, please tell us about the Law that can stop your car at a stop sign. Ed, please tell us about the law that will stop the knife wielding nutcase in the mall. Ed you can take your liberal ideology and park it next to your coloring books and unicorn. Liberals are still dumber than real sheep !

      • MeandME October 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

        Do your research before calling them “clips.” They are magazines, not clips.


        • John October 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

          Meandme ! ooooh boy ! the grammar police is out today, looks like you have never been in the military…liberal moron. you don’t have a clue.. what did you do? serve in the girl scouts? Either term is correct o mighty brilliant one. {hahaha!}

        • John October 10, 2017 at 2:51 pm

          Meandme, A clip can reference a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a firearm. This speeds up the process of loading and reloading the firearm as several rounds can be loaded at once, rather than one round being loaded at a time. Do your research before you make a fool of yourself again…

      • Anon October 11, 2017 at 8:47 am

        Ed, the meaningful dialog needs to be in the WHY it happened not the WHAT weapon was used. A gun is just a tool, like any other inanimate object on the planet. The REAL dialog needs to be about the mental health issues that these people suffer from or the PTSD that goes untreated or whatever caused the human being to do harm to others. YOU are not addressing the real issue, but distracting from it with your anti-gun rhetoric.

        • bikeandfish October 11, 2017 at 10:21 am

          They aren’t mutually exclusive. Most problems have multiple variables. That said, this murderer had no known mental health diagnosis even if folks right now want to speculate.

          Ed laid out plenty of rational and logical evidence of why gun violence is a problem. I am not convinced that his solutions are relevant to this incident but that doesn’t mean guns aren’t a real issue to talk about.

  • January20 October 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    “Afraid of real conversation” ? Conversation isn’t going stop mentally ill or just plain evil people from hurting and killing innocent people. Adding layer upon layer of laws won’t stop them. There really isn’t any middle ground here either. The left won’t be satisfied until all guns are confiscated and those who understand the purpose of the 2nd amendment aren’t going to allow that to happen. If all gun manufacturing ceased today there would still be over 300 million guns in the hands of Americans. Sleep on that.

  • DRT October 10, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Hey guys, I’m afraid that Ed is just a lost cause on this one. His mind seems to be made up, and won’t be changed.

  • Sapphire October 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Ed, you are talking to the wrong people. These readers have no intention of hurting anyone and the point is thus moot. Evil and mentally ill people cannot be legislated. If you feel so strongly about this, set up workshops for people who feel like they could be dangerous to others. Maybe with help, a few might not act out and some lives might be saved.

    • RevWillieG October 10, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      He’s talking to the right audience. He fully understands the gun and hunting culture in Utah. But what he and other liberals won’t discuss is mental illness. Many civil liberty lawyers have argued for years that legislating such things are a violation of peoples’ rights.

      • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        The feds already have a background check mechanism that accounts for mental health issues. It just currently relies on the voluntary submission of “involuntary commitment” records by states. Discussing a change to make that a state requirement is fine but its not just liberals who are concerned about the implications, ie states rights issues. The liberal concern is adhering to HIPAA guidelines which should be a universal concern.

        Expanding it beyond the “involuntary commitment” guidelines is definitely a tricky proposition full of traps.

  • MeandME October 10, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    “…as a nation, we are not mature enough to handle lethal weapons…”

    Really? Get over yourself and please, stop speaking for me, an American who actually contributes to this country and, believe it or not, is a gun owner of several firearms.

  • Lastdays October 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    If you really want to talk about violence Ed, let’s talk about the abuse of the 1st Amendment.
    During the entire Obama administration and since he left office, there are hundreds or even thousands of people just like you who are abusing the right to free speech. What do I mean by that ?
    Obama and his posse did a masterful job creating a race war and have caused death and destruction in city’s across this nation. The cost of the chaos in the last 8-9 years probably can’t even be quantified.
    How did they do this ? They did it with nothing more than a keyboard, websites or a microphone to spew hatred and fake rhetoric to stir up the masses to choose sides and kill or beat the crap out of each other. However, one side is much more vile and vicious than the other side. I think we all know which side that is.
    Yes, the 1st Amendment is a right and a freedom we have, but there are some who choose to abuse it to accomplish the sick minded goals they have for themselves. And they have been successful too. Just look at all the hatred and fake news that it spread daily to keep their agenda alive. And it works too !
    The 2nd Amendment is a right or a freedom that millions of Americans will not give up at any cost. Yes there are some crazies and kooks that ruin it for the other 99.9% who are law-abiding citizens. But that’s the cost of Freedom.
    But let’s have that other talk first. If those who spew fake news and agendas can’t discuss reeling themselves in with some “common sense” laws against their obvious behavioral defects, then don’t even think of discussing the 2nd Amendment yet. Or in your case, never again.

