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Books

Ten Poems to Change Your Life

Ten Poems to Change Your Life
ABOUT THE BOOK: This is a dangerous book. Great poetry calls into question not less than everything. It dares us to break free from the safe strategies of the cautious mind. It opens us to pain...

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)

NEW Spiritual Solutions by Deepak Chopra(Hardcover)
Spiritual Solutions: Answers to Life's Greatest Challenges ( AUDIOBOOK Available )  "Great advice directly from the master on virtually any subject, it just doesn't get any better...

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)

GOD: A Story of Revelation (Hardcover)
“God is an empty term except through the revelations of all the saints, prophets, and mystics of history. They exist to plant the seeds of spirituality as a direct experience rather than a...

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)

Brotherhood - by Deepak & Sanjiv Chopra (Hardcover)
BROTHERHOOD Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream DEEPAK & SANJIV CHOPRA   “BROTHERHOOD is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite...

Book Of Secrets

Book Of Secrets
2005 Nautilus Book Award Grand Prize Winner! New York Times Best Seller! Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets...

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)

Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy Tanzi, MD (Hardcover)
Learn about Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Center's Super Brain dietary supplement - Ayurvedic Brain Support NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD & Rudy...

Joyful Wisdom

Joyful Wisdom
ABOUT THEBOOK: Yongey Mingyur is one of the most celebrated among the new generation of Tibetan meditation masters, whose teachings have touched people of all faiths around the world. His first...

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui

Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
ABOUT THE BOOK: Feng Shui is the ancient oriental art of enhancing and harmonizing the flow of energy in your surroundings.  Over the last twenty years, Karen Kingston has pioneered the study...

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)

Soul of Leadership (Hardcover)
ABOUT THIS BOOK Leadership is the most crucial choice one can make—it is the decision to step out of darkness into the light.      Bestselling author and spiritual guide Deepak Chopra invites...

Events

 
 
 
December 23 2012

Gun Control Is About the Silent Majority

Category:  SF Gate

Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)


In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, a minority issue has come before the majority. In a democracy the majority passes the laws. In a democracy dedicated to justice, the majority is careful when passing these laws to protect the rights of the minority. Gun control, now as in the past, defies democratic rule. An intransigent minority has a stranglehold on making the law and blocking reform.

It's worth making such basic points, which everyone knows, because a silent majority has been acquiescent in the culture of violence that everyone is decrying now. The phrase "silent majority" was invented in the Nixon era to ignite widespread resentment against the anti-war movement, a rise in crime and drug use, and general permissiveness. It gave permission for scattered, unfocused anger and resentment to come together. For anyone on the left, this was moral chicanery, a way for right-wing politicians to exploit the underside of social antagonism while wearing a mask of pious rectitude.

It's time to test if there is a silent majority that is willing to come together for issues that stand for a healthy moral sense - not social resentment and "values" issues that revolve around prejudice and reactionary religion. In his speech last week on gun safety, President Obama rightly said that incidents like Newtown reveal a complex issue, where guns are entangled with issues over mental health, the Second Amendment, police safety, school security, and more. But he was also right in saying that complexity isn't an excuse for not acting.

The public has become lax over the past thirty years. The shock of the Newtown shootings has suddenly created a shift. According to the latest CNN poll, 62% of respondents favor a reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons, and the same majority would support a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips. But opinions don't create action when an entrenched minority wields political power. The NRA is doing what it has always done when the public gets aroused by a mass killing - they lie low for a while, wait for the outcry to die down, and then move in to make sure that Congress is still under their control.

We need to strip away us-versus-them thinking on guns, which only leads into endless arguments over persona values. The gun culture in this country is implacable. They have no interest in compromise. Sensible gun laws galvanize their paranoia. On TV one hears the prevailing conspiracy theories: guns are needed so that individual citizens can protect themselves when an oppressive government turns on its citizens. Take away assault weapons, and it's a slippery slope to taking away all guns. And so it goes. Guns don't kill, people do. Every family needs a gun to protect itself from home invasion. A majority of Americans don't buy into these arguments, but they silently acquiesce to them.

Grief and shock should lead to an aroused majority that doesn't aim to change gun culture but simply to exert the will of the country. In 1996, Australia reacted to the crazed killing of 35 people in Tasmania by passing stiff gun control that included buying back semi-automatic weapons. Australia has a Wild West culture that dates back to its frontier days, and so there were plenty of semi-automatic weapons out there. The buy-back amounted to 600,000 weapons. The same thing needs to happen here. We can't shrug our shoulders once more, using "culture of violence" as an excuse for doing nothing. The rights of the minority have been tolerated too far when that minority stands for intractable intolerance itself.
Gun Control Is About the Silent Majority

