Tuesday, September 26, 2023


RVer Safety: Guns and nuts – What can we do?

By Mike Sherman

I usually try to bring forth topics that pertain specifically to RVers that travel the highways of America, discussing topics pertaining to your safety and your security. The readers of RV Travel have been a great asset, adding aspects and comments that I fail to touch on. Space limitations prevent deeper discussions, but today is different.

As a retired cop, I was exposed to the ugly side of humanity too often, and was fortunate to have tools to deal with the emotional impact of dealing with criminals and victims. The victim’s grief was always unsettling. This edition needs to take a turn to the impact of mass murder on a national scale, and the ugly emotions that have gripped a nation due to last week’s horrific killings on a grand scale. My tool box to deal with it is getting empty.

I always got a kick out of preventing crime. Most cops will tell you one of the most effective crime prevention tools is the vehicle code. Government lawyers never miss an opportunity to add new laws to the books, so minuscule is the code that a burned out license plate bulb creates probable cause for an officer to stop you immediately, and check you for drugs, alcohol, burglary tools, stolen property … anything that is a greater violation than what you were stopped for. It’s called “fishing,” and it is a lucrative tool for cops, especially if you work the graveyard shift.

I’m sure you have seen stories of bad guys being busted for very serious crimes, all because they were speeding, or made an unsafe lane change, or failed to signal their intent, or their vehicle suffered from a minor defect that broke the law. You have probably questioned why a suspect would, for example, be transporting thousands of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs across state lines and not make sure their tail lights worked properly and obey the speed limit. Oftentimes the answers were explained in the squad room at shift’s end. “He wasn’t the brightest bulb in the pack,” or “The lights were on but nobody was home” or “The elevator didn’t go to the top floor.” Oh, how I miss the simplicity of the good old days of law enforcement.

Those days are gone. It seems to me that Columbine opened an era of mass killings that seem to be increasing. If you go camping, one could easily claim you are much safer than going to a theater, shopping center, medical office, concert or military base (Ft. Hood made me sick), etc. etc. etc.!

I advocate prevention and safety for RVers, but am frustrated by the inability to comprehend how in the world we, as a society, can deal with the trauma of mass killings, and oftentimes not even understanding the “why.” My heart goes out to the medical personnel who respond to such events and the law enforcement personnel that have to deal with the overwhelming aftermath of massive killings – that makes us realize how easily any one of us could become a victim simply by going about our daily routine.

So how do we prevent becoming a victim of a trend that is becoming so pervasive that a motorcycle backfiring in Times Square sends hundreds into a panic run for their lives? Like I said, my tool box is running low on my ability to grasp it all. It’s no fun knocking on someone’s door to make a death notification of a loved one. I can’t imagine having to make multiple notifications during a single shift. I can’t wrap my mind around the possibility. Yet, our first responders do the job. They make me proud.

Regular readers of my column realize that I am obviously pro-Second Amendment. However, I am beginning to question the need for a clip that holds 100 rounds of ammunition.

I would appreciate hearing your ideas on what can be done on the preventive front, to help stop these massive killings. I will put forth my own ideas next week.

Note: We know what we discuss in this column may be controversial. While we invite your polite, constructive comments, inflammatory remarks will be immediately deleted.

Mike Sherman is a retired street cop and investigator with 30+ years of RV experience as a traveler, camp host and all-around advocate for the joys of living on the road. His articles are for general discussion purposes only – you should always consult your local authorities or legal counsel for specific answers if necessary. Write him at MikeShermanPI@gmail.com if you have questions, or leave a comment below. 

Read more RVer Safety articles here.


  1. Well I have an idea, although it might not be popular. It seems to me the news media fall all over themselves to publish the shooter’s face and name. Even if they are eventually killed by the police, they still know their name will be publicized. What if we made it illegal to do that? I can’t help but think that most of these shooters want notariety..and that is exactly what the media gives them. They become celebrities, in a negative way.
    But if they knew going in that they would not get their name or their face in the news, it just might take away some of the incentive. The news media should be forbidden from publishing the shooter’s name or picture…ever.

  2. The second Amendment exists so we can depose a tyrannical government, therefore, we the people, have the right to possess the same arms any potential oppressor does. No more, NO LESS.

    • You the people do not have the right to possess nuclear weapons or ICBM delivery systems. So let’s you start over from a position of fact rather than lunacy.

  3. We have had guns for many years but mass shootings are a recent development. The guns didn’t change, we did. We can’t roll back the clock to make it possible for kids to grow up in households with one parent home and the other working but we can roll back the clock to a time of personal responsibility and consequences for behavior of the children. We need to go back to teaching our children self-discipline and quit rewarding negative behavior because it would hurt their self esteem. Limiting screen time and replacing it with more social behavior. What have we done to ourselves when we have created a world where parents are reported because their kids are playing in their yard without an adult present? In their own yard! What have we done when we have ceased discussing issues and instead resort to name calling and labels? Isn’t that what we were supposed to outgrow as adults? Go back to personal responsibility and add mandatory military service for our young people. Both male and female. Let’s at least attempt to stop the entitlement mind warp. I truly believe that if we start raising responsible adults again our number of mass shootings will fade to rare instances.

