WBUR

Menino On Guns: Let’s Fix The System

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is renewing his calls for stepped-up gun control laws, in the wake of the movie theater massacre in Colorado.

Menino co-chairs the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The two are calling on President Obama and the Republicans’ presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, to push for a national gun control policy that would regulate the types and amounts of guns and ammunition people can purchase.

The alleged Colorado shooter, James Holmes, bought his weapons — including an assault rifle — legally, according to police.

“Guy goes out and buy four guns within a matter of weeks? Something’s wrong with the system,” Menino said. “Be able to buy thousands of rounds of ammunition? Something’s wrong with the system. Let’s fix the system.”

A federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004.

“We never renewed that [ban,]” Menino said. “What’s wrong? We’re going to have the NRA run our country? It’s not going to run my country.”

The mayor said though Massachusetts has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, people can easily go to states like New Hampshire and purchase guns at gun shows, where unlicensed dealers are not required to conduct background checks.

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  • X-Ray

    The Mayor is wrong about the review of the so-called Assault Weapons ban, which
    expired after 10 years in effect. The requirement for the reviews, by
    independent agencies, was part of the bill. The reviews were done and published.
    In short, they showed the ban to have been generally ineffective. The Mayor
    should be better informed before he proposes a knee jerk response.

  • henrietta11

    I doubt that James Holmes Pigrim ancestors(according to Michael Daly in the Daily Beast) could  have imagined this gruesome scene.
    They were strong supporters of the 2nd Ammendment-way back.A well-armed militia at that time was not a recipe for this type of assault-weapon shooting of fellow citizens in a public space.
    There is no justification for citizens having these assault weapons.

    • Dave Seaman

      clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap.
      Here we have a voice of intelligence; a voice of reason; a voice of common sense. The founding fathers believed that the Constitution should be re-written every generation, “In order to accomodate a new nation, a growing nation subject to change as it grows.” (Thomas Jefferson.
      This very Constitution referred to women and non-whites as 5/8ths of a human in counting for the national census. The consitution has clearly proven itself to be unclear and in the need of change or we wouldn’t have so many Constitutional Ammendments. (Failure to poass the ERA aside) I thiank yuou Henrietta for voicing wisdom at a time where it is so needed.

    • Imran Nasrullah

      You are right. there is no justification. When push comes to shove, the only argument I ever hear from gun owners, beyond it is their constitutional right, is “I just want one”.  Like little children, they just want a gun, and bullets, and automatic rifles, and AK-47s, and assault rifles. What is next? RPGs?  When does this end? How many more people need to die before we as a nation stand up to the NRA and our meretricious law makers and say no.  Seriously, lets just vote them out.

  • Rnf

    X-Ray wrote, “The Mayor should be better informed before he proposes a knee jerk response.” Why? That never stopped him before.

    In fact, a Massachusetts resident cannot purchase a gun at a New Hampshire gun show. Federal laws require a gun transfer to be done by someone with a license from the BATF. It must be done in the state of residence of the purchaser.

    • Joseph M. Herosy

      What is your response to the fact that anyone can legally buy assault weapons and huge amounts of ammunition?  Is there any legitimate purpose for these weapons that outways the obvious fact that it makes it easier to commit mass murder?   You can quibble about the details of where MA residents can get guns but it is obvious that it is way to easy in most states to get a dangerous amount of firepower.  These types of mass murders will only decline when we place some reasonable limits on the type and quantity of firearms available to the general public.

