City Councilor Vargas Stirs Gun Debate Online

City Councilor Andy Vargas.

Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas.

A Haverhill city councilor is calling for “common sense steps,” including expanding mental health services and researching the “effects and possible solutions to gun violence,” in response to the Orlando gay nightclub attack.

Councilor Andy Vargas outlined on his personal Facebook page Sunday four proposals, including a “standard and extensive set of background checks that applies in all 50 states;” “mandatory training/licensing—when you get your driver’s license you have to pass a test and most go to driving school. Why not to purchase gun?;” “unshackle the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so that they can diagnose, research and put forth data and fact driven policy recommendations;” and “expand mental health services, but also make sure that mental health records are securely shared across law enforcement.”

“To start, how about allowing us to at least research the effects and possible solutions to gun violence,” Vargas wrote on Facebook in reference to a congressional prohibition on research by the CDC, dating back prior to a July, 2015, shooting attack in Charleston. S.C. and, since then, another shooting in Oct., 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif.

“These are just some quick ones,” Vargas added. “Demand action. There are things we can do that will drastically reduce the amount of times we have to watch and live the same damn movie.”

Responses to Vargas’s call vary.

“Let’s get some actual scientific research going. That is what is needed. The (National Rifle Association) blocks this because they are afraid that it will sway people toward commonsense gun control measures... and the congress (bought and sold by the NRA and like-minded groups) obey,” wrote Mark Michel.

“What would this would-be research accomplish which already which has not been done,” wrote Duncan Burns. “Isn't there already enough anti-liberty firearm laws (thousands) already on the books? There’s a lot of bad people in this country, some of them have guns, there’s no research or law that will prevent that.” Vargas replied, “But why then, pass legislation specifically banning the research? Is there something to hide?”

“Think discussion needs to go further,” said Ellie Fishman Sternquist. “Guns…and the insidious issue of watch lists, no fly lists, if one should not be able to buy weapon, ammo.  But if on list like Tsarnaev how do we stop buying stuff for bombs? I get more scrutiny buying allergy meds.”

9 thoughts on “City Councilor Vargas Stirs Gun Debate Online

  1. There are people in the world who will do bad things -period ! It doesn’t matter how they will get their bad deeds accomplished, they will use whatever means possible. Let us remember that the 911 attackers used box cutters and airplanes. The Boston Marathon was a bombing. So, do we call for the banning of cars because people get drunk and kill others ?? Mr. Vargas needs to understand that he is ranting about an inanimate object that if left alone cannot hurt anyone.

    Please Mr. Vargas stop using these incidents to gain political points. Some of us know about who supports you in the background and your elected goals going forward. We already have a publicity hound as Mayor and we don’t need another. Pay attention to what is going on here in Haverhill as there are plenty of issues that need attention.

    • Jack, who exactly is Andy “gaining political points” with? Every time he opens his mouth he shows how immature and inexperienced in real life issues he is. He’s too consumed in his liberal teachings to even know how silly he sounds very time he talks. You would have thought when he made public his proposal for the city to purchase software to make Haverhill city government more transparent for the public to see what is actually going on, and the mayor buried it like he does all measures to uncover his secrecy, that Andy would have learned how things operate in this city. But more importantly, if he REALLY believed in that issue he would have put up a fight…which he didn’t.

      We need to get Andy on record publicly where he stands on the issue of Sanctuary Cities.
      How about it Andy??

    • Hi Jack(s), this was a personal issue for me. That’s why it was posted on my personal Facebook, where I share my comments with family and friends — many of whom know why it is personal. There’s a reason why it was not posted on my public official page, where I try to always keep it Haverhill focused.

      I understand where you’re coming from, but here’s a list of other “inanimate objects” – tanks, RPGs, missiles, etc. There’s a reason why you can’t purchase these. Is that a violation of your 2nd amendment?

      Here’s my email if you ever want to grab coffee: [email protected]

      • Editor’s note: When a reporter presented this story, there was an internal debate about whether an elected official has a reasonable expectation of privacy when posting publicly on social media. WHAV concluded, in this case, there can be no expectation of privacy especially when the elected official’s beliefs could have an impact on public policy in the future.

  2. In 2015 there were over 468 murders, and over 2,900 shootings in the City of Chicago alone. Tell us Andy…why is it your hero NEVER even mentions the gun violence there in his home town (putting aside the fact that it is mostly black on black violence)? The reason is because the guns being used in those shootings there are not done by licensed, registered gun owners. By him commenting on this FACT confirms that limiting gun owner rights does nothing to stop the criminals who commit the crimes from doing so. It is a rare occurrence that the actual gun used in violent atrocities like in Orlando are committed by the person who bought the gun. Europe has the strictest gun regulations in the world, yet they proved of no use when those seeking to do harm carried out multiple attacks in France.

    “…research the effects and possible solutions to gun violence.”
    Do you actually not know why these shootings are occurring Andy? Is it actually possible in the liberal lala land of more and bigger government you thirst for that you don’t even know the USA is AT WAR with radical extremist Muslims who have declared a Holy Jihad against us? Do you not understand what it meant when Omar Mateen called the Orlando police from inside the night club to declare he was carrying out the shootings in the name of ISIS? You need to spend tax dollars to research all this?? Is it possible that in going to one of the most prestigious universities in this country studying “government” that you are unaware that the 911 Commission’s number one finding was that the USA was at war with Radical Extremist Muslim Jihadists prior to 911 and didn’t even know it???