  4. Do away with the “Gun Free (Free Kill) Zones” and a few things would change with the ability to defend themselves and others.

    By far, the majority of these have occurred in those zones.

    “I believe in the Second Amendment, BUT…” people need to re-examine their commitment and belief system to freedom and liberty. Not compromising them simply for the sake of poor morals of others and the sheeple’s feelings is unpopular but necessary.

  5. Background checks are not enough. How many school shooters were young who had no “backghround”? Unluke autos, ladders and other hazardous equipment, guns are manufactured for the primary purpose of destroying otherwise healthy bodies, both human and other spoecies. Actiual need for that isn extreemly rare. So liocensing makes sense.

  6. It appears that from the news, the perpetrators had significant social media statements which should have raised red flags to professionals. However, that takes manpower resources, and things get missed.

    But, I have researched this, and I believe the present BC system needs some more tools, but, again, how about my personal privacy rights, for instance. I don’t want my medical records investigated for my permits or purchasing options. That is my business, and is not the governments business.

    We currently require anyone who wants to drive a car, take training and pass tests. I think gun use/ownership should require the same thing, personally I took gun safety classes to make sure I knew everything necessary, to handle, transport, and use a weapon. I think if you go to purchase one, or ask to receive a CWP, you have to go to at least 24 hours of classroom and 8 hours of practical range time, and only when you pass that training will the purchase or the CWP be issued. That training would give both aspects of the spectrum time to evaluate the persons involved to ensure they are capable of owning and operating a weapon.

    I understand we have many people who are incapable of being responsible owning a weapon, and we also have felons who are supposed to be prevented from ever having the right of ownership of a weapon again, which I agree with. But and this is the crux of the matter, laws only apply to persons who believe in law, if everyone did, we would not see the wanton violence in many large American cities daily. Many people don’t obey or respect the law, and passing more restrictive and onerous gun laws won’t make them any more likely to obey the old laws much less the added laws.

    Taking away everyone 2nd amendment rights also won’t solve the problem. and in fact may make the whole thing worse.

    It’s been estimated that 30% of the population is mentally unstable at any giving time. Currently no test exists to diagnose and identify this situation. Restricting my rights is not going to help solve this issue. But I agree, no one needs magazines which hold over 20 rounds. Biometric protections also have been tested, and they don’t work.

    And remember this, you are more likely to die at the other end of a vehicle driven by someone who was using their cell phone illegally than from someone with a gun. All states have laws against texting/driving while using your cell phone, and the problem is worse today, than when cell phones started, so laws have not improved that issue, the gun issue will also not be solved by laws.

    Maybe, if we went back to teaching gun safety in upper high school years classes and have competitive shooting teams at the college level putting responsibility back in the school system instead of all the other garbage they are trying to teach kids today. I don’t have any of the answers we need either, and everything out of the politicians mouth lately has not made me feel like they are any better equipped to deal with this issue over me.

    And I disagree with all the “so called experts” who say environmental conditions don’t have a bearing on how someone acts, violent movies, video games, and even some music, promote the taking of life to gain points or win other things in games today. Kids sit behind those PC/Consoles hours at a time using a make believe weapon to amass hundreds of deaths, albeit on a screen. Don’t tell me this has no affect on kids mindset when all they witness is killing. Society has become immune to the costs of death, because it is flashed to us hourly via phone, tv, and computers.

  7. This discussion is getting a little ridiculous, so here’s my bit of piffle.
    Confiscate all modern guns, rifles, automatic, semi-automatic, whatever weapons and let them buy muskets and flintlock pistols. Not taking away your 2nd amendment rights – you get exactly what was available when amendment was written!!!

    • Ok, if we apply across the board. Like vehicles–everyone walks, or has a horse. No computers, no TV’s, no refrigerators, nor stoves or washing machines, etc–there was no electricty then. Oh, and no toilets or toilet paper either. We can all wear only wool or cotton, or skins.

      The point is none everything we have today is an improvement/discovery/invention on over 200 years ago. Perhaps the greatest idea of the USA was the idea of freedom and not having our rights infringed upon.

    • Then let’s take away all modern cars that can go more than 50 mph. More people are killed driving fast than are killed by firearms. Only allow people to drive model T’s. This will save lives. Let’s outlaw sugar, more people die from Diabetes than guns. And yes, I’m being sarcastic.

  8. Saw a good show about the carnage last night by Fareed Zakaria. These majority of these shootings are not about video games and the mentally ill.

  9. I never thought I see the day where I would think this way but I personally think that the lack of “family values” has changed America. Kids who were raised in a 2 parent home where only 1 parent worked and the other was always home to actually “raise” the child would seem to me to be a deterrent to the loneliness of the “latch key” child who is home alone while the parents work. That loneliness and the nastiness of social media contribute to the feelings of isolation in younger people who need social structure in their lives. As for answers there are many more than I can think of to remedy the situation.

  10. Many interesting comments here. Guns (and higher capacity magazines) are certainly not the problem. We have had both for years. And we have seen repeatedly that passing new laws is ineffectual. “Lost our moral compass”? You bet! Society has changed. Absent parents, video games that promote killing, stupid TV shows, etc. The question is – how can we restore civility, respect and moral values?

