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Editorial: On gun violence, what next?

Perhaps inevitably, the debate over gun violence in New Hampshire has become a long, angry referendum on Sen. Kelly Ayotte – her vote on gun control measures in the U.S. Senate, her town hall meetings in the aftermath and her recent column describing her views.

Residents on both sides of this issue continue to weigh in – not to mention out-of-state partisans hoping to boost or sink Ayotte’s political future.

Is there more we should be doing?

After the Sandy Hook massacre and other senseless mass killings, are there practical steps to be taken at a state or local level to make our communities more safe?

Those are the questions being asked by the Temple Beth Jacob Social Action Committee in Concord and The Project for Safer Communities NH, an organization formed in January to serve as an umbrella group for planning and sharing information on this issue.

Together, the two groups are planning a gun violence prevention forum next month as a way to start a community conversation.

The event, planned for June 2 at 10 a.m., will include a panel discussion with Concord police Chief John Duval; state Rep. Stephen Shurtleff of Penacook, sponsor of the Stand Your Ground repeal bill; Dr. Mark Ciocca, a mental health professional and member of the Firearm Safety Council; and Judy Stadtman, co-founder and director of the state chapter of the Project for Safer Communities.

(If you’re interested in attending, email Jon Bresler at jbresler@

By the time June 2 rolls around, of course, it’s quite likely that both the U.S. Senate and the New Hampshire Senate will have failed to make any progress on this issue for this legislative session. But the issue of preventing senseless violence and mayhem will not have gone away.

Advocates for sensible gun control measures may not yet have scored a legislative victory. But they’ve put the issue on Americans’ radar. Given the outpouring of anger in recent weeks, it’s clear citizens are still groping for solutions. The forum is a practical place to start.

Legacy Comments7

"two of the media´s most shameful and shameless gun control advocates -- Joe Scarborough and Piers Morgan -- have finally conceded that arguments made by pro-Second Amendment activists against the expanding of background checks might not be so ridiculous. In a roundtable discussion on Friday´s "Morning Joe," Scarborough said that because of the IRS scandal, “My argument is less persuasive today because of these scandals.”.....any comment from the left?

Very complicated issue, but can be broken down into two main themes. First, preventing criminals and mentally ill from acquiring firearms. Crooks are easy. When they become a prohibited person due to a conviction in court, place a small tattoo in two inconspicuous places. Say the bottom of the foot and underarm. Now any gun sale can look at those two places to determine if the sale should proceed. Tampering with tattoo results in life imprisonment. The mentally ill is a whole different ball game. Nobody has a clear cut answer here as to who might be the next mass-shooter. Much discussion and analysis required. The second part of preventing mass shootings is ensuring someone is always armed and ready to stop an active shooter. This one freaks out the peace-niks, but sheltering in place does not work. Stop trying to hide from this stark reality. During an active shooting, somebody with the will and the way, has to stop it. This doesn't have to cost a lot of money, it just means schools have to sit down with the whole staff and decide who is willing and able to take on that role. Could be many people from the principal to the janitor, but waiting for the police is not an option. Two easy fixes that can be implemented today. But the left doesn't have the capacity to grasp the core problem of preventing bad folks from getting guns, or stopping them once they do.

We understand your point, but what happens when the convicted, tatooed guy is later proven innocent?

The "senseless gun violence" you reference is not the result of firearms illegally purchased or provided. The shootings in Arizona (Congresswoman Giffords), Connecticut and Colorado were perpetrated by people who were clearly mentally ill. The "sensible gun control measures" wanted by The Left would have had no effect on the shootings noted above. Tell us what The Left really wants -- firearms confiscation.

Best comment to date on this issue. Think you will get a response from the left??

Why don't our Senators and Reps answer this question; why didn't we have all these random mass shootings (like those played out in video games and in Hollywood) 100 years ago, when gun ownership was very common and we had practically no gun laws? What has changed? Hmmm... we had plenty of guns around, and we didn't have all those gun laws (they started in 1968). What's different???

rje49, Good question. Or - why Switzerland -with a weapon in every house - is so safe? Or how these citizen criminalization proposals will make the world safer as "make at home" weapons with 3d printers become even more common? Or how these same proposals will prevent mass stabbings? Or how they will impact the child death rate from something other than guns - swimming pools. With then "even if we save one" argument - they choose to ignore how often weapons are used by citizens to prevent crimes. Or why they are being told to frea law-abiding citizens with a weapon more than assailants, rapists and murderers? Who is telling them that and why?

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