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The New York legislature is considering a bill that would ban retailers from selling handguns that don’t have either a 10-pound trigger pull, a “firing mechanism” sufficiently unwieldy that a five-year-old couldn’t use it, or “the capacity to require a series of multiple motions” to fire the pistol. In a rather brilliant propaganda move, the bill labels heaters that don’t meet these features as “child operated firearms”.

Nick did a good job deconstructing the silliness of the law itself, talking about the abysmal rates of accuracy achieved by the NYPD after adopting its infamous ten pound trigger, as well as the deleterious effects the bill would have on safety for disabled or elderly gun owners.

But I fear his reality-based arguments backed up by provable facts are only convincing to those already on the side of the angels. In fact, this bill and its language are such a strong move that I’m scratching my head as to why the control lobby didn’t try this earlier in the home state of Bloomberg, Cuomo and Schumer.

The fact that this isn’t already law is even more puzzling when you consider that the New York bill plagiarizes language already used in Massachusetts gun regulations. As TTAG reader Button Gwinnet points out, 940 CMR 16.05, promulgated by the Massachusetts Attorney General in 1997, which calls it an “unfair or deceptive practice” for retailers to sell a handgun without a “safety device” which includes.

The language here is nigh-identical to that in the New York bill: ten pound trigger, multiple motions to fire, mechanism that the average five-year-old couldn’t use.

The only thing missing from the Massachusetts regulations is the Orwellian “Child Operated Firearm” label which is a sufficiently sticky (and corrosive) label that I hope whoever came up with it charged the diminutive plutocrat Bloomberg at least eight figures for the service.

I say that because the persuasion problem that the gun control lobby faces is that they’re going up against the naked self-interest of people when they try to ban firearms.

No human really wants to give up their ability to get tools that make them smarter, more attractive, more powerful or safer. On a fundamental level, even the proverbial five-year-old can grasp that guns augment an individual’s physical power.

None except the ideologically blind or religious pacifists (to the extent they differ) is truly anti-gun. Almost everyone wants guns to remain part of society — the control lobby simply wants them to only be in the hands of the privileged, the powerful, the well-connected, the wealthy and their security services…which explains New York City’s current gun laws.

Gun rights activists simply believe that the right to keep and bear arms should be available to the entire citizenry in any society where equality before the law is valued.

The move is brilliant in a way that the term “gun safety” as a euphemism for gun control isn’t. Most people would be willing to trade away a measure of safety for a little extra liberty or power. But a “child operated firearm”?

On an emotional level, that just feels like a bad idea. Call me a Cassandra if you want, but it’s really hard to fight something when  you have to unpack a phrase that people instinctively feel is bad before you even get to the front line. If it catches on, “child operated firearm” will haunt the gun rights movement for a while in much the same way “assault rifle” has.

It’s all the worse given the results of the Massachusetts law. For GLOCKs, a 10-pound trigger is almost a drop-in replacement, one that requires a level of mechanical skill equal to assembling IKEA furniture. But that hasn’t stopped the Bay State from barring retail sales of new GLOCKs manufactured after 1998 under this rule.

Last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, launched a politically-charged “investigation” of both GLOCK and Remington, demanding access to internal corporate documents in the name of consumer protection. This was justified by the Commonwealth’s gun regs at 940 CMR 16.

GLOCK is fighting it, of course, calling it a “politically motivated” fishing expedition intended to “harass an industry that the Attorney General finds distasteful….” Also, GLOCKs aren’t even sold by retailers in the Commonwealth anymore. Duh.

(As it happens, the Second Amendment Foundation and Commonwealth Second Amendment, Inc. are supporting a lawsuit filed in 2014 by plaintiffs who were denied the right to buy a GLOCK from Massachusetts gun dealers due to the regulations under 940 CMR 16. Is it possible this litigation motivated the Attorney General’s fishing expedition last year?)

Massachusetts, though, is small beer at the end of the day. New York, however, is a big enchilada; this is an ambitious move in a high-profile state if the past is any guide, New York Republicans (who are vastly outnumbered in the House, and have a bare plurality in the Senate,) will be no more effective in protecting civil rights than the GOP was in protecting civil rights in the South after the Grant Administration.

When you consider the general political leanings of New York, the highly urbanized population, and the dense concentration of moneyed trial lawyers in the Big Apple, even if gun owners in New York rally stop this this time, that language is so sticky that it’ll be used again and again until something is enacted.

What’s the response to this? We should look to flip their language wherever possible. Frankly, there’s no reason why the NRA and its network of trainers shouldn’t OWN the phrase “gun safety,” for instance. And on this one in particular? We need to change the topic of conversation–fast.

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  1. Oh I hope this passes. This will be the straw that breaks their backs and gets all gun control laws ripped apart by the Supreme Court. It’s literally just a blanket ban on every gun that’s not a Nagant Revolver.

    • That’s right! 10 lbs? Why stop there? Make it 30 or 40 lbs statewide on rifles, shotguns, and handguns.

      And the Democrats (Neo-Marxists) solution? More government mandates. Whatever the problem is – government is the solution to them.

      • “Whatever the problem is – government is the solution to them.”

        For the dmthg/communists there is only one problem – their lack of dictatorial power.

  2. OMG! I can see Loretta Weinberg and her minions putting together NJ’s version of this nonsense even as I type. Of course her version will call for “bio-symmetricly controlled triggers” and pull weights of 50 lbs. since she knows even less about firearms than Caroline McCarthy.

  3. NJ in 5…4…3…2…1….

    Question: the Beretta 92fs has a 11lb pull on double action, would this be legal?

  4. Why not a 20 or 30 pound trigger, and limit it to a one-round magazine of less lethal ammo? I mean, who needs anything more than that? We don’t live in Kabul, for crying out loud.

  5. Hmmm… “Child Operated” firearm is also an “Elderly Accessible” firearm. Seems like there should be an avenue similar to the ADA. Effectiveness for normal adults aside, requiring a laborious trigger pull is blatantly discriminatory to the elderly, especially those with arthritic hands. Legally requiring weapons to have features they can’t use denies them their basic right to self defense. Seems like it wouldn’t even take a good attorney to argue this one.

    • Presumes that the judge is actually listening to the lawyer’s argument. Facts not in evidence.

    • Agree. The good guys should find some frail elderly gun owners and post ads asking why the state wants to force them to confront husky young thugs invading their homes using only hand-to-hand combat.

    • While it ought to be the plain language of the 2A that stops this madness, if we want to own the narrative, this is the way. This law discriminates against the elderly and disabled, preventing them from something so basic as exercise of an enumerated right. Make them own hating the elderly and disabled with this. Point out how many more elderly and disabled people use guns lawfully than are children harmed by accidents. Sue under the ADA, get elder rights and disability advocates involved. Co-opt anyone who objects to this at any level and be very very loud.

      • For a moment I thought perhaps AARP would join the fight, but then I came to my senses.

      • There is legal precedenct behind this. Heller, while it didn’t help us in many ways, did clearly define the right to own a gun for home defense as the law of the land. So self defense (at least in the home) is not only an enumerated right, but it already has the High Court’s backing.

        If this law passes, it “should” be easily stricken down as unconstitutional on the basis that it denies one or more protected classes a basic right that is already settled law.

    • Plenty of Republicans will jump on stupid.

      It’s not just D. The R has stuck it to us pretty good over the years.

      What about all the Trump promises? Apparently he has sold out Israel for 350 billion pieces of silver. Haven’t seen Trump or Party of R doing anything to restore “common sense” 2nd Amendment like “shall not”.

      • Democrats are effectively “The Gun Control Party”. Get over it.
        Some RINO’s are anti gun but not very many.
        Trump has many problems much more serious than gun law right now, give him time. EO’s are easily blocked by any pissant federal judge. Legislation is the only effective solution and takes time.
        Hillary would be rounding up all the pumps and semi-autos and pistols about now, so be happy for you are getting to keep.

  6. My one year old learned the multiple motions to open the cabinet door “child locks,” drags out the cast iron pans and can twist the cap off a water bottle.

    How is this going to help again? Oh sorry I forgot NY lefties aren’t trying to help our children

  7. I’m going to stoop to my most basic emotional level- I hate New York. I hate the politicians and I hate the head in the sand, left leaning, non reality having people that vote for them. If you live in New York you truly have my deepest sympathies because I know up and moving away isn’t an option for many.

