January 13th, 2011
03:26 PM ET

Chill in the White House briefing room

WASHINGTON (CNN) –It was what diplomats might call a "frank exchange of views," as White House spokesman Robert Gibbs got into a Cold War-style tiff with a Russian reporter Thursday about whether American freedoms go too far and may have led to the tragic shooting in Tucson.

In one of the most surreal moments I have ever seen in nearly seven years covering the beat, Andrei Sitov of the Itar-Tass News Agency pressed Gibbs at his daily briefing about whether "the quote, unquote 'freedom' of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American" like the freedom of speech and the right to assembly.

Gibbs, clearly ticked off by what appeared to some reporters in the briefing room to be a lecture by the Russian reporter just days after the horrific massacre in Tucson, bluntly declared that the tragedy was caused by the "deranged actions of a madman."

The outgoing press secretary then abruptly ended the news conference, which had the whiff of a tense Cold War exchange - all that was missing was a shoe being pounded on a table in the White House briefing room.

The tense exchange began with Sitov, whose news agency is state-controlled, saying that he wanted to offer "my condolences to all the Americans, especially obviously to the victims."

But then he added of the tragedy, "It does not seem all that incomprehensible, at least from the outside. It's the reverse side of freedom. Unless you want restrictions, unless you want a bigger role for the government –"

Other journalists were snapping their heads around to look quizzically at Sitov because they could not believe that the reporter was saying this while emotions are still so raw over the shooting, so Gibbs jumped in to try and deflect the tension by saying diplomatically "there's an investigation that's going on" and nobody should get ahead of that.

But Sitov started interrupting so Gibbs decided to go full steam ahead and push back emotionally.

"Hold on, let me - let me take my time back just for a second," Gibbs said. "I think there's an investigation that's going to go on. I think there are - I think as it goes on, we will learn more and more about what happened. I think as the President was clear last night, we may never know fully why or how. We may never have an understanding of why, as the President said, in the dark recesses of someone's mind, a violent person's mind, do actions like this spring forward. I don't want to surmise or think in the future of what some of that might be."

Gibbs added that it's important to also understand that the meet-and-greet session that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) was holding last Saturday where she and more than a dozens others were shot was "the exercise of some very important, very foundational freedoms to this country: the freedom of speech; the freedom to assemble; the freedom to petition your government; democracy or a form of self-government that is of, by and for the people - all of - all very quintessential American values" that are well known.

Sitov said he agreed with that characterization but persisted with his original line of thought, declaring: "This is America, the democracy, the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition your government. And many people outside would also say - and the quote, unquote "freedom" of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American. How do you respond to that?"

Gibbs seemed startled by the last part and asked Sitov to repeat it, so the Russian journalist said again, "The quote, unquote 'freedom' of the deranged mind to respect - to react violently to that, it is also American."

"No, it's not," said Gibbs. "No, no, I would disagree vehemently with that. There are - there is nothing in the values of our country, there's nothing on the many laws on our books that would provide for somebody to impugn and impede on the very freedoms that you began with by exercising the actions that that individual took on that day. That is not American."

Gibbs' voice grew emotional as he added, "We had people that died. We had people whose lives will be changed forever because of the deranged actions of a madman. Those are not American. Those are not in keeping with the important bedrock values by which this country was founded and by which its citizens live each and every day of their lives in hopes of something better for those that are here."

The press secretary then ended the briefing before the exchange could go any further, and Sitov told CNN later in a telephone interview that he meant no disrespect to the victims or their families.

"First thing I want to say is we understand this is a terrible tragedy and we offer our condolences to the American people and especially the victims of this random act of violence," said Sitov, speaking as if he was speaking on behalf of all Russians. "In no way do we condone the actions of the deranged madman who did this."

"Now that we said all that," Sitov added quickly. "I also believe that what happened is a terrible price that the United States pays for the freedoms and liberties that Americans enjoy. This country unfortunately again suffered through several presidents being attacked, President Kennedy was killed. President Reagan was wounded by a deranged person."

Sitov said Americans do not seem to want to face that there needs to be stricter gun control measures if another tragedy is to be avoided.

"So my point is that there is the good side of the freedoms and liberties and rights," he said. "But there is the reverse side and if the government wanted to prevent such tragedies, as they say, one avenue is obvious. One avenue is to restrict the freedom to bear arms."

Sitov added, "But politically this seems to be impossible so people do not even talk to this. I am just an observer. I am not saying to Americans what they should and shouldn't do. It is your country you should do what you want."

Asked if he is advocating that Americans embrace communism, Sitov said, "The last thing I want to say is what Americans should and shouldn't do. What I'm saying is if Americans want this right to bear arms they need to be ready to face the consequences. And this is the consequences."

But Dimitri Simes, a native of Russia who now runs The Nixon Center here in the United States, noted that Russia is facing its own problems with firearms in many of its major cities.

"This question is a little difficult to take seriously, coming from a Russian journalist," said Simes. "I think he clearly wanted to make a political point."
–CNN's Kate Bolduan contributed to this report.


soundoff (741 Responses)
  1. A Canadian 'foreigner'

    I'm no fan of the russian system, but the russian was just asking the question that the whole rest of the world wonders about your country. You're so busy navel-gazing, you have no idea how you are perceived in the rest of the world. It seems to come mainly from your right-to-bear-muskets (oh, wrong millenium) red-neck, cowboy, rural, insular right mentality. Think about it and perhaps do something about:
    1. care for mental illness (heaven forbid, health caring for them)
    2. access to weapons-of-mass-destruction (heaven forbid)
    3. your raging hateful polarized political rhetoric

    January 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Ted Smiles

      You missed the point. Our right to bear arms is about us having the ABILITY to revolt, if our government becomes a tyrany. Check and Balance is what it's about.

      It is illegal to kill people. it is illegal to use a gun in a crime. Those laws did not stop it from happening. Laws only stop law abiding citizens from doing crimes. The criminals, still do them. Making guns against the law, would not have stopped it.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Phoenix39

      And what if we go back on our gun freedoms? What happens to those of us who are then violated by crazies outside of this country? It's not just our country that attacks us. Our security is so lax that many of you from other countries who are still here on expired visas may have a different agenda and want to do us harm. Then we're in the paper because America doesn't know how to protect itself. And Russia of all places to question us.....No comment. Countries all over the world are having their own problems whether it's guns, drugs, gangs, dictators, communism, etc. The world is screwed up and no one is perfect – my God, far from it. This problem we had in Arizona is one of many shootings that happen all the time all over our Country and other countries as well. We gathered attention because we've had a lot of things going on. Where were the comments about 9/11? 3 planes were the weapons of choice. How did they get access? Much like it has happened with other countries during the Cold War, Vietnam War, etc.

      If people don't like the United States, you don't have to come here. It is what it is.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Russian Insider

      Well said.

      Being both Russian and American, I don't understand what the fuzz is all about. It sounds like a legitimate, meaningful, and timely question. It is perhaps somewhat inconvenient from the point of PR and certain special interests. Perhaps also this question leaves much to be desired in terms of its formulation in English. But, sure, it is very American to "enjoy" the right to own and carry guns (and for others – the right to make profits from selling them) regardless of the possibility that a free gunman can go insane one day (especially these days) and shoot a dozen or so citizens, including the officials. It is definitely cannot be considered a "Russian thing". Russian political culture does not presuppose such rights (to own guns and through gun ownership to define the scope of individual freedom) – just as many other political cultures, including the impeccable western democracies. Why the question is deemed so provocative is beyond my understanding. It is no more confrontational as it is conductive from the point of assertion American values.

      January 15, 2011 at 6:22 am |
      • Old Salt

        RI, this may seem like a legitimate question from someone who comes from a country which has never known freedom. Our Second Amendment right to firearms is specifically to prevent our country from ever suffering the lack of freedoms that Russia has always lived under. Even with the illegal violence the U.S. has suffered from, on our worst day we enjoy freedoms never envisioned in countries like Russia.

        January 18, 2011 at 7:55 am |
      • Russian Insider

        Old Salt,

        I understand you need to constantly reassure yourself – that you live in the best possible world, the free world. It's a part of your national identity and you do not want to lose it to someone else. And I respect your feeling, albeit irrational.

        The Soviet Union was once an ugly construct (America had its moment too, didn't it? It is only in the late 60's that America qualified to be a democratic system with freedom for all – and not because the government decided so), but for my generation (mid-late 30s) the recollection of the past is not that torturous. No access to MTV was compensated by free health care. You know what I mean? It was not dead end. It was perhaps a bad bargain for a young kid. And as for the present moment, I do not see much difference. The same stores, the same restaurants, the same political rhetoric which hardly gets fulfilled. From time to time you hear stories about someone just killed. Sometimes it's a journalist, who is also a human being "with everything on it". Who did it? There are always no less than two conspiracy plots. Go figure. It's like asking who killed JFK. It's probably easier to get rich in Russia – because it is not yet as regulated as the States. No guns. Never thought of having one. I like traveling – I don't want to be sitting on my butt with a sole purpose of protecting it.

        January 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
      • ProudVietVet56

        Dear Russian Insider, This is AMERICA, not Russia. We honestly do not care what you think of us. We are a free Nation and have freedoms that have been fought for by many, including myself. How dare you attempt to inflict your socialist beliefs on us. You should stay in your own country and keep your nose out of our business. We will NOt become a socialist Nation like Russia amd will keep our Rights and Freedoms, intact. Don't love America. get out, plain and simple.

        January 20, 2011 at 8:12 am |
      • Russian Insider

        We honestly do not care what you think of us.

        Sure. And over 700 comments posted here prove that no one cares.

        Well, ОК, deduct your comment – for reason of its total irrelevancy. Because in my posting I am not "inflicting" any socialist beliefs on you. None. In fact, I am saying it was a bad bargain for me – a healthy young person – to have a universal health care system at the expense of having MTV. Because MTV was what I really cared about back then.

        January 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Mesa Mick

      America...The only advanced country in the world that still has a large portion of it's citizens that cling to their guns, bibles and the 150 year old image of it's people as as gunslingin' individualists who can "pull themselves up by their boot straps" (a physically impossible act but held as the truth by conservatives anyway).

      With 90 guns in circulation (that's the ones that we know of) for every 100 people it's time that the US start to realize that some forms of responsible gun ownership are now in order as a Public Safety issue not a right to own guns issue.

      We have the guns, now it's time to effect some "rules of the road" that require gun owners (I'm one) to act responsibily with them...and elimninating expanded capacity magazines for all but law enfocement/military use would be a good start....

      January 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
      • ProudVietVet56

        Mesa Mike, every been faced with 10 armed thugs attempting to cause harm to you and your family in order to take your possesions? I have. When faced with this, no one can fire 100% accurate. Thank you but, I will keep my extended magazines. My guns are for sport and self defense. I pray you are never faced with a group surrounding your vehicle bent on harming YOUR family. With today's society and civil unrest, chances are, you will be in that scenerio at some point in your life. Trust me, "Harsh Language" is NOT effective, nor is a stun gun, knife, rock, stick, broom, etc, etc.

        January 20, 2011 at 8:23 am |
    • oogy

      Russia gave the world two leaders that were responsible for the murder of millions and millions of their own people. Lenin and Stalin. This Russian reporter puts forward the premise that our form of government enables mentally ill killers to take out ( less than one hundred people),. Following his logic, and of course historical fact, one can only conclude that the Russian system of government created evil of an astronomical magnitude. Coming from such a legacy, I am surprised the Russian journalist did not self-combust when he uttered his riduculous and naive statements.

      January 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Russian Insider

        > Following his logic..

        What logic? He was not asserting anything beyond the obvious facts and common sense. Americans are free to both arm themselves and to go insane any moment. Are you disputing this? I think this is very American. Very few nations in the world can afford both of the freedoms. To the best of his abilities, the Moscow dude solicited a comment at a meeting set up specifically for questions. What's the problem? Why this question is such a big deal for a week now? – in America where everyone is supposed to be free and in fact very welcome to pose questions – whatever is on one's mind. This is weird. I fear we are losing America in its self-definition.

        January 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • bebegun

        thanks oogy, took the words right out of my gun barrel.

        January 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
      • ProudVietVet56

        Dear Russian Insider, please return home. You will not change our rights, beliefs nor, way of life. True, our mental health care system has much improvement to be made but, you are suggesting punishing every American for a hand full of nut cases. I assume there are NO mentally ill in Russia? Perhaps a few of us need to go to Russia and disrespect YOUR culture and beliefs to let you know how it feels. I personally 'downed' several Russian aircraft in Vietnam. You folks are not that great. Russia, a nation that has colapsed and abuses its citizens. No thanks Sir, kindly go home.

        January 20, 2011 at 8:32 am |
      • Russian Insider

        Dear ProudVietVet56,
        I am not suggesting punishing every American. Far from it. Can you read? I am stating precisely the opposite: Americans do have rights to argue with each other and defend themselves against other Americans with guns, as well as to go insane any moment and be free in that condition. No authority has, well, authority to put an American with symptoms of mental disturbance into an insane asylum against his/her will – before he/she does something criminal. This possibility of losing it mentally does not preclude Americans from having their guns. This is unique American thing. The journalists points to this reality and invites the spokesman to elaborate on this. I agree that this is the case. Don't you? Thank you. From Russia with love.

        January 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
    • LiberalsLieAlways

      Naval gazing? Oh sorry we already susidize you great white northers suffering from Al Gores global warming with NAFTA.....I recommend we do even more of it and let your asses defend yourself and buy your own wood carvings.....or those little snow shake balls.....next time we need an opinion on igloos we come get ya.....Ruskis are about as hypocritical as possible of course the canook couldn't critisize him....oh no kill a few thousand with secret police invade a country and kill em all well hey have a nice day.......hillarious go smoke a little canoook weed and watch some norhern lights will ya?

      January 17, 2011 at 9:29 am |
      • Charles

        Sarah, is that you. It's got to be. Don't believe global warming is real, never mind almost every scientist does. Whats up with LiberalsLie Always. Thats a lie. When we need a liar, we'll come and get ya.

        January 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • LiberalsLieAlways

      Isn't there an entire section of Canada that just keeps trying to break away like the entire french speaking party? And what about that Ruski flag planted at the north pole hell the Ruskis already own most of Canada don't they??? Hillarious...

      January 17, 2011 at 9:32 am |
      • Ozmodco

        Typical misunderstanding of trade matters, and Canadian society as a whole. NAFTA has, in recent years, only begun to pick up where it cast us down so many years ago (softwood lumber anyone?). And, despite the USA's view of free
        @LiberalsLie

        trade etc., the amount of tariffs your government has imposed on us for decades is... rather interesting. Not that it matters so much anymore, our economy is strong with multi-string trade and R&D.

        As for illuding that we're...hah... socialists. Apart from medicare, and a strong payed-into social security network, we have had a Conservative party ruling for over 5 years now. And they're doing a fantastic job.

        But, whatever, this is all typical. I feel bad that its people like you who make the Right wing (which I am a part of) look like a bunch of barely-literate, hate-filled, rhetoric-mongers. Keep it up if you want, keep plunging your country into a cesspool of overwhelming, underlying hatred. Keep being divisive. And keep insulting your closest ally- you know, the ones who were there for you – thick and thin- through 9/11 and Afghanistan.

        Ridiculous.

        January 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • hispanogamd

      One of the main arguments from those in favor of preserving the right to bear arms is that it somehow serves as a means to defend us against tyranny. Well, I have to say that the most important revolt against tyranny in this country, the civil rights movement was won by reason, not the firearms. That was the legacy of people like Dr. King and others who have continued defending our most basic rights (even the right to bear arms) without firing a single shot.

      The best defenses against tyranny are reason education and information. Arms are just one of the multiple means available to fight for freedom. The United States has become the leader of the free world not because of the military power, but because it has enabled its citizens to get the means to procure happiness and wealth, and by doing so, it became a powerful magnet that has attracted talent (from all over the world) to become the leading technological and economic machinery of the world.

      I have never owned a gun and I am not sure if I ever will, but I still think that the right to bear arms should be preserved, as are the other basic freedoms described in the bill of rights. Then the main focus should not be on whether we should restrict basic freedoms, but on how we educate our children to get the best of our democracy.

      Good day to all

      January 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
  2. Jordan

    I guess it takes an outsider to show us the truth! The American obsession with guns is crazy and killing more people than it helps protect. Many countries do not allow gun ownership and they are not dictatorships. Why do we think owning a gun is so important?

    January 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • nathan

      Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: *reason and force.
      *If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either
      convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of
      force. *Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories,
      without exception. *Reason or force, that's it.

      In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through
      persuasion. *Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and
      the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as
      paradoxical as it may sound to some.

      When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. *You have to use
      reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or
      employment of force.

      The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal
      footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with
      a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload
      of drunk guys with baseball bats. *The gun removes the disparity in physical
      strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

      There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force
      equations. *These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if
      all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a
      [armed] mugger to do his job. *That, of course, is only true if the mugger's
      potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative
      fiat – it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed.

      People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the
      young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a
      civilized society. *A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful
      living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

      Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that
      otherwise would only result in injury. *This argument is fallacious in
      several ways. *Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the
      physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

      People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal
      force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with
      a bloody lip at worst. *The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier
      works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. *If
      both are armed, the field is level.

      The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian
      as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. *It simply wouldn't work as well
      as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.

      When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but
      because I'm looking to be left alone. *The gun at my side means that I
      cannot be forced, only persuaded. *I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but
      because it enables me to be unafraid. *It doesn't limit the actions of those
      who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who
      would do so by force. *It removes force from the equation... And that's why
      carrying a gun is a civilized act.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
      • Old Salt

        Nathan,
        I've owned guns most of my life, and I'm 64. I've been arguing this issue for most of that time, as well. But, I've never read, heard or seen an argument stated as clearly as you've just framed the real issue here. I will favor more gun control when we find some way to make it apply equally to both the honest citizen and the criminal. Until then, it's purely an issue of self-defense. Thanks for your clarity.

        January 18, 2011 at 8:02 am |
      • pitboss

        Nathan that is a well thought out and well constructed argument you make. However it should be pointed out that carrying a gun does not remove the threat of force from the equation. It actually increases the threat of lethal force taking place. That's a point that needs to be studied carefully. You, Nathan, have then become an instrument of lethal force yourself, through your firearm. You are now judge of what constitutes the use of that lethal force and what does not. Society no longer can determine collectively whether life should be taken or granted in a particular situation. You are now solely responsible for this decision and the consequences set forth by it's action or inaction. This is precisely why I do not choose to carry a weapon although I am proficient with them. I choose not to take on the responsibility of the choice of removing life from another individual. That is my liberty and I take it as of supreme importance. I believe that only when ALL lives are valued as supreme do we then choose to work the hardest to improve all lives. Having said this, I also do not necessarily believe you are wrong in your choice to carry lethal force either, only that it introduces the ultimate decision of life or death into the equation by doing so.

        January 20, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • D

      You clearly have no understanding of the intent of the second amendment. The right to bear arms is aimed squarely at the government. Should tyranny arise again, as it did during the years leading up to the American Revolution, the intent is that the people be armed and capable of taking control of the government as was done so many years ago. The ability to defend ourselves against criminals is a benefit of such rights. The unfortunate side of the equation is that it is either illegal or or considered too dangerous in certain aspects to carry weapons all the time. If such limitations were not in place it would have been very unlikely that more than one or two people would have been harmed by this assassin.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Doug

      I'm in the military and I'm a gun owner. I still don't understand how restricting my gun ownership makes people safer. It truly baffles my mind. I've not heard one argument for "gun control" that will change my mind.

      January 15, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • Todd A

      Bingo! The facts are that guns harm more people than they protect. It seems every other day we are hearing of a kid accidently shooting him or herself or some disgruntled employee shooting the workplace up.

      Rifles and shotguns have their use for hunting. Handguns serve no purpose. Hell, even the redneck band Lynryd Skynard knew it. listen to "Mr Saturday night Special".

      January 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
      • Bill in STL

        Watch out Todd ... there is a gun sneaking up on you ... there is no telling what is going on in the mind of that gun... it could be intent on violence.

        Really Guns Kill People? -> People kill People. The only thing a gun does is allow you to do it from a distance. People that use guns in the commission of a murder are cowards. If there were no guns people would use knives, if there were no knives people would use stones.... and so it goes until the only thing left is their bare hands and even that would not stop some....

        January 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Old Salt

        Todd,
        Never has the old axiom that "It's a poor workman who blames his tools" applied more accurately than it does to this issue. Citizens in Russia can't legally own guns, but has their society ever been free of violence? Or free at all? I think not. When you can control gun ownership by the criminal element in society, come talk to me about controlling the guns of the law-abiding citizens.

        January 18, 2011 at 8:06 am |
      • ProudVietVet56

        Sir, I don't know where you are getting your facts from but, you are terribly mistaken. Owning and carrying a weapon LEGALLy, has saved my life three times in the past two years from 'would be' robbers and trespassers who were armed with either guns or knives. WE (American) will continue to own our own weapons for the protection of ourselves and our families and will NOt allow anyone to take that right from us. I am a law abiding citizen and former Army Ranger. Since out justice system tends to be overly conservative towards violent crimes, WE will keep our guns, no debate, no regrets.

        January 20, 2011 at 7:59 am |
      • ProudVietVet56

        Todd, should we also ban Hustler magazine to prevent you from getting Carpel Tunnel Syndrom too???

        January 20, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • LiberalsLieAlways

      Less Americans are killed by guns than are killed by motor vehicles including those driven by illegal immigrant drivers......lets ban cars!!! In fact I think if we look at violent crime more crimes are commited by a factor of like 90% by liberals......lets ban liberals!!! Or at least tax em more to pay for the victims.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • Bill in STL

        Its called "low hanging fruit" you can get this done with a minimum of effort. Going after the true criminals will be much harder. So lets do the easy thing and then pat ourselves on the back for a job well done!

        January 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  3. allen

    It is not just the russians that have this view of America,I have traveled throughout europe and russia and it is a unanimous view.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • TrueAmerican

      No one really expects Europeans nor Russians to understand America and the freedoms we enjoy, as well as, the price we are willing to pay to keep those freedoms.  The day that they agree with our way of life is the day we'll know we are no longer the "land of the free and the home of the brave" and that our future is doomed.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • only US has violence?

      Oh, right, I forgot. There is NO violence in ANY of the countries with restrictive "gun" laws. I've worked with Europeans and they all live in a variety of police state, afraid even to speak their minds, afraid of the criminal gangs, afraid but unwilling to admit they are afraid. The world is not a warm and fuzzy place. The US is a large country, when crimes occur the police are seldom - really never - able to be present - even if they wanted to protect you they couldn't. So all you who think it's someone elses job to protect you from the bad guys - knife, gun, or even more muscles than you - yup, good luck with that. And, yup, no crimes where YOU live - none at all....

      January 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • LiberalsLieAlways

      And as long as you pay attention to bogus foreigners views and give them some level of credience to thier clear jealousy and hyocritical views they will keep that view the sooner you tell em to F-Off ignore em and punish them when they show racisim to Americans the sooner they will look at themselves as the cause of more of the evil in the World instead of a scape goat that keeps paying for susidizing that vile view the liberal view.......a lie a fiction.

      January 17, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • ProudVietVet56

      So?? Your point is?? Who really cares what some 3rd world country thinks about us??

      American, love it or leave it.

      January 20, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  4. Mike V

    Um, yeah, it *is* the price we pay for our freedoms.

    And it says a lot about our country that our freedoms mean so much to us that we're willing to make certain things harder for ourselves in order to ensure it.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Dave

      Well Put. Thank you. The journalist's question is legitimate and we shouldn't be so thin-skinned. Mike V's answer is the best response – we accept some danger and annoyance as the cost for an overall freedom and success that doesn't exist in the vast majority of nations.

      January 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Charles

      Don't agree with that. but well said. I could live with reasonable gun control. I have one, but I don't take it to political rallies, schools, work or National parks (Tea Party)

      January 18, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  5. Bubs

    We need to place road blocks to those cultures who are only concerned with their own benefit and their own way of life. Say no to russia and those spies they are leaving behind. Why do you think they come to this country?

    January 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Todd A

      ummmm, they're spying on us.

      January 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  6. YourMama

    The Russian reporter was correct. Americans are too tarded to have the kind of freedom they have. China, Russia, Cuba know how to treat their tarded citizens. Keep the sheeple in line and all on the same page and you won't have to worry about mass shootings like this. This is what happens when you have political differences and people are allowed to watch filth like what Loughner watched "Zietgiest" and spread their insanity on YouTube (banned in most countries for a reason). Other countries have it right, America STILL has it wrong. Keep the sheeple in line by taking away their freedoms *which they will abuse sooner or later anyway). Well at least the Patriot Act is taking away Americans freedoms, someone needs to.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • LiberalsLieAlways

      Ruski reporter was as right as your momas gludius maximus which is where your intelligence is still located......Motor vehicles are a deadly weapons but we still keep giving idiots with poor driving records and illegals the right to obtain drivers licenses.....lets ban cars or just tax illiterates like you more you know liberals.........I recommend you ask your messiah to go on another appology tour and kneel down and kiss Putin's kiester and ask forgiveness for our gun laws .....russia has it so much better....hillaroius..........

      January 17, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  7. There Are No gods!

    Perhaps he did want to make a political point, but he also makes a valid point on gun control freedoms. "If Americans want this right to bear arms they need to be ready to face the consequences." Well said.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
  8. coltdefender

    Josef Stalin – "We don't let them have ideas. Why would we let them have guns?"

    Adolf Hitler – "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so."

    January 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Laser-Guided Everything

      I hear what you're saying, but do you really believe that a public militia of any size would have a chance against the U.S. military? That argument may have meant something in the mid-20th century, but it doesn't mean squat with what we're using now. In this far-fetched scenario, the U.S. military would crush any serious militia uprising from a thousand miles away.

      January 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  9. mpristave

    Russians lecturing the US when they have probably the most corrupt dictator
    ial government on earth? Say it aint so!

    January 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  10. Laura

    "What I'm saying is if Americans want this right to bear arms they need to be ready to face the consequences. And this is the consequences."

    He is right. It sucks, but allowing us to have freedoms as we do, means even the idiots, the stupid people and the crazy people get the same rights.

    January 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Jack

    The bears have had their share of hostage fiascoes, terrorism and crazy fanatics. Is it Russian to behave as such?

    January 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  12. AG

    The actions were of a deranged man who was allowed easy access to a gun. We Americans have taken our freedom too far.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  13. ab

    As terrible as he delivered it, the man has a point about the balance of freedom and safety. He will probably be hanged in the media for this but if you distill what he said to get his primary talking point, he does have a rather good one.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  14. Jeff

    It was under Mikhail Gorbahev & Boris Yeltsin that the new wave of freedom swept over Russia. Sadly, alleged organized crime figures & aratrageurs there took advantage of that freedom & have turned into an almost lawless society. With freedom comes responsibility...what that country needs more of right now.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  15. Chris

    Clearly, this reporter's point is that countries that are not free do not have problems with deranged gunman murdering innocents. Oh, wait, that DOES happen - you just don't hear about it because there's no free press, and the solutions don't get discussed by free-thinking people because they are oppressed by their government. Neither freedom nor it's absence are determining factors in causing violence, but they do affect the ability of a society to solve the problem, and in that vein, we are far superior to totalitarian regimes.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  16. Mark, NY

    Sitov is such a Nimrod
    Russia has very tight controls on their citizens but that didnt stop Chechen separatists laying siege to a Theatre in Moscow and a School in another Russian city where hundreds of adults and children died at the hands of both the terrorists and the government forces.
    Even with the occasional nutjob like Loughner and the loud mouth opportunists from the far left and far right blaming each other – the USA is still an order of magnitude a better place to live than that semi-Dictatorship run by an ex-head of their KGB secret police. There's no comparison.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Pat F

      Amen, Mark.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  17. Marco

    Man, unfortunately Gibbs argument about nonviolence would have a stronger meaning if we weren't in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • glenn robert

      You are right Marco. We spread violence all over the world in the name of? Oil?

      January 15, 2011 at 1:42 am |
  18. Loren

    Excellent reply by Mr Gibbs! It would be deliver such an on-target rebuttal in the midst of the emotional response elicited by such an outrageous question.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  19. fas

    Too bad Andrei Sitov was not in Tucson....what an ignorant communist.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  20. JWMcW

    Sitov must have had a the mother of all brain cramps. Maybe he was thinking too much and too deep out insanity and it somehow got into his brain. If an “enema of the brain” does not cure his condition, he should look for another line of work. Maybe it would be best if he did that regardless.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  21. Radioactive

    NUKE the B*ST*RDS!

    January 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  22. Steve

    The news is supposed to be impartial. No news organization should be allowed to project a certain view. Only the facts so individuals can come up with their own decisions.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Yeppers

      Tell that to Fox News and News Corp.'s owners, who went to court and sued for the LEGAL right to lie, misrepresent and express political opinions as "hard news"...

      January 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
  23. GOURE1

    you know i am very surprised to hear a russian giving morale to americans..let's look history and see how many sick mind did a lot worse in russia than america?from a russian journalist this is complete bs,,

    January 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  24. Sayagainivan?

    Incredible. It sounds like one of the trolls on a forum. The downside vs. millions of oppressed in a
    Communist state? This guy is vying for pats on his back when he gets home.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  25. Dan

    All the restictions in Russia and suicide bombing are still happeing. The Russian way doesn't stop a damn thing.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  26. Ian Michael Gumby

    Its weird but I can understand the Russian reporter's question and his point.

    We enjoy our freedoms, yet there is a downside when a freedom is abused. I believe it is this downside and he questions how do we as a nation react.

    I think that the proper response is that we have to continue to respect those freedoms and do not allow this act to define our choices in what freedoms to allow or restrict.

    As the Russian journalist admitted, its not just our nation which faces this issue. And I for one do not want to restrict others freedoms based on a single event by a 'madman'.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  27. Gordon

    What Mr. Sitov conveniently ignores is that such things also happen in Russia, and in many other countries. He appears to be implying that America's freedoms resulted in this shooting incident, whereas the ongoing police state that is named Russia doesn't fare any better. So, Mr. Sitov, back to Russia with you, where you can hobnob with thugs like Putin.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  28. khalief

    certainly not the venue or time for a discussion on the 2nd amendment, however, at some point the gentlemen is correct that we should have such a conversation and remember incidents like these. too many times have i heard the defense that "it's just a few crazy people". it is a few crazy people but it is the rest of us and our families that pay the price.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
    • UneducatedVoter

      Worth it.

      God Bless America and the victims of this event.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  29. zoglet

    He does raise a valid point- the US seems incabable of holding an open and mature debate about the reality that guns are easily available in the US and in the US many more people loose their lives through guns than in other developed nations.

    If you want to reduce these senseless killings then it seems logical to restrict the ease with which these guns are made available. If not, then you have to accept that they will keep happening. It is very much a by product of an obsolete part of the consitution.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • tensor

      My fear is that we still won't have this conversation as a nation or even on a local (or family, in some households) level. The time for the conversation on mental illness and the prevalence of violence in America was in the 1970s – post assassinations of both Kennedy's, MLK and the attempted assassinations of Gerald Ford and George Wallace. Reagan derailed that much-needed discussion w/ his stoopid Morning in America crap, followed by the dismantling of federal mental health programs. And here we still are 30 years later, with all social problems surrounding health and human well-being having metastasized, as if ignoring and denying pathologies or forcing people like cattle into the moral straightjacket of religious fundamentalism would just – poof! – magically turn the country into Pleasantville, instead of a scary country of predators, where women and children are attacked and kidnapped in broad daylight, serial killers run loose, crazy male youth shoot up schools and shopping centers, and we all live behind bolted doors with security systems. How much worse does it have to get, America, when even Russia sees the obvious?

      January 14, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  30. richwood7 Houston

    Funny, I read the article and watched the video and he is asking the questions that should be asked. Why did we let millions of people in mental hospitals out and let them live homeless in the street? Why do we not take a bigger interest in people with mental problems? The shooter was known at the college he attended to have had problems and was kicked out. We do not have a medical system to care for people who are physically ill (let alone someone who has mental problems) in this country UNTIL they commit a crime. In fact, if you do not have insurance and are not rich, it is almost a necessity to commit a crime to get medical care. I know that for a fact...although I lack the strength (courage) to commit a crime for medical care. Why do we allow a weapon to be bought that serves no hunting, target practice, or any other legitimate purpose? Self-defense doesn't require a 30 round clip, hunting doesn't, target shooting doesn't. Perhaps it is his accent or poor choice of words and difficulty with English as a Second Language but he is asking the very question many people around the world are asking...as well as many Americans who may be afraid of the right wing fanatics.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  31. Nannu

    He may have bad timing, but the Russian reporter is absolutely right. Guns may not kill people...but psychotic individuals with guns do. We need to have much stricter gun control laws.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      as do psychotic people with Knives, and cars, and airplanes! Lets ban them as well!

      Banning the leagal sales of guns is called "low hanging fruit" which means that it is an easy thing to do... The harder thing to do would be to find and eliminate the black market outlet for guns.... But we will never go after the criminal with a gun ... oh no .... it is easier to go after the law abiding citizen!

      January 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  32. agathokles

    Though it was insensitive of the Russian journalist to press this point at this particular time, he does have a point: The danger of borne arms being used nefariously does accompany the freedom to bear them. However, as Dimitri Simes notes, it's tough to take this point when presented by a Russian, given all their own problems.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  33. Steven Brooks

    Hilarious coming from the Russians who have a serious epidemic of race-based assaults and murders, mob killings of other mobsters and public figures, domestic terrorism, typical street and domestic violence and numerous serial killings.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  34. hahaheehoho

    If his point is that people get killed because we have freedoms in the US, then he should just look to Russia where there are few if any freedoms other than to get beaten up or killed by armed thugs including the police. The Russians have no basis for talking.

