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From My Cold, Dead Hands April 6, 2009

Posted by Kate Ryan in Constitution, Crime and Punishment, Gun Control, National Politics, Politics, Second Amendment.
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2ndammendOn March 29, Robert Stewart walked into a North Carolina nursing home and opened fire, killing 8 people.  It is believed that the killings were motivated by a recent estrangement from his wife. 

On April 3, Jiverly Voong – a recent immigrant from Vietnam – walked into the American Civic Association in Binghamton and opened fire, killing 13 people before turning the gun on himself.  Police say Voong was distraught over losing his job and his inability to speak English well.

On April 4, three Pittsburgh police officers were shot and killed by an armed gunman as they answered a domestic dispute call.  Richard Poplawski, 23, was said to be upset over losing his job and consumed with fear that the Obama Adminstration was poised to take away his guns.

Also on April 4, James Harrison of Washington State, put his 5 children to bed – then shot them dead – before driving to a convenience store and killing himself.  It is said that Harrison was distraught because his wife had left him for another man.

In a single week, thirty-one Americans have been killed in episodes of mass gun violence.  How many more have to die before we – as a nation – accept that we must do something about guns and gun violence in this country?  It is time that we seriously consider practical ways to control firearms and the use of firearms in the United States.

This is not an easy position for me.  Even though I am a leftie socialist Democrat, I grew up in a family of hunters, and I believe that the Second Amendment confers the individual right to bear arms to the citizenry.   In fact, Mr. Kitchen Table – a hunter himself – argued this point with me over the weekend.  He, like many people on the left,  is of the opinion that the right to bear arms is only applicable in the context of a militia – that anyone who wants to own a gun must join the state militia or National Guard.  He says he is ready to give up his weapons.

The text of the Second Amendment is simply, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  My argument is that, in the context of the times when the Constitution was written, it is obvious the writers of the document meant an individual right.  A farmer would be expected to bring his own rifle to the the place of mustering if the militia were called up.  Indeed, the early experience of the American Revolution was that there were never enough guns; volunteers brought their own if they had them. 

That being said, it is not 1787 any more – nor is it 1887.  The guns the framers of the Constitution talking about were single-shot long guns or pistols.  By the 1880’s, multiple shot handguns (revolvers) were winning the west, but they still depended upon the speed in which the human could pull the trigger; one trigger pull, one bullet.  The danger of automatic weapons capable of firing multiple rounds per minute would have been inconceivable.  The exponential kill potential in modern-day firearms is what makes them necessary to control.

Jiverly Voong used two automatic pistols in his rampage.  Though he was said to be distraught, Mr. Voong planned his episode very carefully, parking a car so that it would block the only other exit in the building.  He also wore body armor.  Richard Poplawski used an AK-47, a favorite weapon of terrorists and street gangs.  Poplawski was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

Robert Stewart and James Harrison used garden-variety shotguns on their victims.  Single shot weapons that require reloading between firing – but they were shooting helpless victims.  Harrison killed his children in their beds.  Stewart killed elderly bed-ridden people. 

The gun lobby is going crazy over all this.  They realize that when things like this happen, Americans look more seriously at gun control laws.  How can they possibly say that unregulated guns are not the problem?  Would thirty-one people be dead if Jiverly Voong, Richard Poplawski, James Harrison, and Robert Stewart  been forced to go on their rampages with a knife or a club?  Part of the reason it is so attractive to kill with a gun is that the gunman is detached from what he is doing.  You have to get up really close to a person to stab or beat them to death. 

The right-wing gun crazies have begun frothing at the mouth.  On the Newsbusters.org web site, they are going positively apoplectic over the “left-wing bloggers” blaming  the Fox News fear merchants (Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity) for inciting the violence.  They say that each gunman was responsible for his own actions – and he was – but doesn’t right-wing propaganda bear SOME responsibility?  Glenn Beck is on TV crying that he loves his country and he and Chuck Norris are just going to kick some ass to “take the country back”.  As noted in the Central Maine Morning Sentinel today, right-wing extremism did not die with Tim McVeigh.  The paper states, “on Feb. 27, broadcaster Glenn Beck, who masquerades as a self-reliant (millionaire) libertarian, said the stimulus plan will “help people at the point of a gun. …They’re going to help you in ways that you do not want to be helped.”

“…it is easy to see how irresponsible right-wing Republican propagandists like Beck really are, especially since they are attempting to protect their right-wing media monopoly by saying that balance of political opinion is actually “censorship.” Apparently right-wing thought can’t exist with two-sided examinations of issues.”

The late Charlton Heston, former president of the NRA, said that we could have his guns when we pry them from his “cold, dead hands”.  Maybe the 31 American who died this week would prefer if we had gotten rid of guns that killed them before THEIR hands were cold and dead.

