Saturday, September 14, 2019

"... shall not be infringed?" Not So Fast...


A response to “The Right to Bear Arms,” September 2, 2019, submitted to the Daily News Record as letter to the editor. 

“…shall not be infringed” is a fragment of the 2nd Amendment enshrined in the NRA offices. As a propaganda tool, it has been successful by advancing gun sales in support of the gun manufacturing industry. This simple phrase underpins the entire argument of gun enthusiasts. No commercial enterprise, private citizen, or political organization can interpret or change the meaning of the constitution to suit its marketing or ideological agenda. 

The Founders never “absolutely” intended to guarantee ownership of firearms for personal protection. The Supreme Court has expanded the NRA version of the 2nd Amendment several times over the years to include this provision, but as yet have not prohibited the regulation of firearms in the name of public safety.

No regulation or gun control law can stop all gun violence. No traffic law can stop all the speeding, drunk, or reckless drivers. No law ever passed has ever ended crime. The goal of gun control legislation is to REDUCE gun violence, just as the point of laws is to REDUCE crime and protect the public.  

We have many gun control laws on the books. Unfortunately, they have been carefully crafted to be unenforceable. Gun companies are protected from lawsuits. The CDC was prohibited from researching gun violence in 1996 and still doesn’t do research because of perceived threats from the NRA-sponsored gun lobby. Background checks are not yet universal and have numerous loopholes. The gun used in the recent mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, was purchased in a private sale, no background check required. Funding for enforcement of current laws is insufficient for adequate enforcement. 

Mass shootings are not an epidemic, but school shootings since Columbine in 1999 have terrorized students, parents, and school systems. Even new school buildings are being designed to slow down shooters to the detriment of the actual education of children. It is now commonplace for schools to hold live-shooter drills which only remind students, teachers, and parents of the perceived danger, making learning more difficult. Because of the recent spate of shootings, many are fearful of going to a Walmart or the local mall without fear.

Confiscation is thrown up as a “slippery slope” argument. The only policy proposed by any Presidential candidate involves mandatory buy-backs of military-style weapons. What does Mr. Muterspaugh mean by “will be met by resistance?” Armed revolt against the government of the United States of America? To threaten those whose duty is to enforce our laws? How is this a common-sense argument? 

Full disclosure, I would like all firearms to disappear. I support all gun control legislation that would diminish the frequency of gun violence in our country. I am one voice calling for the United States of America to take its proper place in the civilized world as an exceptional nation. One that cares about life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all its citizens. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Enough

This was part of my post after the Newtown massacre. I'm reposting this part. The last three paragraphs are today.

Enough.

Watching this brought me to tears (again) this morning.  Now is the time to stop the madness of our country's gun culture.  Now is the time to let the large majority of the American public speak and have their will be done.  Only a small minority of radical gun advocates have been the ones that have controlled the debate for almost 30 years.  These radicals exist to support the gun manufacturers.  It's nothing less than the sanction of mass murder and mayhem. 

Enough.

Let's start with the five types of gun control that a majority of NRA members and the general public support:
1. Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees. 87 percent of non-NRA gun-owners and 74 percent of NRA gun owners support the former, and 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, endorse the latter. 
2. Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns.Support ranges from 80 percent among non-NRA gun-owners to 71 percent among NRA members.
3. Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen. 71 percent non-NRA gun-owners support this measure, as do 64 percent of NRA members.
4. Concealed carry permits should only be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older. 84 percent of non-NRA and 74 percent of NRA member gun-owners support the safety training restriction, and the numbers are 74 percent and 63 percent for the age restriction.
5.Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence. The NRA/non-NRA gun-owner split on these issues is 81 percent and 75 percent in favor of the violent misdemeanors provision and 78 percent/68 percent in favor of the domestic violence restriction.
Guns are the problem. Period. The most recent massacre in Florida was perpetrated and caused by a gun in the hands of a troubled teenager who acquired it legally. There is no common sense in this. There is no rational reason for this. Guns are the problem.

No one has the 'right' to own a gun. A gun has the power of life and death. No one has the right to hold anyone's life or death in their hands.

Read this description of the difficulty of learning to be a good guy with a gun. Bringing lethal force to  gun free zones is insane. INSANE.

Enough.

No guns...

No guns are allowed at CPAC.
No guns are allowed at the NRA convention.
No guns are allowed at the GOP convention.
No guns are allowed at the White House.
No guns are allowed at Mar-a-Lago.
No guns are allowed in the Capitol building in Washington D. C.
No (loaded) guns are allowed at Gun Shows.
No guns are allowed in the George W. Bush Presidential Library.
No guns are allowed at most Town Hall meetings.
No guns are allowed at Presidential campaign stops.
No guns are allowed at Candidate debates.

Maybe we are on to something here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Does Mr. Trump's profanity matter?

A challenge was issued a letter to the editor in the Daily News-Record this morning. In "Everyone Knows Trump Was Right," the writer challenged liberals to answer a question. "How is it hateful and racist to refer to African and Caribbean countries as "shitholes?" Further the writer asks us to focus on "...what immigrants have to contribute to this country and not just what we can give them." 

Challenge accepted.

Please understand that the language President Trump used is not important. The cursing and the barbaric terminology are commonly heard among folks of similar points of view. The President, sadly, is a profane and vulgar man. I’m over it. My indignation is not about the vulgarity. 

It is about the sentiment and the idea being expressed. It’s not just liberals that are offended by Mr. Trump’s racist and hateful remarks, it is every country in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, large populations of first generation American citizens, and many of us whose ancestors came here from equally destitute circumstances from equally needy countries. All of us have spent our lives giving back to America, repaying the debt in gratitude, working hard and contributing the greatness of our country.  

Understand that the United States of America is not a country club with dues and membership requirements. It is an open society that welcomes those from other lands who are fleeing natural disasters, economic strife, and political turmoil. It’s not only humanitarian concerns but the energy and vitality of our nation that is at stake.

My challenge to you… Try and understand the value of immigration to our society, our history and culture, and our economic system. Do a little research on just how much economic activity and new wealth is generated by new generations of legal and illegal immigrants. Review the history texts concerning the term “melting pot.” Review the history of immigration reform and how badly it has been botched by our Congress. Then join in the call to fix it. We need a secure, fair and just system of accepting new generations of Americans. It is an American value. It keeps America great.

More work to do...