Guns or No Guns? Patch Readers Clash Over Emotional Issue

With more than 300 comments between two stories, Patch readers are up in arms over the guns or no guns debate surrounding schools. If President Barack Obama's kids are constantly protected, some say, everyday American's should be as well.

Last year marked the deadliest year in mass shootings in United States history, with incidents at an movie theater and religious temple leaving hundreds of people dead or injured. 

The recent rash in mass shootings has ignited passionate debates and sparked hundreds of comments on Patch among those who are both for and against tighter gun control laws. 

Two stories in particular generated more than 300 comments: One on President Barack Obama's proposed gun control measures and one on an ad by the NRA that referred to the president's children.

On Wednesday, Obama proposed a comprehensive gun policy reform that included a series of executive actions. 

Under the proposals the president is recommending:

  • universal criminal background checks for private and retail gun sales;
  • reinstating the ban on military assault weapons;
  • a limit on ammunition magazines;
  • more gun research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • helping schools develop emergency plans;
  • adding more resource officers to schools;
  • adding more police officers on the street; and
  • new gun trafficking laws and more.

The package will cost about $500 million, reported the Huffington Post. Dozens of comments on Patch support the president's initiatives, but just as many say this is a violation of the right to bear arms. Here's a sampling of what some readers had to say:

"...Whether it's based on politics or not, if these prevent one crazy, unstable person from possessing a gun and harming someone, it's worth it," Patch reader Satori said. 

Brian Dey: "This, specifically under the 2nd Amendment, is the right to bear arms against a tyrannical government. If the government can carry 30 or more, than so can I — period."
Related: Hundreds in Madison for Pro-Gun Rally
Keith Schmitz:  "Suckers. The only people who are benefiting are the gun and ammo makers and dealers. What's amusing are the guys who are going to take on the U.S. military, who will crush these Rambos like a bug. Funnier still is these gun nuts voting for the politicians who are making this military even larger.
Michael McClusky: "What is with this executive order mania? Does anyone question the president's sanity in continuously bypassing the Congress and the Constitution? This man certainly should be second-guessed."
CowDung: "We are less safe in America because of societal issues, not because of the gun lobby. We have a culture that embraces violence--until we address that, we will continue to be less safe."

But the and neither are Patch readers. 

The NRA released an ad that injects Obama's children into the guns-in-schools debate. Here's where Patch readers stand on the issue:

KHD: "NO, I don't think (the ad) goes far enough. Pull the guards from Obama's kids school. Why should my tax dollars pay for his kids when mine don't have any protection? Obama is the one out of touch."

WIwishes: "Sandy Hook was not an attack on CERTAIN children. It was random. Trying to compare the president's children who are famous and under threat through no cause of their own to yours and my children is ridiculous. Those children HAVE been threatened repeatedly simply because of their father. Yes, our children are average....not an insult so stop acting like it is. You don't get to choose what your tax dollars go towards...that's life. Do I want my tax dollars spent on a NASCAR car for the Army? No, but I don't get to choose. And neither do you."

Join the conversation! Post your thoughts below in the comments section on the President's gun reforms and the NRA's ad. Or click the links above to head back to the original stories and add your comments to the mix. 