    • It’s wonderful living in a state fully controlled by Republicans. I don’t wake up every morning needing to check the headlines to see what bull$hit the politicians have dreamed up to screw with us. Actually, that describes my morning routine over the 8 Obama years.

    • Moving away is always an option. It may have extensive negative consequences, but what are your rights and liberties worth? The arguments of Californians and New Yorkers is essentially if you pay them enough, they will surrender their rights. Thats certainly their choice to make, but it is a choice none the less.

      Personally I refuse to give either tax or other revenues to states which don’t recognize my rights, and I’m of a fairly poor opinion of those that do. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the problem, rather that in my calculation there is no price too great for liberty, including death. An interstate move with literally years to plan doesn’t seem such a hurdle.

      It’s not only gun rights, but if if woke up tomorrow to find my job, acreage, house and family had been magically transported to New York, I’d leave my estate to my attorney to liquidate for my benefit, because I would literally leave the state by the most rapid means available, never to return (only partially because I’d be guilty of a laundry list of felonies in that state assuming my personal property was still in the house). Then again, if I ever found myself under such a regime with no legal means by which to flee, I’d emigrate unlawfully. Finding that avenue blocked, I’d sneak, lie, steal, fight and even die to either restore liberty or escape.

      Whenever I hear ‘I’d move but’…what I hear is rights are negotiable, and liberty unimportant.

      Ohio is far from perfect, but it beats the hell out of New York for individual liberty. Should ever that change for the worst, I’ll put it in the rear view mirror quickly, all other considerations not withstanding.

      • “Whenever I hear ‘I’d move but’…what I hear is rights are negotiable, and liberty unimportant.”

        If only it were that simple. I have an elderly mother, and friends who are as close to me as any family member ever will be living here in upstate New York with me. NYC is the reason for our woes. This said, I’m not leaving everyone I hold dear just so I can have a 30 round magazine or an AR-15 with all of the “military features”. That being said, I have plenty of guns. So while we suffer under the yoke of putrid downstate Democrats, I cannot replace everyone I hold dear, and am unwilling to leave them. You can simplify that to me thinking that rights are negotiable and liberty unimportant, but that’s just not how it works. Imagine the phone call: “So, how do you like your new house in your ‘free state’?” “I just got in from shooting, I have a suppressed, short barrel AR-15 with drum magazines. I also don’t know anyone, and miss you all terribly.”

        Also, your assessment of what your life would be like here if you were to one day wake up in New York is a bit off base. Well, if you woke in NYC, maybe. Ever been to upstate? Yeah, it’s the same as Ohio. Like, identical. Event the accents. It’s flyover country. That’s the way we like it.

  8. We are disarming the piss ant little state of NY and it’s idiot residents for the next civil war.

    We’re using mind control, we got the governor and state houses to do it and it didn’t even cost $25 in beads, or sheet music.

    • Oh Joe, how little you understand about the state of New York. Still, though, it’s always a nice reminder to know that there are people out there ignorant enough to group Americans onto sides based upon state lines, regardless of a person’s political or ideological bent. See you in the middle!

    • New York has the same problem California does, they are controlled by the Socialistic, open borders, one world order Democrats. We need to vote them all out on the next election. Governor Brown keeps dreaming up more ways to limit guns for the people that obey the laws. He’s too ignorant to realize that the people that are going to do harm with them already have what they need or can easily get them on the street. Democrats also seem to think they can cherry pick the laws they want to enforce and disregard the others. For example, Governor Browns Sanctuary State, and open borders policies. I sure don’t want my tax dollars paying for law breakers (Illegal immigrants). California paid 25 Million dollars last year to provide them with Free education, healthcare, food and other social benefits. Yet governor Brown just increased our road taxes and DMV fees to fix our infrastructure. A lot of people have to drive to work and for lower paid individuals this will cause a hardship. Obviously he is just another Democrat that doesn’t think he has to serve the Legal citizens of this State. I think he also has a comprehension problem as our state flag says California Republic. It doesn’t say California Socialistic, open borders, one world order!

  9. The 12lb triggers are not the main reason the NYPD are such bad shots. I have no issues with my revolvers in double action. But then I actually shoot them more than once a year.

    • Long, smooth rolling revolver triggers are a whole different animal from double action striker fired triggers. And your revolver won’t be so slick with a mandatory 10 pound single action pull either.