    Heck in Russia this guy would get killed for what he said here. And the police would wring their hands and then talk about the criminal element afterwards. All while encouraging it, because it leads the Russian public to support expanded police powers.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
  35. hahaheehoho

    The sad thing about Russia is that it is sliding into fascism at high speed.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  36. Karen

    just how the heck do you even begin to respond to that ludicrous train of thought? actually it's probably better to not even dignify his statements with a comment...I'd love to see him do the same thing over in Russia...he would probably mysteriously disappear, never to be heard from again

    January 13, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  37. Bobd

    The Russian reporter addresses a valid and undeniable aspect of freedom. As Americans we are faced with the conflict of the enjoyment and dignity that freedom brings us individuals and as a society with the freedom for danger to also lurk among us. We want our freedom to allow us to the ability to make our choices in government, religion, family decisions, career paths and other personal aspects of our lives. We want the ability to argue amongst ourselves as a society to sort out the never ending changes that evolve over time and that affect our lives in so many ways. We want ability to choose how our lives are run, not the tyranny of an oppressive government choosing when, how, where and even if we can do something as fundamental as expressing our personal views and following our religious beliefs. We want to select our leaders and tell them what we think of the job they are doing. We want to be able to read and hear about it in our media without our government censoring it and controlling the message. These are just a few of the fundamental rights we want: free speech, religious expression, equality to each other, etc. And those same rights and privileges we have earned the hard way over the last 234 years sometimes allow the deranged and misguided to run errantly amongst us. If that is the price we pay to avoid tyranny, than it is one we can openly debate and correct for, because we have the freedom to do so. I would much rather have the ability for our society to resolve those problems than endure the repression of a closed and tyrannical society. I am an American, and proud of it, and free to say so.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  38. Eric

    Wasn't it just a few years ago that dozens - maybe more - were killed by gun violence at a school in Russia?

    I agree that the US needs better gun control (sorry, but I do). But I take extreme offense at the arrogant notion that the Russians have somehow solved the problem of gun violence. Particularly when evidence points to the contrary.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  39. DRHarrell

    It was inappropriate for Gibbs to comment on the Russian's remarks and he was most justified in ending the news conference. He (Gibbs) is not a proctologist. He neither educated and trained. nor certified to deal with anal orofi.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
  40. Andrew

    If all he wanted to point out was that this is an obvious side effect of lax guns laws, I would agree. But he did not word his statement that way. On the one hand, this individual needed help for mental health issues. But many people with mental health issues reject treatment anyway. America used to have very little restriction on immigration, now we're trying to close the boarders. The same should be said for guns. We used to be very lax as we needed the ability to form a militia for national security. Just as immigrants shouldn't be able to freely walk into our country, people shouldn't be able to freely walk in a store and walk out armed to the teeth. Simple common sense.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  41. jchp

    THIS RESPONSE IS A BAD JAB AT AMERICA'S FREEDOM BY COUNTRIES WHO CONTROL THEIR OWN PEOPLE. THIS REPORTER FEELS LIKE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE "FREEDOM" TO ASK THE QUESTIONS THAT "FREEDOM" WOULD GIVE HIM BECAUSE HE IS A PUPPET TO RUSSIA. WE ALL KNOW THAT THERE ARE SO MANY COUNTRIES THAT CAN'T STAND WHAT THE UNITED STATES STANDS BECAUSE THEIR LEADERS WOULD BE KICKED OUT OF OFFICE IF THE PEOPLE KNEW WHAT "FREEDOM" WAS. RUSSIAN CITIZENS WOULD REVOLT IF THEY HAD THE SAME "FREEDOMS" THAT WE ENJOY IN THE UNITED STATES. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE CAN'T BE CIVIL AND ACT LIKE TRAGEDIES LIKE THIS ONE DON'T AND WOULD NOT HAPPEN IN THEIR COUNTRIES WHEN THEIR COUNTRIES MIGHT HAVE A BIGGER PROBLEM BUT, BECAUSE THE MEDIA IS CONTROLLED BY THE GOVERNMENT, NO ONE SEEMS TO NOTICE!

    January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  42. philip

    Is this Russian journo right out of central casting or what? Regardless of what you think about the gun control debate or what side(s) you support in it, having this fellow ask this question like this invariably helps those who oppose gun restrictions. What's next, Mohammar Khadaffi's (sp?) critique of Affirmative Action? The Indonesian point of view about open intoxicants at public beaches? How about Indian reporters give their take on public kissing.

    January 13, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  43. Dan

    Gibbs is not used to being pressed on issues by the U.S. media. The U.S. media usually just laps up whatever the White House is saying

    January 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • P.S.

      Only about 3/4 of the media. The rest spit it out no matter what he says...gotta love partisan politics.

      January 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Brandon

      That may or may not be true. But I think that Gibbs' surprise was due to it being a pretty stupid question, not just because he is used to US journalist "lapping up what he says." What, did you think Sitov made a good point? Sitov wasn't even talking about gun laws specifically, he seemed to be making about broader point about Americans having too much "freedom" in general. Anybody who follows Russian politics (or Chinese politics, or Iranian politics) hears this sort of rhetoric all the time. It's the justification that authoritarian rulers give for clamping down on rights, because too much freedom leads to chaos. It's a dumb assertion, worthy of the scorn Gibbs treated it with. I'm actually pretty staunchly in favor of gun control, but Sitov was making the same old asinine arguments about the dangers of unrestrained freedom that Russian leaders make all the time.

      January 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Simon

      Because we don't have a pile of crap sitting in the White House? Maybe?

      January 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • scottbourne

      Yep Dan Gibbs got his training from good old Ari – you know the press secretary who ended up telling the truth about AWOL Bush?

      January 14, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • jdoe

      What issue? The reporter tried to get Gibbs to agree that America has too much freedom, and Gibbs pushed back on that. That was not a real question from the reporter, but a stupid attempt to get his own point across.

      Leave it to people like you to take the other side when it comes to this administration, no matter where that other side comes from.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Stosh

      Dude, are you illiterate? Can you read? It was clearly stated IN THE VERY FIRST SENTENCE of the article that the reporter asking the questions was Russian. As in, you kow, NOT the U.S. media.

      Pay attention next time before you make such a dumb conment. Please.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:47 am |
      • Aman

        Silly Stosh,

        Re-read what Dan said. He meant the US media dosnt ask tough questions so Gibbs was a little stumped with hard hitting questions by world media.

        January 14, 2011 at 2:04 am |
      • fred

        Dude,

        it's you who doesn't understand.

        Dan is saying that US media are wimps and it takes a Russian to hold a white house press secretary's feet t the fire.

        January 14, 2011 at 2:45 am |
      • zappafrank

        You're the one who should really more carefully, and consider broader context. The comment to which you're replying is stating that Gibbs was taken aback by the Russian reporter because in his opinion, he (GIbbs) doesn't experience such a thing with the US media. He wasn't saying that this was a member of the US media who got under GIbbs's skin.

        Pay attention next time before you make such a dumb conment. Please.

        January 14, 2011 at 2:46 am |
      • Tucson

        You r the one who is illiterate! What he's saying is because Gibbs has not been used to US media pressing him like this Russian guy. Having said that, the Russian has a very valid point. This was the perfect time to bring this up.

        January 14, 2011 at 3:12 am |
      • Luke

        are such an idiot that you didn't notice that he was talkin about the fact that yes he was russian but the russian did indeed press the issue with gibbs, not back down like the U.S media

        January 14, 2011 at 3:18 am |
      • JP

        Stosh, I'm afraid you're the one who's confused here. Dan was making the point that the US reporters usually don't press Gibbs about such things as the Russian guy did. I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but that was his point. Get a clue.

        January 14, 2011 at 3:34 am |
      • Jcash

        Calm down, re-read his comment. He is making the valid point that Gibbs has not been prepared to field pressing and borderline insulting questions from any journalists because the U.S. media does not grill him in a manner such as this Russian guy has.

        Maybe think before blindly throwing out insults next time.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:15 am |
      • rjw51

        Stosh, dude, are YOU illiterate? Can you read? Dan was obviously drawing a comparison between the questions Gibbs normally faces, and the situation detailed in this article. You're not smarter than a fifth grader, please return your education for a full refund.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:17 am |
      • Sorely Frickey

        You're the one who needs to read more carefully, Dood. "Dan" is saying that *because* Gibbs is not used to being pressed by the U. S. media, he wasn't prepared to handle a Russian With a Cause.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:26 am |
      • B

        Stosh,
        Dan was trying to say that, in his opinion, the U.S. media don't press Gibbs the way this reporter pressed him. The reporter clarified his remarks later in his interview to CNN, whether you agree with them or not, but was clearly having a difficult time framing his question in the session. You jumped on Dan's comment incorrectly. He was saying the Russian reporter was pressing and pressing, in a way that U.S. media usually does not, that is all. Dan's comment was not dumb or illiterate. It was his opinion of a perceived difference between the decorum of U.S. media versus foreign media.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:27 am |
      • College Grad

        It was obvious that the person commenting knew the question involved a Russian reporter and that he was not part of the US media. Your failure to comprehend the statement is indicative of the problem. You are rambling without thinking, the implication was that the US media never asks tough questions, they lack the guts to ask truly difficult question that probably need to be asked.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:54 am |
      • Richard Weed

        Uh, Stosh. Wake up. Dan's point is that Gibbs isn't used to such questions. The Ruskie nearly stumped him. Liberal American news reporters have given the obummer administration a free pass.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:56 am |
      • Guest123

        It's exactly what he's saying: Gibbs not used to be pressed by domestic media, so, any outsider not bound to political correctness can get a "free ride" of him. The question was completely legitimate in substance and any "cold war" overtones should be handled by professional press secretary – it's in his job description. And gun control advise coming from Russia is just funny: not many people own guns legally in Russia, but every criminal there armed better then police – black market selection is way better then regular police armory.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:02 am |
      • Kevin

        "Dude", can't you read? He didn't say that this reporter was American. He said that Gibbs wasn't used to the way the American press cow-towed to Gibbs, because (pay attention now) this Russian reporter didn't and Gibbs reacted defensively. Got it, "Dude"?

        January 14, 2011 at 6:26 am |
      • tpd

        Not too sure about your own reading skills

        Pay attention yeah

        January 14, 2011 at 6:28 am |
      • Lani

        Let me explain as you obviously have trouble comprehending what you read. Gibbs is not used to getting pressed by the U.S. media. A Russian reporter pressed him on the issue. There, does that help you? Let me know if you need help understanding anything else.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
      • midnitejax

        I concur with your atatement. I would like to add that the Russian "reporter" clearly used the terminology "we" when stating his comment. He clearly had an agenda. He was baiting Gibbs, and that was to justify Putins' regime and it's control over the Russian population. It's no secret that Putin has reverted the democratic reforms to communism. It's no secret that ownerrship of guns by private citizens are not allowed.While guns are prolific in Russia today, they are used by the criminal element to wreak havoc on society. Organized crime in Russia has it's roots in former KGB, which is what Putin was.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:45 am |
      • Thaddious

        People need to stop and think before blindly attacking.

        That's the 3rd or 4th post like that I've read.

        I usually let the ignorant stew in ignorance, but think first!

        January 14, 2011 at 7:41 am |
      • Dan

        Stosh--I'm typing this slow because I know you read slow......WAKE UP DUDE!

        January 14, 2011 at 7:42 am |
      • Mike29574

        Wow. Your a moron stosh.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:08 am |
      • Andrew

        Regardless of what Stosh has said, the first comment is pretty dumb.

        Just because Gibbs is able to respond to any comment from the US media in a way that does not cause controversary or shine a negative light on Obama does not mean the media is not asking tough questions.

        Were you asleep the last year. Obama was grilled many times by the media. If Obama takes a wrong step its in the paper the next day.

        The media does love the underdog, but as soon as that underdog gets into power they spring to attack.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:37 am |
      • Susan

        "Stosh the Simpleton". Not very good are drawing parallels are you. Please think before you post because not doing so makes you look very simple. As in stupid

        January 14, 2011 at 8:57 am |
      • Truth Hurts

        Stosh, what did you not understand about Gibbs never being 1. Asked tough questions? 2. Being pressed with follow up questions when it is very apparent he is BSing? If the only thing you draw from this was the fact that the reporter was Russian who have removed yourself from adult conversation. Please go back down to the basement.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:05 am |
      • Susan

        Stosh, if the only thing you got from this story was that the reporter was Russian, you have removed yourself from an adult conversation. Back to the basement "dude"

        January 14, 2011 at 9:23 am |
      • Wzrd1

        Dan, DO enlighten us, in what way does "the American media lap up whatever the White House says"?
        Do you mean that the media attend a press conference and report what was said? PERISH THE THOUGHT!
        Or do you mean that the American media don't immediately challenge everything said?
        Perhaps a press conference in that style:
        Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
        Mr secretary, do you have any evidence that is is a good morning? Or for that matter, sir, do you have evidence to support the allegation that it is indeed morning?

        Is THAT what you would prefer?
        I have a better idea, get back into your cell, Jared.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:10 am |
      • SpaceDave

        Laughing my ass off at you guys! Stosh, your best bet is to leave a reply acknowledging that you got pwned and perhaps that you should smoke less stosh.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:17 am |
      • Steve

        It's ok stosh. Dan is trying to make a political statement, much like the russian.

        FYI Which is a bad one

        January 14, 2011 at 11:21 am |
      • Thomas

        Kevin and Dan, why are you taking this opportunity to bash the Obama administration?!?! You should be ashamed of yourself. The question from the Russian reporter was made in an attempt to denigrate the United States and our freedoms!!!! And you imbeciles have the nerve to try to score political points against Obama during this tragic time?!?!? Maybe you two should move to Cuba and China!

        January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
      • KTon

        Kevin- "Cow-towed"? Is that like with a rope and10 gallon hat?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:39 am |
      • Florence

        I guess you only want Barbara Walters ask questions such as "did you cry?"

        January 14, 2011 at 11:51 am |
      • ranndino

        Haha. Thanks for the laugh. I love it when people make total fools of themselves by accusing others of what they clearly are themselves. You're the one who's illiterate & not paying attention.

        January 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • Paul

        First, is it really necessary to be so insulting? God for bid somebody make a mistake – something I'm sure you never do. Second, I believe the persoon was trying to draw a distinction with his comment. In contrast to the way he is customarily treated by the US media, Gibbs was not prepared for the line of questioning by this Russian journalist. I am quite sure the original poster can read, quite well.

        January 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • TripleB

      Dan, you must be mentally challenged. Did you read the article? In fact, can you even read?

      January 14, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • MJ

      What is American is doing the same thing over and over to brown people via Predator Drones.

      Don't you know– as long as the military doesn't kill more than 50 innocent people with each strike, no one in the White House has to be notified?

      January 14, 2011 at 6:50 am |
      • mike hawk

        lol thats funny coming from russia, where they have much lesser freedom.

        January 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • Rickirs

      Sitov is not American media-he's RUSSIAN media and apparently a believer in the current deconstruction of its fragille democracy.

      January 14, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Norm

      Darn Rooskies stirring up trouble again.
      I knew it wouldn't last. We better not get too complacent with these commies.

      January 14, 2011 at 8:28 am |
    • Harold Trainer, USAF RET

      Obama spoke some very good and appropriate words in a kind of strange venue. However we are a nation that is bankrupt morally and so his words will have little value in the future. As they mourned the deaths and injuries in Tuscon I thought that it is important to remember that we as the most powerful country in the world have been fighting unnecessary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan for close to ten years. We have killed hundreds of thousands of Arabs and Muslims in these useless wars, including women, children and civilians. This bankrupts us morally and so greatly reduces the values of our president's words. Harold Trainer Prospect

      January 14, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Scott

      I think the Russian reporter had a valid point, which really can be translated to the ability of anyone to get a gun in this country. But, Russia has had its problems themselves, they have had plenty of tragedies hit their country, many times you don’t hear about it because media is regulated by the government. How many citizens have been abducted by the government and shipped off to Siberia. They have their problems with Cheznia and innocent people dying in the streets as well, and many you may not hear about.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • runswithbeer

      What a crock. A Flaky Russian Reporter even by Russian Standards has a weird thought train and the right wing nuts go nuts.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • M

      Just lapping it up? Quick question. Are they there to direct the press briefing, or listen (Lap it up)? Its Just the guy asked a question that really wasn't relevent, based on the fact that Democracy has zero chance to be cast aside in this country...so because he asked an idiotic questio, all the others pitch softball stye questions? You haven't been around long...have ya?

      January 14, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • mustache and cleft chin

      I agree. The media just accepts anyting the press secretary says..... Good for the Russian.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Rick

      @Dan and @Kevin – All this yammering about illiteracy – notice that Dan's post lacked punctuation on the second sentence. And he wasn't clear at all in trying to say the Russian reporter is not part of the US media. We are supposed to know that's what is going through his mind. Like all the other Limbaugh wannabes, "If you don't understand me, it's because you can't think clearly." "If you disagree with me, you don't (read: can't) understand me." Let me (Dan) then proceed to mock you (the strikingly original "typing this slow" comment. Hey Dan, I can read your stuff as slowly as I can, and it's still pretty weak.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • John Watson

      Absolutely correct about Gibbs seldom being pressed. But the Russian's observation was right on the money – we do pay a price for the freedom to bear arms, and if he had not been able to acquire a gun, the Tucson shooter would not have been able to kill and injure so many people. That doesn't mean we give up our constitutional freedom to possess a firearm; it simply means that particular freedom will sometimes result in loss of innocent lives. One final thing: Mr. Henry is making a mountain out of a mole hill with this non-story. With less than seven years on the job, his perception of what constitutes a "Cold War style tiff" reveals a naivete quite unseen in the Washington news corps, not to speak of a woeful lack of historical perspective.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • kittano

      Thing is; if you apply what Sitov is saying to gun control – he may have a point. Pro gun lobbyists say gun control is a right and a freedom and the government has no right to take it away – but as long as basically anyone who wants one is allowed to own an item exclusively intended to gravely injure and kill people, and the government is not allowed to drastically restrict ownership – then crazy homicidal people are going to get guns and kill people with them. Why wouldn't they? Surely a primary reason to have government at all is to stop people randomly murdering each other – no? Also what would be the worst that would happen if people weren't allowed to just go and buy a gun, especially one clearly not intended for hunting? Would not owning a Glock be so upsetting that it is worth the absolute certainty that as long as people are allowed to own them they will continue to kill each other with them? It is not healthy to love an inanimate object of any sort to that degree
      http://www.kittano.com

      January 14, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • pfft

      please. you have NO idea what you are talking about. crawl back under your government funded trailer.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • MichaelK

      That certainly has been true in that past. I can't count the number of Press secretaries who haven't had their assertions challenged (at least not unil the rest of the country catches up on the truth) – Watergate and the Iraq war come to mind, as well as Monica Lewinsky, then there was that Abu Graib stuff and the questions about the oil spill and the Air traffic controllers back in the 80's and of course the Vietnam war. But other than that, yeah, corporate American media just eat up what ever the White house say, unless the White house is democratic and Fox News is in the room, or if it's a Republican and anybody other than Fox News is in the room. But yeah.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Beth

      Dan – this must be the same 'liberal media' that your darling Sarah Palin is always talking about, but I have to say that I have not seen it. The president is criticized constantly by both sides, particularly for his interest in compromise. Stop regurgitating Fox News talking points and show me something that proves the entire US media is pandering to Obama. Oh, and while you are at it, please explain to me why you are reading CNN.com when you clearly think they are part of the problem.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Jay

      No wonder Gibbs was upset: The very idea that a reporter would ask a pointed question! You know he's a foreigner, because that's just unheard of in the American media.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  44. Biased1

    Why are some of us so defensive? The Russian journalist asked an honest question, it doesn't sound to me like it was intended as a polemic. Neither do I see the Cold War comparison: Russia is now a very important ally. Personally I know several Russian-Americans, they are sometimes a bit blunt compared with Anglo-Americans, but so what?. Chill out!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  45. Reflecting_Pools

    Gibbs missed the point, even though everything he said is true and needed to be said. The 'outside' image of America is that it is "american" to oppose gun control. The 'outside' image of the U.S. is that it is 'american' to be anti-regulation and to be opposed to Government interference. It is 'american' to give greater weight and emphasis to gun owners' "inalienable rights" than to public health and safety concerns. This image of America from the 'outside' (and for some on the inside) includes the lawless bedlam and chaos of the Wild West, with present day cowboys heading into town and bars "holstered-up" with firearms, for a current-day Dodge City image of anarchy. Arizona, Texas and Florida lead the World in manifesting this imagery. America puts the rights of gun owners above the rights of ordinary citizens to be safe in their homes and neighborhoods, because those are the people who have gained power over the past 10 years and they swept the last election. American guns are propping-up the drug cartels in Mexico AND here. Until we control these guns responsibly things are guaranteed to get worse. The Russian reporter was absolutely right. And I'm sorry that Gibbs didn't catch on to that, because it could have led to a real 'teachable moment' and a great advancement in this uncomfortable thorny issue.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  46. Keven

    1. The Russian is right.
    2. In a land where it is ok for most normal folk to go out and purchase an automatic weapon, this kind of thing will happen as there are lots of deranged people in the world and if it is so easy for them to get their hands on weapons, this is the likely resullt.
    3. Logic, not emotion or NRA propaganda. Just plain old logic.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Bill

      Kevin, the most common weapon in use in the world today is the Kalishnikov AK-47, a Russian weapon. Unlawful use of this weapon is wide spread through out the world. What leg does the russian reporter have to stand on? They don't allow their own people to own guns but place them in the hands of known terrorists and unstable people? This really illustrates the point that if you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns. Is that truly what you want?

      January 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
  47. P.S.

    The answer to the Russian reporter is yes. Freedom has always been a double edged sword. If you want the freedoms we have then you have to assume the risk of someone exploiting that freedom. Unlike most other countries, we feel the freedom is worth the risk. Oh by the way, we do a hell of a lot to prevent this type of horrific crime. Abraham Lincoln walked the streets of Richmond without a guard days before he was assasinated. He was implored not to do so, but he responded, if someone wants to kill me they are going to, I cannot hide because of fear. Kennedy stated a similar thought dayes before he was assasinated when it was suggested he should ride in a car with a bullet proof top. What makes our freedoms worth while is our exercising those freedoms. We WILL suffer horrible tragedies, but it the cross we as a country must be willing carry. You take away our freedoms and you can probably better prevent tragedies like this from happeneing. We should be constantly vigilant in preventing and punishing these types of acts, but we would have to surrender our freedoms to end them.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  48. popswuzrite

    Maybe he should ask why sooooo many of Russias people immigrated to America.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  49. Ronnie

    The Second Amendment should be abolished.You can bet the founding fathers in NO way foresaw an America with millions of guns on the streets where any moron or lunatic can murder the innocent.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • ProudVietVet56

      Not in this life time, civilian puke

      January 20, 2011 at 8:43 am |
    • Bill

      But they did Ronnie ... look at the Declaration of Indpendence... "When in the course of human events".... this ensures that their vision lives on by telling the people of this great country that they have a responsibility to continue the dream.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  50. John M. Miles

    He speaks as if in a controlled state violence is abolished. The fact is, paroxysms of violence just as terrifying and abominable as what happened in Tuscon happen on a regular basis in Russia. It's called terrorism. He should know that, and not pretend that it doesn't exist in his country.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  51. George

    Untimely, insensitive – YES. But still a very FAIR QUESTION from the Russian reporter.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • Bill

      No not really George.... in light of the fact that the Kalishikov AK-47 is the weapon of choice by insurgents, terrorists and thugs across the international community... By the way the AK-47 is a Russian weapon.

      January 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  52. Learn To Fish

    He's only asking if the tragedy is a result of too many personal freedoms (incl gun ownership). Drop the strong accent and you have a daily conversation between gun control advocates and gun ownership advocates. It's just funny that a conservative normally has to deal with defending personal freedoms against liberalism and in this clip a liberal is defending personal freedoms against communism. Fair question by the Russian, but I stand firmly behind personal freedoms over state-control and hopefully we'll stay that way.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  53. scotlcky13

    I COULDN'T agree more with the Russian. As if after teassung a dog asking it wht it bit you,the reply:because Im a dog n u were teassing me A hole! 2nd play with fire one is Eventually to get burned.
    too Many and muh freedoms=a slight,at least,form of Anarchy/meham

    January 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  54. grasslandhero911@verizon.net

    Overly emotional response by Gibbs. I think the Russian's is asking how can a nutcase walk into a WalMart and buy a 31 round ammo clip? That's not going to happen in any other country, even countries with a lot of democratic freedoms. The argument by the gun lobby that the nutcase is going to get a gun anyway so might as well make it all legal is just ridiculous.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  55. Infonomics

    The way that Gibbs responded to the Russian (Stivo) is the same way that Washington responds to Americans – terse and authoritative. Stivo was attempting to make an obvious point: love of total freedom has consequences, including the wayward behavior of Americans. Of course, Washington had to invoke the Cold War to illustrate their shallowness and manhood.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  56. mrhapiguy

    Nice try, but clearly this guy is just jealous of us. It takes a crazy sicko for this to happen here. In Russia? Just piss off the wrong person and your whole family could get wiped out...

    January 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  57. kb

    This russian jerk thinks that americans will be swayed by the actions of one d-bag. Well in the imortal word of the late jimmy hoffa "we will not be swayed!" We stand tall when someone puts a gun in our face not back down like the ruskies. Only if that congresswoman had had a piece. This guy would be 6 feet under. If they could find someone willing to dig the hole. I wouldn't

    January 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  58. Bill Sparrow

    I'm a Canadian so maybe I shouldn't get involved, but the way I see it, your Constitution refers to the Militia when talking about the right to bear arms. The Founding Fathers likely would not have approved of ordinary citizens posessing automatic, high volume, rapid fire weapons or concealed weapons.
    Maybe it's time to consider moving in the direction of limiting gun ownership to long guns only, with a 3 shot magazine, plus one in the chamber, bolt or pump action. Still lots of gun for hunting and defending your home, but not capable of causing mass kilings, not able to be taken into a bar or mall by lunatics determined to make themselves famous by killing innocents.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  59. Joshua

    So he thinks the right to bear arms is the problem? Seriously? How dumb can you be. Like I've said before, laws only affect law abiding citizens. Do you think an insane, crazy, madman like Loughner really cares whether is gun is registered or legal to own? Do you think gun control laws will affect any murderer? I think not. How about this: research how many murderer's actually use registered weapons and you'll find the answer is almost none. Gun control does nothing but leave law abiding citizens unprotected. This journalist, or any person for that matter who thinks gun control laws would have stopped this is just plain dumb. My heart's go out the victim's families. This guy deserves to rot away in prison or get the death penalty!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  60. Konstantino Desjardines-Hovhannisyan

    Alas, another typical russian....

    January 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  61. ByteChaser

    Dan, I have to disagree that 'Gibbs is not used to being pressed on issues by the U.S. media'. And I'm sure he would disagree also. Perhaps less pressed than other White House spokesman have been, but still. As a Republican, I'm not often in agreement with the White House nowadays, but I agree with everything Gibbs has to say in this case. And your point seems pretty obscure. Just what is your point? I think the issue being raised is a Russian reporter questioning the freedoms and the price to pay for those freedoms in America. How does Russian freedom compare? And what have their people had to pay for communism?

    January 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  62. Jmart

    The Russian reporter asked his question in an abrasive, antagonistic manner so I am glad that Gibbs did what he did (he should have been more blunt with the reporter).

    However in his post-question comments, the reporter makes a good point. Having the right to bear arms does come with consequences, consquences we seem to deal with much too often these days.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  63. HeadInRear

    Or maybe he was using the event to make a topical point that would score at home in Russia as well if what is in the story about Russia having their own firearms regulation problems is correct. I think they had an incident in recent history where a mentally disturbed gunmen went into a school and murdered a bunch of children. Don't know who the interviewer was that asked him whether he was advocating communism, but maybe they should check their world fact book and notice that the USSR fell apart in 1991. Also, state-run media is a term that could be used to describe the BBC in the UK, and CBC in Canada - both much more legitimate news agencies than anything the US has to offer.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  64. locknut

    Well, the Russian guy has a point, sort of... It is clear that there's no uniform, or in many states, robust screening for mental illness in gun and ammunition buyers. Clearly this isn't something that's an obvious oversight so much as it is very difficult to implement. That said, there might be some improvements in the current rules and their implementation that define who can and can't be a buyer. After all, we are no longer living in the era of the pony express, and having a national database in which a person with known aggression issues, with known psychosis, with convictions and other signs of being a risky owner, and requiring sellers to verify the buyer isn't in that database - well, that seems like a great idea. Of course we do have a form of this in operation today, but it's far from being as good as it could be. However, it's clear the problem of allowing weapons in the hands of the mentally unstable is larger than some certification process. If in fact the Arizona gunman has mental illness, his illness isn't yet an established fact. So if last Saturday we had a perfect database listing everyone who can’t buy weapons due to mental illness, he would not have been in it when he bought his Glock, oversized magazines and ammunition. This whole issue has too many parts for it to be solved directly and simply in our form of government. Yet perhaps this tragedy will catalyze an incremental improvement in the rules and systems that currently control weapons purchases throughout the US. Let’s hope so.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  65. Mike

    The ironic thing is there are plenty of people in the administration and who support the administration who would GLADLY embrace Russian/Soviet ideas toward gun control. Maybe Sitov just struck a nerve at a bad time and Gibbs was irritated he could not joyfully agree with him. Hmmm.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • Brandon

      Congratulations, I've read through the hundreds of comments in this thread, and yours might take the prize for stupidest one I've seen. You should be proud.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  66. Tam

    The Russians are going to preach to the world about freedoms?!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
    • HeadInRear

      No, just the US. You never heard of glasnost?

      January 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
    • Tony FL

      Preach to the world? Calm down. The reporter asked a very good question. Your pride is as empty as your grey matter.

      January 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • Infonomics

      What a leap! From one person to "The Russians."

      January 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Nicholas

      The Russians weren't trying to preach to us about freedoms, silly...

      They were trying to be wise arses and rub a tragedy in our faces because we allow nut jobs like that to be free. Because of our freedoms madmen like that are allowed to get close to important people, etc, etc.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • I Am Canadian

      With all due respect to the victims...I believe the problem is just too many guns!

      January 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • rab gem

      Inspite of all the ills of America, Hundreds and thousands of Russisans (as well as Chinese, Indians, Saudis, Iranians etc..) would emigrate to U.S if the doors were opened wide enough. There is not a single other country in the world that will take its place anywhere else . That speaks volume about the country. Long live America!

      January 14, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • zoglet

      How do you conclude that he is preaching to the world about freedoms?

      He's just asking proping questions isnt he- isnt that what journalists are supposed to do?

      January 14, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • Alex

      Why not ? Illiterate people in US, Arizona in 2011. That can be compared with russian illiterate people from 1930x in Novgorod or Ekaterinburg. After WW2 all russians got proper education. US live in the past.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • humberto

      Thoes days are gone freedom fighter

      January 14, 2011 at 5:18 am |
    • Rachael M

      About how they think that allowing citizens freedom is too dangerous and should be severely curtailed (or eliminated completely)? You bet they will.

      January 14, 2011 at 8:39 am |
    • Jake

      Do you people actually READ the article. The Russian guy isn't preaching about rights, he's saying that America gives citizens too much freedom. He's utilizing this event to justify the restrictions that Russia puts on its citizenry

      January 14, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Wzrd1

      From the fine folks who brought the world the pogrom, gulag and purges.
      Not to mention the Russian mafia.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Alish

      Did you actually read and comprehend the exchange in the article? The russian reporter was making the logical connection between freedom to bear arms and the consequence that sooner or later someone will use those arms to commit a mass murder. It has happened before and will happen again.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • Florence

      Chill man, he is Russian but not "THE RUSSIANS", and he is just asking a question from his point of view and his own observation and surely he has the RIGHT to do so. Most people in his country die in prison without due process, just because they may cause harm someone someday. I don't think he was comparing and implying their way was better than ours.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • ScottK

      Sounded more like he was preaching the lack of freedoms, as in if we had fewer freedoms as they have over there this may not have happened. And its valid debate, though now during the mourning period is not the best time to debate it.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  67. Tedd

    I believe Robert Gibbs spoke well in his last statement – in fact with great poise, strength, stature, and cadence.
    Beginning with "No, no I disagree vehemently with that.....".

    January 13, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  68. scott watson

    As a registered democrat I believe strongly in our right to have guns to defend ourselves. I am certain that the far left will try to use this horrible incident to start introducing new laws to try to amend our constitution. The old saying "if guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have them". I firmly believe this and I do not think the dems are not going to let this rest. I am an obama supporter, but if his upcoming state of the union adress focuses on gun right changes he would support, than I refuse too support him any longer!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  69. omgamike

    I believe that Gibbs actually acted with a large degree of restraint. If it were me, my response would have been a lot more volatile. As was pointed out in the article, Russia has its own problems with gun related violent deaths.

    When Russia was the former Soviet Union, there were, in all likelihood, just as many gun related violent deaths. They just never got reported, as they were commited by the State, in the form of either a firing squad, or a bullet to the back of the head.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  70. Caral From SoCal

    It is not as if Russia has never had assassinations, or even that they are not currently having violent outbreaks in their cities. The gall!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  71. FILTHY

    i think that some quote and unquote deranged american should take mr russia outback and finish him off... this guy is a disrespectful idiot that should go back to his icy hell (Russia) and stay there if he doesnt like the greatest country on earth.... i got your back mr Gibbs

    January 13, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  72. Brent Jatko

    II think the Russian guy is right (to a point), but I view it as part of the price we pay for the freedoms we do have, and I prefer to err on the side of liberty.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  73. Ted

    I think the question is worth answering. American's need to decide if we want everyone to be armed and not try to have some common-sense gun control, then this is the cost of that freedom. I'm tired of seeing these tragedies unfold, then everyone asking "Why?", and that it's "unimaginable". When there are 90 guns to every 100 Americans, it doesn't take a genius to figure out it is indeed imaginable and will happen again, and again... We should face reality and quit being so thin-skinned when confronted about our own violent society.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  74. Tom

    That's our response?

    January 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  75. The Atomic Cheese Melt

    I don't agree with Sitov that, ""freedom" of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American." That is not American, but what is American is freedom to express your mind (deranged or not) without persecution form the government, unless you commit a violent crime. Unlike the Russian government where they have reporters killed who expose corruption and lies in their government. The one thing I do agree with is that we do pay for our freedom. Freedom is not free, but as Americans we are willing to pay that price in order to have the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. We've even spilled our blood for the freedom of other countries. Ultimately in this sad situation we are talking about the acts of a mad man and it has nothing to do with anything logical, thoughtful or political. Russia has also had its fill of madmen from serial killers like Andrei Chikatilo to Stalin. Yes, Stalin, who murdered millions and imprisoned millions who wanted freedom to think and express themselves. Mr. Sitov you are an idiot and it would suit you best to keep your mouth shut at the next press conference.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  76. Anne

    The reporter didn't ask anything that the rest of the civilized world is asking. In the 21st Century America is still endorsing an amendment from another century which just doesn't fit into the modern world we live in. Most civilized countries have gun control laws. And yes criminals will always get guns no matter where you live. According to the UN the USA is one of the most dangerous places in the civilized world to live in.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
    • Tom

      Anne,

      You are very misinformed. I am a gun owner and concealed weapon permit holder so I do know something about this subject. There are very strict rules and background checks. The real question here is, how to stop a madman bent on violence from doing his evil deed. You seem to think banning guns will stop violence. Thoughout most of human history there were no guns and people slew each other with stones, sticks and steel blades. Other countries with even stricter gun control laws (eg. South America) still have terrible violence. So your argument is emotional and without basis in fact. Please people lets have honest dialog. If I thought giving up my guns would GUARANTEE a stop to violence, I would throw them away in a heartbeat. It won't Anne!

      January 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
      • SAS

        Tom, the comparison was made clearly to the countries where these laws are enforced – top 20 industrialized nations.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
      • Barry

        Tom: If extended-capacity bullet magazines are legal, why not legalize machine guns?

        January 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
      • Adam

        Tom, must you not agree that it would be far more difficult for a madman to kill 6 people and injure 13 more in a few seconds with a stick, a bag of stones or a steal blade?

        January 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
      • The Atomic Cheese Melt

        Besides this was not just about the right to own a gun. Sitov talked about our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
      • John

        Now if we could just stop the other madmen, like the Russian President and the Chinese Leaders.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
      • Joe

        Tom-

        You might have also said to Anne that 64-million American handgun owners DID NOT shoot anyone last week. It is a foolish, but persistent argument that will never go away because people do not understand responsible handgun ownership. But, the professional and responsible handgun proponents in this nation will never allow the 2nd amendment to go away. There will be a revolution before that ever happens.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
      • Tony FL

        2nd Amendment applies to "well-regulated militias". Are you a member of one?

        January 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
      • Erik

        Tom:

        Let's be real here.

        Large capacity firearms are designed for one purpose – killing large numbers of people. These weapons make killing much too easy.

        Arizona has some of the weakest gun control laws in the country. If Loughner has undergone a proper background check, this wouldn't have happened.

        We need national gun control legislation – full background checks and restrictions on automatic weapons and large capacity magazines. I pray this this event will be the tipping point to make this happen.

        Ask a cop whether he/she wants these weapons sold without restrictions.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
      • AJ

        So Tom, you are seriously arguing that if Loughner had been able to only use a knife, he would have been able to stab 20 people before he was stopped? Come on, man. The problem I have with the whole gun business is the utter lack of any sane discussion on what reasonable restrictions ought to be put on gun owners and carriers. It is all based on paranoia that the government is somehow going to come in with their black helicopters and put us in concentration camps or something. What possible sane reason could anyone need a semi-automatic pistol that shoots 20-30 rounds? Are you going to shoot a burglar 20 times who's trying to break into your house?

        January 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
      • htowmark

        Joe – nothing guarantees a STOP to violence, but strict gun control laws do guarantee vastly reduced murder rates and gun deaths. This is simply a fact. South America is a very poor comparison, because those are poor countries with drug trafficking and very weak rule of law. The proper comparison is Europe, where every single country has a fraction of the gun deaths we do.

        I consider the fact that you would revolt against your country before giving up your precious guns very telling.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
      • Gun shot victim

        Tom,

        Loughner was a responsible gun owner, no misfires, no accidental shootings, that is, until he could no longer control his rage. Who says you or any other so-called responsible owner won't succumb to the same fate. You seem rather agitated by the mere suggestion that guns outght to be controlled. What else incites your rage? Would you use your handy pistol to exact revenge on the object of your ire? Perhaps, we'll just have to wait and see I suppose. You can GUARANTEE all you want but one thing we all KNOW FOR SURE, that little girl would still be alive if Loughner did not have a gun that day. Anne is right, the 2nd Amendment is antiquated and only serves to bolster the self-esteem of peons who only feel safe with a firearm at their side.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
      • thanks4reading

        First off, if he came to the event with stones we would not have 6 dead. That aside, there is a balance. We can protect the second amendment and provide extra protection through common sense weapon restrictions the same as we balance freedom of speech/assembly with safety restrictions. It is not an either or scenario.

        January 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
      • ummm

        Billions of muslims didn't fly a plane into a building but that never stops smoke from turning to fire.

        January 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
      • DerrickAnthony

        Learn to at least, spell. The word, is THROUGHOUT! Got it?

        January 13, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
      • Steve

        I often hear people say that the criminals will always get the guns if gun control laws are made more strict. Well of course, hardened criminals who commit acts of violence, for example, as they are killing other gang members, holding up stores/banks, taking out other drug dealers, will be able to buy guns on the black market. However, those, like this man, with psychiatric illness who shoot up random people, would have a hard time finding the black market. The average citizen does not know how to buy a gun on the black market. I certainly have no such connections (I bought one legally). Enacting reasonable gun laws can make a difference. No one needs a magazine holding 31 rounds. No one needs an assault weapon.

        January 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
      • JKT

        What about that 31-round clip that the killer used? Are we to just sit by and allow those to be owned too? There is no "decent" use for one of those. There is no "defensive' use for one of those. The only possible use for a 31-round clip is mass killing such as we saw on Saturday. Anyone who defends the sale of 31-round clips defends mass murder.

        January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
      • Tom

        Anne did say "in the civilized world"; that is, stable countries without political unrest. South America as a comparison does not prove to be a valid exception to her argument.

        January 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
      • Don L

        Tom says "There are very strict rules and background checks." Come on Tom, we all know that is absolute twaddle, and the Loughner gun licence approval proves it. He had a history of recorded unstable behaviour, and a gun licence should have been denied for the same reasons he was rejected by the US military. What on earth do they check in their so called background check if they miss the most important aspect, namely that a person is mentally stable?

        January 13, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
      • Simon

        Tom, wow at your ignorance. Yes there are still murders and violence in countries that have strict gun laws. I am not sure about your education, but my next point is critical if you can wrap your head around it. More than 10x as many people die here in the US as a percentage of the population vs how many people die of a knife in any country in the world as a percentage of that countries population. You may have "heard" knife violence on the rise in the UK, but if you did some investigation, you would see our murder rate eclipse theirs by a long shot.

        January 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
      • Shane

        DerrickAnthony-

        Grammar Police huh, "Wasn't the gunmen in this horrendous event obsessed with grammar also?"

        January 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
      • CC

        To Anne's point, the gun is an instrument that allows for a individual with a troubled past to commit those MASS killings. Yes, sticks, stones and knifes may injure or even kill but they definitely do not have the potential of committing a MASS killing like 6 individuals. I realize they are many responsible and abiding gun holders like yourself who fully understand the responsibilities of carrying firearms but if there a few bad apples that commit such heinous crimes and have easy access to them, then surely we must at least look at wider subject of restricting guns. Until such time, we have developed criteria for developing a federal database for restricting access to individuals with checkered pasts. Yes, i realize there will always be illegal guns available, similar to illegal drugs but they have gotten really expensive and now undertake a risk of getting caught. I think a dropout like Lee would not have access to that money in the first place.

        January 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
      • RJ

        DerrickAnthony-

        Thanks, but we didn't need for you to bash Tom for misspelling a word. I'm pretty sure we got the gist of what he was saying, even if he did forget the r in the word...Who cares! I don't understand why your comment was even necessary.

        On topic though I don't believe the 2nd Amendment being taken away should ever be considered. Every person should be able to own firearms if they so desire. However that being said I do believe that more regulation on the purchase of firearms is a must. Just because you can pass a background check does not make you fit to own these weapons. More emphasis is needed on how we can effectively screen for mental stability before someone is allowed to buy a gun.

        January 14, 2011 at 12:14 am |
      • Mark

        There is no way to know what a person is going to do with a gun. You can ban guns, outlaw guns and people will still have guns. It's part of the price of freedom. Cars kill people every day, but we don't outlaw them, do we ?

        January 14, 2011 at 12:18 am |
      • Pupwood

        OMG!! DerrickAnthony who cares about the spelling??? It's the content of the mesage that matters...who cares about a misspelled word??

        January 14, 2011 at 12:30 am |
      • Stosh

        DerrickAnthony, you should also have pointed out that South America is NOT a country!

        January 14, 2011 at 1:51 am |
      • jayyarrus

        Tom , tell Derrick Anthony that he may know or make us think he knows how to spell the word THROUGHOUT, however he needs to go to back to school and refresh his grammar, because you don't a comma after the word WORD! That is not acceptable.

        January 14, 2011 at 2:06 am |
      • regertz

        Well, Tom if you really want honest dialog. Lets admit the recent horrific killings have been mostly, though not all, by gunmen...Generally loner looneys who got their hands on guns. All the arguments one makes can't deny that a nut with a knife or club can't kill as many as one with an assault weapon or pistol or TNT or a fertilizer bomb. Obviously we need to improve the screening system and perhaps improve the sharing of information on the mentally ill. Being honest about such things needn't mean the average gun owner must give up his/her gun, simply that we need a better overall way to detect people who should not be allowed access to any weapon, particularly a gun and especially an assault weapon.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:14 am |
      • midnitejax

        Sorry, But I disagree with your assessment. If gun laws are as strict as you claim, then how did a mentaly disturbed man, who couldn't keep a job, was escorted off campus by police, had a drug charge at one time, and was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, find enough wherewithal to fill out a Federal Firearm permit accurately? Was the clerk asleep in the store? Or did the clerk desparate fro a sale, fill in the blanks to make the sale? The rush to the gun stores to purchase a weapon that people were afraid would be banned after the shooting, says that there are many that shouldn't own guns, are now buying them.With the flood of applicants how can a thorough background search be done?

        January 14, 2011 at 6:55 am |
      • Mike

        Stosh (Dude)--The point Tom was making was that every country in South America has stricter gun control laws than the U.S and look what it has led to. Do we really need to talk to you like Mr Rogers? Dude, try to use a little common sense when you read these posts dude, otherwise, dude, you look pretty dim. Got it dude?

        January 14, 2011 at 7:53 am |
      • Vaughn

        @regertz To Tom's and Joe's points, you have yet to make a compelling argument. Simply because the guy had a gun makes him a "gunman". If he had a knife he would perhaps be called a "knifeman". We will find a million different ways to label a person based on what they did and how they did it. Either way, this doesn't make guns any more or less dangerous than a knife, car, airplane, pencil, etc. It's the same school of thought that drugs problems will subside if more laws make drugs much more illegal tomorrow than they are today. It just isn't going to make a real difference. These so-called screening processes you recommend won't happen because they're unrealistic and we don't live in a police state. Also, "improve the sharing of information on the mentally ill"...HUH?? You're implying there is some massive archive of information on that 22-year old that would have saved lives had it been shared. By all accounts no one knew this guy's intentions and I seriously doubt anyone classified him as mentally ill let alone having information point to the fact that he would kill people specifically with a gun. Freedoms exist for a reason and how one chooses to exercise those freedoms is his right. The fine boundary we all walk with freedoms is whether or not our actions are legal or illegal. This bubble us Americans tend to live in where we think certain aspects are so horrible (i.e. guns) need to spend a little more time look at what happens around the rest of the world. As it has already been stated, other countries have many forms of weapon control laws but we all see (insert sarcasm) how well that works for them.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:04 am |
      • chef dugan

        Face it, the gun control issue is exactly like the abortion issue. Put 100 people with both viewpoints in a room, let them argue their case and, when they come out, no one will have changed their position. They will never be resolved and that's just America. So what?

        January 14, 2011 at 8:27 am |
      • Andrew

        Regardless of misspellings and grammar issues that people always highlight. Tom has a right to share his opinion. I disagree ofcourse.

        Just because you are a gun owner does not imply that you are an expert on the topic. All it means is that you are an expert on owning a gun.

        The issue as to whether or not the lack of gun control is causing an increase in violent crime in America is based on statistics. It is true that America does have a higher than average stat on gun violence. But another interesting fact is that in Britain, which outlaws gun ownership (general statement), there is an increasing in stabbing deaths.

        So to some degree you are both right.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:47 am |
      • sam

        While I respect the right of a citizen to be armed, I want all my armed citizens to be sane- even if that means I have to admit being Republican isn't the same. Guns must be wielded by people we can trust

        January 14, 2011 at 8:52 am |
      • under70

        Tom. As a former infantry officer I also have handled many weapons. But I am under no illusion that as a civilian, carrying a concealed weapon is a guarantee that I won't be killed. If I wanted to target you specifically Tom, you would be dead before the thought of pulling your gun ever crossed your mind. The myth of the second ammendment these days seems to be that having the right to carry a gun also comes with ESP. It is an illusion that you are safer.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:04 am |
      • CliffNE

        It ocurrs to me that, had some responsible gun-owner been present at this massacre, perhaps they could have shot the madman before he got off several rounds.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:22 am |
      • Randy

        I completely agree Tom. I spoke with a person from, I believe, Switzerland. He said that because everyone had to be in the military for a "term" everyone had training and most have guns. They have one of the lowest violent crime rates around. So in theory, the more guns the more peaceful the country. Who would break into someone's house when they are almost certain there is a gun in the house and a person who knows how to use it.

        Gun laws only limit law abiding citizens!

        January 14, 2011 at 9:26 am |
      • Cedar Rapids

        'But, the professional and responsible handgun proponents in this nation will never allow the 2nd amendment to go away. There will be a revolution before that ever happens.'
        Erm so as a 'professional and responsible' handgun proponent you are advocating a revolution if they try to remove the 2nd amendment?

        January 14, 2011 at 9:33 am |
      • sajeev

        Tom. With all due respect, do you know the violence rates in India, singapore where you really cant own guns? Ypu will hear very few killings in the first place.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:34 am |
      • Jeff

        The problem with the argument that it is a "fact" that banning guns will not stop gun violence in America is that nobody can prove that as a fact because guns have never been banned in America. Until it has been tested, you can't possibly state that it is a fact. I support the second amendment that gives Americans the right to bear arms, but I believe that amendment should have limits. Definition of "arms" could range from knives to guns to grenades to missles to bombs to nuclear weaponry. The argument is tired and what gun advocates really need to do is face reality that there is a problem. If the shooter in Arizona started throwing sticks and stones instead of opening fire, there would likely be no dead and probably not even a hospital visit. Even if he brought a samurai sword to the presentation, the casualties would have been minimal compared to what happened. Gun advocates need to acknowledge that irresponsible people have easy access to firearms and a solution needs to be formulated that will prevent this and still allow me to enjoy my right to own a gun. Try to cooperate rather than resist. People kill people, but guns make it easier.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:37 am |
      • JohnDorian

        "The people" decide the type of government that governs, and if enough freedoms are taken away without proper representation (or for other reasons), the people have the right to revolt and instill a new goverment. Have you ever heard of the "Boston Tea Party"? (I do not, in any way, endorse the current version of the "Tea Party", and I oppose many of their precepts.) So, yes, a revolution is his right, as a human being. I do not endorse a revolution either, as I feel it's a bit extreme, but his views should not be criticized with regard to whether he's a responsible gun owner or not (a gun owner). He's being a responsible human being, knowing what the disarming of the people of a Democracy could possibly lead to.

        "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government"

        I'm not arguing that the 2nd Amendment gave individuals the right to gun ownership (it's a matter of interpretation), but a precedent has been established that makes that right de facto as well as de jure (a double "de", if you will).

        Just because (deranged or otherwise) people occasionally kill people with guns does not mean that banning guns is the correct course of action. It's relatively rare that these events occur, given the size of our population. People are going to kill other people with whatever means they have at their disposal.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:16 am |
      • K

        Bravo Tom. Your answer was spot-on. Those who wish to do harm will do harm regardless of what laws are in place. They are law-breakers. The solution is not to punish the innocent for the actions of those who choose to do wrong. The results will not benefit the majority.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:23 am |
      • Nasty Nate

        @Regertz – I beg to differ that "nuts" with clubs or knives cannot kill as many; remember the Japanese "nut" who killed and maimed several a year or two ago with a knife purchased – if I remember correctly – in a downtown Tokyo store. I think he killed 6 or 7 and wounded like 25 in one incident before he was stopped.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:31 am |
      • Josh

        Tom, the other problem is gun control. Mental health problems and gun control are not mutally exclusive. I too am a gun owner but don't feel we need to have pistols with 30 round capacities. The problem is once mentally ill individual gets a weapon, how do we minimize the damage. When the 2nd Amendment was written, people had muskets that fired a single bullet every 45 seconds. Times have changed and we need to balance our freedoms with the safety of society as a whole. I know we can trust you with your guns, but there others that shouldn't have them but will still get them. This is the dilemma we face.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
      • Texas.

        It would be great if the NRA and Wayne LaPierre could come up with some workable solutions to keep guns only in the hands of responsible shooters and out of the hands of the nuts. NRA is very powerful and could be successful.

        Here's a thought: Privatize all firearm regulation: If you want to buy or own a gun, you have to have a valid NRA membership, or one in a similar organization. Then the NRA, TSRA, etc. should police their own members. If a whole bunch of crazies commit atrocities, their supporting organization would risk fines and losing their charter. The Govt would be limited to granting charters to NRA type organizations (free of charge), revoking those for a limited number of infractions or imposing strictly defined fines. You can't get a Scuba tank filled without a dive certificate from a private organization. Maybe the same would work for guns. Any one that has a gun without a valid NRA or similar membership would risk breaking the law.

        The NRA should be about promoting responsible gun ownership, training and use. They could even offer some low cost membership plans: $10 a year or $200 lifetime memberships.

        Could this work?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:34 am |
      • Ron

        @DerrickAnthony

        There are graver issues with your grammar than there is with Tom's spelling..."Learn to at least, spell. The word, is THROUGHOUT!"

        Good:
        Learn to, at least, spell. The word is THROUGHOUT! Got it?
        Better:
        At least, learn to spell. The word is THROUGHOUT! Got it?
        Best:
        Stop being a @$#$@% grammar nazi! Got it?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:39 am |
      • kingofthenet

        The part you LEGAL gun owners don't get was the shooter was ONE of you BEFORE Saturday, Get it Now?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:45 am |
      • ranndino

        I've heard this argument many times & it's completely ridiculous. A crazy person with a gun & multiple magazines can do a whole lot more damage than a crazy person with a knife or a baseball bat. All the massacres perpetrated in the last decade were by people who bought guns legally. America is a place where any nutcase can go to a store and purchase a modern firearm & enough ammo to mow down a crowd. And Anne is not misinformed. Check the statistics and compare murder rates in major US cities to those of major cities in Europe. It's not even close. All the checks on the purchase of weapons in the US are obviously ineffective because time & time again crazy people are able to buy them & go on a rampage. For example, the last huge massacre at the University of Virginia was also perpetrated by someone who bought his guns legally & was able to methodically kill over 30 people & injure countless more in a very short period of time. It doesn't matter that the question came from the Russian reporter. Everyone else in the world thinks that the US 2nd amendment is insane & outdated, but we have a lot of people here who consider it a sacred cow so no matter what happens it can't be touched. We'll keep having these massacres for as long as any nutjob has easy access to firearms.

        January 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
      • JohnDorian

        Not exactly sure what I said that requires such an extensive amount of moderation (or redaction/censorship). I quoted the Declaration of Independence. Was there a copyright violation? {grin}

        According to the TOS: "Comments are not pre-screened before they post." Why is mine being moderated?

        January 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • Todd A

        i wish people would stop believing what they hear from the NRA. The lies and propaganda they spew is amazing. Tom you obviously bought into it.

        January 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Shinea

      You missed the point of your own argument. America is a CIVILIZED state. The vast majority of us are law abiding individuals, particularly the ones who legally carry guns. The ones who are misusing the guns are CRIMINALS, criminals have a bad habit of doing crimes, that is usually why they call them criminals. They are outside the normal circle of "civilized" people. They don't care about your laws on killing, they care even less about your laws on guns! Why do you want to start your campaign, to removing guns from society, by taking them away from the civilized, law abiding people, why don't you start by taking them away from the criminals? Is it something you really want to do or is it something for you to talk about without really doing anything constructive? Take all the guns away from criminals and then when you are done the rest of us will will have a reason to give up our right to defend ourselves with weapons.

      January 13, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • mike

      If, as you say, the UN and the rest of the world consider us the most dangerous country to live in... then maybe they need to leave the USA... the sooner, the better...

      January 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Frank

      Anne, Keep in mind with out the 2nd ammendment there is no first, with that said blaming the gun for the actions of an individual is the same thing as saying the car is reponsible for drinking and driving not the person, or the spoon makes a person fat not the person making the decesions. do you really think that another gun law would of some how stop this "premeditated" murder??

      January 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
    • Doug

      And the UN is one of the least effectual organizations in the world. Keep in mind that very few other nations have a similar history as ours, where the ability to bear arms is the reason we're not paying UK-sized taxes right now. Though I do support tougher gun laws, I hope those who "jump through the hoops" are still allowed to legally own firearms. Like Harley riders, it's the culture that surrounds the object that I disdain, not the object itself.

      January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • Don

      While I don't buy the argument at all that guns somehow make us safer, when the reverse is true, proven easily by comparative murder rates in other countries, I find it insulting that the ITAR-Tass reporter claimed this to be some uniquely American problem–or that freedom is somehow to blame for this. Is life really more precious in the land of Chernobyl, Stalin, the KGB, and the present dictatorship?

      Russian history is replete in both a lack of human rights and freedom, and in brutal thuggery perpetrated by a totalitaria regimes.

      I think Gibbs answered him fairly and decently.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Jack

      Anne if you really belive that perhaps you should move to Liberia or Sudan.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Chikatilo

      What you say is not true. In most European countries firearms are a way of life. Many require items strictly regulated by the U.S., such as suppressors, so as not to disturb others. Let facts obscure your message and you will truly be free.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Alaska Dawn

      Perhaps, following you suggestion that guns are the problem and banning all guns would be the answer; we could suggest that the problem was a mentally ill psychotic individual and banning (curing/ removing/ preventing) psychotics would make us all safe.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • Rick

      You sound way to familiar to me my dear.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • blueoctober

      I respectfully disagree with you. The 2nd Ammendment may be centuries old but very much alive and with every reason. Bad guys will always have access to guns no matter where they are, but thanks to the 2nd Ammendment we can defend ourselfs. The overwhelming mayority of us who possess and carry arms are honest, well-behaved and law abiding citizens who have a balanced judgement. I am alive today because I was armed one day when someone decided to try to carjack me and I was able to legally and without harming anyone else, defend myself.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • wendell

      Anne,
      your statement "According to the UN the USA is one of the most dangerous places in the civilized world to live in." is attributted not to the UN organization but a few stements from a very select few countries (ie Venezuela & Cuba) in a commitee meeting and not endorsed by the UN General assembly. Clearly it was done to discredit the US. The world has dozens of more dangerous places, that lack any law enforcement at all.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • steve

      Completely agree with Anne. Travel overseas. I have been to over 20 countries from the third world to the modern world. There is an arrogance of many Americans that I have not seen elsewhere. What is the root of that arrogance? Many Americans, encouraged by the likes of neoconservative nuts believe it is their unalienable right to freedoms that just so happen impede others rights. Where does it say in the Constitution that nut cases like the AZ killer have the right to purchase a gun? Question from the Russian reporter was valid and if one reflects instead of parroting the neocon talking points the answer might surprise you.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:42 am |
    • Rickss44

      Anne, Obviously you must come from a County that restricts the freedom of information. You are very much misinformed. According to the latest NationMaster's statistics, the US is ranked 24th in murders per capita. Get your facts straight!

      January 14, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Rusnet

      Anne,

      Just FYI, the number of murders per 100,000 people in:
      USA – 5
      Russia – 30

      In US citizens are allowed to own guns, in Russia they are not. Do you need any other arguments to support the rights of citizen to bear arms?

      January 14, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Sally Li

      According to Mark Twain, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, da3ned lies, and statistics." The official crime rate of China is much lower than that of the United States, but in China, it isn't a crime to kill a baby girl – it's a socially acceptable and Government protected activity. The United States has a higher rate of rape than most countries, for two reasons. First, in certain demographic groups, the rate of actual rape is excessive. Secondly, the American definition of rape now includes activities that in the past, and still today in most countries around the world, were and are never classified as rape, except in today's America. In many countries, armed robbery is less frequently punished or tabulated than it is in the USA – because so many armed robbers in most other countries are Government employees. If the black crime rate is factored out of US crime statistics, the American rate of violent crime is as low as any country in Europe. This is true even though the vast majority of these mass shooters are white males. It must be remembered that communication is a safety valve in any society, but American society is founded on an educational basis of political correctness which tends to silence white males (more than any other demographic sector) into a corner of frustrated non-expressiveness. Instead of punishing expressive white males with elaborate slanders, America ought to get down on its hands and knees and thank God for them, because a man who is most likely to express his thoughts well by firing away with a few words, is least likely to express himself by firing away with a few bullets. Experience shows that it is the silent and silenced men who are most dangerous.

      January 14, 2011 at 1:54 am |
    • Anne

      We just have to understand when you see the figures for the amount of people injured or killed by guns in this country we will be questioned. I have to admit that not everyone who buys a gun uses it. The man was just asking a question that was all. I have travelled to other countries and have answered questions about this very issue without getting all riled up about it. I personally don't own a gun and I don't want one either. But I certainly don't condemn someone else chooses to have one. That is their personal choice.

      January 14, 2011 at 3:02 am |
      • James

        But you just condemned the amendment that allows them to.

        January 14, 2011 at 3:56 am |
      • Kevin

        Anne, I have traveled to 86 countries on 6 continents; there are illegal and legal weapons in every one of them. Most countries in Latin America, as an example, outlaw the possession of firearms, yet they proliferate their societies. The issue isn't the creation of a law; it's the enforcement of the existing ones. Would you still have a problem if big government were able to keep anyone from purchasing an illegal weapon? My guess is that your travels have been restricted to vacations in Europe or Cabo. A trip to the Bordeaux region of France to tour the vineyards cannot be accurately extrapolated to represent what happens in 194 countries in the world.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:41 am |
      • Patsy

        If you think there are no guns in other countries you are mistaken. England is suffering now from an influx of guns coming into their country. I am anti-gun but I wouldn't trade my freedom just to feel a little safer. Yes there is a price for freedom of speech and assembly which I am willing to pay. I would not want to live in countries that have state newspapers which do not get the truth out to it's citizens. America with it's flaws is still a beacon of democracy in the world. Thank God.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:00 am |
      • Norm

        Another knee jerk conservative.
        Anne was in no way trying to pry the gun from your cold dead hands.
        Take it easy.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:32 am |
    • Pablo Pena

      I totally agree with Ann. This 2nd Amendment nonsense if from a by-gone era. The redcoats and not coming into your house and seizing your property. Many people replied in contrast to her statement mentioning "responsible gun ownership" and how "64 million Americans did NOT shoot somebody last weekend", etc. The problem is with THAT much gun ownership it's just a matter of time before some crazies pull the trigger. Imagine if everyone had the right to own an atom bomb. I'm sure many people from the NRA would say "Well you'll find MOST A-bomb owners are really responsible and take their obligations seriously....". Their need to be much stricter gun control laws. The less access the general public has the more difficult it is to act on impulse. I hope this event triggers the much needed change.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:14 am |
    • CDRDATA

      Couple of things here. First, if brutal murderous response is uniquely American, then someone please explain about Josef Stalin's purges. Second, if accessibility to weapons is uniquely American, then explain why Russian small-arms ammunition is so cheap and accessible, especially the high-power military grade stuff. I'd also like to point out that in the vast majority of firearm-related injury and death that the noise attracts far more attention and police response than a baseball bat. On that basis I propose that the use of guns in violent criminal acts may have saved lives because getting caught is easier. Also, the regulation and tracking of guns permits greater flexibility and accuracy in criminal investigations than sporting equipment, hand tools and kitchen utensils. This probably isn't one of the more popular theories and I expect flames, but I ask you to consider how you plan to regulate all weapons used in violent criminal behavior such as bats, knives and rocks if the sole argument is "guns kill people".

      January 14, 2011 at 5:22 am |
    • Joe

      Your wrong, it fits more than ever

      January 14, 2011 at 6:06 am |
    • Mark

      Sorry Anne but if I have to protect my family, I'll do so at any cost and by any means necessary. That wont be dictated by the U.N., you or any one else, got that? If you dont like law abiding americans having guns, then feel free to move to one of those countries where the citizens are stripped of their right to bear arms and then see how that works out for you. You see, the problem is people who dont have control of their sanity and should never have a gun in the first place. We cant rely on the police for protection any longer, by the time they got to your house, you would be nothing but a dead body on the floor and another crime statistic. Tougher penalties for gun related crimes dont seem to be helping do they? No, the criminals are getting more desperate so I'll do what I have to do to prevent my family from being hurt so piss off and have a crime free day.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:09 am |
    • Kevin

      This is a sad, but typical commentary from the elitist left. By suggesting that the "civilized world" banned guns, the implication is that America and gun owners are uncivilized. Pay close attention to this condescending attitude of Anne; her comments are quite typical of how the liberal elite choose their words.

      Anne, most "civilized and educated" people speak and write to others on a level of respect; you might try that approach.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:29 am |
      • Cynthia

        Anne is correct. She and the Russian reporter do ask the same questions asked by the rest of the world. Yes- we understand "guns don't kill – people do". But guns make it much easier to kill and for a madman to commit an atrocity like in Tuscon.
        The madman passed the "security checks" you laud. He bought 30 round magazines at a family department store.
        Why in God's name would anyone need a semi-automatic weapon that can rapidly fire 30 rounds? Is this a weapon for personal defense? Do you expect armies to come through your front door??
        These reasons are why the rest of the world are appalled by insane levels some Americans take their freedoms.

        January 14, 2011 at 6:53 am |
      • Gaunt

        If one says that the civilised world has realised that legal restrictions on firearm ownership have merit; if one says that the civilised world has banned torture; if one says that the civilised world does not execut the mentally infirm or the young (and that most of the civilised world doesnt execute people at all): these are simple axiomatic truths. If upon reading these statements of fact, you realise that your own country, be it Saudi Arabia, Iran or the US, fails to live up to those commonly accepted standards of civilised behaviour, well, so be it. But dont blame the messenger.

        January 14, 2011 at 7:56 am |
      • Jack

        We have more guns per individual than any 3rd world or fell-state. I'd call that uncivilized.

        January 14, 2011 at 8:13 am |
      • Amazing

        The other thing the "left" doesn't get is that all their gun control laws will do is help the criminals and create more victims. Criminals will always get their hands on guns. Gun control laws are kind of like the lock on the front door of your house, they keep honest people "honest." Leftists need to understand the definition of the word "criminal."

        January 14, 2011 at 8:58 am |
      • sam

        1. liberal elite words? what are you stephen colbert? leave your hate in your briefcase this morning sir.
        2. Thats a lotta countries. I'd ask you how but i'd expect a lie. I haven't been anywhere, but thanks to a little bit of human nature and common sense I have established that guns in the hands of "bad" people, as some would call them, is particularly considered undesirable throughout the world...although the definition of bad is gray even here in the states. Essentially though sir isn't it better to ENCERTAIN your family/friend's (who may not have a gun) safety by ensuring those with guns are not going to kill a school full of kids or a salon full of women? Come now sir, how is this not the most desirable end: everyone sane enough to have a gun can get one.
        3. ❤ Giffords. I feel a comeback speech........

        January 14, 2011 at 9:02 am |
      • under70

        Perhaps Kevin, you should listen to your own advice. Your comments are a personal attack. Anne's were merely general. How do you know she is a "lefty"? I personally know Republicans who want more rigid gun control. Are you implying that common sense cannot be shared by both Republicans and Democrats?

        January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am |
      • John

        Kevin,
        You simply are falling into your own trap here. By tagging Anne as an "elite left" you are falling victim to your very own rhetoric. As informed as you say that you are, you are no better than someone who is advocating a complete ban on guns. Instead you slide all the way down that slippery slope by assigning some incendiary tag to someone who doesn't seem to be advocating at all for the position you've stated.

        I also own several guns. I also have visited several countries on several continents. However, some sort of gun control is necessary. True, we should enforce the laws we have rather than instituting a gun ban. But recognizing that gun control does not mean gun ban is the first step to an actual civilized conversation on the topic.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:04 am |
      • Ian

        Kevin, how are you being respectful of Anne in this response? To be honest, your argument rang true with me until you started spewing your Faux News rhetoric, i.e., "Liberal Elite." I happen to be a "liberal" who also believes in the right to bear arms, but when you lump us all into one category with your hate speak, it does nothing to bolster your point.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:12 am |
      • Dallas

        Er, I'm a liberal, and I advocate gun ownership. It's ridiculously naive to believe that outlawing guns would make them just disappear. Secondly, disarming America would be saying we trust our government enough to be defenseless, and we don't. And finally if people want to kill people they will. You can make a bomb in your kitchen with knowledge off the internet.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |
      • Redd Foxx

        Could you just say "elite" a few more times? I'm pretty sure you have a few more Palin Points to hit and it always makes you look humble when you call us "elite" over and over again because we bothered to go to college.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:29 am |
      • KTon

        At what level of respect does condescension lie Kevin?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • Rickirs

      notice you caveot "civilized" world so we can rule out Pakistan and Afganistan. So would you rather live in America with its lax gun laws or Iran with no rights to guns? Not a simple question of gun laws versus freedom is it?

      January 14, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Scott

      First, the US does have gun control laws. There are some, however, who want to make them more restrictive. If, as you say, criminals will always get guns (a point I couldn't agree with more), why do you want to keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to protect themselves from these criminals?

      You know why you never hear of shootouts? Because those intending to do harm prey on those who are defenseless. Ironically for some, those states with the highest rates of gun ownership see the lowest level of gun violence. People simply don't draw a gun on an armed individual.

      January 14, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • Wtw

      Yeah I feel like I'm in a war zone everyday. Ridiculous, unless you count all the morons on their iPhones while driving.

