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Kamenetz, Johnson Call For Tougher Gun Laws

Gun Club official asks elected leaders to "refrain from publicly exploiting this heartbreaking tragedy until after the victims had been returned to their families and loved ones."

UPDATED (3:30 p.m.)—Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Police Chief Jim Johnson Monday called for tougher gun laws in the wake of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead, including 20 children.

"Such a discussion is not an assault on the Second Amendment," Kamenetz said. "This is an assault on assault weapons. The founding fathers granted Americans the right to bear arms but like other rights in the Constitution, that right is not absolute, and it is subject to reasonable limits."

But a representative of the Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore said it is too early to discuss stricter gun laws.

Kamenetz Monday read from an open letter he said he was sending to state and federal officials. [A copy of the letter is attached to this article.]

Kamenetz and Johnson called on state and federal lawmakers to tighten gun laws including:

  • Elimination of exceptions to national background checks.
  • Ending the sale of "military-grade assault weapons that can out-gun our police officers."
  • Ending the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Police say Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster .223 rifle and two handguns—a Glock 9mm pistol and a SIG Sauer—to shoot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza was also reportedly carrying multiple high-capacity magazines for the weapons that were legally purchased by his mother, whom Lanza is also believed to have killed.

Once inside, Lanza used the guns favored by some police and military to kill 26 including 20 children, according to reports.

"The people of Baltimore County and the people all across the nation should not have access to the weapons of war," Kamenetz said. "An assault rifle used to battle the Taliban has no place in Towson, Dundalk, or Catonsville.  In our wildest dreams, it is impossible to imagine that the right to bear arms would mean that citizens could walk the streets with assault rifles issued to soldiers on the battlefield or weapons that utilize high capacity magazines."

Police Chief Jim Johnson called the proliferation of gun violence "a public health epidemic."

"Citizens in Essex, families in Wilkens, businesses in Cockeysville," Johnson said. "It affects all of us."

Both Johnson and Kamenetz referenced gun incidents that took place in Baltimore County in September—the shooting at Perry Hall High School and another incident involving at gun at Stemmers Run Middle School.

Johnson criticized the ability to purchase guns through private purchases both online and in classified ads. He said 40 percent of gun sales are made through such purchases which are not subject to mandatory background checks.

"This is like allowing 40 percent of people travelling on our airlines to go through the airport without being checked," Johnson said.

Johnson, chairman for the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, also called for the banning of high capacity ammunition magazines similar to an effort he announced in July.

John Josselyn, legislative vice president of Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore, declined to comment on the news conference and instead referred a reporter to a statement issued Monday morning. [A copy of the statement is attached to this article.]

"We find it callous and disrespectful that certain politicians and gun control advocates are so focused on their political agenda that they could not find it in their hearts to refrain from publicly exploiting this heartbreaking tragedy until after the victims had been returned to their families and loved ones," Josselyn wrote in the statement. "This is not the time for emotional rhetoric and political posturing. Rather, this is a time for grieving, thoughtful reflection, and healing.

"We should carefully consider on what has happened to the basic fabric of our society. A society in which some individuals, for reasons we do not yet understand, have come to view gratuitous violence as a means to express their unhappiness with themselves," Josselyn wrote. "Our thoughts, prayers, and sincere condolences go out to all of the victims of this senseless tragedy."