    ACORN Andy, where was your plea for understanding gun violence a couple of weeks ago when shots were fired at Swayze Field? Why weren’t you asking questions about where those who fired the shots got their guns? Is it because you know they most likely came from Lawrence where liberal moonbat city councilors like yourself declared the city a Sanctuary City which provides safe haven for criminals who laugh at the prospect of buying and owning a “registered gun”? Where’s YOUR CALL FOR ACTION Andy?? The City of Lawrence AVERAGES one armed robbery PER DAY !!! Their crimes and violence and criminals are now spilling over into Haverhill yet YOU say nothing!!! Where is YOUR call for ACTION to stop the criminal illegal trespassers invading Lawrence and the entire Merrimack Valley and bringing with them illegal guns, drugs and violence??? Why aren’t YOU taking ACTION??? How many people you know in Haverhill have to OD on drugs bought from drug dealers in Lawrence with guns Andy before you stop talking and take action???

    Andy, your liberal rhetoric given your ideological indoctrination is to be expected. Your comments like those you made on your Facebook page are childish and have no bearing on what is happening in the real world. Keep them up though….watching the next generation of brainwashed liberals is very entertaining.

  3. If one reviews Haverhill Police incidence and arrest records published by WHAV and in the local newspaper, you will see that most of the “shots fired” incidences have occurred because either the weapon was purchased illegally on the black market, the weapon is imported from God knows where, the serial number is not readable so can’t be traced, the person committing the crime already is a criminal or has a criminal record, and the person doing the shooting is UNLICENSED and had no business having a weapon in the first place. So —- if as in the Florida incident, one has “gun free” zones and no one but the shooter who is clearly up to no good has a weapon, you have a perfect recipe for a problem because the shooter KNOWS he will be the only person with a weapon so is safe from harm.

    Under those circumstances, we the law abiding citizen is defenseless and we end up like ducks in a shooting gallery. Law enforcement cannot be all places at once, and is always several minutes away when they are needed IMMEDIATELY. You can’t protect yourself under those circumstances, and the criminals and crazies know this. So now all of our politicians can think of is more control of the “good guys.” Don’t know about any of you, but I want to be able to protect myself.

  4. Some good thoughts. However I am looking for positive thoughts that concern the City of Haverhill from our elected city officials. We have run out of parking spaces down town yet housing continues to grow, thus having an adverse effect on school budgets, parking for our restaurants parking for our residents. We need more support for our School leadership, Jim Scully. He does a great job for us. Bring business and retail into downtown. Lots of new restaurants now but no retail. Railroad bridge repairs need to speed up, parking enforcement is poor, unused lots on Winter street, no income from them. Free parking all day in certain areas for out of towners and out of staters who take the train to Boston and don’t spend a nickel in Haverhill.

    Sure we have very pressing and national issues including gun control, welfare abuse, ballot abuse etc that MUST be addressed!! Take those problems to our congressmen and US senators and if we don’t like their responses vote them out. Senator Markey and Warren are champions of most of these causes. Lets call on them for help. Responsible legislation is the answer. Certainly not shouting after a respectful moment of silence

  5. Andy was parroting a Party line, which if any of the anti-liberty crowd took any time to find, The CDC & The FBI have plenty of data available. Homicide, especially that by firearm, has been in decline for over 25 years. Of course, this is where propaganda, semantics, and rhetoric comes in, because when anti-liberty types use the phrase “gun violence”, they include suicide by firearm. Taking out the intent to kill another, homicide by firearm isn’t even in the top ten of issues facing a horrible mortality rate for Americans.

    Instead of focusing on taking away the only equalizer in a no win situation, how about focusing efforts on how fat Americans are getting, a REAL KILLER. See the statistics on diabetics? A nation of fat people are collapsing the healthcare industry as well as lowering life expectancy. Americans can’t stop putting crap in their mouths that are harmful, yet politicians remain silent on how these items reach our store shelves. The same politicians that take hundreds-of-millions of dollars that allow pharmaceutical companies to distribute drugs that clearly state on their labels: “May cause suicidal or homicidal ideation.” Brilliant.

    “Common sense” firearms regulations already exist, SCOTUS has numerous Decisions affirming that firearms are here to stay. The anti-liberty and lawless people against them would rather usurp the law. A rule of law in which gives anti-liberty ideologues a process to meet their ends: Amending the Constitution.

    Fortunately, there are many Americans that already possess “common sense”, especially those of us that have owned and/or carried firearms most of our lives. Excluding police officers, those “common sense” Americans have protected themselves and their families by the thousands via firearms. Instead of trying to take our only tool that could defend our RIGHT to live, try following the law and the true will of The People. Try focusing energies on issues truly killing Americans instead of sensational headlines, while tragic, in ALL circumstances, were an equalizing firearm present, it may have given victims of all these mass shootings a chance, what the ideologues want, is for you to have ZERO chance and to die.

    How about, every registered Democrat, as a matter of principle, turn in their own firearms and LTC’s? Or maybe disband the armed security and State Police escorts so many are entitled too, including the buildings they work in? You know, put their rhetoric where their mouth is and maybe live as one of The People they obviously do not serve? Just another example of anti-liberty tyranny with an egregious use of red herrings to deflect from their own hypocrisy.

    CDC data:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#019

    FBI data:

    https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats