Donald Leavitt: Keeping our rights

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Thank you so much, John Elway. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about gun control, but the more words I put on paper, the less legible my thoughts became. You, John, gave me what I needed during your recent CNN interview with Piers Morgan.

To answer your question, John, we are Americans in a free country. We are supposed to get what we need — food, shelter, clothes and transportation — but many Americans don’t get their basic needs met. I am a carpenter who hasn’t had a steady job in many years. I take any work I can get, including washing dishes at an 80 percent pay cut. I am very thankful that God sees that my needs are met — barely, but met. As Americans, after our needs are met, we are free to want what we want — provided it is within the law.

I also am a hunter. I use my grandfather’s hand-me-down Winchester Model 94 made in 1940. With its open sights, I am not comfortable shooting a target beyond 80 yards. This old gun requires gunsmithing to add a scope. Being a family heirloom, I’m not interested in changing it.

So I did my research. Because I have a rotator cuff that likes to pop out, firing a high-power, bolt-action rifle is pretty painful. This summer at the firing range, I met a friend who let me shoot his AR-15 assault rifle. After shooting my gun five times down range and making my shoulder very sore, the AR-15 was a treat with its minimal recoil and incredible accuracy at long range. So I met my friend every Sunday for three months to shoot his gun. We easily spent 1,000 rounds each. If you’re going to hunt, you need to be confident in your shooting skills. My arm never was sore after firing the AR-15.

I’ve read a few articles recently on this subject. I’ve read that AR-15s aren’t very accurate. Not true. I’ve read that some outfitters have never seen a hunter use an AR-15, AK-47 or SKS. Just because somebody said they haven’t seen someone hunting with one doesn’t mean people don’t use these very accurate semi-automatic rifles to hunt. I’ve read that a 12-gauge shotgun makes a better home defense gun. Also not true. A 12-gauge is a long and cumbersome gun that kicks like a government mule. All the aforementioned assault rifles are easier to handle, and they automatically load the next round. Just keep pulling the trigger.

So, John, to answer your question: Why would a civilian need a military-style assault rifle? If we don’t fight to keep our rights to want what we want, we will lose all the rights we hold dear, one at a time. The powers that be will justify stripping us of all our God-given rights as written in the U.S. Constitution.

Donald Leavitt

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Kevin Chapman 1 year, 10 months ago

Your "god given rights" are just your interpretation of the second amendment, "THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS" is no more a cart blanche situation than is "FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE". The AR 15 would be fine, it's not the rifle or round under scrutiny it's the clip size. Maybe you should get that rotator cuff repaired, they do that you realize. Of course that's another subject i realize. Enough with the paranoid speak of "the powers that be". These are Americans that we vote into office. They aren't foreigners or illegal folks. They are people that Americans put into office.............to say otherwise would be well UN-AMERICAN!

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john bailey 1 year, 10 months ago

kevin, don't be a knuckle head, we as americans can say what ever we like and you can thank people like my dad that you and i have the right to do so. now go sit down.

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Kevin Chapman 1 year, 10 months ago

John just exercising my right as an American. Take a seat buddy, right here beside me. I thank my entire family very often. Vietnam war, Korean War, Iraq war, WWII. So don't preach to me brother, you are barking up the wrong tree.

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john bailey 1 year, 10 months ago

thanks for the seat, and thank you the chapman family for your service. not barking ,per say , just had a deal with the word un-american , in the last 7 words of your post. we can SAY what ever we want, and always will. after all its wholey american to cheer for things like , oh ,honey boo boo or stand on the capitol steps protesting. hum, i can't help but think about this gun deal . why can't we inforce the laws already on the books. instead of this ,,,,,,,,,,,guy signing an order? matt, please let me know whats taboo. is that the same kielbasa from what 3 years ago? swallow it already. yech.............~;)0

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Matthew Stoddard 1 year, 10 months ago

Actually, there are restriction on the First Amendment and Free Speech.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

So why tolerate bans on machine guns, artillery guns and anti-aircraft guns?

The real problem of assault weapons is how they have large capacity magazines that can quickly be swapped to reload an almost no time as part of their design goal of being able to kill many people quickly. That is fundamentally different from a shotgun or typical hunting rifle. An assault rifle is designed to have the lethality comparable to a machine gun and yet can be purchased by anyone able to pass a background check. Or can be bought from the gun owner without any background check.

An assault style weapon but with a built in modest capacity magazine that had to be reloaded round by round would be far less of an issue. The issue is not low recoil, accurate guns that allow you to shoot without hurting your shoulder. The issue is easy access to guns designed to kill many people quickly.

