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Will Obama Gun Control Proposals Make Elk Grove Safer?

Tell us what needs to change to really make a difference.

As the national debate surrounding gun control continues, so does the epidemic of shootings.

What can be done to keep weapons—whether legal or illegal—out of the hands those who would use them to harm others? Tell us in comments.

Three horrific incidents of gun violence in February alone claimed multiple lives throughout the state.

A alleged gunman whose father described him as a “ticking time bomb” opened fire on two Santa Cruz Police officers Feb. 26, killing both the detectives who had gone to Jeremy Goulet’s home to interview him on a misdemeanor sexual assault accusation.

Goulet killed Police Det. Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler using a .45-caliber gun that was registered to him, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak. He died during a shootout with police.

Goulet, 35, had a history of sex-related arrests, including a rape arrest in the state of Hawaii, Wowak said.

In Encinitas, CA, a man suspected of shooting two deputies Feb. 20 before apparently dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound was deemed to be suicidal during a psychiatric evaluation in December, according to San Diego Sheriff’s Captain Duncan Fraser.

Evan Kim Tian Kwik, 22, is accused of using a 12-gauge shotgun to shoot two deputies from an attic crawlspace , prompting a 10-hour standoff. Officials said Kwik's mother, Michelle Kwik, reported he was upset that she filed a restraining order against him.

Law enforcement officials have not yet said how Kwik came into possession of the shotgun.

And an international manhunt for suspected murderer Christopher Dorner was triggered when the disgraced former LAPD officer went on a rampage of revenge killings throughout Southern California starting in early February.

Dorner died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, according to the autopsy report, after a shootout with police that resulted in the burning of the snowbound cabin in which he was holed up.

Dorner was armed with multiple powerful weapons, including an assault rifle.

A recent Gallup Poll shows a majority of Americans favor the nine key proposals made by President Barack Obama to address gun violence. Poll results show:

  • 91 percent of Americans are most likely to be in favor of requiring background checks for all gun sales
  • 82 percent want increased funding for mental health programs aimed at youth
  • 79 percent want increased funding for programs to train law enforcement and schools in responding to active armed attacks
  • And 75 percent want to increase criminal penalties for people who buy guns for others—so-called straw purchasers.

Is Elk Grove safe from this kind of gun violence? Do you support the Obama plan? What kind of gun control would make a difference? Tell us in comments.