  10. This is no problem. Grandmothers and the like will just get their kids to operate the guns for them, just like “childproof” caps.

  11. Gun manufacturers need to stop dealing with the Devil.

    Ronnie Barrett did, and it’s possible his company is MORE successful as a result. SIG, GLOCK, S&W, and the rest need to step up.

    Not Springfield or Rock River, though. They can just DIAF.

  12. Gun manufacturers need to stop dealing with the Devil.

    Ronnie Barrett did, and it’s possible his company is MORE successful as a result. SIG, GLOCK, S&W, and the rest need to step up.

    Not Springfield or Rock River, though. They can just DIAF.

  13. I don’t have “children” any longer, I have adults who can out shoot me.But none of us would want to be forced to use a ten pound trigger!

  14. some states as commifornia and new york are not realy an part of usa and should join nord korea from the view/point of mentality

  15. There is an easy way to flip this around – Heavy triggers kill unsupervised children.

    Consider that small children are clever, but not wise. They know triggers do something, but they don’t know exactly what, and they don’t think through the consequences of pulling one.

    When small children are too weak to pull a trigger in any normal firing grip, they flip the gun around and use a double thumb press, which is stronger but also points the muzzle at their head. The grisly result is a disproportionate number of self-inflicted headshots in children.

    This law literally ensures greater child fatalities.

    • small children … flip the gun around and use a double thumb press, which … points the muzzle at their head.

      This is 100% accurate and yet another reason to oppose this legislation.

    • I’ve been waiting for this somebody, thank you. It’s the truth, this is exactly what happens.

      I once showed a cousins 4 year old how to use his feet to stabilize his father’s 1911 so that he could use both hands, and his abs and back to work the slide. His father was perplexed and angry until I explained that if he kept leaving it on the table in front of the kid, unchambered, the kid would have figured it out himself, only with a loaded magazine and without me watching.

      This won’t prevent any tragedies, but might cause more. Calling a gun ‘child proof’ because of a heavy trigger only inspires poor gun safety habits around children.

      Also, a heavy latch on swimming pool gates, or a law requiring 5 gallon buckets to be too narrow to admit a child would save more lives, without being a constitutional issue or endangering anyone else.

      Then again, why so we even debate the relative utility (or lack thereof of) of such laws? We already know they’re bad laws, we already know the 2a isn’t subject to arguments of utility or safety. We already know that these laws are proposed not for anyones anyone’s safety, but as just another in a long list of injustices visited on the POTG for political gain or out of statist tendencies. For New York, and places like it, the battle is largely lost. Not to say we shouldn’t continue to fight, but the very fact that there aren’t lines of refugees streaming from the state tells most of what needs to be know.

    • The other way they can do it is by setting the gun on the floor and putting a stick in the trigger guard and then pushing on it using their arms or stepping on it with their feet and steadying it with their hands. This also has the same effect of pointing the gun at themselves.

  16. Simply argue the truth. There is no such thing as a “child operated firearm.” It’s a media coined phrase that’s flat out not real.

    • So is “assault weapon” but that phrase endures despite our best efforts. Heck, I hear it from people that actually own ARs.

  17. I think we should have child proof steering wheels. Only those with arm strength of a teenager should be able to turn the wheel.

  18. Fences save lives. More children drown in pools than accidental shootings by children. If these people cared about saving kids lives they would be looking at things that are killing our kids at high numbers and work their way down the list. Instead they are starting at the bottom of the list.

    • Because the lives of children are completely unimportant to them, simply a catchy subject to push their statist agenda behind.

  19. Just like the child proof caps on aspirin that I had to open for my arthritic mother when I was 6.

  20. What about “child operated automobiles”?

    Or “child operated buckets”?

    I could go on; kids are more resourceful than nanny-state adults want to believe, and are thus good at getting themselves into all kinds of trouble, including deadly trouble.

    But you know what kids turn out safe almost all the time? Supervised kids, and kids trained by responsible parents to be responsible kids. So maybe what we need is a law requiring people to be responsible adults before they’re allowed kids.

    • So maybe what we need is a law requiring people to be responsible adults before they’re allowed kids.

      Progressives would never allow such a law … it would seriously erode their voting base!

