The Dixie Gun and Knife Show in Raleigh, NC has BANNED the carrying and selling of personal firearms in the wake of a minor accident yesterday that left three people injured by birdshot. After closing the show for the rest of the day, officials later decided to trample on the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners to give show attendees a false sense of security while they peruse the wares of gunsellers and Nazi memorabilia vendors. One can only imagine how much worse this egregious violation would be if they also decided to close the so-called “gunshow loophole” to run background checks on each and every prospective buyer.
Hitler-loving peaceniks and Obamabots have fired another volley of persecution on gun owners because of a few minor incidents that occurred on Gun Appreciation Day. In addition to the aforementioned NC accident, a gun dealer in Medina, Ohio accidentally pulled the trigger on a semi-automatic handgun that he had just purchased. The round hit the floor, then ricocheted and hit a man in the hand and hip. He was medivaced to a hospital for treatment. You could actually blame the hard surface of the floor for this injury, as more porous flooring would have absorbed the round. The venue should have anticipated accidental discharges at a gun show! In another unfortunate incident, Emory L. Cozee, 54, accidentally shot himself in the hand while trying to load the semi-automatic .45 that he had just purchased at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show in Indianapolis.
When record numbers of gun show attendees flock to conventions on Gun Appreciation Day, a few people are likely to be injured. Statistically speaking, the number of injuries are infinitesimal in relation to the number of relatively inexperienced people handling weapons. Almost 10,000 people a year are injured by fireworks on the 4th of July in the United States. Would it then make sense to BAN all fireworks due to the stupidity of a tiny fraction of fireworks users? Of course not. That’s like saying just because ONE security guard left his gun behind unattended in a school bathroom, ALL guns in schools should be banned. Because accidents happen. People make mistakes. Sometimes people die, but that is the price to be paid to protect our Second Amendement rights above ALL others. When jackbooted thugs come for all your other rights, it is the Second Amendment that will protect you. When the Constitution is trampled upon by OBAMAnation, who will stand up and regurgitate the tyranny that is being jammed down our throats? Only the heavily-armed, freedom-loving GUN APPRECIATORS of ‘MURICA, son!
Thanks to the efforts of the NRA, gun appreciation has reached a record level among Americans. As the ranks of the NRA swell, gun shows have seen an exponential rise in attendance. This has had the wonderful effect of doubling and tripling the price of semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity magazines, and high-caliber bullets! Some patriots fear that the Sandy Hook shootings were engineered by the government to drum up support for gun control. Gun sales are up a staggering 100 PERCENT, due to fears that Obama is going to ban all guns. Consumers are willing to pay two or three times the value of the weapon, because the NRA has warned that a new tax may be imposed on them in the next few years. The gun industry is enjoying record profits, so the joke is on the fascists. Americans can feel safer knowing that responsible gun ownership is on the rise. Thanks to the efforts of patriots all over the nation, Americans are getting more accustomed to law-abiding gun toters patrolling the streets in Portland and spreading peace all over the damn place, despite the best efforts of Big Government to emasculate the populace.
One of these days, we will all have an AR-15 strapped to our backs. Maybe even an AK-47, because the only difference between semi-auto and fully auto is the amount of bullets it can fire in a specific time frame. Our children will have their own little sidearms to protect themselves from bullies and pedophiles. Then, and only then, will we be safe from Obama, Pelosi, atheism, gayness and creeping Sharia. Such a vision of peace should inpire you to join me in a petition to the DIXIE GUN AND KNIFE SHOW to get their well-heeled boots off the necks of law-abiding gun owners! A BAN on personal weapons is a BAN on FREEDOM!
**UPDATED TO ADD: This is satire. Unfortunately, a distinction must be made.
I guess Charlie Brown loves Hitler:(
Just reading about the government’s massive new report outlining what climate change has in store for the U.S. is sobering. In brief: temperature spikes, drought, flooding, less snow, less permafrost. But if you really want to freak out, you should check out the graphs, charts, and maps.
For the more visually oriented bunker builders out there, here are the 32 most alarming images from the 1,200-page draft report. (Click any of them to embiggen.)
Things will be different.
Analysis suggests that temperatures could rise as much as 11 degrees by the end of the century. On this chart, note the lines labelled SRES A2 and SRES B1. Those are the two greenhouse gas emission scenarios used as worst- and best-case scenarios in many of the charts that follow.
It’s possible that sea levels could only rise eight inches. It is also possible that they could rise over six-and-a-half feet.
