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Will Obama Gun Control Proposals Make Palm Desert 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 Palm Desert 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 L. Arnce March 03, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Enforce the laws on the books and disarm criminals. Disarming legal citizens and/ or drowning them in red tape, is not the answer.
Eye on the Desert March 03, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Exactly. Shameful that some politicians are using tragic incidents to promote their own ill-guided agendas. There is not one single study or analysis indicating that an expansion of gun control laws would curb violence in general, much less the kinds of tragedies we have seen in schools and movie theaters. And yet, that's the knee-jerk reaction. Ridiculous.
Peter Benedetti March 03, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Is a background check really "drowning them in red tape"? I also missed the part about "disarming legal citizens", I guess my teabagger newsletter got lost in the mail. I did read the list of 23 points on gun control and there is not one that a sane and law abiding citizen should have a problem with.
Eye on the Desert March 03, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Peter, Peter, Peter. You're missing the point. If you want to have stricter gun control, great. But just be honest about it. Don't pretend that it will somehow prevent insane people from harming others. And don't pretend that's the reason you want more gun control.
Ron Roster March 03, 2013 at 09:08 PM
What in the world, there is a back ground check in place. 9 out of 10 criminal events with guns are committed by non licence carrying people. So why are we trying to penalize the law abiding citizens. Does not make any sense! Plus crime in Arizona is HALF of what it is in California. Do the math please.
Dorothy March 04, 2013 at 12:50 AM
In Australia they used to have a lot of killings with guns, so they put into effect new gun laws where a background check was needed and tough gun laws which I can't remember to name them all, but it was a total success for the law so now they have 0 shootings in Australia. We need real good gun laws.. and background checks should be a part of it.. I am all for strict gun laws the stricter the better.. I can't understand why some people feel they need high assault weapons with rounds of shots magazines with high 30 and more rounds for what ? hunting ....no way
linda hanna March 04, 2013 at 12:57 AM
Totally agree. This is just the beginning of a gun grab. All it will accomplish is further restrictions on law abiding citizens. Chicago is a perfect example. Strictest gun control in the nation and highest gun crime and murder rate. Criminals do not comply with the law. Only legal citizens will lose their rights to own the weapon of their choice. Liberals are all about choice when it comes to killing an unborn, but when it comes to a lawful gunowner's choice it's a different story altogether.
linda hanna March 04, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Dorothy you actually believe criminals can't get guns without a background check. Wow are you naive. Just because YOU don't understand why some people want a particular weapon...does not mean you can impose your ownership standards on someone else. Suppose I suggest you don't need the particular car you drive or the particlar beverage you drink? I see you are opposed to hunting. How do you feel about abortion? Typical liberal double standard at play here??
Eye on the Desert March 04, 2013 at 02:26 AM
Well said, Linda.

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