Rees Roberts January 20, 2013 at 07:52 PM
Mark Maley, Your comment "These kind of posts are something new that we're trying and are designed for Patch readers who may not have seen the original articles last week." really does make my points even more emphatic. You would have to be living under a rock not to be exposed to the general theme of this issue whether that be from Patch or other media. So, why would you feel more exposure is needed? Maybe your next comment says it best. Another comment of yours: "...these two stories -- which generated a lot of debate -- have long fallen off the home page but are still worth noting." also makes my point even more illustrative. Who benefits more? For who is it "worth noting?" Your readers who have been totally exposed on this subject or Patch who wants more exposure and potential ratings? Are you trying to do what other media outlets are doing by not letting an emotional story die? Mark, you have made my points for me. Thank you.
Rees Roberts January 20, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Blair, I totally agree with you. The First Amendment is extremely important and should be protected. But it should not be abused either. I hope my points have shown how the media is abusing it.
John Wilson January 20, 2013 at 08:07 PM
SAVAIL - The President, by Executive Order, Congress through laws and the Supreme Court through its various rulings can all limit the RIGHT... and they already have. The other side of the coin on RIGHTS is RESPONSIBILITIES... I know most people are not really too high on the RESPONSIBILITY SIDE... Further, no RIGHT is ABSOLUTE! You have the RIGHT to LIFE, LIBERTY and HAPPINESS, and yet we put people in prison all the time, thus depriving them of both LIBERTY and HAPPINESS. I don't think that I need to remind you that the state also KILLS people, only they call it an EXECUTION... Think about it...
Mike G. January 20, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Has anyone considered how the first and second amendments are being pitted against each other in this debate? The media are using their first amendment rights, to weaken the second amendment rights of the people, to keep and bear Arms. Maybe there should be organized assemblies protesting the media which would be the free exercise of our first and second amendment rights (bearing Arms peacefully).
Blair Nielsen January 20, 2013 at 08:20 PM
You have and like I said, I agree with you totally. One has to look no farther then the love affair the media has with Obama as he destroys our country to prove that point!
Richard January 20, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Mike G, I'm with your on protesting the media, they have been responsible for most all of what has happened to this country for the past 50 years or so, the trashing of the nuclear family, religion, traditions and customs that built this great country. They present a lopsided perspective of the news supporting any viewpoint that promotes liberal and progressivism while denigrating viewpoints that present an opposite point of view. The IBD editorial section over the past several weeks has presented a host of well thought articles in support of my words.
Kathy January 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM
@Richard Head Drones and gun control? Who has an agenda here? My point was (is), you skewed the facts to drive an anti Obama post which is an irrelevant topic. It's called trolling. PS: I do not think highly of myself, just a tad snarky is all. *wink*
Kathy January 20, 2013 at 11:15 PM
The Media News Flash! Media is a business and copy sells, if it's an emotional hot trigger for the public the media will be there pumping ammo. Pardon the poor pun. Faulting the media for selling copy is in likeness to faulting Starbucks for the new blonde coffee, which is really lite coffee for wimps. Or fault McDees for selling that McRib thing to the public, that ain't no rib! Yet many buy and eat it. just saying. Too many seem to hold media outlets ( the journalists) to these outrageous high standards and reporting standards. As a woman who worked in the broadcast sector for a time, little heads up folks....sales/readership is always the bottom line. Shoot! my Super Sized Fries are soggy now :( *giggle*
Daniel S. January 21, 2013 at 12:43 AM
If rehashing stories such as these is all about increasing readership and revenue, one must ask themselves: Is Obama an NRA member? Does he have stock in ammunitions and weaponry? He certainly seems to keep sales running at a brisk pace. The first 18 months after his first election ammo was hard to come by, now it's hard to find many popular styles of firearms and .223 /5.56 ammo. I imagine most all ammo will be difficult to acquire as this issue continues to be debated in capitols around the nation and in DC.
Rees Roberts January 21, 2013 at 12:51 AM
Kathy, I agree with you but who is there to balance things out for the media? Our government was designed to have check and balances. But who or what keeps the media in check? If they go off the deep end what brings them back to their senses? Seems to me the media has Carte Blanche and if they behave badly they aren't the ones who pay, we do. Their sales/readership, with the power to influence they have, should not be at the expense of our country. That is how I see it. By the way I spent more than 2 decades in the broadcast sector too.
Daniel S. January 21, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Who sets the media straight, gets people back in the right frame of mind; People who reach out through blogs, rebuttals, face to face communication, rallies, marches and the rebel business owners who are not so concerned about profits, but doing the right thing. There are some genuine sources that exist, the difficult part; sorting through all the garbage, all the lies, distortions and misrepresented statistics by the opportunistic businesses in the search to find those genuine sources.
Bob McBride January 21, 2013 at 02:07 AM
I don't think in this case it's about "the media" . I think it's about Patch budget cuts resulting in the elimination of a number of paid bloggers, local editors taking on more duties and the roll out of a new model (Patch 2.0) that's going to rely more on user produced (read that - free) content. In addition to attempting to get more people to "blog" here, they're currently recycling the content that seems to draw the biggest responses in the comments section in order to make up for the current reduction in new content being produced.
Rees Roberts January 21, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Mark Maley, regional manager of Patch.com for the Milwaukee area: Can you confirm what Bob McBride said above? If this is true this is about the worst thing I could imagine. Please tell me my worst fears are not going to occur. Please tell me that Patch will change its policy of allowing people to Blog anonymously. Otherwise, the entire Patch 2.0 upgrade has the potential of creating even more irresponsible comments from those hiding behind their fictitious names. Please tell me Patch will be changing their policy to demand people use their real name. Otherwise we will potentially see more harm done to our communities all across this good nation of ours due to Patch relying more on anonymously produced content.
Steve ® January 21, 2013 at 04:04 AM
The Huffington post is a liberal rag invested with patch. What Obama signed will cost at least 4.5 billion, plus interest. Some of which is him ordering himself to do stuff.
Greg January 21, 2013 at 04:32 AM
A Nevada lawmaker was arrested on Saturday night for threatening to shoot a colleague, KNTV reported. According to the Las Vegas Sun, State Assemblyman Steven Brooks was arrested with a loaded gun. He had threatened to shoot Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick. He was apparently unhappy with his committee assignments. He spent the night in custody, the Las Vegas-Review Journal reported. Brooks is a Democratic assemblyman who represents North Las Vegas. He was first elected in 2010. As the Sun reported, the Nevada State Assembly recently experienced a shakeup after its previous speaker had lost his bid for reelection. The Democratic caucus was split between Kirkpatrick and another official. Brooks had reportedly been seeking the spot of chairman of the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee, but the position went to another lawmaker.
Bren January 21, 2013 at 04:44 AM
Thank you for your intelligent and thoughtful words, Tired Independent!
Kathy January 21, 2013 at 07:02 AM
@Rees I think the answer is obvious. Government is here so that citizens feel safe and happy. Media is I said, business. Just because the media reports news to you does make them responsible for your safety or happiness. People take the "lax" reporting personal. If you worked in media you know that part of the lax reporting comes from the spin masters, these are the PR people who speak in a tongue only the devil would understand. Now file a story,,,by deadline. Media only cares about Profit! Oh Puh-lease wake up folks. Business 101. No advertisers, No Business. In this day and age of social media media is under constant attack. Readers/Vieweres don't like something and a boycott. PRESTO - advertisers start pulling out. Who's the first to go? Account Execs, who usually work on commission. Patch Biz Model? Not familiar but free content has been a growing a trend on the net. I think when a news driven site is relying on readers for bulk of content it's probably a flawed business plan. I'd reach and say it's because no revenue being generated from local ads. In this economy it is very difficult to sell any small business real estate on the web. Just my opinion. I refused offer to write when I suggested a few local topics, if I'm going to spend my time thumping a creative neat clean piece, I prefer to get paid. :0) And on that note...I shall spend less time contributing my rants.
Kathy January 21, 2013 at 07:34 AM
@ Steve By all means then you have the choice not to view that news source. I personally find it entertaining, but I read all points of view and form oh-pinions because actually the right and left both pose good points.
Frank Instein January 21, 2013 at 02:10 PM
And it never will!!!!!!
Steve ® January 21, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Good story.
Rees Roberts January 21, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Kathy, You eloquently shared your points. But noting that profit making businesses does not provide a check and balance except for an economic one. If they do not make a profit the check and balance puts them out of business. But when such a business has, as a fundamental basis of their purpose, the tools to communicate what citizens should know about, that is when it becomes tricky. Many assume that what the media shares is truth but as most of us know that is not always the case. One could argue that each one of us is the check and balance. But then we run the risk of a lack of consensus. Why do you suppose our elections are so close? Our media, in it's attempt to be "fair" will share both sides of an issue no matter if the issues are clear. When our politics say the sky is blue and the other side says no it's not, we are in trouble. But that is what is occurring these days. Media outlets now have left and right outlets. In my opinion, this is so wrong. The media should be blind and just report the facts. Journalism was that way when I was younger. So, that is why I asked who provides the check and balances for the media. Just knowing the basics of business does not protect our constitutional rights. That is why I asked the question and why I fear how the future will evolve. I pray we just get along and try to understand each other. We have more in common than not.
Steve ® January 21, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Jed January 21, 2013 at 05:45 PM
55,772,015 Abortions in America Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973
CowDung January 21, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Rees: Have you read the kinds of blogs that Patch allows people to publish under their real names? I don't think we are going to find things too far worse with people blogging under their 'Patch names'...
Bob McBride January 21, 2013 at 06:26 PM
CD, when you wrote that piece, it had to be approved by the local editor prior to it going "live", correct?
CowDung January 21, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Bob: I seem to recall that I had to submit it and then it was published a bit later. I assume that the local editor (or some Patch entity) had checked it over to make sure that it complies with the Patch Terms of Service and/or didn't contain any offensive content before it was allowed to be published. We have seen published blogs that did violate the Patch Terms of Service though--so I don't know how thoroughly or consistently they are checked by Patch staff...
CowDung January 21, 2013 at 06:37 PM
...but that being said, the Patch local editor that presumably would have approved the offensive blog doesn't seem to be in that position anymore. I'm hoping that having fewer editors might bring more consistency and help increase the overall quality of the blogs being published.
Daniel S. January 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I wonder, how high would unemployment be if there were none? I wonder, how many more murders would there have been in the USA as a result? One can speculate the: What Ifs, all day long regarding this topic. Since the beginning of time and until time expires, we all shall have to make decisions in life; some that we do not want to make, but none the less we must do what we and we ourselves only, feel is the right thing. I believe the only person one is to judge, is themselves. Until one is perfect, they should focus on themselves. I highly doubt any one of us will achieve that goal in our lifetime. I highly doubt there are many if any that are proud of making that difficult decision.
Richard January 22, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Mr. Merlin, You now have your answer which was contained within the inaugural speech of yesterday. If you are unable to discern the actions of the person you evidently support without lint's then I can't help you. By the way you accuse me of being snarky what about your snap back response. and by the way I'll take truthfulness versus snake oil politics any day!
Kathy January 22, 2013 at 02:33 PM
@Rees " Just knowing the basics of business does not protect our constitutional rights. " Well ain't that a mouthful! Allow me to play devil advocate please? That McRib I mentioned earlier, how about my rights there? That is not a rib! That sauce hardly qualifies as BBQ sauce yet Mcdees laughs all the way to the bank. Okay silly example I agree. You are confusing Government's purpose of creating a safe and happy place for citizens and Media's use of the second amendment as an abuse of you're constitutional rights. I'm a channel flipper and when a breaking story I will flip from CNN, MSNBC, FOX etc etc it is almost sadly comical the "breaking News" tickers. I keep waiting for one of em to interview the dog for eyewitness accounts, everyone else seems to be interviewed including the shooters grade school classmate who had no contact for 15 years -- oh the desperation of ANY story line. *chuckle* I feel ya and understand what ya mean honestly. I left the broadcast sector shortly after 911. I got stuck in production booth and watched "lunar" feeds disappear right after FCC warnings. Things that make ya go hmmm. I watch BBC for US national news now. Go figure. Namaste


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