Howard Bashinski: Moving it forward

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The Steamboat Today has published a long line of letters addressing different opinions on gun regulation. Thank you! Although many argue the issue from a constitutional perspective, I think the reality is that this approach just lends an air of legitimacy to a desire to have things a certain way — either some or no regulations on gun ownership. In addition, because the Constitution is not perfectly clear on the issue (the fact that there is any debate means it is unclear), individuals have forwarded a number of unique and interesting arguments supporting both positions. I think the bottom line, however, is that one group wants unlimited access to guns, and the other doesn’t think this is a good idea. If the authors of the Second Amendment appeared in the present and indicated their precise intention, I honestly think that the “losers” would argue with them.

The continuing name calling, negative innuendo and downright slander around this issue is an example of what I call “being a part of the problem.” It is extremely easy to do and equally useless in terms of moving a discussion/debate forward. If everyone simply continues to argue the same position, we can’t make any progress. The ability to compromise is one of the things that defines a civilization and separates us from our savage earliest ancestors.

Personally, I prefer to spend as much time as possible in solutions. To be sure, we have to do what is necessary to define the problem, but if we don’t then move to working on solutions, we simply are running in place. Here’s a proposed solution to the current disagreement.

  1. We define a wide range of guns that will not be regulated at all, except for background checks. We can debate what these will be, but I would include certain shotguns, hunting rifles, small-caliber handguns and other such firearms. Assault weapons, extra-large magazines and large-caliber handguns would not be included.

  2. We already have a process for licensing a person to carry a concealed weapon. I propose to extend that idea to license individuals for weapons and equipment not included on the nonregulated list. Again, we can debate the details about how this would work, but it should be the case that anyone who appears reasonably qualified and in “good standing” can purchase any kind of weapon.

  3. Finally, I think that one of the requirements for owning weapons not on the nonregulated list is that they be kept in an approved gun safe or trigger-locked in a way that is difficult to defeat. Moreover, if someone other than the legal owner of a gun commits a crime with it, the legal owner should be held partially responsible, except in the case of theft.

Now, these proposals are far from perfect, and there is a lot of room for debate. However, they are a starting point for moving us from the problem to an ultimate solution. Again, debating solutions moves us forward, whereas choosing to stay in the problem gets us nowhere. We can elect a government that sways one way and then another government that sways another. Let’s work on a solution so we can turn our attention to one of the thousands of issues that are far more important than this one.

Howard Bashinski

Oak Creek

Comments

Joe Meglen 1 year, 8 months ago

Howard,

I thought this had been well covered already, but just in case: The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to keep the government in check. The founders intended for the people to be at least as well, if not better armed than the government. When government tries to pass gun control legislation, no matter the excuse, it is an attack on the 2nd Amendment, which is an attack on the Constitution, which is an attack on the principles the states and states United were founded. Without the 2nd Amendment, there is no Constitution. The government hates the Constitution because it recognizes individual freedom and places strict limits on government. Killing what is left of the Constitution is the point of gun control legislation.

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Joe,

Again, you are simply re-stating your same - tired - argument. We can't agree on the intent of the 2nd Amendment! I don't think it has anything to do with people being protected from the government. Your statements are mostly opinions, not facts. As I pointed out in my letter, if people disagree, then the "facts" are disputable. I encourage you to apply your obvious energy and intelligence to solutions rather than the problem. And by solutions, I mean something more useful than "do it my way." We need to find a compromise. hb

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cindy constantine 1 year, 8 months ago

Howard,

I appreciate your letter at trying to find workable solutions. Under #3 above you mention that if someone other than the legal owner of the gun (except theft) commits a crime the legal owner should be held partially responsible. Does the same hold true for a mental health care professional who is treating a manic/depressive patient that does not take their meds and goes on a shooting rampage?

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Cindy,

Interesting question!! We could continue to carry this line of thinking thru to the person who trained the mental health care professional, etc.

I think we can limit responsibility to the person who actually owns the gun(s), though. For me, that's pretty straightforward.

This discussion hasn't brought up mental health issues, which I think are also very important. I think the US is "behind the curve" in terms of how we deal with such issues.

Great response!

hb

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John St Pierre 1 year, 8 months ago

The founders could never remotely had foreseen the progress in armament.. a single shot musket verses today's semi & automatic weapons... 154 casings in that classroom in Newtown in 5 minutes

While the thought of more government control troubles me.... it seems to me that common sense has gone out the window....

The suggestion that citizens should be better armed than its government seems a bit ridiculous.. the logic carried out means we should all have nuclear weapons in our homes to protect ourselves...

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David Ihde 1 year, 8 months ago

I'll tell you what. You go back to constitutionally authorized government and we will go back to muskets. In the meantime, as long as the government continues to violate the constitution by growing beyond the bounds of the 18 enumerated powers and thereby threatening our freedoms and rights, the more "We the People" need assault weapons. REAL ONES! And stop insulting the intelligence of our Founders as well.

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 8 months ago

What part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand? Can you read, can you open a dictionary?

Over 200 million folks in the US and we have 3 folks in the last 4 years who have gone wacko.

It also seems that all these folks gave indications of going "wacko" to medical authorities who properly reported it to law enforcement. It was law enforcement who failed to follow up.

It was not the 150 million or so of good citizens who like guns and have a healthy distrust of Government turning into Dictators.

And YES the founders could see the advancement in guns. Christ, they saw the biggest advancement in firearms of any historical time line. From the advent of the bluderbuster to the invention of cap and ball. They saw the advent of "rifling" as well as the exploding shell. They were, as now, worried about a government that figured it could intimidate its population and that thought permeates each and every article of our Constitution..

And the intimidation of populations with the threat of force continues now in many many Countries around the world.

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Harvey,

You continue to want to spend time in the problem. I think that if I can purchase a gun, my right to bear arms has not been infringed. We can debate the "meaning" or "intent" of the 2nd Amendment forever, and it will get us nowhere. Intelligent, well-meaning people disagree on how the 2nd Amendment should be interpreted. This means we will need to find a compromise. Simply repeating over and over that one side is wrong doesn't move us forward. hb

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jerry carlton 1 year, 8 months ago

What do you have against large caliber hand guns? A .22 to the head is more lethal than a 9mm. Gabby Giffords survived the 9mm. She probably would not have survived the .22. Or is a 9mm considered a large caliber? Does it have to bee a .38 or a .45? The arguments cango on forever. Want to talk about something that kills a thousand times more children every year than guns? Want to talk about abortion?

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Jerry,

As I mentioned in my letter, my proposal was simply a starting point. I would rather us spend out time debating what will be in the "unrestricted" category than what the 2nd Amendment means.

hb

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John St Pierre 1 year, 8 months ago

Being well-armed didn’t stop the killings of a Texas district attorney and his wife. If a well-trained, ex-military lawman cannot protect him and his wife from the shooters in his own home, how can anyone believe the propaganda that the NRA is promoting about all people should own and keep guns in their homes and on their bodies?

Its non stop.. no laws... but when something happens even dogs barking... who do you call the police (government)

Thomas Moore who stood up to Henry the 8th said it best many many years ago during his trial the following 2 quotes... and I would suggest many take this to heart...

“Thomas More: ...And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's--and if you cut them down...d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.”

And more to the point:

“The law is not a "light" for you or any man to see by; the law is not an instrument of any kind. ...The law is a causeway upon which, so long as he keeps to it, a citizen may walk safely.”

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

A few interesting "law" quotes for consideration:

The more corrupt a society, the more numerous its laws."- Edward Abbey

"Heaven is home, Utopia is here."-Edward Abbey

"Let us hope our weapons are never needed-but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny."-Edward Abbey

"The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable". -F. Bastiat

And my favorite:

"What liberty should legislators permit people to have?

Liberty of conscience? Of education? Of trade? Of labor? Of association?

Clearly, the conscience of the social[ist] democrats cannot permit persons to have any liberty, because they believe mens nauture tends always toward every knid of degradation and disaster. Thus the legislators must plan for the people in order to save them from themselves, thus, a challenging question:

If people are as incapable, as immoral, and as ignorant as the politicians indicate, then why is the right of the people to vote defended with such passionate insistence?"

-Fredrich Bastiat

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Joe, I have heard some of the dialogue of Colorado's elected officials, but I have not heard their mention of your point of view, posted above. Can you show a link to where your view is being represented by Colorado Sheriffs, Representatives or Senators? I'd like to hear how they express it.

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Joe Meglen 1 year, 8 months ago

I am not referencing statements made by Colorado legislators or county sheriffs.

The right of self-defense, from any and all threats by whatever means necessary, is a natural right of man that predates the Second Amendment. This natural right is the foundation for the 2nd Amendment. Any attempt by governments to restrict this unalienable right is an attack on the 2nd Amendment.

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Joe,

So you say. However, there are those that disagree with you. For example, I feel that if I can purchase a weapon, my inalienable right is fulfilled. Simply stating and restating your position doesn't move the discussion forward. Do you really think that at some point everyone will agree with you? Rather than be in a position where one "side" gets what they want and the other doesn't, wouldn't it be better to find a position where everyone gets at least part of what they want?

hb

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

There are more than 20,000 gun laws on the books, even before Hickenlooper's sop to the gun grabbers. Colorado's new package is nothing more than feel good bureaucratic noise. In 2010, approximately 2000 convicted felons and fugitives tried to buy a gun. The Obama administration prosecuted 44 of them. Federal gun prosecutions peaked during the Bush administration at just over 11,000 annually. The 2012 tally for the Obama administration is a little over 7700 (according to a Syracuse University study published this year). Colorado's new package is nothing more than feel good bureaucratic noise. But at least those banned magazines will disappear because they "...will have been shot and there won't be any more available..."

We're fortunate to have leaders like Congresswoman DeGette shepherding the great unwashed through these troubled times.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 8 months ago

Given the vitriol seen on these blogs, one would think that Routt County citizens were among the most staunch opponents of the Federal Govt' that there have ever been. It astounds me how many of the people I know have read these blogs and approached me in a quiet way to support common sense gun regulation. Many of your neighbors here actually agree that we need to try and do something, they are just not all willing to put their name out there and argue with you.

Most of these mass shootings comes to an end when the shooter is either forced to change weapons or reload. When that happens some heroic joe citizen reacts and puts the guy down not with his concealed weapon but an old-fashioned body slam tackle. It would seem to me that trying to limit the number of rounds the next wacko has in the magazine is not such a bad thing and might help to limit the damage. Can you imagine the chaos in that darkened Aurora theater if there had been 15 armed individuals that each decided to "take out the shooter"?