Top comments

  • I respect you as a great teacher. However you are wrong and acting like many others riding on emotion. I to am a father of a teenage daughter that l love with all my heart. But there are two ways we can live our life based on fear or love. Guns are not the problem sick people are. I can even remember many years ago in my home town a crazy guy walked into a grocery store sprayed gas all over everyone and set them all on fire. Did we outlaw gas... No..! Everyday tons of people are killed in cars do we stop driving...NO...! Evil is evil and it will always find a way and taking away freedom is also a form of evil. I also do not trust our government or anyone that much...! I also personally do not own an assault weapon. But freedom is freedom. You either are or your not. Kind of the whole concept God gave us all with free will. He never said free will but with these limits. It is truly sad what happened. But facts are when you keep giving your freedom up a little bit over time you one day wake up like the frog in the pot asking how did I end up here and where is my freedom. If we want to focus on mass killing the first place to start is the examples we are setting with war all around the world. You of all people understand global energy and its effects. We the people are indeed justifying violence actions all over the world. We set these examples in the media every single day. Love is the answer. Poor more love into the media, movies and news and you see these kinds of things come down to a min. Wake up people...! Lay down missiles our own weapons of mass destruction before we start asking people about giving up their simple freedom. Once again its sad just like its sad for thousands killed in car accidents or many thousands of people dying in this country as a result of desiese every single day do to poor food choices and all the chemicals in our foods.

    Zorro // 2012-12-24 05:40:38 // //
  • Deepak, What about the mental health issues that seem to be constantly glossed over? There is an entire moral shift over the last 50 or so years that has created less honor and more blame. The government can ban something and then fill the prisons with so called criminals. The have banned many different drugs and they are all still very available. The solution in my mind is less government and more personal responsibility. We have too much government all over the world, in almost every country. More tax, less freedom. More regulations, less freedom. More government, more cost to the honest working person. To blame and ban inanimate objects because certain people are mentally ill is not logical and probably very expensive and very difficult to enforce.

    Big11cat // 2012-12-23 15:08:25 // //

 

 

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  • Sorry Deepak, no support here this time. I have read and listened to your books time and again and found great value in them. I know your intention is one of peace and unity. Mine are as well as I see that as the true reality of life. Our government is not of a peaceful united intention however. I see them as wanting to accumulate power and control via deception and violence. Sometimes we must as the village idiot from Texas, George W. Bush said, fight for peace. I typically love your message Deepak, but your words are not enough to defend ourselves from sociopaths in society or the govt. I know society is in a sick type of love with ego and violence in mainstream culture, but you must separate the necessity for an armed society from that cultural sickness. They are not inherently intertwined.

    Joby // 2013-01-21 21:48:24 // //
  • good afternoon, i have been reading the comments,and i think we the people are free to use or don`t use weapon, and as is logical the question is why we have to use weapons, and really we don`t need the weapons, if we have the love in own hearts,if we have mind,spirit,body healthy,THE LOVE and the FAITH is the power, it sound fantastical because many people define the love like only a feeling and the faith as a dream, they ignore the other part of these both issues . them we can not change the mind of the peoples but we can cooperate to disappear all the things unnecessary

    portlight // 2013-01-02 23:50:54 // //
  • Thank you Deepak for your words. We, as a peaceful and free society must find the courage to change and break the American gun culture which is glamorized by media and taught to our children on a daily basis. Secondly, we must stop the flow of these weapons into our society by adopting strict gun laws and hopefully repealing the 2nd amendment. To say the right to own a gun gives you freedom is a deception. The purpose of a gun is to end life and owning such a thing will only keep you bound to a life of fear and violence. Only by giving up such things can people find true freedom and peace.

