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Okay, I know this is a divisive subject, but I would be negligent if I didn’t address, once again, violence here in the United States and guns.  This is so sad, ridiculously stupid and it isn’t going to improve without our legal system addressing it.  And the only way it is going to be addressed is because of our outcry.  And we should, outcry.

Here is the deal.  People are very tired of being in danger.  No one likes to be scared.  People that don’t own guns are scared because of the prevalence of guns.  And people that have guns are so scared that they think they need protection.  It is a closed circle that only makes both sides more and more scared.

The two men that were shot recently in Minneapolis and Baton Rouge set off outrage.  I’m outraged.  The regular media, ie. newspapers with investigative reporting departments, have been replaced by social media.  Each person has an ability to report current news.  And one of the by-products of this is the reporting of police, over and over again, abusing their power.

You couldn’t pay me enough money to be a black man here in the United States.  Talk about being scared.  If I were born black, I would most likely be dead by now.  For sure I would be in jail.  Do you think guns are helping this situation?

I’m not assigning any blame to the victims here, but both the men killed were carrying guns. And, after watching the videos,  it seems that the knowledge of the existence of the weapons,by the police, added to the escalation of stress and ultimately to the shooting of both of these men.

Then to Dallas, nothing has really be released through normal media, but this has to have something to do with the other shootings.   Individuals, or a group, decided they were fed up with the injustices, so they took matters into their own hands.  So they got some rifles and shot 12 police officers, plus a couple by-standers too.   Of course, I can’t understand their final decision, but I do understand the thought process.

The 2nd amendment, which the NRA, and many others, believe give the people “the right” to possession of all nearly unlimited guns.   These people are obsessed with the notion that they must fight against any and all attempts by the government to infringe upon their right to keep and bear arms.  They believe if there is any legislation addressing this, then it loses all relevant meaning.  I don’t think they understand the meaning of an amendment.   And obviously they aren’t concerned about our society.

This amendment has been spun so many different ways.  I hear people say it is a way for the people to protect themselves from the government, if the government runs amuck.  I know, for sure, that many of our fellow citizens think the police, ie, government, has indeed, run amuck.

So some guys in Dallas decided to use “their right” to purchase sniper rifles and then execute police officers, in a different city, who had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the previous shootings.

We all have to face it, unless we do something about all this, it is going to get worse.  On July 4th, just 4 days ago, in Chicago, over 60 people were shot.  That is in one day.  Does that outrage you?  Probably not.  You’re thinking it is just bad people shooting bad people.  That is not the case.  There are children involved in these shootings.

If the Shandyhook school shooting didn’t cause enough outrage to change our society’s rules, then I’m worried nothing will.  20 elementary school children and 6 teachers killed by one guy. And it is just the same old status quo now.

The NRA spun it as a mental health issue, not a gun issue.  Maybe they are right, it is a mental health issue.  If so, there are a lot of folks here in the US that have these very issues and they nearly all have the ability to get an assault rifle and a glock.  Plus unlimited rounds of ammunition. That is the way the NRA wants it, guns for all.

They are even against a law that prohibits people that are on the no-fly list from purchasing guns.   They are worried, like I said above, that if there is legislation to limit any gun ownership, then the 2nd amendment becomes irrelevant.

I was in the hardware store here in Hayward and they sell 50 caliber rifles.  This rifle has an effective range of 2000 yards.  A variant of this rifle has a range of 4400 yards.  This is a sniper rifle. But, I can go down to the Ace Hardward and purchase it.  Then I can sell it to anyone I want, and it disappears from being traced.  Does anyone think that is correct?  Should it be allowed?  Not me.

Most other countries in the world have gun control laws.  And after passing this laws, their homicide rates have dropped dramatically.   And the well-being of the citizens of those countries have increased.

Like I initially said, we, as a society are scared.  We are scared of each other.  We are scared because we think that another person has the ability to kill them, very easily and impersonally.

That is the deal with guns, they are impersonal.  I very much doubt the guys that shot those kids in Chicago last Monday would have taken a hammer and smashed them on their heads.  Or slit their throats with a knife.  The distance a bullet allows, the space between the people is enough to allow the confrontation to occur many times.

We’re close to a tipping point.  Many of our citizens have had enough.  This is only going to get worse.  It is going to take a dramatic shift, one way or another., If we don’t shift it towards safety, the only other direction is to violence. Serious violence, like what is currently going on isn’t serious.  This isn’t going to be an quick or easy process, either way.

It is pretty ironic that citizens from the US are using their 2nd amendment right to buy weapons to actively create a climate where our quality of life with diminish more dramatically or the amendment needs to be addressed.

To wrap this up, we all need to participate in the change.  It is going to happen, change that is. I’ve travelled all over the world and let me tell you, the countries with rampant violence aren’t close to as good of a place to live as those with civil happiness.  And most, nearly all that have safe societies are those that have gun laws.  It is an undisputable fact.


Think an average US citizen has a use for this, a 50 caliber rifle? I think not.

Think an average US citizen has an use for this, a 50 caliber rifle? I think not.