  • Dave Seaman

    How can ANY of you be viewing this in a political manner at this time? It’s the most tasteless and heartless time to be discussing political fodder on the stupid evolution of the tracking of our second amendment. There are people who are attending funerals today. There are people who may be brain dead forever. There are people who will suffer from PTSD and these people ALL have families and friends. Today is NOT the time to haul out the political sound bytes. Menino and Bloomberg are right: We do require stricter gun control laws. When a stranger put a gun into my mouth seven years ago I assure you that I did not care at that moment whether it was an automatic weapon or not; I did not care how many guns he had nor did I care if they were legal. All I know is that it changed me forever. It made this subject one that is very personal to me. To have all of you discussing the merits of gun ownership- and your continued misunderstanding of our second amendment- while so many people are numb from devastation, well THAT is disgusting. And you should be ashamed. Our right to bear arms comes from the fact that the men who drafted our Constitution had just had to fight a war to gain the freedom of their government. They were not anticipating gun shows, automatic weapons, shooting galleries and collectors to say nothing of the splitting of the atom and how television and cinema would cause us to view guns as a form of entertainment. They were  anticipating the election of 2000 when our Supreme Court took control of the election and forced Florida to stop counting votes in Bush v. Gore. THIS was what the framers of our Constitution were considering when they wrote the second amendment.
    But I digress: my point is that as a nation, we need to have a little more respect for those people who are undergoing crisis right now. This includes Memino. Right now isn’t the time for an, “I told you so.”

    • Joseph Herosy

      We of course need to be respectful of the victims and their families, but the best way to do so is to find a way to make this less likely to happen again.  Calling for gun control is a real solution to a real problem and not simply a political tactic.  

  • Patlewmu

    Right on Mayor Menino, 4 guns in 4 weeks, where’s the tracking system? All this access to technology at our disposal and we don’t have a central data base to raise a red flag!!!!
    What is wrong?

    • X-Ray

      There is a mandatory tracking system. Go try to buy a and you’ll be presented with a multi-side form to fill out. Thenh the info has to be called in. That the Feds don’t use the information puts the fault at their door. The database is there.

      • Oct14

        Except when buying at gun shows from private traders; if I want I can go there and buy out of his collection from the back of his truck and leave the same day. Gun shows need to be monitored more…

  • TJohn760951

    Ad in CC Times “Items for sale” last Saturday read (pg C-11)

    Guns-Good Condition-$100.00 w/a phone number.

    This is gun control ?

  • Ralph850

    OK communists. Your answer to everything you do not like is to throw more restrictive laws at it. Some of us enjoy our guns and act responsibly with them. What do you not understand? This guy in Colorado is a CRIMINAL, a KOOK, he would get guns anyway he needed to, that’s what CRIMINALS do. Here in Taxandscrewus we have the most restrictive gun laws in the nation,, yet still people are shot on a daily basis. That’s because CRIMINALS do not care about your laws. They violate those laws to get guns, they don’t care about laws. Passing ever more restrictive laws only imposes hardship on responsible law abiding citizens. Geez what is wrong with you people?

    • RV_C

      Right! These anti-assault rifle laws are ridiculous! CRIMINALs are going to get their hands on them anyway, so why should we try to make it harder?! And if they want to be violent, they will be! There is NOTHING we can do to stop it COMPLETELY, so why even try?

      And why should we outlaw high-capacity magazines – they have perfectly legit uses, and if it makes a violent KOOK’s job easier, that shouldn’t be my problem! The hardships they impose on us responsible law-abiding citizens is crazy – I don’t want to reload my mag every 15 bullets. That’s a crazy harsdhip I should not have to bear. And those 100-round drums have perfectly common uses, too.

      Sarcasm implied.

      • cla

        what ligit uses could an average citizen actually have with an assault weapon.  Sure criminals will have access to all types of weapons  This will not change.  You have a responsibity as a law abiding citizen to realize that access to weapons of mass distruction should be denied.  Availability to anyone is just crazy talk! 

  • Jackkorpi

     30,000 Americans are killed each by guns and 100,000 are injured. If these statistics were the result of a disease, everyone would say, “We’ve got to do something about this!”

    The fact that whenever something like this happens, we don’t do anything to address the problem, means that most people think that 30,000 deaths a year is an acceptable price to pay to feel like big man because your have a gun!

    It may be that owning and using guns is an addiction, like drugs and alcohol. If that’s the case, then laws to control guns will be no more effective than laws to control drugs. However, if the desire to own guns is driven by a desire to feel powerful and important, then try being the best parent you can or helping to make  your community a better place will also make you feel important, if not powerful.

    What the world would be like without guns?  Or if only law enforcement or the military had them? You may say it’s completely unrealistic, considering there are more guns than people in the US. But if we want to change, we can.

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