The opponents of regulation do themselves no favors when they refer to rebelling against the tyrannical government or calls for armed insurrection and outright civil war. How will you react when that Gov't is personified in your friends and neighbors employed at the Sheriff's office? Do you really think that the Gov't takeover will begin with soldiers or might they start with Sheriff Wiggins to try and talk you out of that bunker.

Given that the Supreme court upheld the previous assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, what makes so certain that the current Colorado version is unconstitutional?

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Well, just because two sides are arguing does not mean both sides have facts on their side.

It is abundantly clear from the correspondence during the writing of the Second Amendment that it was intended to allow local citizens to have a protective militia despite the LACK OF FEDERAL PRESENCE. In particular, Southern states were worried that the feds could take over state militias and then decline to put down a slave revolt or capture escaped slaves.

The Supreme Court stated in Heller that requiring trigger locks or gun safes is unconstitutional. They state that people have a right for self defense. They also state that the it is legal to prevent felons and the mentally own from owning guns. They also state that it is legal to ban unusual or dangerous guns.

The current and previous Supreme Court does not accept the theory that the only relevant part of the Second Amendment is the second half as so often claimed. The Supreme Court has ruled on many occasions that the "well regulated militia" is what cannot be infringed upon.

Those are not my opinions. Those are facts.

So Colorado requiring background checks certainly appears to be constitutional. The 15 magazine limit also is most likely constitutional because that is enough for most every personal defense incident that has occurred and situations where more 15 rounds are fired run the risk of many errant bullets endangering the general public. Thus, a limit of 15 rounds is a reasonable regulation to limit the danger of guns while retaining the right for sufficient self defense.

Most do not expect these modest gun laws to have any great impact. But, it makes no sense to allow a felon or mentally ill person to buy a gun whether it be in a gun store or private sale. If it makes it any harder for a felon or mentally ill person to buy a gun then it is worth it. The same system is certainly no hardship for the rest of population when buying a gun from a store.

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cindy constantine 1 year, 8 months ago

Scott- None of the new Colo laws even address a "registry" for the mentally ill. You cannot buy a gun legally if you have an outstanding bench warrant for not paying the fine for a parking ticket or a dog-at-large ticket or skate boarding without a helmet in Frisco--Don't laugh because these are actual denials that happened at the gun store when a background check was run. However, the mental health community is under NO obligation to report a patient they suspect is capable of hurting themselves or others. I know this is a "slippery slope" but the mental health community has got to make an effort to help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill!!

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi Cindy,

Amen!!

Also, I think the entire community needs to be more active. In the case of the Newtown shootings, I'm sure there were people who knew the situation in the home of the shooter was not good or right. We need to be able to come forward with our observations and concerns about such things.

hb

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

All,

Very interesting! Of all the responses to my letter, only one (so far) has anything to say about my specific proposals. It seems that this forum consists overwhelmingly of correspondents who enjoy or prefer going around and around about "the problem." Isn't it clear that we never will agree on what the 2nd Amendment means? We need to accept that and start working on a compromise that respects all positions. Simply restating one's position requires no more intellect or creativity than possessed by a tape recorder. Let's use the passion and concern to find solutions we can live with.

hb

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john bailey 1 year, 8 months ago

how about enforcing laws already on the books and I mean all laws not just this subject. putting bandaids on gapeing wounds never heal the problem. oh this sounds good lets try this solution, no wait , um this one , I guess I meant this one............... sheeple.~;0)

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Howard Bashinski 1 year, 8 months ago

Hi John,

We do need to move forward, though. If half the country gets what it wants, then the other half remains resentful. My suggestion is that we try to find a way to let everyone get SOME of what they want. That's the essence of compromise.

Also, I don't think trying out different solutions is a bad thing. We could debate the "perfect" solution forever and still not find it. Let's try "A." If "A" doesn't work, let's try "B," and so forth.

This is the story of how progress is made. Not doing anything until we are 100% certain it will work usually results in...nothing being done!! :)

hb

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Cindy,

A bench warrant is sufficient to be arrested if pulled over for speeding. The original offense may not be much, but the person had a legal issue and failed to comply to the legal system. Probably overall, pretty reasonable to make someone clear any outstanding bench warrants before purchasing a weapon.

Yes, the list for mentally ill people that shouldn't be allowed to purchase a gun is incomplete. But why should any of those currently on the list be allowed to legally buy a gun? It makes sense to me to use that list we have today to disqualify those legally found to have violent mental issues and then figure out how to expand the list to include other people with violent mental issues.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

When we turn the mental health profession into an arm of law enforcement, the attraction and impulse to seek counseling will only go down. A profession eternally striving for the trust of it's clients will lose trust.

Never mind that only 1 in 20 violent crimes stem from severe mental illness. Those working in the mental health field will tell you ending gun violence through better mental health filters is a nearly impossible mission. They "cannot determine which individual will be the shooter". It seems to follow, we will ask for a larger net.

How is it o.k. to register and track citizens and their emotional history in a database, but the smarter tool against gun violence (the same the tool that renders Colorado legislation enforceable), a gun registry, is out of bounds?

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cindy constantine 1 year, 8 months ago

Read your history books, Steve. Through out modern history registration has led to confiscation. Are you naive enough to think it could not happen here????? Do you think criminals will register then give up their guns???

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 8 months ago

Any gun control measure short of door-to-door confiscation amounts to pissing into the wind. "...only 1 in 20 violent crimes stem from severe mental illness." A ridiculous straw man - carjacking is a violent crime; so are bar fights and bank robbery. 'Violent crime' v these mass slaughters are entirely different animals. Jared Loughner is a whackjob of the 1st magnitude, despite the American left's infantile determination to blame Sara Palin and talk radio. Seung-Hui Cho was identified by health professionals as "an imminent danger to himself or others". His professors at Va Tech, ever alert to his self-esteem, “attempted to 'manage the situation' in such a way as to not alienate him and to allow him to successfully graduate with his reputation still intact.”

So rather than take the extraordinary step of committing him against his will, we roll the dice. 32 people murdered? Them's the breaks. They're less significant than the morale of the mentally ill.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Cindy, As I understand it, the highest value of a registry is to show the channels, and dealers, thru which criminals get their guns. Many in Connecticut wanted to ban all assault weapons last week. I don't know how close it came to law, but prevention of a registry is obviously not the barrier to confiscation you think it is.

Didn't individual gun ownership actually rise under Hitler? Regardless, history should be weighed with common sense. Hitler and Stalin did not have today's FBI, CIA, technology, or the Patriot Act. As important, they did not have today's media.

With overreaching hot button arguments and "Obama is coming for your guns" PAC ads being put forth, it is inevitable someone is going to follow THEIR second amendment, "November hunting season on Democrats", and other rationale to pull a trigger. It may be one guy. Maybe it will be a Sheriff with a militia of 30. No matter the size of the act, the first such injury will be condemned in the strongest of terms by 99.99% of Americans. Where do you think gun rights go from there?

We spend a LOT of time discussing NRA concerns. I would like a pro-gun voice to discuss why, counting deaths in 23 developed countries, 80 percent of all firearm deaths occurred in the United States, 86 percent of women killed by firearms were U.S. women, and 87 pecent of all children aged 0 to 14 killed by firearms were U.S. children.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Brian, You are right about Loughner. He should have been locked up in advance. Accomplishing that also means a net that would include many other thousands of citizens, right?

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cindy constantine 1 year, 8 months ago

Steve,

I would encourage you to read the bio of ex-NRA President and now Board of Director member of the NRA, Sandy Froman. Ms. Froman was a liberal attorney in San Francisco, until she was confronted one night by an intruder and calls to 911, banging on the walls of her apt did not bring her aide. The next day she purchased a firearm. Her story is compelling. While this does not answer your questions of me, I would say to you that I am not concerned at all that people know I live in an "armed" household--especially since this not an anon blog anymore and our posts can be read by anyone in the world. I DO NOT wish you or any of my fellow humans any harm, but do you want the public-at-large to know you do not have arms in your home which can be gathered by the content of your posts--unless of course you are just playing "devil's advocate"? I choose to NOT be a victim and all it takes is one intruder. And as to your statistics, like all statistics, the numbers do not tell the whole story. Who is being murdered by firearms? Competing gang members, inner city youth that cannot get jobs, criminals entering homes to cause harm, concealed carry owners preventing a crime at a church or convenience store. And if there were not firearms would some of these victims be poisoned, knived, clubbed to death with a baseball bat, etc? Statistics are meaningless in my mind if the whole story is not told. I think you do great things in this community but on this issue we will never agree. : )

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Cindy,

The numbers are abundantly clear that a gun in a home is far more likely to kill a family member or friend than an intruder.

And the sort of people that need to use a gun to stop intruders are often drug dealers or those conducting other sort of criminal behavior. So for the noncriminal class, a gun is even less likely to be used for defense.

If it makes you feel better then it is your right to own a gun. But the facts are clear that it does greatly increase the likelihood that you or those close to you will be the victim of gun violence. The home intruder is a scarier scenario for most than it being used on family member, but it is far less likely to happen.

Locally, we have had many more incidents of husbands shooting spouses or people shooting themselves than shooting intruders. That is the normal trend. Thus, it is entirely rational for some to feel safer knowing there is not a gun in the house.

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cindy constantine 1 year, 8 months ago

Gee Scott, I feel so much safer now that you have weighed in. What about the nimrod that shot down the stairs at the Tap House employees. How lucky were they that they were not hurt. This community is not the safe haven it used to be. Safe handling of firearms is the key and unfortunately too many family members seem to think a gun is a toy as seen on cartoons and video games. It is a crying shame we do not live in the "Leave It To Beaver" era anymore but the sad reality is we do not.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Gee Cindy,

What about that nimrod? Should Tap House security be armed and quick draw experts to have shot that nimrod before he shot at them? Was fortunate for those Tap House employees that the nimrod didn't have a 30 round magazine to unload at them.

So are you suggesting that gun buyers have to be trained in the safe handling of fire arms? Sure, that is a good idea. And it would seem to be constitutional, justified by "well regulated militia".

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Cindy, I am a gun owner. I actually have two, from the days I hunted with my dad. I have also been threatened with a rifle aimed at me from 8 feet away. It was a nominal confrontation, but you never forget looking down that barrel. One of my teenage friends was accidentally killed by another friend while hunting.