97 thoughts on “Shootings

  1. Chris C

    I lived for nearly a decade (returning to the USA in 2009) in an Asian country that highly restricts gun ownership. I could walk anywhere I wanted day or night, in a city of 15 million people and never once did I fear being mugged, shot, robbed or any other type of harm come to me. Not a peaceful utopia by any means. But it was quite safe and peaceful… Just a city and nation where people didn’t own guns.

  2. Telford

    Ever walked patrol in a combat zone? Every thing around you, every sound, every movement is a potential threat. When I hear of police officers on patrol that’s what I think of. They wake up in the morning not knowing what kind of good or bad people they’re going to have to deal with that day. Domestic dispute? Assault? Crazies? They don’t know who may be trying to do them harm while they are protecting the citizens they are paid to defend. Sure, the majority of people policeman interact with are good people, but when they encounter someone that they know is armed, they must consider that person a potential threat until they are disarmed and they can ensure they’re not. Like you said Steve – they’re scared. They have to be if they value their own lives. I don’t believe that either officer involved in the shootings in Minnesota or Louisiana woke up that morning intending to kill someone. Was it right? No. It happened and it’s being investigated by the FBI. Hopefully there will be consequences, lessons learned, and change. Fast forward to Dallas. That was planned. People went out and acquired sniper rifles, took up an overwatch position, and then methodically selected, aimed, and killed human beings. The officers that were shot and killed had nothing to do with the earlier shootings in the other states. They were there protecting the lives of the people of Dallas. They were there protecting the protestors. There is no justification for premeditated murder of an innocent person. I’ve got 30-years experience with the military. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a police officer these days.

    What’s the solution? God I don’t know. The ease with which people can acquire guns surely doesn’t help. I have to register and license my dog, but not my gun. I have to have training and a license to drive my car, but not my gun. I go through a background check to buy cold medicine at the drug store, but I can buy a shotgun at the hardware store with nothing but a smile. Ever see someone in Kansas walking around exercising their right to open carry? It scares the crap out of me, but our state allows it. A guy can walk into a McDonald’s fully strapped where there are kids and families. I don’t want to be in that environment – I don’t care what his rights say. I think our legislators have to come to the table willing to make concessions and negotiate some viable solutions. People have to apply some common sense and be reasonable. Nobody wins with the way things are and it’s time for change.

  3. Christian Davenport

    I am very curious of the argument that we need guns for protection from a tyrannical government. Maybe in the late 1800’s was this a valid argument. Have you seen the weaponry the US government possesses? Any firearm an American citizen owns would be useless.

    And the argument that you need it to protect yourself and your family….in most cases, you would better protect your family if you walked around with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and portable defibrillator on your hip. Statistically speaking, the chance that you need those items to ensure the life and safety of loved ones is far greater than the need for a gun.

  4. RGTR

    Removal of guns from the hands of the people will also require their removal from the hands of the police in almost all situations. Both shootings that just occurred could have been easily dealt with by immobilizing the arrestees with a damned good shock. Nothing changes your attitude about resisting faster than getting tazed hard.

    By the way, here’s a pic of the most deadly weapon in America if you want to change your photo above:×1680/92/img-859086457-1466715682092.jpg

  5. Wildcat

    I don’t know what the answer will be. I’m all about peace and love. I would never kill anything. However, I was raised target shooting and it is still one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon – other than on the bike. Now I’m enjoying target shooting with my children. The rotten apples are spoiling the whole bunch and it pisses me off. How do we allow the law abiding and safety conscious citizens to responsibly own and enjoy firearms while keeping them out of the hands of those who have hate/stupidity/ignorance in their hearts?

  6. James

    After Orlando background checks broke records. After “I wanted to kill white people” in Dallas you can expect more records for gun sales to be broken.

    We are a gun culture, just look how the gun is glorified by Hollywood. Gun culture run amoke.

    And statistically, bring a gun into your home for ‘safety’ and someone in your home is more likely to die from that gun than any other thing.

  7. Duane

    The bigger problem here is black people as a whole. The officers in Baton Rouge were called because a man selling CD’s in front of a stored had threatened someone with a gun. They show up thinking he has a gun, he resisted the orders from the officers, the officers felt they were in danger and shot the guy. It was this guys fault, White, Black, Brown whatever. What were they suppose to do when he resisted their orders. The mob mentality rules in the black community and its usually the filthiest, most illogical ignorant person driving the direction of the mob.
    Black people have zero respect for anyone. Foul language, loud music and not being respectful to anyone or anything.

  8. Jack

    Sorry to hear your opinion Duane


    That makes you a racist.

    Try to learn compassion.

  9. Long Shadow Of History

    “Baton Rouge’s version of Mardi Gras raised eyebrows this weekend with floats mocking the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of Eric Garner.

    At the city’s annual Spanish Town parade, which celebrates Mardi Gras and is known for its raunchy humor, one float was emblazoned with the slogan “Pink Lives Matter.” On the float’s side, there was an image of a flamingo being beat up with police batons and wearing a sign that said, “I can’t breathe.” The slogan is the last words of New Yorker Eric Garner, who was killed by police; the flamingo is the parade’s mascot.”

