“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.”
Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
“In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. InDistrict of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.” – excerpt from Wikipedia
Points I wish to establish right off the bat:
1. Police are not there to protect each citizen. They simply clean up the mess afterwards. (Could lead to a Slippery slope line of descent in restrictions, regulations, and laws – can lead to thought crime or ‘suspicion of intent’ crimes)
2. Prevention of tyrannical government. (But how is this achieved in this day w/o being labeled a conspiracy nut and being thrown into prison?)
3. Self preservation. A single or limited shot weapon may be good against one adversary, but not many. What if you are attacked by a group?
4. Firearms are known as the great equalizer. Remove them, and you remove a weaker person’s ability to protect his/herself and/or their family.
5. A nation of armed citizens is an enormous deterrent to a would-be invading force. It was the primary reason Japan decided not to invade America during the Second World War. It is oft thought to be the reason the Soviet Union never attempted an invasion with us during the Cold War years.
6. Problem is not firearms. It is those mentally disturbed people committing these atrocities. But how do you address that problem in a nation where mental illness is not properly treated? Or in a nation where such a capitalistic greed enthralls would be healthcare providers, who’s concern is geared more towards monetary gain than actual treatment of people in need.
Concerning discussion of banning semi-automatic weapons… sadly many people do not understand what these weapons are. I have read many accounts where they are mistaken, by those ignorant of firearms, for automatic weapons (i.e. machine guns). These people fail to understand this means Any firearm that requires a clip or cartridge (even a tiny 5 shot .380 or .22 pistol).
“A semi-automatic, or self-loading, firearm is a weapon that performs all steps necessary to prepare the weapon to fire again after firing—assuming cartridges remain in the weapon’s feed device or magazine. Typically, this includes extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge case from the weapon’s firing chamber, re-cocking the firing mechanism, and loading a new cartridge into the firing chamber. Although automatic weapons and selective fire firearms do the same tasks, semi-automatic firearms do not automatically fire an additional round until the trigger is released and re-pressed by the person firing the weapon.” – excerpt from Wikipedia
Recently, I have been reading comments on various news sites, regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy and other gun restriction articles and op eds. In the comments section of one, I read a number of stupid opinions. This puerile statement just killed me…
‘You know Sniffit I have to agree with your earlier statement. It’s time to stop listening to and arguing with these so called gun enthusiasts. Most have probably never held a gun in their lives and are simply talking smack. I think that today alone has shown that all we are going to get from them in logic is more nonsense. It’s time to take the fight to our policy makers. The real shakers and makers. Not fantasy land video nuts trying to distract with their guns don’t kill logic. In video games guns don’t kill. In real life …………….. ?’
December 17, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm | ”
‘So-called Gun Enthusiasts’… ‘Fantasy Land Video Nuts’… ‘talking smack’… ‘all we are going to get from them in logic is more nonsense’
*sigh* …I’d like to address this last comment first. To begin with, I support the 2nd amendment, as I do the entire Constitution of the United States of America. Second, I studied Philosophy for several years in college. One area of focus was Critical Thinking and Logic. So, expect a logical argument here, instead of ‘nonsense’. Third, I was raised around firearms. My family has heavy military roots. My brother served in the Air Force. Several cousins served in various branches of the Armed Forces. My father was a Marine during the Cuban Crisis and the beginning of the Vietnam War. My Uncles served in the Navy and Army. My two grandfathers were an MP in the Army Air Corps and a sailor aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic during WWII. My great-grandfather fought in the trenches of Europe in the US Army during WWI. I proudly possess his steamer trunk from that conflict. Many of my ancestors fought in the Civil War (both sides), the Mexican-American War, War of 1812, American Revolution (both sides), French-Indian War, and many, many skirmishes and battles dating back to the early 12th century in Scotland, Ireland, England and parts of Europe.