I appreciate an exchange that doesn't involve rotten fruit. Thanks for that. I'm not sure how to proceed though, when facts do not matter.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 8 months ago

Cindy,

I agree with you about the registration database and cannot support that. I also agree that much of the proposed and signed legislation is feel-good and will be largely ineffective.

Having said that, do you think that one can be a gun owner and supporter but still be in favor of universal background checks and/or some limitation on capability or firepower?

It seems to me that there could be some common ground here that makes an attempt to try and create a higher level certification to own and use higher capacity weapons. Would that resolve anything in your opinion?

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

Wasn't it the left who was once the "keep the government out of my bedroom" , and more recently the "keep your laws off my body" crowd?

Now they are just comfy with that same gubbamint in our kitchen, bathroom, gun safe, garage, telephone, etc...

Hypocrites of the highest order.

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David Ihde 1 year, 8 months ago

There is only debate because there will always be those who love big government and the second amendment gets in the way!

As for solutions, how does an assault on the 2nd amendment provide a solution to the problem? Lanza was not stopped because he had to re-load. He shot himself when the cops finally showed up! So it seems obvious to me he could have been stopped sooner had an armed school official or an armed security guard been on duty. Is that fool-proof? No, and neither is anything else. But I am tired of "feel good" legislation that violates my rights and freedoms and does absolutely nothing to solve the problem.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

David, I respect your intelligence, but you ignore too much here. There are other pillars to this country. Even when given your narrow interpretation of the 2nd is right, it should be clear to you how your cause is assaulting those other pillars.

You would have a Sheriff abandon law according to his own convictions.

You are willing to register and database the mental and emotional condition of millions of Americans. This latter affecting at most 5% of the problem.

But gun registration is beyond the pale, because America might someday attack you. Aren't you attacking our mentally disturbed in exactly the same way?

Compared to background check and magazine size, I think you advocate much larger violations of rights and freedoms.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

As Howard suggests, I should have put that differently. Less confrontation and try to offer a positive. I also agree with the need to better address mental health. More in treatment, but yes also in databasing. Easier said, than done in Denver. A tough bill to write. Still, this is not a large part of the solution to gun violence.

Tom, I don't know if you realize, gun ownership in the U.S. dropped from 50% of us to 30% of us. I think that is over 30 years. Thus if gun crime is falling, it is not because of increased ownership.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom, My point is if gun crime is falling, it is not because of increased gun ownership. There are various sources that put the current number between 25% and 32%, but all show a long term decline. Obviously the number of background checks has nothing to do with how many owners there are.

Medical exams by big brother? I don't understand you there.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom, Gun ownership is up? Perhaps you are equally wrong on your other counts.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 8 months ago

When you refuse to listen to the viewpoints of those that disagree with you, two things happen.

1. You are on a self reinforcing path that continues to validate and strengthen your point of view

2.. You become convinced that everyone in the world thinks like you do.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

That is precisely why religion and its tenents are so important.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Chris, Thanks. That is good advice on viewpoints. Harder keep listening when documented facts are labeled as lies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_United_States

"In 2004, 36.5% of Americans reported having a gun in their home and in 1997, 40% of Americans reported having a gun in their homes. At this time there were approximately 44 million gun owners in the United States. This meant that 25 percent of all adults owned at least one firearm."

http://www.statisticbrain.com/gun-ownership-statistics-demographics/ now at 36%...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/nine-facts-about-guns-and-mass-shootings-in-the-united-states/ "... ownership of firearms is at or near all-time lows,”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times. In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant."

Tom may have rebutting information. Short of that, his rationale actually correlates lower gun ownership with lower rates of crime. In fact, other studies have done exactly that for homicide, as listed in my recent letter to the editor. http://www.steamboattoday.com/news/2013/apr/06/steve-lewis-important-discussion/

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

re: "Gun ownership and Crime.

While in Canada this winter snowmobiling, we encountered a very alarming situation.

Snowmobiles were being stolen up there at an alarming rate... almost nightly.

Any gear left on your truck at the trailhead while sledding was almost certain to be GONE upon your return.

Same thing for skis, or anything else that wasn't "nailed down".

Even the grocery carts at all the supermarkets were CHAINED to the side of the store and you had to ask management to un-lock one if you wanted it. We asked the manager and they looked at us like we were crazy, saying "they would all disappear".

When we asked the host/owner of the Bed and Breakfast where we were staying (he and his wife were fron STEAMBOAT SPRINGS by the way) about the situation he confirmed that theft was RAMPANT up there... RAMPANT.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

oops, too soon on the "post" button.

My point was:

I was forced to conclude that:

Removing the threat of gettin' your ass shot, coupled with an alarmingly Godless, ie moral-less society (as indicated by the presence of almost NO houses of worship), = an increase in theft.

I do not believe Steve Lewis's figures compare accurately with what I saw in the real world. I can assume his response might be that "violent crimes" are another matter, but who wants to live in a world where your odds of gettin shot are improved from 1 in 1,000,000 down to 1 in 1,000,001, but have that world changed so as you are GUARANTEED to be robbed over and over and over again?

No thanks.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom, Of course I read your rebutting links. 3 of the 5 have nothing to say about gun ownership rates. 1 briefly discusses it for women alone. Useless.

Your 1st Gallup link is at least about ownership rates, but it is household, not individual ownership. Lower in that article Gallup corroborates where some of my trends above came to - individual ownership today stands at about 32%.

So Tom, you are simply wrong. If gun crime is falling, it is not because of increased gun ownership. Gun ownership has seen a long term decline.

You can have your own beliefs. You just don't get to have your own facts.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Mark, Your chance of being a homicide by gun victim in Canada is 1 in 200,000. Your chance of being a homicide by gun victim in the U.S. is 1 in 31,000. (6x Canada)

We traveled Canada with the opposite of your experience. Had a blast. Great place. Great people.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

My chances of being a gun victim in the US are far less than that, because I wouldn't be caught dead in most leftist enclaves like Chicago, and because I always have a .45 ACP at my fingertips.

Since you seem concerned with the dangers of gun violence here when are you moving?

You didn't see any chained-up grocery carts up there?

I'd love to tell you the story of how I carried a fully loaded pistol into DIA, got on a plane, and went to Canada, maintained possesion of the weapon the entire time, then returned home to Colorado via another airplane with it and the ammo, but I'm afraid the statutes still haven't ran. Maybe later.

You people pay a lot for the illusion of security...

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Like the Bushmaster commercial says - Your Man Card has been re-issued. I sometimes wonder how carrying would change my outlook on the day. Condition white, and all that. I spent 20 minutes of my life thinking it would be a good idea, and that was in another country. Please tell me you don't carry here in Steamboat.

TSA is overdone. But only because it has succeeded. I'm sure we hope to save lives. Equally sure those planes, like our cars, are huge to our economy. We have millions and $ billions of reasons to keep them safe as possible.

Sorry, I do not believe you flew commercial with a loaded gun on your person. Can I drive you to DIA and watch you do it again?

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

There have not been hijackings, but not because of anything TSA did.

Hijackers on 9/11 were able to carry out their plot only because passengers had been told for years to leave the hijackers alone and you'll be okay when the plane lands in Cuba or where ever. Once passengers learned that hijackers want to use the plane to kill many people then passengers stopped being compliant.

That change in passenger behavior stated on 9/11 when the passengers fought the hijackers trying to regain control of Flight 93.

Other attempts such as the shoe bomber that got through airport security were thwarted by passengers.

The money TSA spends on security is largely wasted because any number of tests have shown it is easy to sneak a weapon past security.

The security before 9/11 limited the hijackers to small knives. The 9/11 hijackers didn't get control of the plane because they were so well armed. They got control because they were not challenged. That will never happen again.

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mark hartless 1 year, 8 months ago

No, I don't carry here in Steamboat as a general rule. Don't feel it warranted, and carrying is a bit of a pain.

TSA is overdone, and I agree their security has helped and that it is reasonable.

And NO, I will not be doing an encore of that quite accidental experiment. But happen it did.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 8 months ago

Tom, Ownership is on the rise right now. Never said it wasn't. You just cannot say, as you did, that crime rates drop because of rising ownership when in fact crime dropped as gun ownership dropped. Gun ownership's last real spike upward was in 1993 in the lead up to 1994 gun violence legislation that hit the floor for debate in January of 1994. Same thing is happening again.

Carry if you like here. Just don't kid yourself, as you do, that I'm the one who is afraid.

I do not want guns outlawed. You make too much stuff up. Facts and critical thinking are important when following even a superb oath. Ignorance can lead you to achieve the opposite of the oath's intent. "Protect" gets weird when the perceived jeopardy is false.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

The odds of needing a gun for protection in downtown Steamboat is very small. Maybe someone with a restraining order against someone that has it out for them has a reason to feel safer carrying.

But other than that, carrying a gun in downtown SB is more likely to result in an accident or worrying about a drunk getting the gun in a scuffle than being used for self protection.

Also, an increase in gun sales does not automatically lead to a comparable increase in household gun ownership because a gun sold to someone that already owns guns does not increase the number of people or households that owns guns. Hopefully these assault weapons are going mostly to people that at least have experience with guns, and are not mostly being sold to first time gun owners seeking a "man-card".

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I will never believe the heroic-passenger version of the Flight 93 story. I was listening to NPR immediately after the event; they were interviewing a senior FAA official about Flight 93, and he said "We knew it was headed for the White House -- we had to bring it down." Presumably via F-16. Pieces of that plane were found 8 miles from the general wreckage.

Then the hero stories started popping up, fabrications I am sure -- can you imagine the liability?

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I know what I heard.

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john bailey 1 year, 8 months ago

hum, never heard this angle before. you sure they weren't the voices in your head?i get em all the time.~;0) sorry Rhys, just couldn't resist. so , pieces of the plane ripped off due to speed of the aircraft. I don't think they were meant to go as fast as I can imagine it was hauling a$$. but , what ever......

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

So the cell phone calls were faked? The conversations the passengers had with family and friends were faked and suppressed? Messages left on voicemail from passengers were faked? And stories of cell phone conversations happened immediately so the story was faked immediately? The cockpit voice recorder blackbox was faked? The radar logs were faked? (Dispatched F-16s never located Flight 93 and were following a different plane.)

And the proof of that are comments from an official who was correct that planes were dispatched to bring it down?

All this because why? Liability?!? Liability of obvious act of war, shooting done a plane destined for probably the White House or the Congress? There is no grounds for suing and the families would get whatever Congress felt like giving. And the amount for heroes fighting the plane vs victims of a shoot down is not going to be any different.

They would have had to start the conspiracy before knowing what sort of messages and even possibly pictures had been sent to other people or maybe the press.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

"As a fellow who lives and dies by "facts" Steve, you have got to understand...there are just some "stats" you'll never get your hands on in a free country."

This is absolutely brilliant satire. As good as anything by anyone at mocking and showing the comic absurdity of conspiracies upon conspiracy that are both so secret and so well known.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Scott -- I'm just telling you what I heard, from a representative of the government, immediately after the event. You can do with that information whatever you please, and I will not suggest what I think you should do with it. You in your obviously superior intelligence know exactly what happened that day -- our government would NEVER deceive us -- so we are all blessed with your intellect. God help us should you ever get a real life.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Google it, dude, before you open your big trap again.

http://www.flight93crash.com/flight93_shoot_down.html/

http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/analysis/flight93/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFqAM2gi7ic

This youtube entry is Dick Cheney admitting he gave the order to shoot down flight 93:

I wish I was as smart as you think you are.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Rhys,

Yes, the order had been given to shoot it down. But that doesn't mean that it was shot down.

It crashed due to the passengers trying to regain control of the plane before it had been intercepted by fighters.

There are cell phones calls in which the passengers learned of the fate of the other hijacked plane. There are calls saying the passengers were about to take a vote on attacking the hijackers. Accounts of some of these calls were reported in the media within hours of the plane crash. The cockpit voice recorder has the hijackers discussing defending the cabin from the passengers and then crashing the plane before the passengers could regain control. Radar matches the black box showing the plane making sharp moves to disrupt the passengers attempt to break through the door to the cabin.

But you think all that was faked. You think it was secretly shot down and it was such a secret that Dick Cheney goes on TV and, after all of the exceptional efforts to create a cover story, gives an answer proving the vast conspiracy.

I don't understand how you are able to use Google to find the crazy conspiracy theory, but are unable to use Google to find all of the evidence contradicting the crazy conspiracy theory.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Scott, if you can find ONE credible recording of a 911 call or call of ANY KIND made from Flight 93, I'm sure we would all be most entertained to learn of it. All I could find was hearsay and second-hand accounts -- "Yes, he said there were three armed men..." and NO actual recordings. I DID find several sites claiming those calls were a hoax. Please provide access to one, if you can.

We'll leave why the wreckage was strewn for 8 miles out of the argument, not to mention the mysterious Pentagon plane, which magically disappeared.

I heard what I heard, that video shows what it shows, I am awaiting a credible rebuttal and won't get one that doesn't involve hearsay. Believe what you want; bury your head in the sand, all is well.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Was looking for any recording whatsoever -- preferably something other than a written transcript of the black box -- unsuccessfully -- but I did find this fascinating recording of air traffic control attempting to contact flight 93 in its last seconds -- well worth a listen --

YOU tell ME!!

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Two things become apparent from this audio:

-- The "puff of black smoke" is more consistent with a missile striking an airborne craft, than that craft striking the ground, and

-- There were obviously more planes in the air than we might have otherwise been led to believe.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

And yet they didn't see jets or the missile? If government had claimed it had been shot down then you'd be claiming it was a conspiracy because of all the inconsistencies in that. You'd be arguing how it made so much more sense that the passengers fought to regain the plane and the hijackers rammed it into the ground as that matched the black box data.

So I think that you basically believe that whatever the government says is automatically a grand conspiracy and then seek out facts to fit your conspiracy beliefs.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

This article demonstrates that the technology necessary to accomplish the cell-phone feats simply did not exist at the time, and shows that those were clearly fabricated:

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html

I have provided several solid links, and yet await a well-backed response.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Rhys,

Well researched? Comments from people that cell phone towers weren't designed to work with passengers on airplanes. Doesn't take much research to learn that range from a tower can easily be 20 miles so it was not impossible to make the calls from the plane. Just means that if anyone cared that they could have researched why the passengers were able to make cell phone calls due to tower configuration or local geography.

It is a massive leap of faith in conspiracies to go from cell phones not designed to work from an airplane to then believe all of the calls and messages were faked. Far more logical to believe the numerous calls that were reported by family and friends, including some left on answering machines, were made as compared to being faked as part of a grand conspiracy. It is astonishing to me that anyone could believe all of the reported calls were faked.

I just ask that anyone reading this to do their own research and not fall into the trap of believing a conspiracy theory just because some interpret some facts in a way that allows them to simply reject many other facts. Learn about all of the facts that the conspiracy theorists would have you ignore.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

I am still awaiting ONE SHRED of credible evidence supporting your alleged "cell-phone heroes." Why are you so eager to believe everything you are spoon-fed? Can you show us evidence of your own research? Something other than what you read some time, somewhere? Anything at all, besides hearsay?

I heard the FAA say they shot down Flight 93, and the above video shows Cheney confirming he approved it. I have submitted an audio recording supporting this conclusion. Another article goes to great technical detail in debunking the cell-phone charade, which you conveniently dismiss with a wave of the hand, and no technical backing.

Sometimes I wonder about the Dream World Scott builds for himself -- but not often, and thank the Good Lord for that.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Let me repeat: NPR: FAA: "We had to bring it down."

