Omar M. Campbell: Gun control in the crosshairs

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The Newtown, Conn., tragedy would better be described as a national convulsion — and rightly so. Listening to the talking heads and politicians on TV, reading commentary in the paper, and thinking in the wee hours of sleepless nights leads me to agree with most that three main elements are involved in lessening repeat tragedies.

Gun control proposals that almost always follow each such event include: banning, insurance, licensing, prohibitive taxation of ammunition and reloading components, background checks, registration, national database and, eventually, confiscation.

The three main elements listed above are:

■ Gun control. Guns are neither good nor bad. They are merely inanimate mechanical devices. They do not direct themselves to seek out targets — the people controlling them do that. There are some 20,000 federal, state and local laws already on the books — mostly unenforced.

I have conflicting feelings about semi-automatic, high-capacity military assault weapons. Big-game outfitters and guides say they have never seen one used for game hunting. Almost any solid frame bolt-action or single-shot rifle is more accurate for target shooting. A cylinder-bored, 12-gauge shotgun loaded with six 1 1/8-ounce buckshot shells is just as deadly and more practical for home defense. However, I do not advocate banning assault rifles again. I feel a little nostalgic about the .30-06 Garand, the .30-caliber carbine and the Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol (clips hold eight, six and seven rounds, respectively) that we used in World War II. Perhaps the veterans of Vietnam and the Middle East wars feel the same about their weapons. The 1994 ban had no effect on reducing assault rifle violence before it expired in 2004.

■ Mental profiling. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The shadow knows!” This quote comes from very popular 1920s- to 1950s-era comic books and a radio program once starring Orson Wells that I listened to as a teenager. It is a fitting prelude to any discussion of the mental health aspect of mass shootings. A few things that mass shooters seem to have in common: they are male, most are younger than age 25 and often of higher intelligence, they are social “loners” who might have displayed cruelty to animals and a fascination with guns as children, they are often suicidal and they typically come from dysfunctional families. Psychiatrists prescribe counsel by friends and relatives, and sometimes report aberrant behavior to authorities.

■ Media violence. The goal of movies and video games seems to be to exceed the violence level of the previous ones. Assault weapons, fiery car crashes, explosions and general mayhem are the theme — justified by the producers by the mantra of the First Amendment. Young children are not able to discriminate between reality and make believe. They virtually live and take part in the violent video games they watch. Some grow up with the violence imbedded in their subconsciousness.

As expected, the president signed 23 executive orders Jan. 16 concerning assault weapons, closing the gun-show loophole, stiffening penalties for lying on background checks, etc. It will be interesting to see what Congress does about that, if anything.

There is now talk on TV that universal background checks be required for private person-to-person gun sales. That would mean buying a gun from, or selling one to, a friend or neighbor would require a check. Be prepared to contact members of our state Legislature if it gains any traction. This one really makes my scalp tingle.

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Michelle Hale 2 years, 1 month ago

Thumbs up. What needs to be addressed in this nation is Mental Illness. Every mass murder has a twisted and damaged mind behind it. If not a gun it could be a bomb, a hammer, a knife. We need to have something in place to give people help, hope, and a hospital, not just a pill that often makes things worse.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

For two centuries we had that "something" in place "to give people help, hope, and a hospital".

It was called "The Church".

With the help of the "progressives", the state (their god) has all but destroyed the church and rendered what's left of it irrelevant by casting it out of this bold, new "progressive society" they have constructed.

Now the church is the enemy of the state and the state is the new religion for the progressives. Government is god, and god is government.

Look around; not just at the murders but the lack of integrity in every corner of society, the dissappearance of the work ethic, the dissolution of the family unit, etc, and ask yourselves: How's that workin' out for us?

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bill schurman 2 years, 1 month ago

"Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it must creep". Confiscation ? Typical right-wing crap.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

"If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the united States for an OUTRIGHT BAN, picking up every one of them, 'Mr and Mrs America turn 'em all in', I would have done that."