    I don’t think the problem in Baton Rouge is its black people. Just sayin’

  10. Mike

    The part that gets me is the conceal carry and military aspects of it. Just 20 years ago, anybody with a concealed weapon was either a criminal or law enforcement. Now, the idiot at work whom I won’t ride in a car while he’s driving because he uses the e-brake while moving because he thinks it “saves” on his regular brakes has a concealed weapon all the time. No thank you.
    Guns for target shooting, hunting, or home protection? That’s one thing.
    Civilians should not have the right to either conceal carry or own something for which the only designed purpose is killing other humans.

  11. Conrad

    The people have too many guns. The police have too many guns. The military has waaayy too many guns. The government spends all of its time and money finding ways to give everybody more weapons, instead of, say, health care or education.
    The worst part of it is that the average American doesn’t have a shred of common sense so you can’t expect any of this to change. We are becoming a third world country real fast.
    In this latest episode (I am sure another episode is unfolding as I type this) the fella was armed, so there is that. But don’t forget that unarmed black people are being gunned down by the police on a regular basis.
    An ‘amendment’ implies that it was a change to the constitution in the first place, doesn’t it? Anyone ever think about what type of weapons we had available when that amendment was passed? I’m thinking that a rifle, with a cartridge and spiral barrel, wasn’t invented yet. I am wondering what these shootings would look like if people were using powder and balls. “Our founding fathers” had no fucking idea what an AR-15 is.

  12. John

    I have been the victim of black crime twice in the last year.
    It sounds like blacks are the racist ones to me.
    We have a people problem not a gun problem.

  13. Steve Tilford Post author

    John – Sorry to hear about your experience. But, it isn’t “black crime”. You were a victim of crime. Much of what drives crime is poverty. And one reason for “black crime” is poverty. How about having all your great great grandparents slaves? Think your family, in the same situation, would be affluent considering the social issues that have proceeded since the civil war? It is a very terrible situation that needs to be addressed. The violence is a huge part of the reasons behind it. Get rid of the violence, give the people a safe place to live, better mentality, then the American dream could be available for all, not just the privileged.

  14. Wildcat

    90% of the clients and staff members where my wife works are black. She’s worked there for nine years. Her experience has showed her that African American citizens are a very racist population. At least here in the Midwest. You better call Becky with the good hair.

  15. Steve Tilford Post author

    Wildcat – That doesn’t have anything to do with this. I’d probably say that most Americans are racist in some regard. Most humans are racist I’d guess. It is something that needs to be addressed.

    We need to address the violence. Our safety is what is making our society divided. Or lack of safety. We can’t address the other problems without feeling safe around each other.

  16. Robin Carpenter

    Thanks for this post Steve. As a member of a privileged group (e.g. white, middle class), it’s your responsibility to make sure your opinion on this issue is known.

  17. steve

    if you were a black man and you were killed, you almost certainly would have been killed by another black man. a black man is another black man’s own worst enemy. a recent new york times article, which we all know is left of liberal, published recent stats on murders in new york city. almost 90 percent of those murdered are men who are not anglo. almost 90 percent of the murderers are non-anglo. looks like easy math.

    about the most unthought out, most one sided piece of inflamatory shit you have ever written.


  18. Jack

    Steve Tilford,

    I would never have guessed it but based on these responses it seems like the majority of you readers are racists.

    I don’t blame you. I appreciate your humanist perspective.

    Very sad!

  19. Wallace

    Steve, I agree with you. Change has got to come. I don’t see how more guns are making this a better country.


  20. James

    Facts vs that “people kill people” crap. I suppose the guy in Dallas was on a rampage with a fork and a Prius?

  21. James

    Thank the NRA for this. What was an organization for hunters & target shooters saw the writting on the wall 20 yrs ago. A diminishing membership & no $.
    Hey let’s make it a ‘safety’ issue & push hand guns instead of rifles. Hell yes, everyone needs a handgun! Then everyone needs to carry all the time. Hell yes! Its just not safe. Its a self fulfilling circle jerk. Now they are loaded w $$$ & controll the politicsl process.

  22. barb

    A big part of the problem is the NRA and gun manufacturers, who have done their marketing to convince people that everyone needs a gun to protect themselves. And the motive behind this campaign is money. The gun lobbyists are very powerful and wield a lot of power in congress. Just like smoking kills people, and alcohol kills people and ruins people’s lives, but it isn’t illegal because there are billions of dollars of profit to be made from all three of these forces.
    We also have an irresponsible body of law enforcement that keeps hiring people who have no coping skills, and no ability to handle stress beyond the absolute minimum, without freaking out and becoming hysterical, shooting and killing people who clearly pose no immediate threat, which were both the MN and BR shootings. So hiring practices need reform, the gun lobby needs to be stopped from controlling congress, law enforcement personnel need to have it vigorously stressed that they are NOT allowed to violate people’s civil rights with impunity, and judges need to stop acquitting officers of wrongdoing. These acquittals serve as notice to abusers in the police force who joined because they wanted a legal path to bully, beat and even kill people, that bullying, beating and killing people without following due process of law, will be punished under the law. Cops should not be above the law, except they are, and they have been. And in spite of all of our efforts to extend equality to all, racism against people of color, and especially poor people of color, is still rampant in our society. I concur with Steve, I would not want to be black in America…my heart goes out to those people and what they have to deal with on a daily basis.

