President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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Not in Arizona! We'll just secede.[wink]There's too much money in guns to slow down the flood of weapons being made in the USA and the NRA is well entrenched and has lots of money.The only thing it takes here is $$$$$.Psycho? Felon? Mentally retarded? Just want to kill someone? Need some extra money for Christmas? Like to kill cats? Want 20 or so for your friends in Mexico?No problem here in Arizona. Just bring cash.We do not need a gun ban. We just need to control who gets them.There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that a 5 day waiting period should not be in place here? There is NO LOGICAL reason that anybody needs a gun, or 10, on the same day they decide to buy some firepower.Granted, Arizona has a real persecution complex, and Mormons are at the top of that list, so we'll be the gun walking capital until the inmates who run the asylum come to their senses.Or as the Hupper says, give 'em all guns and let 'em shoot it out in the halls.
So much for the Trib's Spam detector![beam]
Downtown, I'm not opposed to a waiting period or even a limit on the number of firearms a person can own (or purchase at once). Rights come with responsibilities. For example, freedom of speech is limited to time/manner/place restrictions.
On the other hand, a waiting period has no application to the shooting under discussion. While your ideas may be reasonable, if they're presented as just taking advantage of this tragedy, they're going to do more harm than good.
In the mid-80s through mid80s gun control was severely hampered by disingenuous calls for "reasonable restrictions" by activists who openly stated that any restriction was simply one step toward their ultimate goal: a total ban.
This, along with the federal courts' unwillingness to honestly examine the right to arms caused gun owners to resist even the most reasonable proposals.
In 2005 the Supreme Court finally addressed the right to arms. Gun owners should loosen up now that they have some legal legitimacy. But, proponents of gun control should still tread carefully. This should be a serious discussion about how to balance competing interests (which is how the 1st amendment's time/manner/place restrictions are treated). Not insensitive, politicized tirades.
The fact of the matter is: with widespread gun ownership you *need* gun owner support for any reasonable controls. It's not a good idea to "rattle their cages" with incendiary commentary. Far better to recognize why their response to everything is "circle the wagons" and "us versus them."
We really need to frame this as balancing competing interests. Individuals have a right to defend themselves when society can't (or won't). We also have a right to safe, prudent exercise of gun ownership.
Dale, do you seriously believe trigger locks would have prevented this? If the son was willing to shoot his mother in the face, don't you think he would have been willing to torture her to give him the combination to the lock? (Or, smart enough to install a spy cam to observe the combination when she accessed the guns?).
Secure storage of firearms is a good idea. Maybe even worth mandating. But, let's be honest. It still wouldn't prevent this shooting.
Dale, comparing the US to Mexico, violence (not just firearm) tracks wealth and income disparity far more than the availability of firearms. Mexico has more firearm violence than the US does even though firearms are banned there. Ditto Honduras, Brazil and South Africa. While I haven't seen figures on Russian gun violence, their homicide rate is far higher than the US.
I'm not discounting the fact that firearms make efficient tools to inflict violence. But, they're also efficient at deterring violence. The really interesting topic is why violence exists in the first place. Like I said, it tracks cultural homogeny. As values become less shared, violence escalates. The US being a giant melting pot has always had higher-than average violence rates. But, over the past 30 years of deregulation, and the resulting *huge* increase in wealth/income disparity, we look more like Russia, Mexico and Brazil in *many* ways. Not just violence, but the gulf between the rich and poor.
It should rather be the mental illness research and treatment "tipping point".
The blood of those children is on the hands of fools who banned guns in schools.
When i grew up back in the midwest in the 50s every kid had a rifle or shotgun by the age of 12 and all they ever shot was rabbits and squirrels
Suzie, in the 50s the average CEO's compensation was 33 times the average worker. (Recently it's been over 400 times). The top income tax bracket was 90%. (Today we argue over 35 or 40%). Homosexuals didn't exist. Minorities were segregated. Women like June Cleaver knew their place in a man's world. And, we were still receiving tremendous benefit from one of the world's largest transfers of wealth (still depicted in the '50s as a noble "Manifest Destiny" to possess this country.).