A high school athletic injury prevented me from enlisting, one of my great regrets in life. But, it did not remove me so far from the sense of duty, honor, discipline, and tactical intelligence, that I cannot understand and relate, on a rudimentary level, what it means to serve or to defend. I am very proud of my family history and the contribution of those who came before, as well as the service and sacrifice of others in the military. I suppose in this sense, I am biased. I do not consider this a fault. Rather, it is a merit, and one too many people in this world lack, sadly. Particularly the sense of duty and honor.
Now, as for the remark “so-called gun enthusiasts” …I understand what this person was trying to say (snarky and ignorant as he/she seems) and who he/she thought he/she was directing it towards. Unfortunately, such broad statements usually encompass not only the enthusiasts (which I have no issue with collectors – I would be one if not for lack of financial resources), but also the normal everyday gun owner. Like me. I do own firearms. A .357 Magnum, Smith & Wesson, Nickel-plated service revolver and a 1931 Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm Soviet bolt action rifle. Both a bit old fashioned, but very powerful weapons. They are locked away, unloaded, with only one key to unlock and it is on my person at all times. I used to hunt when I was younger, but these days I just fish. The weapons are purely for protection. They are there in case someone ever makes the sad mistake of breaking into my home or threatening the lives of my family. The last statement is one I would like everyone to consider.
The ‘just in case’ scenario.
I think that we have a lot of angry, upset, hurting people right now. Justifiably so. I cannot imagine the loss… the agonizing pain of someone taken from me in this manner, whether it be one of my children or someone else I love. I have lost family and friends, but never in a circumstance like the Sandy Hook grade school tragedy. But we cannot, Must not, let these tragedies cloud our judgment and rush to a course of action that will only further debilitate us and diminish our liberties. We fought a war to be able to retain the right to bear arms. A WAR, people. Thousands and thousands of lives lost, in the pursuit of freedom from a tyrannical, oppressive, restrictive government. Some of my ancestors fought in that war, so that generations later, people like me would be assured of a means to protect themselves from harm, by bad governments or bad people. We cannot rely on the police to save us. Police come after the damage has been done. They come after it’s too late. You know, in Newtown, CT, it took the police 20 minutes to get to the elementary school after the first call to 911 that shots had been fired in a grade school. TWENTY minutes. Are you fucking kidding me? The first cop should have been on sight in less than 3 or 4 minutes. After 20 minutes, that nut could have wiped out the whole school, if he had kept going. Thank god he didn’t. But that illustrates one more reason why we need firearms to protect ourselves, and our children.
Just because many people in this nation live a comfortably ‘free’ life (from their perspective) – and feel relatively safe, in their particular neighborhood or town, from any threat that might equate to a gun – does not mean that this will always be the case. It is currently a rare thing in society, now, that we live in such times. Given terrible events of the past year, however, even that is an illusion. But, I am referring to a bit of history. No other time, but in the last century or so, has this nation lived in somewhat calm, semi-safe conditions. We have not been victim to invaders, a police state, a dictator’s regime, a civil war, and complete falling out of civilization – In the last century. We have been lucky.
*(Of course, there are places in this nation, in the larger cities, where safety does not exist, and those poor people live in an urban war zone, fearing for their lives and property from gangbangers, thugs, drug dealers, corrupt officials or organized crime.)
Although, simply because we have been spared the sword, for a brief point in history, does not mean that this was always so, or will always BE so. We live in unique times. Most of our planet’s history is rife with violence and war. When we weren’t shooting each other with steel, brass, and lead projectiles, we were doing it with arrows, bolts, spears, javelins, pila, and sling bullets.
If history is any sort of meter or indicator, our respite will be brief. With the rest of the world around us continually falling apart, going to war, producing revolts, rebellions, revolutions, terrorism, quickly running out of resources (oil, water, arable farm land), or electing greedy self-serving bureaucrats to political power, it will not be long now before the calm has passed and we are once again in the grips of a terrible storm.