FIFA December 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
You miss the whole point Sanchez. Where do you stop? Do you put them inside a gymnasium on Saturday when the 9-10 kids are playing basketball. Do you put them on a soccer field with the U12 girls playing or football and on and on. Putting officers in schools is like plugging a leak in a dam with your finger. We have too many leaks and way too many soft targets. The next mass shooting is just a crazy man (70% are white males for some reason) armed to the teeth away from happening again.
Buck Harmon December 27, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Great thought Sanchez..! Fifi...once again...you're full of crap..you make up numbers and percentages as you poo..
Tony Solesky December 27, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Where do you start?
Eastsider December 27, 2012 at 04:14 PM
FIFA and taking guns from law abiding citizens is the answer? By doing that you have taken the foundation from the dam
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 04:15 PM
baby Bucky, I have facts to support my statements unlike you the grand 9/11 conspiracy theorist and the 16th amendment is not real silly little boy. http://goodmenproject.com/in-good-faith/what-makes-white-middle-class-men-kill/ http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map?page=2 Go do some reading baby bucky.
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
My point Eastsider, this is the typical Catch-22 situation. I recognize that this society is not going to take away or ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines due to the second amendment. With that as a base point, we (you) cannot protect every soft target in the USA. I also recognize that due to other constitutional rights you will not be able to identify and find the crazies before they kill. When the above perfect storm happens, the networks are just waiting for their next 24/7 disaster coverage of another mass shooting. Please tell me where I am wrong.
Eastsider December 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM
The networks are part of the problem. They immortalize these idiots when reporting these news stories. Maybe if we left the nut bags name and background out of the story maybe it could reduce one or two crazed people. Second doctors need to open up the local and federal authorities with possible crazed killers and forget the doctor patient confidentiality . Finally I am a firm believer of the second amendment but I don't see why a citizen would need a 30 round magazine for protection or sport. I can do just damage with multiple smaller magazine.
Tony Solesky December 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I guess you were unaware that the Hitler reference was attached to me in a state and then the subsequent national issue in many blogs from the animal lobby. It does not concern me at all. I really can’t add anything new to your question that I have not already stated in my position on gun control. I certainly will answer any new questions here or on another thread as best I can.
Buck Harmon December 27, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Fifi..14 out of 54 were white middle age male...based on info you provided...where did your 70% come from... nowhere in either article was there a mention of 70%... You pull these kinds of verbal stunts all the time..I don't believe your claim of a high IQ either...You tell lots of lies Fifi...shame on you..
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Sorry Bucky baby, I said white males, not "middle aged" males. 14 out of 54, you started happy hour early. You want to match IQs? Only serious money though, nothing less than a grand baby.
FIFA December 27, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Go here bucky double digit man, maybe this will make you happy and learn how to count as well? http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/12/26/majority-of-mass-shooters-white-men-time-to-profile-that-demographic-video/ You will learn someday, although I have my opinions, I don't lie. But you do.
Eastsider December 28, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Since all new agencies have a reputation of fabricating news should they be held to some type of standard, fines and the possibility of cancelation off the air?
1ke December 28, 2012 at 01:17 AM
You shore sound smart.
Chuck Burton December 28, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Buck Harmon, you said Fifa tells lots of lies - that should make him a great politician since the first requirement for political office is to lie ones head off - but of course, if you can't make people believe the lies, you won't really do so well. It's why O'Malley and Obama have done so well - they make people believe them.
FIFA December 28, 2012 at 01:28 AM
But Buck lies. Ask him about 9/11 and income taxes
Matt December 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM
They can try. I think, though, when it comes to the 2nd Amendment, the government will have quite a problem on it's hands if they pass anything that significantly infringes on it.
Matt December 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Facts and logic have no place in this argument!!!
Matt December 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Distortions of the 2nd Amendment? Well, too bad for you, the Supreme Court has ruled in the Heller and McDonald cases that the 2A applies to the individual. Like it or not, it's now the law of the land. Though, most importantly, has everyone forgotten that the 2nd Amendment also serves as a check against tyranny? Has everyone forgotten that the only reason that we exist as a nation right now is because of armed resistance against oppression? With that said, I, in no way support criminals or the mentally ill being able to purchase or possess firearms. However, any attempt to prevent the everyday law abiding citizen from purchasing/possessing a firearm or outright banning/confiscating them is outrageously unconstitutional.
Matt December 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM
You're not, and nothing more really needs to be said on this matter. Unfortunately, the tragedies that do occur are one of the perils of living in a free society. I'll 100% take my chances every day with an armed populace than having to rely on the government to protect "us"
Matt December 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM
As far as the 30 round magazine goes, well, I prefer to be better armed than the criminals. I'd post the second part, but I'm sure it would land me on some watch list.
Buck Harmon December 28, 2012 at 01:57 PM
You have to have the confidence to use your real name to become a politician Chuck..and Fifi does a rather poor job at making anyone believe him, or her, with consistent inconsistencies being the basis of most comments provided...long track record of being bad on Patch though, that's been consistent... ceaseless and mindless as well...
FIFA December 28, 2012 at 02:24 PM
That is hilarious. I am being called mindless by a guy who doesn't believe 9/11 happened the way it did. He also believe the 16th amendment to the constitution authorizing income taxes was never properly ratified and thus you are voluntarily sending your money to the federal government. And he calls me mindless. Those BBs are rattling around in your brain bucky baby.
Buck Harmon December 28, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Fifi...You need to tighten up your buttons a bit...they are sooo easily pushed. I would think one with such a perceived~ claimed high IQ could figure it out... Perhaps you have reached your limit...I understand, even with my lowly IQ..
Buck Harmon December 28, 2012 at 02:33 PM
O, and Fifi, I would be happy to teach you about the Sixteenth Amendment, Income Tax, and the parts of 911 that you can't seem to grasp....but for a fee...a high 4 figure fee...at that point we can test each other's IQ as well... Let me know when to schedule your first lesson...
FIFA December 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
The man that talks a bad game and doesn't know squat has no BBs for guts. Talks about his ideas, but afraid to share them out for fear of being laughed out of his neighborhood. We all have a crazy old Uncle Bucky. I guess Dad took Bucky to the vet when he was little.
Steve December 28, 2012 at 03:34 PM
LOL The government won't have any problems.
FIFA December 28, 2012 at 03:59 PM
MM - I would hazard to guess most drive-by shootings are not done with the intent of just killing innocent people. I believe most drive bys have a specific target or group of targets in mind and are pre-meditated as to who then intend to shoot. Adam Lanza was pre-meditated it appears, he just didn't know the names or the faces of those he intended to kill until he saw them in the sights of his weapon and fired his .223 round at them.
Mark Underwood January 30, 2013 at 07:29 PM
That is fine for you, I suppose, but (and before continuing you should watch this short youtube video -> search for _YY5Rj4cQ50 or "penn teller second amendment" on youtube and at least go for the one that is a minute and a half) according to the second amendment: because we need ready armies the citizen's ability to be ready (keep and bear arms), mostly to be able thwart a tyrannical takeover, shall not be infringed. There are other reasons to own long and other guns and they are too long to list and [chuckle] secondary in importance.
Steve January 30, 2013 at 07:40 PM
We have a "ready army". "Tyrannical Takeover"? That's a joke.
Mark Underwood January 30, 2013 at 09:50 PM
For lack of a better phrase, no. How about Coup D'Etat? Whether or not it is possible and how it would be possible currently is irrelevant. I'm stating what the amendment says/means. Which, by the way, has not been repealed and can be as easily as the first. Good luck on that and the rest of the first ten amendments. Having and needing a ready army is the point of what I was saying so we agree on that it seems. The video I mentioned addresses the ready (as in weapons and training) army.

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