    Secondly, apparently the mainstream media has no one intelligent enough to realize that the more they sensationalize these mass shootings, it only serves to encourage less-balanced people to engage in these horrific events. MEDIA – STOP IT!

  11. The second amendment is all about DEFENSE. Assault type guns, bump stocks, and high capacity magazines etc… are all about OFFENSE and have no place in a civilized society. They should be banned immediately. Any sale, or possession of any of these items should carry a meaningful stiff penalty. I also think a RED FLAG comprehensive data base should be maintained and any gun supplier not referring to it should also be meaningfully penalized. The NRA should shut up and get in line. They have profited long enough.

    • The Second Amendment is about MILITARY defense by a well organized MILITIA using MILITARY grade weapons. A well organized militia is a responsibility of the various States, and was intended to require annual or more frequent local musters for inspection and instruction and to elect local officers. The various States would set the rules for their militias and for the care and storage of whatever weapons were owned by the State or the militia members, and the associated ammunition. Those local officers would certainly know who owned what weapons, and if young Joe was unstable maybe he shouldn’t have a highly capable weapon. However, the States have abdicated that responsibility.

    • Now, having said the below about Militias, I would note that no one seems to think it is an unacceptable infringement of their freedoms to have to pass a test and have a license in order to drive a car, which must be registered, inspected, and insured. Even most strong second amendment supporters seem to not mind – in fact are proud of – concealed carry permits. So, why don’t we start with requiring permits for concealable weapons?

      • Because driving a vehicle is a privilege, not a right. Driving is a privilege offered by the government while the rights guaranteed in the Bill of rights are bestowed by your creator. Big difference.

        • Actually, the Constitution does not reference our creator – the Declaration of Independence references the rights endowed by our creator as including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many people would regard driving as vital to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights cover the powers and duties of the federal government, established by the consent of “We the people of these United States …”

      • Why create more red tape, cost, etc that infringes on everyone to try and prevent a few from doing something? It will not stop ALL bad people from getting what they want. In any country if you have the desire and the money to want a gun you can get a gun–yes even in England or Australia. Give the courts and law enforcement the tools and money to do a better job at removing the bad people from society. Put the criminals in jail and keep them there. Put the mentally ill in hospitals and keep them there until they are cured. People who need to be on medication to be stable need to have fail safe methods to ensure they stay on their meds. Several years ago I had a friend whose adult brother was physcophrenic (sp)–he went off his meds and burned the house down with his parents in it–luckily they all got out but the house was a loss. He no longer lived there and was just visiting over the holidays but apparently (?) no one knew he was not taking his meds regularly. (or was it a case of the people who were close to him really knew but didn’t want to say anything for fear of being wrong).

  12. Active shooter in the mall you are visiting? You probably have three choices. Fight, flight or hide. In making that decision, you need to know what tools you have at your command and know your own abilities. As the scenarios are endless, what you do will be entirely dependent on the specific situation. No matter what, you need to have a general plan and discuss this today with your family members. Just like the discussion you should have, in example, of what to do in case of your RV catching fire during the night, in this day and age, the possibility of becoming involved in an active shooter situation, while remote, is still a definite possibility.

  13. Every time there is a “mass shooting”, the media and therefore the general citizenry decries guns, automatic weapons, gun dealers, drugs, mental health, etc., etc., etc. And of course the NRA. To date, not a single mass shooter has been a member of the NRA nor his any of the shooters who have killed over 200 people year to date in Baltimore just to name one major city with high murder rates. Guns have been outlawed in Great Britain for several decades and now there is an epidemic of multiple stabbings but no one is wanting to ban knives. Banning any type of weapons is simply not an intelligent, effective option. We live in a society rife with drug problems both legal and illegal, mental health issues, and what has been termed a “national depression” and all this started long before most current politicians were in office. We have violent entertainment, violent video games and hostile media. We have road rage, distracted driving, and kill many of our young people before they are even born. So where is the respect for and the sanctity of life? We will not resolve any of these issues unless and until we all change the dialogue to “what did I do to make a difference today”. And of course, we must be sure to ignore the elephant in the “room” and leave God out of the equation at all costs.

    • Everyone has a philosophy and something to blame, which is all well and good, but the fact is, nothing is being done. We have to make hard decisions as to what is going to be done, or we’ll just have to prepare ourselves to be in a shooter situation as Luke said. And it is unconscionable that we are so crippled by politics that nobody is willing to give an inch to help stem the tide of active shootings in public places. Doing nothing almost assures there will be more.

      • Nothing being done…translates to replace the elected officials who do not agree to stick with the bills to make change. Have the discussion. Don’t use any excuse to avoid. Only personal family issues. Do your job and complete the task.

  14. Mike, I don’t pay much attention to the TV personalities but the other day I read a quote from Opra Winfrey about the mass murders and went something like this ” People today have no moral compass” I believe that to be true also. I’m not sure I got the quote right word for word but the crux of the statement is we kicked God out of our lives and that is finally starting to show up in our children. When I attended high school the kids who drove to school lots of them drove pickup trucks and in rural N FL they were also hunters with a 308 or 30-30 in the rifle rack and when we had disagreements we settled it with our fist not guns. Gun safety and the proper use of a gun was something that was taught at home, we have lost that in today’s world and I for one would like to see a more concerted effort by parents to teach their children those honor bound traditional things that governed our behavior.