      January 14, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • sajeev

      Fuly agree with you Anne.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Jacques

      It is true that the rest of the 1st world has difficulty understanding our relish for arms. A friend of mine from Toronto once asked me " What kind of society has the right to carry a gun entrenched but no rights for everyone to have healthcare?". I must admit that after trying several times to provide a credible answer I could not.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Griffbos

      Anne, while I dislike hand guns and do not understand why a person needs to own one as their only purpose is to kill the same with automatic weapons, one just has to only look at Latin America and see the gun voilence there where police and government controls are tougher, they do not work, people bent on killing others will do so , the USA with its freedoms have less gun voilence than many other countries. What is interesting is the USA is ranked #24 in per cap murders while Russia is ranked #5 and is more stricted. Clearly the reportor fialed to do his homework before trying to score brownie points........

      January 14, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Backatcha

      Just sick and tired of people not using their brains.There are about 308 million people in America right now and (that is known) 80 million gun owners but there are many many more than that. You have 1 single nutball that shoots someone and suddenly we shouldn't own guns anymore. This happens every time something like this happens like thats the magic resolution. Go ask people in the UK what they think, or the guy in Englang who was home invaded and entire family murdered or the guy in the UK who was home invaded and he still had a gun after the law was enacted and he shot the intruder, he went to prison and the intruder got out of jail already while he still sits, the intruder is also sueing him. Dont be a fool...would you rather have your intruder be up close and personal and slice your throat with a knife as he looks you in the eye as you die a slow death or be shot and have a good chance of surviving like gabby. News flash, American gun owners will NEVER give up there weapons PERIOD so you might as well just stop talking about it cause it wont EVER happen.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • wyulling

      I think the question is not about the right to have gun or gun control. The question is why people can get mad to the point that they would shoot others without even do something by other less violent ways. Canada has almost the same gun control laws as US but Canadians are much less agressive in use gun to shoot others. I think the Americans don't concentrate on why and how this guy has become what he is today? What makes him to act this way? All you hear from the media that he is not normal, a loner, and should be locked up long time ago. I dont think so. He is very normal guy with very angry feeling about US government but the media never use the word 'anti-Amreica' and anti-US government because that is the truth. Americans don't like to deal with the truth because the truth is dark and negative and Americans cannot accept negative and darkness. Problem needs to be sovlved soon or later. The long you trying to cover it the bigger the explosion will be when it bursts. This is exacly what is happening to this mad guy. Too bad and too sad, always the the innocent people are the victims.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Chase

      Anne, you lost all credibility using the statement, "according to the UN..." Honestly, who cares about the UN? People are constantly crying about corrupt, money driven corporations. What do you think the UN is? They don't care about peace on earth. They want power and money is the way to get it.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Charles

      Another point not brought up by Tom is that gun laws only keep honest people from owning guns. Criminals and deranged individuals still have access through illegal ownership.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Omar

      Anne, You think the US is a dangerous place? You should try Sudan, or Pakistan, or Somalia, or.......

      The world is dangerous.

      One reason the Russians or Chinese have never tried to invade the US is because they know that everyone has guns (plural). If it were not for that, I guarantee you they would have tried.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Tony

      Maybe Anne thinks we should throw out all of the other 100 hundred year old amendments like freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, or the freedom of the press? Why is it the people with the least knowledge on firearms are always the most in favor of gun control? I feel it is because it is human nature to fear something we don't understand. Please educate yourself, Anne.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:59 am |
      • KTon

        If you were actually reading what Anne said you may have noticed that she was suggesting that we uphold this russian mans freedom of speech. She also, for those of you who didn't notice, said that a persons decision to own a gun was there own. Please process what someone says(if thats possible), before you make comments on it.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:33 am |
      • Todd M

        I think Anne was trying to articulate a point of view, but she wasn't calling for the repeal of the 2nd amendmaent. And before you get on your high horses about amendments or points of view being out of date with snarky comments on free speech, we also had to modify the constitution by doing away with the 3/5ths valuing of slaves or votes being limited to landowners or Senators being elected by state legislatures or banning and then allowing alcohol or allowing women to vote or allowing minorities to vote.
        On the flip side, freedom isn't easy and we do have laws to limit access to guns, but mental health is still very much a taboo subject with very little attention paid to it. These things will happen again unless we get a handle on mental health and it doesn't have anything to do with guns.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Homer

      So only the 2nd Amendment is "from another century?" What about the 1st Amendment regarding freedom of the press? The framers had only a handful of newspapers in mind when this was written. They had no way of knowing what kind of a juggernaut the media would become. By your logic, this amendment should be thrown out based on the fact that media now consumes our society and individual lives, destroying our personal privacy. What about the 10th Amendment. Isn't that outdated too? The Framers had slow means of communication so local government made sense back then. By your logic, society has progressed to the point that local government is obsolete...let's just wrap everything into one big federal government. Please, read the Constitution before speaking to it. “Civilized society” doesn't understand what it takes for freedom to stand...as long as your coffee shops are open, who cares, right?

      January 14, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Ryan

      Your statement "And yes criminals will always get guns no matter where you live" seems to contradict your entire point.

      Tell me, whats the purpose of restricting guns when this is done for the sake of keeping guns out of the hands of criminals (the people who are most likely to use them) even though these same criminals will get guns anyways (which is what you admitted)? It makes absolutely no sense.

      There is a price for freedom. And yes, incidents like Arizona will occur. But once you start eliminating freedoms or rolling back certain freedoms – I dont think you understand what kind of consequences can occur from this. Once the slippery slope is embraced – the politicians will have even more ways to manipulate the American public. And no, this isnt conspiracy theory territory – history has an extensive blood-ridden record that shows what happens when certain freedoms are taken away because of knee jerk reactionary responses.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Lee

      First off, I find it sad that everyone is all worked up about something a 'reporter' did just to get some attention and stir up some ratings. Second, gun laws are not the problem – crazy people will kill crazy people until we decide to give up some of our 'rights' and allow authorities to do something with crazy people BEFORE they commit a crime. Right now, our 'liberties' and 'rights' prohibit that from happening. So, which area of the law really needs fixing – gun laws, or personal rights? Criminals and crazies are going to have guns no matter what you make illegal. If just one law-abiding citizen carried a gun to that rally, fewer people would have died AND don't forget, the congresswoman (even though she is liberal) is a gun advocate!

      January 14, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • scott

      One thing fo rthe russian to remember is that the US has never had a leadre that executed millions of Americans. This also could be one of the results of the freedom to bear arms.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • KeithTexas

      America is not the least restrictive of personal gun ownership. There are several countries that have more guns per person than we have. What are your suggestions for the 65,000 times per year that a gun is used for protection.

      If we took guns from the police we would immediately stop 20% of the yearly shootings. And in two out of three shootings the police shoot unarmed people.

      The law was written just for times like we are in today. America was not attacked in WWII because every nation knew that the populace was armed and could not be overrun like the European countries.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Carl

      Nobody of any intelligence really gives a hoot what the UN thinks about practically anything.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  77. Citylightz

    Sitov’s comments and questions – "the quote, unquote 'freedom' of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American like the freedom of speech and the right to assembly” were not only insensitive but down right stupid.

    Sitov should perhaps look at the history of his own mother Russia and other communist countries for even better examples of deranged minds reacting in violent ways. Maybe he could look into the internal purges of Stalin and Mao or the heinous acts of the Khmer Rouge on their own people.

    And regarding gun control – he should go back to Russia and ask some of the Russian mafia how effective gun control is Russia.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
  78. Dale

    Sitov is so far out of line on this and needs to reflect on what has been happening back home. How many murders and shootings have occurred in Moscow in the past few years (especially of journalists), with guns... in a country where the possession of hand guns is not legal? If morons want to shoot someone, it will happen, no matter what. At least in America we almost always find the criminals, but how many arrests have been made in Moscow related to the shootings/attacks of the journalists... and I wonder if they want to find them?

    January 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  79. Paul Willson

    Way to go mr press secatary, This reporter was way out of line and should have his press pass revoked and be expelled from the USA .

    January 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  80. Free Speech Forever

    Gibbs should have asked the Russian journalist if he has ever given any thought to the free speech we allow here versus the opportunity to be shot and murdered for speaking freely in Autocratic Mother Russia!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  81. Luis

    they are blind or out of mind....what more need somebody for see that this guy is twisted by the republican goverment compaign agains the immmigrants, with the entire world match this policy with the nazi empire and the holocaust, where is rejected for more the states, twhere the republicans wants to impulse siimilar policy's in other states, and they telling you all day that the immigrants are criminals the make damage to our nation and the democrats are gulty because not do nothing......what more you expect.???

    January 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  82. Barry

    Why are some of us so defensive? The Russian journalist asked an honest question, it doesn't sound to me like it was intended as a polemic. Neither do I see the Cold War comparison: Russia is now a very important ally. Personally I've known several Russians, they are sometimes a bit blunt compared with Anglo-Americans, but so what? Chill out, CNN!

    January 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  83. SAS

    "Asked if he is advocating that Americans embrace communism" why wasn't he asked some other irrelevant question like "if he is advocating baby torture" ??? How does firearm regulation lead to communism?

    the point he is making is hard to rebuke. this tragedy was a DIRECT consequence of the ease with which one can buy a gun in US. The whole argument that criminals will get guns no matter what will not fly in this case, nor it would in the case of Virginia Tech, Columbine and plenty of others when criminal element had NOTHING to do with it.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  84. george

    The reporter is making a point that there is a trade off, he is clear in saying that he does not advocate taking away freedoms, just that there is a price. There is a price for being a reporter and for being the prez sec, and clearly and very sadly there is a price for holding a public office in service of this great land. The challange is, as the reporter said, are we willing to pay the price knowing that a sick individual is at the other end of the freedoms that we enjoy. I think yes.

    January 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  85. Shinea

    Vastly more people are killed every year from medical MISTAKES then are killed by firearms, maybe we should ban doctors and hospitals?

    January 13, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  86. Mark

    Not every media outlet can worship the ground worthless Obama walks on

    January 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
  87. Texas Mayniac

    Does Loughner know the attention this is getting?

    Will his trial be on Tv?

    January 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  88. Frank

    Poor Gibbs, he couldn't even come back with a simple rejoinder like "all countries have tradgedies like this, even your country." Instead, he almost left the room crying. What a wuss.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
  89. Vlad

    Though tactless and bordering on disgusting, the guy makes a point.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  90. LIsa

    Ann, you're obviously a brainwashed graduate of an American university. Human nature never changes, chickee. The Constitution will stand or it will be done away with over my dead body and my gun will be taken out of my cold, dead fingers.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  91. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    I don't think Russia is in a good position to make social recommendations to anyone. At the same time, I agree that he was asking a provocative question of the kind most U.S. media would not. This isn't specifically a U.S. problem. American papers may sometimes have more open reporting on foreign countries than those countries themselves do. This is true even if those other countries are democracies–because in democracies, too, the media gets cozy with the government for reasons of money and prestige, even if they're not forced to by law.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  92. COlady

    Somehow I doubt the Russian's will be invited to another White House press conference. The people who gave us Stalin should really think twice before questioning freedom or deranged minds.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  93. Troy

    Hunting guns should be allowed, but not automatic weapons. If these bad arses want to kill each other let them do it with their hands or knives. Guns allow cowards to win conflicts, it circumvents the natural order of nature. The strong and intelligent should always come out on top, not the lazy, stupid, ignorant and cowardice. As long as you let the weak minded be successful, you are will always create an imbalance of entitlement and arrogance coming from something or someone who frankly does not deserve it.....

    January 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Troy

      Shotguns should be allowed, but not automatic weapons.

      If these bad arses want to kill each other let them do it with their hands or knives.
      Guns allow cowards to win conflicts, it circumvents the natural order of nature.
      The strong and intelligent should always come out on top, not the lazy, stupid, ignorant and cowardice.
      As long as you let the weak minded be successful, you are will always create an imbalance of entitlement and arrogance coming from something or someone who frankly does not deserve it.....

      January 14, 2011 at 8:31 am |
    • UneducatedVoter

      Add Women to the list who don't have the right to come out on top. Because they lack the muscle-mass of your average thug, they should not resist rape. That's the natural way right?

      January 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  94. NoDoubt

    There was no point to that reporter's question. Freedom of speech isn't anarchy. It doesn't mean freedom to shoot people dead. Give me a break. He was just aiming a sucker punch at the White House. I would have told him off too.

    At least we don't have to wait in line for 4 hours just to buy bread, and when we go to restaurants we don't have to pay for forks and knives separately to go with our meal.

    There's a reason why Russian women try to get American men to marry them so they can get the heck out of Dodge-inski.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  95. Devon

    I agree with Anne. I had a Russian girlfriend. The views of the reporter are similar to hers. We have "freedoms" but in some ways those freedoms are based on a different time period. By far the US has the worst problem of any countries concerning firearms. And don't get me wrong – I own one. But this is simply ridiculous and out of control. If the laws had been updated to the times, I doubt we would have the problems we have now. Many other countries – including the UK – have strict firearms laws. So the incidents with guns are few and far between. Americans are just to spoiled to understand how it should really work, and it's time to change that. Guns escalate the violence. With a flick of the trigger – a small muscle movement – one can cause great harm or death. Knives or other weapons involve much more contact and a "personal" touch if that makes any sense. So I agree with the russian reporter. He is right to ask this question, because although Russia has it's own problems, it's not nearly this bad when it comes to firearms!

    Grow up you right-wing gun toting freaks. Sooner or later I promise you will be parting with your weapon when people wise up.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  96. International Guy

    Having watched Russiannews for almost 10 years, it is entirely ridiculous for this guy to try to hang out America's laundry for all the world to see. It's obvious he is correct to some extent, only as much that he does not acknowledge the even more outrageous acts of violence in Russia that are hardly reported within the openly government-controlled media. There have been numerous serial-killings in Russia which never get any press outside the country, an onslaught of race hate-crimes, and more outlandishly– journalist assassinations. This Sitov is enjoying his own American freedoms while denouncing it at the same time– makes me think that he is a plant. This is Cold War stuff, no doubt. Sitov would not last long in Russia using this approach.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  97. Misguided Anne

    Anne just want the honest people to give up their firearms and hey she concedes that criminals will always have guns. So honest people can't defend themselves when need be.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  98. Lala

    Well said Tom.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  99. Tony FL

    Asked if he is advocating that Americans embrace communism, Sitov said.....

    Why would you ask Andrei Sitov if he advocates communism? ...Unless you are with Tea Party and you think he voted for Obama....Ok, this is a joke, but seriously now.

    Russia is NOT a communist country. They are capitalist society. You must be confused thinking about Soviet Union, well that ended 20 years ago, so the question itself is embarassing and reflects bad on America...

    January 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
  100. Jon

    I think it is a fallacy to convince yourself that gun control has a direct influence on a person's mental state or violent behavior. Having a gun is not a cause of someone becoming violent. Does it enable them to do more damage, sure. However, the same could be said about a motor vehicle, an airplane or anything you can make into a weapon. Europe seems to drink the Kool-Aid that because they have gun control, violence does not occur in their countries, which is simply false. Gun control does not affect criminals as in any country, because they did not actually acquire them legally in the first place.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
  101. Kerry Berger

    I think Mr. Sitov raises a very good question for us Americans to debate internally. Our threshold of accepting violence is a bit difficult for many non-citizens to comprehend. It should be noted that many Americans as well question the legitimacy that our rights to bear arms or even freedom of speech are sacrosanct even to the point that if others die as a result of other's bad decisions or irresponsibility or demented behavior. Common sense dictates that we must debate and consider revising our laws when so called rights infringe on the safety and security of other citizens. We cannot allow a society of cowboys like the 19th century in the 21st century, just as we cannot continue to condone hate crimes. Laws must change with the times.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  102. CJ

    Maybe someone should have step up to the plate (His Family, Friends, Teachers, Somebody) that knew this guy that did the shootings should have had him commited and this would have never happened. Why should we give up our guns for our personal and home defense so the criminals can come in and harm our familys, rape our wifes and who knows what. This guy is out his mind. You can blame what happened on his Family ect.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  103. Tony

    Asked if he is advocating that Americans embrace communism, Sitov said.....

    Why would you ask Andrei Sitov if he advocates communism? ...Unless you are with Tea Party and you think he voted for Obama....Ok, this is a joke, but seriously now.

    Russia is NOT a communist country. They are capitalist society. You must be confused thinking about Soviet Union, well that ended 20 years ago, so the question itself is embarassing and reflects bad on America...Did you get the memo? Lol

    January 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  104. Doug

    LOL, Russia FTL. Truly laughable.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  105. Terri, Rockport, TX

    I think Mr. Gibbs responded well. He was firm in his response and clearly expressed the ways and means of what US of A is ESPECIALLY to someone from such a socialist country as Russia. I can only hope that the Russian people get to hear ALL of Mr. Gibbs statement.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  106. Tom

    In a healthy democracy the logical response to any disaster is to start with self-examination of the individual: What have I done or not done to prevent this occurrence? Without individual responsibility there is no individual freedom. Following Sam's comments, iIf you want collective freedom, then blame the state and barter your freedoms in exchange for a lack of individual responsibility as Mr. Sitov suggests.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  107. ShiningStar

    People who believe more "gun control" will stop these violent offenders are just delusional. America has strict gun laws. Criminals do not obey the current gun laws, so what makes you think they will suddenly obey MORE gun control laws?
    The 2nd Amendment is an important part of our Nation. The Constitution is just as valid today, as when it was drafted. The root cause of violence in our society is a socio-economic/psychological issue. The "gun" is just a tool. If the "system" wasn't so corrupt, and people were valued, we would see less of these violent outbursts. The problem is, people are not valued. We are just numbers. Numbers in a grossly overpopulated society. Any opportunities we might have for a good life are swallowed up by the greed and corruption of the small number of crooks in power. America was great once, because we had a strong middle class, and we actually MADE stuff. When the rich take it all, and the middle class is destroyed, watch America become a violent third-world survivalist nation. We are already headed down that road.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  108. Tony FL

    No really, hire Sarah Palin...She could say something like:

    Sitov: 'freedom' of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American, like the freedom of speech and the right to assembly?

    Sarah: You betcha! This country was built on voilence! Our Manifest Destiny drove Native American Nations into ghettoes while driving Mexicans 200 miles further South. We are free to shoot each other in the head, at any moment. But this is what Freedom is...

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  109. jordan

    If there was a legal gun owner there he could of blasted this lunatic and save lives....criminals will always get guns if they want to...legal gun owners like myself are not the problem...
    P.s..Gibbs has always been an inarticulate turd ...

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  110. AG

    No revolutions please! Let's live in peace. If we can ever figure out how to have millions of guns around us and also not have the senseless acts of violence that are so often facilitated by those guns, that will be the day when the USA will have finally arrived. Till then if we can at least strive to be more civil it will be an achievement in itself. Amen

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  111. Walt

    Hmm, I bet all the Americans killed by guns here in our country, since the gun was invented, would not even fit in a thimble compared to the millions of Russians killed by their own government.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
  112. JoeSchwartz

    No, Great Britain is the most violent industrialized nation. Why? Because they have outlawed any and all means of self-defense. Firearms are completely illegal and every thug and criminal knows that every citizen is a target ripe for the picking. Russia? You mean the most corrupt country in Europe/Asia? Is this reporter naive or stupid? What a joek.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  113. AJ

    Joe, couldn't you engage in a civil discussion rather than just lobbying macho statements about revolution? I think there will always be the right to own guns in the US. The NRA is the most powerful lobby in America. But a lot of us in the middle on this aren't persuaded by your kind of rhetoric. Do people really need the right to own assault weapons? Carry concealed semi-automatic handguns without a permit? Can you at least defend your position with some persuasive logic?

    January 13, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • AJ

      Ooops, make that "lobbing" not "lobbying."

      January 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • UneducatedVoter

      Yes, it's "legal" to own assault weapons, but not realistically for the average person. I have looked into it and not only is the process to obtain the permit difficult, but any fully automatic weapons at at a minimum $10,000 a piece. Semi-auto rifles (most ar-15s and ak-47s) shoot substantially slower, and do have practical uses.

      January 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  114. greg

    Joe-Tom-Anne

    Don't forget one of the guys who tackled the crazy guy had a gun. He relized he didnot have to unholster. He held onto the bad guy until police arrived.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  115. Tony FL

    Dimitri Simes is the token "Russian" I take it? He sounds like he needs to be on Faux news. You know, anyone questioning the right to carry a loaded gun around, no questions asked, MUST be a commie right? So this is why Andrei Sitov was asked if he advocates "communism". Makes perfect sense now... Lol

    January 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  116. Andrew

    Here is the most important difference between America and the rest of the world. In America, the government serves the people. In the rest of the world, it's the people who serve the government. I think, I like the American way much better.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  117. Baltika09

    I have to say this is a bit laughable that a Russian would presume to imply that our freedoms lead to this sort of tragedy when in Russia, Russian citizens do not share nearly the same amount of protections and freedoms. Yet in Russia, how often are Politicians, businessmen, reporters...etc gunned down on the corner?? Like every few weeks! Come on pot...meet kettle. Russia by far has many more such problems, assassinations, murders for hire, mafia killings... Такая проблема в России ГОРАЗДО больше чем в США!

    January 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  118. thanks4reading

    I think that we missed the point of the question. I think that the reporter was trying to say that a country with our freedom leads to violence because the government cannot take t action towards extremist before they can make acts of violence. In this regard he has a point. But the better response is yes we get Tucson events, but we don't get Tiananmen square events where there is violence trying to suppress citizens demanding freedoms. So you either get violence from those abusing their freedoms or violence from those trying to obtain freedoms. I will take the consequence of our freedoms over the consequence of lack of freedoms any day.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  119. JT

    "people do not understand responsible handgun ownership" – This is exactly the point advocates for stricter gun laws are trying to make. So just because some people do understand responsible gun ownership, it justifies the right for all people, including those who are irresponsible, to own guns? I'm not sure I buy into that.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  120. Artie2

    According to an article I read most recently, the top five most dangerous countries in the World are:
    1: Columbia or Mexico
    2: South Africa
    3: Jamaica
    4: Venezuela and ....
    5: RUSSIA
    So, Anne, when you say the USA is one of the most dangerous places to live in the civilized Worls, where do they fall in the pecking order of the Top Ten..... or Top Twenty?

    An excerpt on Russia:
    In this crime-ridden, ex-Soviet state, no longer does the government stuff their Armani suits with rubles, but the vandals and gangsters. The Russian mafia runs amuck, there are more gangsters than police, and a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The nucleus of Russian crime is stationed in the Republic of Chechnya, a region within Russia just north of Georgia. Prostitution, drug trafficking, and underground restaurants are arbitrarily controlled by the Chechens. Foreigners are kidnapped more frequently due to the higher ransom allocated. Crimes towards include but are not limited to: pick pocketing wallets, cell phones, cameras, cash, and physical assaults. From superpower to Third World country, think tanks are beginning to speculate if communism really was the cure for Russia.

    I have family in Russia, St Petersburg, The President's and PM's home city and it is absolutely corrupt and worse, even an outsider like me can see it all around when I visit. (My wife moved there when she was 17 and left at 35.) I am afraid to go back, because I am American and i stand out like a sore thumb. My wife is afraid to go back because now she doesn't 'dress as a Russian' would. She also thinks she stands out like a sore thumb. Russians pick on foreigners, blacks, Georgians, orientals and people who just don't look like they belong in St Petersburg. It is a FACT.

    To be a journalist in Russia may be the most dangerous job in the World outside of a Mexican Policeman. So, Mr Sitov may have been merely stirring the pot, so to speak, but bear in mind, he works for a 'State Owned paper' and his bias runs deep – and so does his rhetoric. He will take this incident home and publish the biggest SLANTED article Moscow has read in years – to scare the Hell out of ordinary Russians who may be planning something so simple as a holiday visit to NYC or Boston.... or Disneyland.

    Oh yeah, back to the most dangerous paces in the World.....Jaurez, Mexico. Not Boston, not Tuscon, NOT NYC. Anne, work on it babe.

    Top Ten most dangerous cities in the World for 2010 = (only two US cities on the list – no small wonder)
    1 – Baghdad, Iraq
    2 – Detroit, MI USA – The American city known as “Motor City” was the top of Forbes’ list of the ten most dangerous cities around American in 2009. The magazine based its finding on violent crime statistics, which they obtained from the FBI’s crime reports. In case you were wondering there was a reported 1,220 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in the city. (Out of these 1220/100,000 crimes it does not say they were all killings – like in Chechnya.)
    3 – Karachi, Pakistan
    4 – Chechnya, Russia – It is said that the Russian Mafia runs the city with more gangsters than police, while a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The city has also been accused of extremism, racism, prostitution, drug trafficking and kidnappings, not to mention the untold violence dished out by the Chechen rebels. (Sounds good, huh Anne? One every 18 minutes.)
    5 – Mogadishu, Somalia
    6 – Cuidad Jaurez, Mexico – Since January 2007 there’s been 8,330 drug-related murders in Mexico, 50% of which came from Ciudad Juárez. The city has 130 murders reported per 100,000 inhabitants.
    7 – Caracas, Venezuela
    8 – New Orleans, LA
    9 – Cape Town, South Africa
    10 – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – Despite being home to the world’s biggest carnival Rio de Janeiro is also one of the most dangerous places on Earth. As soon as travelers get off the plane they are handed leaflets of do’s and dont’s. Not wearing jewelery and not carrying your wallet (take as little money out with you as you can) are some of the things visitors are told. In the last two years crime rates have risen, especially violent crimes. A local drug cartel known as the Pirahnas are largely responsible for the increased violence and are notorious for abductions too. Last year there were 8,000 murders in the city, which is close to 20 a day!

    Go do your F'in homework Anne. You can't pay me to go back and visit my in-laws in StP.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  121. Chuck

    Let me just be the first to say TO HELL WITH RUSSIA.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
  122. Andy wilson

    I'm not a gun owner, but it bothers me to see the "potential for bad" in some gun owners I know. In particular a close friend being drunk and distraught and with a gun in my driveway talking about wanting to "shoot the bitch and her boyfriend" or that same person now threatening to shoot the guy who called him on the phone about "picking up his parts and being called a liar" Oh the bad assness one with a gun has! To me it will be another sensless death at the hands of a gunowner, make that "irresponsible" gunowner. What the shooter did was awful, but face it, it did happen and noone will let it be forgotten he was carrying a gun.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  123. Mike

    Tell that Roosky he needs to go home!

    January 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  124. Neil

    Any REAL Russian jounalist has been stifled or killed in a 'car crash' or 'robbery', this was a planned event. The Russians do not like us pointing to there judicial system and saying it us corrupt 'mind your own business' is what we were told two weeks ago regarding the ex owner of yukos oil's conviction.
    Coming from a Russian govt plant, who's country is all too familiar with revolutions, this statement clearly shows the fear that the leading Russian oligarcy has of the masses, if ordinary Russians had our freedoms, the government in place, in Russia, would be overthrown instantly and Putin would be poisoned, shot and drowned, Russian style.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  125. Rada

    I'm not a Russian but I'm reading Russian newspapers every day. There has been not a week without news about Russian mobsters killing government officials, businessmen, bankers, journalists, lawers, oppositioners and citizens, who had collided with Putin's politic in one way or another. So this 'journalist' better not to try advertizing government control a la Putin.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  126. Ray

    Sit of, ur a jerk! Nice of a Russian to instruct us on the dark side of freedom, when you've killed so many innocents with tanks. Your lack of freedom has not protected you from tragedy and merciless killings. Whether we have gun control or not is an American issue, not Russian. Your own reporters aren't even allowed to question your gov the way you did ours. U are the dark side of our freedom.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  127. makkomikko

    I think that the US concept of individual liberties has stretched the fabric of society, but not yet broken it. The reaction to the tragedy is best proof of that. The Russia reporter's line of enquiry was inappropriate and insensitive. He is not there to offer a critique of American society and culture. It would be as inappropriate as if a US reporter were to follow up after the Beslan massacre with a critique of Russia's policies in Chechnya and its south.

    January 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  128. Scribe

    The murders and deaths due to guns in this country far exceed that of any other civilized nation, both in numbers and percentages. That's a fact. Sadly, it's too late to change. They're out there and we can't take them back. We've become desensitized to the carnage. Countries with strict gun laws (England, Japan, et al) are far more civilized than the U.S.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  129. Artie2

    Joe and Tom – You are absolutely right in your posts.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  130. BFreedom

    If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat. Remember:Hold the person accountable for their actions, not the means they chose to utilize!!!

    January 13, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  131. Geoff

    South America isn't a country. Go guns

    January 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  132. Jack

    If the Russinas what to talk gun control or deranged madmen all they have to do is look to themselves. They are no strangers to gun control, mass murderers, or psychotic killers. Andriy Romanovych Chykatylo, nicknamed the Butcher of Rostov, The Red Ripper or The Rostov Ripper one of the most prolific serial killers, and of children no less. Is this what Soviet Communism and gun control brings about? The man used no firearms, he simply tortured and murdered children then canabalized and raped their corpses. Perhaps Andrei Sitov would like to comment on this or the hundreds if not thousands of other deranged murderers that the soviet union produced. Perhaps he would like to discuss how Stalin through the use of gun control was able to cow the Soviet public to the point he could murder millions of its own citizens with no fear of retribution. Thanks to a lack of gun control that will never happen in this country. Any comments Mr. Sitov?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  133. seems_to_me_guy

    Seems to me, Gibbs has no idea that the most prolific serial killer in the history of the world was Andrei Chikatilo, a Russian.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  134. David

    Better to have a deranged citizen that might kill a few citizens then a deranged ruler like Stalin who murdered millions.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  135. david

    I'm not a gun zealot. I don't own a gun. my grandfather is 84 and he owns a few guns which I didn't even know he had until he decided to shoot a turtle in his pond but anyway I don't think the gun laws are out dated. They were originally made to guarantee that a tyranical government couldn't oppress the people of america and that rings true today. Not only would the gov. have a hard time repealing democracy but what if another country someday invades the united states. As unlikely as that is, one of the reasons why it's unlikely is because we have 60 million guns in the hands of private citizen.It's just not feasible to screw with the american people.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  136. nonparticipant

    Lame response. Not thinking too fast on his feet with an inarticulate rejoinder.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  137. Michael

    I have my issues with this current administration but that was a great response. Kudos to Robert Gibbs for keeping his cool and not overreacting, being precise and thoughtful and spot on with his response.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  138. DarkAxel

    An incident like this brings to the fore the ideological and cultural differences between Europe and the United States. In many cases, including Russia, a lot of those European politicians had no Idea what it meant to be free, what it meant to have a government that they could participate in. Most Americans know what that is like. We are taught from kindergarten that the government is supposed to do what WE tell IT to do. Not vice versa.

    Since the founders of this country thought it necessary to include the right to keep and bear arms as one of the best protections of liberty, it is only natural that the Supreme Court agreed with Heller and MacDonald. For guns to be banned in the U.S., the Constitution needs to be amended, and for THAT to happen, the People must decide that we no longer need it.

    I can agree to one of the Russian guy's statements. We have the right to keep and bear arms. Some idiots decide to break the law and shoot someone. Sometimes, that idiot hasn't done anything to have those rights revoked before the crime. That is the price we pay to allow law-abiding citizens to exercise that right. Freedom isn't free.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  139. Fond

    Stupid question from the russian reporter. There is a gun law in Russia. So what? Criminals can get guns easily on a black market. Madmans.. they just go with whatever handy.
    By the way the real family name of the russian correspondent is Shitov. He changed it so it won't sound bad in english.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  140. Surthurfurd

    I seem to recall there are far more terrorist activities in Russia than in the US. All the laws and human rights violations in Russia have not stopped the Russian Organized Crime groups, significant corruption, and battles with separatist groups.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  141. B. A.

    I have been armed since 1967, or thereabouts, and have never shot anyone. Thank God I have not needed to go that far.
    I have been grateful for being able to own guns to help create the confidence I have to defend myself. Yes, there were some scary times in my life since I chose to venture into the dark in my quest for knowledge, but my BFF, the handgun was always there to save my life if necessary. I now have a master status in Kenpo karate, have taught boxing and kickboxing, have a 2nd degree in Hapkido and a 2nd degree in Kickboxing to comfort me in times of stress. And believe me there is no greater feeling than being prepared whether empty hand or with "the great equalizer and savior", the handgun. I wish all decent people would make the decision to not be an easy mark for the increasingly dangerous times in which we live presently. Please people, toughen up against criminals. I'm on your side. We need to protect ourselves.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • Arnold

      The question being raised by the Russian reporter is how a crazy guy can walk into a WalMart and buy a 31 round cartridge. So let them have guns so they can have fun killing animals, but isn't it fair to ask why the gun enthusiasts can't accept laws to keep guns and ammo away from nuts.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Nick

      Well stated B.A. – if our legal system would simply enforce the firearm laws that already exist in this country, we would not have as many of the problems we do now. If the politicians would actually insist that this occur in every state, we would not have so many repeat offenders, nor would others think it is so cool to flash a weapon. I also have been happily and safely armed since 1983, and I am very thankful that I have never had to use them to protect myself up to this point, but I can tell you that if it comes to me or a criminal, the criminal will not enjoy the encounter. But the fact is that criminals don't obey laws and WILL get their hands on weapons – period – they do not respect any law because the laws have no teeth due to not being enforced. They don't care about or respect the laws that exist because our country does not prosecute to the level that they could and should by law. For starters, every one of these idiot musicians that gets arrested for a gun crime needs to be put in jail for the maximum sentence allowed for the weapon crime they commit – that alone would send a good message to the up and coming thugs that listen to these wanna-be gangsters that you can't get away with any crime related to a firearm. Until the laws we have are actually enforced, guns will remain a symbol of strength and coolness for the up and coming generation. Remember that the next time your area elects judges – do your homework and help take our country back. Pray for the poor victims of this senseless crime that occurred, and pray for our country to have the strength to change in a positive way.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Seriously?