  • mctrialsguy October 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    The person that did the shooting was a registered Democrat, so that explains his mental condition. He had hoped to eliminate the country western concert attending conservatives and gun toting cowboys and rednecks that he figured were attending. Liberals are getting meaner and more violent every day, and more conservatives are getting attacked by them every day. A cast iron pot calling the kettle Black. Oops…did I say Black? Can we even say Black anymore??

    • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      He was unaffiliated to any party according to family and reliable reporting.

  • NickDanger October 10, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    I wonder if anyone has considered this fact:

    The Las Vegas shooter was a millionaire. As his brother pointed out so hilariously, obnoxiously, and repetitively, he did not work at Taco Bell.

    He planned this attack, and obviously, since it was going to end his life as well, one way or the other, he felt very strongly about carrying it out.

    It so happens he obtained all the weapons used in the attack legally. But how many of you PATHETIC GUN CONTROL GROUPIES think that if all those weapons were ILLEGAL, if bump stocks were illegal, if stockpiling that much ammo were illegal, that a wealthy man bent on carrying out this despicable act couldn’t have obtained them ANYWAY? Hands? None? Didn’t think so.

    My family is from New York City. I had a great uncle and a great uncle-in-law who were mobbed up – thank God for my grandfather who stayed away from the family business and went to Bible college instead. But I happen to know from personal experience that with enough money on the table, there is nothing that can’t be obtained in this country. Nothing that exists.

    Portugese sex slave? You got it. Violin autographed by Vladimir Putin? No problem. The radio antenna from the top of the Empire State Building? Done. F-18 fighter jet? Abrams tank? Suitcase nuke? How much you got? IF, of course, you meet the seal of approval of the criminal element; i.e., you yourself are a criminal.

    End of story? Stephen Paddock carries out the Las Vegas massacre even if all the guns in this country had been outlawed all along. The only difference is, he doesn’t have to carry it out from a hotel window. He can just drive right up to the disarmed-by-the-government crowd and mow people down at his leisure.

    It makes me cringe so hard when I hear all you naive sub-intellectual gun control freaks speak as if outlawing guns affects criminals’ ability to obtain them. How many Crips or Bloods do you think have legally-purchased weapons? How many mafiosi? How many bank robbers? How many muggers? How many home invaders? The answer is, not many. ANYTHING THE MILITARY HAS, CRIMINALS CAN AND WILL GET.

    So is there any way you fearmongers will just move on from the subject of taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens? Any way you liberal-media-educated dopeheads will just accept that the smart people have already figured out that’s the worst idea in the history of misinformed populaces? Any way you’ll leave that HAREBRAINED SCHEME in the past so we can talk about what’s really important?

    Crime isn’t going away, it’s here to stay. We’re the richest country in the history of the planet, and the most demanding of our citizens. People are going to fall through the cracks but that’s not going to stop them from trying to get what they want one way or another.

    Mass shootings are a mental health issue! Not a gun control issue! A determined, resourceful mass shooter is going to get the guns he needs to do the “job,” whether or not it is legal to do so – this plain truth has never been exemplified better than by this most recent, awful event.

    But if we apply our resources to identifying these at-risk people, and getting them the help they need to realize that hey, shooting up a bunch of people is not the answer to any problem…well then, we are suddenly acting with the wisdom of the ages, and the intelligence that should be representative of the greatest nation on Earth.

    Is it too early to talk about gun violence? No, it’s the subject we need to talk about. But it’s too LATE to talk about GUN CONTROL as a solution. We (the 3-digit IQ people) have already figured that out for you – it won’t work, it never would have worked, it never will work.

    What will work to mitigate the problem of gun violence is ending that ridiculous conversation and moving on to the conversation we need to be having, the one about mental health, about social triggers, about a society that regularly pushes people beyond the edge of sanity.

    When you’re ready to have a real conversation about gun violence, please throw a brick through my window.

    • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      I would agree that a discussion needs to happen about mental health. Given its importance, how do we justify the recent aims to cut funds from important mental health services? Trump’s proposed budget cuts millions from mental health services and the RNC’s proposed ACA replacements all have cut to Medicaid which is needed by countless citizens disabled by mental health issues, ie medication and treatment.

      • comments October 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm

        true to current republican ideology they’ll cut anything that helps poor and middle income citizens. the modern republican party is filth.

      • NickDanger October 11, 2017 at 5:46 am

        We Trump voters didn’t vote for The Donald because we thought he’d increase programs; quite the opposite as I’m sure you know. What’s needed, in my opinion, is not free counseling sessions for the adult masses, but better education for our children.

        I remember spending an hour a day in Health class in high school. It was a mandatory class so it was crammed full of like 60 kids, and there were two teachers, Mr. Myatt and Mr. Milam – the big joke (among many others) was that one of them was deaf and the other was blind.

        But in that class, we all sat there and learned about the institutional view of sex – basically, where babies come from. At least one of the girls in the class already had a baby, and these days that number would undoubtedly be much higher. Half the kids were already sexually active, and the other half were definitely working on it. I mean, we were all high school juniors or seniors. It was a laughable waste of time and resources, reflective of the fact that the education system in this country is and has been broken. Imagine, two tenured teachers spending 6 hours a day teaching kids what they already know.

        That time and those resources could have been spent on mental health instead.

        There’s been a lot of talk about Stephen Paddock’s motive. Well, I can almost guarantee you they’re not going to figure out his motive, because his motive is buried deep in some traumatic childhood experience. THAT is when the corrective or instructive action which could have prevented this epic tragedy wasn’t taken. As adults, we are all just an extension of the child we once were.

        So I say, cut the crap out of the curriculum – the home economics, the sex education, shop class, gym class, all the things that kids are going to pick up on their own anyway if that’s where their interests are – and replace it with social education. That’s when you’re going to identify your at-risk people. That’s when the opportunity to ferret out the Stephen Paddocks of the world and address their mental health problems before they become problems for everyone else is going to present itself.

        • bikeandfish October 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

          Just to clarify, you think its appropriate to address a problem you have singled out by cutting funding? Trump also wants to cut Education funding by more than 13%.

          Schools already have social workers and counselors to help identify those in need, from learning disabilities to mental health. But putting an onus on them without increasing staffing and funding doesn’t work. Most school staff already overtasked. As well, mental health isn’t something you educate out of existence nor does it present so clearly, or at all, in children. Clearly Klebold, Harris and Lanza all likely exhibited some symptoms but not anything a classroom would have solved.

          The reality is you don’t solve mental health issues in this country without alot of resources which takes a major increase in financial support.

          • comments October 11, 2017 at 11:38 am

            Yup, Klebold, Harris and Lanza were already in the mental health system. Apparently, none of the “mental health professionals” anticipated any of them were just going to snap and go on murder rampages. Klebold and Harris, if i remember correctly, were both on antidepressant medications, which probably contributed to giving them the motivation to carry out murders at the end of the day. And psychopathy is a genetic mental defect that can’t be fixed with any amount of therapy and meds

          • bikeandfish October 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm


            That is one of the pitfalls of the claim about it being a mental health issue. Professionals can only report patients if there is a viable threat to self, others or property in most states. On top of it, psychotherapy and counseling aren’t capable of predictions that are able to intervene beyond what family, friends, bystanders or patient are willing to admit. The type of dragnet it would take to prevent the minority of those with severe mental illness from engaging in mass shootings would involve major infringements on personal liberty and HIPAA laws.

            We do need more education but that is just one variable and its more than just classroom time. Parents need to be trained to see signs and symptoms of mental health issues so they can proactively get their children help. That will take a radical shift given our history of stigmatizing mental health. We also need to address the bystander effect but that’s a difficult task as it can quickly turn into a paranoid “see something, say something” environment that profiles tons of innocent citizens to catch a handful of potentially dangerous folks.

            While mental health is a real variable its clear its often used anecdotally to deflect from other causes. There is a lack of substance and detail to those who use it. Its pretty clear when folk pick up talking points.

          • comments October 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

            Agree bike, it’s also likely some of these mass murderers aren’t actually “mentally ill”. Most people with mental illness tend to be victims rather than victimizers. It’s easy for folks to just say about mass murderers: “oh, the guy was mentally ill”, and I say to that: not necessarily. Some people are just cold-blooded/psychopathic, or so hateful and full of rage they are ‘ticking time bombs’. So that just gets us back to the age old problem of “what do we do about evil”

    • comments October 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      An ice cold psychopath can make himself seem completely sane when interviewed by “mental health professionals”. I say expand mental health funding and programs all over the place, but don’t think it’s gonna be an end solution for mass shootings. It is a step in the right direction. Look at how schools have implemented lockdown procedures and building security since sandy hook. Things like that will need to happen all over the place if people wanna feel truly secure. Hope you can research yourself out of being a sandyhook hoax believer. I’m most certain a bunch of little kids were murdered that day. As stated earlier, some very cleaver fraudsters, kooks, and loonies did make some very convincing sandyhook hoax material, I will give them that

  • DRT October 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Speaking of mental health issues:
    Seems to me that there used to be places called mental hospitals, where folks who had serious mental illness could be confined.
    And then the bleeding heart liberals came along and whined and moaned that these mentally ill people were being deprived of their God given rights. And of course, as always happens, those who cry and snivel the loudest, are the ones the politicians listen to. So, no more involuntary mental health commitments. Now, they are allowed to roam the streets, without homes, often very hungry, at the mercy of the elements. And of course there are lots of violent folks among them, that prey on the other homeless folks. And on the folks who are just trying to get by, doing a job, paying the mortgage and feeding their families.
    Now this same bunch of idiots are saying that nobody who is mentally ill should be allowed to own a firearm.
    The liberal group never changes their patterns of disruption, and destruction. Then they try to blame everyone and everything else for the mess they have made themselves.

    • bikeandfish October 10, 2017 at 10:18 pm

      Wrong and wrong. Several major actions led to deinstitutionalization.

      1) Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act: huge bipartisan support with little controversy

      2)Social Security Amendments of 1965:. Created Medicaid which didn’t provide mental hospital coverage at time. Heavier support by Dems but yea/nay vote for RNC was close to 50/50%.

      3)Lanterman-Petris-Short Act: California bill that drastically changed how a citizen could be involuntarily committed. Equal part civil rights (left) and part budget cuts (right). Set the tone for national changes. Bipartisan bill signed by Gov. Reagan

      4) Advancements in pyschiatric medication.

      5) Carter signs Mental Health Systems Act but Reagan repeals it for budget reasons which forced mental health facilities to compete for funds.

      6) $4+billion in mental health spending ended because of 2009 recession.

      You’ll see that it took bipartisan effort to create deinstitutionalization and all of its effects. It put more people with severe mental health problems on the street and jail but also stopped forcing the involuntary commitment of functional citizens with mild to moderate problems.

      Plus, there are still pyschiatric hospitals, just fewer beds. A citizen can still be involuntarily committed in most states, even California, but with time limits and a court appearance that respects a civilians right to due process. That is appropriate in a country that focuses on liberty. If we want to help mental health problems in the US the current hurdles are funding/access and stigma/reporting.

      Your view is wrong, ahistoric and simply partisan.

      • comments October 11, 2017 at 12:15 am

        i’m glad u got time to straighten out these fools like drt. somebody got to do it lol 😉

  • Not_So_Much October 10, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Good day of target practice today rifle and handgun both. More of the same tomorrow and again soon after that.

  • jaltair October 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    First, let me say I am a supporter of the 2nd Amendment and I am a gun owner. I try to look at both sides and try to avoid articles that are from extremes on the right or left of the aisle. That’s difficult because of the political polarization of gun law.

    There are proven studies by various groups that have demonstrated more gun ownership is related to an increase in gun violence and suicide by gun. I won’t cite articles on this topic, they may be found by use of Google. Centers for Disease Control is also a good source because there are certain mandated injuries, illnesses, and all deaths that must be reported by hospitals, doctors, county health agencies, and private health providers. This information is used for statistical purposes.

    From CDC: (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm)

    All firearm deaths
    Number of deaths: 33,594
    Deaths per 100,000 population: 10.5

    60% of firearm deaths are suicide

    The United States does have a long history of gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment is an important right to support. Regulations surrounding gun ownership need to be worked out through the appropriate process of government or court.

    I believe gun laws that regulate gun ownership should be made uniform through federal law. What I believe should be minimum in new law:

    (1) 7-day waiting period to own any type of legal gun.
    (2) Mandated reporting of mental illness (not behavioral) by doctors, both mental and physical health, just as other reportable situations such as communicable disease, hospital visit types, etc are mandated to be reported.
    (3) Restriction of certain types of firearms or adapters (such as the “bump stock” utilized by the LasVegas shooter) as determined by legislation and or court.
    (4) Restriction of certain types of ammunition as determined by legislation and or court.