When such a narrowly shaped set of values are so widely shared (and dissenters are segregated socially and physically), it's easy to live an idyllic life where everyone just does the "right thing" and would never think of acting aberrantly.
Writing about the Connecticut slaughter, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat notes, “There is no refuge from evil, and no solution to its mystery.” Of course, he’s right.
But we are complicit in evil, providing the weapons needed to carry out the deeds.
I’d like someone to explain to the parents of those twenty dead children why America should allow assault-type rifles to be legally sold, why it’s necessary for anyone to own a weapon whose only purpose is to kill, and kill in large numbers.
Are we really prepared to sacrifice the lives of 20 children for some folks’ desire to own those weapons of death?
Mike, where do you draw the line on capacity and features? ("kill, and kill in large numbers"). The prior "assault weapon" ban was largely cosmetic. The same weapons were sold with a thumbhole grip (instead of pistol grip). The flash suppressor was cut off the end of the barrel. Bayonette lugs were ground off. And, magazines were limited to 10 rounds.
The pistol grip, flash suppressor and bayonette lug have virtually *no* affect upon the misuse of these firearms.
The shorter magazine may have some affect. Pro shooters can swap magazines so fast that it makes negligible difference. However, we all know the Tucson shooter was interrupted when he swapped magazines. So, maybe a magazine limit would make sense.
The point is: know what you're proposing. The hyperbole about "explaining it to the survivors" doesn't help. That's purely emotional. If we squander political capital on banning bayonet lugs, and another tragedy occurs, will you be willing to explain to those survivors why you wasted everyone's attention on something so superficial?
This is a perfect example of the risk we run. Gun control tends to be dominated by emotional rhetoric, not cost/benefit reasoning. In the '60s the Gun Control Act was debated for years. When Martin Luther King was killed using a rifle, there was finally sufficient political/emotional support to pass the CGA controlling handguns.
A few months later RFK was shot with a handgun, leading to enough political/emotional support to amend the GCA to regulate long guns.
That's the kind of reactionary controls we tend to produce. A life is taken with a rifle, we regulate handguns. When a life is taken with a handgun, we regulate rifles.
We're better than that. And, as I said in a prior post, for any gun control to work it requires the support of gun owners. When they see nutty stuff like calls to ban pistol grips on long guns (just because they look "military"), their support won't be won. When the next tragedy occurs due to this missed opportunity, you own it as much as you may believe gun owners do.
You catch yourself up in so much minutiae that no law can ever accomplish anything. You can't ban weapons anymore than you can prohibit alcohol, and it is consummately stupid to think you can. A law about guns has as much effect as a law about where hurricanes can come ashore. Gun control can be sensible, but that would not involve banning anything, or restricting who carries a gun where, both of which are counter productive measures with unplanned consequences that prove deadly.
How do you control guns? Government can't, but government can insist on citizens having the tools to do so. Shooting should be a mandatory high school course that must be passed for a degree. Government must start doing it's Constitutional duty in regulating the militia, assuring every man (or citizen if you prefer) is qualified to use a gun, and has one in his (or her) possession. Switzerland does this and every Swiss man from 18 to 36 must have a gun, it's not a choice. Guns are controlled by a populace that knows and understands them, their power and their limitations, and all you get from bans and 'gun-free' areas are killing zones you created out of your own ignorance.
And stop going off half cocked and falling into fanaticism with every psychotic that climbs out of the woodwork. There are over 300 million people in the US, so it will happen again, and again. A populace that knows and understands guns can keep them out of a few wrong hands, and may get lucky stopping the psychotic before it gets too bad. But with that many people, you are living with 100s of ticking time bombs. That is simply the fact, and even a good government can't do thing one about it, all they can do is make it worse, and that's, at least part of the reason for the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which our current government has abdicated responsibility for and is, at least partially, to blame for things like the deaths of Connecticut school children.
az2008, explain why the rifle the shooter used is legal. What purpose does it serve, beyond to be a more efficient killing weapon?
As to the idea of banning those weapons being "cosmetic," Australia did just that.In 1996, a guy murder 35 people with an assault-style rifle, which led to a ban on those weapons. In the 18 years before the ban, Australia had 13 mass shootings. Since the ban, none. The murder rate with firearms has dropped more than 40 percent since the ban. Neither is hardly "cosmetic."
As to this being emotional, please explain that to the parents of those 20 kids, that they're just being "emotional." Who wouldn't be? And had the magazine been limited to 10 rounds -- as you say the previous ban led to -- how many more kids would've lived? As is, the shooter poured 11 rounds into one child alone, with all the murdered shot multiple times.
But we have found some common ground -- you and I agree that a magazine limit "would make sense."
Now, we need to tell that to the NRA -- which opposes a limit -- and to the craven politicians who cower when the NRA comes a knockin'.
So, it's not possible to carry more than one magazine? I wish the answer was that simple....
'And had the magazine been limited to 10 rounds -- as you say the previous ban led to -- how many more kids would've lived?' The same number as did. Such insignificant nonsense is part of what kills. The ignorance that says 'limit the magazine' what it indicates really is that the person advocating it understands nothing about firearms or their use. If you want some control of guns you have to educate people to them much better than some nut reacting to a tragedy with fanatical and ignorant responses. A populace that knows guns, as the Swiss because of their well-regulated militia doesn't fall into fanaticism, banning, restricting and generally making horse's behinds of themselves. The answer isn't governmental power, it lies in education in teaching guns to our children, educating our militia (everyone) to them. Guns kill, but ignorance allows it more often than not and our government fosters that ignorance, rather than fulfills it's duty to regulate the militia. Basically because the people we elect are incompetent cowards, but that's the way the Mercedes bends I guess.
Rich, you've asked me what makes the gun legal. You've side-stepped my question about what makes it illegal. The bayonete lug? The flash suppressor? The protrusion called a pistol grip (instead of a thumbhole stock)?
As I said, none of those items make a firearm lethal. They only make it look scary. If you really tackle the lethality question, it becomes a matter of where you'd draw the line. Lever action rifles? Any semi-automatic rifle?
Regarding Australia, they went much further than banning bayonet lugs. Only 5% of the population now (legally) owns firearms, with hunting/sporting being the only legitimate use.
Have fun selling that to the 70% of US households which own firearms for a defensive purpose.
As I mentioned earlier, it's the kind of unreasonable propositions which you're making here which has contributed to highly polarized and ineffective controls. The survivors of the recent tragedy should blame folks like you as much as the NRA.
az2008,All guns are legal, the second amendment makes them so. The rest is a futile and rather infantile attempt to find some way you can't shoot a politician. Guns are controlled in a society where the members understand them, uncontrolled in societies that don't. And it doesn't really matter if you are fatally shot by a legal or an illegal gun, does it? The children in Connecticut are just as dead whether or not the gun was legal or illegal. No society is safe from the the random psychotic, and if Obama thinks he can do anything about that, I humbly suggest that we impeach him and confine him to an asylum for his safety as well as ours, such fantasy thinking should not be allowed in something as pragmatic as government.
Did you catch the panel discussion on Sunday's Meet the Press? The problem is multi-faceted. Does this not mean we ought not to address these multiple problems.
Passing laws against speeding and against drunk driving does not guarantee you won't be killed tomorrow by a speeding drunk driver. Does that mean you are OK with getting rid of these laws? Thought not!
One man [Richard Reid] attempted to take down a commercial air craft using a very poorly crafted shoe bomb and now you and I have to remove our shoes in the TSA line at the airport. But since 1999's Columbine incident we have had numerous school shootings and nothing has been attempted! Why? Is it because we have a Second Amendment covering fire arms but no amendment covering shoes?
Let's not forget that following the shooting in Tuscon, the only act of the elected brain trust in AZ was to name an official State Gun.....
"az2008,All guns are legal, the second amendment makes them so."
Where can I buy a 50mm AA gun? How about a bazooka? How about a fully auto anything???
Seems you are wrong, rich. But you must be used to being wrong!
"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." It's right there in black and white. If you can't buy something then it is not right to say that some guns are illegal, the conclusion should be that the government has broken the law. 90% of this debate is covered by that. We need a well-regulated militia, like Switzerland's but the government has resisted that out of greed and incompetence, and then aggravated the situation with nonsense bans every other time some nut slips his trolley.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Connecticut have some pretty restrictive gun laws in place already? I guess Lanza wasn't aware of them."For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." H. L. Mencken. For all of you who, in the aftermath of the atrocity of Newtown, are focusing on the obvious clear and simple answer of more gun laws, take a look at the website posted here and then tell me why the culture of fantasy violence has nothing to answer for. When we train our youth to be mindless killers, why are we so surprised when they turn out that way?www.ign.com/videos/2012/11/28/far-cry-3-revealed
How about: new tax on guns and ammunition goes towards mental health care? This country definitely needs this. Ever since so many mental health facilities closed in 1980s, homelessness and violence like this has increased.
Rich, what is "regulated" about a guy with KNOWN mental problems being taught how to shoot by his gun nut mother, so he can kill her and 20 kids?
Where can I buy that fully auto again?
You love to show how wrong you are in public, don't you?
Your lack of reading comprehension is breathtaking."what is "regulated" about a guy with KNOWN mental problems being taught how to shoot by his gun nut mother, so he can kill her and 20 kids?" Nothing, which was my point, or part of it. Had guns been regulated through education and militia training the guy's problems vis a vis guns could have been known and could have been handled, as it is the government's lack in regulating guns prevented that.
"Where can I buy that fully auto again?" A great many street corners, and you can also buy kits and modification to turn some semi-auto full auto. The lack of effective regulation, through education and militia training of course makes it difficult to trace such guns and places them in the hands of people who don't use them well, but when you ban something, prohibit it, that is almost always the unintended consequence.
"You love to show how wrong you are in public, don't you?" How many Swiss schoolchildren were shot in attacks on Swiss schools this century? The naked assertion that something is 'wrong' doesn't make it so, in fact it usually shows the person who made the assertion to be a bit foolish.
so rich, you'r saying BREAKING the GUN LAWS is OK by you!!
You sad little bunker baby!
BTW, the number of Swiss killed by guns this DECADE is LOWER than the number killed in the US THIS YEAR! (and maybe this MONTH)
Rich, I notice you FAILED to address the "Well regulated" aspect of the guns used in Conn..
BTW, how tiny is you "manhood" that you have such a need to strap on a metal one?
Dataman,Once again your reading comprehension is stunning."so rich, you'r saying BREAKING the GUN LAWS is OK by you!!" There are no legitimate gun laws, you read the law of the land, I posted it. What word didn't you understand?
"BTW, the number of Swiss killed by guns this DECADE is LOWER than the number killed in the US THIS YEAR! (and maybe this MONTH)" Because the Swiss while having more guns per capita than we do regulate them well and we don't, that was the point, are you sure you understood it?
"I notice you FAILED to address the "Well regulated" aspect of the guns used in Conn.." Once again your reading comprehension astounds: ""what is "regulated" about a guy with KNOWN mental problems being taught how to shoot by his gun nut mother, so he can kill her and 20 kids?" Nothing, which was my point,.."
It might help if you read what you are arguing against BEFORE you hit 'Post Comment'
Rich, the 1st amendment says speech shall not be infringed. But, it is accepted by everyone (except a few fringe libertarians) that it is subject to time/manner/place restrictions. Balancing "competing interests" is a matter of ensuring *ordered* liberty, not *absolute* liberty. If you had a right to assemble and demonstrate on public streets (without first obtaining a permit, and coordinating your activity with police) it would impede my right to freedom of movement and to pursue my own happiness (to get to work, etc.).
Your position that all weapons should be unregulated is a fantasy. Your view leads to howitzers, grenades, shoulder launched missiles. You can't identify where you'd draw the line except to say "no weapons should be outlawed." That, in a word, is a convenient way to remove yourself from meaningful discussion and facing challenging questions.
Rich, simple cross-cultural (Swiss) comparisons are almost meaningless. The Swiss have much higher uniformity (conformity) of social values, support for social institutions, and income equality. Comparing gun ownership without such context is like raging anti-gunners who compare homicide disparity between Canada and the US (attributing it to the lack of gun ownership).
We're not going to have meaningful control when the polarizing extremes talk past each other this way.
You don't believe there can be meaningful control, do you? (Any control such as requiring serial numbers on guns is an unconstitutional "infringement," right?).
I think it's time to address many things---common sense gun laws and lack of proper screening of the mentally ill. For one, we do not need assault rifles with high capacity clips for hunting deer. Give me a break! And anyone who knows me is aware I am a gun owner--but this goes too far.
The current mental health care in this country is very backward. This will be a long and process--but the new norm in America will NOT be children gunned down by someone who should never had access to guns.
I take extreme offense to comments such as Mike's, which claims people who support the 2nd Amendment are "complicit" in this massacre.
The guns did not do this. This nutjob did. His mother knew he was mentally disturbed, and even refused to talk about her family life to people. But mental health advocates believe every person should have the right to live freely, no matter how many problems they cause society. Well, this is one of those problems. He could have easily brought gas cans and molotov cocktails to the school.
"Your position that all weapons should be unregulated is a fantasy." I'm not arguing for unregulated weapons. In fact the argument is quite the opposite. Admittedly it's an emotional issue especially in the wake of a school shooting, but kiting off like you're doing doesn't help much. The question you're bringing up isn't even in the discussion. The argument I made was an argument based in how to effectively regulate weapons, polar opposite from unregulated weapons. Bans, prohibitions not only don't work, they are counter-productive. Guns are banned in elementary schools, and 20 kids are dead because, basically, there was no one available to stop the only guns on campus. If you educate people about guns, have a regulated militia with their guns at home, you're safer and have mechanizations in place to stop the psychotic. When you drive guns underground with bans, and create gun free areas, you cease to have the ability to apply any controls and create killing fields. The second amendment if used properly regulates guns better than the abridgments of it.
And some BTWs Data, I don't own a gun. And I do have friends in Switzerland with grenades, shoulder launched missiles and 50 caliber machine guns in their closets. And, finally, I don't except limitations on individual freedom of expression, that is illegal by the first amendment, mob action, the kind that would make it difficult to get to work is the antithesis of individual freedom of expression.
Rich, it seems you're avoiding the topic. You say freedom of speech shouldn't be abridged. (nor the right to arms abridged). But, then proceed to say assemblies on public property, shouting political speech from your rooftop at 2AM (and "regulation" of firearms) isn't abridgement.
You've distilled the topic perfectly: One man's sensible regulation is another man's abridgement. There are people who believe as Martin Luther King, that a "right delayed is a right denied." That imposing a requirement to coordinate public protest (or impose a waiting period to purchase a gun, or a limitation on firing rate, or capacity) is, for all intents and purposes, denying the right.
Others believe it's merely a "regulation" of orderly exercise of the right. That, you can pull the trigger a hundred times without inconveniencing your right to rapid fire (that you may feel you need with a single trigger press). Or, that changing magazines 10 times isn't a significant impediment to firing 100 rounds. Or, that having to aim the barrel isn't a significant barrier to hitting the target compared to lobbing a grenade.