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Comments»

1. Doc' - April 9, 2009

That’s the typical left-wing liberal response when confronted with reality and truth. Blame someone else, deny responsibility, issue insults, and run away. I am more and more convinced it’s an actual genetic mutation all lefty’s have in common.

So, is your word worthless? If not, do you intend to keep it? Or are you genetically pre-disposed to continuously say things you don’t mean?

(I won’t hold you to your promise to “eat this post”, simply deleting it immediately will suffice). 😉

Doc’

Kate Ryan - April 8, 2009

OK, it’s official. You’re insane.

2. Doc' - April 8, 2009

Anti-Gun Leftists Shocked To Learn Murder Is Declared Illegal!

http://mr2ndamendment.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/murder-declared-illegal/

😉

3. Doc' - April 8, 2009

” They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. ”

Benjamin Franklin

” Constitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.”

– Supreme Court of the United States, Westbrook v. Mihaly 2 C3d 756

Apparently you have no understanding of, nor regard for, the value and critical importance of the United States Constitution. Your comments are based purely on emotional responses and have no foundation in logic nor practicality. You’re right about one thing though, we will never see eye to eye.

“If you can point to one case where a deranged individual used a hunting knife or a baseball bat to kill 13 people in less than 15 minutes, I’ll eat this post”

“In less than 5 minutes, terrorists used simple box cutters to seize control of 4 aircraft and then commit the worst mass murder/act of terrorism in American history on September 11th, 2001.”

Apparently you value your own word about as much as you do the 1st Amendment which grants you the right to speak it freely. Good luck in keeping your 1st Amendment Rights!

Doc’
(No response required)

Kate Ryan - April 8, 2009

Doc, you and I will never see eye to eye on this issue. I understand your point and even agree with some of it, but I can no longer square your position (and my former position) with these massacres that are taking place more and more frequently. As for your point that only by having guns can we protect ourselves against these lunatics – I think that if everyone were armed it would make things worse. You see this concept in violent gangs, where because everyone is armed, all matters are settled at the end of a gun barrell. If I were a betting man, I would bet that you live in a rural or semi-rural community. Gun control means different things to people – like me – that live in urban settings than to those that live in ex-urban or rural communities. We both need to look at and respect each other’s positions. My position is this; single-round long guns – for hunting – need not be registered. Once they become automatic or even semi-automatic weapons, the state has an interest in controlling them to the extent that they be registered, fitted with appropriate safety devices, and the owner must be insured for a catastrophic accident involving his firearm. I believe that handguns should be regulated in the same way. Finally, I believe that ammunition should be tightly controlled – all dealers must be licensed and insured – and ammunition should carry very high federal and state taxes. This way, rural sportsman, hunters, and gun enthusiasts can keep their long guns without restriction and those of us in the cities can feel safer knowing there are more controls.

4. Doc' - April 7, 2009

Kate,

No matter what weapon is used, knife, baseball bat, rope, rock, hammer, screwdriver, drugs, etc…etc….the real point is, it’s people whom kill people…not the weapon. Morality can NOT be legislated, insanity is beyond the control of any government. In less than 5 minutes, terrorists used simple box cutters to seize control of 4 aircraft and then commit the worst mass murder/act of terrorism in American history on September 11th, 2001. Literally thousands of people have been mass murdered in a matter of minutes by clubs and machete’s all over Africa. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Dahmer, Manson, Jim Jones, Ted Bundy, the list goes on and on…evil exists in the minds and hearts of people the world over.

Imagine a world without hammers because some lunatic murdered someone with a hammer. Imagine a world without baseball because some lunatic used a bat to commit murder. Imagine your kitchen without knives because some lunatic used one to commit murder. Imagine your kitchen without fire because some lunatic burned someone to death.

Blaming the object used is ridiculous and completely futile, the lunatics and criminals who commit violent crimes are SOLELY to blame and they NEVER abide by the law.

“There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution. The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; it tells the state to let the people alone; it does not require the federal government or the state to provide services, even so elementary a service as maintaining law and order.”

-Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982)

This ruling makes it perfectly clear that the citizen himself is individually responsible for his own safety and security and thereby has the legal right to do so. The 2nd Amendment further empowers the citizen to keep and bear arms for the specific purpose of self-defense as well as other uses. This ruling also clearly stipulates that no citizen can legally expect nor depend upon the state nor the federal government to ensure their own safety and security.

As for the “restrictions” you mentioned, existing gun laws currently restrict gun ownership to the extreme. Despite ever increasing and unlawful legislation to restrict guns, numerous statistical studies done by the government and even the anti-gun groups themselves have completely failed to demonstrate that crime has ever been reduced due to increased “gun control” laws. In fact, in many cases violent crimes (especially gun related crimes) have INCREASED even after the implementation of highly restrictive and UN-Constitutional gun laws! By disarming lawful citizens and prohibiting them from adequate self-defense, the criminals who obtain guns ILLEGALLY (as they always have) are not only more able, but are also more LIKELY to commit violent crimes against the innocent unarmed victims they prey upon. If even a single occupant of the nursing home in NC (staff or resident) had been armed when that lunatic Voong showed up, the tragedy could have been entirely prevented. Would you cowar and allow a lunatic like Voong to murder your family if you had your Thompson Contender in your hand? Would you have a choice if you did not own the Thompson? Furthermore, if you were ever in a life threatening situation like that, wouldn’t you much rather have the rapid fire ability a semi-automatic weapon provides rather than being limited to the single shot Thompson? Lunatics like Voong can and do strike anywhere at any time, even one’s own home is not exempt from the violent acts of insane and evil people.

” I am ready to accept restrictions on my guns”

” Constitutional rights may not be infringed simply because the majority of the people choose that they be.”

– Supreme Court of the United States, Westbrook v. Mihaly 2 C3d 756

Doc’

Kate Ryan - April 7, 2009

I appreciate your comments and your attempts to educate me. As I said in my post, however, I do know guns; I grew up around them and live with them today. My father, brothers, and husband are all avid hunters. We currently own a 30-06 hunting rifle, a couple of single-barrel shotguns, and an antique Japanese rifle from WWII. I have secretly coveted a Thompson contender; I DO know the difference between automatic and semi-automatic firearms. Even though you must pull the trigger for each shot on a semi-automatic, the automatic chambering of each round increases the kill potential of the weapon. It is still faster than the common revolver as the weapon does not need to be cocked. Semi-automatic long weapons were not in widespread use until WWI, and semi-automatic pistols were only common for military use until after WWII. I stand by what I say. Yes, deranged people have always taken the lives of others since time began – but the easy access to firearms makes it more likely that they will be able to kill multiple innocents in a very short period of time. If you can point to one case where a deranged individual used a hunting knife or a baseball bat to kill 13 people in less than 15 minutes, I’ll eat this post. I am ready to accept restrictions on my guns.

5. Doc' - April 6, 2009

“By the 1880’s, multiple shot handguns (revolvers) were winning the west, but they still depended upon the speed in which the human could pull the trigger; one trigger pull, one bullet. The danger of automatic weapons capable of firing multiple rounds per minute would have been inconceivable. The exponential kill potential in modern-day firearms is was makes them necessary to control.”

Since you are obviously unaware of the truth about modern firearms, I’m here to properly inform you. The rhetoric and exagerations you use to support your claims is an old and completely false “trick” which liberals often attempt to use in order to deceive and otherwise panic the uninformed public. Perhaps you too have been misinformed by those who deliberately provide completely false information, perhaps not. Either way, the FACTS are: Even the most advanced SEMI-automatic weapons produced today still fire ONLY by the “one trigger pull, one bullet.” method. A human can not “pull a trigger” any faster today than one did back in 1880. The “automatic weapons” you refer to are ILLEGAL to own in this country and have been for many decades. A private citizen can legally obtain a special license to own a FULLY automatic weapon ONLY after complying with a very long and specific list of qualifications which is strictly controlled and monitored by the US Government. To date, NO legally licensed owner has ever been involved in or charged with any gun crime, not one. Otherwise, ONLY Police & Military personnel can legally possess FULLY automatic weapons.

The distinction between SEMI-automatic and FULLY-automatic is at the heart of this issue, not only are you completely wrong in your claims of modern weapons being “exponentially” more lethal, you also contribute to the deceptions and irrational panic that liberals deliberately inflict upon Americans on a daily basis. BTW, a well practiced shooter in the 1880’s could easily accurately fire 6 rounds from a pistol or even as many as 15 rounds from a rifle of the era in LESS than 3 seconds by the “one trigger pull, one bullet” method.

Criminals who violate the law existed in the 1880’s and every generation prior as much as they do today, deranged lunatics committed murder long before guns were even invented ( See: Genisis 4:8 for a description of the first murder ever committed) This and numerous other legitimate reasons are exactly why The Second Amendment of The United States Constitution was ratified back in 1791. And rest assured, the “criminals” the people of 1791 feared most were the tyrants within the government itself who sought to prevent the legal gun ownership of the citizens they oppressed. Keep in mind, the United States of America was literaly created because of the oppresion of tyrants who knew an unarmed citizenry could not defend themselves.

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Edmund Burke

Doc’

6. sole4sail - April 6, 2009

That last sentence says it all. The NRA is guilty of killing more people than anyone else in American history. What’s wrong with a little common sense regulation?


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