Going for the gun control compromise; no matter what, no one is ever out of danger…

June 17, 2016

Personally, I see no reason why ordinary citizens should be able to possess military style assault weapons, the only purpose of which is to spray bullets at rapid fire to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible (and I say people — not much good for deer hunting, that is if you want to eat your prey).

I mean maybe the only reason would be to be prepared for that one day that you joined the local militia to defy the government. Some people read that necessity into the Second Amendment. I think it is a little more complicated than that — has more to do with concerns of a far different time when the nation was not even sure it needed to have a standing army and if so who would it be composed of — the king’s men (or the president’s men) or just common everyday people.

But now I understand that even Democrats in congress pushing for stricter gun control in the wake of the Orlando massacre are not choosing to go the route of an all-out assault rifle ban, rather they want to push for a more politically palatable stricter control, such as making sure folks on watch lists and no-fly lists or those with known mental problems can’t get them.

It is reported that the attacker in Orlando was on the FBI watch list but inexplicably bought an assault rifle legally.

(It gets worse. A gun store salesman said he reported suspicions of the attacker to the FBI days before the shooting. Obviously nothing was done.)

The thinking of the Democrats, and even a parent of the Sandy Hook massacre of school children who is a gun control advocate, is that it is better to go for something that has a chance with the NRA and gun enthusiasts in general. This way something might actually get done, otherwise you just have a polarizing debate and get nowhere.

Even that crazy Republican presumptive nominee said he was going to speak to the NRA about exceptions. But then again, he says anything that comes to mind at the moment.

Of course gun control does not solve the problem, it just helps deal with it.

In Britain a 41-year-old woman who was a rising star in that nation’s parliament was stabbed and shot to death on the street after meeting with constituents in the last few days. It is not known what the motive of the assassin was — he was crazy for sure. The victim was a proponent of Britain staying in the European Union while the polls there show the so-called Brexit movement (getting out of the EU) with an advantage ahead of a vote of the public on the matter. Also the assassin had neo-Nazi ties.

Britain has strict gun controls.

There is always potential danger for lawmakers even in civilized and essentially peaceful democracies. Our own Gabby Giffords, from Arizona, was shot and seriously and permanently wounded a few years ago while meeting with her constituents.

Maybe the careful strategy on gun control, that is trying to win over the gun enthusiasts, is the best one.

But as far as I am concerned, I see no reason to allow the free flow of military weapons in society.

p.s.

I do understand the idea of keeping or carrying, say, a handgun, for personal protection, but that is problematic. I won’t go into all the ins and outs on that one, you can see them yourself.

Or maybe we all must have our own arsenal, including automatic hand guns and rifles, ready to engage in a firefight at a moment’s notice, whether in the home, on the street, in the library, at a back-to-school nights, or wherever. And if you do not see the absurdity in all that, then what is the use of me even writing anything? It would be like trying to talk sense to a Trump supporter.

 

 

 

 

 

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We seem powerless in the face of evil all because of one ambiguous sentence…

June 13, 2016

I awoke Sunday morning and checked the news. I was surprised, only surprised, not shocked, to see that there had been another mass shooting, this time in Orlando, Florida. The first report I read was a breaking news story that put the death toll at 20. But I was shocked or stunned later when I read it had climbed to 50, with at least that many more injured, making it the worst mass shooting event in U.S. history.

(I’m reading both 49 and 50 as the immediate death toll; I guess the 50 would include the gunman who was killed after police stormed the site of the shooting.)

But I’m not writing this to report on the details, I want to ask the question: why do we keep reading that the FBI (and others maybe) have these mass murderers on their watch lists and yet they go ahead and do their dirty deeds? I realize the authorities can’t follow around every demented person and catch them just before the act, and they can’t simply jail someone because they think he (or she, but seems it’s always a he, so far) might do something bad. But in this case we are told that the gunman had made comments at work that he had connections with ISIS terrorists and had talked about committing some type of act (maybe vague references or direct, I don’t know). But, you know? you can be arrested for threatening the president. But maybe not people in general.

However, the real frustrating thing in here to me is the fact that of course this was carried out with an automatic assault rifle. After all of these mass shootings, we still have not stopped the free flow of these terrible weapons in this country, and all because we have something called the Second Amendment which a powerful political lobby interprets to mean anyone and everyone can have guns. I’m not at all sure a majority of the American public thinks that. But politicians respond to lobbies and their ability to fund political races and their ability to fund campaigns against those who defy them. Of course the Second Amendment still stands and cannot be altered simply by legislation because it is part of the Constitution and therefore would require the difficult amendment process.

In  reality, however, it would be possible to put much tighter controls on assault rifles without touching the Second Amendment. It has been done previously and then the regulations lapsed and were not re-instated due to pressure from the gun lobby (which of course really represents the commercial fire arms industry).

So the shooter in this case, even though he was on the FBI radar because of comments his co-workers had heard him give and because of connections to terrorists he was believed to have had, was able to legally purchase weapons, to include the assault rifle he used along with a handgun to kill 50 people in this mass shooting. Again, what is this FBI watch list for? (and I may not be using the term “watch list” accurately, but he was on their radar so to speak.)

At my last reading it had not been determined whether this gunman was actually connected to the terrorist group ISIS, which he claimed to be, or whether he was a lone wolf, which ISIS encourages.

And I have to note that reports indicate that the gunman had it out for homosexuals. The event occurred at a “gay” night spot. So we had a twofer for a motive: ISIS terror and hatred of homosexuals (and maybe those go together because of the demented religious or faux religious component of ISIS).

So while there is an international terrorism connection to all of this, the primary problem for all of our safety is the fact that we have a free flow of automatic assault weapons.

I have addressed the Second Amendment, the so-called right to keep and bear arms provision in the Constitution, before. As a general thing, I have always accepted the general notion that citizens have this right, but not without qualifications. And I have done some reading on the history of the amendment and have only gathered that it is ambiguous as to its clear meaning because it is only one sentence long and seems to have a dependent clause which ties the right to keep and bear arms to a citizen militia. And one has to realize this was enacted before we had a regular standing army and before the advent of assault rifles.

The text of the Second Amendment follows (and there is more than one version of it I think, something about commas, but I don’t have the original in front of me, so this is off the web):

————-

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.

————-

So you see the dependency of the militia thing there. And lord help me that we might have home-grown militias running around vigilante style. That would be terrorism too.

But I don’t want to get into a Second Amendment discussion here. I don’t care what it says or what it does not say. It is absurd that we let this situation continue.

In a previous incident a whole classroom of school children was mowed down. Nothing was done.

What does it take?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Second Amendment should not stand in the way of public safety…

October 2, 2015

The Second Amendment should not stand in the way of taking measures to protect society from nut cases who seem wont to shoot up school campuses (as well as other places).

The latest mass shooting, at a community college in Oregon, a least 10 dead and several wounded, begs the question, just what does it take? Why as a society are we so afraid to act? Is it we don’t know how to balance individual liberty with public safety — especially safety for our young?

——————–

The actual number of dead and wounded count has changed with conflicting first-hours/day reports

———————-

I saw President Obama give some angry remarks about it, how every time someone calls for sensible gun controls, and pardon me for the metaphor I use, not Obama, they get shot down for it, and in fact people say there ought to be more guns more easily available.

The whole thing is absurd. Why does this nation have so many of these types of mass killings?

And I’ll bet some nutsos are calling right now for guns on campus so the kids can shoot back.

We don’t need free fire-zones on campus. We already have them.

But like I have written before, when those little kids were mowed down at that school in Connecticut — I mean a nut case shot a whole class — nothing was done.

I’m almost too tired right now to write more, but what does it take to make people realize something needs to be done? Of course we can never protect ourselves 100 percent, but we need to do something more than is being done now.

Oh but this is the election season. Candidates wanting all the money they can don’t want to upset the commercial gun interests or voters who care more for their unfettered rights to pack iron than the safety of young people at school or society as a whole.

And I  personally do not oppose the Second Amendment, although I think it is a bit ambiguous in its wording and does not speak in 21st Century language or to modern understanding. But the Second Amendment right of citizens to keep and bear arms does hold sway. However, reasonable  people can come up with a reasonable accommodation for public safety. The all-to-easy access to firearms by the mentally unstable threatens the fabric of our society. Let’s see some leadership in this election season, rather than pandering for votes.

P.s.

I couldn’t keep off this thing for long. I still may have to anyway because I am temporarily sin computer. I’m using my sister’s. I thought being off the screen would be a rest for me and I had something else more pressing. And as I watched all those people staring at their smart phones (I don’t have one/still have the old flip phone and feel like I should ask Sarah the operator for the number) I thought, ha, they are so addicted.

But I found out I am addicted to my laptop. And if I had one of those newfangled phones I’d be glued to it no doubt.


No way to stop gun violence, our guns and our Second Amendment are as sacred as the Bible…

August 27, 2015

What could be more horrific than to see two TV news people murdered on air?

Well noting except maybe a class full of school children mowed down or a movie theater crowd sprayed with deadly gun fire.

Nothing but all of the other senseless shootings that are a result of our wild-west attitude toward guns and the availability of firearms to deranged people, not to mention the criminal element.

I saw that video out of Roanoke, Va. Wednesday, showing the woman reporter interviewing a woman out in the field and then the shocked face of the news anchor back at the studio who could not yet fully grasp the horror before her eyes. I don’t know how much that original footage showed on live TV. But if that was not enough, the gunman posted a video of himself on social media shooting the reporter, and I think it showed as well the shooting of the woman being interviewed and the TV cameraman. The reporter and the cameraman died. The woman was rushed to the hospital (I don’t know her fate as of this writing). The gunman apparently committed suicide as the police closed in.

The assassin was a black man who had been a reporter at the television station in question and who had been let go and who had filed a discrimination suit. He reportedly complained he was discriminated against both for being black and homosexual — his former employer and co-workers saying he was always looking for things that he could label as discrimination but that in reality he was a troublemaker. We don’t know about all of that. But of course even if he was correct, the actions he took show he was crazy.

And I just read that he expressed admiration for recent mass murderers.

Unfortunately, in this country upset and crazy people have easy access to firearms.

But we are all powerless to stop it.

So we just shrug, or say, “how awful!” and move on, but somewhere the thought moves briefly through our minds, we could be next. We could all be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But the right to keep and bear arms (which really had more to do with the concept of an army of the people in place of one representing the ruler, rather than everyone having an inalienable right to tote a gun, always ready to react to anything that makes them unhappy) guaranteed in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes it impossible to control the alarmingly easy access to firearms in this nation.

To politicians looking for votes or not to lose votes, the Second Amendment is as sacred as the Holy Bible.

And maybe it’s just a trade-off between freedom and making sure we have guns to protect ourselves from bad folks and bad government (we can all rebel at an instant like the Minute Men) or to hunt deer on the one hand as opposed to suffering the tragedy of wild gunmen mowing people down.

Like I always say, I thought for sure the Connecticut school massacre, Sandy Hook, would be the last straw for the American public.

I was wrong.

P.s.

I personally am not in favor of repealing the Second Amendment, even though I feel it is so ambiguous, as to make it almost indecipherable in today’s world. But it’s just a unique part of the American experience. So far the high court has pretty much gone along with the notion that although there can be some amount of control, there is a basic right for virtually every individual in the country, with few exceptions, to own firearms.

There just must be a better method, not a foolproof one I suppose, of keeping them out of hands of the deranged and the criminal element.

For now, the gun lobby rules and a public jaded from violence being so commonplace moves on to something more positive to think about.


Angry young men and we just can’t give up our right to pack military assault rifles…

July 17, 2015

Yesterday a mixed up young man was convicted of mass murder in a Colorado movie theatre and on that same day an angry young man shot to death four Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and a few weeks ago another angry white racist young man murdered several people in a black church in South Carolina, and not long ago another misfit of a young man murdered a class full of little school children — and the list of atrocities goes on and on in this modern age.

There are some commonalities in all of these incidents. All the atrocities were committed by young impressionable men. Also in some of them twisted views of religion (or maybe twisted religion) plays a part.

And then in some of the mass murders, 9-11 being the big one, fanatical Islam plays the major role. It seems to have in this most recent one.

But the biggest commonality is that in most of these murders easy access to high-powered automatic weapons plays a major role. I guess that is not the case in the 9-11 attack since as I recall the weapons used were box cutters — so yes for you die-hard fans of everyone packing weapons, if you outlaw guns then either the criminals will not follow the law or they will just use another kind of weapon.

But seriously, because of our inability to shake or deal with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, we are hamstrung when it comes to sensible gun control. I thought that when that class full of school children was gunned downed that the public would be so horrified that for sure stricter controls on high-powered automatic weapons would be enacted.

But the right of everyone to possess deadly weapons seems ingrained into the American psyche, even though admittedly not everyone supports the notion that there is such a right. I myself have an ambivalent attitude toward the perceived right of every man woman and child having the right to pack a weapon, to include a military assault rifle. I have always felt that I support the Second Amendment because there is something unique about being a United States citizen in that our own government must contend with the fact that it faces an armed public — that might give some would-be dictators or plotters of a military coup some pause. In addition, it says that the individual is responsible to himself (or herself) and does not totally depend upon the government for protection.

But I know that in my visit to Spain last year some of the people I met there could not comprehend our fascination with guns or the right of every citizen to have them.

I know that if you can outlaw one kind of fire arm then the door is open to a ban on all, but I still cannot comprehend why we must guarantee the right or at least tolerate citizens carrying around military assault weapons that are meant for only one thing: to kill a whole bunch of people at once.

P.s.

And go ahead and read the actual Second Amendment and try to decipher what the connection or meaning is concerning a well-regulated militia. From what I have read on the subject it may have been a bit ambiguous when it was enacted and it certainly is now.

 

 

 

 


The conundrum of gun control and gun violence…

May 26, 2014

Now we have to worry on the guy who can’t get a date. He might go out and kill a bunch of people. That’s what that poor little rich but apparently unloved kid did in Southern California the other day.

You see the problem with the right of everyone to have guns is that some people just see them as the go-to thing when things don’t go their way or they get mad about something.

Of course if some of his victims were packing iron they might have been able to defend themselves, although they were caught by surprise — and how absurd is that? A raging gun battle.

(In the haste of writing my original post I erroneously said that most of the victims or fatalities were young women, but it seems as if the count was four men and two woman dead and several others injured.)

But apparently restrictive gun laws don’t prevent such tragedy — California is said to have some of the most restrictive in the nation, and yet this young jerk just went down to the local gun store and bought several — always looking for higher power and insurance in case one of them jammed in his pre-meditated plan to get back at those who rejected him, even though many or most of the shootings appeared to be at random — targets of opportunity.

And we can’t punish law-abiding citizens who want guns for self defense against bad guys and government or to serve in their local militia, a well-regulated militia being necessary to a free state. Or they might just want to collect guns — it’s part of our freedom guaranteed in our Bill of Rights.

And seriously, bans on guns don’t work. At the Mexican border it says guns and ammo are illegal in Mexico. Yeah, how’s that working out down there? (We’re doing our best to keep them supplied down there south of the border.)

Going on a shooting rampage has become quite fashionable.

I guess as long as there are guns people will use them, and more often than not for bad things. I mean hardly anyone actually depends upon them to put food on the table.

It does seem, however, that the easy access to them could be lessened somewhat.

You think?

 

p.s.

And it should be noted that he also stabbed people (and ran into people with his car and may have injured some in another fashion) — so guns are not the only culprit or problem. And we can hardly ban all instruments that stab or otherwise injure.

Oh, and thankfully, the perpetrator killed himself, saving us the expense and waste of court and prison time.

And now I feel guilty. I mean the guy must have had deep mental problems but was apparently able to hide them or people — his parents — failed to realize the extent of the problem. He had given off some clues and finally told the whole world what he was going to do in a post on social media — but it came too late, too near the time he actually went into his final action.

Assuming this is accurate, I provide a Wikipedia summary of the incident: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings

 


How’s that new gun law working in Georgia?

April 30, 2014

As Sarah Palin might say if she were a lefty: “how’s that everyone tote a gun everywhere law working for you in Georgia?”  Of course I’m sure she would not be sarcastic about it because she most likely supports the new Georgia law.

But ironies of ironies, about a  week after the state enacted a sweeping liberalization of gun toting, a guy went on a rampage at a Fed-Ex facility critically wounding several people in a spray of gun fire before killing himself. And the Atlanta suburb in which this took place Tuesday is Kennesaw, a town that back in 1982 mandated that every house have at least one gun. The law is not enforced.

Now I imagine supreme gun enthusiasts will argue that if everyone there in that facility was toting a gun that guy, an employee there, would not have done what he did. I’m not sure that is true. Crazy people, of which he had to be one, don’t think things through — they can’t.

It was said that the gunman was dressed like Rambo and was wearing ammunition belts around his neck and I think decked out in camouflage or some such attire. It has also been reported that he had been disciplined for pointing a laser at someone in the plant.

There certainly is some constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but I think it has something to do with self-defense of the nation as well as not restricting the right to carry guns to a king’s army or the government. The Second Amendment is ambiguous at best — read it. The right to carry is tied to a “well-regulated militia”. I don’t think that means or I hope that does not mean those often crazy yahoos that dress in camouflage and run out in the woods and talk or act like vigilantes. I mean who elected them? And which group is in charge?

Even with all of that, I have always generally supported the Second Amendment. Despite its ambiguity, it seems that the prevailing mood or feeling is that it does indeed bestow the right of a free people to possess guns — but courts have ruled that there can be restrictions.

I think there are people who own guns for hunting and sport and there are people who own them for self-defense, and there are collectors. But there is also a strange gun culture that sees every man (and woman?) as his own Rambo who takes it upon himself to right all of what he sees wrong by the threat of gunfire.

Then there are the crazies or people who get so mad at something that they latch onto this Rambo fantasy and decide to get their 15 minutes of fame in a deadly manner.

Yeah, and what if everyone was packing in the Fed-Ex plant? What a shooting spree that might have been.

I hope everyone who was wounded survives.

I continue to support the right of individuals to own guns, but I don’t think carrying them everywhere like in the old westerns is the way to go for society.