As a marginally fair-minded person, I sometimes place myself in the shoes of others to better understand their thought process. Lately, I’ve been thinking about gun control and how other people’s shoes perceive various solutions:
1. There can’t be guns in “gun-free zones.” When an armed criminal with mayhem in mind sees one of these signs, they naturally sigh “Aw, shucks” and slink back to the basement to re-examine their lives. It follows that home defense is best ensured by posting “Gun-Free Zone” signs in one’s yard, and perhaps on the front door. When you advertise that your family is completely unarmed, imagine all the nice new friends who’ll come to visit.
2. Arming teachers will make those young punks think twice. Nobody gets more annoyed at school shooters than teachers, and discipline is part of their job. (What do the sheriff’s “resource officers” know about kids, anyway?) So what makes better sense than strapping a .38 to the shop teacher’s hip and sending him swaggering forth to clean up Dodge City? Those smartypants students will think twice before joining running gun-battles in the school hallways against a platoon of sharpshooting French teachers! Plus, those quick-draw contests in the teachers’ lounge will be a fun break from second-period civics classes (bor-r-ring!)
3. If insane gun-toting gunmen didn’t have guns, they wouldn’t use guns to shoot people, insanely, with their guns. This is the sort of analytical logic that I really go for. Still, I’d take it a step further and outlaw the knives, including machetes, Swiss Army knives and so-called “butter” knives. Candlesticks and frozen pork loins are also lethal weapons, as are “assault anvils” that can be dropped from tall buildings onto pedestrians’ heads. People don’t kill people, inanimate objects kill people! If these Second Amendment gun nuts are so fired up about “rights,” let’s not dismiss the constitutional right of cognitively disadvantaged nonconformists to follow their impetuous dreams.
Thanks for your attention. Gotta go, “Live PD” is about to start.
A letter was published titled “Enact gun control without repealing the Second Amendment” (Mercurynews.com, Jan. 5) implying that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was subject to being within a “well-regulated militia.”
Good thing this letter-writer isn’t a lawyer. If that were the case, your right to freedom of speech is only protected while in the process of petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.
Stay in your lane, and out of constitutional law.
As leftist politicians continue to threaten the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans, citizens are standing up for themselves.
Dozens of counties in California, Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, Texas and elsewhere have voted to become “Second Amendment Sanctuaries,” declaring that sheriffs in those counties will not enforce gun-control legislation that violates the Constitution.
In New Mexico, 29 of the state’s 33 county sheriffs signed a resolution earlier this year opposing sweeping gun-control bills proposed in the state legislature. Most recently, Virginia made headlines as more than 40 counties joined the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement that is sweeping the nation.
A February NPR article noted that “professional discretion is a constant feature of policing,” as law enforcement officers do not have the time nor the resources to enforce every single law every time one is broken. It is customary for police to decide which laws are a priority and whether pursuing lawbreakers to the full extent of the law is worthwhile. In the case of extreme gun laws, sheriffs have expressed several concerns: the laws are ineffective and unenforceable, they put police officers at increased risk, and they infringe on the Second Amendment rights enshrined by the Constitution.
“(Senate Bill 8, a background check bill) … does nothing to protect citizens and is unenforceable,” the New Mexico Sheriffs Association wrote in a letter earlier this year. “We also oppose House Bill 83 (a red flag gun-confiscation law), as it violates due process and puts law enforcement in a more dangerous situation and does nothing to protect citizens. This bill could disarm the very people trying to defend their lives and personal property.”
There is concern that the sanctuaries undermine the will of the people (though such concern was notably not expressed when counties declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants); however, sheriffs are elected officials. Sheriff Bob Songer of Klickitat County, who has vowed not to enforce Washington state’s Initiative 1639 — a package of gun-control laws — told NPR, “As an elected sheriff and a constitutional sheriff, I believe it violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and, more specifically, violates the Washington state Constitution.”
In an interview with Reuters, Songer expressed the attitude prevailing among Second Amendment sanctuary sheriffs: “Unfortunately for the governor and the attorney general, they’re not my boss,” Songer said. “My only boss is the people that elected me to office.”
These sanctuary resolutions are the last resort for voters in rural areas whose lifestyles and views are not represented by urban voters and lawmakers. As Reuters reports, the sanctuary movement “is exposing the rift between rural and urban America as much as the one between the Republican and Democratic parties, as small, conservative counties push back against statewide edicts passed by big-city politicians.”
Zach Fort, president of the New Mexico Sport Shooting Association, told Gunpowder Magazine (of which, full disclosure, I am the editor), “There’s a lot of pessimism shared by those who want to protect their gun rights right now. A lot of people think they’re being railroaded and not being listened to.”
New Mexico Sheriffs Association President Tony Mace expressed a similar frustration, “When this legislation is drafted every session, we are not invited to the table,” he told Gunpowder Magazine. “Our voices are falling on deaf ears. They’re not giving our point of view any attention at all. … If they’re not going to listen to us, then we are going to use their tactics against them. I, like the other sheriffs, was elected to protect our citizens’ constitutional rights. And that’s exactly what we plan to do.”
In sum, Second Amendment sanctuaries are sheriff-led movements. Sheriffs are elected by the people of the counties they oversee, and if the people agree with sheriffs that the Constitution remains the supreme law of the land, then Second Amendment Sanctuaries are the supreme fulfillment of the rights and freedoms the Constitution protects.
Retired Circuit Justice Kozinski once said:
“The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.
Fortunately, the Framers were wise enough to entrench the right of the people to keep and bear arms within our constitutional structure. The purpose and importance of that right was still fresh in their minds, and they spelled it out clearly so it would not be forgotten.”
It seems that “….silences those who protest.” is not so ‘improbable’ these days, is it?
A poll conducted by Caravan Surveys for the Campaign for Free Speech revealed alarming support among Americans for rewriting the First Amendment and underscores the danger of putting constitutionally-protected fundamental rights up to a public vote.
According to the survey, “some 51 percent of people in the US believe that the (First) amendment…should be updated to reflect the cultural norms of today.” The poll of 1,004 respondents also revealed that 48 percent believe “hate speech,” while not defined, should be illegal and half of the people think punishment should include possible imprisonment or fines. A whopping 57 percent of poll respondents think the government should be able to penalize news agencies for publishing “content that is biased, inflammatory, or false.”
The poll results have frightening ramifications for our free speech and free press rights. The fact that a majority of people now seem to be rethinking our freedoms guaranteed under the Bill of Rights should be troubling to all Americans.
What is equally troubling is the failure of the establishment media to see the parallels between this sudden attack on the First Amendment and the ongoing crusade against the Second Amendment.
As authors of the recently-released book “Good Guys with Guns,” we recognize there are good journalists with keyboards and bad journalists with keyboards. Good ones should not be penalized for the misbehavior of the bad ones. The same principle must apply to how we treat the rights of more than 100 million American gun owners who have never harmed anyone or committed any crime, yet how many editorial pages have repeatedly demanded more restrictions on the Second Amendment because some people break the law?
When talking about constitutionally-enumerated rights, great care must be taken to separate rights from privileges. For too many years, far too many people in the media have treated the Second Amendment as a privilege to be heavily regulated. The Campaign for Free Speech poll puts such corrosive thinking in its proper perspective.
Simply, you cannot advocate restrictions or abolition of your neighbors’ rights, which you don’t support, without putting your own rights at risk. With the release of these new survey results, that vulture has come home to roost.
We are fully aware of the growing concern for school safety against shootings. Schools are becoming one of the most targeted areas due to being gun-free zones. No one on the property is allowed to carry a firearm, regardless of their training except the police officer who sits at the front desk. One person is in charge to cover and protect the entire school against a shooter that can be anywhere in the building.
A change is needed, and it starts with who may or may not be allowed to carry a firearm.
Teachers throughout the school should be allowed the right to carry a firearm for protection of themselves and, more importantly, the students in their class. This right needs to involve detailed training, extensive background checks and also psychiatric testing to confirm these individuals are suitable for that responsibility.
Now, this should not be mandatory, but it certainly should be allowed for the protection and safety of our children. These mentally insane individuals are targeting schools because they have to get past one person at the front door, and then the devastation is up to them. With teachers carrying guns, the shooter will be able to be apprehended much sooner if a gun is pointed back at them and save a lot of innocent lives.
According to the National Rifle Association, there are over 95 percent less shootings in gun-friendly zones than gun-free zones. This information persuaded lawmakers in Florida to make it legal for a teacher to carry a firearm at school. Coupled with testing previously stated in this letter, teachers having the right to carry firearms is a very strong form of protection and definitely can be regulated and implemented in schools in this area.
My last OIC (Officer In Command) of my section often used a simple phrase to express his surprised disbelief that someone could be that stupid:
“You can’t make this stuff up.”
With the anniversary of the devastating Borderline shooting upon our community, I’d like to share the following letter I sent to Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin last November, to which I received no response.
“My name is Jim Dumond and I am a 58-year resident of the Conejo Valley. In response to the shootings at Borderline Bar and Grill, I came up with a compromise that I believe could go a long way toward eliminating our country’s mass shootings.
I believe that both gun and anti-gun advocates will see this as a positive step forward. This gives both groups the right to protect their homes, and gives the citizens peace of mind from individuals, who, like Ian David Long, intend to cause others harm.
1. Owning a weapon (gun), would still require the existing background checks, as required by law.
2. To use a purchased weapon, one would be required to register the weapon online, via a home Wi-Fi type system. The weapon would be embedded with a microchip and would be unusable until registration is complete and authorities grant activation.
This activation would require GPS of the owner’s home and simultaneous location of the weapon. Activation could not be completed at separate times, nor at different locations. Creating a permanent record/registration of owner and location needed for the lawful usage of the weapon.
3. The weapon would be given a usage radius of, say, 1,000 feet from the home Wi-Fi system. If the weapon is taken beyond this point, the weapon would no longer be usable and immediately disabled, until it is brought back into the given parameters.
4. The weapon would also have a safety fault system for tampering. If tampered with, the weapon would become useless and again disabled.
To protect our rights to bear arms, and to protect our families from those who seek to harm others are what we can do as U.S. citizens.
I understand you have a limited schedule for such matters, but I do believe this is a viable solution to our state and country’s worsening mass shooting issues. Thank you in advance for listening.” Jim Dumond Thousand Oaks
Keeping one’s eyes and ears open (intelligence gathering) for the crap-for-brains anti-gun/anti-civil rights BS in the media is a good habit.
The Indiana Daily Student (IDS) is an independent, student-run newspaper that has been published for the community of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, so we see the quality of education the college students are getting these days. i.e. Leftist claptrap.
Dave Chappelle received the Mark Twain Award on October 27. He said, “The First Amendment is first for a reason. Second Amendment is just in case the First one doesn’t work out.”
I believe that he has an understanding of what is wrong with “universal background checks.” Such a system requires that all firearms be registered in order to work. That system carries with it the necessity to record the location of the arms.
Imagine the country if the First no longer worked. Is it beyond belief that the arms to enforce the First would already be confiscated per “mandatory buy back?” Which begs the questions: How does buy back occur when it was never OWNED by the government. How does $200 (or less) for an $1,800 firearm qualify as a buy back? Would not the phrase “mandatory confiscation” be more accurate?
I am not a fan of Mr. Chappelle. But I do agree with these sentiments by event attendee, rapper Common: “He’s always been a leader in thought and culture. He says provocative things, and … it creates some uncomfortable conversations we don’t want to have, but we need people like him because even if you don’t agree with them, it brings them up and then people have to discuss it. We need courageous minds like that.”
Take that, college demonstrators!
Not a fan of politically correct (censorship) nor bully tactics.
Self-preservation is a citizen’s natural right
Some argue that the Second Amendment does not make gun ownership a right, when really, it’s not about that.
The true heart of the Second Amendment is protection of the natural rights of the citizenry. It ensures the right of self-preservation and acts as a means to secure that right.
This right of self-preservation was described by John Locke in his 1690 “Second Treatise on Government,” from which the Framers drew heavily. Locke argues that this right allows men to live freely without interference by anything or anyone, including government.
It’s important to understand this point. Many of the Framers were students of Locke’s philosophical thinking and others of the time. It is ingrained into the very fabric of the Bill of Rights.
It even influenced Alexander Hamilton when he wrote in Federalist No. 28 that, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that natural right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of government.”
The Second Amendment is not a right bestowed by the government to the people. Quite the opposite. It secures the citizenry’s natural right of self-preservation from anything and anyone who wishes to take away their other natural rights or their liberty, including their own government.
To think that we, as free citizens, must ask the permission of our government for the right of self-preservation is simply ludicrous.
It seems a lot of people have a misconception of the meaning of the Second Amendment; The Bill of Rights gives no one anything. What it does do is stop the government from infringing on your right that is inherent to you just being a person. This goes way back 200 years in British common law.As for getting the soldiers and National Guard on our streets to make them safe. Can’t do that because of Posse Comitatus. It makes it illegal for federal troops to be used as a police force. If you don’t think this is a problem, check on the fiasco of the aftermath of the Boston bombing where the police dressed like the military went door to door without warrants. If you didn’t want to comply, the police broke into your house and searched it anyway.
There are estimated between 5 million and 10 million AR-15s in America. As of this writing, there have been 20 AR-15s used by school shooters. That is 0.0002 percent of AR-15s. You are worried about this? This is going to sound heartless but your child is more likely to be hit by lightning than be killed by a school shooter. It isn’t callous, it is just math.
If you really want to understand the Second Amendment, read “The Federalist Papers” written by the real writers of the Constitution — James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay — in particular numbers 29 and 36.
To the editor:
Anyone in this country that thinks we, the citizens, don’t need AK47 and AR15 semi-automatic rifles and large capacity magazines just needs to look at what is happening in Hong Kong. If you don’t think that could happen in this country, you’ve got your head in the sand. In fact, we should have the same weapons as the military as it was set up when the Constitution was written. That’s what the second amendment is all about!
This letter was submitted to the New York Times
Dear Letters Editor:
There’s a serious flaw in John Donohue and Theodora Boulouta’s claims about the 1994 assault weapons ban (“That Assault Weapon Ban? It Really Did Work,” September 4). There are few actual “assault weapons” of any type in their dataset, either pre- or post-ban.
According to data by Mother Jones magazine, there were 3 mass public shootings with assault weapons in the ten years before the assault weapons ban, 2 during the 10-year ban, and 4 in the ten years after. Shootings had to have six or more fatalities to be included. As the authors note, these changes constitute large percentage variations, but are not statistically significant.
If Donohue and Boulouta are right that the ban had an impact, it should have reduced the number of shootings with assault weapons relative to shootings with other guns. While the share of mass public shootings with assault weapons did indeed fall from 30% in the pre-ban period to 25% during the ban, it fell to just 14.8% in the post-ban period. If the ban was really the driving force behind the change, it makes little sense that the sharpest drop would occur after the ban expired.
John R Lott, Jr., President of the Crime Prevention Research Center
Professor Carl Moody, Department of Economics, College of William & Mary