Was it a fake news or fake news that it was fake news?

February 22, 2018

Is the real news sometimes fake as the fake news?

Had to ask myself that in the middle of the night when I could not sleep and checked my computer to see what’s new.

There was a story circulating on the alt right sites (or at least the ones who like to take jabs at mainstream media) that CNN attempted to hand a scripted question to a Florida high school student in place of one he wanted to ask at what was billed by that network as a town hall meeting on the Florida school shooting. Supposedly the kid wanted to suggest that veterans could be hired as armed guards at the schools. But instead, purportedly, CNN handed him a script, I suppose calling for gun control.

Later this morning when I tried to check one of the sites covering that story in order to read further into it, it appeared to be gone (although I am sure you can find it — nothing, truth or lie, ever really disappears on the internet I am told).

Concurrently there is this story floating around that actors have appeared as students promoting gun control.

Even if even minute parts of all this were true — I mean anything goes on this modern form of communication (or miscommunication) — there is enough footage out there and enough reporting from enough different sources that we know the obvious and understandable truth: folks and their children or visa versa are upset at being the targets of rapid-fire weapons.

(And by the way I did try to check some of this out via the Snopes site, but nothing on the scripted question, or at least when I checked, and I got too bogged down on the other — to convoluted; I gave up.)

Regardless of the facts I am sure that there is a fake news effort out there by forces of or friendly to the NRA or alt right and maybe even the Russians employing fake news to taint or smear the real news as fake news.

In the pre-internet days one had to judge the source to get to the truth. These days you have to judge the source of the source, and that can be difficult to perhaps impossible at times.

All that aside, I am always uncomfortable when journalism becomes an integral part of the news rather than an unbiased observer. And public forums should be an honest, unscripted discussion of issues. And I am in no way charging or believing that there was any scripting (but having never attended one of these CNN-type town halls I would not know). And if something is to be broadcast in a time frame there has to be some order.

I’m not even sure a news organization should stage forums. Doing that by definition makes them part of the story. Of course in broadcast news, in particular, the presenters by being presenters become a part of the story somehow. No way around it really.

I could go on and on about this but I will try not to. But let me add that I wish that for the so-called presidential debates, for example, that we’d go back to a really dull format run by the League of Women Voters in times way past now with the contestants sitting on folding chairs to wait their turn to speak with no fancy stage decorations and where the contestants did the talking not the moderators (and actually political nerd or junkie that I have been I did not think that they were dull) .

And back to the school shooting issue: regardless if there might be some people on both sides of the issue trying to muddy the waters, I think that the gun control movement might catch fire with the populace as a whole if the students and parents can sustain the pressure. It might well spread nationwide.

Little Marco Rubio, the Florida U.S. senator and former presidential candidate who gets millions of dollars from the NRA, looked as if he were shaking in those boots he sometimes wears to heighten himself when he faced the wrath of a visibly angry man whose daughter was killed in the recent massacre.

Angry citizens are the one thing that can beat the NRA.

p.s.

If you have not read my blogs previously you might jump to the conclusion, understandably, that I am super liberal and maybe against the Second Amendment. Not necessarily so. I consider myself middle of the road in politics and tolerant of that uniquely American provision in the Constitution that is the Second Amendment, even if I think that it is never fully understood nor described by most (including me). I mean it’s only one sentence long and does state that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. But I think to fully understand it you have to read some history and court decisions and be aware of its use of language — its grammar and syntax and the fact there is even more than one version of it.

But if I am correct the official version (my source Wikipedia) is:

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.

Note the confusing use of upper case and I would say at least the last comma. English grammar had not been fully standardized, especially in the United States, I believe, at the time of our founding fathers, but without going into it all I think I am correct in writing that the current interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court allows some room for some amount of gun control.

 

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A generational change may lead to some sense on guns…

February 21, 2018

I turned off the car radio when a caller into a conservative talk show said the students from the Florida high school where the latest mass shooting took place should “shut up and go back to school and sit down and learn something”.

It seemed apparent to me that the caller felt threatened by some of the surprisingly articulate students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who as survivors of one of the worst mass shootings in the nation, are urging lawmakers to take action on gun control (to no avail currently).

And wouldn’t you know it? Part of the reaction by the reactionary right is to say that the students are being put up to it by subversive gun control forces — a staffer of a Florida legislator even erroneously described a couple of the students as phonies, as actors.