  21. This legislation does provide an advantage to us:

    Remember the countless variations of civilian disarmament arguments based on the claim that only highly trained people can operate firearms and the masses should therefore not be able to own them? Well which is it? Are firearms so simple that we are going to start calling them “child operated firearms” now? Or are they so complicated that only highly trained “professionals” can operate them? Surely both characterizations cannot be simultaneously right (although we are talking about gun-grabbers here).

    • When your entire ideology is predicated on cognitive dissonance, this sort of apparent contradiction is devoid of meaning and no barrier to acceptance.

      When fists and feet kill more people than all rifles, but some subdivision of rifles must be banned due to crime

      When higher taxes lead to a contraction of the economy and overall lower revenues to the federal government

      When appeasement leads to war,

      When you found your ideology on contradictory notions and obviously failed ideas, but persist in insisting on more of the same, contradiction, lack of utility, or really nothing at all are barriers to acceptance.

      Keep in mind, the average person has an IQ of only 100…meaning half have even less than that.
      Pile on the demands on attention from modern living, the distractions all around us…apply a decent amount of cognative bias…

      I mean, a large number of people still believe in the adult equivalent of Santa Claus. It’s not hard to understand how this can pass…what is harder to understand is why we aren’t more vigorously opposing these people and ideas.

  22. It’s ridiculous on its face. Even weapons specifically designed for children- Cricket 22s- must be legally purchased by an adult passing a background check. Are we planning to start selling directly to kids now?

  23. On ‘Child Operated Firearms’:

    While producing individual small arms suitable for children is a noble pursuit, it belies the fact that due to their stature, strength, mobility and other limitations, children make terrible individual riflemen.

    They are far better suited to manning crew served weapons.

  24. Oh, this is just another piece of Proconsul Cuomo-the-Younger’s presidential campaign for 2020. Positioning & creating a record for the official campaign to come.

    As we’ve seen, like with the SAFE act, or the various “economic development” initiatives, it doesn’t have to work as advertised. It only has to not be proven *not* to work, until the election happens.

    • One must wonder if Cuomo is remarkably stupid, or so cognitively biased as to outright reject reality? Given the outcome of the last presidential election, I’m not sure positioning oneself to the left of Clinton on gun control is a good strategy.

      I suspect he is neither, and this indicates he has no presidential ambitions. Senator from NY? Sure, president…not so much.

      • Oh, it makes all kinds of sense. He’s running for president on “progressive agenda done right.” In the end he may follow in his father’s clay footsteps. Cuomo-the-younger didn’t run this last time for the same reason Cuomo-the-elder didn’t run in his day: NYS pols don’t make a move unless the fix is already in. Elder didn’t wanna take on the Clinton machine & Bubba’s unpredictable retail politicking skills. Younger in ’08 didn’t like the muscular in-party opposition of the Chicago machine outsider with charisma who owned the vision & equality themes. This last time he couldn’t bring himself to take on the angry Clinton machine that had been capturing the national attention, party apparatus, and “support” of the incumbent for the last 8 years.

        He’ll go for it if he sees a way clear: the weakness of the D-party contenders set him up for exactly this ambition, reasoning that:

        – The recent election was an aberration, because HRC was such a horrible candidate, running such a horrible campaign. He can do better.

        – The rust belt firewall fell because she was snooty and drove them off. He’s all about pandering to that constituency the right way, thus all the “economic development” stuff, that totally isn’t under the hood.

        – He can message to capture the folks who swung the wrong way. So, the NY economic development stuff is 80/20 out of state ads to actual in-state “aid” (which BTW isn’t working in economic terms.

        – He’s an executive, not one of those legislators.

        He’s threading a needle she never tried. So yes, “economic development” for the deplorables, which she could never bring herself to embrace. (You’re one of those coal people? Too bad.) BUT, it’s entirely state-directed economic policy, So, “economic development” that Bizmarkian administrative statists will love.

        Senator, no way. Far too many peers and other power centers. He’s not interested unless he’s got all the cards — otherwise why bother? He’s got enough money and patronage without leaving the comfort of his own turf. Doesn’t need the hassle and risk of DC. (Madame Not My Fault and President Greek Columns are both different – true believers of a kind. Opportunists, certainly, but they also really feel the need to change the whole thing. The Younger Proconsul is not — best understood as a pure opportunist. They have to become president to reach the larger scope they need. Cuomo will make speeches of grand scope, but would rather take what he is certain to get, than take a risk at taking a shot at a bigger stage.)