  23. barb

    His comment wasn’t about statistics of who kills who. Your idea is like saying murder is ok because other people are doing too, and we don’t care if X demographic is murdered by police because they murder each other. Kind of twisted logic if you ask me . Being murdered by police is not ok, no matter what unrelated smokescreen of garbage people try to throw out there to make it seem like it is. What is going on in this country with police beating, shooting and killing people who pose no imminent threat to their own safety and then being acquitted of all wrongdoing, is NOT ok.

  24. barb

    Yes he was armed, but he was shot and killed AFTER they had tazed him, and he was pinned down on the ground by two officers. The news said they “retrieved the gun from his pocket” so he didn’t even have the gun in his hand, or outside of his clothing, not pointed at any officer where their lives were in danger and they killed him? Just shoot anyone you want, the hell with their civil rights, innocent until proven guilty stuff. Judge jury and executioner on the spot? No. Just no.

  25. Clifford

    Racism implies a power dynamic that in this country (and many others) blacks, Latinx, and people from Arab countries are on the losing side of. Black people cannot be racist as they, on the whole, are not in a position of power. Prejudices, on the other hand, are not related to power — at least not in the same bleak sense.

  26. barb

    They had already tazed him and both officers had him pinned on the ground when the one officer drew his gun and killed him. He was most likely reacting in pain to being tazed when they killed him. They didn’t need to. This was a clear cut case of abuse of power.

  27. Anamika

    I am grateful that I was born in and live in Canada. I trained for a year as a gunsmith in Denver Co. in 1982. Very difficult to make a living as a gunsmith in Canada. I gave up and retrained as a CNC machinist. I don’t own any weapons. I’m happy not to have any guns. I’ve lived in your country, I know the attitude. No amount of small talk will change the culture. The idea that an armed militia can stand up to a government with drones. A sad delusion. No body will ever change your gun culture. Sorry but I think your country is screwed.
    I ride my bicycle and try not to get run over. But that’s another story.

  28. Jim

    Having ones great-great grandparents as slaves means nothing to us today other than it was history.
    They were/are are not part of it anymore than I was a slave owner.
    I wasn’t a slave owner therefore none of this is/was my fault or responsibility.
    Time to deal with today, not 300 years ago.
    Killing anyone for any reason connected with slavery is wrong regardless of who does it.

    BTW, if there is no “black crime” there would be no “Black on Black Crime” groups in existence.
    There are so there is black crime.

    I do like your logic because it means that there is no such animal as “hate crimes”.
    A crime is a crime, regardless of who it affects.

  29. josh estes

    It’s a blog Robin. Giving his insights and opinions is kinda the idea…as well as being a basic freedom.

  30. Jeff D.

    I have no problem w/ guns. Guns don’t kill, stupid people kill w/ guns. I’m old, you think if some young thug broke into my home and threatend my family I could defend myself with my bare hands, doubt it, but I could w/ a gun. I’m also a responsible person, not going to get mad and shoot somebody, also if cop tells me to do something I will. Sure some stupid/crazy people use guns and commit horrible crimes like the nightclub in Miami or the eleamentry school, but if just one other person had had a gun maybe the madman could have been stopped before he killed so many. If we outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.

  31. Glenn

    What we really need is to stop the divisiveness that has been created in this country. It has gotten worse in the last 8 years. Clifford says that blacks cannot be racists? Seriously? We have devolved into a country of people that cannot address issues rationally. Instead we politicize every issue to help a party meet an agenda. The current agenda is to rid the country of guns. The problem is not guns. The problem is lack of tolerance, love and compassion for our fellow human beings (whatever color/race/religion, etc…).

  32. Jeff D.

    From the south, but yes 100% American, guess you could insert ” being prepared” for if.

  33. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Nothing will change until Americans begin favoring de-escalation over escalation. Buying a gun in the interest of protection is the latter.

    It’s a lot harder to adopt a philosophy of de-escalation than the alternative. So we’ll probably get more of a what we’ve been getting until we’re ready to let go. It might be a very long wait.

  34. David

    First to Barb. I don’t like you judging the police the way you do. Hiring practices and unable to handle stress? Most are extremely well trained, qualified and professionals. First wrestle a man with a gun in his pocket with him squirming and possibly reaching for his gun. You have milliseconds to make a decision. I would choose to go home safely that day.

    Second: I hear all of your opinions. I want one person to tell me exactly how you disarm a nation and get rid of the guns in circulation. A valid statement, ” If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have them.”

  35. gregg

    Were you there, Barb? While we list statistics, care to recite number of police officers shot and killed each year and this year to date? How about the total number of police shootings by race? Guess Steve isn’t reading the articles about every police officer being killed and the articles about non-black shooting by the police. Wait, because it doesn’t make the national news cycle. Deadliest state for police officers killed this year? Texas, followed by Louisiana. Hmmmm.

  36. Steve Tilford Post author

    Guy – Let’s have a little emphathy here for both sides of the issue. The police and the victims. We all agree that the current situation isn’t working that well for much of our population. So, if we think it is broken, then it needs to be addressed. This all has blown up during my lifetime. Homicide rates are dramatically increasing. Both innocent individuals and police are now being killed.

    Being a police officer is an honorable profession. But let’s not act like it isn’t voluntary. And there isn’t a draft. These people sign up for the job. And it isn’t that dangerous of a job. Really, it isn’t. Here’s alist of the most danger jobs in the US.