David Wol March 03, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Make possession and sale of large capacity magazines illegal with lengthy prison sentences. If you want a combat weapon, join the military. If you want a combat weapon and don't want your opponent to have one, you are either a coward or mentally ill. In either case, you should not have such a weapon. When the second amendment was written, machine guns and rapid fire weapons simply were not available. A modest proposal: for those who believe that possession of weapons is protected by the second amendment, you should have only those weapons that existed at the time the second amendment was adopted.
Tom Waltman March 03, 2013 at 04:26 PM
One word for gun control: Chicago. 'Nuf said.
Greg March 03, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Professional (police) fired how many shots at two harmless paper delivery ladies without taking them out? And if two (or more) badies come into my house invasion-style, you want me limited to what?
Jordan March 03, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Saying that the second amendment only applies to weapons of the time would be the same as saying that the first amendment only applies to soapbox speakers and quill pens and not our modern internet and media. Also the second amendment protects the right of the people to have and carry ordinary military weapons as cited in US v. Miller. Most people don't understand that the prime reason for the second amendment is for protecting ourselves against a tyrannical government....our own government. If you don't like that too bad, it's the law.
Jolly Jo March 03, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Have you read Heller and how it further describes Miller?
Jordan March 03, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Yes, do you think it goes against what I stated?
M.Legison March 03, 2013 at 08:05 PM
If you can find someone who will take the odds, a betting person can do well by simply betting against anything Obama says, or proposes. Low hanging example are health care costs decreasing, job creation, unemployment, transparency, leadership, divisiveness, etc. If his gun control proposal follows suit, it will be just another fail like his other policies.
Dan Schmitt March 04, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Jordan, Please cite your references (primary sources, preferably) to support your contention that "the second amendment is primarily for protecting ourselves against a tyrannical government...our own government." Please show me with proof positive that our founding fathers were more concerned with what you claim than the real enemies (England, France somewhat, and Spain) controlling lots of land adjacent to our new nation back in the 1780's and willing to invade the upstart United States if the opportunity arose.
Jordan March 04, 2013 at 06:22 AM
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." -Thomas Jefferson
Dan Schmitt March 04, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Jordan, I could "cherry pick" lots of quotes by Jefferson and other founding fathers to support my way of thinking on a whole host of issues. One quote does not make your assessment of the primary purpose for the 2nd Amendment credible.
Tom Waltman March 04, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Yes, dan, the second amendment was only intended to protect target shooting for those frontier pioneers who wanted to sharpen their skills... Context is everything. Anyone who thinks the second amendment was anything other than protection of the people from government is a denier worse than any global warming denigrator.
Dan Schmitt March 04, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Tom, Denier, hardly! I simply want Jordan or anyone else who thinks the main purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to protect our new nation from tyranny to give me evidence. Now, if you consider tyranny to include the possibility of England, France, and Spain invading the newly formed United States, than I accept that premise. People need to understand the dangerous situation our new nation was in. We had just defeated the English, and they were anxious to get back at our new country. Plus, Spain controlled territory on our border as did France. We had no standing army, wouldn't have until early in the 19th century. Doesn't that context account for anything?
Doctor Doom March 04, 2013 at 07:33 PM
How about logic? If your sole concern is protecting against foreign powers you don't give the citizenry the power to bear arms. You keep them locked up under governmental control, ie, in the military only.
Dan Schmitt March 05, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Victor, Do you have any knowledge of American history? Did you actually read my last comment? Clearly, the answer to both questions is a resounding NO! I was referring to our country at its origin, not today. Please read this carefully: We had little or no standing army during the Revolutionary War. George Washington actually fought two wars, one against the British and one to keep his army together. The bulk of our Revolutionary army was colonist militia, men who signed up for a short period of time, usually no more than one year. After their time was up, most went back to their colonial farms. Once the Revolutionary War was over, our new country had no standing army. Alexander Hamilton, supported by President Washington, recognized the need to have one, but most people were against the idea. Hence, the need for state militia (ordinary citizens who would be ready to fight for the country if necessary). That, in my humble opinion, is the strongest reason our founding fathers included the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
Katherine O'Boyle March 05, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Hitler was responsible for the deaths of 12 million civilians, half of them Jews. Pol Pot ordered the killing of at least one million 'class enemies' in the Cambodian Killing Fields. *Under Lenin and Stalin, the Soviet government became the greatest mass-murderer in history. Lenin's collectivization and purges of 1921-1922 caused 4 million deaths. In 1932, Stalin ordered the Ukraine starved to enforce collectivization and crush Ukrainian nationalism. At least 8 million Ukrainians were murdered. From 1917 to Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet Union, worshipped by leftists around the world as the acme of human political accomplishment, shot, tortured, beat, froze or starved to death at least 40 million of its people. Russian troops slaughtered 80,000 Chechen civilians over the past two years. The list goes on and on. Maybe the more relevant question should be: How do we keep governments from murdering their people???
Dan Schmitt March 06, 2013 at 05:12 AM
Katherine, You certainly present a sad list of "man's inhumanity towards man." Your question is a very difficult one to answer, and it's a question that people have pondered for thousands of years. Present-day governments continue slaughtering their own people. I lived for three years in a southern African country which was semi-tyrannical, but not to the extent of those you mention. My African experience gave me an undying appreciation for my own country and our government. Of course, it's not perfect; it's run by humans! But what sets us apart from your examples is over 200 years of democracy (albeit not perfect), the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our belief that it really can work. None of your examples had anything like we have had to build the foundations of freedom, trust, liberty, life etc. That's what separates us from most other countries in the world. That's what separates us from most civilizations throughout history. That's why I have a difficult time understanding the fear (paranoia) some people have about our government. To be suspect is prudent. To be paranoid is irrational.
Johann Schuster March 06, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Saddest opinion known to America...... The 2nd Amendment protects my natural freedom to defend myself, my family, my community and my nation, by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. When the 2nd Amendment created, civilians had THE SAME weapons as the military. And many of those weapons were outlawed 'assault guns'. England banned those rifles years before... yet luckily our forefathers weren't pathetic pacifists with blind notions of public policy. Having a 10 round, 30 round or even a 100 round magazine in my weapon doesn't make me evil. I can not predict what adversary I may have to defend myself against one day. No one can. Unless you think you know it all.
Johann Schuster March 06, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Exactly! GUN CONTROL ONLY BENEFITS CRIMINALS! Safes and locks are a good idea for when weapons are unattended, that's just plain common sense. Everything else Obama is doing is woefully near-sighted.
Johann Schuster March 06, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Good point Jordan. Cursory investigation will reveal that the 2nd Amendment was utterly NOT limited to hunting, but rather a naturally given defense against criminals, on ANY scale... single intruder to one's own government to an invading army. Anyone who doesn't know that needs to do their own homework. This isn't kindergarten.
Katherine O'Boyle March 07, 2013 at 09:00 AM
It is true that the foundation our government was founded upon is what separates us from the rest of the world. However, that foundation is now being ignored, changed, and many in government believe our documents with God-given rights are outdated and irrelevant. There is also the fact that human nature is the same wherever one lives. If you think it can't happen here....because we're special...read up on Ruby Ridge and Waco, Texas. These are two examples of our own government turning on its citizens. If you think it is paranoid to be fearful of a continually expanding and intrusive government, you have gotta be wearing some nice rose-colored glasses. Unfortunately though, silly people also vote.
Dan Schmitt March 07, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Katherine, I don't need to read up on Ruby Ridge or Waco. I'm familiar with those incidents. I've never said our government is perfect. It's made plenty of mistakes throughout our history. But, to compare Ruby Ridge and Waco to what Hitler did or what Stalin did is absurd. I'm curious as to why you didn't use slavery as "the" example of our government doing its people wrong! Might it be because, in order for the awful institution of slavery to evaporate, government had to expand and become intrusive? Ruby Ridge and Waco pale in comparison to slavery. Interesting that you find people who are not paranoid about government takeover of our lives "silly" and "naive (nice rose-colored glasses)." When I think back over my life, I can't come up with very many examples of government policies that has decreased my "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness." Consequently, I don't see a government agent behind every tree. I don't see every law passed as an infrigement of my rights. I'm, well not paranoid! Please provide me with a list of government intrusions into your life and how they have diminished the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness laid out in the Declaration of Independence.
Katherine O'Boyle March 07, 2013 at 06:43 PM