      ^^Mrs. Palin... is that you? Such a MAVERICK!^^

      Re: Sitov - This is only the observation of a classic American paradox. I don't think that he was insinuating that killing innocent people is 'American'; I understood his questions and subsequent comments to be a reflection on the irony that our very freedoms – as Americans – are partially to blame for the high levels of gun violence in this country. Unfortunately, there are obviously a lot of fearful citizens out there that miss the philosophical accuracy of this journalists comments and choose to use them as fuel for their insecurities and delusions.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Brad

      If an aggressor with a gun in a crowd walks up to another person (for this I will term them a defender) in a crowd, like what happened the other night in Arizona, as long as surprise has been achieved the defender doesn't stand a chance unless the aggressor misses with the first shot. And in the case where the aggressor has a semi-automatic they definitely will get off multiple rounds before the defender can even think to shoot or start an evasive action. This country will never ban weapons and we had best be prepared to face continued occurrences like what happened the other night. 64 million gun owners are not a deterrent to murder for if that were so then no one would get shot. And as for the argument that an armed populace can act as a deterrent to a govt bent on tyranny, well that might have been true when the army and the people all had muskets but it wouldn't work today. If you need an example of what happens when an irregular "militia" stands up to the US just research how many casualties the terrorists in Iraq took fighting the US army. Casualty wise they got their you know whats handed to them and the same thing would happen here too. I don't mean any disrespect because 64 million people didn't kill anyone the other night but these incidents are not going to go away anytime soon.

      January 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • rab gem

      Rubbish. NRA is well and alive because of people like you. Innocents will have to sacrifise their lives so you can have a this false sense of security and stupid people like you can carry your guns. The only people who should be allowed to carry guns are the cops. You must be entirely stupid that you will have enough time to shoot at someone who is pointing a gun at you. Wake up Mr cowboy.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Pablo Pena

      Do you really believe that if the Gabrielle Gifford had a gun this whole situation would have gone down differently? Would she have pulled that six shooter out of her holster and blasted away filling the night sky with her lead?

      Or maybe if ALL the school children at Colombine had assault weapons then they could have defended themselves against the 2 psychopaths. If we go the way these Gun promoters would like EVERYBODY will have a gun and the instability will reach ridiculous levels. The MORE guns the MORE unstable the situation. Gun control is the only answer.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:20 am |
    • Jack in Ohio

      Steven Seagal...is that you??

      January 14, 2011 at 9:25 am |
    • ron

      You possess arms and you thank god that you never needed it in last 43 years. It suggests that it is not ESSENTIAL. Someone mentions that it gives them confidence and he should know that if everyone wants to be confident and wishes to own and bear arm, it will not make him that confident .

      January 14, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • GiveItSomeThought

      "the great equalizer and savior"? There's an argument for gun control right there.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  142. Groucho

    That's right Joe! You and Tom and the 64-million AND Jared Lee Loughner all have something in common. As well, every other gun toting person that kills innocent people ALL share this love for guns.

    I don't think the founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment with a light handgun capable of shooting over 30 rounds in mind. The founding fathers also thought slavery was okay. Yes, people have killed for centuries so is that why we should continue to do so? When people killed in the past with stones and sticks and steel blades, they were actually fit enough to use these weapons physically and with skill.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  143. D.A.

    I think blah blah blah

    January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  144. Shawn

    Looking at the way gun sells exploded the days after Obama was elected and just a couple of days ago, it seems like some are already preparing for a revolution. Let's hope all are the responsible owners you're talking about. And just because you have a license doesn't mean you are qualified to own a gun or drive a car. Driven on any highways lately?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  145. Robert

    The homicide rate in the US is the highest in any developed country (5 per 100,000). Compared to 1.8 in Canada and 1.2 in the UK. India, with a population of over 1 billion has a homicide rate of 2.8 per 100,000.. Sure looks like the 2nd amendment is not keeping us safer as a population. The figure for Russia is over 14.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  146. Tam

    123 yes right

    January 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  147. Craig

    Of course the Russian reporter was correct in his assertion. How anyone with a rational mind could dispute that is beyond me. It may not be all flowery and make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside but it doesn't make it any less true. That being said....with our great freedoms there are roughly 2000 gun related murders every year. That is around .005% of the population. It is insignificant. Those hugely statistically rare events by criminals does not trump our ideals of freedom. They are a very small price to pay. And even in the most rigid anti freedom governments(like Russia)....you have criminals who take other people's lives. It's just usually the gov't doing it. No gov't system or country is free from psychos.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  148. blah9999

    stupid ruskies

    January 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  149. AWi

    After watching the clip I think that Mr. Gibbs responded very well in a tense situation. Mr. Sitov's question is illogical in its proposition that "the freedom of a deranged mind to react violently" is a uniquely American freedom. It is also a false and insulting statement. Even so, he received a careful and accurate response.

    The subtext of Mr. Sitov's question is whether the right to possess guns is worth the risk of a casual person committing violence with them. That is a valid question. I wish that he had stated it more clearly.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  150. River Rat

    Those of us who own guns will never give them up as long as there are countries who wish to dominate the U. S. through force.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • River Rat

      Who moderates? You or Me?

      January 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  151. Rozelle

    This is not a question of gun control or of political trash-talk. It's a mental health problem. Our individual freedoms and rights to privacy do not take into account the necessity to get folks off the street and into treatment. They are free to be "crazy" – as though mental illness is a choice. It's very, very difficult to get someone, especially an adult, into treatment if they don't want to go – and most people like Loughner are not going to go willingly. This is what the discourse needs to be about.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  152. Richard

    Mr. Sitov,

    That is the price we pay for our freedom. That's the price your whole country secretly wishes, behind your gov's back that they could pay. They are paying an even bigger price for given up their freedom, unwillingly of course.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  153. River Rat

    Do you moderate or do I?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  154. NC Rangie

    More than a little ironic. See: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/11/06/russia.journalist.attacked/index.html?iref=allsearch

    January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  155. jerry

    if the killer had not used a gun it would have been another weapon...perhaps a bomb. Russia is full of crime and violence...how did this guy get into the white house?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  156. yayaya

    Rather than gun control, erhaps a more productive line of discussion would be about how we treat the mentally ill in our country?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
  157. wuz

    dear Russia, how's that murders-per-capita thing going for ya?

    January 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  158. Katherine

    banning guns only takes them out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  159. Bill Mosby

    If gospadin Sitov wants to see the results of the actions of a deranged Russian madman, he should take a look at one of any number of facilities in Russia dedicated to the victims of Stalin's repression. There is one such memorial between Ekaterinburg and Pervouralsk displaying plaques containing about 18,500 names, with death dates mostly in 1938. And that was just for a little piece of the Gulag system. There are many, many more like it now.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  160. davett

    @DerrickAnthony. Thanks for the spell check bub. I like how you don't have anything to say about the facts in the comments. So the best you could do is find a word he spelled wrong. priceless.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  161. N

    I think it's bs that every "story" from CNN lately involving Russians/Russia have headlines relating to the Cold War era and if it's made a come-back or never ended. It just feeds into America's ignorance of Russia and Russian culture.

    Maybe banning guns isn't the answer, but at the very least the restrictions/regulations currently in place need to actually be enforced so that guns are kept away from criminals and the mentally ill, so tragedies like this and the Virginia Tech incident,etc. can be avoided. It would be nice if people were as passionate about protecting ALL of our rights and liberties as "Americans" as they are about making sure they don't lose their guns. Eh, who cares about health care, the TSA, or the corruption running rampant in our government...just as long as I've got mah guns!!

    January 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  162. Trash

    Bunch of gun nuts. Wow.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  163. EWGuy

    That's hilarious that a Russian uses the tragic deaths and woundings of a dozen to harp on American freedoms.

    Russian oppression has led to the deaths of tens of millions.

    I know which I'd prefer, in both senses.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  164. Agnim

    Of course it is the overemphasis on freedoms, and too little on the responsibility that should go along with freedom, that makes it so easy for a mental patient to purchase dangerous weapons and use them to terrorize others.

    As long as the denial of the downside of the overemphasis on liberty continues, so will these PREVENTABLE tragedies; although it would appear that many many Americans thrive on these hand wringing memorials: A tragedy is a moment to satisfactorily lament together. Kinda ghoulish if you ask me.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  165. Oladapo Odumosu

    To the gun lobbists: Please get a life. Nobody says you should not carry guns. Nobody says you should not go to bed with your guns. You can even make love to them if you care! What reasonable people are saying is that in the light of the dastardly event that just took place in Tucson, we need to prevent madmen like Jared Loughner from having access to guns. From the writings of this lunatic, it is clear that he has schizophrenia. This is the worst form of mental illness that anyone can have. If he could buy a gun with little difficulty, then we are in big trouble in this country.
    We prevent people from driving after we are convinced that they constitute a threat to other road users. Why can't we do the same to gun ownership?
    Violent criminals and lunatics should be prevented from having access to guns if we want to prevent a re-occurence of the Tucson tragedy. Otherwise, we are counting hours before the next one occurs.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  166. Gray

    In soviet Russia, gun fires you! Just kidding, but in all seriousness I think the Russian journalist brings up a very valid point (at least from the viewpoint of people outside the US). I myself am an avid supporter of the right to bear arms, in the most liberal sense (kinda ironic that liberal describes my views here). Many if not most non-US citizens do not understand or appreciate our right to have guns. In my opinion this is due to massive differences in cultural upbringings. Our country is unique in its conception and history, one marked by a governance overseas and bloody conflict to defy that governance. To us, it seems only natural to have this right to protest, and legally overthrow, if necessary, that government. Many countries citizens cannot understand this cultural background and have issues with our means to defend ourselves. However, at the very least, this journalist does spark a healthy debate on our freedoms and traditions.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
  167. Brad

    Americans live in fear hence their preoccupation with weapons.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
  168. Larry Moniz

    As a "reporter" of a state-run news agency, Andrei Sitov's obligated to follow and, perhaps, even promote the party line. That likely includes creating issues where none really exist. Sitov obviously is man who understands communism far better than he does a free society - including our Bill of Rights - a document that would never be allowed in a communist-run nation. Let's not forget that history shows personal freedoms, including firearms ownership is one of the first things banned whenever a dictatorship seizes power in a country. No dictator wants personal freedoms or an armed populace that potentially could rise up and overthrow them.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  169. Robert

    The US has the highest homicide rate of any OECD country. Over 5 per 100,000. Canada and the UK are below 2 and even India is only slightly over 2. I guess the 2nd amendment is not protecting the populous too much. Ironically Russia has a homicide rate of over 14 per 100,000 people.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
  170. Oladapo Odumosu

    Second Amendment advocates insist on the rights of every American to bear arms. I will like to point out that there is a restriction on this right even now. What about the age requirement?
    If we have to extend it to ridiculous levels, why can't we allow five-year olds to bear arms. Obviously the answer lies in the fact that we recognize that the right derived from the second amendment needs to be qualified to some extent. If not, then let us experiment and do away with the age limit. Joe, in a posting made at 8.58 pm talks about a revolution if gun rights are taken away from him and his ilk. Please get a life. Nobody is taking your cookie from you. All we are saying is that to every right, there is a responsibility. Those who are not responsible should not be allowed to have this particular right. By the way, freedom is like potassium: we all need potassium to survive. However, too much of it will kill, just as too little of it will also kill.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  171. smiley

    Mr Gibbs should not be emotional in his response to Sitov. Gibbs was on the mark in what he said, not how he said it. As the nation's press secretary he should have been more professional. Sitov is on the Russian state payroll so it doesn't suprise me that he would be so pressing to paint a bad picture of freedom since his employer is a borderline totalitarian regime. Freedom of the press is virtually nonexistent in Russia as dozens of prominent independent journalists have been murdered and systematically intimidated so that the reign of Putin is unencumbered. I gladly live in a country with a very very low risk of a madman takiing my life than be under constant fear that I could not freely criticize Russian leaders. I just wonder what freedoms Sitov enjoys in the USA that his colleagues in the private sector are robbed of each and everyday. Russia may not have as many guns, but bottles of vodka there create unimaginable violence incomparable to any other place in the world.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  172. Larry Moniz

    to Anne:
    I'd like to point out that the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution also predate the 21st Century. Would you have anything old tossed out just because of age? If so, let's also toss the Magna Carta and every other vestige of freedom. Actually, if some of those in the Tucson audience had been armed, perhaps the lunatic would have been taken out BEFORE he killed a nine-year-old child, a distinguished judge and others in his mentally disconnected rampage. Earlier this week I saw a TV show with a line that pointed out that when someone shoots another person, the gun isn't charged with homicide. Let's not have such knee-jerk reactions in which everyone gets punished for the mental incompetence of one person.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  173. Looseparts

    Do you need a assault rifle to defend yourself? Are you in a state militia? Do you need a 33-round clip for your Glock pistol? Do you know that ten times the number of 'intruders' most gun owners have their delusional fantasies of 'protecting' themselves from turn out to be immediate family members accidentally killed? More innocent children are accidentally killed each year by 'responsible' gun owners than the 'intruders' you're so afraid of? Run the numbers! I am at much higher risk of being accidentally killed by a 'responsible' gun owner than I ever will be of someone breaking in my home. Your ridiculous fantasy of protecting yourself puts me at danger. You probably don't want to hear that, but maybe you'll look it up.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  174. chad

    I believe that the argument should not be to abolish the 2nd amendment but to instrument some control as to who can get there hands on a weapon and what weapons are available. I think that it absolutely shameful that there are some states where any individual in any state of mind can walk into a gun show and walk out with any manner of human killing tool without so much as a check of his drivers license. I think that it is shameful that the NRA vehemently opposes any control on weapons and if it had its way would allow weapons whose primary goal is to inflict mass carnage on the human population to be sold at any neighborhood store by some snot nosed 16 year old. I am a responsible gun owner. My weapons are for hunting game to feed my family and for target practice. They are kept triggerlocked in a secure place out the hands of my kids and off the streets. I think it is time we move into the 21st century with are gun laws. The rest of the world has seemed to be able to do this.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  175. Oladapo Odumosu

    In a posting made at 8.58 pm, Joe talks about a revolution if gun rights are taken away from him and his ilk. I will like to remind him that the discussion is not about taking gun rights away from everyone, but from those who are not in a position to exercise that right in a reasonable manner. Jared Loughner was refused the sale of a gun at the first Walmart he visited. Let us imagine what would have happened if he had been refused at all other stores. Certainly, he would not have been able to commit the mayhem that happened on Saturday.
    Funny people will argue that he could have stolen the gun, if he could not get one to buy. However, it is clear that it is much more difficult to steal a gun than to buy one. And, if he decided to use other means to commit his crime, can someone tell me what other means short of using explosives that can cause so much damage in so short a time?

    January 13, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  176. Mike Palevo

    You can get mad at the Russian, but it seems that America has more deranged killers than any other country as far as I remember. It seems we've had more wackos doing things like this then any other country! That's just my opinion!

    January 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  177. Rob

    Political assassinations frequent American history books. Murderous rampages like Columbine are equally prevalent in America. Relative to other western countries, gun killings in America is an epidemic. What makes America different from, let's say, Canada or the European countries? The last political assassination in Canada was more than 100 years ago. I know of only two Columbine type events in Canada, both resulting in far fewer deaths.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  178. Matt

    Ann

    As a resident of Mass. and a holder of a concealed weapons permit I have to agree with tom and joe on this issue. Mass has the strictest gun control laws in the nation and the laws have been as much help in solving the gun violence in the state as chewing bubble gum helps with solving algabra equations. Look at Springfield Mass. Last I looked they had an average of 2-3 firearm homides a week. Not a SINGLE one is a permited firearms holder anywhere in the U.S. Every one is a gangbanger and thug that doesnt' need/ can't get a legal firearm. If a person wants a gun to murder someone or is looking to use it for violence there is little anyone can do to stop them. There really is no way to keep all the psyhcopaths from getting there hands on one. Yes I believe some gun control is a good idea I wouldn't want the person down the street with a known mental disorder(which is a disqualfiying factor in Mass) getting one, but puting stricter controls on whats already there will only hurt one group of people....The lawful carriers. I for one only carry a sidearm, and will only use it if my life or someone in my immediate areas life is in imminant danger of being ended, and that goes for almost all the people who LAWFULLY carry a firearm. What happened in AZ has nothing to do with gun control, but with a guy who was nuttier than squarrel poop hell bent on taking peoples lives. No amount of gun control could save those people.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  179. Davebo

    "You are very misinformed. I am a gun owner and concealed weapon permit holder so I do know something about this subject. There are very strict rules and background checks."

    Ironically I just watched a news report about a concealed carry licensed handgun owner who dropped his 38 in a upscale restaurant here in town. The weapon discharged and wounded a woman dining near him.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against C&C licenses. But lets not pretend all license holders are responsible. And why did he feel the need to carry his gun into an upscale restaurant? Waiter Phobia?

    January 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
  180. Brendan

    I'll turn in my guns the day the gangbangers and thugs turn theirs in. And the police can turn theirs in too; if going unarmed (was) good enough for British bobbies it should be good enough for American police. As long as it isn't, I'll be god-damned if I hand in so much as a dud .22 round.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  181. Stephen

    So with all the government controls in Russia, preventing private gun ownership, the sacrifice of personal liberties, is Mr Sitov stating that these situations don't occur?

    Does he not recall the Beslan school hostage crisis? or the 2002 Nord-Ost seige?

    I think it would be wise for Mr Sitov to study history a bit more before making political statements during times of tragedy. Or better yet for him to return to Russia and ask regular comrades how their daily lives are affected by violence and tragedy.

    Unfortunately this seems an ubiquitous situation world wide, lives of ordinary people are being thrown into turmoil by a few people willing to resort to unreasoned violence, to propagate irrelevant political beliefs. Violence is sometimes justified but the slaughter of civilians should be repudiated by all civilized societies.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  182. Tastycles

    Bizarre opinions bordering on the superstitious concerning the West permeate every level of Russian and Ukrainian society. This reminds me of Andrei Chikatilo. He was a Russian serial killer that got away with his crimes for so long simply because Russian police believed serial killers to be an exclusively Western phenomena.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  183. john

    Banning guns is not the solution. A deranged individual will always find a black market source.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  184. Uri Goldberg

    Instead of getting all mad at the Russian journalist, why don't we pause and think about it? He is saying that our freedom to bear arms is killing us. How many more victims will be necessary before we see this? And if we insist on retaining this right, at least we could make it more difficult on dangerous people to purchase guns with the ease of buying a loaf of bread. How about requiring every potential gun buyer to have two notarized forms filled first: One from the local police, attesting to no criminal record, the other from a psychiatrist, attesting that the person has no mental problems? Nothing is fail-safe but this simple procedure could eliminate quite a few people who shouldn't acquire a weapon. Don't they say that freedom isn't free?

    January 13, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  185. marty rogers

    I respect the rights of americans to own a gun. But a semi-automatic? and why cant we have a days-long wait period while a background search is done? why not have a website where institutions or officials like schools, colleges, and churches can list concerns about an individual that would trigger a longer wait for approval? I get this is a cherished right but to pretend that we shouldnt have any reasonable restrictions is pure insanity.

    January 13, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  186. Jbird

    That Russian needs to be mindful, that his own country, has had it's share of well-publicized massacres, and that we could say it characterizes totalitarian regimes. Anyone remember the Chechen terrorists in the theatre?

    January 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Meh

      fond of that comma aren't you?

      January 14, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Marc

      Uh they were terrorists, if you wanted to counter example, the worst ever act of terrorism occured in the United States both by the same muslim ideologues. (Chechen terrorists are islamic)

      January 14, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Grey, Atlanta

      The terrorist attack has nothing to do with the massacre that a madman staged last week in Arizona. Terrorists are not crazy. They have an agenda, and they train, acquire weapons, and execute their plan. Terrorist attacks can only be prevented by government agencies, using counter-terrorist intelligence gathering techniques, a system of informants, etc. A government cannot stop individual madmen who act on a whim. The point that the Russian journalist brought up is a completely valid point, and this is the discussion that is long overdue in this country. The right to bear arms was devised in the 18th century is a mean for the states (and arguably for individuals) to preclude a formation of an oppressive federal government akin the British Crown. In the 21st century, this right provides no protection from the US Federal Government turning oppressive. No individual (or even a member State) can resist the collective force of the US Federal Government. The second amendment no longer provides this protection against the Federal Government. Therefore, this amendment caters to the American tradition of virtually unfettered gun ownership and nothing more. Most Americans want the government out of the gun control. Just like the Russian journalist said, the reverse side of this freedom to bear arms is the ability of deranged madmen to carry out this massacres. Not a week goes by without another high-profile shooting occurring somewhere in this country. On a smaller scale, such events occur in this country several times every day. If the unfettered right to acquire and own dozens of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition is so dear to so many people in this country, then stop pretending that mass massacres involving firearms are something out of the ordinary for America. It is exactly the reverse side of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. If most Americans got off their high horse and reasonably considered the solution to this problem, they would see that the only true solution is not to arm everyone, but to institute a much stricter *federal* control over the distribution and possession of the firearms. A system must be devised that would provide the right to own guns to the law-abiding citizens with sound minds, but that would absolutely bar criminals and/or mentally sick people from being able to acquire firearms via legal distribution channels. The perpetrator of the Arizona massacre was both criminal and crazy; yet, he was able to acquire the firearm and ammunition used in this massacre, using legal channels. So, the argument that criminals will always have access to guns by acquiring them on the black market does not apply in this case.

      January 14, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Dimitri

      The "Chechen terrorist attack on the theater" was just that – a terrorist attack, similar in it's nature to 911, though. Russian society is much safer than American (Unless you are a part of a mafia group and have stood someone up – run for cover!) In fact, I don't know of any other oxidental country where one's chances of being SHOT from a firearm on the street by a total stranger are so high. As a once Russian immigrant in the US, I also believe that American society is way too violent. It's, in part, is the result of the genetic make up of individuals comprising it, and, also, characterisitc of the PREVAILING ethical values of the society. Guns control or no guns control – American society will remain violent and vrutal in many other respects for years to come, untill true national values are seeded and take root. It starts with the education of children, by the way. Alas, 18th century values are no longe applicable.

      January 14, 2011 at 5:45 am |
    • Kevin

      but the "civilized" nation of Chechnya has a law that bans gun ownership. How does Anne reconcile that?

      The rationale that outlawing guns equals removal of guns from bad people is ludicrous thinking; however, it is the cornerstone of the Obama Administration's international policy. We'll take our nukes off the face of the earth and all of the other nations will now feel no threat so they will remove theirs. Where do these elitists go to school for this stuff? We can't keep 12 million illegal residents out of the country and track their whereabouts. And just how would we keep guns out?

      January 14, 2011 at 6:35 am |
      • chukcha1

        Since when, may I ask, Chechnya is civilized or is a nation? 🙂

        January 14, 2011 at 7:35 am |
      • Gaunt

        Very little of that is true.

        Obama's plan to reduce Nukes in paralell with Russia is incredibly forward thinking, NOBODY is talking about the US giving up its nukes unilaterally, so why would you make such a comment?

        Whether or not Chechnya has gun laws is irrelevant, seeking to make gun violence in the US seem small by comparing it only to war-torn impoverished third world states is absurd. Gun control laws, which exist in every single one of the US's first world peers, work resulting in lower (and usually FAR lower) murder rates. Or is it just a staggering coincidence that the US, the ONLY nation among its peers with liberal gun laws, also has by far the highest gun murder rate?

        Like most in the pocket of the gun lobbey, you invisage 'gun laws' as being the rmoval of guns. yet nations with MANY per capita firearms, yet strict gun control legislation (Like Switzerland and Canada) still manage to have a far lower gun murder rate than the US. Gun registration, liscencing, presentation of permits before purchasing munitions, restrictions on certain classes of firearms: all common sense laws the rest of the world has figured out.

        "Where do the 'elitists' go to school?" Rather than answer that, allow me to point out that I have always found the use and abuse of the word 'elitist' in US politics to be amusing. Essentially it is a term the uneducated use to describe the educated with the goal of making own lack of education seem like a good thing.

        January 14, 2011 at 7:53 am |
      • Read START

        Reducing our warhead count to 6,000 is hardly getting rid of all our warheads. Having 3 countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine) getting rid of all of their nukes is a START and both these fact completely contradict your statement. On a lighter note... I agree there is no way to control guns with stricter gun laws.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:02 am |
      • KTon

        Kevin-

        January 14, 2011 at 9:16 am |
      • TampaMike

        "it is the cornerstone of the Obama Administration's international policy". I doubt if the U.S. State Department, or anyone else would agree with that.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:35 am |
      • Grey, Atlanta

        I wish people who know little about a topic would reserve their opinion. Chechnya has been an all-out war zone since 1994. Prior to that, it was a lawless part of Russia for decades, going really rogue right before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russians and Chechens fought on opposite sides in the Caucasian War between 1817 and 1864. After that war, the Chechens continued to rebel against the Russian influence. As the Soviets were fighting the Nazis in the Caucasus during WWII, the Chechen gangs repeatedly staged attacks on the Red Army detachments and killed many soldiers and officers. Currently, the Chechen Republic is autocratically run by a former rebel leader who decided to ally himself with Putin. So, to even suggest that there has been any kind of gun control in Chechnya is ludicrous. Even during the Soviet regime, the government turned a blind eye to the fact that most Chechens owned guns, whereas most Russians would be given jail sentences for owning a gun.

        January 14, 2011 at 9:58 am |
      • Norm

        Wow kevin....you really have a hot nut for Anne.
        Did you two used to date at one time?
        LOL...

        January 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
      • jair123

        I'm sorry, guns do not equal nukes. Nor would I say that it is the cornerstone of the administration's policy. By your logic, the US, being lovers of freedom, should encourage all countries to obtain nuclear weapons to defend themselves against enemies. If this is your belief, then you should have absolutely no problem with certain countries nuclear ambitions. They have, after all, said they just want to defend themselves. The recent agreement that has caused a bit of right wing uproar is to 'reduce' the amount of nuclear weapons, not eliminate them. The current administration, as well as some conservatives, believe that we already have more than enough nuclear weapons, and would gladly part with some of them, in order to see Russia do the same. Less nuclear weapons in Russia is a good thing, considering my faith that they have 100% control over them is questionable. We have had more than a few snafu's related to nukes in recent years. God knows what is going on in Russia.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
      • you said what?

        what on earth does Obama have to do with this??? you have zero idea what the cornerstone of his international policy is..it is the far right and far left that are killing this country. I am so sick and tired of people listening to talking points and thinking that they have the world figured out while anyone who doesn't agree is the enemy. try reading and listening, to what you perceive as the other side, with an open mind for once. phrases like "liberal elite" and far right wing nut are starting to make me sick. For all the people who listen to the actors like beck and Palin if you would open you mind for a minute you would realize Obama is much closer to the center than the far left and the Bush administration advanced the reach of big government far more than Obama has... keep getting your brains washed by Beck and Palin.. but remember we are fighting a war against people who have also been brainwash by their spiritual and political leaders.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:05 am |
      • Yes, Kevin!!

        Keven's comments are spot on. Anne's are ludicrous. Kevin is a realist. Anne is a typical silly liberal elitist. Evil is REAL - you can't just "reason" it away, Annie, dear.

        January 14, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  187. Jim Larson

    Ironically, Sitov was only there because many of Russia's real journalists have been murdered by Russian government thugs. On the flip side, violence is as American as apple pie, something we have in common with the Russians.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • Grey, Atlanta

      Yeah, Russians make excellent apple pies.

      January 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  188. Kyle

    Violence is never ever acceptable... unless you have something the USA wants or needs, like oil, then we will go to war. Also the values that built the USA had no violence what so ever, such has the settler colonies and natives, or the civil war... just all a miss understanding.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  189. Kevin

    This russian reporter should be banned from press conferences and tossed out of the country.

    He has no right to talk about such things in the US when the murder rate in Russia is 4.71 time that in the US.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  190. Mark

    Anne is correct. America is one of the most dangerous countries on earth. I don't remember the last time I seen a TV show without murder in it. I think it's ridiculous for CNN and other news sources to sensor what we can see. Are we to young and innocent to see this whole video ?

    January 14, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  191. musings

    I think the most secure American would respond this way, "I understand your disgust at this terrible act. It is a human tragedy and the human family cannot help but respond in various ways, depending on one's background. Here is America we understand there is a tension where freedom and security can sometimes clash. But we err on the side of freedom, and Russian has historically erred on the side of security. Both countries have problems. Neither is fit to preach to the other."

    January 14, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  192. Observer

    There are certain things that we need to really examine. While we ensured that the Nazi party did not exist in Germany after WWII, we allow Neo-Nazis, the KKK, anti-government folk, etc., to exist in this country under the various "Freedom of..." ammendments. These are all organizations that plant hate. Same with the right to bear arms. I think we should consider ammending our Constitution to fit in with the changing times.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  193. Sam

    I don't agree with Sitov that, ""freedom" of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American." That is not American, but what is American is freedom to express your mind (deranged or not) without persecution form the government, unless you commit a violent crime. Unlike the Russian government where they have reporters killed who expose corruption and lies in their government. The one thing I do agree with is that we do pay for our freedom. Freedom is not free, but as Americans we are willing to pay that price in order to have the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. We've even spilled our blood for the freedom of other countries. Ultimately in this sad situation we are talking about the acts of a mad man and it has nothing to do with anything logical, thoughtful or political. Russia has also had its fill of madmen from serial killers like Andrei Chikatilo to Stalin. Yes, Stalin, who murdered millions and imprisoned millions who wanted freedom to think and express themselves. Mr. Sitov you are an idiot and it would suit you best to keep your mouth shut at the next press conference.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  194. Mark

    Adults have a right to own and fire guns. Children, as this boy is, do not have the same right. His death is the total responsibility of his father.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  195. musings

    I think the most secure American would respond this way: "I understand your disgust at this terrible act. It is a human tragedy and the human family cannot help but respond in various ways, depending on one's background. Here in America, we understand the tension between freedom and security. But we err on the side of freedom, while Russia has historically erred on the side of security. Both countries have problems with their own dominant approach. Neither is fit to preach to the other. Thank you for your concerns, however. They are duly noted."

    January 14, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  196. Mike

    The Russians have their share of psychos of every sort and kind. A certain Chikatilo comes to mind from on top of my head.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  197. Troy

    Russians don't quite get the concept that a lone madman can act out in such a violent manner taking a handful of lives in a brief moment. Russians are much more accustomed to the kind of madmen who control the government and over the course of years systematically execute millions of people.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  198. Victor

    Gibbs grilled by Russian reporter... That's unusal.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  199. Marc

    Also Oklahoma City Bombing if you wanted a homegrown terror example in the U.S..

    January 14, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  200. Mike

    Reading the transcript of the exchange, I thought the Russian journalist asked a perfectly valid question that should be considered on its merit rather than trying to qualify it with any opinions we have of the Russian state, past or present. Yes, many countries have experienced gun-related tragedy, but America leads the western "developed" world with gun crime and the suggestion that we should take heart from the number of gun owners who DON'T shoot people is – apart from anything else – statistically invalid. There is little doubt that the sheer number of guns in circulation and the relative ease of gaining access to them, is a major problem in this country. Yes, of course, if a criminal really wants a gun they can get hold of one, but in most developed countries, a student or someone with mental health problems, would find it extremely difficult to obtain a firearm. As for the idea that the best way of countering this is to get MORE people to carry firearms – for their own protection – this is almost tragically funny in and of itself.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:32 am |
  201. publius enigma

    Like russia never has any gangsters, terrorists, or just plain nuts?

    January 14, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  202. Marcel

    Of course, in Russia, there are no deranged murderers, no serial killers, no rapists, and no political dissent. However I do agree that for whatever reason there is, in general, as demonstrated by crime statistics, a lack of respect for law and human life. However, if you live in a police state, of course there is less instances of these types of crimes.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:38 am |
  203. Ugo

    Sitov is crazy. Ask him how the Russian government closed their eyes and so many blacks in Russia where killed by skin heads in the late 90s and early 2000s. And they are still maiming people now there. I know how many students died in Moscow and Petersburg. As a student in Russia I was subjected to a psychological trauma of always being alert even in the midst of people because I am scared some group of people were going to rush me and beat me up. I was attacked 3 times, God saved me. I am happy that I am no more in that hell. Sitov should be crazy to mention this at a time when the nation is mourning the loss of human lives.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  204. Sam

    For Mr. Gibbs to state so categorically that "violence is never, ever" the right answer while the United States is engaged in a foreign war that has resulted in thousands of lost lives on all sides is blindly hypocritical. It's a conflict of statements that must be faced in a developed society with a true ideal of peace. That is, if we assume that our ideal society would be a peaceful one, and that this ideal society is one we all seek. There may be a fundamental belief in our country if not the world that human beings are incapable of true peace. A cynical outlook on violence such as Mr. Gibbs' is perhaps a symptom of such a belief.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  205. Rickss44

    Has anyone told this poor soul that his Country has a significantly much higher murder rate than the US? And that is just for the murders that are reported!

    January 14, 2011 at 12:53 am |
  206. wizechatmgr

    If they really want to stir up tensions, all I can say is "Not one step back"...

    The reporter has an honest question, but the timing totally sucked.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  207. George

    To not allow the question would be hypocritical of the very freedoms we support.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  208. Kathie

    Well I think his question was reasonable. Our country first of all does allow deranged madmen to have access to guns, and secondly, with the way mental health and social services have been gutted, fails to provide the safeguards we need. So yes, in a way this failure is directly related to the values of our country. I hope those particular things might change.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  209. Wm. McCall

    Gibbs said, "Violence is never acceptable," yet every day our country kills innocent people in Afghanisan via drone strikes excusing those innocents killed by saying the ratio of those compared to the Taliban killed is acceptable. What hypocracy!

    January 14, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  210. Scott

    Just like one deranged man in Arizona should not be considered representative of all Americans, neither should Sitov's crass question color Americans' opinion of all Russians. Americans, Russians, and people throughout the world have far more in common than we have dividing us.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  211. Star Trek IV: The Quest for Whales

    There are several things I will never understand about the gun advocates and their ideologies in this country. The first one is why are people against requiring a psychiatric evaluation before allowing gun ownership? I personally feel that it should be required, just as much as I feel that an individual should have to attend a gun safety and proper use course. I personally don't care for firearms, and I wish they were illegal, however, if we are to have them and allow them, why is it so taboo to advocate gun education and screening as part of obtaining them? It in no way restricts a healthy individual from obtaining them, and it would be educational for all those irresponsible individuals in the country who just want to pack a glock.