  15. I am retired LE with 45 years of service. I have said this for years, if someone is committed to commit murder, gun laws mean nothing to them.

  16. I’m a retired high school teacher. I observed a number of students over the years who had anti-social tendencies. Usually male, usually loners, obsessed with violent video games, often drew pictures of weapons or hate symbols or violent deaths, had difficulty attracting girlfriends, full of anger. I could see that most of them fit the profile of a mass shooter/serial killer. Most of them needed mental health interventions; few ever got any. If only there was a mechanism for teachers to report such students to an effective interventionist so they could receive ongoing treatment. Such treatment might at least prevent the triggers that send such young people over the edge.

    • Fat chance on that one. Many individuals see ” potential” issues. Teachers have a unique perspective, in that they interact about 50 mins. Per day, for a 40ty week school year, with a potential problem child. I commend your desire to want to be a part of the solution. Now for the flip side. New York’s governor just signed legislation that no teacher in NY can be trained and carry a gun while on school session. As long as the lunitics are running the asylums, no meaningful solutions will occur. You can pass all the restrictikns you want, only law abiding properly trained citizenry will be punished. Don’t think so, look at Chicago.

  17. Mike, I can agree with you on the “need” for large capacity magazines for semi-auto weapons – actually the lack of need in reality. As a retired military member, I do support the right to keep and bear arms, I live in Arizona and do own a pistol, but I do not carry it. I watch the news and just shake my head at the Politian’s attempting to regulate humanity by background checks (didn’t work for El Paso and Ohio), and the “Assault” rifles – this one statement makes me so angry with Politian’s and the news reporters that I yell every time I hear it. NONE of these weapons are assault rifles people !!!!!!!, they are semi-automatic rifles produced to LOOK like the REAL assault weapons used by the military. The AR-15 is NOT an M16. Now having said that, can they be modified? Yes, I haven’t looked but I am sure that the instructions on how to do this are all over the internet. I do not believe that back-ground checks are the single answer, nor is banning “Assasult” rifles (they already are for the general public since they are fully automatic), nor do I believe the even more restrictive laws will stop or prevent these shootings. I do feel that public involvement and awareness will go a long way in preventing this, see something, say something, even if it is your family member. Sorry for taking up so much space…..

    • We obviously don’t know what we’re doing in this country. Switzerland has guns, and strict gun laws and no mass shootings. We should try and learn what works in other countries, not knee-jerk reactions like mental illness and video games.

    • Well said. Unfortunately your views are on the losing side of the current argument. The train is going down the tracks currently, and no politician is going to stand before the general public, stick their necks out and talk the truth. There will be more carnage, some will be stopped by law abiding citizens, not be reported for the most part by the MSM. The average citizen is a basic moron when it comes to firearms. So, in the land of the blind……..

  18. I believe more people need to carry, open or concealed. In the 1960s, received my 1st concealed carry permit after talking with the sheriff in person for less than 5 minutes. That is not the way! Even though I was qualified to teach the course and had taught (along with other courses) South Carolina required me to take it. For fingerprint, law enforcement, medical, and other background checks it took 90 days to issue the permit. Three years later I moved 8 miles to North Carolina and had to go through another 90 day process. Permits are renewed every 5 years, same process. I do carry although no one is aware I’m armed. I own several semi=automatic weapons, none look military style, had enough of those while in the military. 1st stop the copy cat shooters. There is no need to ever make their names or faces public. Next a trial within 90 days. If guilty one appeal within 80 days. If found guilty execution within 90 days. No other sentence, death. Cover their face and televise the execution. I’d prefer they all be hung so viewers watch them kick and swing as they dangle.

  19. I believe in the Constitution. I believe in the right to have a gun if you are a responsible person. But, I do not know how terrorists can get a firearm that can fire enough rounds fast enough to kill these poor folks so easily. The ability to obtain firearms or equipment that enables a person to fire repeatedly and quickly needs to be made illegal for the civilian population, possibly with extremely well controlled and rare exceptions. Obviously this has not happened to date. I also agree with significantly improved background checks, even if it takes up to 30 days. Additionally, a mental health certificate provided by a competent medical person should be a requirement for each applicant as well.
    The Supreme Court rightfully upheld the second amendment, but Justice Scalia said at that time, I am not quoting but paraphrasing, that this decision does not prevent the States from having reasonable laws affecting this right to protect public safety.

  20. …”and oftentimes not even understanding the “why.”

    For starters, congress should repeal the 1996 so-called “Hickey Amendment” which more or less forbade Government agencies from even studying gun crimes. If we are going to come up with thoughtful solutions, shouldn’t we have the resources to gather facts and information and statistics?

    • I had no idea. Why would that even be a law? That’s absolutely what we need, not knee-jerk reactions like ‘video games’ and ‘mentally ill.’

      • It’s not. There is no “Hickey Amendment”. Funding was cut. not eliminated, to the CDC, for the study of gun violence. In 1996, Republican Rep. Jay Dickey removed $2.6 million from the CDC budget. Of course, the FBI continues to keep and make public statistics on gun violence.

  21. Please recall what Alexander Hamilton wrote into the 2nd Amendment: that we should have “a well-trained and vigilant militia,” and not every person who had a gun would make up that group. I believe we have a right to bear arms as a means of self-protection…just sayin that some folks want to take 2A out of context for their own purposes. It means, in my opinion, that we don’t need every John Q Public citizen to have access to gun clips with multiple shots to mow down innocent people with one pull of the trigger.

    • Absolutely agree. That “militia” clause indicates the time in which the 2nd was written, when the country was new and people had a real need to protect themselves from the government. That is not true anymore, except in the minds of Nazi’s and skinheads.

    • The meaning of a “well trained and vigilant militia” actually meant “John Q Public citizens” for two purposes–to enable the smallest paid military as necessary, and to ensure the government wasn’t able to turn on its citizens. Secondly, only a fully automatic machine gun is capable of multiple shots with one pull of the trigger–and owning a machine gun is prohibited by law without a special permit which takes on average over 6 months to process and procure. A “clip” is nothing more than a strip of metal that holds a set number of ammunition “rounds” used to attach to and load a “magazine” (which can be “fixed” or “removable).
      It is because of all this confusion that we have all this discourse and misunderstanding of addressing the problem. I am a 30 year military vet. I also like guns and shooting–sport and self defense, not hunting. I enjoy competition and various forms like 3 gun. I also enjoy various military weapons (M1 Garrand, M1911 pistol, Beretta M9, etc) and especially enjoy my AR-15 (because it is what I basically used from 1970 – 1998 (M16A1, and M4, Baretta M9, S&W 38). I have no desire to go shoot up anything other than targets on a range–which accounts for 99+% of all other legal gun owners in the USA. On the other hand I will not hesitate to take appropriate action to a threat to me, family, friends or any defenseless persons near me should I have to.

      • Cont’d: Since I retired I went back to school and became an RN. In the medical profession we have a term “Evidence Based Best Practices.” These are methods that have been developed from looking at errors that have occurred and putting into place actions that will best eliminate the error from occurring again. Considering this approach, banning guns or a particular gun is not going to prevent a “nut” from doing something like El Paso or Columbus again. We saw in TV interviews people who came forth and said the individual was a nut for years and even scared some back in high school–years ago and no one did anything about “”them!” The individuals doing these actions are the problem and that/they are what we need to address.
        Again it is not the gun. Look at your TV. Every hour there are several ads for new drugs for this and that and they speed through or over the side effects and make the commercial look like life is grand if you just take this drug or that. Look at the number of people that die each year from not only the drug itself but medication errors–where is the outrage? What about alcohol related driving deaths? You want to limit the amount of rounds a magazine holds? Why should a single person be allowed to purchase more than 1 bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer at a single purchase? What if they are going to go to their car and down a whole bottle of whiskey before they get home? No we don’t limit alcohol purchases because of a few people with a drinking problem.

        • No, but we have some pretty strict laws about selling to minors, and drunk driving laws that were virtually non-existent until some very angry mothers decided to do something. As for the drugs, they have side effects, yes, but they do a lot of good too. If you need an Ak47 to kill a deer, perhaps fishing would be a better hobby.

          • When I was a kid, kids brought guns to school on hunting days and gun safety was taught in the school. Our high school in a Chicago suburb had a rifle team and a shooting range. In no state can a person under 21 buy a hand gun–kinda of sad for the 19 or 20 year old home on leave from Aftghanistan. My son is a Dep Sheriff on a DWI unit and has been honored by MADD the last four years in a row for having over 100 DWI arrests annually. Look up some time how many people get off in court with lesser charges because they have the money for expensive lawyers to get them off or reduced offenses. Look at the ones who end up killing someone and how many previous arrest they have had. As to hunting it is not a question of need but of choice. I’m not telling you what you need. The AK–great gun for defense, or for sport shooting–reliable, and cheap but not very accurate. An Ar-15 is good all around as well, even hunting, ( and all states I believe limit magazine capacity to 5 for deer hunting–an easy swap out). I don’t hunt but sport shoot–3 gun competition and long distance. Take the guns from the bad players–see something say something. Why don’t the parents of gang members in places like Chicago call up and report their kids for having guns????

    • Your basic premise is flawed. A gun, in any shape, or form, in and by itself, NEVER killed a single person. Focus on the “John Q” nut jobs. You need to address those dudes, if you want to have any meaningful dent in the current shootings. Like I mentioned before, Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, doesn’t seem to stop the carnage, now does it. So let’s address getting all the sick MFers some real help, not try and take the guns away from the citizenry, because believe me, YOU CAN’T.

  22. It’s already clear that this discussion will be dominated by those more interested in defending their second amendment rights than by people offering serious, common sense solutions. The standard NRA cliches are recited as mantras by these people and will always prevent any possible give and take discussions.