    The 10 Deadliest Jobs: Deaths per 100,000

    1. Logging workers: 128.8
    2. Fishers and related fishing workers: 117
    3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineers: 53.4
    4. Roofers: 40.5
    5. Structural iron and steel workers: 37
    6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors: 27.1
    7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers: 23
    8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers: 22.1
    9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers: 21.3
    10. Construction laborers: 17.4

    Police officers have approximately 12.4 deaths per 100000, which makes it 1/3 as dangerous as roofing. So we say that these guys are risking their lives to protect ours. Does the same apply to the linemen that repair our power lines after a storm. Or our trashmen that haul away our refuse? Makes you think?

    David, I can’t agree with the statement “If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns.” Eventually nobody will have guns. And the longer we wait, the harder it is going to be to achieve. It is going to take years upon years.

    I don’t see any reason to put it off. We need to change the amendment and get on with doing what is best for all concerned.

  37. Glenn

    Steve, again I think you are glossing over the issue. We need to get to the bottom of “why” there is so much violence. We have had bombings and stabbings as well as shootings. Until you get to the root cause, you will never stop it.

    I think you are also down-playing the danger of being a police officer. Those statistics are only half the story. A trash man does not have to go into a domestic violence situation to try and arbitrate, neiter does a logger. A police officer never knows what situation he/she is getting into, but they do it. Yes, they do it voluntarily because if they don’t then who will.

    It is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize decisions made by those professionals. It is an entirely different thing to have to step into their shoes and have to make life and death decisions as much as they do.

    Until there is a movement to bring people together and get politicians to stop trying to use the American public as their puppets to advance their agenda we will never progress. I thought President Obama said he would do that in 2008, but it has only gotten worse. Where do you start?

  38. Mike Rodose

    Chopping a hand off for a chewing gum infraction will make anyone stop!

    No freedom and chopping is what you advocate?

  39. Jack

    There were multiple protesters in the crowd open carrying long rifles as well as police working the event. It did not deter the shooter.

    Also just because you are “responsible” does not mean all gun owners are. How do you solve the problem of children finding their parents guns and discharging them?

  40. Mike Rodose

    Jeez, Steve

    You said that if you were black, you’d likely be dead and for SURE, the Black Tilford would be in jail.

    Really, Steve? Really? You’re projecting…supposition. For what specific crimes or instances? I think your statements are too dramatic and racially insensitive.

    If you truly feel that way, stop racing bicycles and do something! For your own conscience and well-being.

    Steve – I feel you’re smashing together some complex issues, disjointedly, and in an inciteful manner. Please step away from the guns, sandy hook, and social justice bullshit. Mainstream media handles it quite falsely enough.

    Please use your keyboard to write about bicycle racing…which is why we all come to this fun little website.

    Sorry and thank you Steve.

  41. Long Shadow Of History

    What a stupid comment. Crime is generally done by either a person the victim knows or by someone in the victim’s local vicinity. So, OBVIOUSLY, the criminal is by far way more likely to be of the same race composition. In the SAME STUDY, 86% of white crime victims were perpetrated by a white criminal. Not a meaningful difference.

  42. Mike Rodose

    Clifford – you loyal sycophant – wow, you’re stepping waaaay out on a limb, huh?! Agreeing with Tilford that this violence must end. Insightful!

    Duh…of course everyone (other than the psycho killers) wants the violence to end. You are such a Patriot! Cliffy the Patriot.

    Cliffy – you’re the Ed McMahon of the Tilford Site.

    Tilford: “the world is flat”.

    Clifford: ” you, sir, are correct sir. Absolutely correct”. Yeeessss!

  43. David

    Steve, I can agree with a lot of the points here. I do feel empathy for both sides. It is horrible anyway you look at it. It is a very perplexing problem. I think criticizing the police having to make millisecond decisions is unfair without unbiased facts. I’m sure it is not their desire to kill someone that day.

    As for my question. Please describe how you completely disarm a country. A house by house search? Survivalists and others have guns buried, hidden and in caves etc. I believe no matter what you do those on the fringe, mentally ill, and deranged will have access to guns. They are not law abiding citizens.

    This is a difficult discussion. I apologize for any offense, but how do you get ALL the guns away from the dangerous element of our society?

  44. Mike Rodose

    Wrong Steve. You’re the one that said you’d be in jail or dead if you were black. You brought up race, you projected your own misconceptions. Err, perceptions.

    The civil war? How about the Revolutionary war for social issues? Random historical pickings from a bike racer. Stop this silliness!

    Steve – I appreciate and respect you in bicycle racing. But if you want to debate topics outside your specialty, then allow for other skilled, smart folks to maybe have some validity. You’re a know-nothing in this space.

    New nickname for you might be Narrow-Man. Slender-man was taken. Don’t stray from known topics. For example, I was thrilled to see you seemingly recently mastered the “would have” vs. “would of”. Any real friend/editor would’ve suggested you go with…”would’ve” many years ago. Maybe they did, but you weren’t able to process or set autocorrect.

  45. David

    Steve, please don’t block me or delete me. This will be my last word. I really would like to hear from someone a plan to disarm everyone. I am open to learning. I just have never heard anyone discuss how to do it.