If I had thought someone might come on to counter the caller I might not have switched the radio off, and, actually, I did turn it back on moments later — I was bored. But usually on these shows you don’t get much give and take. It’s usually one-sided. Debate is not what these shows are for. You get listeners and listeners beget sponsors. And for some reason apparently a lot of people just want to have their own beliefs validated and are not interested in sorting anything out.

And left-wing radio talk shows can be just as bad, and ultra left-wing worse. It’s just that there does not seem to be the market for left wing to the extent there is for right wing.

I prefer to think that I am a middle of the roader. And I think that there is such a thing as a middle-of-the-road talk show or one that avoids partisanship, but that’s probably confined to public radio which the right wingers are fond of calling “communist radio”. But with the near eradication of communism or the red menace of the Cold War, the term communist has been supplanted by “liberal”. And I guess liberal is considered bad by some folks because the term means you challenge the status quo. And if you are comfortable with the status quo well then you would feel threatened.

But what if you would just like to change some things but leave other things alone? Like don’t try to fix something that isn’t broken. That is where we middle of the roaders fit in or don’t fit in. No in today’s political discussions you gotta be one way or the other.

It’s hard to stir people up with moderation. And politics depends upon stirring people up.

But on this scourge of mass shootings, primarily carried out with semi-automatic assault rifles (sometimes converted into automatic), there are a  lot of things that could be done I am sure and a lot of things that do not need to be done. We don’t have to ban all guns from all citizens (and I don’t really hear anyone calling for that). We don’t have to abolish the Second Amendment. We don’t have to form a police state.

But it would seem prudent to me that we outlaw private ownership or the carrying of assault rifles. And then every time I write that I feel compelled to answer the retort that if you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have them. But in most of these mass shootings the outlaws got the guns legally. You make something hard to do and it will be less likely — not impossible of course — for it to happen.

And for those who just love to spray bullets out of semi-automatic rifles for fun — not to hurt anyone — geesh! I don’t know, maybe keep it legal to use them at rifle ranges where you could rent the weapons.

Improved background checks for gun ownership might help. Improved procedures for identification and treatment of those who suffer from mental health problems could help too, but to me those are side issues.

Identifying people with mental health problems is like identifying suspected terrorists. We can’t just round them up on suspicion. We are stuck taking them into custody after the fact, after the damage has been done, that is if they themselves survive. And the real frustrating part is that in so many cases, including the most recent, the authorities were aware of the threat but could not (or at least did not) do anything.

As to arming teachers with guns: seriously? I should not make a joke out of this, but have you ever dealt with a classroom of high school students? The temptation would be too much. Okay, that was wrong of me to make light of it — but seriously, I think the goal should be to cut down on firearm danger, not add another element that could lead to accidental shootings and create an atmosphere where the gun becomes the problem solver.

The main problem is that it is way to easy and legal to get ahold of assault rifles, which have no legitimate use outside of the military (save non-human target practice) in a civilized society.

Inertia and the National Rifle Association or NRA seems to prevent lawmakers from acting. Through political pressure and outright bribery the NRA has thus far successfully fought off most sensible gun control measures, including a former ban on assault rifles.

It may take a generational change to get anything done. The students in Florida are speaking out and trying to spread the word to others across the nation.

Meanwhile, back to that caller on the right-wing talk show:

He prefaced his remarks by saying that he was so frustrated (with the talk of gun control by the students) “that my head is about to pop off “. I almost thought he was going to say that “I want to go out and shoot someone”.

And that is the danger. We have some folks out there who are really frustrated and then they get their hands on an easy-to-obtain assault rifle and do some shooting.

p.s.

All this said, there is always a danger to our democracy in an over-reaction to a security threat. The right wing usually overreacts in favor of choking down on civil liberties, such as freedom of speech (not so on gun rights, though). The left wing might overreact by trying to repeal the Second Amendment or at least interpreting its somewhat ambiguous wording to where it is useless (I realize some say it is not ambiguous). I have to say the Second Amendment does make our democracy unique in that it guarantees citizens the right to own guns and in turn be able to rebel against their own government (whether or not that was the real intent of it). I would not particularly like to see that amendment repealed — it’s so American. Maybe a rewording in today’s language and understandable syntax would help.

Also, there is something to be said for individual citizens having the right to defend themselves. The police usually are not able to respond until after the fact of a tragedy. But do we want shootouts with assault rifles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Banning assault weapons is common sense…

February 16, 2018

Common sense is I think what the typical Trump supporter and perhaps National Rifle Association (NRA) member might promote, that is to say in my mind those types of people criticize anyone who would give anything other than a reactionary thought as just lacking in common sense, too into deep thinking — too liberal (where I live that word has taken the place of communist since at least the end of the Cold War).