    I am not a gun owner, but I agree that people should be allowed to own firearms for sport or for hunting. But, as has already been mentioned, why do we need clips that carry so many shots, or guns that simulate the action of automatic or even semi-automatic weapons? I am also conflicted by the thought that the good guys will be limited to the “right” weapons, but the bad guys will get whatever they want. Maybe our laws regarding crimes committed using the weapons not made available to the general public should be strengthened to include greater penalties.

    It will take someone smarter that I am to solve these problems, but the real issue is that the differing sides are so far apart with their opinions and stances that there is no room left for compromise.

  23. Ahh the age old question why we have/want/ or can have guns. Simple, 2nd amendment of that old piece of paper written by rich old white guys. Now, who among us will stand up and say Mr./Miss or Mrs. X is not mentally stable to own a gun. Must all legal licensed firearm owners pass a mental test/investigation? Do you people know what the cost is to buy, license and carry a firearm? Please give this whole issue more thought before we allow the questionable legislation in DC to do something as a “feel good” answer. Good, bad or ugly, yes we need answers / but let’s give it more thought.

    • “Must all legal licensed firearm owners pass a mental test/investigation? ” Yes, I think they should. If this could stop one mentally unstable person from committing mass murder, wouldn’t it be worth it? Are the lives of the innocent masses less important than the ‘inconvenience’ of having to do a thorough background check? Should not children, adults, of whatever race or religion be able to be secure in the knowledge that they can go to Wal-Mart and not be shot by some lunatic with a gun capable of mass destruction, or for that matter shot by any kind of gun? How many people have been shot by a lunatic with a handgun, just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time?

      To your next question, “Do you people know what the cost is to buy, license and carry a firearm?” I honestly don’t care how much it costs. It’s the cost of ‘doing business’ so-to-speak. If I want to have a car I have to pay to license, register and insure it. I even have to have extra insurance to cover me if the person who hits me has no insurance. Is that fair? No, but I do it. Therefore, if someone wants a gun or 50 guns, then they need to do whatever they have to, to prove that they are mentally fit to own one.

      I have no problem with people who own guns, other than those who think they need a semi-automatic that can kill 20 people in less than 30 seconds. Those are the only guns that should be banned. No one but those in the military needs that kind of firepower.

      • And what is you solution to the nut in California who just went on a knife stabbing rampage and killed a security guard? Do we all need a background check to see if we can have a knife? If your answer is most people with knives don’t do this–most legal gun owners don’t shoot people either. In one sentence you say you have ” no problem with people who own guns, other than those….30 seconds.” You really do have a problem. Other than single shot weapons, nearly every weapon sold in the past 50 years is a semi-automatic weapon (pistol, shotgun or rifle).
        Maybe every RV owner should have to have a commercial driver’s license and a professional training course to license an RV–most are big trucks or buses or large trailers. Maybe we should ban them all because some owners don’t take good care of them and do safe things with them (like tow trailers down the road at 80 mph, or check their tires and air etc). My point is one size does not fit all.

        • You know what? I’m so tired of this type of argument. Knives are not the same as a weapon that can kill 20+ people in 30 secs. And before you bring up cars, the sole purpose of a car is not to kill people. Last time I checked you can’t use a gun to get from point A to point B, or to carve a turkey, to cut up your steak, or skin a deer you just shot. There have been at least 17 deadly mass shootings in the U.S. in 2019. That doesn’t bother you? These people were not criminals when they purchased their guns. These were people with no record who legally bought their weapons. And because there are no background checks or mental fitness tests, they are able to walk out with all they needed to commit mass murder. Please tell me why anyone other than the military or even the police in some circumstances need anything that can kill masses of people at once? I clearly don’t know much about weapons or apparently what semi-automatic means, which I just looked up, so apologize for my ignorance on that. However, just because I don’t understand guns doesn’t mean people with mental issues or a background that would indicate mental instability should have access to them. Why are you all so afraid of a background check and some kind of mental evaluation. I’m so tired of turning on the news, just to discover that someone who shouldn’t have been able to buy a gun, just slaughtered a bunch of innocent people who were going about living their lives.

          • I am not against background checks, and in almost all circumstances that are done in all 50 states already. You cannot but a gun at a gun show from a “dealer” (the same people who own gun stores) without having a background check (unless buying an antique collector item or you buy from someone in the parking lot–private owner sale). Antiques usually go for a couple thousand dollars up to numerous thousands (check out the annual Winchester Show in Cody WY) and are not your typical gang member or nut job gun choice. Private sales are usually done among families and friend but I agree there could be a chance you really don’t know your family member or friend. A background check will only reveal what is in the FBI data base–which is what other law enforcement supplies to it. Currently, medical health info is not provided (against health privacy laws–need to be changed by Congress). I am all for preventing people with mental issues from having a firearm, just as I believe your firearms should be removed if a court orders it for mental issues or domestic violence reasons. If a person is a threat to themselves or others not only should their weapons be removed, they need to be removed from society until they are no longer a risk. We agree on a lot–you missed my point in my original post–being, we need to focus on the “bad” individuals. Keeping them away from guns or any methods of hitting others is really easier than banning guns. Bad people will just hide them until…

          • According to the gun violence archive there have been 255 mass shooting in 2019…anything over 4 people injured or killed. How many of those were in Chicago and Baltimore? Teach boys, who become young men, to respect life and that number will go down.