    The second thing is why is it so hard to make the ownership of working assault rifles and automatic weapons illegal? There is simply no purpose to their legality in working order. Thankfully automatic weapons are illegal, but why are assault rifles not? A good example is the AR-15, which is just the semi-automatic version of the M-16. I can understand collecting them (mind you, preferably not in working order), but aside from that can you really justify a purpose? For home defense, a hand gun is better due to the close quarters environment, as well as the low penetration of standard civilian rounds (due to the lack of a full metal jacket). For hunting, a normal bolt action rifle would be superior due to the accuracy of the closed chamber. So if such is the case, what justification is there for owning a working order 5.56 Nato round expending assault rifle? The same case could easily be made against a modified semi-auto AK-47 with the worse 7.62 round. Even a Barrett .50 cal. rifle is legal for purchase these days to civilians. What justification is there for its legality? Its a .50 cal... If used in hunting, the kinetic energy would cause the round to shred your kill. Yes, the argument could be made that at a proper distance, it wouldn't.. but if you owned one, would you really be doing that?

    The only justifiable argument I can see being made about their civilian legal status is that allowing ownership would act as a deterrent to the potential rise of a dictatorship in this country, or possibly for homeland defense purposes (as in, if another country invades, not the governmental department). If such is the case to be made, then why not allow their legality to be under the condition of membership an organized militia only?The solution would not only address the concerns of the paranoid but would also mean that military grade armament would only be in the hands of responsible individuals charged with protecting the freedoms and safety of the populous, such as the armed forces, the various police organizations and then local, trained and disciplined militias. Frankly, I feel militias are extremely out date as asymmetrical warfare tactics have forever changed the nature of forced societal suppression and war in general.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:21 am |
  212. Sally Li

    The Russian reporter was right. Statements which are very right can elicit just as heated a reaction as statements which are very wrong. What the Russian reporter was implying is that in America, freedom is too egalitarian. In other words, maybe the freedom of the entire society is endangered by the fact that certain individuals who are not well-suited to sharing in these freedoms are automatically given that right, along with people who are rightfully entitled to freedom in every way. This may have nothing to do with what happened in Arizona, however. I think the Russian reporter may have also offended the other reporters by strongly implying that this type of crime is a uniquely American phenomenon, and in that he is generally right too. The Russians frequently offer good advice to America which is overlooked. Lenin: "The British will conquer themselves to death, the Germans will war themselves to death, the French will drink themselves to death, and the Americans will spend themselves to death." Tass News Agency, around 1970: "America goes to the far corners of the world, giving out foreign aid, and forging military alliances, and getting involved in wars in places like Vietnam, against its interests. But America should pay closer attention to its relations with Canada and Mexico." In the early 1960's, Krushchev told the American people, "We will bury you!" And he was right. In the 1990's the archives of the KGB were opened and declassified by the Russian government, and they told the story of how Communist agents systematically subverted and weakened American public education and higher education. Communism may have fallen in Europe when they tore down the Berlin Wall – but Americans are still struggling with the powerful aftereffects of it right here. We are buried by both the unsustainable expense and the internationally embarrassing failure of our public education white elephant, which is sitting right on top of us, and won't budge.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  213. Ostenrt

    It surprises me that he would point to this event as an indictment of the freedom to bear arms as opposed to the freedom of people exhibiting mental disorders to live under normal conditions in society. This to me is the issue that deserves the more serious debate.

    As an American who is greatly worried about the direction of our society, I would have asked the press secretary if perhaps the citizens of the United States don't enjoy too much freedom to be mentally ill without consequences (i.e. mandatory treatment and/or incarceration). Look at the streets of America and all the people that call them their homes. I don't believe any human being would prefer to live like an animal rather than have a home, a job, and a family. The problem is that most of them are stuck in that existence because of psychological problems that cannot be solved without taking away their freedoms for a considerable period of time.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  214. Gordon Campbell

    Of course the Russians want American gun control. As it stands now, they have no idea how many American citizens are armed and would defend themselves and this country. Let's keep 'em guessing.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:37 am |
  215. Andy

    The Russians are going to preach to us about gun control? Where does the Russian mob get all its guns? The control over there stopping that? If someone is going to kill another human being (in my opinion the gravest of all crimes), they are willing to break gun control laws.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  216. John Toradze

    I think that this was a language and culture translation issue. Russians are often very blunt when talking. And a turn of phrase that works well in Russian doesn't always work when translated into English. And the reverse is true also, which is something not appreciated by Americans. Russians hear Americans speak translated into Russian and it sometimes comes off quite differently.

    We should also remember that Russians are far more familiar with death and political violence than we are. They have had members of parliament machine gunned to death in broad daylight on the streets of Moscow.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:39 am |
  217. Kissinger

    The point raised here is that where does individual rights end and public interest takes precedence.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:41 am |
  218. neil

    The comments from this Russian reporter reflect a real confusion shared around the globe about the United States. It is important to note that statistically speaking the global population loves Americans, that is the people. The United States government on the other hand is loathed internationally as a leading contributor to terrorism. So when Gibbs says:

    "No, no, I would disagree vehemently with that. There are – there is nothing in the values of our country, there's nothing on the many laws on our books that would provide for somebody to impugn and impede on the very freedoms that you began with by exercising the actions that that individual took on that day. That is not American."

    He is right, Americans as people share those values overwhelmingly and international opinion understands that. What the global perspective doesn't understand is how American foreign policy can run so completely counter to the values of the people it represents.

    It's shocking that someone actually asked the question because that is the supreme sin, to question American power on anything, so not surprisingly the above article mocks the reporter rather than trying to explore the origin of the question.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  219. Tim

    If that's the kind of logic that prevails in the Russian political state, it explains a lot.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:47 am |
  220. TomC

    I agree with #1, except I believe they meant to say it differently. I'd say that the Russian journalist was trying to persuade the Obama Administration to go into "warp drive", beyond their socialist galaxy and straight into communism! Only Gibbs didn't want to address the elephant in the room, so he ended the briefing. As #1 meant to say, dems aren't used to someone coming from this side of the liberal extreme.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  221. ray

    Is this Russian journalist completly forgetting the tragedy in his own country when a school was raided and children were held hostage and shot and killed... by deranged militia men? People in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones. I wish just one reporter had had the stones to ask him about the atrocities that happen in his homeland, even with the strick government who denies freedom of speech to many of its citizens,

    January 14, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  222. mjpro

    The point in question is ridiculous... What about school shootings in Germany? Repeating incidents of school children being stabbed to death in China, and Japan. There are psychotic serial killers from England, Russia, South Africa and numerous countries all around the globe. Insane and psychotic behavior isn't the product of a free and open society. It's in every corner or the globe and always has been.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:50 am |
  223. vergil

    to the Hapkido master. Hey you, or yo, whatever you prefer, paranoya is right there, in your guts! Why do you need all that shit, unless you are scared to death? Guns and black belts don't make people safe, the mere fact that people resort to that means that they are deranged and scared and VERY dengerously so. You have created your own nightmare – I trully hope one day youll wake up and realize that low kicks or an uzi won't do you much good. Otherwise you may very well end up killing a friend or your own blood. Jeezz, what a bunch of sad old men live in this good country... God help you.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:58 am |
  224. Nikolaiovich

    It´s probably easy for Americans to dismiss his comments because he was a Russian journalist - but there is still an undeniable thread of truth to what he says. Americans love their guns - and Americans regard gun ownership as their legal birth right - so big surprise that there are so many shootings that occur and so much run-related violence in the US. The journalists say what most of Europe has been saying and thinking for some time. At what point do Americans re-consider the ease with which you can obtain a fire arm? From the outside, this seems like a HUGE disconnect for most Americans.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:59 am |
  225. Mike

    Anne's right – the Russian's timing might have been bad and his motives questionable, but the reality is that the rest of the world is asking why Americans don't have the political will to address the scourge of violence that is aided and magnified by guns. Guns might not kill without a human at the trigger, but neither do cars – and yet that doesn't stop us from requiring the licensing of fully 100% of drivers, insurance, police monitoring of roadways, increasingly strict requirements for safety, loss of driving privileges for failing to observe a system of rules and regulations ... and I don't think the trend is to loosen these restrictions either. We're allowing doctrinal adherence to an outdated principle of gun freedoms to kill 30,000 Americans every year, 1 million since the assassination of King and Robert Kennedy. A 9 year old girl died on Saturday – tragically just one of the children under 14 who dies from a firearm related injury every day. Just who are you protecting, anyway? I wonder if you'd be equally willing to hand out keys to 18 wheel trucks with the same disregard for public safety as guns are sold today.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:59 am |
    • Grey, Atlanta

      In America, driving is a privilege, but gun ownership is a Constitutional right. Shouldn't these two have at least the same status? You can do fine in life without ever owning a gun, but it is almost impossible to make a living in this country without being able to drive unless you live in NYC, Boston or San Francisco.

      It is rather strange that the same people who object to universal access to medical care being a fundamental human right insist on gun ownership remaining the second most important right after the freedom of speech. Perhaps if medical care were free in this country, these nuts could get psychiatric help, and we could finally advance to the 21st century with the rest of the civilized world!

      January 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  226. Sandra

    Another example of the United States' arrogance.... want to have our cake and eat it, too. Face it, we are not the epitome of freedom.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:02 am |
  227. Jay

    Guns are for wusses. Plain and simple.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  228. Noname

    russians are asking to get their asses kicked

    January 14, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  229. me

    Russia should fix it's own moral issues first before teaching other countries. The skin heads and ultra nationalists are killing innocent russian citizens every day on the streets of Moscow and other cities just because they look a little different and Putin praises them.

    Come think, Russia teaches morale to US...

    January 14, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  230. CaptainHindsight

    The timing is tactless and he was obviously being a jerk about, but stricter gun control laws? Sure – we need to keep them out of the hands of the mentally unstable, but we can't even keep them out of the hands of criminals. Is there link to a broken mental heath system and the violence we are currently experiencing – yes. A lot of the "major" events of violence involving guns (Virginia Tech and this one off the top of my head) involve people with known mental issues within their environment and a breakdown further along the chain in ensuring they get needed care and monitoring. They fall into cracks, into gun stores and onto the front pages of newspapers.

    Now can we just declare him a person non-grata and ship him back to Russia? He'll get a hero's welcome talking smack to the USA, but from what I've been reading Russia is having what amounts to open season on journalists. Let's see how he feels speaking "obvious" truth to power in that locale.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  231. observer

    What about the Russian cop who shot and killed all those people in a supermarket last year?

    January 14, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  232. kcschaller

    He sort of hit the nail on the head, though, didn't he. If Europe had America's gun laws, the would be shooting each other left and right. They don't, thank God.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  233. David

    A Russian state media reporter lecturing America about freedoms. Cute. Very cute.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  234. Brian

    "The tense exchange began with Sitov, whose news agency is state-controlled,".....

    And our news agencies are business controlled. That's why they are superficial and dominated by commercials.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  235. Justus631

    Yeah, right, gun-people ... how many accidental shooting-deaths are there in the US each year? Compare to Europe...
    And please don't tell me all of those involve people who do not know how to handle their weapons.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  236. Rhett

    What a dumb Russian. Violence is endemic in Russia. Mafia contract killings are commonplace, but of course the Russian state-influenced news agency doesn't acknowledge it. Independent journalists are endangered species there. Even some of the local yokels are aggressive and potentially violent. I've been to St. Petersburg and I feel about as comfortable walking in most parts of that city at night as North Philadelphia.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  237. Sir Craig

    Really? Like Russia has never had lunatics in its entire history (especially when it was the head of the Soviet Union)? This imbecile dares to speak about the "dangers" of freedoms, when his own country's history has just as many, if not more, ghastly tales of horror at the hands of madmen?

    I blame a serious language and cultural barrier here. Go home and think about what it is you are trying to say, Andrei.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  238. Paul Renfroe

    And how many businessmen and journalists have been gunned down and bombed in assassinations in Moscow?? The gall of this Andrei Sitov to throw stones from his own glass house.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  239. Sir Craig

    "Your comment is awaiting moderation."

    Why do I even bother to try?

    January 14, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  240. Themagicrat

    @B.A.
    You list 7 different forms of self-defense plus gun ownership "to comfort me in times of stress" as you put it. I Where the hell do you live? And where the hell do you find time for anything else in your live, such as a job and family? I don't even feel like I live in the same country as you, and I live in the N.Y.C. metropolitan area, which has to rank up there in the national crime rates per region. You are exactly the profile I would be waiting for to walk into the neighborhood bar or community college and start blazing away. The sad part is that you have no idea. I know people like you. You are waiting for that apocalyptic time when the rest of us rely on you to protect us and you can say " I told you so." And when you finally realize that time may never come, you seek to create it yourself. I hope the local authorities have you on their radar.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:40 am |
  241. Gaunt

    A few facts, firstly regarding the debate, then the article.

    Firstly, the reality is that if you compare first world peers, the US has between 2 and 5 times the murder rate of its equivalent first world nations. Period. ALL of those nations have strict gun laws, and all seem to manage to have vastly fewer gun deaths per capita than the US. Now gun supporters can claim that this is just a massive coincidence if they like, but that is just wanton denial.

    Furthermore, if you compare the murder rates of the US with, say, Canada and Germany, and then break those murders down by Method, you find that the per capita rates for murder by stabbing, bludgeoning, and other means are almost identical in all three countries, while the murder rate by firearm is astranomically higher in the US. Another huge coincidence?

    I'm not preaching here, the US has chosen to have guns widely available, and that is their right, of course. But as a nation you need to stop pretending that such choices do not have consequences.

    On the other side of the coin, you know who DOES have a vastly higher murder rate than the US? Like, over three times higher? Thats right, Russia. One of the most violent countries in the northern hemisphere, and those Stats EXCLUDE killings caused by their low grade wars in Chechnya and Dagestan. Russia is the world centre for neo-Nazi activity (St Petersburg in particular) and has had quite a few high profile serial killers arrested in recent years. In every imaginable way, according to every metric you can think of, Russia is an enormously more violent and murderous state than the US, and WITHOUT all the freedoms and legal protections.

    Perhaps Gibbs should have reminded the Russian reporter of that...

    January 14, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  242. btb

    Why is it whenever someone from another country suggests a different way of looking at things people are so quick to tell them to butt out and look at their own problems at home? A fresh perspective can be enlightening.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  243. Lux Ferre

    How funny ... a Russian journalist essentially questioning the "quality" of American freedom. That's like a journalist from a police state like Singapore questioning the quality of Jamaican weed. Russians don't even have a context to ask questions about freedom. America may not be the country with the most freedom in the world. But there is certainly a hell of a lot more freedom in America than there is in Russia. Just ask the people of Chechnaya, Ingushetia, or Dagestan, three regions which want to secede from Russia as to how much they value the oxymoron "Russian freedom."

    January 14, 2011 at 2:50 am |
  244. cogadh

    So let's recap Sitov's point: people got killed because a MADMAN had relatively easy access to a gun, so now we should restrict guns more. What if he went on his rampage with a knife, should we restrict those too? How about a baseball bat? A crowbar? An axe? His fists? The guy was insane and very driven; it wouldn't matter if he couldn't get a gun, he still would have found a way to commit some kind of violently murderous act, perhaps an even worse one than he did. At least he didn't get on the internet and find out how to make a bomb out of household chemicals... of course then instead of talking about gun control, Sitov would probably criticize freedom of speech.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:52 am |
  245. Greg

    While tactless, the reporter was right. This is the price we pay for having freedom. But don't kid yourselves if you think taking a gun away is going to prevent a mass killing. What's going to stop the next nut from driving his car into a crowd of people?
    America, my home, is trying to put logic around an illogical act. You can't stop people from going crazy or evil and taking advantage of our freedoms for horrible things. Again, it's the price we pay. God bless America.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  246. Mark5

    Well, you know, he is right about the cost of freedom. Anything of value comes with a price. If we are to measure things by the deaths they cause, then let us look to the automobile. Tens of thousands of people are killed and seriously injured on North American highways each year. The cost in human life and property is staggering. Many more people killed and injured than with guns. Yet we keep driving because we are willing to pay that price because of what the automobile brings us. The same can be said with guns. Most people ignore the fact that guns helped win our freedom and still keep us free to this day. And in the right hands, keep us safe. In Canada in 1995, the former Liberal government did exactly what Mr. Sitov suggested and brought in a draconian gun control act that pretty well destroyed the rights of gun owning Canadian citizens. Threats of ten years imprisonment were used by the former Liberal government to force Canadians into compliance. Many resisted and the fight continues to this day. So the choice is a totalitarian type of government and state or a country where people can live freely. And we all know that totalitarian governments and states also exact a very steep price on their people. Give me freedom any day.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  247. Andrew

    The truth hurts.The Russian is right.It does not take a genius to see this.It also does not take a genius to know that sadly,this type of thing will happen another dozen times before anybody decides to do anything about it.A psychopath aquires a firearm legally,and is not checked or challenged in any way,and proceeds to shoot up a crowded area with innocent civilians present.People are blaming this on a madman and they are right,but ask yourself the question.Who allowed the gun to get into this mans hands?.....And how easy is it for this to happen again?

    January 14, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  248. bozo

    well, you can't even own a pistol in russia.. what's with personal freedom there?? Guy must be worried about his job back tthere..

    January 14, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  249. Brian

    In other words, Gibbs couldn't answer the question.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  250. CNN=corporate non-news

    Well, the guy is right. It's just that his timing is bad.

    This country has needed stricter gun controls for decades. Our politicians wet themselves every time the NRA goes after them.

    The problem is not the politicians, it is the special interests that get in the way of this country progressing on certain issues.

    Get rid of K-Street. Public financing of campaigns only. Problem solved.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  251. Sean

    The same thing happens in Russia, more often than in the United States, and they have zero (0) freedoms in Russia. Other than a typical response from a clueless foreigner, I don't see the Russian reporter's point.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:32 am |
  252. Nikolaiovich

    It´s probably easy for Americans to dismiss his comments because he was a Russian journalist – but there is still an undeniable thread of truth to what he says. Americans love their guns – and Americans regard gun ownership as their legal birth right – so big surprise that there are so many shootings that occur and so much run-related violence in the US. The journalists say what most of Europe has been saying and thinking for some time. At what point do Americans re-consider the ease with which you can obtain a fire arm? From the outside, this seems like a HUGE disconnect for most Americans.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  253. AnnihalateAllDemsAndLibs

    getta gun!

    January 14, 2011 at 3:53 am |
  254. JHaas

    Typical of someone who grew up in a mono-ideological country where intellectual diversity and free information are seen as a threat to the established order. As someone who grew up in France it took me several decades to understand America and realize that European soft tyranny is not the norm which the whole world should submit to. Unfortunately, our ruling elites have a vital interest in making sure that we don't understand America because otherwise we'd start wanting what Americans have.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:54 am |
  255. arch

    If a person wants a gun they can get one. I hear all the talk about how did this kid get a gun, etc. He didn't do anything wrong when he purchased the gun. His record was clean. This tragic event could have been done with a knife and had just about the same results. If that happened do we take away all the knifes for sell. It is hard to prevent something like this from happening. There should have been better protection at the site, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have happened. Maybe there would have been less people hurt, but it would have still happened to some point. Our biggest problem is not the guns, but the fact that our mental illness awareness is at the bottom on the bowl! Just think what would have happened if Pima CC would have arrested this young man and taken him to the hospital for evaluation! It is the old thought, "what if", but doing stuff like that can make a difference. We do have in this state a provision that gives the police or family the right to have a person committed for evaluation for 72hrs. Maybe if that would have happened the doctors would have been able to see that this kid needed serious help. It is not just Arizona. It is all states. There are a lot worse than Arizona. None of them are good and there seems to be no big effort in making them better. Look at the healthcare bill. How much paper is devoted to mental health issues! It would be so nice if the media and political types would keep their mouths shut when something like this happens. Let the local police do their jobs. Wait till all the facts are in before making decisions. Most of the time these idiots from the media and politics are wrong, but they never admit to it, they just change the subject or say that that wasn't what they meant. I hear all this talk about this kid is a "nut case" or a loon, loose cannon, etc.... It goes on and on. Someone, without proof, made a comment about this kid being beaten during his life by his drunken Dad, day in day out! His source was one of this young man's former friends. We don't need crap like this said. All these families, including the suspect's, are hurting badly. They don't need to hear this crap. Let them grieve in peace. As for the suspect he is not a loon,crazy freak,nut case..., he is a young man that has severe mental health issues that fell through the cracks. The word "if" is a very powerful word. Just think; if he would have been helped when he needed it we might not be talking about this tragic event. We might be talking about what a beautiful day it is here in Tucson. Instead we are mourning the deaths of six people including the nine year old young lady. It would be nice if our congress would put some efforts behind addressing issues related to mental health care and not about stopping the sell of guns or restricting what kind you can have. God bless all the souls that have been touched by this tragedy.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:10 am |
  256. MediciSpikes

    The question may have come from a Russian, but it was legitimate all the same. The second amendment at best says only that states have the right to have an armed militia, which today is an armed National Guard. Regardless of what the Supreme Court or the NRA say it does not give the right to every American to carry hand guns of any kind let alone semi-automatic near military grade weaponry.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:46 am |
  257. Franco

    This journalist, evedently is doing propaganda for PUTIN. I am not American myself, but there is not worst country than Russia, which is killing it owns journalist if they talk against Putin, is using mercurium and radioactiv materials to kill people talking against them, hitting Russians who are not blonds and blue eyed in the street, sentencing a bussiness man two times for the same crime, in order to restrcit him the possibility to be a candidate against Putin.
    America might have problems, but I whitnessed that it is a country which tries hard to respect the voice of law and its constitution.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:54 am |
  258. Franco

    Adding to my former point, AMERICA SHOULD DISCUSS PUBLICLY THE RIGHT TO BUY WEAPONS AND ARMS. So many people can go to the shop and buy a revolver. We are not in the 19th Century when you needed to defend yourself, for that we must try to build stronger institutions, but never the less I respect the law and the constitution of this country and that is beautiful that people here do the same

    January 14, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  259. Sean

    The Russian reporter also referenced several other politicians who have had their lives taken or attempted to be taken. But answer me something how many lives of the citizens has Russia taken (formerly USSR)? What he doesn't realize is that the right to bear arms and protect ourselves is a freedom we are BORN with to ensure that the people remain in power. Through out history more people have been killed by their own governments than in all the foreign wars put together. I'd rather live with the risk of a political assasination than live with the fear that the goverment will steal me away in the middle of the night. One more thought then I'm done, if someone wants to kill they will. England (where guns are illegal) is now having rampant problems with knife violence and young men are being warned not to be caught carrying a knife, where does it stop people?

    January 14, 2011 at 4:59 am |
  260. Ross

    The Rusky is essentially correct. The world outside America sees clearly that your gun owning freedoms lead directly to the regular massacres you experience.

    January 14, 2011 at 5:15 am |
  261. ttttt

    If u find our constution "out of date" just go away

    January 14, 2011 at 5:33 am |
  262. College Grad

    It was obvious that the person commenting knew the question involved a Russian reporter and that he was not part of the US media. Your failure to comprehend the statement is indicative of the problem. You are rambling without thinking, the implication was that the US media never asks tough questions, they lack the guts to ask truly difficult question that probably need to be asked.

    January 14, 2011 at 5:53 am |
  263. matt

    A Russian lecturing us on American freedoms, you can't make that stuff up.

    January 14, 2011 at 5:58 am |
  264. regertz

    Sitov made his point...He has a right to do so. Gibbs defended as he should. The slightly foolish thing is that someone asked Sitov if America should go "communist". Since Russia is no longer Communist that was a silly remark...Far better to have asked if Sitov was concerned about the rise of authoritarianism and fascist thug groups suppressing Russian freedom and the murder of crusading reporters.

    January 14, 2011 at 6:08 am |
    • Alex

      Why Jared complained that people in his neighborhood are illiterate?

      January 14, 2011 at 7:28 am |
    • DaveLacksNYUSA

      Yeah, Putin surely isn't a communist, is he?

      January 14, 2011 at 7:39 am |
      • Yeppers

        Putin is an imperialist, if you delve deep into his past actions. If he had the chance, I do believe he would bring back the Czars with himself as the first one. Of course, the Romanov heirs still alive in Florida might be a bit upset about it...

        January 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Horsie

      Not commie? Is it walks like a bear, it talks like a bear, and it looks like a bear. It's still a bear dipsh;t!

      January 14, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • Sage

      regertz, you wrote the best post here! I believe the reporter by asking Sitov about "advocating Communism" was channeling the inner Sarah Palin 😉

      But on a serious note, isn't is sad when America can no longer eloguently deliver its points? it was Ben Franklin who said "Anything that starts with hate, ends in shame". I think many Americans should examine the true motivations behind their words and actions...

      January 14, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  265. Reggie

    But in Russia, do you call it the "unfreedom" of the deranged mind to take theaters hostage and bomb apartment buildings?- to react violently to that, it is also Russian.

    January 14, 2011 at 6:30 am |
  266. Jim

    I think both sides have good points but about the gun control issue but, what if one person trained with a pistol was there how many would have died then? The real issue is the US failure to control or help people with mental issues, it seems everyone knew this boy was crazy but no one helped him or tried to help him, why? By far I'm not saying he's the victim but this might have been stopped. I also love the English majors who are too worried about spelling and grammar then what was posted by someone.

    January 14, 2011 at 6:33 am |
  267. Cyrious

    Civilized Russian intellect towards saving Kursk submariners and hostages during the Moscow theatre siege?. Russian freedom towards Chechnya or South Ossetia?. If the world wants civility by limiting freedom. We will all have to look to China for human rights.. The irony of dumb questions..

    January 14, 2011 at 6:34 am |
  268. Hoofleau

    Andrei Sitov is bad. Robert Gibbs is good!

    January 14, 2011 at 6:36 am |
  269. Aaron

    As Americans we are and always should be ready to pay the price of freedom. That means that sometimes lives will be lost.

    January 14, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  270. Mary

    Much better to repress free speech. This way there's plenty of time to get trashed!! Cheers Russia!!

    January 14, 2011 at 6:45 am |
  271. jme0598

    AWWW... Poor little Gibbs.... if you can't stand the heat get out of the fire. The journalist is correct of course. Americans feel it is their god given right to reacte with violence to anything they don't approve of which is why as part of living in America, as an American who was born here, I've been treated in an inhumane manner most of my life by a culture filled with a bunch of people who are both arrogant and stupid- a problem which continues to this day. Too bad you lose!

    January 14, 2011 at 6:47 am |
  272. Mike

    This is a clear indicator that the oil prices went up... and by the way, why is it the author misspells the last name for this Russian reporter, Andrey Shitov as Andrey Sitov. This is not a joke his last name is Shitov...

    January 14, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  273. jme0598

    OHH..Gibbs you me violence is never acceptable the way I've been sexually assualted multiple times, bullied, beaten whatever and each time I complained aftewards I was told that it was perfectly fine for me to be treated this way because I deserved it? LIAR!

    January 14, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  274. c

    They should have tossed him out on his ear. Russia is reprehensible in how it treats ordinary citizens AND the mentally ill.
    Youtube "The Soviet Story" is a good example. Instead of torture, brutality and murder being unconsciable, it is there way of control. What a jerk. Good for Mr. Gibbs. Great way to leave a job. 🙂

    January 14, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  275. The Watcher

    Wow, this exchange was very curious. It's as if the NRA was sponsoring this tundra turd to scare the Americans. If this Borsch Bear feels we should turn in our guns to be safe, he must not feel safe in our country. I would hope they would send him home to his safe place. In my view, owning a gun and being safe are two different issues. I do believe we all have a right to own weapons. I am confused as to what the limits to that right are, however. Can we own automatic weapons up to any caliber or is their a limit? Can we own other types of weapons such as swords, knives, bombs, bioweapons, etc.? What is the limit and why is there a limit? As for our scared russian visitor, tell him to duck and run. Wow, I hope this wasn't a state sponsored comment from him or we are heading back to the cold war for sure.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:00 am |
  276. PCGeezer

    America is the murder and mass murder capital of the world.

    In the US, there are roughly 17,000 murders a year, of which about 15,000 are committed with firearms. By contrast, Britain, Australia and Canada combined see fewer than 350 gun-related murders each year.

    Keep denying America...

    January 14, 2011 at 7:04 am |
    • c

      DENY..... mass murder.... see Russia. 7 MILLION Ukrainians murdered in 1 YEAR. 11 MILLION in 2. Starved to death on purpose. THAT is mass murder.

      January 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  277. Kevin Mahoney

    The RUSSIAN MOB owns 80% of all Russian real estate. Do you think they have any guns, idiot? How many reporters have been killed by your own government? Hundreds. Killed for stating facts? We have a few people killed in a freak accident and you want us to embrace communism? 80% of all Russian real estate is owned by the russian mob, and now they are branching out to other countries. Idiot.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:07 am |
  278. Guest123

    Gibbs inability effectively to handle offensively presented question shows his professional incompetence. I'm sure that President Obama will do it much better: he would be excellent press secretary – much better then President.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  279. Sharp

    What this foreigner doesn't realize is that our Constitution & especially our Bill of Rights are the most radically liberal concepts ever made into a government. Other governments (particularly Russia) pay lip service to our ideals but NONE can measure up. We have great freedoms & also great responsibilities. Sometimes abuses of our freedoms, like now, happen in a society of fallible human beings. For all our shortcomings America is still the best there is.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  280. josh

    There will always be a problem of dereanged people getting their hands on guns whether they do legally or not. The screening process needs improved beyond a doubt. But, it will never be perfect. The problem here is when someone has a mental break, there usually no way to know until after they commit a crime. You can't predict that type of thing. We could have the most strict gun laws in the world and they wouldn't keep something like this from happening. I'm just glad that we have brave people like the ones who tackled the guy and kept him from doing more damage.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  281. crimeorfreedom

    ...And the moscow subway attacks were due to lax bomb control laws?

    January 14, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  282. misha

    The Constitutional provision for the "right to... a well armed militia" has been twisted by our Republican courts and the gun lobby into a distorted social policy that has placed millions of guns into the country, and made the country a sewer pit of violence due to the proliferation of cheap handguns. The problem as well is, once you open the door and allow the termites in, you cannot then start a campaign to eradicate them. The efforts to restrict guns should have started many years ago.

    First world countries that have strict gun control have a much, much lower incidence of violence and homicide. That is just a fact. We have such high levels of violence due in large part to the proliferation of handguns, as well to the general sensibility among many citizens that disputes or personal transgressions are to be settled with handguns.

    The gun lobby doesn't want more freedoms; it wants only more gun sales and more money.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:29 am |
  283. Horsie

    Fukk this commie and his irrelevant country. If Helen Thomas were still there she would have stabbed that guy in the throat!!

    January 14, 2011 at 7:44 am |
  284. Chedar

    Kevin, You are Ok to have some rogue nation to have nuke anyway?

    January 14, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  285. rob

    I doubt 6 people would have died if the assailant only had knives, or simply no extra capacity magazine for his gun. Clearly, stronger gun control laws would have helped.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  286. Joseph

    Russian reporter or not, he makes a good point. This is definitely the down side of the 2nd Amendment.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:52 am |
  287. Bob

    Russia is an almost totally corrupt society. They should not be lecturing America on freedoms. When corruption is present, true freedom is for sale to the highest bidder.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:55 am |
  288. Patrick

    I think the headline and the story itself are somewhat misleading. On the video there is "frank exchange of views" no argument, no disagreement; only a reporter asking a question and the Gibbs answering the question. America has always been seen as the "wild west" by the Europeans when it comes to guns and personal ownership. (freedoms) The question he was asking was does that freedom include the inherent violence that comes with it? Why is that news?

    January 14, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  289. tom

    All gibbs had to say was stalin. That's what happens with gun control.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  290. John

    Like an alcoholic, extremists on gun freedom use a lack of perfection by their opponents to justify additional suffering. It's called denial.

    An honest cost benefit analysis would show a thirty round clip has no additional utility in either fictional "citizen crime fighting" or "Second Amendment solutions." However, here it had a huge cost in loss of life since the madman was interrupted during reloading.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:58 am |
  291. Tina J.

    Even if there were absolutely, positively no projectile type weapons on the face of the earth people would still kill other people. We killed before we had guns we'd kill if all the guns were gone. The real truth here is that crazy people will continue to do crazy things. And by the way, there are plenty of crazy people in the former Soviet Union. What about the terrorists that took over that theater? Don't you love the way they handled that one?

    January 14, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  292. Just A Guy

    You can't take a Russian reporter seriously. Does anyone remember Stalin? Kruschev? These "madmen" murdered in the millions! Please! I will take our freedoms over anything the former USSR has to offer any day! Sometimes there is a price to pay. Just ask our kids in the middle east, who are paying that price right now.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  293. Feddo

    History often demonstrates that within societies where personal freedoms have been supplanted by political repression, madmen have greater power to exercise their will, not less. Ours originated in rejection of such systems. While it may be imperfect, we have more opportunity to restrict the effects of those whose intent is to harm. We can keep their individual actions from becoming political regimes which killl millions instead of dozens.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  294. Mineral Rites

    Did he rip that speech off from the _____________ middle eastern country we invaded?

    January 14, 2011 at 8:03 am |
  295. Chedar

    Until one of the member of their family died from handgun, the gullible Americans will continue to press the "freedom" to carry one. Loves it

    January 14, 2011 at 8:06 am |
    • Martin

      Nice try Chedar. Is the name because you're full of cheese? People still drive cars even though they've had loved ones killed by them. People still drink, even though they've had loved ones die at the hands of drunk drivers. Try to use an intelligent argument to support your position. If you want to debate with the big boys, get out unbiased facts, not wishywashy attempts to play on emotions.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • CS

      i would cry for more freedom so my loved one would have been carrying a weapon to defend themselves

      January 14, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  296. Sage

    regertz, you wrote the best post here! I believe the reporter by asking Sitov about "advocating Communism" was channeling the inner Sarah Palin

    But on a serious note, isn't is sad when America can no longer eloguently deliver its points? it was Ben Franklin who said "Anything that starts with hate, ends in shame". I think many Americans should examine the true motivations behind their words and actions...

    January 14, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  297. Delaware Refugee

    I had hopes of something better for my son but because we are white and don't have a race card to play, the press will not cover the fact that my son was told, in writing, that he could not go to some of his classes and he could only use the nurse's restroom because he did what every school district tells kids who are being bullied they should do, tell a teacher. Two years of telling school administrators that he and other white kids were being targeted for daily threats and violence resulted in what I consider to be segregation. America is one way infront of cameras and exactly the opposite when the press is not around. The press wants information handed to them instead of going out and getting the real news and exposing wrongs that go on every day.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  298. John

    The goal is reduction of violence, not to find the perfect solution to gun violence. Again the conservative argument is the lack of a perfect solution requires inaction, which is actually indifference.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  299. PCGeezer

    America is the murder and mass murder capital of the world...Fact.

    In the US, there are roughly 17,000 murders a year, of which about 15,000 are committed with firearms. By contrast, Britain, Australia and Canada combined see fewer than 350 gun-related murders each year...Fact.

    Maybe the Russian reporter did touch on a uniquely American phenomenon.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:10 am |
    • Bill in STL

      No ... Fiction... you gotta go to Africa to male that statement ....

      January 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      That should have been make that statement... and BTW they use Russian built AK-47's there

      January 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
  300. John

    Yes, this was the act of one crazed man. Yes, he used a gun. Yes, the constitution says "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." A militia being a citizan army of sorts. We can debate for days and the two sides of the matter will NEVER agree. Perhaps the issue is that the militia is not regulate well enough. You can get ammo for your arms at Walmart. How can amyone seriously believe that is a well regulated source.

    Criminals will always commit crimes. Either out of despiration or laziness, it will still happen. That includes possessing guns. I do contend that if hand guns were not manufactured any purpose but law enforcement, there would be fewer deaths from gunfire. I am not foolish enough to think that is realisticly going to happen in my lifetime. But a rifle is harder to conceal.

    People kill people, they will continue to do so. But why make it easier for them. I don't think this a left or right debate. There are plenty of Democrats that own guns. And there are plenty of Rebulicans opposed. All too often things get politicized. In the end, PEOPLE make choices. Perhaps the PEOPLE should choose to make gun ownership and ammunition aquisition more highly regulated. Surely the law biding gun owners would not object to conitinue to follow the laws, whatever they were, if it meant they could keep their guns.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:10 am |
  301. Myk

    Okay, okay, let's assume that we go ahead and have these people working at the stores that sell weapons make a choice not to sell a handgun to somebody coming in with all the paperwork in order, there would soon be a lawsuit, correct? Yes. Instead of curbing the purchase handguns, why don't we first give tests to people before they are allowed to create babies? I think we should do that one first! Stupid argument? Yes and no, you want some store clerk to make a choice whether or not somebody can buy a gun, or the answers and information that are written on paper to be deciphered to see if somebody is functional enough to own a handgun? That is ridiculous.
    I cannot say what Mr. Gibbs was thinking when he was asked his question, but could he have handled it better? Yes. With your high and mighty hindsight, you would have been so much more diplomatic, right? Now think of your answer, you have the blessing of the hindsight, but you also have no idea how you would have handled it.
    Mr. Loughner is an idiot and knew exactly what he was doing, hold him accountable for what he did. Do not attempt to take my handgun(s) away from me. I have not had to pull it and use it on anybody yet, but if the time comes and it is necessary then I will, but do not deny me that right to protect myself or my family

    January 14, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  302. Reason

    Robert Gibbs did the right thing in pointing out American values instead of pointing fingers like certain Alaskans like to do. In that direction, he could have looked past Alaska and asked about the results of Russian "freedoms." Did they prevent the 1999 Russian apartment bombings (300 dead), the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis (170 dead), the 2003 Stavropol train bombing (46), the 2004 Moscow metro bombings (51), the 2004 Russian aircraft bombings (89), the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings (40), and many, many more deaths that directly resulted from the Russian "freedom" system. Not even to mention dead reporters, killed opposition leaders, and the on-going Chechen wars. Of course he could have mentioned it – and Sitov could not have denied it, but Gibbs did the right thing by defending the freedoms that more than 99.99% of Americans peacefully and in prosperity enjoy, instead of quoting the more than annual reverse side of Russain "freedoms" and the depressing poverty that prevails among 99.99% of Russians.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:13 am |
  303. Ed Phillips

    First I would say I am a gun owner and fully support the constitution.However the framers who wrote our precious rights had one shot muskets that appear to take up to a minute to load for one shot.I truly believe if the framers saw a 9mill. with a 31 shot clip an ak47 or any number of the killing machines that we allow they would say what the hell is that?That is not what we meant.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:15 am |
  304. Wtw

    The Russians people don't have the right to keep and bear arms. Their government has no problem using them on their own people though. Russians and personal freedoms is like a fish with a bicycle.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:17 am |
  305. Ben

    Last time I checked russia had more than it's share of violent crime, human trafficing, and drug crime. Clearly these are all signs of the freedoms the russian people enjoy seem to want to propagate to the rest of the world.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  306. Claus

    "He Did Say Jehova!"

    January 14, 2011 at 8:22 am |
  307. Lisa

    What this reporter also fails to ask is this: "Is it also American Freedoms when Russians commune to Brighten Beach Brooklyn NY, live off of welfare and food stamps, abuse the U.S. Government's benefits system, reep in the money and send it all back home ?" and before anyone attacks my posts, I have first hand personal knowledge and it is a FACT that there is a high percentage of Russians that collect welfare, foodstamps and medical assistance while owning businesses out the ying-yang, own alot of properties and business all on the american dollar. How do they do it ? When they come here, they file for benefits under the married name, while the businesses are put in the wife's maiden name. Not only did I live near them, I also worked for the administration that would certify them. They would walk in in furs, gold and driving huge cars and no one knows a darn thing. So. American Freedoms ? Russians are just as perverse...

    January 14, 2011 at 8:24 am |
  308. Tony

    So this Russian reporter was exercising an American freedom, the freedom of speech, to make his point. I imagine that in Russia he would have been executed by firing squad for making those statements to a member of the Russian government.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:28 am |
  309. Steven Scher

    To Regertz
    You claim guns do more damage, and faster. Near my house a man who had a fight with his girlfriend went to a gas station and bought $1 worth of gasoline. He poured it into a nightclub (Happy Land) and killed 87 people. What should we do, ban gasoline?

    January 14, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  310. Alex

    Russians generally do or don't do things (with some exceptions as anywhere) based on a fear of reprisal, meaning that leverage and punishment act as deterrents to breaking certain rules, or incentive to abiding by others. Americans (and many other Western countries) generally base their society around abiding by rules not for fear of reprisal but from a sense of moral righteousness, meaning that they do something because they feel it's right rather than they fear reprisal. This is a generalization, but having lived in both places, it's a fairly accurate generalization. This fundamental misunderstanding of what motivates one's actions is the difference between the Russian reporter and the American mindset. He grew up in an environment where if one removes direct threat of punishment, a typical Russian will in fact act according to his own interests rather than thinking of the greater moral right+wrong.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:32 am |
  311. R

    Why we're comparing the US to South American countries (not the country of South America to be clear) is questionable at best. YES, we have better gun control than Latin America even though they have stricter laws - is Latin America, however, our standard for success? Our correlative data point? w
    We're also doing better than South Africa as well! This doesn't change the fact that this country is a major gun distributer, we have a lot of guns in house, a lot of gun violence in Latin America is perpetrated by American made guns, and comparative to developed countries (DC's) the world over, we generally have a higher incidence of gun violence.

    Please, however, don't take my word for it: Regarding per capita murder with firearms (UNODC Stat 2000) we rank just above Uruguay. We came in at #8 worldwide as a matter of fact - excluding outright warzones which were not included. Yes, we have lower stats than Mexico, South Africa, Colombia, and Zimbabwe, but are we really trying to compare ourselves to less developed countries (LDC's)? What should be notable to us is that while we rank #8, Canada ranks #20, Ireland #26, Australia #27, Spain #29, United Kingdom #32 - these are legitimate countries for comparison.

    I'm not antigun (I'm a tactical medic on SWAT), but please, understand that with our love for gun ownership, our emphasis on packing heat because "guns help create confidence," and overall rabid gun ownership coupled with loose ownership laws and overall gun availability (comparative to other DC's) - gun shows anybody? - opens up the door for more gun violence - comparitively.

    No, 64 million gun owners didn't murder innocent people in Arizona, but the prevalence of such lethal weapons in our society allows much more easily for those that are keen to cause descriminate or indiscriminate violence to, in fact, cause such levels of violence. The rest of the developed world is just not dealing with the levels of gun violence that we do.

    Our love affair with guns prevails based on a constitutional amendment originally put in place so that state militias could stock pile weapons. Gun ownership will increase unabated, for better or for worse, and we as a country will reap the benefits. Whether that means you are of the small fragment of individuals that actually have used their weapon for self defense - which is small to be sure, i.e. There were 9,369 murders with a firearm in 2000 - what % was self defense, who knows? Out of 64 million, however, we can safely say that much less than 9,369 people actually used their guns to kill in self defense (as some of that number was surely plain old outright murder) - it's a small percentage indeed. Either way, whether you actually use it for something other than a good time at the firing range or to kill innocent civilians in Arizona, guns are here to stay - unless we decide otherwise.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  312. Ken

    A deranged mind does not require freedom to act out. We see the actions of deranged minds all over the world regardless of the freedoms that exist where they occur. Therefore, the Russian reporter was baiting Mr. Gibbs.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:44 am |
  313. Darbin

    Since we are all crazy and certainly elevating the volume of all that crazy, and the country is going through a stressful uncertain time, to identify those really unbalanced folks that would do the ultimate harm to others – we will have to all uncrazy a bit. Because otherwise, especially in America, the truly loony are tolerated and will blend right in.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  314. Doles

    I'm somewhat ambiguous in this argument. On one side I think it's kind of laughable that a state controlled media journalist would lecture Americans about freedom. On the other side, I believe this gun loving sector is a bomb waiting to explode. Yes, people will claim that Americans had always owned guns. True. However, when you look at how guns are being piled up, I think a dangerous situation is in the making. Does anybody think there wouldn't more of this incident had the hard right not won the last election? I think not. These people love America as long as it is their America! Once desperation creeps in I think these people will take up arms. I pray to God something happens soon to keep this country intact. Because as much as I believe this country was founded with much evil because of slavery, I think the founders did a hell of a job. In my opinion this is the greatest country the earth has ever known. I didn't say the best country. I don't think this country will reach its peak until everyone knowledges the evil stain that is slavery. However that doesn't take away from the greatness it has achieved in terms of democracy...although not for all.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  315. David

    The flip side could also be argued in all this; that if legal gun ownership by responsible citizens was actually encouraged, perhaps there would have been an armed citizen present and the tragedy may have been minimized.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  316. mikeGCNY

    You know, I actually agree with the raw value of the russian's commentary. Random acts of violence, including pocession of firearms, and thoughts of commiting acts of violence, it is bundled in with freedom. As negative as these events can be, the good that comes from the freedom of thought outweighs events like in tuscon.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:49 am |
  317. Daniel Montes

    Where was the security at the event? No CHL holders either? To everyone, defend yourself and if you can stop someone that is shooting someone else. Stop depending on the govt and laws. The locos will always be armed. The law abiding citizens have that right and should exercise it. Someone should have capped him. Justified self defense. Get your CHL and a 40 cal with 1.3' barrel.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  318. das272

    As if Russia hasn't ever had to deal with a madman or madmen... I guess the Russian reporter doesn't remember the hostage crisis that took place in 2004 in the Russian town of Beslan in which Chechen militants took over a school and held everyone hostage for 3 days. It made international news. It ultimately ended in over 300 people being killed, 186 of them children. Seems to me the Russian reporter needs to get a clue. Who is he to judge us without looking in his own "backyard" first.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  319. Alex

    What he said makes perfect sense. Americans are clutching to their guns for dear life and nothing will change that, not even one of our Congresswomen getting a bullet in her head. How dare he make the most obvious observation in the room. Gibbs is just miffed that someone actually asked him a difficult question.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  320. Amazing

    The thing that those in favor of gun control do not seem to get is that all their gun control laws will do is help the criminals and create more victims. Criminals will always get their hands on guns. Gun control laws are kind of like the lock on the front door of your house, they keep honest people "honest." Pro gun control individuals need to understand the definition of the word "criminal."

    January 14, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • Reality chews

      The left is too busy trying to give criminals more "rights."

      January 14, 2011 at 9:04 am |
      • MarkinFL

        Like the right to bear arms?

        January 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
      • MarkinFL

        Like the right to have a gun?

        January 14, 2011 at 9:33 am |
      • KTon

        ... and the right is busy brainwashing morons.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:09 am |
      • Reality chews

        The right is too busy putting to death innocent in the name of justice

        January 14, 2011 at 10:43 am |
      • Norm

        And the right is too busy instigating the criminals into violent action.
        Sounds like a win win to me.

        January 14, 2011 at 10:45 am |
      • Izzy Roush

        We all have the same rights, and even more and better ones if you happen to be wealthy

        January 14, 2011 at 11:25 am |
      • Florence

        So the right is the communist here?

        January 14, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  321. Jon

    Wait a second... the *Russians* are judging us on this? As in, still-half-controlled-by-the-Mafia Russia?

    January 14, 2011 at 9:02 am |
  322. JAB

    Obviously freedom is not a requirement for a madman to do what he wants there Rusky. Point in case: Andrei Chikatilo. Thank you very much, idiot.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  323. Reality chews

    Gun control laws are kind of like the lock on the front door of your house, they keep honest people "honest." Leftists need to understand the definition of the word "criminal." All gun control laws will do is help the criminals out by creating more and easier victims.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • Gaunt

      "All gun control laws will do is help the criminals out "

      Yes, so the NRA keeps screaming at the top of their lungs. Sadly, reality begs to differ. Putting restrictions on gun sales, requiring registration, requiring background checks and limiting certain kinds of firearms affects everyone, rightous or criminal. Yes, many guns that are currently illegal will not be registered, and when those are lost or fall apart or are confiscated, they cannot be replaced simply by going down to the gun store and buying several without background check of legal limitations. Want evidence? How about the fact that in the REST of the first world, gun laws = far lower gun death rates? Without exception?

      January 14, 2011 at 9:23 am |
    • john

      what? your logic is baffling, cause it doesn't make any sense at all. I live in Texas, my family owns a gun and ammo store, and let me tell you, their are two types of people that buy guns; the paranoid and the more paranoid, such as yourself. btw- it's time that right stop all rhetoric and propose something that is of actual use to our great nation. all your post is doing is spitting fear and hate. very un American.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • JS

      The problem with the gun control debate is that there is no modern salient argument for the existence of the second ammendment. Nobody with a personal firearm is going to have a reasonable chance stand up to the us military and exercise a "second ammendment remedy", and while the right to self defense could be argued, 99% or more of the population is likely to live their lives out in such peace that the circumstance would never arise where the use and presence of a personal firearm would make a difference in a situation. Even if 1% of the population experiences such a situation, between a lack of civilian training and a relatively high quality police responce, the true usefulness of having a personal firearm in a situation is questionable. Don't get me wrong, I like to hunt, and own several weapons that I use for that purpose, and I don't want anyone taking them from me, however it often seems that the arguments for allowing mass gun ownership have more to do with helping people maintain their masculinity than public safety. This fantasy that a gun-weilding public is going to be a bunch of John Wayne's protecting their families in the Wild West is growing tired. If you truly must, they make attachments for the tow-ball of your truck. Try those first, they're less likely to harm your children in the home.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Amazing

      It is a shame that liberal minded individuals can't, or refuse to, see that.

      January 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  324. mark miller

    He was just asking, "isn't this price we pay as citizens of a counrty that probably has the most liberal gun ownership laws of any "develolped" nation?" JL legally purchased a rapid fire handgun, extended clips and ammunition. Anyone who was living in Tucson before Saturday morning was at risk of being targeted by him. There was absolutely no way to prevent the shooting. A ban on gun ownership would have likley have prevented this shooting. Is this a ban that we are willing to enact. If not, they do we not accept the death of the six and wounding of the 13 others as the price. Of course, the reporter's question was rhetorical.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  325. CliffNE

    Interesting that the Russians would indicate that they think our freedom to bear arms should be changed so that there are no more 'madmen' events anymore... suppose they have an alternative goal with dis-arming the public?

    January 14, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  326. Amused

    I am canadian and I do beleive that guns should be controlled. The Russian journalist is right in saying that if the freedom to bear arms will, by the very nautre of statistics and odds, result in more of these shootings then if guns were controlled. Math is Math....
    But what I always find it amusing when people say things like what Simes sais: "This question is a little difficult to take seriously, coming from a Russian journalist". He was referring to the fact that Russia has its own gun problem. Does the fact that Russia has its own gun problem make the Russian Journalists comments and ovservations any less true. As an example, If I smoke, does me telling someone else to stop smoking becuase its bad for your health make it any less true? I am so tired of politics that attack the messenger when they don't like the message. Sitov was absolutely right in his assessment that the freedome to bear arms will also result in more mad and violent men, possessing arms...To deny that make you just look ridiculous. To deny it on the basis that the messenger has the same issues and is a hypocrite makes you look that much worse. Lets do the math... If a % of the people bear arms, and % of people are violent crazy madmen, then that will equal to a certain number of madmen that also bear arms...If the average person cannot bear arms, the the percentage of madmen that bear arms will also go down. – Sure some people will always be able to get weapaons....but the number of them will be less.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  327. KansasIndividualist

    I find it ... curious, this compunction of some people to dictate to the others the terms of their existence. It is correct, without a doubt, that to exercise liberty properly, one must fulfill the responsibilities of liberty, and one must have a correct view of reality and be able to act appropriately; one must also act ethically towards others. Given those, however, you who would hide behind the pointed finger of false, collective guilt, need to understand: I reject your premises, I reject the justification for your aggression (or deeply held wish for aggression, perhaps even more incomprehensible), and I simply will not surrender any legitimate right, not to the mouths of weak-minded critics and not to the delusions of bureaucrats. I will refuse, resist, and wish you good health as you leave me in peace.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:18 am |
  328. TDFL

    Freedom takes courage and the commitment to accept consequence. Hence "land of the free, home of the brave" these two qualities are inseperable. A cowardly rabble will never be free, but always slaves to their fears. The question is valid on the part of the reporter but the answer is simple: we Americans make the choice to accept the consequences of freedom along with the benefits. If Gibbs could say this with conviction it would speak for itself.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:21 am |
  329. JS

    It may have been more appropriate to ask the Russian reporter about the tradeoff that Russia experiences because of its restrictions on certain freedoms. Insurrections are the natural and logical outcome when a government provides little to no right for the citizens of a nation to seek redress and reform. It is entirely unfortunate and regrettable that such insurrections have taken the form of terrorism and organized crime in Russia, but not unexepected.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  330. maggy

    I would guess that Russia, where you can't legally own pretty much any weapon let alone a gun, has more gun related crimes that the US does on a per capita basis. Of course this would be hard to verify due to the lack of freedom of speech/press in Russia.

    No surpise that the left here is using this to further more gun control. I can see from where the Russian reporters arguments were going that the whole point of his questions were to get out his gun control views in a public forum. The good news is depite the ill-informed, ignorant leftist gun control nuts, gun controls in almost every state are steadily reducing, along with crime and especially gun-related crimes.

    Let all the sane people pray that the 2nd amendment, the amendment that guarentees all of the others, eventually be restored to where our learned forefathers had intended it to mean!

    January 14, 2011 at 9:22 am |
  331. md

    I think people have the right to bear arms,A lot of crazies out there make this freedom look bad.But as long as we have the right to have these guns you are going to see in the news mass killings every so often thats a fact.I don't think there is a way to stop these killings unless you take some freedoms away,sad but true.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:23 am |
  332. Joe Wojciechowski

    Gibbs does not like being challenged no matter if a question is appropriate or not. The term "bully" comes to mind when thinking of Gibbs. And I thought we were in a a no-bullying atmosphere.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  333. tango666

    This coming from a guy who lives in a country where the Russian mob has its fingers in just about every aspect of their society. Typical Russian pseudo-intellect, lets ask the rhetorical question that is completely void of substance or purpose.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  334. KTon

    Kevin- With using expressions like "liberal elite", and comparing the Obama administration's policy on de-arming nuclear weapons internationally I can only assume that you probably have a hard time forming your own opinions. You say "elite" and then boast of the fact that you've been to 86 countries on 6 continents. How do you think that makes you sound... humble? Have you ever heard of something called leading by example? Nuclear weapons are bad mmmk. How can we expect the rest of the world to listen to what we have to say about them being bad while we're sitting on a huge stockpile. The Obama administration also has no aims at taking your guns away from you, thats paranoia. I think that american citizens should be able to own guns to protect themselves from situations like the one in Arizona, but you defend that right like a jerk and polarize the subject.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  335. Jugger75

    For all the people who believe banning guns, because they kill so many people each year, is a good thing. Each year tens of thousands of people die each year in car accidents. The average vehicle accident, with fatality, kills three or more people. Should we ban cars? They kill more people, nationally, a month than guns do in six months. Heck, alot of things cause more death than guns do. For that matter, the flu virus killed over 40,000 Americans last year.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Ungunstitutional

      Stick to the point at hand. Silly analogies to cars and knives are not even slightly compelling. Those are tools with primary uses beyond personal harm. Yes, anything can kill, including a plastic smurf that somebody chokes on. But a gun is specifically designed to harm another individual.

      January 14, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Amused

      So your saying that just becuase other things cuase more deaths then guns, therefore why bother with guns? What kind of logic is that? We should only look at the biggest cuase of death? We should only look at one thing at a time? Why can't we try and find ways to reduce avoidable deaths on all levels? Sure cars kill people, and they try and imrove car safety constantly (yes – the manufacturers cut corners all the time to save money but that is a separate issue altogether that needs addressing). I can't stand people that try to justify/gloss over a problem that they don't want ot admit but trying to point the finger somewhere else....like the fact that cars kill people have any bearing on the safety issue of people guns....Your logic makes no sense whatsoever...

      January 14, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Tom

      Jugger,

      A CAR is designed to carry people. A GUN is designed to KILL people. No need for it.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Tom

      Most pro gun arguments I read here are just plain silly. Just like the one with comparing car accidents with guns. Or "Guns don't kill people ..." LOL. Right, but bullets. America should have removed all guns from civilians by 1920 or earlier. There are even people in this country who quote Adolf Hitler when defending their pro-gun point of view. That's really hysterical.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Ernie

      Jugger 75 you must be reading my comments, I wrote the same comment about auto accidents about six months ago. Andrei Sitov is a hypercritic if you read the last part of the article it said "But Dimitri Simes, a native of Russia who now runs The Nixon Center here in the United States, noted that Russia is facing its own problems with firearms in many of its major citie. I guess he failed to mention the problems the Russians are having. Good Comment.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Paul Davidson

      ahhh the old, and verrrry intellectually lazy argument. May I deflate your lazy rhetoric for both you and all others who have never looked beyond this level of thinking?

      You write that Americans should ban cars if they want to ban guns, since automobile deaths outnumber gun deaths. However, you CONVENIENTLY omit the fact that Americans don't use cars to kill groups of people, like the shooter in AZ did. So even on that level, this cars/guns comparison fails. But what about the next level of thinking? The comparison of other industrialized countries to the US, their gun laws, and their rates of this type of murder? Again, other industrialized countries similar to the US have gun murder rates much lower than the US, and yes, it is because of gun control laws.

      January 14, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • BIG ONE

      To compair the hand gun safty to car accides is a horrible analogy. Cars seve a pupose of tansportation. If people had as as many guns as we do cars we would have a lot more dead citizens. Guns on the other hand only serve one purpose and that is to kill some thing. Oh, but 'target paractce is a purpose for a gun,' no target practice is for you to get better at killing something. I am in the market for a hand gun to protect my selft from all the people who have hand guns. Also stop with the name calling. There are elite Republicans too, ie. Rush Limbaugh. I figure you just don't know any because you didn't go to higher education. People stop being so pestimistic and scared of our society America is so very beautiful and there are soo many nice people out there. Nice people out number criminals about a thousand to one. There is no such thing as big government–government will and always be big no matter who is in charge.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  336. Jack in Ohio

    I think the Russkie was in a roundabout way trying to say "with much freedom comes much responsibility". We Americans have to be prepared to take the good with the bad when it comes to the freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    This whole tragedy isn't a reflection on gun laws, it's a sad example of a mentally-ill person not receiving the treatment they so desperately need. Why didn't the parents seek treatment for him?? If left untreated, how long would it have been until he was homeless and living on the street like your typicall "crazy homeless guy"?? I could easily see this guy living off the grid somewhere in an Airstream trailer living the Arizona desert writing his own Manifesto.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  337. Russians can blow a dog

    Gibbs should have asked about all the mafia corruption and corporate political assinations the russians engage in like it's winter sports. The Russians are sick animals who will never be cured of the diease of inferiority that plagues their minds and souls. Freedom of speech and assembly ensure governments like Russia can't enslave the people, murder their citizens in pogroms and genocides and then pretend nothing ever happened.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  338. Ex-Pat and PROUD

    If you're gonna hold tight to the right to bear arms, at least extend the right to arm bears. Then it's an even killing field.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  339. Canada man

    I'm from Canada. How are you explaining, the difference in murder from both our countries. We share a lot of things. In 2009, 610 murder in Canada. Only in New York city, wich is about half the population of Canada, there was 778 murders. There is a ban of automatic weapon in Canada and all rifles need to be registered. How can you look at that and not see something's wrong ???

    January 14, 2011 at 9:34 am |
  340. Sig Sour

    Laughable attempt by a Russian agent, not "journalist", to dig back at US for our comments and reports of their eroding freedoms and "democracy" of still leader Putin...

    January 14, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  341. Ungunstitutional

    Frequently, you hear gun rights supporters simply stating, "well, it's in the Constitution." But that is not enough to defend a law that was written during a different era. And actually, the right to bear arms was not a part of our original Constitution. It was a few years before this AMENDMENT became national law. And like all amendments, it can be amended again, in much the way that the 21st Amendment repealed the 18th. But it is refreshing to hear conservatives finally recognizing that the simple existence of a constitutional amendment is not the end of the conversation regarding our nation's laws. When they talk about repealing the 14th, they put the 2nd on the table as well.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  342. born in New York, NY

    64 000 000 handgun owners in the USA? That's 1 out of 5 people who have a gun. What is it about the US that fuels this unquenchable need for people to own a gun. Maybe the perpetuated trauma of settlers who arrived in the new world only to be slaughtered wholesale as intruders by natives in Jamestown a dozen years later? The US is a nice place to visit with a lot of wonderful people, but I'm happy I don' t have to live there. Life is also grand elsewhere – with large amounts freedom, less stress and less guns carried.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  343. brad

    Crazy people everywhere are free to act out violently. the political system doesn't matter when it comes to that. Sounds like a russian Geraldo got in the press core and wants to dramatize a story thats already fading in the minds of viewers.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  344. ccsicc

    The thing of it with gun ownership is that we have to be able to distinguish who should and who should not be allowed to own one. We already have “background check” measures in place. But criminals and loonies always find ways around it. I think, gun ownership should be tied-up with a good reason of owning one. For instance, a person should have some sort of asset to own a gun. A person who owns a home or any other asset would be more careful that one that owns nothing. It’s the same thing about illegal aliens being able to drive a car in the US. Think if one of them happens to hurt one of our loved ones. The bottom line is, if they have nothing to lose, they would tend to behave more aggressively.

    I am a gun owner myself and my reason of owning one is to protect my family and my home. Do I want to hurt anyone with it? NO! But if the choice given to me is between my family life and an intruder or a criminal, I will regrettably use it.

    January 14, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  345. Km B

    Yes, Mr Sitov, in a totalitarian state this is less likely to happen. So your point is?

    January 14, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Gordon

      More people die in a totalitarian state. Joseph Stalin killed millions of people. The lack of freedom enabled that deranged mind to do as he pleased from the highest position in the Soviet government.

      January 14, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  346. wyulling

    US always support and sponsor elements that making trouble to other government that is not in line with US policies even use violent means.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:04 am |
  347. marc

    The best progress on the issue of mass violence will come through addressing how we help the mentally ill. Not through restricting freedoms, of fixating on the types of weapons used (ie. Guns, bombs, or jetliners)

    January 14, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  348. Sigmund

    Although I have had little to no use for Robert Gibbs over the past 2 years, his resposne to this Russian reporter was right on point and well delivered. As regards the right to bear arms, this is and should continue to remain our American right. Amending the Constitution will not prevent a deranged madman from doing what this one did last Saturday. He is pure evil and outlawing private ownership of handguns would not have prevented this atrocity. Taking away our right to bear arms also penalizes the millions of gunowners in the US who are good and responsible people. This not the American way. Absolutely fine to have this debate in a civil tone and let the chips fall where they may but lets not delude ouyrselves into thinking that outlawing guns will prevent murder and other crimes. That's not reality.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  349. kcchefs18

    It's ironic, I admit, that a Russian is pointing out that if you want to stop violence, then take the weapons away from people. Its pretty simple logic. But it will never happen, because of the laws dictate that people have the right to bear arms. Now could we restrict access, absolutely, and we do, to an extent. I agree cars are more dangerous than guns and kill more people each month and year. Manufacturers are consistently trying to improve their product to limit fatalities and the government regulates vehicles. But there are still some idiots who get drivers licenses and get into wrecks and cause deaths. People get behind the wheel drunk or high on drugs and cause fatal accidents. It's all about decision-making and personal responsibility. You can restrict it all you want, but you can't make people go through a psychiatric exam, and even still, one little thing can set someone off, like losing a job or a divorce, or something like that. It's not something that a gun seller can control, and neither can the government.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:10 am |
  350. mikeGCNY

    "Order without freedom is slavery. Freedom without order is anarchy." -unknown

    "I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." – Thomas Jefferson

    As an American, I except the cost of my freedom to oppose my government in thought and in speech. I acknowlege the risk that allows my fellow american to arm themselves with guns. I accept that a criminal may be set free due to a lack of evidence as they are innocent until proven guilty, as the opposite would be a greater injustice. I accept that my faith is just that, my own, and no one has the right to deny me of it, or punish me for my own religion being different than theirs. I accept that this freedom and the laws that protect them has consiquences that could end my life or the lives of my loved ones. I love the power of words, and my right to use them even if they are in heated debate. I cherish that right. Wtihout these American values, the world would be a bleak place, where innovative thought is oppressed and progress for the sake of good, would be denied.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  351. sedgwickgrad

    Wonder if Sitov would have such "courage" asking a similar question of his own once-and-future-president, Putin?

    Methinks not.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  352. Ruth

    I just thought I would brave a line or two here, hoping my grammar is up to all your standards.
    It seems funny to me that more than wanting to explain ( and maybe inform) people with other views, we rush to insult, thus, not needing to answer their questions, I guess. ...
    As to WHY the U.S. has such a high level of deaths .. violence, due to guns, ..and why it differs from such in ( We can always find exceptions..that is defecting, not dealing ) other countries. ( talking about per population ) ... The only people NOT discussing this IS the American people.. unfortunately, they are also the ones that suffer from these many tragedies from "gun" ( killers/madmen) deaths..
    Own guns ,...don't own guns.. that is your freedom ... I just thought having open, willing, educational & respectful discourse, was also a freedom in your country...
    I would have thought that, that was the right, you would want to exercise the most...
    Sorry for the interruption, .. please continue to insult and squash, all views different from your own.
    Gosh, I hope my grammar is OK....

    January 14, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  353. vanessa

    i guess what Mr. Sitov forgot about is that the killings of Presidents, the 'suicides' the 'shootings' at convenient times where Judges who ruled AGAINST what the government now is doing, getting killed, are all, and have been PROVEN to be ALL at the hands of the government themselves. Underwear bomber? Taking advantage of a freedom? NOPE!!! CIA operation. CIA made bomb, CIA made hypnotized brain dead lacky that did the job for them. And the list goes on and on. So Mr. Sitov, if you wanna know who the terrorists are taking advantage of 'freedoms' you were already talking to him. The rest of the terrorists are his colleagues.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  354. Christyl L.

    The Russian reporter asked a relevant question....I think he was asking how does freedom affect people's actions, whether they are rational or unbalanced. I think the reporter's question was misunderstood.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  355. Jan

    Hmmm. Mr. Sitov – what about the gunmen who held hostages at an elementary school in Russia? Or the ones who stormed the theatre? Was it "Russian style freedoms" that encouraged those actions?

    January 14, 2011 at 10:26 am |
  356. Silence Dogood

    I love how concealed guns will change everything. The maxim that if you didn't know the other person had a gun, would you try to rob them? Probably not. Would you try to break into a house where the owner had a gun? Probably not. But these arguements only work on the sane and logical. Someone bent on gunning down a bunch of people may not care what happens to them. And so they begin shooting. People around them, all with concealed guns of course, whip out their pistols and begin shooting. (The original gunman has already emptied his clip, by the way, because of surprise, and if you're the kind of person just twitchy enough to always be prepared, you have a sad life.) The original gunman will be gunned down, but in the excitement a whole bunch of others fire through the circle center and gun down a whole bunch of other people. So a bunch of would-be heros with concealed weapons get gunned down by other heros. What laws would be enacted to prevent crazy people from getting guns? They will find other ways of getting them just like the criminal element listed above from other posters. Lock up all crazy people? We can work out the definition of crazy later if you like.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Ripping off Ben Franklin now? You sound like an original thought has never entered your mind .... let alone started there.

      January 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  357. Sam

    The reading public should be aware that the correct spelling of the Russian correspondent's name is not "Sitov"; rather, it's "Shitov". (See, for example, http://www.icanz.gen.nz/news.html) One can only wonder if the Russian correspondent himself is not guilty of misinformation by passing himself off as someone else since surely he must be painfully aware of the English speaker's reaction to a name, the first four letters of which are, after all, a "four-letter word." If the Russian correspondent is guilty of misinforming the public about his own name, why should we believe _anything_ he says?!

    January 14, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Grey, Atlanta

      Sam, I am not surprised that he changed the spelling of his name to avoid the derision that is triggered by the original spelling of his name in the mind of a semi-literate American public. Most Americans don't even have a passport; hence they have never been overseas and have never been exposed to the fact that regular names in one language may sound offensive in another. The semi-literate half-wits would immediately make fun of his name because they find their favorite word in it. Americans are lucky that other nations have more sensitivity in this respect. Scott, for example, means livestock, Keith means whale, and Huey means "a male organ" in Russian.

      January 15, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  358. Marc L from NY

    Every nation, including Russia, has seen horrific acts of a deranged mind that lead to large numbers of deaths. This reporter was just trying to stir the pot.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  359. Reality Check

    ##############################################################

    250,000,000 guns in the U$A is NOT enough - America needs MORE guns !

    ###############################################################

    January 14, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  360. Reality_Check

    ##############################################################

    250,000,000 guns in the U$A is NOT enough – America needs MORE guns !