We're just quibbling about a matter of degrees, balancing competing interests.
I'm not saying hi-cap mags should be banned, nor that full auto shouldn't be available to persons sufficiently licensed and trained. Just that you're use of "abridgement" and "regulation" leaves out the challenges of deciding which is which. As if we're all supposed to agree, "oh, well, year, now I understand. Reguuuulation. Oh, yeah. Now it's clear."
Don, who said semi-auto weapons with military appearance ("assault weapons") are for deer hunting? Most enthusiasts cite the 2nd's original intent to distribute the means of armed resistance to political tyranny among the citizenry. Or, they may refer to the need to mission-critical reliability (military grade) for crowd control (i.e., mass civil disturbance such as the LA riots where such weapons really were used by Korean shop owners).
(To be continued, due to this site's annoying and uninformative sp@m message).
Nope, you're missing it. You are still talking about government regulation, and that always has been and always will be a failure. A constant round of nit-picking that eventually gets ignored and people do what they want. Government cannot effectively ban guns, ammunition or much of anything else. An armed, educated, trained populace can control a good deal of it. Take the nut in Connecticut, you'd know from high school to watch him around guns. You couldn't make him part of the militia when it came training time, so he wouldn't have a gun at all in most cases. The society, not the government could do that, the government, with bans and prohibitions creates enough of an underground market that it can't. The regulation has to come from the society, not the government to be effective. The government cannot abridge the amendment, that's part of what creates the problem, the government can effectively regulate the militia, as does Switzerland and that eliminates a good deal of the problem.
(Continued) Don, Personally, I'm not a fan of that argument. I think folks can get by with 10-15 round mags, lever action rifles, shotguns. I think the 14th Amendment's incorporation of the 2nd Amendment significantly altered the mass uprising goal of the right to arms. The debates show the framers were focused on gun ownership to protect against private violence.
If I had my way, I'd differentiate between those two goals and implement a licensing system which, like a DL, has different "classes" of operation. The basic would be for home-possession of self-defense weapons (revolvers, shotguns). The next level would be for public carry. The next for militia-like (mass uprising, Red Dawn, etc.) weapons. The next for full auto, short barrels, silencers.
az2008 - Who said the 2nd Amendment was limited to "deer hunting"?
Rich, (chuckle). So, when you say regulation arises from the people, what do you say to those people who are denied the right to assemble on public property *by the government*? Or, when they're arrested for illegally broadcasting on the airwaves at power levels which exceed the very limited accommodations of Part 15? A government regulation?
Let's get down to specifics about your distinction between government abridgement versus "regulation by the people."
Personally, I think you want to avoid the challenges of specifics. It lets you adhere to an unreasonable position which is comfortable (absent real-life challenges).
(Continued) Don, In my view, those licenses would be predicated upon training requirements (safe handling, legal duties, etc.). I would even reconstitute the militia for the highest levels, requiring participation in a volunteer "posse" working within the framework of a police force (instilling *civic virtue* which was the underying goal of the original militia).
Anyway, I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment. I just think mixing metaphors (militia, self-defense, hunting) doesn't add clarity. It obscures the legitimacy which the more passionate gun owners yearn for.
Don, I am very sorry. I intended those replies addressed to you to be addressed to dedzone (who wrote: "we do not need assault rifles with high capacity clips for hunting deer.").
I'll try to keep track of who's who.
AZ2008 - Do you support a national id card (or at the very least, picture id) to exercise your right to vote? Or do you think that "burden" (as the Dems put it) is too onerous an expectation for the poor to exercise their RIGHT to vote?
Remember the shooting in Norway which killed 77 people? The guy put explosives in front of police stations, then went to a youth camp and shot teenagers. Norway has strict gun laws, many of which are being proposed here. And guess what? It happened anyway.
Don, I've supported National ID for over a decade. I think possession of such should be required for a variety of activities from voting to renting an apartment (which is the case in other countries, to limit illegal immigration).
I would also legislatively define the information which can be gathered and associated to that ID, and an individual's access to their information. In my view, we already have N-ID in the form of about 100 state and federal IDs. Due to the lack of common currency, they're mostly useless. And, worse, there are thousands of private databases using those IDs to accumulate information. The largest customer of that information (at least ChoicePoint's) is the government. And, we have virtually no rights to review and challenge that data (let alone know where it even exists).
But, no. Rights come with responsibilities. If the right to vote is valuable, it's not a burden to expect individuals to manage their registration, ID, etc. (Likewise, I've never felt a 5-day waiting period to purchase a gun is terrible. If the right to self defense is important, people should prepare ahead of time and not be caught with an urgent need.).
Don, I think proponents of more controls would say "don't let perfection be the enemy of good." I.e., if we had only one mass shooting in 50 years it wouldn't generate the questions which bi-annual shootings do. There's a reason mass shooters choose guns and not explosives (or gasoline): they're much more effective and obtainable.
IMO, the challenge for enthusiasts is to make the right to arms something the majority of Americans can identify with. I don't think many Americans identify with revolutionary rhetoric about overthrowing the government. Especially when the founding generation couldn't even foresee its own needs just 12 years into the future.
I.e., The founding generation abandoned the loose, libertarian obligations of the Articles of Confederation for the comparatively gargantuan federal government of 1789. They *chose* bigger government, and Franklin was a Federalist (even though he's quoted for opposing "trading liberty for safety").
Same thing for hunting. A small percentage hunt today. IMO the answer is personal self defense. That's something everyone can identify with. And, the story behind the 14th Amendment (which incorporated the 2nd's right into a broader personal right, not political right) is *very* compelling. Search for
"Personal Security, Personal Liberty, and "The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms": Visions of the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment" (Seton Hall)
There are related articles on that site which are good.
Interesting debates going on. az2008, I don't imagine the Founding Fathers would have imagined high capacity rounds for assault rifles being sold to a popluation that has no way to track the mentally ill.
With that said, some tough conversations are about to follow on the national stage. I like the part of your posts that says:the challenge for enthusiasts is to make the right to arms something the majority of Americans can identify with. I don't think many Americans identify with revolutionary rhetoric about overthrowing the government.
Ded, thanks. The world would be boring if everything was as simple as "the founders said." The founders said we should change government every 20 years. (Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" letter which was a response to Shay's Rebellion, the event which pushed public sentiment toward the new Federal Government of 1789. Jefferson's view *lost*. The public wanted stability and security, not insurrections every 20 years. Even Franklin stood for the new, larger government even though he wrote 24 years earlier: "they who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither.").
The context of history is fascinating. Not the rigid dogma of modern self-proclaimed "Tea Partiers," but the real challenges people faced. Today, minimalists often say "the founders would be shocked if they knew..." But, the founders couldn't fathom life expectancy past 40, or traveling to the other side of the world in 12 hours. Or, speaking to someone anywhere on the planet *for free*. Nor, every individual owning their own Guttenberg Press (thanks to FB and web "home" pages). Indoor plumbing, antibiotics, sewage systems. The list is endless.
(Continued because of this site's uninformative "sp@m" error.)
(continued to Ded:) Modern minimalists today like to hurl the "socialist" slur as a way to stop all conversation. But, the leading incentive for ditching the AoC in favor of the federal govt. of 1789 was things like New York oppressively taxing neighboring states for the use if its deep harbor. In other words, the "pitch" was wealth redistribution. The founding generation wanted to ensure that states had "fair" access to each others' natural abundance.
There are so many things we need to consider when it comes to gun violence. A rigid (and uncontextual) application of founding ideology won't help. Neither will so-called "Tea Party" extremism about social institutions, wealth and income equality, etc. Our country is sick in many ways. Not just that individuals own scary guns. We need *reform* in many ways. One of which may be to reinvigorate the collectivism and civic pride of *certain levels* of gun ownership within a militia-like entity (armed "neighborhood watch," for example).
Everything should be on the table. Gun owners need to lay off the reflexive opposition to everything. Controllers need to lay off the disguised "any control is just one step toward the ultimate goal of banning." Self-proclaimed "Tea Partiers" need to lay off the notion that we exist without each other.
BTW: Can we ignore the role of violent films and games? With modern technology, these things are equivalent to "snuff" films. The founders created things like the militia, jury duty and compulsory road-maint. service to instill a sense of camaraderie, community values. Forums to where class distinctions disappeared and we could learn how much we had in common. This was the basis of Civic Republicanism, an ideology going back to ancient Greece. A strange mix of individualism predicated upon "the common good" (the health of society).
It seems to me that widespread acclimation to senseless violence (without the consequences, due to it's "virtual" nature) is antithetical to those founding, communitarian principles. They appear to me to make a negative contribution to "civic virtue" (the basis for Civic Republicanism).
People will say freedom of expression is absolute. But, that *is* the crazy dichotomy of Civic Republicanism. Each individual's rights depend upon a political body which recognizes and protects those rights. If the health of society deteriorates, so do the quality of our rights. Individuals depend upon the collective whole. And, enshrining rights doesn't make them a suicide pact (to their own demise).
I like this quote: The founders said we should change government every 20 years.
That is the formation of a "more perfect union" to generate ideas and change/evolve with the times. The Tea Party started out with some good ideas very early on---they quickly took up a radical fractured rightwing rant that has left the GOP wandering lost in the woods. No party lasts without some sort of compromise. It is what this coutry was founded on.
Now the GOP is stunned to silence--which is not a good position for them to take. They stand up with a guy tries to light his shoe on fire and now we all must remove our shows going through airport security---yes, I'm fine with that. Where are their voices for standing up to protect children against the mentally ill that are left without help?
The initial problem I had with the so-called "Tea Party" is that they hijacked a founding term to mean something it didn't. The founding Tea Party objected to taxation without representation. Taxes passed by legislators on a different continent which the colonists didn't have the opportunity to vote for. The founding generation wasn't opposed to taxation, as evidenced by their reaction to Shay's Rebellion (a group who similarly misappropriated founding rhetoric against taxes, leading the founding generation to embrace larger government with even more taxing authority).
Modern "Tea Partiers" applied the term to losing elections they have the opportunity to vote in. It's plausible they meant their representation was overshadowed by corporate interests. But, they proceeded to align themselves with the political party best known for defending the interests of corporations.
Dear Mr Dimwit McClellan: Those of us who belong to "assault-weapon" shooting clubs would gladly explain to those unfortunate, grieving parents of those angels we all miss-------after the dust has settled and some semblance of healing has occurred. We are responsible, sensible, well-trained gun enthusiasts, who enjoy the sport in an environment free from irresponsible behavior and reckless endangerment. You and your ilk cannot fathom the concept that there are those that are responsible gun owners. Go to a NRA sponsored event and take some courses relative to your needs and desires. Then again, you probably have nothing in common with GOD-loving, Constitutional-embracing patriots. How many young, impressionable minds have you polluted with your leftist, marxist, teaching during your tenure?
The irony of these events is that they lead to more purchases of guns by largely nieve, inexperienced people. When I was a teen, hardly anyone owned an "assault weapon." It wasn't until the ban in '95 (the debate preceeding it for the prior six years, resulting in the import on AWs being banned in '89) that the public reached a level of awareness and a "gotta have it" sentiment.
A guy I work with said he's thinking about buying a gun. Never had any experience. He's been affected by all the talk of bans, controls, etc.
That's the problem the pro-control extremists face. People aren't lining up to voluntarily get rid of their guns. They're not posting signs in their yards saying "This home is gun free." The tide keeps moving the opposite direction, more people feeling the need to own a firearm, more states licensing concealed carry.
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