Am I paranoid? No. Am I a conspiracy theorist? No. Do I see black helicopters over my house? I could give a rat’s ass less if they are up there or not. But I am an historian, philosopher, and realist. It is only a matter of time before we become as we were before. Humans are violent by nature. It’s a simple fact. Without the science to adjust our DNA to make us otherwise, we will likely always Be violent. The difference is knowing When to be violent and when Not to. Non-violent solutions are always better. But sometimes, there is no other recourse. The key is knowing When there is no other choice. Bruce Lee once said he studied the art of fighting without fighting. In layman’s terms… he uses his smarts to avoid fights and resorts to martial violence only as a means of last resort defense. How I wish this could always be the case for all conflicts. Unfortunately, it isn’t. More times than not, the aggressor will be violent before a non-violent solution can be had. It is in our nature. Most of us are wired this way. Probably from our early prehistory, when we had to hunt and kill to survive. When the world truly was ‘kill or be killed’.
And sadly, some people are wired wrong, and this primordial aggression is overriding the logical part of their brain. Or some people are just so screwed up that they are completely amoral and have no inherent sense of right from wrong. This is the most dangerous type of person, because you never know when or where they will get it in their head to do harm. This is the type of person they believe Adam Lanza was. Completely amoral (lacking a sense of morals).
Another point that people bring up, with regards to banning (certain) firearms, is that people do not need semi-automatic weapons to go hunting. Folks, it’s not about hunting. Hunting is just an added bonus of possessing firearms. The reason we have the 2nd Amendment is to afford us the ability to retain a weapon capable of fighting back in time of dire need, against a tyrannical authority trying to oppress/suppress the citizens of the nation, OR against an invading outside force. That’s why the Founding Fathers gave us this amendment to our Constitution.
Restrictions by the govt are a very dangerous line of thinking, because if they start with something so broad (as the 2nd Amendment – which the Supreme Court finally clarified and ruled on, in Favor of gun rights) then they will have the authority, by precedence, to continue picking apart the amendment, and before long, we will no longer have the ability to defend ourselves, let alone defend any other freedoms they wish to remove. The govt will have the power to tear apart other amendments, such as due process or reasonable search and seizure or freedom of speech, religion, etc.. We will be subjugated, as we once were, centuries ago.
Franklin said ‘Those who would give away liberty for security deserve neither’. He was right.
To be honest, I am very nervous about the potential knee-jerk reactions this tragic event might bring about. I have seen too many instances in history where this happened, and shortly after such instance, the citizens involved found themselves at the mercy of the ruling body. Two examples; firearms banned in Ireland in 1925. All weapons banned in Scotland, 1746 and 1782, when the Hanoverian Government banned weapons throughout the country. Some more examples, just to drive the point home:
Taken from a post (and I verified the accuracy of the content) at http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1823003/posts .
- In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Germany established gun control in 1938 (Though, originally instituted during the Weimar Republic, in 1928, the revision relaxed handgun restrictions somewhat, but outright banned possession of all by Jewish persons) and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
- China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million ‘educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
- Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
Removing our ability to resist and defend ourselves is the first step towards state authoritarianism. Stalin did it. Mao did it. Hitler did it. Hussein did it. The Ayatollahs did it. Khadafi did it. The rouge army of Cambodia did it. The military govt that took over Burma did it. The Brits did it countless times, to suppress India, South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, and a number of African colonies…
Do I think people need machine guns? No.
Do they need cannons, high explosives, mortars, and landmines? No.
Should they be allowed to own guns that hold more than one round of ammo? Absolutely.
What if four armed men break into your house one night? Are you going to be fast enough, calm enough, and sure of shot enough, to fire four times and reload thrice? Probably not.
Switzerland has one of the highest firearms possession ratios in the world, after the United States, and they do not seem to have much of a problem with the sort of violence we do. Perhaps the weapons are not the issue? Perhaps it is the mentally screwed up person committing the terrible acts of murder and harm? The following is another bit of knowledge, pulled from the Wiki gods…
“Switzerland does not have a standing army, instead opting for a peoples’ militia for its national defense. The vast majority of men between the ages of 20 and 30 are conscripted into the militia and undergo military training, including weapons training. The personal weapons of the militia are kept at home as part of the military obligations; Switzerland thus has one of the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world.
