Tom Ross

Tom Ross

Tom Ross: Turn back the Glock

Guns have their place, but so do gun control laws

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Tom Ross

Tom Ross' column appears in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4205 or tross@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Tom here.

— I don’t want to take your guns away, but as a gun owner, I’d like to talk about them.

Ever since the tragedy in Tucson, Ariz., all of the TV news pundits want to talk about “a more civil discourse.” However, no one wants to talk about finding ways to tighten gun laws without denying the rights of responsible Americans to own guns.

Can we agree that there is no justification for allowing a troubled man like Jared Loughner to purchase a Glock and quickly accessorize it with a magazine extender that expanded his lethality to 31 rounds of ammunition?

I can figure out that the original reason for designing a magazine extender for the Austrian-made handgun was for a military application. Give me a serious reason why an upstanding citizen who purchases a Glock needs the ability to fire 31 shots (with one chambered round) without pausing to reload. There isn’t one. And don’t tell me it makes it easier to exterminate gophers.

Until six years ago, we had a law that prohibited the sale and manufacture of ammo magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It expired in 2004, and Loughner subsequently was able to purchase an add-on magazine for his Glock.

According to media accounts, Loughner was reaching for a second expanded clip when a female bystander grabbed it and struggled with him. Two male bystanders then physically subdued him.

It’s ironic that in Arizona, where concealed weapons laws are liberal (no permit required), none of those three heroes pulled their own weapon to subdue the accused murderer.

It’s also ironic that the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where people clamor for secure borders, are substantial sources of the illegally obtained assault weapons being used by Mexican drug cartels to murder thousands of people annually.

A report published by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in September 2010 found that 90 percent of the guns recovered and traced from Mexican crime scenes originated from gun dealers in the U.S. And of the 4,449 U.S. guns recovered from Mexican crime scenes, 4,057 came from the border states.

The Obama administration has proposed, through the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to require about 8,500 gun dealers in border states to increase reporting on the sale of high-power rifles. Specifically, they would be required to report the sale of two or more such weapons to the same customer in a five-day period. You can read the entire report at www.mayorsagainstillegalguns­.org.

The National Rifle Asso­cia­tion contends that Mayor Mich­ael Bloom­berg, of New York City, and Mayor Thomas Menino, of Boston, are the driving forces behind MAIG and that they actually want to ban all guns. The NRA says Mayors Against Illegal Guns supports restrictions on gun shows that could drive them out of business.

You can read the NRA’s take on Mayors Against Illegal Guns at www.nraila.org/maig. It includes the following quote:

“MAIG has strongly pushed for legislation to prohibit any person listed on the secret ‘terror watch list’ from buying a firearm. This is a serious threat to Second Amendment rights.”

That’s particularly interesting because a poll by Republican pollster Fred Luntz concludes that the large majority of American gun owners, NRA members and gun owners who don’t send dues checks to the NRA, think strongly or to some degree that people listed on the terror watch list shouldn’t be able to purchase guns. Of the polled NRA members, 61 percent felt strongly in favor of that position.

Luntz surveyed 832 gun owners, 401 of them NRA members and 431 who aren’t. Fewer than 20 percent of the 832 think more can be done to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while also protecting the rights of citizens to own them.

Finally, I need to come clean. I am a gun owner, but I keep my grandfather’s old lever-action Winchester in a closet. And I’ve never owned a box of cartridges for it.

The last time I fired a gun, I was shooting at .22-caliber rifle from the prone position at a supervised range and hit five targets. I’m pretty proud of that, and I’d look forward to another session of target shooting.

So, let’s adhere to civil discourse — it can’t hurt — and let’s agree to tighten gun laws in America wherever we have a chance to reduce the carnage and can do so without abridging your rights.

I think we can.

Comments

seeuski 3 years, 8 months ago

If the authorities in Tucson had done their jobs and properly dealt with this obviously insane nut who pulled the trigger we would not be having this conversation. You can tighten the gun laws all you want but it is worthless if a person who has shown himself as a threat to society is dealt with liberally because his Mommy is a local Govt employee and a friend of the local officials. The creep should not have been able to buy a weapon and should have been in the system and there are laws in place NOW to deal with that. Just like there are laws in place to protect our borders and which would make it impossible for the drug Cartels to import weapons from our Country, but those in power again are failing us, the US Citizens. Go ahead, keep handcuffing the law abiding Citizens with new laws, but unless current laws are enforced you are pi$$ing up a rope.

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papafu 3 years, 8 months ago

So how many gophers can you kill with 31 shots in 6 seconds? Or is there another reason you would own a magazine extender? Makes no sense to me.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 8 months ago

The gun problem in the drug war could easily be solved by stopping the demand for illegal drugs. This is equally difficult to do, and our drug users seem in denial of the unintended consequences. I would assume that many of our drug users are very supportive of more gun laws. Recently we watched the uprising in Iran with unarmed citizens brutalized by an all knowing government. Let's not go there either.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Fred, So you with a Glock and a 30 magazine cartridge would be willing to stand up to an oppressive government with modern armaments? That would be one of the few situations in which 30 shots is nowhere near enough. If the citizenry is going to fight off an oppressive government then we need anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Mr Ross, The "reason an upstanding citizen needs the ability to fire 31..." is simple. An upstanding citizen "don't need no stinkin reason"! That is what the second ammendment clarifies; that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Merriam-Webster defines the fringe as " something on the margin of an activity". Therefore, to infringe means to encroach EVEN ON THE VERY EDGE of the peoples' right. That is what you are proposing to do.

Explain to us, sir, if you will why you need the ability to print your opinion. Do you really need as many lines to express yourself? Wouldn't you be just as free if your columns were limited to 100 words- once/ month? Should the people who disagree with your positions have a right to ask why you are free to utter words that are hurtful to them?

And if you own no ammunition for the relic you call a gun then you do not own a gun, you own a pipe.

When I and my close friend used to shoot regularly we fired as much as 100,000 rounds / year. Shotguns, pistols, bolt action precision rifles, belt-fed fully automatics like Brownings classic .50 cal and 1919 30 cal, open bolt sub-machine guns, M-16's with M-203 grenade launchers, etc, etc, etc. NOT ONCE... I repeat NOT ONCE did we hold up a liquor store, rob a bank, start a fight, shoot a congress-critter or anyone else.

I say that to illustrate the absurdity of the belief that somehow increased firepower is the path to wrong-doing. Your logic is absurd.

It is not the ability or the amount of firepower one can bring to bear that makes a man dangerous, murderous or evil. It is when, how and toward whom he choses to direct that power.

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Kevin Nerney 3 years, 8 months ago

It baffles my mind why no one in the crowd who was carrying did not shoot this individual. Bernie Geotes comes to mind. I understand the posibbility of getting shot in a case of mistaken identity (as numerous times when in plain clothes officers must convince those around them that they are the good guys). There isn't a jury in the world who would convict the man who wrestled the bad guy to the ground if a gun (accidently) shot him during the scuffle.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sled, What about the rights of those being shot?

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, Those who were shot had every right to arm themselves and to use force to protect themselves and others. Had they done so many of them might still be alive today.

Often attributed to Lincoln, it was actually W. Boetcker who first said: "You can not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You can not help small men by tearing down big men... ...You can not help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

Individual security is an individual responsibility. Just because many have abdicated that responsibility does not change that fundamental law of nature. When the iceman was excavated he was found carrying a weapon; the most advanced weapon he could get his hands on. This suggests a fundamental responsibility to provide sustenance and security for onself was UNDERSTOOD, even by the most primative intellects.

Men have been killing each other long before there were guns and will be doing so long after guns are outlawed.

I hate to see things like this happen just as much as you do but disarming the honest will not curb the blood-lust of the criminal one little bit. In fact, I believe it emboldens them.

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dianalynneubank 3 years, 8 months ago

One serious reason why an upstanding citizen who purchases a Glock might want the ability to fire more than 8 shots without pausing to reload? How about when participating in a USPSA Practical shooting match, or how about a Speed Steel competiiton? How about we change the privacy laws that apply to students on college campuses? Maybe that way, Pima Community College (and Virgina Tech before them) would have been required to report their concerns and the Arizona shooter (and the Virgina Tech shooter) would have been subject to an involuntary 72 mental health hold. The old man who threatened the Tea Party member was not protected by those college mental health privacy laws, and is right now in that 72 hour involuntary hold to access his mental health.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

So the solution to this violence is... I need a gun?

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housepoor 3 years, 8 months ago

Who has been shot in NW Colorado lately? Any bad guys? A 2 year old, a wife and a bear in the alley.

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

After reading this story, I wanted to jump on here and give a response to Mr Ross, but sledneck beat me to the punch, and said just about everything I wanted to. However, since then, I wanted to ask... (reference sledneck referring to your First Amendment rights in case someone missed that point.) and I'll add, since when do we live in a Nation that we are only allowed to own or buy things we "need"? What about those people who own a dog, a cat, a second home, a second car, a home with a second or third bedroom? Do they "need" those things? I'm glad we live in this Free Republic, where we have the freedom to own and buy not only the things we need, but the things we want. It's a good thing we don't live in a Nanny State, Communist State, or worse a place in time like Nazi Germany or Pol Potts Cambodia where someone is telling you how to live (and die). Also, Mr Ross has a little incomplete information in his article, the magazine ban (Brady Bill) you speak of did not prohibit the sale of such high capacity magazines, it only prohibited the new manufacture and import of those magazines for civilian use. Another words, the Brady Bill was totally useless as there were already millions and millions of high capacity magazines in circulation when that law took effect (1994), and the only thing it did was cause high capacity magazines to go up in price (Supply and Demand), so who is to say that the magazine(s) that this criminal had in his possession where not made prior to (or sold during) the law taking effect? Another question for Mr. Ross, where do you draw the line? If 31-rounds is too much for a magazine, is 30-rounds Ok? Sarah Brady lobbied and got a law passed to limit the magazine capacity to only 10-rounds, and when people then started to move up in caliber (i.e 45 ACP or 500 S&W) since they where limited to magazine capacity, she started to call foul (never happy with the current laws, always want to creat more laws). I ask you is it Ok for a Policeman to have a 15-round magazine to protect himself, but restrict me to 10-rounds to protect myself and family? lewi, not sure what your comment is referring to? I think all the victims there where exercising their right to Free Speech, and Right to Assembly, so no one took any rights away from them. The criminal who shot the victims broke the law, or several laws. Why do you want to take that away, and blame someone or something else for this criminal act? Would it have been any less tragic if the criminal would have used a 4000-lbs. automobile and ran down, killing and injuring the same number of victims? ... I think not! The only thing is we wouldn't be here talking about it because the media wouldn't have given it hardly any air time at all, and a week later the only people who would still remember this event would be the victims and their friends and family.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, Obviously children should never be left in the care of anyone not carrying.

And obviously the victim's rights to assembly, speech or pursuit of happiness are to balanced with the rights of others to shoot many people quickly.

When you took the oath of office then you swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. What part didn't you understand?

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

I understood that the 2nd amendment reads:

"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."

We can't simply discard the inconvenient "well regulated Militia" and "necessary to the security of a free state" to award ourselves rights to whatever individual armory we can afford.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

The above comments against gun limits: It’s my constitutional right to have 31 rounds. I need 31 rounds for the shooting competition. I need 31 rounds to protect my family. A car could do the same tragic thing and we would forget about it.

Well no, a car couldn't walk around the V. Tech campus or the Columbine hallways to kill kids and faculty. If the weapon were a car those kids would be alive.

When has anyone needed 31 rounds to protect their family?

Need 31 rounds for a shooting competition? You cannot be serious. Try to imagine the response of the Tucson recipients of those last 21 rounds.

Constitutional right? Yes, in a "well regulated militia".

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Queenie 3 years, 8 months ago

i recall an old bumber sticker..."if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns". Why would anyone think that new laws would restrict the outlaw?

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cindy constantine 3 years, 8 months ago

and while the quotes are flying around . . . my personal favorite . . . "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject."

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upstream 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks Tom for one of the most thought provoking and well composed pieces you've written in a longtime. You have actually managed to evoke a fairly intelligent discussion among the blog usuals- and that is becoming more and more rare. Like you I believe we are capable of developing gun laws that limit possesion by drug runners and nutjobs and still allow our garden variety gun owners to exercise their right to bear arms. The NRA as an organization will never be helpful in finding such a solution- but I believe many of their more intelligent members just may be. We can do better. (Housepoor- your list leaves out a handful of suicides and a bear hibernating in his den. UGH).

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

No, a car could never by itself go out and kill people any more or less then a gun or any other object could. It takes a human being to have the will and desire to kill or harm another human being, weather they are sane, mentally unstable, or it being justified or unjustified. To blame something other then the perpetrator of the crime is no different then not taking responsibility for your own actions.

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ride4fun 3 years, 8 months ago

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons made Oprah fat! Remember: Hold the person accountable for their actions, not the means they chose!

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi, You need to educate yourself a little more on what the 2nd Amendment is all about. Those few words you quote were written two centuries ago when words had a bit of a different meaning, for example "well regulated" is a term they used to mean it was something that could be counted on, accurate, reliable (not governed or regulated as what is understood in today's English language). The term "Militia" was used to described citizens who could be called upon to help defend home, town, community, State and Country from enemies, foreign and domestic (there was no such thing as the National Guard at the time). Citizens were expected to "keep and bear" arms (weapons, rifles, pistols, etc.) of the equivalent to those arms that standing armies had at the time You need to read and understand what was written and debated by our Founding Fathers in other documents, for example as what is written in the Federalist Papers to truly understand and appreciate what the 2nd Amendment is all about.

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kathy foos 3 years, 8 months ago

'Ill bet the college staff that kicked the student out and didn't report the insane acvtivity to the police, feel really bad.They should.They are the only ones that could have stopped this shooting, mental help for Loughtner before he went totally nuts.Mabe he would be on better medication and not insane enough to ruin all of their lives and his own,and his family's.You talk about bullets?What a joke.The health care system is the bullet for insane people.If they go untreated,its dangerous to be hallucinating.Sled neck is right..Others blame free speech- words for the deed.Well you wont get my gun,my bullets,or my free speach.Why not ask people in positions of trust(whoever kicked out Loughtner from college,"Why didnt he call the cops.Why didn't they call the mental hospital?"The college kicking out a student for insanity and they go out as a mass murderer and no one blames them for not reporting that the ex student was expelled and crazy?

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Sun, Loughner was probably not given the treatment he needed because there was no existing system to report him to. He never directly threatened anyone, and he apparently appeared sane enough to buy a weapon. There were no crimes to report him for and he was apparently able to hold a job, albeit temporarily. He probably could have even forced the school to take him back, unless of course he failed out. So, in conclusion, calling the cops or mental hospital wouldn't have done squat...no crime committed, no reason to hold him.

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bill schurman 3 years, 8 months ago

I just knew that the ultra right-wing would slam that lefty, Tom Ross. So other than to kill humans with a Glock 9 is it used fir hunting. I know that usual NRA crap "guns do not kill, people do". Having defended dozens of folks who killed their victims with guns I happen to mourn their loss. Once I represented a young man who moved in with a man in Craig America and after the young man's puppy urinated on the carpet the other man went into his bedroom, grabbed his pistol, came out ant shot my client between the eyes. As he is now locked up forever I'll bet that he wishes every day that he hadn't grabbed that pistol.

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seeuski 3 years, 8 months ago

Is this thalgard person living in a bubble? The AZ shooter had drug charges, he had made death threats, he freaked out his classmates, he was fired from his job, he had been stalking Giffords for several years, he was denied entry by the military because of his drug record, he posted insane rantings all over the internet etc. etc. The system is in place but his Mommy is a friend of those who run the system so he was given a pass. Why do you waste our time thalgard?

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JLM 3 years, 8 months ago

The shooter was not made crazy by the size of his magazine. He was just plain crazy.

Do you suggest that we are safer because a crazy person only has 10 rounds in a magazine and then has to reload?

I have no problem with restricting crazy people from having guns.

But the size of the magazine is meaningless.

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bill schurman 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi'

31 rounds to protect your family.? Right here in River City ? Good thing that I live up here on Crawford Ave. Not much crime up here. No guns needed. I have lived in this town since 1975 and as the Deputy State Public Defender I can tell you that no one needed 31 rounds (or any rounds) to protect one's family. If that were so I would have known. Ask J.D. he'll agree.

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upstream 3 years, 8 months ago

I guess I posted too soon when I suggested Tom had provoked a more intelligent discourse- the discourse has deteriorated into the same old ranting and finger wagging by the same old posters who never see anything of merit in the opposing arguments and cling to sound bite rhetoric. BORING...

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, Well, you obviously understand the 2nd Amendment wrong. As the Supreme Court has recently made clear, they can simply discard the inconvenient "well regulated Militia" and "necessary to the security of a free state" to award ourselves rights to whatever individual armory we can afford.

We should all be thankful that this conservative court has overturned a couple centuries of historical precedent and finally granted the public the full rights expressed in the Constitution. This should be seen as important as Brown vs Board of Education ruling that gave constitutional grounding to the civil rights movement. The long oppressed gun owners have finally been given the freedom to fully arm themselves.

What part of granting citizens additional rights bothers you? That it makes it easy for a lunatic to kill lots of people quickly? Well, how is that any different from racists having to accept that blacks now had access to the voting booth, integrated schools and no longer being discriminated against at work or in housing?

Your side lost, get over it. Start digging the graves and get used to burying the dead.

(btw, that is satire or the arguments of the gun lobby. I get confused and cannot tell the difference any more).

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

"Do you suggest that we are safer because a crazy person only has 10 rounds in a magazine and then has to reload?"

Hmm, since he was overwhelmed when he stopped to reload, everyone shot after the 10th round would not have been shot if he had a 10 shot magazine. So it would appear that one less federal judge would have been killed and about 20 fewer bullet wounds inflicted into the victims if he had been limited to a 10 shot magazine.

Oh, JLM, you got me. Your comment was satire. Point made.

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bill schurman 3 years, 8 months ago

To all of you gun freaks, lucky that you had the right-wing Supreme Court to misinterpret the Constitution to over rule the cities of Washington D.C., Chicago and others in an attempt to curb gun violence. What on earth are assault rifles and glocks used for? Hunting? Please. If you are man or woman enough to hunt, melt down your weapons and resort to bow and arrow hunting. That also brings sport to hunting.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

The most relevant graph in Tom's essay:

"Can we agree that there is no justification for allowing a troubled man like Jared Loughner to purchase a Glock and quickly accessorize it with a magazine extender that expanded his lethality to 31 rounds of ammunition?"

Yes, we can - the issue is how to configure the prohibition to fit our own jurisprudence. Loughner had been reported multiple times to campus security & local law enforcement. The authorities' hands were tied. Loughner's antics, while over the top, were not criminal.

I quoted Charles Krauthammer (a Harvard-trained shrink) in the McConnell thread, who suggests that it may be time to relax the involuntary commitment standards. It's certainly worth talking about.

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Steamboatsense 3 years, 8 months ago

You are incorrect. The 31 round magazine nor the Clock killed those people it was the nut behind it. It seems that there were plenty of indications that this guy was a nut. More gun laws will not fix this. But this is how liberals think. Fix it with more laws.

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dianalynneubank 3 years, 8 months ago

If I, a law abiding citizen cannot purchase a high capacity magzine just because I happen to want more than 10 shots without reloading when I am shooting USPSA, then I think I want no law abinding citizens purchasing vehicles that can exceed the maximun speed limit of 75. You know that only criminal will be using that extra speed and power to drive fast and kill people, or to out run the police. There is absolutely no serious reason why any citizen should be able to own a vehicle that can go more than 75 mph. But serioulsy, it really seems to me that perhaps the bad guys need to be restricted, not the good guys.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 8 months ago

Obviously the person killed the people. But the gun is part of the equation because both a shooter and a gun is required to have a shooting, and how many people can be killed quickly is determined by the size of the magazine.

It is certainly possible to make high capacity magazines illegal for the general public and allow their use in USPSA shooting events. Countries that have outlawed guns still have shooting events. They have rules that the weapons stay with the shooting organization and do not travel home. For competition at other ranges then the weapons get shipped between the shooting organizations and do not travel with the competitor. Maintenance is done by licensed gunsmiths. Thus, it is clearly possible to ban high capacity magazines from the general public while allowing their use in shooting competitions.

I am old enough to remember the culture shock of the Black Panthers carrying weapons in urban areas. I did not recall the NRA standing up for the gun rights of the Black Panthers.

A group of Hispanics exercising their state right to carry guns and their constitutional right to assembly that decided to visit SB and walk up and down Lincoln would challenge many people's views of what should be a constitutional right.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Upstream makes a good point: this discussion is pretty good so far. If you notice, its a Steamboat conversation. The complete lack of links to partisan punditry seems to keep it more about us. Thanks.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Being for more control, I have to concede that we already have supplied enough guns to "criminal intents" that controls today will take years to have effect. There is no satisfactory solution to for the short term. This is about the longer term of 5-10 years. Less if Sled will get back to his 100,000 rounds a year at the shooting range.

But in the control of magazine size, pro-gun posters have no sensible ground to say the extra round capacity has not cost lives. Scott W. is unquestionably right that the victim count correlates exactly with the rounds allowed in that one magazine.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi:

Ever replaced an empty 14-round clip with a full one? It takes about a second. Maybe 2 or 3, if you're being deliberate. Hi-cap mags have significantly less to do with the body count than Loughner's intent.

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trump_suit 3 years, 8 months ago

My buddies and I were trying to purchase an M1A1 Abrams tank. Clearly this vehicle would make an excellent snowplow machine, and would double as both safety and transportation when we ski Sand Mountain. We could use the Main gun for clearing avalanche danger, and could even hunt elk with the 50 Cal. gatling gun.

Funny thing, it seems that the US Gov't prohibits the purchase of this machine even with it's many civilian uses. Our HOA is even willing to setup weekend "Tank Games" so that we will have some regulation and maintenance staff in return for some help with the berms.

I have no criminal record, and already posses a concealed carry permit, so why the problem?

If this Gov't can regulate this transaction and stay clear of the 2nd ammendment, then clearly it has the power to regulate weapons that are considered too dangerous for the general public.

I am a hunter also and own multiple hunting weapons including pistols, shotguns, and rifles. No one will be taking my guns away, but there are already lines drawn about the ownership of weapons that have passed the 2nd amendment muster. Surely we can find a way to allow for adequate protection of the individual rights and still have some common sense regulation about what the average citizen can own.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sep, I agree intent is required to do harm. But bad intent is now magnified into greater harm by a history of lax gun laws. In this case you simply cannot deny that the clip size, and the clip size alone, cost more lives.

It makes no sense to me, this argument that we should allow gun owners max kill power because "there are other ways to kill similar numbers of people".

Why do you guys want to be so Rambo? Isn't this about deer, elk, self defense and targeting bulls' eyes at the range? Are you expecting a war at your house?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi -

You write: "...you simply cannot deny that the clip size, and the clip size alone, cost more lives."

Sure I can. One of my concealed-carry pistols is a Makarov 9x18, equipped with 8 round clips. I happen to have only the 2 clips that originally came with the weapon, but extras are cheap & plentiful. If I was as whacked out as Loughner, I could easily inflict as much (or more, depending how many clips I bring to the party) carnage as he did with my Mak.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Zoomie, You are right about the constitution. Its been a couple centuries and things have changed. But how can we on one hand say "a" is now less relevant and on the other hand insist that "b" is still the gospel? Seems you guys are strident about keeping only what you like.

They were dealing with musket and cannon in 1787, and I understand their allowing civilian militia the same arms that France's army would have. But they would probably reverse this logic in the age of drones and cluster bombs. Back then our civilian militia WERE our army. Today civilians would revolt at a draft. Why arm such civilians?

I looked at the Federalist Papers but couldn't find anything re: the 2nd amendment. Which Paper supports your view?

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sep, To maintain your bogus argument that clip size is irrelevant, you ignore that Loughner's killing ended while changing clips. That's BS.

A better question then: Should we allow gun owners max kill power just because "there are other ways to kill similar numbers of people"?

And why do you guys want to be so Rambo? Isn't this about deer, elk, self defense and targeting bulls' eyes at the range? Are you expecting a war at your house?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi:

And the Columbine boys' killing didn't end while they stopped to reload. You assert an 'either-or' where none exists. And save the Rambo jive for Lewis Movie Night.

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Seau Suk EEE I waste your time because you are a hate filled creep who I enjoy aggravating!

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thalgard 3 years, 8 months ago

Seau suk EEE your like a pimple, the deeper I scratch, the more of your puss filled core shows.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

For the record: I really don't have a dog in the hi-cap mag tussle. I own a number of firearms; all are equipped conventionally. If I did a lot more shooting than I do, then maybe I'd want something like a magazine extender; and I have no problem with gun owners who opt to acquire them.

At the end of the day, it's sound & fury signifying not a great deal. The real issue is identifying disturbed people & denying them the opportunity to commit their atrocities. I've floated Krauthammer's involuntary commitment balloon, and the reality is it'll likely never happen in a society like ours which enshrines personal liberty. It's also why the gun control crowd is just as unlikely to get anywhere.

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

Expublicdefender - what does hunting have to do with the Second Ammendment and/or the Constitution, or our inailable right to self defence? Show me where hunting is mentioned in either of these two documents. It's obvious when freedom haiting socialist like to twist things when they have no logical answers.

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Zoomie 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi - I support, and I feel most others also support the Constitution and Bill of Rights 100%, I feel it's all realavent, and it complements itself. In another words, to protect the First Amendment, we need the Second Amment to prevent a Tyrannical Govt. from taking that freedom away.

I don't have reference to where the subject of freedom to bear arms, and the right to self defense is discussed in the Federalist Papers. It's been over ten years since I read some of the documents. I know it's talked about in a few places, but the Federalist Papers is a large number of writtings that consist of many pages, possibly hundreds.

Musket and cannon was a modern arm and weapon in 1787, just as the Colt M4 and Berreta M9 are the standard arms of our modern military. I'm not saying citizens should be allowed to own cluster bombs, nuclear weapons, etc. Just modern side arms (i.e rifles, pistols, shotguns).

All - The argument that Loughner would have killed less people if he didn't have the 31-round magazines doesn't hold up. Fact - the Glock 31-round magazines is about 11-inches long, whereas the standard Glock (model 19) magazine which fits flush to the bottom of the grip holds 15-rounds and is about 4-inches long. The lady who grabbed the 31-round magazine from Loughner while he was attempting to reload was able to do so because of the length or size of the magazine. If Loughner would have been using a stardard size magazine to reload, most likely that lady would have not have had an oppurtunity to grab it because of it's size. Anotherwords it would have been almost intirely in Loughner's hand and not grabbable.

Also, I just love the references and comments about owning tanks and bombers, etc. FYI, it is possible to own large weapons systems in this free republic. Example, Retired AF Gen. Ritchie, Vietnam fighter ace owns and fly's an F-4 Phantom, and a friend of mine who's ex-brother-in-law restores military vehicles owns a Brittish Tank. You need a lot of wealth to own and maintain large weapons systems, that's why the average joe doesn't have one. Also, you are allowed to own (in most State's) machine guns, sawed of shotguns, bazooka's, grenades, etc. if you don't believe me, then google NFA or National Firearms Act (of 1934) which imposed a federal tax on anyone who owns such devices. Again not everyone has these because of it being cost prohibited.

To close, I heard a comment the other day on the radio... If we ban high capacity magazines because the ability (or intent) is there for some crazy person (such as Loughner) to injure or kill, shouldn't we also cut everyone's tonge out because they have the ability (or intent) to yell fire in a crowded theater? (ref. First Ammendment arguments)

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trump_suit 3 years, 8 months ago

Zoomie, You are correct, it is possible to own those military systems. With the arms disabled.

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, How many people could the guy have killed with 3 rounds from a shotgun? 3 crows with one shot is common. 5 is do-able if all the stars (or crows) line up How about two pistols? How about 3 with 10 rounds each? You are a hoplophobe and, as such, you can not be expected to view weapons rationally. Your view of weapons is, by definition, irrational.

Hoplophobia is "the irrational fear of weapons". It stems from a perception that inanimate objects (such as guns) have a will and ability of their own apart from their users.

Trump, That is incorrect. With class 3 permits you can own the systems WITH the arms FULLY abled.

Many machine gun owners get together from all over the country twice / year at Knob Creek, KY each spring and fall. They fire lots of different weapons systems, blow up stuff, vaporize cars, sell weapons, ammunition, etc. And it's ALL LEGAL! And do you guys know waht makes me even happier than doing that stuff? It's that you guys hate it but can't do a damn thing about it.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Zoomie, or Cindy (you made a similar comment),

When you apply the "Second Amendment to prevent a Tyrannical Govt. from taking a freedom away", how would you accomplish that?

And what sort of American majority would you need to decide it was appropriate to bring your gun to bear on what you wanted?

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sled, Can't find the word in a dictionary, "hoplophobe", but wiki says it was coined by a gun activist, who made up the definitions as a means to his advocacy and fund raising. Can I be cured? Do I need to own more guns than you? or will the two I own suffice.

If you need to pigeonhole those who disagree with you into tidy stereotypes of your own shaping, it only begs the question of your own argument. You can do better.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sled, Should we allow gun owners maximum kill power just because "there are other ways to kill similar numbers of people"?

What is the difference between a WMD and a weapon of semi-mass destruction? Why is one so wrong and reason for war, while the other is welcomed downtown?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi:

Comparing a WMD to a semi automatic pistol only begs the question of your own argument. You can do better.

Your caterwauling about max kill power is pretty meaningless. My Ruger P94 40-cal has a 10+1 capacity (the P95 nine millimeter has a 15+1 cap) . With three clips, I've matched the "maximum kill power" Loughner brought to his meltdown. Should we limit the number of clips people can own/acquire? The Columbine losers brought multiple guns to the party. Should there be limits on the number of weapons people can own? I consider my own arsenal to be pretty modest. But if I went postal, the damage it could enable me to inflict would make Loughner look like a cub scout, if you want to talk "kill power." I think it's entirely possible Loughner's rampage would have been even bloodier without the extended magazine - it's bigger & more cumbersome than the mags originally designed for the pistol; and less likely that a bystander would have been able to interfere with Loughner's re-load had he been using conventional clips.

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, It's not that "We" should or should not allow gun owners maximum kill power. That right exists absolutely whether "We" want it to or not; and the second ammendment forbids government from infringing upon that right.

Contrary to what some may wish, "We" don't have anything to say about it.

Yes, there is a cure for hoplophobia. It has nothing to do with the number of guns you own. The cure is the acceptance of the fact that, apart from human will, no gun, knife, grenade, etc can harm you.

I'm not sure where or if a line should be drawn between WMD and firearms. My personal perspective is that the person / nation holding the arms is more of a concern than what they are holding. No, I don't believe it is good for mad men to posses either but removing them from the hands of sane men is the wrong "solution".

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sled, I don’t always enjoy your tone, but when you spend the time you present the most depth of reason of any conservative in this website. It’s easier to hear when absent the cable news frame others use.

We disagree that the right to arms is absolute. The second amendment has more words than you like to quote, yet they shape the amendment's intent. Judge Robert Bork, 1989, said the 2nd Amendment guaranteed " the right of states to form militias, not for individuals to bear arms". The assault weapon ban that existed for a decade, 1994-2004 is an exhibit to lawful "infringement". In 2000 campaigning, Bush promised to extend the ban, but so go the promises of a politician.

Everyone understands that guns and grenades need a human to pull their trigger. It’s not a phobia to argue that guns and grenades magnify the crime or injury. If you insist on the term, you will also apply it to those who banned teflon coated "cop killer" bullets. Enough with the phobia labels. I suspect the mug shot of Loughner turns your stomach as it does mine. I cannot see that photo without thinking of the good people he killed, and how he killed them.

Yes, it’s a lot about who holds the weapons. But as impossible as it is to keep the arsenal from the criminals, it will be even harder to keep it from the unstable. That arena has too much guesswork. The only solution I see is reducing the supply. I would ban assault weapons altogether, and tax the hell out of revolver bullets. I would not support any ban on hunting weaponry. Those in competitions should be fine with smaller calibers.

People will always die violent deaths from guns. But we can change the number that do.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sep, you could easily pick another non-gun device to reach a higher intentional casualty count. The logic does seem to me an argument that also says why touch gun control if a suicide bomb can do worse. But since guns intentionally kill the most Americans of any tool I know (31,000 a year), there we are. The ongoing gun murders with regulation added in this town or that city, and the ability to kill even more with a better gun, both say to me we were wrong to allow personal arsenals to reach this level.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

I doubt I'll change a mind, so I won't have much more to say there.

But I would love to read and respond to the way any of you see using the 2nd amendment as a response to "tyranny". That is a fantasy that is exclusively politically useful in a negative way, but without a prayer of practical application. I suggest that anyone applying their 2nd amendment right to remedy a government action or policy would be denounced by the vast majority of their fellow citizens. If injury resulted, they would stand a good chance of being found insane.

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Lewi, 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. Thats totally from memory... how'd I do?

So ooooooooooo

If I decreed that " A well educated electorate, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed". Would any reasonable person conclude that to mean that only "well educated" or "government sanctioned" people have a right to own and read books?

The 2nd ammendment as a response to tyranny.... ? 1 glock took out 12 How many could 10 million glocks take out? Pardon me but removing the 60 million worst tyrants in this nation would be a huge step toward " responding to tyranny".

The biggest fear of the tyrants is that we turn misplaced rage for each other into rightful rage for those who brought us to this point.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

The 2nd Amendment is less a response to tyranny than a bulwark against it. James Madison, from Federalist 46: “The advantage of being armed . . . the Americans possess over the people of all other nations . . . Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several Kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

From the same paragraph: “Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands…”

In other words, an armed citizenry should vastly outnumber the State’s armed soldiers – using Madison’s numbers, by a factor of 16 to 1.

Alexander Hamilton, from the Federalist at 184-188: “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”

Hamilton again, from Federalist 28: “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”

“To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws” ~ John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

After Tiananmen (sp?) Square, I attended a presentation whose speakers included the Rev. Stephen Dunker. He’d been a missionary in China during the 50s, which resulted in his imprisonment by the communists & ultimately expulsion from the country. When the commies first moved into the area where he was working, they immediately cracked down on crime. Bye-bye to the pimps, hookers, addicts, & assorted other rif raf. Dunker recalled that it was a marked improvement in everyone’s daily lives.

Then came the edict to relinquish all guns, with which most everyone complied, piling up their weapons in the town square. Tyranny began the next day with mass imprisonments & public executions. “Landlords” were favorite targets. A “landlord” was defined as anyone who used more than one water buffalo to farm whatever land he was working.

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing” ~ Adolph Hitler, Hitler’s Secret Conversations 403 (Norman Cameron & R.H. Stevens, 1961)

The Founding Fathers, like Hitler, understood the distinction between “citizen” and “subject.”

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Kevin Nerney 3 years, 8 months ago

http://www.facebook.com/erik.rush Not sure how to put a link or attachment onto this comment but this is a commercial about crimminals that want to put a ban on guns so that their work environment is safer for them. I just finished a book called "ON Killing" by Lt.Col. Dave Grossman. Despite being about the psycology of soldiers killing during combat toward the end of the book, there is a chapter about the desensitization of American youth by Holloywood and news media outlets and video games etc. The book doesn't take a stand on gun control but puts a interesting spin on violence in general in our society today, and how we have evolved from previous generations. (just for the record no one is taking my Glock 21 anytime soon). P.S.Well look at that, technology knows more than I do, it came up as an attachment automatically

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Kevin Nerney 3 years, 8 months ago

Maybe technology isn't so smart. The commercial doesn't come up just his facebook page. oh well.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sled, The Supreme Court, by allowing the assault weapon law of 1994 to stand, disagrees with you.

Sep, The Federalist quotes are appreciated.

Hamilton: "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense..." "The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.”"

I understand these papers emanate from our revolutionary circumstances. And such circumstances still occur around the globe today. Some using weapons. Some without weapons. Which fare better?

We are the most evolved democracy, with information freely flowing from any opposition. An armed revolt in the US would be be crushed, and with popular support. Unarmed revolt is the only method possible to succeed in this country.

Civil rights achieved by armed blacks? Hardly. They would be worse off today by far.

And what organized level of revolt, when armed, is sane? The Tea Party has organized anger on the debt, but I see no agreed solution defined beyond that anger. "No debt!" is not good enough is it? If the Tea Party were to revolt, do we have any clue as to the system beyond that revolt that would result. The lack of self definition is part of the Tea Party success. Look at the Tea Party protest signs of last year - they were all over the map.

Let's hope that a "sane" Loughner never goes off with a complaint about the Federal deficit in his pocket.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Tom Ross, Thanks for writing this column. To say the least, its thought provoking to consider that we may have no answer for the shooting in Tucson.

It would be interesting to aim the weekly poll at the point of your column.

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Marty Rosenzweig 3 years, 8 months ago

As vast majority of Americans are sick and tired of the level of gun violence in our country. Untold numbers have been shot not by "crazy people" but by kids finding loaded weapons at home, spouses blowing away their significant other who forgot the house key and was 'sneaking" around the back, on and on and on. So, rather than argue about our "rights" under the second amendment I believe the "founding fathers" would encourage the adoption of a 28th amendment which will reflect how society today wants to move forward regarding the proliferation of weapons. All parties would have a chance to present their petitions and there will be compromises, certainly (maybe more gun ownership rights than progressives think). However, not withstanding personal freedom, etc., something has to change. As we sit in the enchanted land of Steamboat Springs, people in inner cities are dealing with a different, extremely violent reality. Let the American people have the debate and if you're unhappy with the outcome, so be it (love it or leave it, take your 31 round Glock to the wilds of north Routt and start a revolution, whatever) . At least we won't be arguing over a 220 year old interpretation of personal freedom.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi –

You write: “I understand these papers emanate from our revolutionary circumstances.”