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This article was published in Volume 201, Number 33 of The Stanford Daily on Wednesday, April 8, 1992.
I was in my tolerance stage or the “I don’t give a damn if someone is gay, just as long as they don’t bother me” stage. I was well trained in my tolerance. I stopped telling my gay jokes. Fags, flamers and dykes became homosexuals and people of differing sexual orientation and, of course, I had my gay friend.
Yet, while I was highly adroit at maintaining an air of acceptance, I couldn’t betray my feelings. I was disgusted by gays. The thought of two men kissing each other was about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy.
Allow me to be more direct, escaping the euphemisms of my past – I hated gays. The disgust and latent hostility I felt toward gays were subcategories of hatred, plain and simple.
While hate is a four-letter word I never would have admitted to, the sentiment clandestinely pervaded my every interaction with homosexuals. I sheepishly shook hands with gays or completely shied away from physical contact. I still remember how my brow would often unconsciously furrow when I was with gays as thoughts would flash in my mind, “What sinners I am amongst” or “How unnatural these people are.”
Continue Reading: Stanford Daily | Cory Booker: “Pointing the finger at gays”.
Booker illustrates the difference between “tolerance” and true acceptance.
It’s pretty sad that the President has to actually respond to such a ridiculous petition, but it has the benefit of making him look like a grown up teaching the basic fundamentals of Constitutional rights. And yes, it applies to legal residents, whether they are American citizens or not. Calling someone a stupid man during an interview is in poor taste, even if he is a stupid man, but odious, obnoxious speech is allowed in our country. That’s why we have characters like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, etc. all over the radio and on television. Shut it off if you don’t like it-that’s what I do.
On October 12, 1914, Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest just before giving this speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet was slowed by his glasses case and folded 50-page (!) speech placed in his breast pocket. The attempted murderer, John Schrank, was apprehended immediately after shooting the President. He spent the rest of his life in a mental institution. Roosevelt refused to cancel his speech to seek medical attention. He held aloft the bloody pages and had this to say:
Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. But fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet – there is where the bullet went through – and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.
And now, friends, I want to take advantage of this incident to say a word of solemn warning to my fellow countrymen. First of all, I want to say this about myself: I have altogether too important things to think of to feel any concern over my own death; and now I cannot speak to you insincerely within five minutes of being shot. I am telling you the literal truth when I say that my concern is for many other things. It is not in the least for my own life. I want you to understand that I am ahead of the game, anyway. No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way. I have been able to do certain things that I greatly wished to do, and I am interested in doing other things. I can tell you with absolute truthfulness that I am very much uninterested in whether I am shot or not. It was just as when I was colonel of my regiment. I always felt that a private was to be excused for feeling at times some pangs of anxiety about his personal safety, but I cannot understand a man fit to be a colonel who can pay any heed to his personal safety when he is occupied as he ought to be with the absorbing desire to do his duty.
I am in this cause with my whole heart and soul. I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country. I am absorbed in the success of that movement.
Friends, I ask you now this evening to accept what I am saying as absolutely true, when I tell you I am not thinking of my own success. I am not thinking of my life or of anything connected with me personally. I am thinking of the movement. I say this by way of introduction, because I want to say something very serious to our people and especially to the newspapers. I don’t know anything about who the man was who shot me to-night. He was seized at once by one of the stenographers in my party, Mr. Martin, and I suppose is now in the hands of the police. He shot to kill. He shot – the shot, the bullet went in here – I will show you.
I am going to ask you to be as quiet as possible for I am not able to give to challenge of the bull moose quite as loudly. Now, I do not know who he was or what he represented. He was a coward. He stood in the darkness in the crowd around the automobile and when they cheered me, and I got up to bow, he stepped forward and shot me in the darkness.
Now, friends, of course, I do not know, as I say, anything about him; but it is a very natural thing that weak and vicious minds should be inflamed to acts of violence by the kind of awful mendacity and abuse that have been heaped upon me for the last three months by the papers in the interest of not only Mr. Debs but of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Taft.
Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with such foul slander and abuse any opponent of any other party; and now I wish to say seriously to all the daily newspapers, to the Republicans, the Democrat, and Socialist parties, that they cannot, month in month out and year in and year out, make the kind of untruthful, of bitter assault that they have made and not expect that brutal, violent natures, or brutal and violent characters, especially when the brutality is accompanied by a not very strong mind; they cannot expect that such natures will be unaffected by it.
Now, friends, I am not speaking for myself at all, I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap.