    ###############################################################

    January 14, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  361. JBS

    I am a republican and do not usually agree with President O or Gibbs. But would agree 100% on Gibb's response, which was pretty good for an on-your-feet type response. That Russian reporter is clearly looking for some content for his own writing, probably slanted against the US. His job is to report the news, not to question the value of American freedom vs his own Russian "semi-presidential republic". Put that guy in a room full of middle-class Americans somewhere and see if he so boldly questions American values.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  362. Terry

    Sorry Mr. Sitov, there are more guns in Moscow than in the entire state of Arizona. Check with the Russian Mafia and get back to us.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  363. Donnio

    To everyone who wants to ban guns please stop and think a minute. If guns were banned couldn't a mad man still drive a car into people and possibly kill more people? What do you do then ban cars? He could have made an eplosive at home, which isn't that hard to do, i'm sure there are insturctions on the internet, whta do you do then, ban all chemicals?
    Banning guns WILL NOT stop these things from happening!!!!!!

    January 14, 2011 at 10:38 am |
  364. wyulling

    I am sure the gunman here would be considered a hero by western powers if he has done the same to a member of Chinese government. If the Chinese government takes action to control this gunman, would be considered as crackdown on democracy. So far, the media and US government have not analysis the gunman's political motive because he is anti-government policies. He is not just a mad man as what the media and government claim to be. That is just a cover up of the real motives. I feel sorry for the innocent people who died in this tragic but I am more sadden by the media and government reaction to the instance. They are trying to find the root of the problem but trying to cover up the roots because the roots is dark and dirty. The root is the truth and truth is the real America. The root is the cause of all this.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  365. Ernie

    Mr. Andrei Sitov is in no position to talk, he is here in the United States by the good graces of the United States. Where does he get off to say "So my point is that there is the good side of the freedoms and liberties and rights," he said. "But there is the reverse side and if the government wanted to prevent such tragedies, as they say, one avenue is obvious. One avenue is to restrict the freedom to bear arms". He comes from a country where no one is allowed to own a "Fire Arm" because the Russian Government believes this would be a threat to them. I guess Andrei Sitov didn't do his homework about the "Gun" problem Russia is having, no where in the article was mentioned. The United States Constitution is far different from the Russian Constitution. The Russians believe by keepping their people in a lock step position and not giving them the right to "Express" their thoughts because the Russian Government tells them that they will do their thinkking for them. Mr. Andrei Sitov we Americans have a saying " Those's who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".

    January 14, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Amused

      And again...."Those's who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" The most nonsensical statement eve made...Just becuase someone is being a hypocrit does not make thre message less true....Everyone has faults...threfore everyone lives in glass houses...So no one has the right to every say anything? So since you received a speeding ticket at one point in your life – you are not allowed to tell someone else that speeding is bad....????? How the heck does that make sense?

      The other saying that we have is "Do as I say not as I do." People hate it when someone is being a hypocrit...but that does not make what they are saying less valid. Based on that rational – we would have to close down most drug rehabe cetners – as they are primarily run by ex-substance abused themselves that are now helping other by telling them not to do drugs...Using your logic, they should not be allowed to work there becuase they are being hypocrits...

      Someone's actions, past or present, does not invalidate what they say, even if they are being hypocritical...their message can still be valid. That is just plain Naive...

      January 14, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  366. Paul Davidson

    Asked if he is advocating that Americans embrace communism, Sitov said, "The last thing I want to say is what Americans should and shouldn't do. What I'm saying is if Americans want this right to bear arms they need to be ready to face the consequences. And this is the consequences."

    Like it or not, insensitive or not, the man is correct.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  367. Gun Toting Maniac

    look at me, i got a gun whoooooooo! rootin tootin yahoooooooooo! dag nabit gun gun gunnnnnnns! i love it, gimme more, i need more guns! and wait a cotton picking minute, i ain't gonna shoot no one, i just wanna feel powerful, i'm responsible and love to kill animals, ain't a dog gone thing wrong with that! other countries ban guns? i say good, ship them extras on over here

    January 14, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  368. mtfrommd

    Russia is a great country, but I think I would rather take my risks with free citizenry, than what they have faced in their history – government taking away freedoms (including life) through trips to the gulag, mock trials and outright murders of reporters and other dissidents. Nah, I think freedom is worth the effort. Give me a wackjob pyscho over that any day, thank you.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  369. Maimonida

    When Putin came to power the first thing he annonced was that he was building "Vertical of power" limiting freedoms and demonstrating "strong hand". He worked very hard on this idea and now he has obidient Duma and obidient press core and quiet population. He has all mighty police and FSB. He also said that he would pacify Chechen problem in 2 mounths.
    And look now. Trouble in Chechya is still there. They shoot every day and not several people but many. I read Russian newspapers and every day I read about some kind of violence in streets of Moscow. I might say that some laws could work better and this tragedy could be avoided but I would rather have Congress make laws and people live by this laws. And Russian reporter has no reason at all to fingerpoint to America. Everyone who is able to read Russian newspapers for 2 weeks can say that.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  370. svscnn

    Actually the reporter was pretty much right on the money. That said, YES, our American freedoms – ALL of them – come with inherent risk and occasionally, undesirable consequences.

    So be it.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:55 am |
  371. LeeHarvey

    All I see is a group of liberals implying that a gun convinced this man to commit a crime. You libs all act like he could not have found a different way to kill these people. Explosives, knives, melee weapons could kill too. There was no security at the grocery store where this happened.
    Everybody forgets that the killer was a self-professed liberal and leftist. This killing was the result of Democrats and liberals feeding the public ten years of anti-personal rights propaganda. This is your fault, not conservatives.
    All liberals and Democrats are glad this happened. They once again politicized this to push draconian repeal of the second ammendment, and to shut down conservative talk radio. All of the most violent men in history were liberals. Hitler, Stalin, the continent of South America, were all socialists, a liberal system.
    Take your blame, leftists. You are all complicit bigots in this crimr by virtue of being anti-freedom. Liberals only like the rights they want, but punish freethinkers.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  372. Mark

    Russia has had its share of madmen killing large numbers of people: take for instance Josef Stalin, who not only had millions of his own people killed, but ordered the execution of most of the Polish officer corps in WWII. Putin would probably refer to that era as "the good old days".

    January 14, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  373. John

    We may all be missing the point. The failure in this tragedy was that our society had plenty of indications that one of its members was becoming seriously psychotic. Yet somehow, we did not connect the dots in time to save us from the horrific consequences (6 innocents dead and 18 injured; some horribly). This isn't really about guns but about our need to pay closer attention. I am every day surprised that more Americans are not losing their minds. I know many people who have lost their jobs, lost their homes and lost their health because they cannot afford treatment. The pressure on them is incredible. And, not all are equipped to cope with it. As to the Russian reporter, I think it was disrespectful and inappropriate at a time of national mourning, to imply that there is something wrong with the freedoms that our people enjoy. It is a privilege to be invited to be part of the White House Press Corps. Based on his poor judgement, I think he should be politely invited not to return.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  374. LeeHarvey

    Anyone who thinks a liberal is a good person who feels bad about these murders is deluding themselves. They are little Hitlers, who use the murder of a little girl to show how much they hate freedom.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:01 am |
  375. NotinMyAmerica

    This shooting proves the constitution is ineffective. Things like this happen when the right is allowed to speak. Venezuela has it right. Round up the conservatives and lock them up. Then gun crime will never happen.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  376. Chris G

    Yes, freedoms do go to far here. Act of a madman, yes, without a doubt. But in America, every madman has easy access to heavy weapons, along with everyone else. This is what is truly crazy. Why not have grenades in supermarket checkout lines, AK47's at 7/11? Why have any limits at all? The reason we don't is obvious, any nutball can do a lot of damage. But our limits are too low because it's not much different than no limits at all.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  377. broncsfan

    Why did the CNN interviewer ask Sitov if he was advocating communism? Russia hasn't been communist for two decades now, nor do 2nd Amendment rights have anything to do with the economic structure of the country. Unless Sitov really did go there in a part of the interview that got excised, it just smacks of a weirdly anachronistic and reductionist view of the world on the questioner's part.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  378. Bill

    I understand that getting a drivers license is more difficult to get than a gun permit. If that is so, the review process should be reevaluated. But don't try and take away another of our rights.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  379. Steve

    A little ironic that a Russian journalist is deriding American freedoms, and yet the freedom of the press allowed him to ask the question to Gibbs in the first place...

    January 14, 2011 at 11:13 am |
  380. Mad Doc

    Is Sitov clearing thinking american or is he engaged into like a Russian thinking. I think he ought to "sit" – "off" this politician question asking. SITOV thats his name, Sit Off.
    Hes being trained to think Russian not reporter like. His country is state controlled, try not to take advantage of American thinking it sfree, you, Sitov is liable to get a good kicking out of the ole USA if you like it or not. You do not have the sole authority to ask that many a figgin question, other reporters need to ask so sit off your flapping hiney or have the good door to slap your hiney away!

    January 14, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  381. pick1username

    All the Russian Reporter said was: If you are going to allow people to have guns, then occassionally you will see this type of violence happen. He stated the obvious. Twist it, avoid it, lecture on it. It doesnt matter. This type of violence will in fact keep repeating itself because EVERYONE has access to guns illegally or legally.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  382. SpaceDave

    In mutha Russia guns are only used by the authorities and official agencies....mainly to kill journalists!!!

    January 14, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  383. Robyn Harris

    Ситов является некультурным варварских бюрократа.

    'nuff said.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  384. Izzy Roush

    We know that is one consequence of our freedom and we are willing to accept it AND defend it.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  385. Andreas

    Trying to limit Americans' access to guns is akin to trying to remove the bottle from the hands of a drunk; very similar reactions.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  386. kingofthenet

    I think what the Russian Reporter was getting at(In a poor use of words) was the Liberal 2nd Amendment rights, were abused by the gunman and the 'right' to bear arms is so ingrained in the Constitution, it's almost an American Value. This might not be his native language so i kinda give him a pass.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Bill in STL

      read the posts about the ak-47... perhaps we should be asking him why these Russian made weapons kill more people than any other?

      January 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
  387. GiveItSomeThought

    Amazing how Anne makes a calm, rational argument and how all the responses just either attack her, ignore her questions or try change what she said. She never said ban all guns...in fact she said she's fine with your right to own them. She simply asked if stricter restrictions are needed, especially on assault weapons, which have no logical purpose then to kill other people. I do like the rocks and sticks response as it illustrates her question. It shows that instead of an international arms control race, we now simply have one in our own country. I need to own a bigger better weapon, because the other guy may have one. Forget the fact that we have a police force to deal with this and we're not the wild west, when do we stop escalating what is 'necessary' to be able to own? Assault weapons need tighter restrictions and controls and hopefully people will see this and not attack the idea simply because it has the words gun and control in the same sentence.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  388. Somerandomguy

    People all around the world and even in the U.S. are mass killing
    people without ever firing a single shot from any gun. I remind you of
    this much, much larger tragedy from nearly 16 years ago:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_bombing

    In fact read a moderately comprehensive history of such things:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_bombing

    Don't like bombs? Maybe a little bit of sarin nerve gas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin_gas_attack_on_the_Tokyo_subway

    This is a bit on the extreme end, but it shows what a nut job or
    fanatic can do, even if guns are taken away. Oh, I know you'll
    handwave and claim that knives don't kill as many people. Bullshit.
    Here's another shot at your liberal crap:

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=80964&page=1

    Remember that? Eight school children dead by a mere 6 inch knife.
    Rare? Not that rare:

    http://in.reuters.com/article/idINIndia-53631620101217

    Thirteen injured badly. There are many more similar incidents that
    occur. Just do a Google search. So you want to ban knives now? Make
    people carry special knife permits? Place chefs on Homeland Security
    lists or register with local law enforcement? Where does the insanity
    stop? How many stories get reported where people armed with guns stop
    a crime? Not many, because it doesn't fit the liberal media mindset,
    and gets swept under the carpet . Or howabout the insane rates of crime
    in parts of the U.K,, like in Northern England, which has one of the strictiist gun control laws and is even seeking actively to enact legislation to ban bladed weapons?

    Stop being sheep and think people!

    January 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  389. Martin

    Yeah, we're going to listen to the Russians lecture anybody about freedom and individual rights. So, since this is the official Russian News Agency, and it sure read like he was speaking for the Russians, not just himself, we are to assume the Russians would like us all to be disarmed? Yeah comrade, I'm sure you do.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  390. cdmertz

    Poor Mr.Gibb's fooled again there are many thing's that go with freedom some good some bad what we saw last week started out to be bad but what Mr. Gibbs did "not" say to the Russian reporter is unlike in his country the people around those who were hurt did "not" wait for the Gov't to come they took "action" that also is called "freedom"!

    January 14, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  391. Ryan

    Luckily for this RED reporter, he has the "Freedom" to say what is on his mind in the States. In Russia, he'd be tortured and dead by now. We never hear of the deranged madmen of other countries because their media is run by the government and filters what is allowed to be shared with the world.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  392. FB

    The Russian reporter was right to ask the question he did. It is a terrible price we pay for our freedoms. We have the right to meet, to assemble and to speak. But we also have the right to own guns and with these rights comes responsibilities. We have people who think the best way to make a statement is to get a gun and shoot someone. That is what happened here.

    Where the Russian was wrong was in how he asked the question. He needed to phrase it the way he did when he talked with the CNN reporter.

    This shooting is a horrible tragedy, but it is also a reminder of the responsibilities that each and every citizen of this country has. The question now is do we roll over and throw up a bunch of new laws or do we stand up and say what we did after 911, stand up and say to the world that this is OUR country and we are PROUD of it, even with all its flaws.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  393. gimeabreak

    Takes just a quick Google to read about plenty of assassinations, and officials being gunned down in Russia. Not sure where this reporter gets off point a finger at the US.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  394. Average girl

    Unfortunately, the problem of mentally ill people obtaining handguns is not a gun control issue. All the rhetoric on gun control is rather incidental to this particular problem. The issue is not about guns, it is about how we as a nation work with the mentally ill. A mentally unstable person who has never been diagnosed with an illness is the same as a mentally sound person in the eyes of the law. How do you reconcile that issue without opening a floodgate of opportunity for the civil liberties of all Americans to be assaulted?

    January 14, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  395. Florence

    There is always a price to pay for everything. This is the price we pay for our freedom and it's worth every penny.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  396. Greg

    Anne said: "And yes criminals will always get guns no matter where you live" Let me get this straight. You want to take guns from law abiding citizens but let the criminals have them. That may explain why there is no correlation between gun restrictions and murders by guns. I suppose if this nutjob could never have gotten the gun, that he would not have been able to do the same thing with a bomb.

    I cant stand all the nannys out there who rush into their cages for protection.

    Its life – go live it – take the risk!! Thanks to the nannys, there are entire states I have crossed off the list for a family ATV riding vacation because of various restrictions where my kids cant ride.

    If we lived forever, every life would be protected at all costs to freedom

    January 14, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  397. Cy Snow

    The Washington Post has been running a series on the ATF and guns. The prevelant issue being that the ATF is forbidden from keeping track of the guns in this country. It is illegal for a government entity to require gun sellers to inventory their stock. If by any chance a gun is missing it is not required that it be reported. Congress has been mandated by non governmental groups to quit bothering 'lawful' business enterprises that happen to sell guns and ammo with invasive requirements such as inventory and reporting missing weapons. Out of 300 million plus people we are determined to let private organization dictate what we want.

    January 14, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  398. kingofthenet

    Jared Lee Loughner Friday, LEGAL gun owner, Sat. Mass Murder, Virginia Tech. Shooter, one day LEGAL gun owner next Mass Murderer, Lee Harvey Oswald one day LEGAL gun owner, next Presidential Assassin, Etc, Etc...

    January 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      could have been a crossbow.... could have beem a sling.... ccould have been ... blah blah blah .... whats your point?

      January 20, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  399. Peter

    Two comments dear fellow Americans:

    1. All I read is personal attacks on one another for honest typos, countries visited, and other infantile, pointless arguments. Let’s grow up and give one another the benefit of the doubt.

    2. I agree with those who say that the guy from that Russian news agency simply asked a question, and meant no offence to anyone. I was surprised how Mr. Gibbs handled the situation. He was right to acknowledge that it was a horrific tragedy and no US law or sane citizen indorses such a terrible act on the part of a confused, mislead, and troubled individual. But he shouldn't have felt personally attacked by the question. I guess the Russian was trying to make a point that freedom is not easy; t is hard and often times comes at a price. The price we pay for our freedom is sometimes the result of a tragedy caused by a lunatic who uses his freedom to participate in a public gathering (freedom of assembly), and using his gun (freedom to bear arms) to shoot a fellow American. As horrible as it is, it speaks volumes about our beloved country of the United States of America, where freedom is real and available to all, even if it occasionally comes at a high price no one should have to pay ...

    January 14, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  400. Papa_K

    There was one point which I thought the Russian Journalist made which I think needs to considered. What we look like to the rest of the world. I know most of those reading this will probably have some arrogrant attitude and say who cares what those third world people think? Well because we all represent America. And when we go abroad they see us how we don't. When we hear of the Nigerian email scams we think every one from Nigeria is an email scammer. When we hear that Musslims crashed a plane into a building we react. Look what we've turned our airports into. So maybe you don't care what they think just maybe he struck a nerve.

    Are we a country who's freedom of live liberty and the presuit of happiness can be taken away by one person with a gun. Folks the constitution wasn't written for one individual it was written for Americans (plural) the people of America. And the reason for the constitution to allow us to bare arms to form a mailita was when we had the real possibility of having another country take us over not our own Government? For those who think that without the guns your Government can take you over so you want to protect yourself. YOURSELF! That comes close to being a terrorist act.

    I think the constitution should be followed but I feel that people have the right to BARE arms. No concealed weapons. If you want to carry a gun carry a gun but do so so that every one can see you. Do so, so that business can treat you like a cigarette smokers and not allow you to do business. Do so, so that mass transportation can refuse to allow to service you. Do so, so that other know which ones are walking around with half a deck.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
  401. ranndino

    I've heard the argument that crazy people could still kill without guns many times & it's completely ridiculous. A crazy person with a gun & multiple magazines can do a whole lot more damage than a crazy person with a knife or a baseball bat. All the massacres perpetrated in the last decade were by people who bought guns legally. America is a place where any nutcase can go to a store and purchase a modern firearm & enough ammo to mow down a crowd. And Anne is not misinformed. Check the statistics and compare murder rates in major US cities to those of major cities in Europe. It's not even close. All the checks on the purchase of weapons in the US are obviously ineffective because time & time again crazy people are able to buy them & go on a rampage. For example, the last huge massacre at the University of Virginia was also perpetrated by someone who bought his guns legally & was able to methodically kill over 30 people & injure countless more in a very short period of time. It doesn't matter that the question came from the Russian reporter. Everyone else in the world thinks that the US 2nd amendment is insane & outdated, but we have a lot of people here who consider it a sacred cow so no matter what happens it can't be touched. We'll keep having these massacres for as long as any nutjob has easy access to firearms.

    January 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  402. Bill Leffler

    ...and how many good Russian citizens have died through the years due to their government's controls? Love to hear the reporter's thoughts....

    January 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  403. vodka

    Sounds like a STFU moment to me. I love how other countries try to make a blanket statement how we all think the same way. What a bunch of morons!! Hey Mr. Russia how's your economy, social issues, etc. working for ya?

    January 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  404. GlueckAuf

    I rather the occasional nut job get ahold of a gun and manage to pull off the occasional catastrophe...than the occasional nut job get ahold of a nation leaving its citizens no recourse. North Korea, Iran–and Russia–come to mind.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  405. David84

    I actually have no problem with the question the Russian reporter asked. Americans have the right to bear arms. Period. Yes, there are rules and background checks, but none of those things can ever completely prevent some nut case from shooting into a crowd of people. That is a consequence of this freedom, and if we wish to continue to guarantee that freedom, than that is the risk we have to take. The reporter may have had a political ax to grind, but that does not mean that his question/observations were off base. It's just the side of the issue that most Americans ignore.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  406. ART

    The right is too busy fighting any form of gun control

    January 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
  407. Lorie

    I've never understood the fascination with guns in this country. There seems to be this idea that you must have a gun to fight against the government or to protect yourself. Fortunatey, the majority of gun owners will never fire their guns. Personally I think it's a false sense of security. It scares me to think that everyone is carrying a gun. Everytime you add a gun to a situation, it escalates the situation. In 2011, militias are a tired, old fixation from our past. The US goverment is not going to take your guns, but can't you agree that some type of reform is needed to keep the assault type weapons and large magazines off the market? For what possible reason would someone need that kind of weapon. There is just no good reason to have one.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  408. Oxnard

    ** and the quote, unquote "freedom" of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American. How do you respond to that?" **

    Uh, the freedom of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is pretty universal; I do not think that a deranged mind really cares where he/she is before reacting violently.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  409. Diane

    In the notoriously repressive country of China there were several incidents of men hacking up little school children with hatchets.
    Crazy people are everywhere and there's nothing we can do about it until they do something like what happened in Tuscon.
    Freedom has nothing to do with it.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  410. Diane

    In countries which are known as repressive, shocking incidents, such as the attacks on school children in China can and do happen.
    Freedom has nothing to do with it.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  411. Margaret

    I'm a Canadian who has been living in the U.S. for 25 years and I think the Russian reporter is right. Insensitive, but right.

    The out of control gun situation in this country is insane. There will be more bloodshed of innocent people. There's way, way, too many guns and the politicians are all too afraid of the NRA to do anything about it.

    January 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
  412. The Watcher

    It seems that the people who are most passionate about holding on to their guns have one main thing in common. They all seem to have a deep fear of everyone else and only a gun can protect them from the evil world. Seems a pretty sad way to live to me. I mean, how much joy can you have in life when you fear everything and everyone to the extent you must have means of instant death for anyone who might threaten you. The problem is that it is a false protection. Consider: If I intend to rob you and I know you are armed, what is my most likely course of action? It is not leave you alone because you are armed. I would shoot you before you even knew there was a threat and then rob your dead body. You would never have a chance to protect yourself. Do you really think that having a gun is a deterrent to crime? No it just leads to escalation. The bad guys will just carry bigger guns and shoot first. You will never know what hit you. In that world there is no such thing as a "fair fight"

    January 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Lorie

      The Watcher, I can't agree more. False sense of security. Seen it in my own community. Homeowner heard noise in the middle of the night, grabbed his gun and the robber shot him dead as came down the stairs. Or, the four cops shot & killed at a Lakewood WA coffee shop last year by Maurice Clemmons didn't have a chance to pull their weapons. They all died. It's never ending when guns are involved.

      I believe the Russian reporter was correct, The same freedoms we embrace can come back to bite us in the butt; like when a mentally imbalanced person exercises their right to purchase a deadly weapon. Guns have no place in a civilized country. I truly believe the 2ND amendment should be changed. Just because our fore fathers thought it was a good idea some 200+ years ago, doesn't necessarily mean it should be applicable today.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  413. John

    You will never get my guns! Has anyone thought of the possibility that these shootings are being done by the left to try and justify more gun control? Don't sit there and tell Obozo has not been trying to get more gun control because he is and as usual for him, by the backdoor beacuase ha has no B A L L S!

    January 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  414. haydens

    Hmmm.... the right to bear arms vs the right to be free from being dead because of a maniac's "right" to bear arms. Tough one. Maybe we need to tighten up the gun controls a bit, like every state has to do a serious background check. No more gun shows. A background check of this latest crazy person to kill with "legal" firearms would have revealed him to be missing a few toys in his attic. Look, you can have all the guns you want, prepare for WWIII or the need for an armed take over of an oppressive government, whatever. You can't have guns if you're nuts. Doesn't that seem reasonable?

    January 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  415. Михаил

    Российские законы запрещают пистолеты для граждан. Поэтому массовые расстрелы производят майоры милиции из нелегальных стволов. Очевидно товарищ Ситов считает это правильным положением вещей.

    Russian laws forbid pistols to citizens. Because of this mass shootings are perpetrated by police majors using illegal guns. Apparently comrade Sitov believes that to be the correct state of things.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
  416. Михаил

    It is also worth noting that just a couple of months ago Sitov colleagues, Russian journalists, demanded that the Russian government allow them to carry guns for protection because quite a few journalists in Russia have been killed for their reporting on criminal bosses and authority figures. Obviously, Russia does so much better with its strict gun control.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  417. Veronica

    We do have a lot of freedoms in this country. This is what makes it the greatest country!! But freedom has nothing to do with mad men. You're comparing apples and oranges. All these countries that have so many restrictions have their own issues. Look at North Korea, Cuba, China, and others already mentioned. Why would anyone want to live in those countries? They have no freedom of anything there and the governments themselves take people out when they don't like what they have to say. How is that any different than an occasional wacko here? I would not trade what we have here for anything else.

    January 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  418. fed123

    Image a upset representative in the House pulling out 2 glocks @ with 31 bullets. How many congresspersons are dead before he is shot by armed House menbers?

    January 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  419. Adam

    I don't agree with Sitov that, ""freedom" of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American." That is not American, but what is American is freedom to express your mind (deranged or not) without persecution form the government, unless you commit a violent crime. Unlike the Russian government where they have reporters killed who expose corruption and lies in their government. The one thing I do agree with is that we do pay for our freedom. Freedom is not free, but as Americans we are willing to pay that price in order to have the free exchange of thoughts and ideas. We've even spilled our blood for the freedom of other countries. Ultimately in this sad situation we are talking about the acts of a mad man and it has nothing to do with anything logical, thoughtful or political. Russia has also had its fill of madmen from serial killers like Andrei Chikatilo to Stalin. Yes, Stalin, who murdered millions and imprisoned millions who wanted freedom to think and express themselves. Mr. Sitov you are an idiot and it would suit you best to keep your mouth shut at the next press conference.

    January 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  420. Tony FL

    So Russkies handed it to ya, and Geiibs channels his inner Sarah Palin? How embarassing. Did Gibbs see communism from his podium? Plain pathetic.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  421. Mailman

    If there were perfect security, there would be no liberty. When it comes to it, security for who? For those under Stalin, if you plugged into the "matrix" you were safe. For 60 million others, not so.

    January 15, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  422. Ted

    WOMEN IN COMBAT.........Unless they are G.I. Janes ( movie)...Should NOT serve in combat....puts too much pressure on men to protect them and can cause devestating consequencies....especially in Mid East...know what would happen to a captured Female...Just Stupid idea and not good at all......Will this Insane..PC..Obama Menustration..leave our Military alone..??? .....looks like a deleberate effort to weaken and wreck U.S. Military...as they have done with everything else in America.....We have many enemies that will jump at every opportunity to fight Americans if they see a weakness....

    January 15, 2011 at 1:36 am |
  423. Jeff

    The Russian reporter made a correct observation. The gun rights lobby owns Congress, and if you watch the supposed "free press" painfully tip toe around the issue, it's just a travesty that the poor corporate owned press isn't allowed to say the phrase NRA out loud right now. For pity's sake, if we could restrict the access to guns by lunatics, we'd all be better off. The United States is a world power that just can't get past thinking with her reflexes instead of the brain – that is what limits us.

    January 15, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  424. oneStarman

    Its not about FREEDOM – It is about the American Character. The rest of the World sees america as a country of BARBARIANS – Lawless and Ruthless. We do not provide HEALTHCARE for our children. We kidnap, torture and bomb those who disagree with our ownership of the world's: Resources, Climate, Morality and Culture. Perhaps the Reporter chose poorly in referring to Freedom as the quality to which American Politicians most commonly ascribe to america. But it does not 'Refudiate' the observation that american culture has a DARK side of VIOLENCE – BIGOTRY – BELLIGERENCE – and HATRED. Most people in this country assert that the @nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means that they should possess WEAPONS OF MASS MURDER in every Household. That is NOT a 'WELL REGULATED MILITIA' which the 2nd Amendment speaks of – Unless you consider a MADMAN with a weapon whose ONLY PURPOSE is to kill as many people as possible is part of that WELL REGULATED MILITIA. Who but a MADMAN would WANT to possess a INFERNAL DEVICE – which is PROHIBITED under Federal Regulation for some time – like a GLOCK with a 30 round clip.

    January 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
  425. NHart

    Not only is America a violent country, we export violence all over the world. Just look at our disgustingly bloated defense budget and the 600 some odd military bases we have all over the world. Has anyone bothered to ask how many innocent people have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Obama's sermon at the memorial might have sounded good and been heart felt but really, is he kidding? How the hell can he ask Americans to care and have empathy for one another when his administration is not even taking care of our own unemployed citizens and on top of that keeping us active in two wars destroying peoples lives abroad. What a hypocrite. Washington is morally bankrupt. How else can you explain their support of the top 2% elite in this country. If they don't wake up their inattention could create alot more crazies in our society, people who have been driven to the brink because they can't find work, have no where to live, can't buy food, can't take care of their families and are hopeless.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Old Salt

      Hart, your short-sighted right-wing hate speech is laughable. First of all, it was Bush who got us into two wars overseas, not Obama. Second, it was Bush who destroyed the economy, and forced Obama to continue the corrective measures that BUSH had to begin, to address the damage he, and the GOP, did to the country. To try to lay the blame on the president for the damage done by you right-wing whores of big business does dishonor to you and to this country that you've damaged so badly.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  426. Dave Richman

    Countries like Russia are NOT free of madmen and free of violence with guns. Our freedoms which are given by our creator have nothing to do with the actions of the insane. This reporter is unable to understand the blessing of living with your freedoms, else he would not ponder such unfounded notions.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
  427. This is Scary!

    Wow. The sheer number of comments from posters so willing to toss the second amendment to the floor is terrifying. My friends, do not be so quick to discard a right granted to you by our forefathers. Remember that the primary purpose of the second amendment is to ensure our ability to remain self-governed, by giving us the means to restore that ability should it be taken from us. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking the right to bear arms has no impact on preserving our self-governing state in modern times.

    Freedom is not free, we have long understood that. We often say that when talking about the sacrifices our soldiers make for us, but freedom carries more costs than the already enormous burden our soldiers carry for us. There are additional costs in terms of safety and security. For example, we are free to drive cars... something that, even when done properly, results in billions of dollars in damage and thousands of lives every year. We have freedom of speech, something that, even when done properly, can result in violence costing lives and property damage (see MLK Jr. for excellent examples).

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans have spilled blood protecting our rights, including the second amendment. I think it is the responsibility of every American to very carefully consider that fact when talking about discarding, amending, or restricting those rights. Hundreds of thousands of our soldiers have died protecting that small handful of documents that restricts what our government may do. Do not be so quick to discard even the smallest portions of them.

    January 16, 2011 at 1:28 am |
  428. PulSe

    Hearing a lecture from a Borscht Slurping Steppe Peasant is laughable. These people have not taken the reigns to lead themselves EVER -throughout their history ! They gun down the journalists that question their one party "democracy". Laughable – Pathetic.

    January 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  429. Rob

    The Russian Reporter has got this totally right. Mr. Gibbs is out of touch.

    January 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Old Salt

      Rob,
      You're the one who's out of touch on this issue. Being mentally "deranged" isn't a right, never has been. It's a medical condition. A gun didn't cause this problem, a mental illness did. The 9/11 hijackers didn't have guns, but they killed more than 3,000 people. Address the real issues, not the guns. The one bystander who was armed couldn't stop the carnage in AZ, because he didn't use his weapon. If he had identified the shooter, and taken him out, the damage would have been ameliorated.

      January 18, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  430. Bill in STL

    So CNN... Do you moderate people now by email address.... I fully expect this to end up awaiting moderation as well.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:06 am |
  431. CNN - should be awaiting moderation

    So CNN... Do you moderate people now by email address.... I fully expect this to end up awaiting moderation as well.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:07 am |
  432. CNN - should be awaiting moderation

    So CNN... Do you moderate people now by email address.... I fully expect this to end up awaiting moderation as well. I am sure that you do .... LOL ... have your fun ... but my comments were in no way shape or form inflamatory... They were however directly opposed to your bias and certainly not part of the liberal agenda.

    January 18, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  433. Rick McDaniel

    Gibbs is the absolute worst WH spokesperson, in memory.

    January 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  434. question

    Well, the point the Russian journalist made is, IMO, juvenile. Is he aware of any society, free or otherwise, that hasn't suffered tragedy because of the lunacy of a madman? Is there a way to insure perfect peace & safety in any society, free or otherwise? One of the greatest American freedoms is that we debate these points, craft legislation if necessary, and adjust our laws at the will of the people & for the good of the people. And none of us assumes that we can legislate away lunacy.

    January 19, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  435. Mark Michaud

    The truth hurts.

    January 20, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  436. Dee H.

    I think that we should work on our response to the mentally ill. This shooter should have been in treatment a long time ago. His parents should have put him in treatment, or the college. Then that should go on his record so that he could not buy a gun or carry one. It should be more of a privelege to own a gun than a right. But then we are cutting our mental health services as if they are not important. This tragedy emphasizes that mental health services, controls, and administration ARE important! We should increase treatment of the mentally ill, not reduce it. This shooter should have been in a mental hospital, not out roaming around and surfing the net uncontrolled. I do agree that large ammo magazines should be more controlled. There is also no reason for the general public to have some of the high powered weapons available.

    January 20, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  437. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    It's funny. Gibbs spends all his time thinking of ways to attack republicans, yet when a true enemy of freedom is in his face criticizing this country, he can't even muster a good comeback. When he finally vacates that position, there'll be a collective "Good riddance!" from half the country.

    January 20, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  438. Bill

    Rather than post this comment individually to all of those that think the question is a fair one ... lets examine a point.

    in light of the fact that the Kalishikov AK-47 is the weapon of choice by insurgents, terrorists and thugs across the international community... By the way the AK-47 is a Russian weapon.

    A fair question to the Russian is why do you put these automatic weapons into the hands of nut jobs and whackos world wide?

    At least we do a back ground check .... LOL 🙂

    January 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  439. gunsrbad

    Um...this wouldn't have happened if people didn't feel the need to possess handguns.

    Gibbs refers to the values of our country and laws on our books...people, for some reason, value the right to access handguns/assualt weapons, and therefore it is permitted by law. So it was this freedom (to posses firearms) that allowed the Tuscon events to occur. Gibbs sounds like Michael Scott (The Office) in his explaination.

    January 25, 2011 at 10:42 am |
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