        • Knives, scissors, automobiles, etc. have designated purposes besides killing people. It’s tough to kill a lot of people from a distance with a knife. There’s only one purpose for an AK-47…with the possible exception of the pleasure of shooting it.

          • Something to consider. Zip guns were built in prisons and by gangs as a means for having a gun when it was illegal to have one. A pipe, a round of ammunition, some tape, a rubber band and a nail is all that is needed. It is no less scary looking at the business end of a zip gun in the hands of someone that shouldn’t have one than any other gun.

      • You’re not getting it. Those that want to cause mass injury do not get permits and may not buy from a licensed dealer. Within any large city you can usually find black market weapons. My opinion is that our legal system is at fault. All these laws that are passed yet few enforced. Between plea deals with lawyers and lenient judges, there is very little effort to deter criminals. I for one am a believer in the death penalty. Why should they be given a comfy bed, 3 meals,internet,tv,and a host of other items that many free people can not afford. If you commit such a crime, you also don’t get 20 years of appeals. Bad is bad no matter the law.

        • Actually, I do get it. The last several mass shootings were done by people legally buying their weapons and had there been some kind of mental evaluation or a background check, never would have been allowed to buy them. There’s not much we can do about the black market, but these 20-something-year-old’s didn’t go to the black market. The guy in Las Vegas didn’t get his armory from the black market.

          I don’t honestly know what the solution is, but sitting around crying about my 2nd amendment rights, while people are slaughtered at nightclubs, shopping centers, festivals, schools, etc., doesn’t seem to be much of a solution either.

          • Probably most of the 255 mass killings were done with illegally obtained weapons…don’t just concentrate on the “big news killings” look at the total.

  24. I personally feel that this issue has NOTHING to do with camping. It invites anti constitutional people to have idea about taking away long held citizen rights. An example I would like to express, as an example, involves gun registration. Many government who required gun ownership /purchase finally took away that right and eventually killed many of their own citizens. That, I believe is the very reason that the constitution was clearly against it, yet we presently have it. It has stopped ZERO mass shootings. Least we forget, the best recorded killing have always been by stoning. WE have a moral decline and anti patriotism problem in the USA . Is it not a wonder since so many American lives have been lost in ALL of the WORTHLESS wars, fought since WWII. None of these had ANY direct threat to the USA. Couples with that is all of the liberal laws supporting anti-Christian believes and ergo you have the problem. I could go an about the allowance of all of the illegals just to ling the pockets of others but I wish not to digress.
    All of the above are true and clearly to the best of my understanding .
    Thomas Smithbrother, a weekly reader whom is never polled on any issues. .

  25. The problem is not being addressed properly. All the knee jerk reactions are looking at what does not work. Statistically, The more Gun Control the higher gun violence is. The real problem is psychotropic drugs that actually list suicidal/homicidal thoughts as side effects. As the use of these drugs has increased, the increase in violence has been the result. Front Sight founder, Ignatius Piazza put out a very informative Facebook article on this loaded with data on gun control.

    • There are plenty of studies to counter your claim. The fact is that there are far more guns per capita in the US than in any other country and far more gun violence as a result.

      • Provide 1 study, please. You are correct about the guns per capital but incorrect regarding far more gun violence. Killings involving long guns rank way down the list of methods of homicide, trailing hammers, other mechanical instruments and even use of hands.
        It was mentioned in an earlier post that the use of psychotropic drugs is the only thing that mass shooters have in common, and is the only difference between an earlier time in this country and what is taking place today. All studies conducted relating to legal gun ownership indicate owners are the most law abiding citizens.

    • If those who are on psychotropic drugs or just mentally unstable didn’t have such easy access to firearms, then all the mass shootings since Sandy Hook wouldn’t have happened.

    • you will not be able to reason with this type of gun owner with facts or statistics as they pick and chose apposing articles or opinions to fit their agenda, that is, anything that removes guns from their hands is unacceptable. This is a no win battle talking about this, to many people with psychological issues that need to be addressed first. Like the one poster on another RV forum same topic. That said when ever he goes to the living room to watch TV with his family he always takes a 9mm and tucks it in-between the cushions on the couch when he sits down ( his words ) “cause you never know who might try to break in the front door”.This mentality can`t be changed with a law. Some times I really wonder about the people that I walk by.

  26. There is absolutely no reason an automatic rifle should be sold to a private citizen. Those are for the military. You don’t need one to hunt deer, rabbits etc. Even though the second amendment exists it can be adjusted or modified . Politicians don’t want tp upset their constituents, but, let’s try and save lives and use some common sense. How do we do this, change the gun laws, re-register guns every year like vehicles, take a test on how to use them properly etc. everything else in this country is regulated to the extreme why not guns.

    • 100% correct! The only people who need these “toys” are the very people that should not. Any and every weapon that can fire more than one shot at a time should be banned and confiscated and destroyed.

    • Zero military automatic weapons have been sold in the USA since the 20ies. Yours is an example of liberal media lies. Just because they look like military weapons they do not operate like the full automatic guns the military use. Anyone who has actually served knows this.