Watch the video for yourself:

http://youtu.be/F5H8vqZxVHs

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't know whatb happened there. It's a quote from Democrat Senator D. Feinstein, California 1995

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John Fielding 2 years, 1 month ago

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I just shake my head when someone like Gov. Como shouts out you don't hunt deer with an assault rifle. Of course not, those guns are for self defense. If I lived in downstate New York I would definitely want one against the contingency of some social disruption (extended power outage?) causing the gangsters to leave the inner city and start pillaging the suburbs. They would be well armed and work in packs, a pistol or shotgun might not be enough firepower to protect your life and family from a car full of them. And don't believe that the police and national guard will be able to provide security for everyone, mostly yes but I don't want to be one of the unlucky ones.

Self reliance, not dependence on government protection. That's what made this country great, and the opposite is bringing it down. .

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

I am not sure how many soldiers believe that the same guns and military hardware which they used in their service is appropriate for civilian life. They know the massive amount of damage that can be done quickly and how it how it is to defend against that.

If assault weapons are appropriate then why not a 50 caliber machine guns or anti-aircraft guns?

If you believe in original intent as how the Constitution should be interpreted then the historical evidence is pretty clear that the Second Amendment was to protect state militias and was not intended to give individuals the right to be armed against the government, own cannons, or allow private armies.

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Fred Duckels 2 years, 1 month ago

I go to very few movies due to the violence, but kids flock in to inhale this carnage. This makes money for the left and provides a symbiotic relationship preventing any meaningful scrutiny. There has been no mention of this potential problem with the media and administration pointing fingers elsewhere. Suplrise!

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Bill Schurman writes: "Confiscation ? Typical right-wing crap."

Golly gee willikers, Bill. You're sure right about that - confiscation could NEVER happen here in the land of the free: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-taU9d...

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Not buying the media violence jive, by the way. I remember the chicken littles when I was a kid, shrieking noisily about Wile E. Coyote & Elmer Fudd getting blown up for my amusement. To say nothing of Starsky & Hutch and the Dirty Harry flicks. Really enjoyed the Shogun miniseries back in the day. Guys being disembowled left & right, and that kid getting boiled alive for the warlord's entertainment. I'm sure I must be a Ted Bundy in waiting...

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm always amused when "mental illness" is trotted out as the cause of a shooting. Yes, they went nuts but it's as if a shooting rampage certifies that person as having some genetic defect instead of cracking under whatever stress they found themselves under. Financial stress, bullying, and corruption among those who should be serving them are major contributors. When I was young America had the least financial disparity among the population. That has changed and kids see that they are never going to live the "Friends" life. Poverty in the shadow of wealth is demoralizing. My generation was at least spared the cocktails of psychoactive drugs as pre-teens. ADHD diagnoses are at an all time high in California - particularly among the Hispanic population. Some of these kids will find ways of deploying weapons that Dylan Klebold never imagined. You may find yourself questioning your own sanity as this society unravels. You may be surprised by which of the neighborhood kids is the crack shot and the "nut."

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

John Fielding, you might want to update your impression of NYC from the 70s classic The Warriors. In the past decade, the city has seen everything from 9/11 to massive blackouts to Hurricane Sandy, with little to no looting, let alone rampaging gangsters. And somehow, the citizens of said city are OK with adopting the strictest gun-control regulations in the country.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Melanie - you might want to look at the here & now. Over 400 murders in NYC last year and more than 500 in Chicago despite "the strictest gun-control regulations in the country." Somehow, I'll wager the victims of that violence don't share your unicorn & gumdrop vision of capitulation and defenselessness.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

Brian, NY state has one of the lowest rates of gun deaths in the country--fewer than 5 per 100,000 in 2008, according to data from the CDC. Of course, 400 in NYC sounds like a lot, until you remember there are 8.5 million people living there.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Correlation=causality in your book, evidently. Gun control=less crime. Unicorns & gumdrops. You should look into CompStat & the "broken windows" policies pursued by NYC under Giuliani and continued after his departure. More cops allowed to implement aggressive policing is responsible for the crime reductions in NYC - even Giuliani's critics concede the point. & Giuliani was happy to credit Dinkins for laying the groundwork by finding more $ for the NYPD.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

Brian, you're the one who brought up the numbers, which I then put into context. Your point was that, despite its strict gun-control laws, NYC is extremely violent. The facts show the opposite. If you don't think gun laws have anything to do with gun violence, fine--next time, don't make that connection. Furthermore, you started your previous post with "you might want to look at the here & now." Giuliani hasn't been mayor for 12 years. In 1998 (under Giuliani) there were 40,000 cops in the city; today (under Bloomberg--a clear gun-control advocate), there are a little more than 35,000. And yet 2012 saw the lowest homicide rate in history...

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

The most drastic violent crime reductions took place on Giuliani's watch. Due largely to the 7,000 cops he added to the force and giving the local commanders the authority they needed to do their jobs. Bloomberg has allowed that authority & decision making to remain in their respective precincts. He's been able to continue the trend by continuing the policies he inherited.

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Melanie Turek 2 years, 1 month ago

OK... so, by that logic, the answer to reducing violent crime is more authoritative policing, stop-and-frisk policies, and so on. You may well be right... so, why does John Fielding need an assault rifle in such a well-policed city?

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Robert Dippold 2 years ago

Melanie, I really enjoyed the way you laid out your facts and communicated so unemotionally. It was a pleasure to read.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Why does anyone need beer, or pizza, or football, or ice cream, or a Ferrari, or fireworks, or electric hair dryers? Hell, I could even argue that, unlike guns, these things are not even specified in the Constitution.

If we're gonna start cutting stuff based on things that you don't "need" which can harm you then we're on quite a slippery slope, Melanie.

The reality is that's EXACTLY what the Leftist Elite will do. Go check out the UN list of all things "unsustainable". Do you realize Skiing is on that list? Just keep right on Quacking about getting rid of things based on "need" and see what you're left with.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

Skiing IS unsustainable. I laughed when I read the recent Tom Ross piece about developing future skiers in light of the 2012 British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy Use. (You know the radical environmentalist BP.) They calculate 54.5 years of known oil reserves at current rates of consumption. Every reserve has cause to overstate since they have agreed to set their production as a % of reserves so BP may overstate reserves by 25%. Since the global economy and food production are dependent on oil production, we're headed for serious changes. Watch CU Physics Professor Al Bartlett's lectures on population growth and depletion of fixed resources. Without being a religious zealot or pursuing a political agenda, Al has been explaining the coming crisis for 40 years. I personally have done 90% of all my travel on a bicycle since moving here in 1996. Others choose to burn as much fossil fuel as possible, snowmobiling a 100 days a year and partying on. Keep using resources without regard to limitations or social conscience and see what you're left with. Unfortunately, it'll be what my grandkids are left with since my allotted time is 90% over.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Melanie

It's instructive that you've posed such a one sided question, and don't wonder why the police need assault weapons in such a well policed city where guns are effectively banned. If gun control were effective, NYC's murder rate would be well below that per capita number you appear to be so pleased with. The NYC murder rate was one of the worst in the nation during the 80s & early 90's despite some of the most stringent gun control legislation in the country. Policing & enforcement, not gun control, is what precipitated the decline in those numbers. All gun control accomplished was to make it more difficult for the law abiding to protect themselves.

The 2nd amendment wasn’t written to protect anyone's right to shoot skeet or kill a deer. It anchors the right to protect ourselves from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is the only bulwark against threats to our rights to life, liberty, speech, property, and all the rest. It emanates from the initiative to fundamentally alter the relationship between citizen and state - which through all of human history had defined 'citizen' as subservient vassal. If the world is a sufficiently dangerous place that the Routt County Sheriff's Department is equipped with AR-15s, why then should a free citizenry – who are sovereign over the police – not be similarly equipped? Especially since citizens are always the ones facing those dangers long before the police arrive.

There is no constitutional rationale for public servants to be more heavily armed than the public they serve – unless the intent is for government to be in a position to subjugate the people. When the police are the only ones allowed to be armed, then we have – by definition – a police state.

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John Fielding 2 years, 1 month ago

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Sorry to pick on New York, only did it because I referred to their Governor's rant. In fact I would be even more apprehensive in the event of a serious, prolonged social disruption in LA. or Chicago. Or, for that matter, Denver.

People who create contingency plans predict that if the grid crashed hard, such as in the event of a major solar flare, (or a nuclear device being detonated) that civilian on civilian conflict would become extreme within 2-3 weeks after the supermarket shelves were empty. Not just gang members either, some of your starving neighbors might know you keep a stockpile of food, water, fuel, etc, just in case of an emergency such as this. Some of them have semi-automatic rifles too, whether military style or hunting style makes little difference. Their survival plan is their gun and your food stockpile.

You go ahead and count on the police to protect you, I'll take care of myself and my family.

.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

There's no question that the police in this community are more thuggish and heavily armed than ever before. They love the SWAT style and are eager to push people around. If you live on Angler's Drive they behave like your puppies but ask your maid how the young men in her family feel about them.

Many of these officers seem to have serious PTSD issues. Expecting any constraint - legal, ethical, or social - during your interaction with them is a bad bet. Their presence does not make me feel safer. If they decide to storm John Fielding's or Willman's house, I'm not going to bet against them. Flash-bang.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

Google it John. They are taking oaths to defend the constitution, not the politicians. Another laugh. In my life, I was sold-out every time there was money to be made or people were just too afraid of being on the wrong side to speak out. The idea that an oath taking Sheriff's Deputy is going to defend your right to bear arms when he's part of the SWAT team dispatched to take you down is absurd. Watch the video link Brian provided above. That's reality: your rights are not going to be abrogated by Obama nearly so much as Wiggins is likely to set-up as a warlord in time of real crisis.

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 1 month ago

Tom,

So did government overreach when it banned machine guns and artillery guns?

Or do you think those bans are justified, but those reasons go away when applied to assault weapons?

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

Melanie, allow me to chime in here as I have first hand experience in the "Big Apple". First a history lesson. The black out of 1977-- the mayor Abe Beame at the time got on the news and thanked the NYPD for their restraint in that no shots were fired at the looters. The real story--- armored trucks were rolling down the street throwing out boxes of ammo. so the cops could reload. So don't believe everything you read. More modern day---- I just returned from NY after 77 days of working Hurricane Sandy. When I packed to leave Steamboat back in Oct. the first thing I asked myself was "Should I bring my gun?" Legal here, there not so much. (didn't bring it). Anyway, I don't know how much real news made it out this way but I can tell you first hand that crime was running rampant. Between the shootings, stabbings,burglaries even fist fights over waiting in line for gas, such disasters definitely bring out the finest table manners in each of us. As they use to say in that Honda commercial "you can't make this stuff up". The illustrious citizens even went so far as to get counterfit FEMA ID's and uniforms and knocked on peoples doors and said "you need to evacuate, here's a voucher for a hotel", and after the house was empty helped themselves to the personal belongings of their choice. Point of the story is don't believe what you hear on the news or what statistics say. And yes there was Marshall law and curfews in some neighborhoods. Always protect yourself and remember "It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six"

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john bailey 2 years, 1 month ago

thanks for the first hand info ,kevin. i think only one news outlet even brought this stuff up. all the MSM painted the place all rosey and , oh its all fine. so i call BS. theres so much that gets hidden. as i 've said before, its nice to have the high ground when the xit hits the fan. so, who's in? lets hula....................

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John St Pierre 2 years, 1 month ago

With all respect to both sides....

People like their constitution the way they like their Bibles..... cherry pick the parts you want /agree with, while ignoring or reinterpreting the parts they don't.

Amazing how how the "constitualionaly concerned" have completely ignored what the Patriot Act contains and to the extreme extent it threatens their personal liberties... but guess who passed that.. Bush/Chenny and his GOP congress....

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Brian Kotowski 2 years, 1 month ago

Actually John, if you'd care to engage the other side re: the Patriot Act, you'd find more agreement than not. "Amazing" how eager you are to (rightly) indict 43 for enacting it, but 44 gets a pass for enforcing its provisions. You must be a-ok with extraordinary rendition. And didn't BHO promise to close Gitmo within a year of his inaugural?...

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

The Patriot Act passed the Senate with a vote of 98-1. Was there only one democrat senator at that time? No; far from it.

With all respect, that accusation sounds a bit unresearched, wrong, inflamatory, and... well... stupid.

Kind of like "cherry-picking the parts you want..."

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

John I think Tom is referring to "Oath Keepers" Welcome to Oath Keepers Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution Our motto is "Not on our watch!"

Don't know how to post a link but it's oathkeepers.org

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John Fielding 2 years, 1 month ago

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Not on our watch!

Very meaningful to me. It brings me back to last spring, as I stood at the graves of Washington then Jefferson and gave a silent prayer of gratitude for their service. In each case I was struck with a powerful manifestation, with a clear impression of the message "now it's your watch"

Still gives me chills just remembering it.

.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

Oath Takers don't give me much comfort. Will the thuggish officers that put me in the local slammer for 48 hours last July 3 before a judge could drop all charges really be on my side? They cared not one iota for me or my rights. The jail staff were, with a single exception, thugs too. Innocent until proven guilty is a long gone concept and the video link Brian provided for the NOPD demonstrates how linebacker size officers crush an old woman, take her pistol and force her out of her home to a "relief center." That's what I expect from our local officers but I hope I'm wrong. I hope we can begin to talk about what it's going to take to survive as a community honestly and under as big a tent as possible. We should not prepare to fight one another but to stand together as a community. All our talents and cooperation will be required as oil shortages shake this nation. I'm not so foolish to think life as we knew it will end 100% in a stroke but it may happen much more suddenly than we expect. If there was one thing more important than a musket to the founding fathers it was the unity they found despite their differences. I extend my hand in friendship to everybody in my neighborhood of Fairview and the Steamboat area.

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Marie Matta 2 years, 1 month ago

I see that gun control-related discussions on this site are dominated by men, although I guess that can be said for most discussion threads. Anyway, thank you Michelle and Melanie for adding women's voices to what seems to be a "boys and their toys" topic. I was not raised in the US, so I continue to be puzzled - no, actually sickened - by this culture of unquestioning obsession with the Second Amendment and solving every problem at the point of a gun. I find it particularly ironic that Americans, from our political leaders right down to "the person in the street", claim incessantly that this is the best country in the world, with a democratic system like no other, a "beacon of freedom for the world", yet so many supporters of unrestricted gun ownership seem to live with the fear that "the tyranny is coming!" and "we can't trust the government!". Well, I have to ask, which is it - the best country in the world (then why do we need so many guns?) or the onset of the next revolution? And if it's the latter, then perhaps the revered Founding Fathers missed something the first time, and if that's the case, and they're not infallible, then why is "the right to bear arms", of all the rights in the Constitution, so especially sacrosanct?

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john bailey 2 years, 1 month ago

and, marie, see how well OUR 1st amendmant works? feel FREE to be as sick as you want...............

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 1 month ago

Maria, let me ask you a few questions. Not being raised in the U.S. why are you here or are you posting from somewhere else on the globe? Why are so many people of all nationalities and races clamoring to come to our land? Back east the Irish have underground networks that bring in men and women to be bartenders and wait staff for the Irish pubs. More than 50% of the shrimpers in Louisana are from Vietnam. We all know about the Mexican population that comes through the south. The list is endless. Check to see if any other country has such access available to "outsiders". I think the best way to revive this country and also help our economy is to give away one way tickets to anyone not happy with the founding principles of our constitution. American citizen or not. Those who continue to complain about free health care, low income housing,or rent subsidies etc. should just request a ticket and get the heck out. Oh, that's right it's not a free world, just a free country.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

You sound QUITE "european", Marie.

Which part of Europe are you from, the part who's ass we kicked, or the part who's ass we saved? Sorry, couldn't resist.

Many Americans think this nation is the best SYSTEM in the world in large part because it was NOT set up as a democracy; it has been perverted into one by the ill-informed, such as yourself.

A rape gang, a lynch mob, two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner; those are all democracies.

Instead, we are supposed to have a representative republic, a system described by our founders as "a nation of LAWS, not a nation of MEN" (meaning it didn't matter WHO you were, you didn't get special treatment or harrasment because of WHO you were). In America, because of "EQUAL TREATMENT under the LAW", a peasants children could grow up to be wealthy, something far more difficult to achieve elsewhere.

Even YOU might recognize that we scarcely retain any of that characteristic today; politicians, rich folks, and people from certain "special" groups can literally "get away with murder" (I refer you to OJ Simpson, for example).

Skipping on ahead, even though their intelligence is waning rapidly, I do not think there are many Americans who really trust the government, and government gives them DAILY more basis for their mistrust. Even those foolish enough to continue to EMPOWER government do not really TRUST it.

Look at how many "whackos" believe Sandy Hook was staged; but look at how many believe 911 was staged, and how many believe GW Bush blew up the levies in New Orleans, and how many believe the Oklahoma Cith Bombing was an "inside job", or that we knew there were no WMD's in Iraq. Sure, we've had skeptics since before that "moon-landing hoax", but their numbers and political ideology is broadening.

The second ammendment is no more "sacrosanct" than the rest of the Constitution. Each word, each principle, every protection afforded us thereunder, is like part of a structure. The concrete in the foundation is no more "sacrosanct" than the rebar or the steel beams or the cables that support the Golden Gate Bridge. Remove any one of those items and the entire structure is compromised.

To the extent that many Americans do not recognize this they are wrong. However, it is likely a reflexive instinct because something tells them that without the means of enforcement the rest of our freedoms, simply listed on a piece of paper, MEAN NOTHING.

The point here is that more and more Americans from all political ideologies seriously mistrust their government and wouldn't put even the most reprehensible acts past it. Nor do they make the foolish assumption that a government careening toward bankruptcy will be aroundindefintely in the form of police for their protection. Therefore, it is hardly the time to relenquish the hardware which keeps "ner-do-wells"away from the perrimiter, and "jack-boots" off ones neck.

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john bailey 2 years, 1 month ago

that was very well put, mark, thank you....:0)- THUMBS UP!!!!!!

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

Honest forthright communication will do more for this nation than all the shotguns and ARs. Unfortunately, that has been lost. The Steamboat Today is a good example of the sterilized non-news newspaper whose goal is (a) sell advertising (b) promote the business interests of their clique and (c) keep a happy face on the resort. They are quick to censor me if I'm too heated or they deem that I've insulted one of their crowd. The national news is no different. We hear that the Bakken Oil Shale will set us on the way to energy independence. That is nonsense. The USEIA reports 24 billion barrels available in tight oil reserves - that's one year of North American consumption - and although the EPA says fracking is safe, every fracked community reports tainting of their wells and aquifers with benzene. Until we stop entrenching behind artificial political lines (libtards vs tea party etc) and speak honestly, this nation continues down the road to ruin.

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mark hartless 2 years, 1 month ago

Mamet also wrote a pretty good book I read a year or so ago called "The Secret Knowledge". I recommend it. That's why his name on the above article caught my eye.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

"One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work" sounds like a good motto to post over the next work camp. Honestly, the clip of Obama sounded pretty good to me while the rant from Mamet seemed clueless. It's no longer appropriate to for the lucky individual who has a good idea at the right time to consider themselves entitled to feast while 90% of his community stands starving at the plate glass window. People do pick up rocks eventually. Certainly Marxism didn't work but if you believe unbridled capitalism is ideal then you don't see what's happening. When China calls our debts and the riots begin in the cities, let me know if you change your mind.

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George Krawzoff 2 years, 1 month ago

I propose that we get together at the Hayden public gun range and have a shoot off. It would be interesting to meet the people on this thread and we could see who is a crack shot and not. Bring your own weapons and ammo. Next Saturday at 10 am. Who's available? Suggest another time if you like. I don't have targets so it would be useful for you to bring some if you've got them.

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John Fielding 2 years ago

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The Founders knew that the system of government they helped establish was imperfect. They warned that like all governments it would naturally move in the direction of usurpation of individual liberty in favor of greater governmental powers. They gave the People as many tools as they could to resist this natural process, and strongly advised the succeeding generations to be vigilant and use those tools regularly.

They also made provision for the changing of the constitution. If the right to keep and bear arms is to be infringed, it can only be properly and legally done by that process. In fact it is being infringed by other means such as executive orders, as are other constitutional provisions. Such actions are eventually heard by the Supreme Court in many cases, and often struck down.

But Marie's point that we believe tyranny is coming is valid. It always has been coming, will always be coming. Many think it has arrived in such forms as the EPA attempt to declare runoff a pollutant, or the health care law's mandate that religious organizations provide drugs and procedures to their employees that are forbidden by their doctrines.

It is a terrifying concept that the government would try to force the population to give up the means for individual self defense in favor of protection by the State. It is a comfort to know that such an effort would be resisted by many of those directed to execute it.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

An 11-year old riding the bike he got for Christmas is rushed to the hospital for surgery after being taken down by a trio of pit bulls. A neighbor runs into his house, retrieves his handgun and opens up on the dogs. A police officer opens fire as well; all three dogs are killed. The District of Columbia is going to give the neighbor a medal - NOT.

"D.C. police said they are reviewing the incident and have left open the possibility that the neighbor could be charged with violating the District’s gun laws. "

Bad neighbor. Should've charged into the fray empty handed shouting "bad dogs!" and hoped for the best. As the kid was torn limb from limb & mauled to death, at least his last moments wouldn't have been upset by the sight & sounds of an evil handgun. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-boy-mauled-by-pit-bulls-has-surgery/2013/01/22/c4f52f1a-64e0-11e2-b84d-21c7b65985ee_story.html

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George Krawzoff 2 years ago

What are the anecdotes about Brian? Surely we can establish a one-to-one correspondence between "a gun saved me" and "a gun harmed me" stories.

Pro: My buddy Porky, in his leather jacket, sharkskin pants and Cuban heels, blond hair styled, pulled out his blank gun and let off 3 rounds, shocking the kids who had run up at us out of the bushes. Anti: Phil's dad came down the stairs to shoot the intruder who turned out to be our buddy Danny run away from home. Phil left the basement window unlocked for him.

Dad gave me the Mauser when I was 12 since I had shown a talent for knocking birds out of the sky but what's the point of all this focus on our gun rights when a series of shocks to the society brings to our knees? I admit these shocks can, and if global population continues growing at any %, must come. A power grid failure on the eastern seaboard, a pandemic, natural disaster, nuke - whatever it may be, let's talk community survival instead of anticipating how evil we can be.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

More stalwart educators - excuse me, meant to say indoctrinators - on the case: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/01/29/hyannis-5-year-old-threatened-with-suspension-for-making-gun-out-of-legos/

"HYANNIS (CBS) – A mother says her 5-year-old boy was threatened with suspension after he made a gun out of Legos during an after school program.

Sheila Cruz received a written warning recently about her son from the after school staff at the Hyannis West Elementary School because he had been using toys inappropriately..."

Can't be too vigilant with these rat-bastard kindergartners.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

70 year old girls basketball coach walking a couple of his players to their car is accosted by gun-wielding choirboys, one of whom puts a gun to coach's head. Coach pulls his own gun and opens fire. Both choirboys hit; one has assumed room temperature. Coach & his players unhurt. Nicely done, coach. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/02/armed-70-year-old-womens-basketball-coach-shoots-attackers-while-walking-two-players-to-their-cars/

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Robert Dippold 2 years ago

As a person that makes their living traveling outside of the U.S. I can tell you a couple things I've learned. 1) We are all the same. If you think we have more mental illness, more violent video games than anywhere else you are kidding yourself. 2) The U.S. has way more guns than any other developed country. 3) We have the highest rate of death by guns than any other developed country.

I'm a gun owner. I like my hunting guns. The fact is that most of our gun deaths come from people killing people they know. NRA and pro gun owners blame mental illness, video games all you want. The global stats speak for themselves. If you want substantially less gun deaths then you have to get guns out of the hands of the people on a day to day basis. I also think people hiding behind the second amendment need to read the second amendment.
I am all for lawful fun ownership like most countries have. Take your hunting guns and lock them up at a hunting club and check them out when you go hunting. Is it perfect...no. Statistics say that those countries have very few murders by guns. People say...aren't you scared traveling to this country or that country. The answer usually is no because the U.S. has way more gun deaths than the places I am traveling.

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Rick Pighini 2 years ago

Mexico is considered a developing country not developed. While we have more guns they actually have more gun deaths due to cartels and a corrupt political and enforcement system. As a gun owner I fear if we leave the status quo the voting majority will eventually take more away than needs to be. I'm still surprised that no where in the political world or on the media has anyone talked about education. Over and over we see that education prevents more deaths than laws banning something. Drunk driving was illegal long before the deaths of such were curbed. Once we educated our youth and adults on drunk driving the number of deaths came down drastically. Of course we did a better job of enforcement but that was partly due to the education factor. These same ideas could be put to use in the gun debate. Better enforcement and better, if not requireded education. Being educated on the use of guns doesn't mean more guns it means less accidents and more information to debate about in a potential perpetrators head before they go on a rampage. Many people who have not shot a gun and those who have are humbled by the power of certain guns when they shoot them. Thus helping them realize what's at stake if you point a gun at someone. The first thing you learn is to never point a gun, whether empty or loaded at anything you don't want to kill. This may not sound like much but since my gun education, at the age of 10-14, it's one of the first things I think about when I unlock my gun.

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mark hartless 2 years ago

So there are other countries with higher gun rates?

I wonder if it matters to the victims if theirs is not considered a "developed" country?

I wonder if that matters to the gun grabbers who like to spout the stats about "we are such a violent society bla bla bla..."??

I don't think the powers that be are interested in "education" on the issue of guns or the second ammendment. Evidence suggests the opposite. They start almost every attack with "we don't want to take away a persons right to hunt bla bla bla...". This tells me that they wish to keep Americans UNEDUCATED about the second ammendment's true purpose.

In fact, if the American people were "educated" about any number of principles enumerated in the Constitution, the situation we are in currently would begin to change, and nobody in Washington DC wants THAT to happen, now do they?

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

A feel-good story from my old Pacific Northwest stomping grounds - Crowd packs heat; City Council backs down: http://mynorthwest.com/11/2195317/Crowd-packs-heat-Oak-Harbor-backs-down

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john bailey 2 years ago

great find, brian, makes PERFECT sense to me. cold dead hands baby.......

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Bob Smith 2 years ago

Guntards: if you think that holding-off an FBI counteterrorism team with an AR-15 is "doable", then you are too unstable to own a gun...moron!

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john bailey 2 years ago

TROLLING here too i see. jeez hard to argue your logic there, bob. where can i meet you to turn over my guns? your just so convincing with the tard thing and name calling. hands down the best arguement on the entire internet. my hats off to you. care to run for public office? heck i'll vote for ya. so do you know how to hula?

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rhys jones 2 years ago

I'm about sick of latter-day scholars interpreting the Second Amendment to suit their agendas.

The fact is it was adopted to placate Southern Congressmen and preserve slavery.

'As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."'

George Mason, 1788:

"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . . "

Patrick Henry:

"If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia.

In this state," he said, "there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission," said Henry. "And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it."

"In this situation," Henry said to Madison, "I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone."

James Madison, in support of the Second Amendment, foresaw no Constitutional threat to slavery:

"I was struck with surprise," Madison said, "when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not."

The above excerpted from http://truth-out.org/news/item/13890-the-second-amendment-was-ratified-to-preserve-slavery

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john bailey 2 years ago

Rhys , what are you blabbering about now, i already conceded to bob up there above. spit the gum out and speak clearly.

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rhys jones 2 years ago

John -- So maybe I wasn't talking to you, eh?

Let me summarize: While several Supreme Court decisions have subsequently upheld an individual's right to bear arms, the original intent of the Second Amendment was to support State-sponsored militia's, ie, National Guards. To SUPPRESS insurrection, not foster it.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

This is a riot: "As you know, I love weaponizing Black & Decker power tools." The full auto slingshot minigun! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKrHnY...

When they outlaw Black & Decker cordless drills, only outlaws will have Black & Decker cordless drills.

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Brian Kotowski 2 years ago

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant victory for concealed carry when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a December ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that forces Illinois to adopt a concealed carry law, thus affirming that the right to bear arms exists outside the home. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130222/NEWS04/130229913/7th-circuit-wont-reconsider-concealed-carry-ruling

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