  46. Ceramic

    David, the answer to your question is: you don’t. You start by looking at what almost other countries have done (Australia, Canada, many European countries) to address the problem, and you actually try something other than what you have been doing.

    By changing the laws you begin to change the culture. You will never get rid of all guns (nor should you), nor will you stop all those who want to kill others; what you will do, and what the experience of other countries clearly shows, is that you will save thousands of innocent lives.

  47. Kevin Lyons

    If more guns were the answer, place like the middle east would be totally safe, or what used to be Cabrini Green in Chiraq. More guns are not the answer. Now ever time I see a guy with a small carry bag over his shoulder I figure he or she has a gun. Ugh. not good.

  48. Zach

    You incentivize it. Pay people to turn in their weapons at above-market rates, which will get rid of them by the truckload. Concurrently, make it a pain to casually own handguns, with stricter licensing, barriers to access, etc. If someone really wants one, they can have one, but they’ll have to work to get it. That way, people who legitimately need to own a personal firearm for protection (people in rural areas, mostly) can still get one.

    I am a liberal who likes guns, enjoys shooting them. That said, there are way too many guns and people use them way too casually. More and more reports of people wielding guns over small infractions like road rage incidents or living out Clint Eastwood fantasies. It’s getting crazy.

  49. John

    There have been gun turn in days before. The problem is the criminals don’t turn them in. Why would they? Also, where does this incentive money come from?

    I am a conservative with no guns, nor any plans to acquire any, but I don’t understand how dis-arming gets us anywhere. Look at Chicago. Strict gun laws and high murder rate. It is not the lack of laws that is the problem.

  50. Doug Punches

    Christian, Your argument is absurd. Apparently you don’t live in my neighborhood, As they say, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away” I will protect my Family and my property myself, thank you.

  51. Steve Tilford Post author

    Mike R – Seems like you are being a little personally insulting of my view on this very divisive subject. You don’t think I know anything about this? Less than who?

    I have received a few personal emails about this post, from guys that didn’t want to post their views publicly. One guy said something about knowing quite a few black people and is not worried about them being shot or them shooting anyone else. He was a firearms instructor. He wanted to know what situations I think I’ve been in that might put my life in jeopardy if I was black.

    I told him just about all situations. Something as simple as driving with my tail light out in Minneapolis last Monday “would of” maybe been enough. I drove right by their on Monday. I don’t think having a burnt out light on my car enough to start a cascade of errors until a person is shot dead. That isn’t acceptable.

    You say that I’m not knowledgable enough to post on this, that I should “allow for other skilled, smart folks” deal with it. Where are these guys? Who are these guys? Because, from my perspective, and that of a large percentage of the population, I haven’t seen any ideas from these guys put into effect. It is getting worse, not better.

    I don’t have an answer, but the subject needs to be addressed. I have a social responsibility to state my position. I did just that. Sorry if you don’t approve.

  52. Bill V.

    Instead of immediately calling someone’s position out as racist, why can’t you have a conversation and try to understand what they’re saying?

    Why is it such a stretch to believe that the are issues that the black community needs to address within itself? Can you admit this? Yes, there are those on all sides of the issue who need to look within themselves, and the black community is certainly one of them. That is not racist, it is the truth. It is uncomfortable too. That’s how things are sometimes. How can we begin to solve problems if we decide to be willfully ignorant of certain parts of the whole issue?

  53. darkcloud

    The shooters in Dallas targeted white people. Cops. That sounds pretty racist to me. If a white were targeting blacks for assassination , the words “hate crime” would be used in every news report. I haven’t heard it used even once in this tragedy. Such a double standard.
    The only positive in all of this is that several racists who were committing hate crimes were killed.
    Good luck with the gun debate.

  54. Christian Davenport

    It is not absurd. Note I said “in most cases”. I agree that the protection a firearm affords can be useful in some situations. Yes, it can depend where one lives or what neighborhoods one chooses to frequent.

  55. david j

    Why don’t you talk about the MURDERS by abortion? 3/4 of a million a year. MURDERS by guns are a fraction of that.

  56. Steve Tilford Post author

    david j – We don’t need to add more divisiveness to this post. This post was about bringing to the forefront that our country has become less safe, to all people, and there are big repercussions from that fact. Abortion is a completely different subject that isn’t the least bit related to what happened this week here in the US. Let’s try to stay on subject, or move on……

  57. Rob

    Just a thought – I don’t know if it’s being done already, or could be or should be, but I was thinking about it the other day, remember the drivers ed films that showed blood and death, that were supposed to scare you into being a good driver? Maybe there should be films like that about guns and what actually happens when somebody gets shot. How it’s not really like it is in the movies, cartoons, video games, books, tv, etc, etc. Obviously not a quick solution to gun violence and has nothing to do with the law, but maybe the “fix” needs to start earlier and have less to do with the government telling people what do with guns, and more to do with reality and people’s understanding.

    Again, just a thought.