Is that so difficult to digest?

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Yo tom -- While I have never had the pleasure of observing a UFO, a good friend of mine has. Says it followed him by Green Mountain Reservoir late one night, and his souped-up old truck could not outrun it, his hair stood on end from static electricity, and he was SCARED. I never doubted his story either. He was not given to fabrication.

Just as I believed that FAA official, right after the event, and I don't rightly care what emerged after that. That told me all I needed to know. What reason anybody may have had to lead people to believe otherwise is beyond my wildest imagination. All I know is what my government told me, before any conspiracies came along. Or editors. Why would the FAA say we shot down our own plane, if such were not the case? I heard it, and the subsequent blah-blah will not change that.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 8 months ago

Rhys Jones Im impressed that you have found holes in the Government Story about 9-11. There is no way that you could use a cell phone at 34,000 ft doing 450 mph over a rural area where cell towers were few in 2001. Living is a place like Steamboat Springs where most people buy whatever story FOX, CNN, MSNBC, RUSH or NPR puts out and where it seems like most people are trapped in this LEFT v RIGHT thinking on political issues it is tough when I want to talk political issues like 9-11, Sandy Hoax, Aurora, OK City, and now this False Flag in Boston with people here. Its seems like on issues like Guns and Weed most people on the Left and on the Right seem to get it. And I have even met a few Liberty minded people that Know whats going on. As for Scott Wedel you will buy what ever Pa Pa FED tells you to believe and that is too bad because guys like you will except what ever totalitarian laws are rammed through the Halls of DC and Denver and that is one less person that will have the guts to speak up when things get real bad.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

Rhys,

Well, since you claim that the phone couldn't have been made, it is pointless to point towards the messages left on an answering machine by someone on the plane saying the plane had been hijacked or the other calls.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Please show us JUST ONE of those messages. They were recorded, the technology was there. I have played you audio and video from TWO GUYS who saw that plane hit by a missile. Why can't you produce EVEN ONE of those messages? There's plenty of evidence to the contrary. The FAA guy said what he did, hours before these alleged messages "emerged." Pull the wool over your own eyes, Scott, just don't try to sell us that crap.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Funny you should mention FOX, Mike. I did not include the following links to FOX and CNN reports seeming to confirm Flight 93 was shot down -- one reporting the unit of the F-16 which shot it down, the other confirming the existence of widely-separated debris fields. The reason I did not include it was strictly credibility, FOX being what they are:

I don't care what anybody thinks. I heard what the FAA said right after the event, and if you think one of us is lying, the problem is yours, not ours. Believe any fairy tale you want.

Now please resume bickering about guns, I'm positively sick of this tangent.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 8 months ago

Rhys I agree with you, that whole "LETS ROLE" was just more lies put out by State run Media. Im kinda surprised you heard that Flight 93 was shot down on NPR they really seem to tow the Government Line. FOX and CNN are also good little drones that Say what they are Told or end up like Amber Lyons or Judge Napolatano. I getting kinda sick of the lies that the 5 or 6 People in Town are trying to sell about guns. These few people are very out numbered and Very Wrong and should move to North Korea or South California or something. Speaking of California get a load of these nuts. http://www.infowars.com/californians-sign-petition-to-ban-and-confiscate-firearms/

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm done trying to prove that your vast conspiracies are false. That you cannot instantly find any of the phone calls made from flight 93 is proof enough to me that there is nothing that you won't ignore if it doesn't support your conspiracy theories.

It is really sad and shows there is something deeply wrong with society that some of these final calls have been posted to sites that then "analyze" the calls to find some reason to say the call didn't happen. That some idiots have so little respect for people's last words to loved ones to be willing to deny that it happened is disgusting.

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rhys jones 1 year, 8 months ago

Sure, first the FAA tells us they shot down our own plane -- then hours later these mysterious messages appear on answering machines, technically impossible as that was (check it out, idiot) and you don't smell a rat?

I can produce fifteen sites showing hard evidence an F-16 shot down that plane -- and you can't find ONE recording of alleged "last words." I couldn't, and I looked. But ol' Scott believes whatever line he is fed.

Did you check out ANY of those references? Why aren't you claiming the flight-control recording was a fake? What about those eyewitnesses, who SAW Flight 93 struck in the air? Can you tell us how all those cell phones worked so well, at those speeds and heights? Why can't you produce a recording of your own? WHY CAN YOU NOT PROVIDE US WITH ONE CREDIBLE CITATION? Are you content to believe everything you are told at face value? Could somebody have LIED??? Well, SOMEONE obviously did.

Did the FAA lie to us, when they said they "had to take it down"? Why would they do that?

Are you calling ME a liar? Be careful about that. Just because you didn't hear something, don't assume nobody else did either.

Your ignorance is multiplied by your arrogance in presuming your superiority. Open your mind, pal, or you deserve whatever fate befalls you. Just don't befall us with you. We're not ALL so stupid.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 8 months ago

Good news we are winning the Senate voted down Obamas plan to dismantle the 2nd Amendment. Remember they can't take away all our rights till they first do away with the 2nd amendment. We are winning but the Haters will not stop till the whole Constitution is voted down. Freedom of Speech will be the next big fight if we let them win this round. http://www.infowars.com/gun-grabbers-react-with-outrage-as-second-amendment-is-upheld-in-senate/

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