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Matthew Stoddard 1 year, 10 months ago

"If we don’t fight to keep our rights to want what we want, we will lose all the rights we hold dear, one at a time. "

I want free healthcare just like Congress and the military while still in the public sector.

As we used to say to people who "want" things: "How does it feel to want?"

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Fred Hodder 1 year, 10 months ago

Donald, the Second Amendment and a long history of judicial opinion provide for the regulation of arms for the public good. You might pick up in the library "A Well Regulated Militia" by Saul Cornell. It traces the history of the Second Amendment and shows that our colonial fathers were very careful in the use of arms. This carries through to today where we have many common sense restrictions on the items that can be harmful to the public good. Unfortunately, we have many biased and misinformed persons claiming unfettered rights that do not exist in the intent of the Second Amendment or in established law. Please look into this matter and join the wave of concerned Americans who wish for our country to have more sensible gun controls and better protection of our children from gun abuse. Nobody is going to take your hunting away from you, but maybe we do not need high capacity magazines in general distribution.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 10 months ago

Fred,

Supreme Court ruled a couple years ago that the punctuation in the Second Amendment did give a constitutional right to own guns. Supreme Court did not claim it was an absolute right. Government can regulate guns, but it cannot simply ban all guns.

So government is almost certainly able to regulate guns able to hold more than some number of rounds or that can be reloaded via large capacity magazines.

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Fred Hodder 1 year, 10 months ago

Scott, I think we agree that the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to legislate to regulate the use of arms. There are many common sense measures, and I think they need to be done on the national level to reduce gun trafficking. Unfortunately, there is much misinformation being promulgated that feeds on emotion of the public.

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bill schurman 1 year, 10 months ago

GOD-given right to buy/own an assault rifle ?? Please. That is ludicrous. The 2nd A. does NOT give you a right to own/possess an assault rifle, nor, for that matter does GOD.

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rhys jones 1 year, 10 months ago

The AR15 is illegal to use for taking big game in Colorado anyway. Besides having more than the statutory 6-round max, including magazine and chamber -- its bullet is too small, as the regs mandate 6mm (.24") or larger. (AR15 is 5.56mm or .223 caliber) So the AR15 is not even a legal sporting firearm. Moot point. Man up.

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John Fielding 1 year, 10 months ago

Everybody has it right, these guns and magazines are designed to give the ability to attack or defend against numerous well armed foes. Am I the only one who can conceive that may become an important ability to have?

The structure holding the social order in place is stretched thin, the ability of the police to protect individuals from harm is limited. i believe the second amendment is a guarantee of the right to the means for effective self defense. And if you have a couple or more of gun packing bad guys coming into your home, these weapons would be just what you need.

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Michelle Hale 1 year, 10 months ago

There are NO rights. Look up the NDAA that was past into law over a year ago. It went through the house, and over 90 plus senators voted in favor are removal of you first amendment rights and that pretty much covers everything else. The question in my mind is this? When a (blind) public has no idea that they no longer have rights, and no way to equal the force of the military....what do you think comes next? By the way, the police, or military no longer swear to serve and protect the constitution of the United States. I believe that was changed in 2005. Wake up.

As a good liberal I don't see it the government business to tell me what I can do with my body, who I can marry, what I can grow in my garden or how much I choose to store. I do not embrace the idea that goverment can tell me what to do on my property, or what I can have to protect myself.

The United States is the LARGEST Arms Dealer in the world. Why are they selling the guns in question to everyone else.....or giving them to the Mexican Cartel? Our Drones kill more children in a few days than what we see in years. Most important a fact that IS NOT talked about. Sandy Cook and AK WAS NOT USED. It was in the trunk of a car, the children were killed with hand guns. Dont believe me do some fact checks.

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john bailey 1 year, 10 months ago

the fact about the AK in the trunk was noted just a few days after the day went down. nobody seems to remember that. MSM just stirring the pot ,thats all it is, remember defend the high ground. michelle, are you sure your a liberal, if you are i commend you for your sound reasoning. ok, ready , lets hula.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 10 months ago

I don't understand why it is always control freak women like Diane Feinestine of California or wimpy guys from big cities that want to take away our rights in the name of SAFTY?? Or how can anyone take MSNBC FOX or CNN seriously ??? They ALWAYS try to make everything a LEFT VS RIGHT ISSUE A BLACK VS WHITE ISSUE or a BIG CITY VS RURAL ISSUE. There is only Liberty or no Liberty. Guys like Chris Mathews will never get it..

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Bob Smith 1 year, 10 months 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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