        Net: As soon as Trump was elected, Proconsul Cuomo-the-Younger saw 2020 after The Accident’s inevitable demise, as his chance. No d-party bench. The competitors for his political operations base have self-destructed. The country at large ripe for a reactionary move to blue-model everything-ism. So, he’s stacking the deck, to win before it ever starts … which is what he knows, being a dynastic Albany pol.

    • P.S. The counter to this move is to push for education such as the 4 rules / Eddie the Eagle in schools. If children know not to touch guns and to get an adult, it’s irrelevant how heavy or light the trigger is. Changing the function of a firearm in a way that affects its usefulness for self-defense is a stupid half-measure that does next to nothing to keep children safe. The only way it can even possibly make a difference is if unsupervised children have access to firearms and then handle them recklessly. Education in schools is a very cheap way to directly address the root of the concern they’re claiming to address, whereas their solution is expensive to implement, impossible to enforce and unlikely to make any difference.

  25. The NRA should go directly after this in NY by buying short, blatant and graphic ads showing that Democrats want grandma dead.

    • Not only do they want grandma dead. They want disabled people dead, and since heavy triggers tend to get kids to try the double thumb press, they want kids dead.

      Show it happening and blame it on this law and see how far it gets.

  26. Nothing in NY surprises me anymore.

    These are the same people who voted overwhelmingly for Hillary after Emailgate, Whitewater, Travelgate, and Benghazi.

  27. It never ends. Whats next, one gun a month? Oh wait, commie kalifornia is doing that right NOW. It never ends.
    Political hacks just making firearms MORE dangerous. Using the lie “its for the children”.

  28. A child is not standardized. They come in an array of different types. Where are the studies that say an xx lb trigger can’t be operated by 100% of 5 year old’s – or is 75% good enough ? 50% anyone ? If they pass this law and a 3 year old shoots someone with one of these guns, someone should be able to sue the state for being stupid and making people think the guns were kid proof.

    My fourth child was a monster. I spent 2 days ‘child proofing’ the house when he was starting to walk. First thing he did is toddle over to the cupboard under the kitchen sink (where all sorts of chemicals are kept) – he pulled on the door, didn’t open. So he studied it, grabbed it with both hands and threw himself backwards with all his might – popped right open. Then he reached over, grabbed the plastic thingy that was the lock, snapped it off with one hand like it was nothing. Nothing was childproof for this kid. At 3 he opened one of those small dresser side, finger press gun safes. He pulled the finger pads off, found a small hole, then a paper clip, unbent the paper clip and poked it in the hole – safe opened. Don’t even get me started on child proof caps, spray paint cans (he painted a sports car once), cans of gasoline in the garage . . . he’s 16 now, has a really bright future in the product testing field.

    Now I spend an ungodly amount of time trying to keep him from hacking the network, router, the neighbors, phones, ipads . . . arghhhhhhhh. He just came with all that built in.


  29. New York,California,and Illinois are all lost causes. Let them rot on the vine. Move to Iowa plenty of jobs if you want to work. Legislature and governor are republican and pro gun.

  30. I’m pretty sure it would only take a couple spots of weld to increase the trigger pull past 2.7 tons, thereby precluding use by 5-year-olds, especially if one of them also welds it to an anvil. We may wish to consider this, if combined with requiring all liberals to swim the English Channel welded to that same anvil.

  31. “For GLOCKs, a 10-pound trigger is almost a drop-in replacement . . . . But that hasn’t stopped the Bay State from barring retail sales of new GLOCKs manufactured after 1998 under this rule.”

    Nope. MA penalizes the sale of new Glocks by FFLs — not by private parties or cops — because of a disagreement over the size and position of Glock’s “loaded chamber indicator.” The argument about the trigger pull was settled by Glock’s NYC2 trigger.

  32. NYPD uses a 12 pound trigger pull. I’ve spoken to multiple friends who are on the job and they say its too much. I believe other agencies like MTA have an 8 pound trigger pull.

  33. People who are crazy should not be able to get firearms,” she said, insisting that enforcement of mental health laws, not new gun restrictions, would prevent future massacres.

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