    David // 2013-01-02 14:18:54 // //
  • It begins with balance! I believe I am among the current ‘silent majority’ that you are calling upon. I admire your work and see you as one of our generation’s spiritual leaders. I was surprised to find that it appeared I couldn’t agree with this article. I would be among 62% that would support a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. To support these changes, would be a willingness to be reasonable, responsible and in good-faith to achieve compromise. The NRA is a difficult one; they represent an extreme point of view that protects my husband’s right to bear arms. My husband has been a hunter for 26 years, I am not. However, I respect his rights. Also, we personally don’t arm ourselves against the government. We arm ourselves against the citizens that are NOT law abiding and the ones that tend to overreact. Isn’t it reasonable to assume, if law abiding citizens surrender their guns to meet some new law, then the only people retaining their rights to bear arms, would be the ones posing the greatest risk to our society? Where is the balance in that? Perhaps we are resistant because of a fear of “all or nothing”, rather than seeing it as an evolution of gun ownership. With that said, my husband and I are law abiding citizens that would NEVER harm another human being, without an extreme situation, except as an act of self-defense. I totally agree that “We need to strip away us-versus-them thinking”. Too much energy is wasted on the push and pull strategies. Thanks to Newton’s discovery we know, “Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.” I find that this applies to our government, Republican vs. Democrats. Isn’t this also reflected, in the reactions to the tragedies that we experience all around us? The harder one side pushes, the harder the other side must push back. Isn’t it also reflected in symbols of balance, such as yin-yang? The Constitution begins with “We the people…” not me, not you, not I. I don’t understand why there is so much separateness in our world. Daily, I question if it’s just different personalities or perhaps a reflection of the unenlightened and/or unaware. What is the source of our separateness? Is resistance a natural force created by nature? Perhaps when we achieve more unity, there will be less need for knee jerk reactions and less resistance to change; less “us-versus-them”. My heart aches for the families of Newtown, CT and it aches for Adam’s family. I had to quit watching the news reports covering what happened. However, I am confident that the majority of the cause of this tragedy needs to be directed toward mental health issues. It wasn’t the guns, it was the individual. More gun control may have lessened his impact, however it would not have changed his intentions and reasons for it. If we want to fix something, we need to figure out what is causing SO many mental issues. If we can’t cure it, we need to provide the most unbelievable love and support for these people struggling with it and for the families that are trying to love them. I don’t know anything about Adam’s mother, but I would like to imagine she was the one person in his life, that wasn’t willing to give up on him. Our world needs more love, resulting in less need for laws. We need more health and support, not reactionary people that want to point fingers or label sad tragedies as an act of “evil”. I keep wondering, where are people’s hearts? Sometimes we need to think with our hearts, not our minds. I truly believe change begins with our children. If every child was loved and protected; encouraged and supported; raised out of abuse and poverty; this would lead to the changes we desire. We could begin to transform our society within one generation. I lay my faith at the feet of my children. I’ve reread you article a number of times while writing this and it’s possible that I do agree, but I’m not sure I’m clear what you’re moving towards or what it is you support. I believe it’s a fact that the majority of us support change; we just aren’t sure how to achieve it and honestly, I’m not willing to become part of the fight. Aside from sharing my thoughts and creating change within my small family, I will probably continue to be among the ‘silent majority’ seeking peace, creating change within and having faith that all is as it’s meant to be, while praying and meditating; that as a collective conscious we will create the change that is desired.

    TJones // 2013-01-02 12:49:11 // //
  • I agree with Chopra and also the comments concerning mental health care and healing people before they explode. You are not the silent majority if you are replying to Chopra`s commentary...and I believe he is thrilled about that. How many people do you hear speaking out about mental healthcare in this nation...the "silent majority". So, therefore, Chopra`s point exactly. It can apply to many issues so many tend to ignore out of fear. So be fearless and speak out for change....thanks for listening.....

    k Lowe // 2013-01-02 11:53:01 // //
  • I am surprised by the reaction of the comments that you have gotten on this. The arguments they use are not rational. One said someone killed with gas so should we ban gas, while another mentioned all the deaths related to cars and should we ban cars. Guns are created to hurt and kill. Most of us aren`t keeping a gas can under our bed in case of home invasion. I don`t understand the reluctance to even look at finding compromise here. What are folks afraid of? Yes we have severe mental illness and societal issues to talk about. And yes we want to preserve the rights of people who legitimately want to hunt or target shoot. The idea that assault weapons and large capacity clips make any of us safer is really hard for me to get my arms around. I am not a huge fan of using legislation to "cure" our problems, but common sense tells me that this must be part of the overall approach. I am an American who has been silent. I believe that we need to work at all levels to end this culture of violence and as part of that I say no to guns.

    jaya deb // 2013-01-02 11:26:36 // //
  • I completely agree with Deepak. The gun advocates talk about freedom. Those of us who are in favor of gun control in the form of banning assault weapons and clips that can fire multiple rounds are talking about democracy. The views of the majority should not be overruled by the demands of the minority. We as a democratic country cannot stay silent and let the cries of the few be louder than the voice of the many.

    Florence McReynolds // 2013-01-02 11:02:19 // //
  • Well Love is the answer, so is peace. The media spends more time on violence, rather stories of people being compationate or caring or even Loving, wish the media would pick up on this cridical piece, now is the time more then ever. Thank you for article Deepak, very interesting viewpoint, we all need to be challenged, especially our thoughts and the things we overlook.

    nando // 2013-01-02 07:07:37 // //
  • I respect your opinion but I must say I disagree with you here. Simply by implying that there is a "Silent Majority" you are contributing to the argument that you say we should avoid. The real issue to be faced here is what is wrong with a our society and how do we solve it. Pointing the finger at a weapon is hardly the proper approach. Demanding more regulations is merely a band-aid on an open wound. Taking this approach will not resolve anything, in fact it only adds to the problem. Acting out of emotion does not solve any problem. We all know the real problem is society as a whole. Honestly if you were to discover that you had a concealed gun I would not feel fear because I know you are a grounded, spiritual, and respectful person; however put that same weapon in the hands of a gang banger under the same circumstances and we have a completely different scenario. You see we are not dealing with a gun problem, we are dealing with a people problem. Until we as a society work on ourselves there will always be something to outlaw, something to banish, something to legislate against. I would have hoped that you would have taken this tragedy and used it as an example to show how lost we are as a society, but instead you have taken this instance to take a stand against firearms and for this I am truly disappointed. I mean no disrespect by my comment, I am just expressing my own personal opinion to your approach; and just as I have respected your opinion and taken a moment to think about what you have had to say, I hope you will do the same as well to what I have.