  58. Bryan Barber

    I’m sick and tired of being called(or implying that I’m) a racist because of my skin color! While I have grown to accept, expect, and understand it from dark skinned people(minorities), I no longer tolerate that sht from other Caucasians, Politicians, and Journalists. I was born Caucasian, from a Caucasian mother and Caucasian father. This fundamental fact in and of itself does NOT make me a racist or more likely to become one. Nor does it make me privileged. The only privilege that I had was great parents who lived what they preached. They were and still are to this day(80 years) HUMBLE, LOVING, RESPECTFUL, and GENEROUS to ALL they meet. SIMPLE! I’ve come to learn that when you live your life that way you simply have no use for HATE, VIOLENCE, and especially RACISM. Those types of things rarely enter ones consciousness and when they do, are quickly dispelled by a well established moral position.
    Mr. Tilford, as a journalist you would only be negligent for not speaking up, if you had something meaningful or insightful to add to the conversation with those who read your work. Your editorial follows the popular narrative and doesn’t reflect or point out how things have changed for dark-skinned minorities over the last 50yrs. Stating or implying that things have gotten worse for them is quite ignorant of basic history and only serves to incite those who are looking for further justification for taking a radical position against the populous. Like the NRA.

  59. The Cyclist

    First thing that comes to mind is Wallace. How did that Truman get the office instead of him? Interesting chain of events that lead to decades of cold war. Take a look at that and understand it’s all about money. Money made on selling weapons and money made through using them. Human lives and happiness mean nothing in comparison. Second is this shit ain’t restricted to US. It’s spreading all over the world like plague.

  60. wallymann

    “Hopefully there will be consequences, lessons learned, and change.”

    unfortunately, LEOs rarely face consequence, hardly ever learn lessons, almost never change…until now, with the advent of ubiquitous video recording. they no longer own the narrative.

  61. Debbi Mudd

    Thank you for your coherent heart felt thoughts on this
    I have so many friends and even family on the other side of this issue and yes it scares and sickens me
    Nothing I ever say gets through and the answer is always more guns ????

  62. Jeff N


    More about bikes, travel, and Tucker. Less on guns, politics, and society chaos. It just pisses too many people off no matter what side you take.

    I guess unless you want take a head count on the amount of followers you have… those topics seem to ramp up the number for replies.

  63. Jonah S.

    I agree with you Steve. The excuse that ‘outlaws’ will always have guns is pretty weak when you consider that the vast majority of gun violence in this country is committed by mentally unstable folks, socially disabled, or the just plain angry folks that, rather than solo jumping off a bridge (which is another issue), they decide to take their whole family and/or friends with them. These people are not serial killers, or wanted criminals. They are our neighbors and friends who seem to lead very normal lives. Racism is what led to this in the first place once slaves were freed; perhaps the media can start using their billions to educate the U.S. on our history and what we need to achieve going forward instead of showing live fights and riots.

    Reducing the accessibility to guns will certainly help reduce violence from the folks who prefer taking the ‘easy’ route in this country and purchasing a gun (even illegally) and taking things into their own hands. In particular assault weapons, which allows no time for law enforcement to save lives, and is just another crazy incentive for the angry to rise up.

    See you in Steamboat – we’ll be on the blue/white Co-motion tandem. Jonah

  64. AC

    Where are your stats that the country has become less safe? By all accounts I’ve seen, it has become MORE safe (despite the media portrayal), especially with regards to violent crime, which has actually decreased while gun ownership has increased.

  65. Glenn

    Racism started this violence? How did you come to that conclusion? Stick to facts. The fact is that guns are a tool used in violent acts. The left continues to push that guns are the cause of violence. There is way too many made up statistics and scenarios created by the media and the left. And can you define “socially disabled”? Is that another made up liberal label to help categorize people in society? How does that help your cause?

  66. Jonah S.

    Sure, here are the facts:

    1. The United States leads the world in guns-per-capita, which is very large contributor to gun violence (i.e., easiest way to kill somebody is a gun). It’s not the cause of ‘violence’, but it’s 100% a part of ‘gun violence.’

    2. America’s need for guns can be traced back to the early days of pilgrims and natives, and hostile takeovers. Racism and the push for more guns was eventually ramped up after emancipation (remember that President who was shot over this, with a gun?). Guns per capita in this country doubled since the 60s following the Civil Rights Movement.

    3. There will always be folks who have no business being around guns, yet here we are allowing an unlimited amount of guns – in particular 100-round assault rifles specifically designed to kill massive amounts of people – to float around our communities.

    5. Socially disabled = Adam Lanza.

    6. There is no ’cause’ attached to trying to make a solution-based, positive impact. Calling that a ’cause’ is the definition of ‘label.’

  67. Paul Forsythe

    You are entitled to your own opinion, but you obviously spin things to support your opinion.

  68. Glenn

    Jonah, none of those statements are fact. They are your version of reality. I agree with Paul, that you are entitled to your opinion as I am with mine. I just see too much rhetoric and very little fact. I look for a solution as well, just don’t think that taking guns away from everyone is the solution. It would be the same as saying spoons cause obesity, so therefore we abolish all spoons. Get to the root of the problem first. Why did your “socially disabled” individual want to shoot everyone? If he had no access to a gun, would he then search the internet to find out how to make a bomb? More effective and more stand-off option. My point is talk about the problem, not the tools.

  69. Jonah S.

    Glenn, it’s a fact the U.S. has more guns per capital than any other country – doubling since the 60s, racism has existed for centuries, and that rhetoric is not inherently bad. How else does anything get accomplished? By the way, you’ve offered no solution so please enlighten us.

    Going with your metaphor on spoons and obesity, nobody plans to take away your spoon – just the shovel that you use to eat your spaghetti every night. The 2nd amendment said nothing about using shovels.

    And it’s my opinion that killing another with a gun is the most impersonal way to commit murder. You’ll never look out of place doing so until the bullet is fired. Building bombs takes networking, planning, time, and research, etc. – no comparison.

  70. Glenn

    So, if you read my prior posts you will see that part of my solution that is dismissed by the left is to stop the divisiveness in this country. Be more accepting and tolerant of others. You have to recognize that there are deeper problems than the tools that are used in violent crimes.

    My son has Asperger’s and when he was in school he was bullied and the school did nothing to stop it. I spent SO much time trying to help them to get it in check, but they did not want to “offend” the cool kids that were doing it. I told the district superintendant that I did not want him to be the next Columbine shooter (this was years ago). As parents, you need to recognize the warning signs. I did in my son and had to take it in my own hands and spent many months in therapy with him and corrected it. Many parents do not, in fact they don’t even look for it. And schools are ill-equipped to address it and unwilling to, again “offend” anyone. The problem is, that left unaddressed it will happen again.

    So, your looking for a solution. It is not a one size fits all issue of course, but you have to start somewhere. We, as a country have no moral compass, because we are no longer One Nation Under God. We are a nation of “me”. We have legislated God out of our schools and our lives. So, until we all start teaching our kids right from wrong and spending quality time with them and getting to know them, recognize the warning signs and then do something about it we will never begin to fix it. You have to hold your kids accountable as well. That is the first place to start.

    In general, I think that the national message has to change about the racism in this country. I spent 20 years in the military in many diverse places with many diverse races. My experience tells me that, yes there is racism in America ( and many other countries). It is only pockets, though. It is not a rampant problem like the media would have you believe. This is a great country, but the divisiveness needs to stop and we need to be able to address issues without worrying about what word I can and cannot say simply because of the color of my skin.

  71. Glenn

    And, to your point about the shovel…the comments above want the shovel AND the spoon taken away. The actions that result from rhetoric is often mis-guided and again, does not address any real problems. It only gives the appearance of action.

    While a bomb may take planning it is way more impersonal. Set it and you have to see your victim(s) actually die. Shooting someone means you have to look at them, pull the trigger and watch them fall and often times die. How is that more impersonal than a bomb? Our troops coming back from the battlefield with PTSD do so, because they see that very personal death. They sometimes have to shoot someone and live with it. That is a hard thing for people to reconcile. No comparison in my mind.

  72. Glenn

    I meant to say that with a bomb, you “never have to see the person actually die.”

  73. Jonah S.

    Glenn, I’d like to speak broadly on Steve’s blog – I’m not here to get personal with anybody. I agree parents need to step up and take accountability with their kids, seek medical help (I’m sorry, schools just aren’t trained in treating mental disorders), but also stop letting the system fix them. They can’t. The NRA knows there’s no profit in mental health – just automatic weapon sales – and they are gonna ride into the sunset with their unwillingness to admit there’s a problem with pushing unlimited guns – especially the bigs ones.

    Since educating and treating the population will take decades of work, the one thing we can do is change some laws. That’s what we elect people to do, pass laws. People are forgetting that fact. Many Senators and Representatives are getting paid handsomely by the NRA to do nothing – no voting, no listening to ‘rhetoric’, and no change. It’s sad. It that the world we want to live in? Zero progress?

    I think your mixing military experience with the majority of these mass shootings in the U.S. Most of these guys are military wannabes, not ex-military, are filled with hate, and take advantage that every street corner in this country that peddles assault rifles. Can’t say the same about bombs. Some of it’s racism, but in reality it’s a broader issue of an angry and hateful background – passed on each generation – that has probably got us here. American history is pretty short compared to other places; don’t have to look too far back to see why we don’t do things like other countries with little to no gun violence with probably about the same % of folks who need mental health therapy and/or medication.

    A better analogy is seatbelts and speed limits for cars. Nobody wanted those things when they came out. They thought of themselves as prudent drivers and it’s just the irresponsible folks that’s the problem. Seatbelts and speed limits are tools that save lives, and do so in large quantities every day. It was the right thing to do. Sure, there will always be bad drivers, who don’t give a damn about wearing their seatbelt or putting other drivers in harms way, but could you imagine if we didn’t have either one? That’s where we are with guns in this country. Peace.

  74. Glenn

    No real argument with anything you say except one reclama; Automatic weapons have been outlawed since 1986 (by Ronald Reagan). I think sensible law changes should be made with respect to actually doing background checks on anyone wanting to purchase a gun to include medical and school records. The other thing would be to enforce the other laws that we already have in place.

    To clarify one more thing, I was not trying to say that the shooters were military. My point was that shooting a person is a very personal, emotional thing unlike bombs. Bombs can be set to go off and you don’t have to be present to see the destruction.

  75. Jonah S.

    Meant to say assault rifles, that ban expired in 2004. And the AR-15 kit to convert the civilian version to military grade is widely available. Who invented this ‘sport’ anyhow? Oh, the cycle continues.


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