There are thousands of little laws that dictate to companies what they can make, how to make it, tell farmers what they can grow, when & how to grow it, where you can have your bible, the 10 commandments, or when you can protect yourself. Government tells us how to use our own land, what kind of septic system we can have, what we can build, & how to build it. There are thousands of things that we just don't notice. Legislation happens one inch at a time and therefore, you don't see it coming. Now the California legislators are trying to pass more gun laws, making many weapons that are owned by law-abiding citizens illegal. Just google proposed or new legislation and the lists are long. I didn't use slavery in my examples because slavery is illegal in this country, and has been for a long time. Ruby Ridge and Waco are present day examples of what those with too much power can do". Right now Rand Paul is fighting the administration's policy of using drones on American citizens without being charged with a crime or the right of a trial by jury. Here are some more: Drones spying on Americans Drone strikes on Americans on American soil 1.6 billion rounds of hollow points Homeland Security purchase 2,700 MRAPs AR ban Limit size of magazine Hard to purchase ammo
Dan Schmitt March 08, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Katherine, We agree on at least one point. I'm not a Rand Paul fan, but I do believe he has a very valid point with the Drone issue. Now, please attempt to respond to my question: how has our government (federal, state, local) negatively affected your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? Don't talk in generalities. Give me personal specifics. As you ponder that question, keep in mind that we have a country of roughly 325 million people. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is not unlimited. Your right to move your fist around ends where my nose begins. For example, I happen to live on property with a septic system and a well. With your reasoning, I should be able to put my septic system anywhere on my property, no matter where my neighbor's water well is. But, fortunately or unfortunately, I can't. There are regulations concerning where wells and septic systems can be put. Is that government overreach or is that government trying to insure that people have safe water? Just asking!
Katherine O'Boyle March 08, 2013 at 05:32 AM
I have a septic system also. It is one that is approved for our area, and has a design problem. Many of the wells in this area are caving in. However, none of us can choose another design because the county tells us which one to have. Can't say more than that, as it is under litigation. We are living in the nanny state. They tell us which light bulbs to use, we have smart meters which send data to the government on exactly when and how much energy we are using, which they will be using to regulate our energy-use, we are told when we can use our fireplaces. The more you think about it, the more things are regulated, of course, I'm sure it's all for our own good.
Dan Schmitt March 08, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Katherine, Here' my final thought on this issue. I do believe that government can overreach. It's pretty darn easy for anyone to find examples of that overreach. However, if one is able to look at the "big picture" on any given issue, sometimes we are able to see shades of gray rather than simple black and white. Take for example your issue with light bulbs. Clearly, the new bulbs don't give off the same brightness as the old bulbs, making it more difficult for me when reading. Frankly, it's irritating. But, they do save energy. There's no doubt about that. Keep in mind, we are a country of nearly 325 million people. There's a limited amount of non-renewable resources (oil, natural gas etc.) available to sate our energy thirst. If I only cared about myself, I'd say "bring the old bulbs back." Same idea with fireplaces. I love my wood-burning stove. It gives off comfortable heat that no furnace can compete with. But, it also pollutes our air. Does my freedom to use my fireplace trump other people's freedom to breath clean air? Those issues present dilemmas for our society that people in the past did not have to face. Again, we're living in a country of 325 million people and a world that just reached 8 billion. We no longer have the luxury of "going West young man" when we desire a bit more freedom. Now, we have to figure out how to get along with each other while maintaining our "life, liberty, and pursuits of hapiness."
Jolly Jo March 08, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Regarding drone strikes ... do you object when law enforcement uses force to take out a suspect who is posing an imminent threat? If not, what's the functional difference between that and a drone strike or some other military action to take out a terrorist or other individual who is posing a serious and confirmed threat to the lives of Americans, whether they are a U.S. citizen or not. I object to drone strikes in some circumstances but not all. And as for Holder's letter, hopefully you've both actually read it. If you object to what it says, I certainly hope you believe we should disarm law enforcement then. Every day law enforcement kills suspects in emergent situations without due process of law. Do you object to those?
Greg March 08, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Give us your guns ---- and then --- (Wounded Knee, among others)
Greg March 08, 2013 at 05:22 PM
Patriot Act, NDAA, and related enabling legislation. Read them for nightmare material.
Jordan March 11, 2013 at 04:00 AM
Dan Schmitt, Are you saying that you think that arms should be regulated by the government?
Dan Schmitt March 11, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Jordan, I'm saying the 2nd Amendment is not unlimited. To what extent any person can bear arms, which arms, where etc. and how limits (if any) match up with the 2nd Amendment is an ongoing debate and will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. Seems to me, if the 2nd Amendment is unlimited, I could purchase a tank with the maximum firepower available or a drone with similar firepower.

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