    The following article is a good review:


  • riccie October 10, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    Why has not an autopsies been done on him? In the pictures of him it shows him drinking alcohol. Could it be possible he had been drinking and this led to his actions? Have they also done an investigation on how much room service he had prior to the incident? Have they checked his bar tab to see how much he consumed before all of this. If alcohol was in his system can we have alcohol banned like Ed is trying to get guns banned?
    What was the TV programs he had been watching before this happened? Did any of those also come into play? Why doesn’t “Hollywood” take responsibilities for the amount of gun violence that they produce? The same with the gaming industry. Why are they not being targeted, lobbied and fined for their productions? Why doesn’t the left ever bring them up and boycott them as part of the gun problem?
    I understand he had recently received treatment for a mental illness locally. Or is that something the family doesn’t want revealed?

  • Ladyk October 11, 2017 at 3:15 am

    I read an article that stated 45% of violent injury/deaths are caused by a knife. I don’t know how accurate it is but if just 1/2 of it is correct shall we ban steak knives? Come on Ed if you want to have a conversation have a real one and include the whole picture. Ed you are obviously prejudice against those who appear to be republicans who wear cowboy hats and own guns but I will tell you that you are just completely wrong. I know that several of those who were actually shot were not republicans. So level such a disgusting prejudice against a certain group of people is out right sickening. I guess you would be happy if all us gun owning right leaning “rednecks” would just remove ourselves from the face of the earth so you can sit around and spew your hatred without it being pointed out. If you can’t see that your vile attitude is one of a few reasons that lives are lost in the recent shootings I don’t know how to help you see the light, so let’s point out a few things.

    1- democrats constantly call for a “gun control debate” calling those who own guns all sorts of vile names. The problem with this is that the discussion has already taken place, you just don’t like the results. There are laws, but not one thing the Las Vegas shooter did was illegal up to the point of him shooting people. He showed no signs of mental illness, he bought the guns/ammo legally. Gun owners have complied with several things that have been requested but it is never enough.

    2-You want to make it so someone who is mentally ill can’t buy guns. Ok, on face value I think everyone wants to keep guns out of the hands of someone who is crazy or going to break the law. So exactly how would you go about adding a mental health component into the law? Who would you consider “mentally ill”? As one States law says a person is considered mentally ill if they need help balancing their check book. So does that mean they can’t own a gun to protect their home? What about a soldier who has been diagnosed with ptsd or battlefield anxiety, do they loose the ability to carry a gun? How far do you want to go? I have a problem sleeping so I take the same anxiety medication(zanax) the LV shooter was taking. Does that mean I have to give up my guns. By the way I have a 100 round drum and several clips that are large capacity. I have never been in trouble with the law and I have no thoughts of going out shooting anyone but I will admit to some bouts of anxiety here and there. So should I loose the right to protect myself and my family?

    3- there are millions upon millions of guns in the homes in America. If it were truly a gun problem the amount of mass shootings would be so much higher. Why can’t you realize that while the shooting in Vegas as is any shooting a horrible tragedy we don’t have a huge gun problem.

    4- background checks are a good way to help keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them but I am very concerned about the full intent of this provision. To require a private seller to do a background check on someone before they sell them a gun is not realistic. This would make it illegal for the guns I own to be passed down to my kids without me conducting an expensive background check. It just isn’t realistic or fair. I really don’t have a problem with stores doing background checks or even having the waiting period, but to make a private seller do the same thing is just insane. Come up with some realistic common sense ideas and I think you will find a willingness for us rednecks to budge a bit.

    However it is important to remember a few things. This man was intent on killing as many people as possible. As as we have seen in other places someone who wants to kill people can and will find other ways to do it. A bomb, a car, a truck, a semi ECT. He could have easily plowed into a bunch of people on a sidewalk and exploded the fertilizer bomb in his car. Guns are not the huge problem you want to make them. While they have been the instrument in the hands of some killers it is just not enough to make the rest of us loose our rights. Your argument against rednecks and republicans is flawed by the facts. The arguments have been made and the laws are set. So please stop trying to hide behind the fact that what you really want is all guns removed from the hands of owners. Even your leader Nancy Pelosi said she hopes that removing bump stocks from the market is just the beginning of being able to remove all guns from their legal owners. It doesn’t take a snipers scope to see what you are all really up to.

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