    • It is already illegal for anyone to possess an automatic rifle without a federal permit which requires a lot of money, time, and background checks.
      None of these mass killings were done with automatic rifles.
      Also, the reason for the 2nd amendment is not so we can hunt deer or rabbits.
      Why don’t we go after cell phones that kill far more people than guns.

      • Yes, the second amendment protects your right to bear arms. Are you aware of the type of guns they had back when the 2nd amendment was drafted, and why it was drafted? It wasn’t to hunt deer or rabbits or hogs or any other kind of animal. It was so people could form a “well-regulated militia.” To save you some time, here it is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Last I heard, we don’t have any need for militias. We have military and national guards. As for your comment about cell phones, really? We’re going to compare cell phones with guns? Please point me in the direction of the latest mass killing due to a cell phone. Do people need to stop using their phones while driving? Yes, absolutely, but to equate cell phones with guns is just ridiculous.

    • Unless you are shooting a 50 cal machine gun in the military you are not shooting an automatic weapon. M16s fire single shots or bursts of 3 round…we were never allowed to fire them on 3 round bursts at the range…don’t know it they do in combat.

  27. Mike, love your column. I m also a retired leo who is frustrated with the issue of how to stop these shootings. I wanted to recount a call i went on shortly before my retirement. I was sent to our local mental health facility. Staff had been informed by another patient who heard someone comment that he or she was coming back with a gun. Staff refused to identify the suspect due to HIPAA regulations. I had no name, no {bleeped}, no race, nothing… luckily i was able to get a rough description from the witness. My hands were tied by health care restrictions…..I was blessed that the suspect never carried out his threat.

    • This is the first post in this thread mentioning the edge of the actual problem. See above where we don’t dare talk about where things changed, why kids ARE different today, how leadership HAS false-flagged and mislead for 20 years. We have too many sacred cows we can’t even discuss, and too much ignorance of what the current state is.

      We DO have background checks. We DON’T sell automatics to civvies. Our kids ARE drugged into manufactured psychopaths, and there IS a clear agenda to that.

      I am a 25yr NRA, civilian, NY DoS, (etc!) certified safety instructor. I am the safety gatekeeper to CCW permits in several counties and HAVE (surprise, Democrats!) sent plenty of letters to courts advising NOT to issue permits despite applicants taking required safety courses. I’m not a standard “gun nut,” but sincerely invested. I’m front lines to this problem on many fronts.

      I’ve done 10s of thousands of hours of research on this “why”, interviewed hundreds of “at risk” kids in fairly unique confidence (not disciplined or stigmatized for telling me UGLY truths), fostered many such kids “up close.”… when ive presented aggregated findings, I’ve been told “not to say that” because the truth isn’t polite or easy to stomach.

      Its heart breaking (!!!), …but some people really don’t want to solve this handy problem that advances their pet agenda from both “sides.” We cant afford to HAVE sides, or to look away from ugly truths.

  28. Quite frankly, until we get rid of the partisan political thuggery (bills not allowed to come to the Senate floor for a vote up or down) and until we intercede to thwart the iron grip that Big Money has on national elected office nothing will change. We’ll just get more of what we’ve been getting for the last 30 or 40 years. Polls show that from 90 to 97 percent of the American public want SOMETHING done for sensible background checks and restrictions limiting assault weapons that have no practical use in civilian hands except as tools of mass murder. Yet the democratic process is thwarted at every turn by lobbyists who steer the Washington, D.C. politicians. This isn’t right, but it’s a real fact. Only a massive revolt at the ballot box could change it… except thanks to gerry-mandered election districts, most Congress members are guaranteed reelection unless disavowed by their own political party (thus getting “primaried”.) So, what to do? I honestly don’t know. We’ve let it go on for far, far too long.

    • I have seen far too many people who wants to ban the so called assault rifle do not really know what an assault rifle is. An M16 rifle and an AR15 rifle may look alike, but there is a big world of difference in the way they operate. An AR15 is really nothing more than an ordinary hunting rifle. It operates the same way as many other types of hunting guns. The M16 is a true type of assault rifle which is capable of full automatic fire, This type of gun has been strictly regulated since 1934. I grew up in the 50 and 60s, these mass shootings were mostly a non issue back then. I have seen a gradual moral decline over the years, if it feels good then do it. People are not held accountable for their actions. I have seen big name politicians commit crimes and get away with it but the average Joe would end up in jail if he did the same. Yet these same politicians wants to blame the law abiding citizen gun owner for the acts of criminals but does not want to do anything to get the criminal off the street. I have to conclude they do not give a {bleeped} about crime, but they just want more power over the people under them.

  29. Institute a law that allows mental health practitioners to divulge to law enforcement the identity of individuals the practitioner deems a threat to society and get them on the gun registration no-fly list.

    • The result of which will likely be that less and less people who actually may need mental help with now not go. No keep constitutional right of privacy

      • Ugly truth: THIS IS CORRECT. People do avoid mental health help because it will strip them of certain rights. I said rights, but they can be forfeit for CAUSE. W/R/T mental health, society would be better served with counseling than drugs that carry heavy psychosis warnings…


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