The Swiss army has long been a militia trained and structured to rapidly respond against foreign aggression. Swiss males grow up expecting to undergo basic military training, usually at age 20 in the Rekrutenschule (German for “recruit school”), the initial boot camp, after which Swiss men remain part of the “militia” in reserve capacity until age 30 (age 34 for officers).
Each such individual is required to keep his army-issued personal weapon (the 5.56x45mm Sig 550 rifle for enlisted personnel and/or the 9mm SIG-Sauer P220 semi-automatic pistol for officers, medical and postal personnel) at home. Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition (50 rounds 5.56 mm / 48 rounds 9mm) was issued as well, which was sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place. The ammunition was intended for use while traveling to the army barracks in case of invasion.
In some 2001 statistics, it is noted that there are about 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or “selective fire”) stored at private homes, mostly SIG SG 550 models. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession, all selective-fire weapons having been converted to semi-automatic operation only. In addition, there are several hundred thousand other semi-automatic small arms classified as carbines. The total number of firearms in private homes is estimated minimally at 1.2 million to 3 million.” – excerpt from Wikipedia
I’m very, very worried about our course over the next few years. We have a war coming, in our lifetime, over resources (see second set of links below). It is inevitable. Water is becoming more scarce, precious metals are becoming scarce, weather is adversely affecting our food supply, we are quickly outpacing this planet’s ability to sustain a large human population. 9 billion people is the tipping point for having more people than available resources to sustain them. Estimates say we will hit that number in the next 15 to 20 years. If that long. With such shortages come mandated rationing, limited access to basic goods and services, further degradation of the world’s ecosystems, extinction of entire species of plants and animals, including those we use for food. I have watched things slowly get worse over the last 20 years, and rapidly, exponentially, get worse over the last 5 to 6 years.
Our capacity to adequately protect ourselves is paramount. If a civilization collapses, you are on your own. It’s as simple as that. Your weapons are the only thing that will give you a fighting chance to survive. People who think we are immune to such a collapse are, quite simply, morons. Our nation is still very young. No nation lasts forever. Sooner or later, they all go under. Greed usually helps to speed the process along, as does wastefulness, apathy, and false sense of security. America fits this model to a T. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is what it is.
Some people may think I am just a doomsayer… but I have historical text to back up my position. Tons of historical text. Coupled with current world events and the decay of society in general, along with the thinning resources issue and the population problem… you cannot deny the evidence all around us.
In closing, there are many different types of people in this country who own firearms. Not just rednecks. Most of us are normal, responsible, non-radical citizens, with normal jobs, lives, and interests. We pay taxes, we help our neighbors, we raise our children to be good and decent people, we give to charity, we stop to help the stranded motorist, we worry about our children’s education and how to get them into college, some of us go to church or temple. And not all of us are Republican/Conservatives. Some of us are Independents, Democrats, or other. And I guarantee if the world falls apart some day, it is us that the rest of you will come to for help and protection.
Gun Rights Advocate Groups:
Second Amendment Foundation – http://saf.org
Gun Owners of America – http://gunowners.org
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership – http://jpfo.org
U.S. Concealed Carry Association – https://www.usconcealedcarry.com
Gun Rights Radio Network – http://gunrights.us
“In a major London address, British Defense Secretary John Reid warned that global climate change and dwindling natural resources are combining to increase the likelihood of violent conflict over land, water and energy. Climate change, he indicated, “will make scarce resources, clean water, viable agricultural land even scarcer”—and this will “make the emergence of violent conflict more rather than less likely.””
“Water is a vital element for human life, and any human activity relates somehow to water. Unfortunately, it is not a renewable resource and in the future there will be lot of water problems. Moreover, some people state that future wars will be fought for water.”
Population Tipping Point: