Paul Bonnifield: Can't do nothing

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The national crisis resulting from the mass murders in public places and schools has everyone soul searching. Should there be stronger gun control and more active response to mental disorders?

The Second Amendment to the Constitution states: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” That appears straightforward and simple; however, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states: “Congress shall have power to ... provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” Is the proposed gun control legislation covered under the “common defense and general welfare” clause, or under the Second Amendment?

The random drug testing legislation and the provisions of the Patriot Act are clear precedents supporting the “common defense and general welfare” clause at the expense of the civil rights and civil liberties protection of the first 10 amendments. Many citizens who stoutly oppose gun legislation on the grounds of protecting liberty are equally strong supporters of drug testing and the Patriot Act. What appears to be straightforward is not as simple as we would like.

Critics of gun legislation claim programs of background testing and other similar laws have failed. Have they? It generally is recognized that Congress has not provided the necessary funding to support gun control laws. The problem is not the laws but the failure of Congress to meet its constitutional requirement of providing for the general welfare by funding the laws it approves.

The NRA proposes armed officers be placed in schools. There is a multitude of serious problems connected with that. Among them are training, equipment, number of officers and assuring they are in the right location in the school building or grounds at the right time. To fund the program will cost billions of dollars. No one thinks the current Congress will come forward with that kind of funding. Congress won’t even fund background checks.

Some school systems in Texas and other states are arming teachers. Good Lord, where are they going to keep all those guns — in the teachers’ desks? Perhaps they should be kept in a safe where no one can get a gun quickly in case of an emergency.

There also are constitutional questions involved in locating and treating people with mental problems, but it is hard to argue that a person who kills several people in a school, church or theater is stable. They must be identified and treated. In dealing with the mental problem, we have the greatest opportunity of preventing terrible massacres.

It is argued that guns don’t kill. People are killers. Perhaps, but a gunman without a gun is not a gunman. Both are required. It’s also argued that if guns are controlled, only criminals will have guns. It would make it much easier for lawmen to identify criminals. The fewer the number of guns, the harder it is for a gunman to get a gun.

We have a choice to either do something about the killing of small schoolchildren or do nothing but talk about it. By acting, we at least are trying to correct a terrible wrong. If we make a mistake, it can be corrected. Doing nothing but talking about the problem is simply that — doing nothing. Nothing is nothing and worth nothing.

I would rather try and fail than sit around doing nothing. You and I may lose some constitutional rights, but those little school kids lost their lives.

Paul Bonnifield

Yampa

Comments

Gary Burkholder 1 year, 2 months ago

Paul I believe one of the reasons for the 2nd amendment was in case we the people need to defend ourselves from our government. Lets never forget 6 million Jews that died because Hitler had gun control, Hitler was not able to conquer Russia because Stalin had not completed his gun control. For those that believe our government is flawless I remind you about the great FDR who rounded up thousands of American citizens of Japanese and German ancestry and put them in relocation centers. More recently victims of Katrina had their guns taken from them then watched as their property was stolen. I am sure the great Obama wouldn't do anything like that, but who can predict the future. If the worst happens I would hope the citizens of America will be able to use the 2nd amendment and fight for their rights with assault rifles and large capacity magazines. To answer your question about were the people in the schools would keep their guns. Its called concealed carry. I noticed that you left out the subject of Hollywood. Could that be because they are a huge supporter of the left? If anyone is really concerned about a real solution they need to make new laws concerning violence in movies and video games. Last week the wife and I went to the movies and all 5 previews were of violent films. The Video industry brought in $25 billion in 2011 and is projected to make $112 billion in 2015. The most popular ones are military related. This is okay for an adult brain but not a child's. We limit alcohol, tobacco,pornography and drugs. Why not violent movies and videos. The book On Killing by Lt.Col.Dave Grossman covers this topic and if nothing else read the introduction.

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John Fielding 1 year, 2 months ago

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 "It is argued that guns don’t kill. People are killers. Perhaps, but a gunman without a gun 
  is not a gunman"

A killer without a gun is still a killer.

We don't need gun control, we need killer control. Guns can be helpful with that.

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John Fielding 1 year, 2 months ago

. That quote did not paste right.

A gunman without a gun is not a gunman.

But a killer without a gun is still a killer.

If there are no guns, mass murders will be committed with homemade pipe bombs, with poisonous compounds, with motor vehicles on the sidewalks. Human ingenuity knows no bounds.

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