I couldn’t disagree more. They emanate from a desire to insure that “We The People” could be sustained as more than a platitude. They arise from the aspiration to fundamentally alter the relationship between citizens and the State – a relationship that through all of human history had defined a citizen as a subservient vassal. Empowering We The People with the most basic right of physical self defense is not a knee-jerk reaction against Parliament & George III. It is one of the principal philosophical underpinnings for the elevation of personal liberty the Founding Fathers were trying to enshrine. You and your compatriots on the Left are the only ones twisting it into an incitement to “armed revolt.”

As a tea partier, I can’t help but roll my eyes at the attempt to drag us into your “armed revolt” jive.

Conservatives supporting candidates who most closely reflect our values & convictions=the slippery slope towards “armed revolt.”

Seriously?

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sep, Beats me why you insist revolutionary circumstances have no connection with the thoughts of your 3rd paragraph, but no matter, I agree with your paragraph too, save its final sentence.

"armed revolt" ... It was hardly me that brought that imagery, Sep. Re-read above.

Cindy C.'s favorite quote, "An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject."

Zoomie's comment, "we need the Second Amment to prevent a Tyrannical Govt. from taking that freedom away."

Obvious prompts to ask "the way any of you see using the 2nd amendment as a response to tyranny."

And I got this response from Sled: "The 2nd ammendment as a response to tyranny.... ? 1 glock took out 12 How many could 10 million glocks take out? Pardon me but removing the 60 million worst tyrants in this nation would be a huge step toward responding to tyranny".

If at that point you think Sled isn't describing an armed revolt, maybe you should take it up with him.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Look Sep, I'm glad you think armed revolt sounds over the top, but its hardly me dragging the conversation toward that slippery slope:

REP. SCHULTZ on Meet the Press: "that phrase was used in my district by someone who was almost the chief of staff to an incoming member of Congress where she said at a rally, at a tea party rally, "We will use bullets if ballots don't work"."

Former Arizona Rep. John Shadegg, on NPR Jan 11, 2011, “I can make an argument that the frustration of this individual resulted from the congress, quite frankly, not listening to the people over this last two years. And for example passing very, very major legislation when the majority of Americans opposed it. So are those who did that willing to take some blame for the reaction of or the impact on an unbalanced person or someone who is deranged, such as this shooter?”

And the famous Sharron Angle quote, 
"You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second 
Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. 
I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this 
Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

If these quotes from Cindy, Zoomie, Sled, etc, do not describe your values and convictions, why haven't you expressed disagreement with them?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

lewi -

I was unclear. My fault. I'm not asserting that our revolutionary history has nothing to do with the origins of the 2nd Amendment. Of course it does. I'm suggesting the connection is much more deeply philosophical, and much less a specific reaction to the British Crown.

I note that that President Mubarak last week issued an edict banning any & all public disagreement with his government. Such an edict is unthinkable here. Personal liberty is far too ingrained in our culture. Like it our not, the 2nd Amendment is one of the primary reasons why, and one of the principal components of that philosophy.

You demand to know why I haven't crossed swords with others on this board; particularly those whose politics might appear to be aligned with mine. The reason is simple: I speak only for myself; and generally prefer to engage those whom I regard to be thoughtful opponents on the other side. Your desire for me to do otherwise would be more compelling if you measured your own contributions here with the same yardstick. This discussion began in the McConnell thread; a discussion in which you were active. beentheredonethat, NamVet, Scott Wedel, thalgard - all asserted, to varying degrees, that Palin/Boehner/tea party/Fox/Michelle Bachman/Republicans et al, were complicit in Lougher's rampage. If their remarks didn't reflect your values & convictions, why haven't you expressed disagreement with them?

I'll consider the role of conservative hall monitor on this board, if you agree to a similar waste of time on your side of the aisle.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 8 months ago

Steve, The quote I stated on the thread has more to do with my feelings about modern day usage of firearms. I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement but realize that they cannot be everywhere needed at all times, hence my right as a law abiding "citizen" to own firearms. The "make my day law" so to speak where I have the right to defend my home ( and inside my car for that matter) against unwanted intruders who choose to do me and mine harm. As a "subject" I have to totally rely on law enforcement to protect me against harm. I suppose that seems a little extreme to you in our little SBS universe but "times they are a'changin'. ie: Hot Springs holdup. Sad it has come to this but I will always defend the rights of law abiding citizens to own firearms. If you want to know what it takes to legally own a firearm go talk to Ken at the gun store. Lots of paperwork before the background check is even run. And don't even think you can legally buy a firearm if you have an unpaid ticket for a "dog at large" charge--won't happen. CBI is that strict.

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

I can't speak for Sep or others but I personally feel that an armed citizenry is absolutely a deterrent to tyranny. Not using them like the nut in AZ but just HAVING them. There are people in our government that would, NO DOUBT, have gone a lot farther if 200 million people had no guns. ie The Sen from NY, Charles Schumer, a vehement anti-second ammendment type. One need only watch how he conducted himself during the hearings after the Waco maccacre to know EXACTLY what he would do about our nations "gun problem". One candid look into that mans eyes tells me all I need to know. I would as soon trust Sadam Hussein with my freedom as Schumer.

Cindy makes a great point too. Cops are ok but they can not be everywhere when you need them. Your familys protection is your own responsibility.

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Troutguy 3 years, 8 months ago

You would trust your freedoms to Saddam over Shumer? Really? Good luck with that. I guess the Hitler analogy has been used so much lately that you might as well plug Saddam's name in there instead. Sure gets your point accross. One of our elected representatives is worse than one of the most evil men to ever walk on this planet. Wow. Who would have thought..........

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Trout, What you ignore is the possibility that "one (perhaps more than one) of our elected officials" IS or at least could be "one of the most evil men to ever walk on this planet."

"If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable mention of the Devil in the House of Commons". Winston Churchill

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Sep, In the McConnell thread, I thought I did disagree with Thalgard, etc, and a connection between the campaigns, etc, to Loughner by saying, " I know too many Republicans and Democrats to associate his “political” action as belonging to any of them or their party." (1/11/11, 2:46pm post).

Egypt and other countries are in the midst of revolts as important as some wars. Its breathtaking to watch that political condition where the unarmed are confronting the armed. For better or worse, they are living my hypothesis on how a response to tyranny might look. Its not over.

Wasting time... some of the aspects of blogging seem wasted time. There are trenches and there are mosquitos. But some of it is actually quite good dialogue. It is definitely an increased opportunity to talk with "the other side". Sometimes the gap between us actually shrinks.

Personally, I would make a lousy monitor. I do suggest some pipe down and applaud others on occasion. Such statements seem called for, but I feel presumptuous every time. Let's just be civil, and maybe argue more sides than before, as you suggest.

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Troutguy 3 years, 8 months ago

Must be exhausting living in a world of fear all the time.

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

Hi Cindy, Thanks for the response. My posting here and on the "McConnell-I-am-no-longer..." thread has engaged my pure curiosity at what guns mean to my neighbors. Sure I want to move the pendulum toward fewer assault weapons, but I also want to understand why others feel we should not.

And I understand so much of their argument. Guns and self-defense, "make my day", competition, elk, deer, ducks... that I understand. But guns as a "response to tyranny" in America, in 2011, has me completely stumped.

I respect your courage in where you put your voice last winter re: 700. Add to that, in a conversation on gun control, you own a gun shop. So thank you for qualifying what you think of when you feel like a "subject". Its about self-defense. That's not what I interpret from that quote, but your clarification is more important.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

Troutguy:

Who's living in fear, and how is that fear manifested? Speaking for myself, I'm a happy guy. I'll admit that spiders give me the willies, but I can't think of too much in my everyday life that results in "exhausting fear".

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Trout, This is not a magical, peace-filled world of Rainbows and Unicorns. I trust no man with my freedom. How about you? Who do you trust with your freedom?

It is possible to elect evil men, no?

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trump_suit 3 years, 8 months ago

Very possible to elect evil men.... Even probable as those types would seem to be the ones that would aspire to positions of authority.

Sled, you have openly called for armed revolt on these forums in the past. Are you now saying that your previous position was extreme?

What kinds of arms are called for in the 2nd ammendment. We now have weapons and technologies that the founding fathers could not have envisioned in their wildest dreams. Likewise, humanities ability to cross large distances was not envisioned when the 14th ammendment was crafted

Do these truths change any of their intent?

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trump_suit 3 years, 8 months ago

I think that in the end I would argue that our right to freedom of speech is the strongest protector of our freedom as a country.

I would agree that the founders intended for the individual to have both the right and the responsibility to protect ones family and possessions.

Sled writes:

"The 2nd ammendment as a response to tyranny.... ? 1 glock took out 12 How many could 10 million glocks take out? Pardon me but removing the 60 million worst tyrants in this nation would be a huge step toward " responding to tyranny"."

Beyond your rights to defend, who of us has the right to determine the fate of others? Which of the tyrants are those glocks going to remove, and who gets to make those choices. Are we talking about American tyrants, foreign tyrants, or just evil politicians? How big of a mob does it take to determine that we should rise up in armed revolt against the US Government?

Sep, No voting for your convictions and supporting those that hold the same beliefs is not a slippery slope, that is how it should be. Calling for 2nd ammendment remedies against politicians might be a bit over the top but most of the commentary has not been in that vein. There are radicals on all sides, and we should all be committed to calling a duck a duck regardless which side of the blind it flies in from.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 8 months ago

Steve,

I am with you on the guns as a "response to tyranny" conversation considering how much weaponry has evolved since 1776, with this one caveat. The fact that a law-abiding citizen can own as many guns as they see fit, can stockpile as much ammo as they want (hopefully in a safe place) should put a "tyrannical" government on notice. You might say the deterrent factor that we all need to "play nice". Despite the fact that Mr Ross only owns an heirloom, does not persuade me not to own a working firearm. I really don't understand why someone would NOT own a working firearm. There are plenty of certified shooting instructors for the training, quick access safes to keep them out of harms way when not in use, ranges close by where you can have an annual "tune-up" on your skills, concealed carry classes offered locally by law enforcement officers. You just never know when a rabid dog, porcupine or other uninvited critter might come in the dog door and play havoc in the kitchen. (It has been known to happen) : )

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sledneck 3 years, 8 months ago

Correct, those are EXACTLY the type that aspire to power.

Are there any tyrants those glocks should NOT remove? Does their place of origin matter?

The great seal of the Commonwealth of VA reads... " sic semper tyrannis", which means: Thus always to tyrants. The picture is of a tyrant lying defeated under the foot of the goddes Virtus. She is armed, by the way, with both spear and sword. (I bet she did not have to ask no stinkin government for a concealed-carry permit) The picture and words combine to mean, quite simply... "we proudly kill tyrants, now and forever".

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 8 months ago

"Harper's" (August issue) ran an informative article by Dan Baum, "Happiness is a worn gun". It is mainly about the ethic and feeling of carrying a gun. The ethic: we have a responsibility to protect ourselves, and thereby a responsibility to own a gun. However in the gun owner ranks, according to the article, its never about porcupines. Its also never about tyranny. Its about self-defense.

The article didn't explain our laws. It explained the feeling of carrying a gun. For instance, the gun community and gun training courses prescribe to a code of 4 "readiness conditions". Condition Yellow (2) is about being alert and aware. Condition White (1) is about drinking too many beers or texting while walking downtown. Apparently, in gun circles, Condition White is for losers, Condition Yellow is good citizenship.

A new movement in the gun community is for more people to carry weapons openly. The ethic above tells you why. But the co-founder of opencarry.org, a retired colonel, thinks displaying a gun outside a presidential event is for "the tea party nutties". "Open carry" is already legal almost everywhere. "The movement is about changing culture rather than law".

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 8 months ago

It's a great idea to bring a knife to a gunfight - IF you're a Gurkha. http://www.logiccool.com/blog/591281-lone-nepali-soldier-defends-potential-rape-victim-against-40-men/

40 scumbags doing what scumbags do, including stripping a young girl to be raped.

One against 40. He kills three, wounds eight, & the remaining 29 run for their freaking lives.

In the bada$$ mofo hall of fame, this guy is a charter member.

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Zoomie 3 years, 7 months ago

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."

-- Abraham Lincoln, 4 April 1861

Luckly we (the people) have never had to use the 2nd Ammendment to overthrow the Federal Govt. bacause of tyranny, and lets hope we never have to, But, there are recorded events in American history where people had to use force (arms) to overthrow city and local goverments that were tyrannical, some as recent as 30-years or so ago.

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George Hresko 3 years, 7 months ago

Scott & Steve-

Thank you for your responses to my questions and your comments. I am slowly reading the materials Cedar referenced--I am still not certain how the codes tie to a larger / longer time frame context.

Meanwhile, as I think about your comments on the process vis a vis Walgreens--I am a system and process person by training and experience--it occurs to me the differences between your two positions are simply a question of the design of the process / system. Scott believes that the process needs an explicit feedback loop and Steve believes it does not need one. Scott's view of the feedback loop is that it goes directly to revising the codes. I tend to agree that a feedback loop is missing, but that it needs to start with the CC. Maybe when the CC does not agree with the Planning Commission-particularly where there are 11 variances requested--the CC should be required to prepare a 'brief' (they are acting in a quasi-judicial capacity) explaining their decision--such as we have come to expect from our courts. I would suggest then if there are a series of such 'briefs' they would provide information to feedback to both the 'context' and the codes themselves. For your consideration.

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MrTaiChi 3 years, 7 months ago

Sled,

Isn't that the same Latin phrase uttered by John Wilkes Booth just after he shot Lincoln? Words and guns sometimes can fall into the wrong hands. It happens here too, (no reference to you intended)

Zoomie,

Specifically what are you talking about? Watts?, Detroit? In Watts it was documented that surrounding businesses were firebombed but post offices left alone. The freedom fighters passed the word not to interrupt their revenue stream of entitlement checks.

Sep,

Loved the link. I think every guy daydreams that one day in a clear morally defined situation, that he lets the beast out and goes berserk against the bad guys. When I had a summer job I remember reading in the New York Daily News that a marine who was sitting on a park bench with his girlfirend was confronted by a punk with a gun, took it away from him and broke all four arms and legs. Ah! but that was a different age. Can you imagine the conjured up rage of Rev. Al and the victimization community now to such "disproportionate vilolence."

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 7 months ago

MrTaiChi

Some in the Ford's Theater audience heard it as "sic semper tyrannis"; others heard it as "the South is avenged." You're right about words in the wrong hands, of course - just look at Christina Aguilera.

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housepoor 3 years, 7 months ago

Tough guy Mr TiaChi says " I think every guy daydreams that one day in a clear morally defined situation, that he lets the beast out and goes berserk against the bad guys" ???????? You're kidding right?

So you walk around armed with a gun just hoping someone threatens you so you get waste him???? OK CLINT, I'm sure it would make your day!

So is that what YVB and Sep daydream about also?

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 7 months ago

housepoor:

You'll be a much more effective advocate for whatever it is you're arguing if you'll refrain from putting words in peoples' mouths and allow them to speak for themselves.

To answer your question (& only on my behalf; MrTaiChi & yampavalleyboy can speak for themselves, if they wish): I daydream about being able to perform as Mr. Shrestha did, if faced with a similar dire threat. The reality is that I couldn't - I do not possess Mr. Shrestha's training or skill set. I would have been consigned to sitting there meekly, quietly hoping the mob did not view me as a target.

Does your incredulous contempt extend to Mr. Shresthna?

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housepoor 3 years, 7 months ago

I was not commenting on the action of defending themselves or others, but the desire(to the point of daydreaming about it) for the situation to arise. I did not see where Mr Shresthnawas said that day was a dream come true, he was always hoping a clear morally defined situation would arise that allowed to him to let the beast out and go berserk against the bad guys.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 7 months ago

So daydreaming of releasing the beserker against the bad guys is contemptible; actually doing it laudable. Thanks for clearing that up.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 7 months ago

Famous Family Story: While I was an infant, my parents took a day trip to the mountains.

We stopped at one of their favorite spots. During our stay, a couple of bikers rolled in. Dad could tell they were trouble, so he packed wife & kid into the car. During the load up, one of the bikers shouted at Dad to hand over “summa that g00k %#$$y” (mom was Asian). Loudmouth wheeled his hog behind the car, blocking our departure. He dismounted, walked to the driver's window & leaned in to find himself looking down the barrel of dad’s .357. Loudmouth backed away carefully, and returned to his bike. He and his compadre saddled up and rode off.

No shots fired, no physical altercation, nobody hurt. Just a big stick on display, without comment or bluster.

Less famous family story: When I was in my 20s, I owned a '65 Barracuda, which I towed to a friend's building for storage. The building was somewhat off the beaten path in a semi-wooded area. As I pulled in, there were a couple guys about my age sharing a crack pipe. I rolled down the window & said "Hate to tell you guys, but this is private property." One of them cursed at me, picked up a piece of rebar, and advanced. I let him see my pistol and told him to simmer down. Both men split.

No shots fired, no physical altercation, nobody hurt. Just a big stick on display.

I furnish my home & vehicles with fire extinguishers. Not because I’m “always hoping” that we need to extinguish a fire. I – along with millions of Americans – accecpt that life does not always go as planned, and try to be prepared to deal with those contingecies when they occur. Being prepared includes envsioning, studying, and evaluating likely scenarios. Daydreaming, if you will. If that equals “make your day” – guilty as charged. And happily so.

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MrTaiChi 3 years, 7 months ago

@ housepoor,

I'm guessing that you're a woman, right?

Strange how a consistent trait of your gender is telling men how they should think, although I have a limited sample of lifetime experiences, including a wife and mother.

I was raised to think that it was my duty to protect a date, wife, family, innocent child, whatever, if they were threatened with force, even if it meant using deadly force. It's the man's code, or was. I'll bet that you'd prefer your husband to be psychologically ready to defend you in your own home, or as Sep has indicated, to have thought about a violent confrontation enough to have condidered how he would deal with it, rather than to hide under the bed while the bad guys were using you like a latex doll.

Little boys ask each other absurd questions, like if the Nazi's had made you choose, would you give up your mother or father for execution; could you stand up under torture to protect a vital national secret? One thing boys and men never stop thinking about is whether they'd be man enough to fight when the chips are down. Allow us our fantasy that we would and not cry "craven."

I don't own a handgun. I do own a pistol grip shotgun of small guage, a more accurate and deadly weapon in close quarters.

I think that it's valid for women to daydream about romance, particularly on the eve of Valentine's day, even if the rest of the year, reading romance novels seems a bit like emotional voyeurism, but I won't be judgmental about it. My thoughts are my own, as are yours.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 7 months ago

Nothing more romantic than a man who intends to defend home and loved ones against unplanned for harm!! : ) Happy V-Day!!

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Steve Lewis 3 years, 7 months ago

Housepoor, Your post above is worthwhile. There is a cultural foundation to carrying, and a cultural foundation to not carrying. My Feb 1 post above, the Harper's article, describes the carrier's ethic of being prepared. In some ways like owning a fire extinguisher, but carrying is further contemplated by many as a self-definition. And for a few, a superior definition. For some its wrapped in gender and romantic.

It took some days, but I have a better understanding of carrying than I did. Some of it, such as glocks as a political tool, or the point you make above, are the weaker pieces of the culture.

It is the American mold, nonetheless. And its a turn on. A new series is advertised, "Justified". The trailers typically portray the vigilante leading man in action with his gun. Sounds like a thousand other dramas sharing a simple and common plot line, but "Justified" sums the whole up pretty well.

Walk down the aisle at Blockbuster and count the guns. Everywhere. Count the covers boasting a fire extinguisher. Nope, nobody is dreaming about using their fire extinguisher. I'm no better than anyone else. I've rented that gun thrill plenty of times.

And if I carried a gun, the contemplation of using it on another human would be unavoidable. Such contemplation is pre-requisite, as is practice at the range, to being a responsible carrier. And that contemplation is the reason I will never carry a gun.

I recommend the Harper's article for an understanding of gun culture. I personally support (non-assault level) gun ownership and appreciate the responsibility a carrier has taken on. I could benefit someday, though I expect lightning will take me first.

As an understanding of the non-carrying culture, at least part of it lies in Housepoor's post: Choosing NOT to spend one's time contemplating assault on another human.

Mr. Tai Chi, you probably understand the contemplations of peace are not well described as a matter of gender or cowardice.

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cindy constantine 3 years, 7 months ago

Don't worry, Steve. Using a fire extinguisher on an intruder at close range will be effective as well. : )

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cindy constantine 3 years, 7 months ago

However, for the ease of use you might want to consider having some bear spray around or if you are really concerned maybe a stun gun---neither of which will do any permanent harm, but can incapacitate so you have time to call 911.

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Brian Kotowski 3 years, 7 months ago

cindyconstantine:

Whenever someone mentions “stun guns”, I recollect the following:

In a previous life, I was on the air in radio. At one of my early gigs, I was assigned a remote broadcast at a local business. Back in those days (early 90s) small market radio made some decent coin doing “remotes”. During “remote season”, we’d do a 4-5 remotes a week.

I have no compulsion against naming the business, as I am certain it has long since ceased to be: The C&M Stop ‘N Shop. The radio station salesperson provided me with a statsheet on the business, and it appeared to be sort of a poor man’s Walmart. I rolled onsite at the designated time, and was horrified: the C&M Stop & Shop was a 2nd-hand store aspiring to be as upscale as a Salvation Army Thrift Store; and falling well short: 2 & a half floors of 2nd hand crap. And I’m obligated to spend the next 3 hours peddling it.

However - in addition to the crap, the proprietor also featured her pride & joy: a full & complete line of state-of-the-art electric stun guns.

A word about the proprietor: early 50s, 5’1”, 180 lbs, beehive hairdo, chain smoker, yellow teeth, Southern accent.

I put it off as long as I could, but it was unavoidable: I finally had to interview her about the stun guns. She waxed rhapsodic. Try to hear this in a Hee-Haw accent: “Now, with one a these here stun guns, yew ain’t gonna take off a arm or a leg – Hell No! Yew jess stick ‘im & down he goes! Now, he may $hit hisself, but chew can clean that up!”

She’s cursing on live radio in a small & very conservative market. To this day, I’m mystified I wasn’t fired.

During the remote, I became acquainted with a young married couple employed by the proprietor. As it happened, the wife had recently used one of the proprietor’s stun guns on her husband, and it was the talk of the staff. I determined to interview the couple. The husband refused, but his wife was more than amenable.

The husband had tied one on with the boys one night, and returned home very late, three sheets to the wind. The wife CLAIMED she thought he was a prowler, so she zapped him and down he went.

I asked her: “I know it was dark in the middle of the night, but how long did it take you to figure out this was your husband?”

She replied “As soon as I heard him scream, I knew who it was.”

Not terribly relevant to this discussion, but perhaps a light-hearted way to put a bow on it.

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