    xavier // 2013-01-01 23:14:08 // //
  • Deepak you are totally wrong in your opinion. Speak for yourself! If you looked at the silent majority you would be looking at the corporations and their greed and contempt for the health of the majority of Americans -- GMO`s that are poisoning us all, nanotechnology and lack of regulation much less even the labeling (but that would be a 1st Amendment violation to protect the big Corporations--note the capital "C"). Have you been bought out? Have wondered with your connections with Google. Stay with something you know best, the health of the human, and help us on that front. You are either naieve or getting old and losing your perspective. It`s a second Amendment right of all Americans or do you not consider the Constitution worthy of upholding?

    Pamela Barnes // 2013-01-01 22:48:09 // //
  • Your pretence is nonsense, instead of blaming things on guns why do you not go after the real culprit, people who are fucking nuts, figure out a way that Mothers and Fathers etc., can commit there insane children, then you are doing something but this is nonsense.

    7th generation Texas // 2013-01-01 22:34:05 // //
  • The above arguments against gun control are simply wrong. Yes, people get killed in car accidents but cars are not designed to kill people. They are a mode of transportation. Guns have no other purpose than to kill; and assault weapons were designed to kill many people in a very short period of time. Yes, mentally sick people are the problem and we need better methods of identifying and caring for the mentally ill but while we are addressing that let`s make weapons of mass murder a lot less available. And, Zorro, God DID put limits on our free will. Remember, "Thou shalt not steal?" and "Thou shalt not kill?"

    Rose // 2012-12-30 09:39:37 // //
  • Who are we trying to protect with these proposed gun laws? What percentage of people have been killed by non-police gun violence? How much safer are Americans with the TSA in place? How much "freedom" did the TSA bring us? Do these proposed gun laws include restrictions on the police and military? Do you know how much money the United States spends annually on military - especially in comparison to the rest of the world? Before so quickly dismissing thoughts of oppressive government control and takeovers as conspiracy theories, take a step back and look at the situation. How about holding the FDA accountable on their lax policies with GRAS foods? How about regulations on the pharmaceutical industry? How many deaths result per year from properly prescribed drugs? Especially in comparison to guns? What`s the real issue here? What do you hope to accomplish with gun laws? Can our focus be more effective elsewhere? How about the criminals who lobby in Washington, or those that run the banks and are unlawfully foreclosing on Americans? How about the issue of outsourcing our jobs, our industry, our resources, and our property to other countries (China)? With the reputation the United States has with debt and assets, what do you think is being used as collateral? (Hint: it`s not the counterfeit fiat currency that`s mass produced). What about our declining education system? How much lower must we get in test scores compared to the rest of the world? How much higher must we get in infant mortality rates and mother deaths? Does anyone know what the process is for clinical trials for a pharmaceutical drug to be approved by the FDA? Do you know how many "laws" were passed last year? Do you know how many "laws" there are in total that you must not violate? How about the privatized prisons? How do you think they make money? It`s not by empty beds and empty cells. What do you think about slavery and forced labor? Do you know how much a prisoner makes for their forced labor? Do you know how easy it is for anyone to go to jail? How do you think the city, and police department make money? It`s not by asking people to politely be more mindful of the law. It`s by writing tickets and making arrests. How can they make more arrests and issue more tickets? Make more "laws". Why don`t government schools teach people about health, food, nutrition, and proper lifestyle and mindset? Why don`t government schools teach people about the rules (read: laws) of the society their in? Why don`t government schools teach people to stand up for themselves rather than sit down, shut up, do as I say and don`t question authority, but do it because I say so? Why is the United States so resistant to labeling genetically modified foods? Does the country even know that their food is genetically engineered? Does the country actually believe an organization, pharmaceutical company, or a charity is actually going to create a magic pill that will somehow eradicate all the toxins and sickness in the human body, and rid it of cancer/heart disease/diabetes/ADHD/autism? Why does the country believe there is no "cure"? How many drug laws do we have in this country? How have those laws helped prevent drug use? Everyone laughs and jokes and agrees that politicians and lawyers are crooked, but do they know why? Do people know what these politicians and lawyers are up to and doing? Why do people think (sustainably grown) organic food is too expensive and not worth buying over conventional food? Why would people buy conventional? Why don`t people want to know what`s really in their food? Are they even eating real food, or some manufactured filler to stop the hunger? What country do you think is the world`s biggest arms (guns) supplier? So I ask, what`s your goal, and where would the attention best be focused? Use our mind and think. If you don`t read, I have no better advantage over those who can`t read. Don`t be so quick to jump to conclusions. If you took away the gun from the shooter, would that have made society safe and changed his mind about harming people? Do you really believe it`s that simple? Please look at the big picture, follow the money, turn off CNN and think! That`s your greatest ability.

    WheresTheTruth // 2012-12-29 18:15:13 // //
  • I lived through Hurricane Katrina, and in the aftermath of that event, the civil authorities were suddenly unable to protect us from the criminal elements of society. In order to fill that breech, my neighbors and I took up our arms - which you would define as `assault weapons` - and used them to prevent several horrors. I am saddened to know that you would prefer our families to suffer evil than to have the tools to defend against it. I am not a man of war, but I know that to stand idle while our children are eaten by wolves is no virtue.

    Shane // 2012-12-29 17:11:05 // //
  • A humane society is one that moves towards more towards personal autonomy and moves away from governmental coercion for its citizens. Inhumane societies are defined by their limits in the autonomy available to its citizens. No one wants to live in a world where you have no choice, where everything you do is because you are forced to comply. Most people would choose to live in Club Med over Sing Sing Prison. No matter how attractive it may seem to `take control`, the end result of coercion by the government often leads to very bad things. Well meaning people can and often do propose things that on retrospect not only fail to achieve their goals but create an increasingly less humane society. In the last century, this country and several others recognized the detrimental effects of alcohol on the populace, and in the desire to "do something", we passed a constitutional amendment that ended the consumption of alcohol. We empowered the government to coerce us to stop drinking. The result of this well meaning law was to convert a nation of citizens into a nation of criminals. In the end all that was accomplished was to make the average citizen have contempt for the law, alcohol consumption powered on. No matter how strong the case of alcohol being detrimental for the lives( and trust me, there is a very strong case to argue against alcohol consumption ) of its citizenry, passing a law, even at the constitutional level, to end its existence in society not only failed to end alcohol consumption but its prohibition more to increase all of the vices that the law was supposed to remove in the first place! The Volsted Act is a good test case that shows that law cannot be used to change a nations culture. Prohibition of Alcohol was a simple thing to accomplish but it collapsed as a process because it failed to understand the culture that alcohol consumption was based on. There is a lesson there for those who wish to learn it. Law, such as it is, must sit on a foundation of morality. To attempt to create law while at the same time destroying any sense of societal morality is to propose a situation where governmental coercion is increasingly used in place of that missing morality. I politely suggest that law is not a substitute for morality. The result of this line of thinking, to replace societal morality with the coercive imposition of law is never good. The result is one that changes citizens of a community into a situation where the relationship with their government becomes one of shared communal benefit and duty, to the relationship that exists between the jailer and the convict. If we try to chip away at the described rights of the citizenry, we must take great pains that we do not also shatter the foundation for a civil society on which those rights rest. An attack on one right or liberty almost never ends at that one right, the desire for control is at times, insatiable. Once a single liberty is removed from the right of the governed, those we empower as the government will find it increasingly easy to keep going until all citizens are made into criminals and convicts. In the end, an attempt to end the right of self defense will almost certainly end in the abrogation of the right to speak freely, to assemble, the freedom against unlawful search and seizure and so on. All of these things can be easily be removed and the effort to do so will be excused under a rubric of logic that says in essence: "its for their own good". Please remember that when you champion the idea of more government control over the lives of the citizens, you almost always think of this idea while the government is run by people you like. Inevitably, governments change and you must always consider how you will wish to be governed when that government is made up of people you don`t like. The people in government often change, but the power that we choose to give our government often stays.

    frank c martin // 2012-12-29 14:46:22 // //
  • Wrong and wrong again. We are not a democracy where the majority can tyrannize the minority, 3 wolves and 2 sheep voting on what is for lunch. The Founders and Framers feared a democracy as much as a monarchy, both are tyranny. We are a Constitutional (Rule of law) Representative (Burkeian Trusteeship) Republic (Rule of The People (public)). This is so that no matter how small the minority their rights are protected. The primary purpose of the Second Amendment is so The People (the right of The People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed) is so The People can defend their inalienable right to Life and Liberty can be defended, by force of arms if necessary. At Newtown that Right, the RIGHT of the teachers and staff to defend themselves and the children in their charge was denied by LAW. When evil came to Sandy Hook, the rights of the teachers and children were violated by a monster, but DENIED by the State. Our system is not based on groups, minority or majority, our system is based on the inalienable rights of the individual. Individuals with Liberty, who form and have a government to protect that Liberty. What Mr. Chopra advocates is tyranny not liberty.

    JCM1776 // 2012-12-29 14:11:53 // //
  • I have one question. When Australia did the buy-back, did that actually help with the gun violence? I was brought up around guns, so was taught to respect them, and was an NRA member for a few years before giving up my membership. Since then I have taken up a spiritual path. Even though I have a number of firearms in my house, I have no ammunition. If presented with a life-and-death situation now I would probably take a path of inducing peace. However, with that said, Professor John Lott did a very convincing study and found that a right-to-carry permit. I have recently learned through Professor Lott that there were a number of movie theaters near the Colorado theater, but that was the only one that did not allow concealed weapons in the theater. Mike

    @thisismyfaith // 2012-12-29 13:42:17 // //
  • Although I agree with the concept of looking at it two different ways, I am also apart of the silent majority that would like to see the ban on assault weapons reinstated. No it`s not because I blame guns for killing people, I am well aware that it is people that pull the triggers. I have lost loved ones to gun violence and every time I see something this horrible occurs my heart breaks one more time. Loosing someone is painful, but when its through violence there is apart of your soul that is violated in a way that can not explained it hurts to the core of who you are. It can not be justified and only time dulls the hurt but never heals the scare completely. Having said that, I also believe that if you are a responsible citizen of this nation and you fit the guidelines for gun ownership you should have the right to bare arms. However, I do not consider assault weapons to be in the same category and do not understand why people need to own them at any time and for any reason. To my thinking this is different and I find it rude to assume that people who want the ban on assault weapons have issues with all guns. Because simply put not all of us do any more than everyone who owns a gun is going to kill someone. The NRA suggest that we have teachers carry guns and a guard stand outside the school. As someone who is apart of the education field, I do not believe this to be the answer; if anything a gun in a classroom, can put students in danger indirectly in various ways. In honesty although a guard sounds like a good idea, if someone really wants to kill people they will kill the guard first that will not change it. The answer lies in the way we look at guns and we help people and families with mental illness. Until we change this all or nothing attitude in regards to ownership of guns and acknowledge that guns are weapons and should be treated as such than we will put our schools and our citizens at risk for another such attack on innocence. I end this with saying that the day of the shooting in Sandy Brook I was in a classroom in a different district than my own child. When I left that day, I called her school so thankful I could pick her up and hold her tight, knowing she was safe and as I held her my heart broke for all of the parents that would never again get to hold and kiss their children goodnight just one more time.

    findingfityoga // 2012-12-29 13:06:19 // //
  • I disagree. Guns don`t kill people do. Why do we live in a society that consistently points its finger at a thing rather than a person?

    Wesleypeggy // 2012-12-27 07:15:35 // //
  • What is the purpose of an assault weapon? What is the purpose of a high ammunition clip? Who benefits most from their sale? I would love to hear examples of the peaceful purpose of either of the above. I would love to hear examples of how either of the above have been used as for defense by a law abiding citizen. We can look at examples around the world of these kind of shootings vs the availability of these two products (assault weapons and high output ammunition clips ) . I am sure that the knowledge exists to do a chart that provides more information than all the rhetoric.

    Gordon Martin // 2012-12-27 07:14:42 // //
  • so many innocent healthy babies were killed/aborted due to inconvenience of mother or due to other reasons. we are born by love and should love and serve each other as God has love us unconditionally. what do you think of legalizing abortion? banned too?

    mena // 2012-12-25 21:57:34 // //
  • Zorro. Freedom is not freedom when I have to fear a MINORITY who thinks they have a right to carry an assault weapon. If until the NRA or other gun owners can reduce gun violence and murder to a rate than is lower than other western countries, your "freedom" will have to suffer. Like it or not.

    Bodine // 2012-12-25 21:37:29 // //
  • Shame on you!! Spiritual enlightened you are NOT!

    juletodd // 2012-12-25 21:35:59 // //
  • ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE MAGAZINE BANS ARE RED HERRINGS If you read the 1994 assault weapons ban law`s definition of assault rifles and investigate what the terms mean you will see that the definition of an assault is based on cosmetic features. Many of the so-called assault rifles available today are based on hunting rifle designs. The action (which is the mechanical part of the gun which loads and fires the bullets) are identical and only the stock, and shell around the action is different. So the capacity of the different models to do damage is the same. If you want to see what I am talking about take a look at a Mossberg 715T and a Mossberg 702 Plinkster, the 715T would be banned while the 702 would not, yet they are the same gun with different outer shells. Cho, the shooter in the Virginia Tech incident, who killed the most people of any of these horrible incidents, used two handguns one with a 10 round magazine and the other with a 15 round magazine. He had 19 loaded magazines with him and it only takes 3 seconds to change a magazine. Banning large capacity magazines would be an inconvenience to a mass shooter, one that Cho apparently didn`t even think was worth the bother of doing anything about. One other thing I would take issue with is your casting of gun owners as a monolithic block represented by the NRA is not logical. The NRA has 4 million members, yet there are 100 million gun owners in the US. How can an organization with a membership of 4% of a group represent the views of the entire group? I am a gun owner and I disagree with the NRA politics more often than not. Don`t you think that if we are to solve this problem we should actually think about and investigate the problem and choose solutions that are actually likely to reduce the problem, instead of taking actions that while they might make some feel better actually have no chance at being effective? As the president as already observed this problem is not one that can be solved solely by enacting more restrictive gun laws. As far as the gun laws do go the thing that makes the most sense to do is to strengthen the system we already have in place to try and prevent bad guys from obtaining guns - namely the FBI records check process. It is already in place and is funded, the issue with it is that it has holes both by having exceptions to when it is used (such as at gun shows and for private sales). A reasonable change would be to close those loop holes. Also the FBI system is not able to access all of the information it needs to be more effective. Not all states participate in the system and so do not share data on their populations. Also for privacy reasons not all metal health records are available either. I have to admit that I am somewhat uncomfortable expanding access to more databases as I don`t trust the government to be able to protect those records and to not use that info for purposes unrelated to this purpose but something has to be done to curb these mass assaults. Finally, if you look at violence against persons of all types you will see that the northeast region of the country is the least violent. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are the safest places to live and all 3 have fairly liberal gun control laws and higher gun ownership rates, Massachusetts, Connecticut have some of the most strict and lower gun ownership rates, yet all 5 states have violent crime rates below the national average. Wouldn`t that suggest that there are some other factors which are more significant than gun ownership and laws? As a man of science I would expect you to approach this logically and use scientific methods to research and recommend steps which are most likely to reduce the problem based on the data at hand rather than recommend cosmetic ones which are unlikely to have the desired effect.

    SteveP (NH) // 2012-12-25 11:26:12 // //
  • Let`s take a look at State by State. Who are the people`s representives who are votig for semi auto guns.

    Woodie // 2012-12-24 22:17:50 // //
  • Are you for real! Are you a citizen of America ?have you ever even look at the bill of rights? You raggity ass rant on gun control was the worse I read so far.you just throw the second amendment out the window and said do it my way..they may do that in your homeland but not here. If this is the best the post can get I`m done reading it!

    Ratman // 2012-12-24 18:07:32 // //
  • I would definitely impose the same ban in the same way as Australia managed its own issue. I would also institute the practice of meditation starting in the elementary school as a mean to bring together a group of children. Meditation is neutral, it`s not under the seal of one religion. Having each classroom practice meditation together would change the climate of each classroom, each school and with the years getting on, we would change the mental attitude of a people who is manipulated by fear to an attitude of calm and awareness. And when you think of it, it`s a program of fifteen minutes which requires no books, no software, and no new teacher, who can learn in about tow hours how to conduct a simple meditation. :))

    florence baumgartner // 2012-12-24 17:45:55 // //
  • It is quite a task to cure all people of mental illness and subside every "act of passion" killing within a society. It is much easier and less costly to simply target the types of weapons that are made for mass killing and take them out of the general population. There is a cultural message of acceptance being sent when a mother and son can take assault rifles and use them for target practice; there is also a desensitization that occurs for children who regularly shoot guns (even in the most gun responsible families). There are as many ways to kill a human as one can imagine, yet guns are so often used in these cases there must be a linking to the culture around guns. What "freedom" are we really concerned with losing if killing machines are no longer available for purchase? Freedom is limited when the potential benefits greatly out-weigh the potential costs.

    Opinionated // 2012-12-24 13:00:31 // //
  • I respect you as a great teacher. However you are wrong and acting like many others riding on emotion. I to am a father of a teenage daughter that l love with all my heart. But there are two ways we can live our life based on fear or love. Guns are not the problem sick people are. I can even remember many years ago in my home town a crazy guy walked into a grocery store sprayed gas all over everyone and set them all on fire. Did we outlaw gas... No..! Everyday tons of people are killed in cars do we stop driving...NO...! Evil is evil and it will always find a way and taking away freedom is also a form of evil. I also do not trust our government or anyone that much...! I also personally do not own an assault weapon. But freedom is freedom. You either are or your not. Kind of the whole concept God gave us all with free will. He never said free will but with these limits. It is truly sad what happened. But facts are when you keep giving your freedom up a little bit over time you one day wake up like the frog in the pot asking how did I end up here and where is my freedom. If we want to focus on mass killing the first place to start is the examples we are setting with war all around the world. You of all people understand global energy and its effects. We the people are indeed justifying violence actions all over the world. We set these examples in the media every single day. Love is the answer. Poor more love into the media, movies and news and you see these kinds of things come down to a min. Wake up people...! Lay down missiles our own weapons of mass destruction before we start asking people about giving up their simple freedom. Once again its sad just like its sad for thousands killed in car accidents or many thousands of people dying in this country as a result of desiese every single day do to poor food choices and all the chemicals in our foods.

    Zorro // 2012-12-24 05:40:38 // //
  • After the Tucson shooter had killed or wounded 19 people with his 19-round pistol, he was disarmed and held while he attempted to reload. 30-round clips for an assault rifle have the same logistics. We could, with some political backbone, buy back all clips that hold over 10 rounds in a short period of time. On the other hand, mental health treatment is a long-term putative solution based on a very inexact science. Arguing for one without the other is not a compromise. Accepting either one-dimensional solution by itself is an ostrich approach, one that would malign even that misunderstood bird.

    JT // 2012-12-24 05:08:42 // //
  • Thanks to Dr. Chopra for his wisdom and leadership. My heart is so broken of this recent tragedy. When we live in a society that everyone feels unsafe and wants to carry a gun, some should ask themselves why we are feeling that way at the first place. Don`t we need to over look at our life style, the media, TV, movies and the way we raise our children instead? We need to emphasize on love and raise our kids with traditional family values and put control on anything that promotes crime and terror including Guns, media, nonsense TV programs and harsh movies. We can no longer afford to nourish our kids with poisonous video or computer games while they can spend some quality time with their parents. People should get educated about relationship and parenting before getting themselves involved in marriage or relationship for the sake of having a better and more stable family structure in our society.

    M. Zama // 2012-12-23 23:05:33 // //
  • Agree with you Deeprak!!

    Miluska Villar Guerreiro // 2012-12-23 19:20:19 // //
  • I like the idea of buying back the guns from gun owners. If Australia can do it, so can we. This is the first step the government can take to help turnaround our "culture of violence". As for the mental health problem, everyone has to be responsible for themselves and their families...be aware and seek help when needed. There are lots of help around, just look and ask.

    miamore // 2012-12-23 18:38:44 // //
  • Good stuff!

    Alexis Frias // 2012-12-23 18:20:58 // //
  • Change, and this is a good thing

    Mariann Boda Toth // 2012-12-23 16:58:43 // //
  • Yes change is coming.

    Cass McKee // 2012-12-23 16:45:45 // //
  • Hello, You make an analysis error, it is not the weapons that are only a question but the impact of video games and films on the children. But business is business for Holywood.

    noona // 2012-12-23 15:54:27 // //
  • Jackson's can and cannot believe there is no other world.

    Dolores Trujillo // 2012-12-23 15:46:59 // //
  • Bullshit! You may not like the constituition of our country but you are not going to change it, you probably do not hunt, maybe you do not fish and maybe you have no respect for us the native americans or americans who knows this problem is one of some people, the best way to combat it is prepare for it, it is not going to stop. This attitude to punish all for a few is again bullshit, this nonsense is even in schools now with everyone passes because we cannot hurt the few failures, and the teaching of learning more in failure than success well that is turning into some being serial loosers. Many years ago when I was growing up there were rifles in every corner of the house, gun cabinets and we did not go out and shoot anyone, your premise is fundamentally wrong, period end of story.

    Lee Brownfield // 2012-12-23 15:15:33 // //
  • Deepak, What about the mental health issues that seem to be constantly glossed over? There is an entire moral shift over the last 50 or so years that has created less honor and more blame. The government can ban something and then fill the prisons with so called criminals. The have banned many different drugs and they are all still very available. The solution in my mind is less government and more personal responsibility. We have too much government all over the world, in almost every country. More tax, less freedom. More regulations, less freedom. More government, more cost to the honest working person. To blame and ban inanimate objects because certain people are mentally ill is not logical and probably very expensive and very difficult to enforce.

    Big11cat // 2012-12-23 15:08:25 // //
  • Throughout Time in Every Society across Earth-Heart there has been a small minority who beguiled the Innocent and selfishly claimed power as they became seduced by evil. Generation after generation, this minority has used hate and fear to control and subjugate humanity through conflict, wars and weapons of mass destruction. And Yet for The Majority, Good has prevailed and flourished like Sparkling Stars that light the Night Sky with Love. Asking for clarity, I Breathe Deeply and Slowly Six Times. In my Awakened State, I feel the Great Shift and see the Unlimited Potential of Good Shining Brightly through Broken Hearts of Love. In Gratitude I find the strength to embrace and serve the Awakening Good that lives in my heart and the hearts of The Majority! Compassion, gentle truth and right words of Peace will nurture and heal our broken societies through Love! I Breathe Again, and finding Courage and Integrity within; I offer myself as a joyful instrument of Peace and Everlasting Love. I Wish You All A Joyful Awakening in Love!

    Melony McGant // 2012-12-23 15:06:06 // //
  • Well while AMERICA is figuring it all out, they should send all their children to CANADA because the WORLD needs and can`t afford to lose any little ANGELS like those kids.

    GodzGangsta // 2012-12-23 15:03:21 // //