I’m not sure that I am a deep thinker but I do like to be objective and weigh options on things.

But common sense has its place too.

And in my mind stemming the free flow of weapons and banning assault rifles and the ammunition and other trappings, such as bump stocks, that go along with them, is common sense.

And I say this of course in reference to the latest in a plethora of mass shootings, which took place on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2018, this week, the massacre at a high school in Florida.

In an editorial the Wall Street Journal claimed that there is no evidence that banning assault rifles would help. I find that an odd attitude. I mean it is common sense that if you cannot get a hold of an assault rifle you can’t use it to mow people down. Of course I realize the Journal and others, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, contend that if a person is intent on doing harm he (or she, but for some reason it is always he in these things) will get a hold of the weapons. While that is a common sense too, it ignores the fact that the easier you make something the more likely it will happen.

(And let’s note here that Rubio, who ran for president in the Republican primary in 2016, is compromised in that the gun lobby was one of his major benefactors, and you could see the discomfort in his face when he tried to talk about the gun situation the other day. He was trying to acknowledge that there is a problem — it happened in his own state — but not raise the ire of his benefactor at the same time.)

True, there is no magic cure for this epidemic of mass killings (I won’t try recite the recent history here; there are plenty of stories out there that will do that for you). But we should at least begin somewhere.

President Trump mentioned nary a word about gun control in an address to the nation on the subject of the Florida school shooting. He stressed mental health, a little ironic in that many think (and seriously) that he is a little off himself. And yes, no doubt if we could do something to identify people who have a potential for violence we could help them and protect our society. Trump of course shied away from gun control because the voters who put him in office no doubt tend to be anti gun control.

Then there is the call to: “if you see something, say something”.

But people did see something way before all this happened at the high school in Florida. In fact it has been reported that the killer posted the fact that he wanted to shoot up a school on social media and that the FBI was made aware of it. And the stories say that people in the community thought he was mentally unstable and that he had a fascination with guns and shot at animals.

The problem is that while if you see something say something is certainly a good idea, police cannot go out and arrest someone on all that and we do not live in a police state, nor would we want to, where big brother always had an eye on you. But if you see something, say something is still a valuable tool I would think.

However I still come back to the idea that common sense says if you cut off the supply of assault weapons it would make it far less likely these incidents would occur.

Now as I understand it, guns and ammunition are basically illegal in Mexico. But Mexico is terribly violent and has suffered thousands of deaths in an ongoing drug war with weapons supplied from the United States (and other places I am sure). But Mexico does not have a stable system of government and its government at all levels is rife with corruption.

We have a our own corruption but not at the level of Mexico and we have much more stability — albeit we live in a violent society.

One obstacle in the way of any common sense gun control is that we have the Second Amendment which the Supreme Court has held entitles nearly everyone to have a gun. The court has held, though, that there can be some restrictions.

Or maybe in light of the fact the high court gives some leeway in restrictions that is not so much an obstacle. But what is an obstacle is that most politicians, be they liberal, moderate, or conservative, dare not cross the NRA, said to be the strongest political lobby in the nation.

Also, among the citizenry in general I suppose there may be a kind of apathy, disinterest, or sympathy with the notion that there should be no restrictions on guns. It is an American thing.

I myself have stated that I at least generally or maybe in a passive way support the Second Amendment. I also think, though, it is not clearly understood. But I for some reason have a hard time writing about it because it has a kind of convoluted history. I have read that the real intent of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the U.S. had a citizen army rather than one controlled by the central government that would resemble armies of the monarchies in Europe. And to explain that (do I really need to?) would take maybe more paragraphs (less if I were better at writing and synthesizing and condensing thoughts). But we have an army controlled by our federal government these days of course and have had for most of our history.

(And all that is academic anyway being as how the Supreme Court has upheld the individual right to possess weapons, with some restriction.)

And to sum this all up, despite the reluctance or fear of politicians to deal with gun control, the power is really with the people.

Just as the NRA could use its influence to push anyone out of office, enough voters could push those out who fail to deal with gun control. A slow process perhaps, but the mid terms are this year, and nothing else seems to be happening.

P.s.

A lot of people apparently love to shoot assault rifles and go to commercial ranges to engage in their hobby. So it is big business. Money talks. And while I would sincerely hate to deprive anyone of their fun, I put the safety of society and our children first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lots of room for interpretation in the Second Amendment but it’s all academic…

October 23, 2017

Note: a few posts ago I wrote that I wanted to do something on the Second Amendment. Well what follows is something but certainly not a complete analysis.


 

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (part of what we call the Bill of Rights) is terse and ambiguous in that it seems to connect the right of citizens to keep and bear arms (have guns) with something called the militia.

(I don’t think we are talking the modern phenomenon of self-proclaimed vigilantes running around in camouflage looking like a cross between GI Joe and a deer hunter.)

Well except the late Justice Antonin Scalia did not see it that way and the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed — citizens have a constitutional right to have guns for their own use irrespective of military service, it concluded.

So really for all intents and purposes that pretty well settles it unless a future court decides otherwise, and the high court does not like to reverse its own rulings, rather it prefers to follow the principle of stare decisis, going by legal precedent (what has been decided in the past), I guess to avoid uncertainty and promote trust in the law — even though on occasions it has, such as Brown v the Board of Education when it decided that separate is not equal in public services and accommodations, in the landmark civil rights case, thus overturning a ruling some 56 years previous.

I’ve been trying to research the Second Amendment but my work life and other things have impeded that. But I know the confusion in part comes in by the outdated language and the weird syntax and punctuation and even the strange choice of capitalization of the one-sentence amendment. I think it is correct to say that the more modern rules of English grammar were either not in effect or universal at the time of our forefathers. And today those modern rules seem to be fading with the use of the internet and tweets and the lack of emphasis on grammar in our schools — but like I often note in my blogs, that is another subject.

To further confuse matters, there are various versions of the Second Amendment with slightly different punctuation — such as the one used for ratification and the final official one approved by congress. And that leads to confusion. I think that in itself proves the value of universal rules and the correct usage in grammar (something I strive for but don’t always attain myself). The official version of the Second Amendment follows:

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. 

Now at first glance I’d have to say there is some connection with serving in a militia (a kind of self-defense force) with the right to keep and bear arms. But if I understand it correctly the high court majority felt that the first part of the sentence was nothing more than words — a “prefatory clause” they called it — or that even if it did express the need for a militia, the important part of the amendment is what it called the “operative clause”, the right of the people to keep and bear arms. I have to ask: does people really mean individuals or the plural like in the people of a state or nation? But of course this is all academic. The high court has spoken; we all have a right to have guns.

But to the chagrin of some ardent all-or-nothing gun enthusiasts the high court did hold that there can be some restrictions.

A primary concern at the time of the writing of the amendment was the role of local or state militias as opposed to that of a standing federal army. Some did not even want a regular federal army. It would take a historian to figure it all out really, or at least supreme court justices reading a lot of history (of course I guess that is what they do).

One book I am reading says that there just was not much of a public record of what the authors of the Second Amendment or those who voted for it thought about the individual right to have guns. Most of the discussion seemed to center around the role of the militia. However, in some proposed drafts or some state bills of rights, the individual’s right was protected.

As to my own opinion or feeling: I have come to the conclusion that individuals in the U.S. do have what appears to be a unique guaranteed right to keep and bear arms with some reasonable restrictions, still not clearly defined by the high court.

And I somewhat reluctantly agree with gun enthusiasts that if you get too carried away with restrictions then the right to keep and bear arms is a little empty.

Just before I began to write this post (actually several days ago) I read about another wild shooting, this time in Maryland. Several people were killed and others wounded. And of course we are just coming off the worst gun massacre in our history in Las Vegas a few weeks ago. And of course, especially in the inner cities, we have constant gun violence.

We have a problem in this country with the free flow of weapons and the phenomenon of apparently mentally deranged people wanting to make a name for themselves in this era of social media and instant mass communication. They want to go out in a blaze of glory (well what they think is glory but is really infamy).

While we cannot stop all of these deranged people we can do something to stem the free flow of weapons even if it approaches infringement on our right to have guns.

Who can think living in a society with the bullets flying is a good idea?

On the other hand, it can be comforting to know that each and every one of us does have a right to protect ourselves, even though not all of ourselves are going to take advantage of that due to personal considerations or interests.

I had wanted to do a more thorough presentation on the subject but even though the Second Amendment is only one sentence the subject is rather complex.

However, for the time, I remain at least a nominal supporter of the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms.

p.s.

And about the militia. I think history shows that in the context of the Constitution we are talking of a state-organized military type unit, which in modern times is our National Guard, which each state has but which can be federalized when the need arises.

I personally don’t believe that the National Guard should be used for foreign engagements except in extreme emergencies when all qualified citizens might be subject to a military draft. But that is of course another subject.

 

 

 

 

 


The danger of crazy men with guns versus the need for self protection…

June 18, 2017

At the news of the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice I began a post one way and then another incident happened and it seemed to reinforce in me an understanding of why so many people support the right to keep and bear arms (and that  sometimes reluctantly includes me).

But first, my initial reaction:

Automatic assault rifle gun fire at a Republican baseball practice, several injured, including the majority whip. And yet the Republicans (and many Democrats) still feel they must be absolutists against sensible gun control. I mean they are locked into that position because they depend upon the support of the gun lobby and citizens who are in no mood to compromise on the Second Amendment and their belief that it guarantees every man woman and child the right to pack automatic weapons. Never mind that the Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the advance in weapons technology centuries later and that the Second Amendment speaks more to a citizen’s army than simple citizen gun ownership.

But still, I support the Second Amendment. And for now I will go along with the notion that the consensus seems to be that it does indeed give citizens a right to tote their own guns. However, the courts have allowed some forms of gun control nonetheless.

I don’t have an answer as to how we on the one hand preserve our right to keep and bear arms and on the other how we protect ourselves from mad men with weapons that spray hundreds of rounds per minute.

Some suggest that if we all packed weapons like on those old TV westerns the nut cases would not be so emboldened. First, I doubt that. They are nuts, remember? Secondly if we all packed guns, given the temper of the nation now — you have been out on the interstates? it would be mayhem, more than it already is,

(At the congressional ball practice the congressmen and others at least had some Capital Police on hand who bravely faced the gunman and shot him dead, even though they were outgunned in firepower. And isn’t that horrendous that bad guys often have more fire power than our police?)

No I don’t have an answer. But I do know the free flow of automatic weapons primarily benefits the arms industry and is a detriment to our personal safety.


And then there were those two animals out of a Georgia prison who murdered two guards on a prison bus and escaped, going on a rampage of carjacking and one incident where they terrorized an elderly couple. Finally with the help of two citizens — two civilians as it were — with their own firearms, they were apprehended. As I read it (and the reports seemed to be somewhat vague) the two were lying face down held at gunpoint by the good citizens when the police arrived.

If you saw the photos of those two desperadoes you might agree with me that there was something chilling about them.

The police cannot be everywhere and see everything all the time and we would not want it that way. But with animals like that on the loose it could be a comfort to be armed thanks to your Second Amendment rights.

Still, there is a likelihood for it to backfire, so to speak. You cannot be wide awake all the time and it might not be legal nor practical to have a firearm on your person at all times. Often the bad guy, the intruder, is likely to get the drop on you.

And we often have incidents in which innocent people, often young people or lost foreigners, are shot when a homeowner misperceives a threat.

So this uniquely American notion of every citizen’s right to keep and bear arms often presents a conundrum.

I can only say: preserve the Second Amendment, support reasonable gun control, and stem the flow of automatic weapons.

p.s.

I did not go into gun safety. There are so many tragic incidents of children getting their hands on firearms and accidentally shooting themselves and others, often siblings. And far too many of these incidents happen in households of policemen. But there are a lot of deadly dangers we all face every day. But yes, gun safety courses for all ought to be a requirement of gun ownership.

One more note: I think in the incident where the citizens apprehended the escaped convicts the bad guys had lost their stolen weapons at that point.

 

 

 


Why do we ‘love’ our guns so much? Protection is one reason…

April 29, 2017

Just read an article on CNN in which a correspondent who is now a U.S. citizen but who is originally from India, the land of non-violent resistance Gandhi style, wanted to determine what those in other parts of the world consider is the reason behind America’s “love affair” with guns.

 

So she went to an NRA confab.

 

She claims although she did not completely get her head around it all, she did come away with “much to consider”.

 

To boil it down, I think she found that some of the reasons law-abiding citizens want to own their own guns include: self-protection (the police may not always be available in time), the feeling of freedom from an overpowering government that would run every aspect of one’s life, and sport shooting.

 

(And not to make a sick, sick joke, but by “sport shooting” I was not referring to drive by shootings.)

 

 

One person indicated to her that it is black people who of all people should support the right to keep and bear arms, claiming that the notion of gun control was really a device to keep control of ex slaves after the Civil War (I’m not clear on the history of that, but the correspondent herself noted that when the former British colonial masters took over India they instituted strict gun control).

 

I know the NRA and others often proclaim that if you outlaw guns then only the outlaws will have guns. There is some logic there alright. If you drive toward the Mexican border you will see signs that warn you that firearms are illegal in Mexico. Doesn’t seem to stem the tide of narco gun violence down there does it?

 

The writer said that people in her native India often ask: what is this obsession Americans have with owning guns?

 

I myself was asked that question on one of my trips to Spain by some Spanish people. Spain as I understand it has fairly strict gun control.

 

 

But I listened to the local news in Spain and I’ll be darned, they have armed robberies there too.

 

 

Whatever, I will concede that gun violence seems to be out of hand in our American society.

Guns have been part of our culture. We broke away from Great Britain via gun-toting colonists who fought the revolution.

 

 

Also it was the way we settled the continent. Law and order did not come to the territories until after they were settled and local governments were set up. In the meantime it was like every man for himself, whereas in Canada, the King or the Queen’s law came first (at least that is what I was taught in a comparative government class in college).

 

 Canada has much less gun violence than we do here in the U.S. (but they have had some incidents in relatively recent times).

 

 

And of course we have that Second Amendment in our Constitution that is read by most as ensuring that we all have a right to carry our own heat. I’ve written so much, well at least so many times, about the ambiguity of that one-sentence amendment that I won’t bother repeating it here. I still support the Second Amendment, although that incident in Connecticut in which a whole classroom of school children were murdered just about did it for me.

 

 

There has to be sensible gun control and it needs to be relatively difficult — not impossible — to obtain guns and people should have to prove they can handle them safely and there should be no gun-show or mail order loopholes. President Kennedy was assassinated with a mail-order rifle. And I don’t know how many mass shooting perpetrators or other murderers have gotten their weapons via a gun show (have not tied to look that up).

 

 

Oh, and back to India: maybe those “non-violent” people can’t understand our obsession with guns but you know if women there were armed maybe they could go about without fearing gang rapes so prevalent in India’s “non-violent” culture.

 

 

p.s.

 

The CNN article that inspired my post: http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/28/world/indian-immigrant-nra-convention/index.html

 

 

I would not have been able to have guns in the house when my children were growing up. I would not have been able to sleep or be anywhere else knowing that somehow one of them might accidentally shoot themselves — so many tragic reports of children of police officers having deadly mishaps.

 

 

But I know years ago an in-law of mine said he always carried a gun under the seat of his car when travelling out on the open road, particularly in places like the wide-open desert. Today as I drive a big truck through wide-open deserts and questionable neighborhoods in inner cities, I sometimes wonder….

 

 

 

 


Sometimes the right to keep and bear arms is hard to argue with…

January 14, 2017

I have written many times that something should be done to stop the free flow of guns in this country and especially to keep them out of the hands of unstable people.

On the other hand I have been consistent in not outright opposing the right of the public to keep and bear arms; I just think we have to have some reasonable control — we do have some, depending upon where one lives.

And I won’t go into what the Second Amendment actually says or how it should be interpreted because it is not pertinent to the point this time and I don’t think it is crystal clear, when one considers its history.

But sometimes something happens and you have to say, thank god a citizen was armed.

If he survives, at least one Arizona trooper must be thinking this (if he is conscious) about now. I don’t have many details but I just read that a citizen came upon an Arizona Highway Patrol officer who had been shot by someone and who was being beat with a gun as well from his assailant. A good Samaritan happened upon the scene and told the assailant to stop. He did not. The good Samaritan shot the bad guy dead.

And while it might be dangerous if everyone took the law into his or her own hands, in this case justice and humanity was served.

This was reportedly on Interstate 10 in the Tonopah, Az. area about 50 miles west of Phoenix. Been there many times. It’s pretty lonely out there. Anyone might be well off to have his or her own weapon for protection.

And what would you do if you came up upon that? I have to ask myself that. Without a gun how do you face someone with one?

In a perfect world being armed would not be necessary.

This ain’t a perfect world.

P.s.

Still the free flow of weapons is a problem. I don’t know the story of who the bad, and now thankfully dead guy was, but seems like he should not have had a gun.


Note:

Reading a subsequent story I see there was more than one citizen who came to the trooper’s aid. One used the trooper’s own radio to call for help, and I don’t know who did what, but one also retrieved the officer’s first aid kit and gave aid till more help arrived. This all has to be a good morale booster for law enforcement in general. Most citizens support the cops (except the cops who go bad of course).