I have had a good many experiences in my time and this is one of them. What I care for is my country. I wish I were able to impress upon my people — our people, the duty to feel strongly but to speak the truth of their opponents. I say now, I have never said one word one the stump against any opponent that I cannot defend. I have said nothing that I could not substantiate and nothing that I ought not to have said — nothing that I — nothing that, looking back at, I would not say again.
Now, friends, it ought not to be too much to ask that our opponents -[speaking to some one on the stage]-I am not sick at all. I am all right. I cannot tell you of what infinitesimal importance I regard this incident as compared with the great issues at stake in this campaign, and I ask it not for my sake, not the least in the world, but for the sake of common country, that they make up their minds to speak only the truth, and not use that kind of slander and mendacity which if taken seriously must incite weak and violent natures to crimes of violence. Don’t you make any mistake. Don’t you pity me. I am all right. I am all right and you cannot escape listening to the speech either.
And now, friends, this incident that has just occurred – this effort to assassinate me- emphasizes to a peculiar degree the need of the Progressive movement. Friends, every good citizen ought to do everything in his or her power to prevent the coming of the day when we shall see in this country two recognized creeds fighting one another, when we shall see the creed of the “Havenots” arraigned against the creed of the “Haves.” When that day comes then such incidents as this to-night will be commonplace in our history. When you make poor men – when you permit the conditions to grow such that the poor man as such will be swayed by his sense of injury against the men who try to hold what they improperly have won, when that day comes, the most awful passions will be let loose and it will be an ill day for our country.
Now, friends, what we who are in this movement are endeavoring to do is forestall any such movement for justice now – a movement in which we ask all just men of generous hearts to join with the men who feel in their souls that lift upward which bids them refuse to be satisfied themselves while their countrymen and countrywomen suffer from avoidable misery. Now, friends, what we Progressives are trying to do is to enroll rich or poor, whatever their social or industrial position, to stand together for the most elementary rights of good citizenship, those elementary rights which are the foundation of good citizenship in this great Republic of ours.
(Aides now attempt to persuade Roosevelt to conclude his speech).
My friends are a little more nervous than I am. Don’t you waste any sympathy on me. I have had an A-1 time in life and I am having it now.
I never in my life was in any movement in which I was able to serve with such whole-hearted devotion as in this; in which I was able to feel as I do in this that common weal. I have fought for the good of our common country.
And now, friends, I shall have to cut short much of that speech that I meant to give you, but I want to touch on just two or three points.
In the first place, speaking to you here in Milwaukee, I wish to say that the Progressive party is making its appeals to all our fellow citizens without any regard to their creed or to their birthplace. We do not regard as essential the way in which a man worships his God or as being affected by where he was born. We regard it as a matter of spirit and purpose. In New York, while I was police commissioner, the two men from whom I got the most assistance were Jacob Riis, who was born in Denmark, and Arthur von Briesen, who was born in Germany – both of them as fine examples of the best and highest American citizenship as you could find in any part of this country.
I have just been introduced by one of your own men here – Henry Cochems. His grandfather, his father, and that father’s seven brothers, all served in the United States army, and they entered it four years after they had come to this country from Germany. Two of them left their lives, spent their lives, on the field of battle. I am all right – I am a little sore. Anybody has a right to be sore with a bullet in him. You would find that if I was in battle now I would be leading my men just the same. Just the same way I am going to make this speech.
At one time I promoted five men for gallantry on the field of battle. Afterward in making some inquiries about them I found that two of them were Protestants, two Catholic, and one a Jew. One Protestant came from Germany and one was born in Ireland. I did not promote them because of their religion. It just happened that way. If all five of them had been Jews I would have promoted them, or if all five of them had been Protestants I would have promoted them; or if they had been Catholics. In that regiment I had a man born in Italy who distinguished himself by gallantry; there was another young fellow, a son of Polish parents, and another who came here when he was a child from Bohemia, who likewise distinguished themselves; and friends, I assure you, that I was incapable of considering any question whatever, but the worth of each individual as a fighting man. If he was a good fighting man, then I saw that Uncle Sam got the benefit of it. That is all.
I make the same appeal to our citizenship. I ask in our civic life that we in the same way pay heed only to the man’s quality of citizenship, to repudiate as the worst enemy that we can have whoever tries to get us to discriminate for or against any man because of his creed or birthplace.
Now, friends, in the same way I want out people to stand by one another without regard to differences or class or occupation. I have always stood by labor-unions. I am going to make one omission to-night. I have prepared my speech because Mr. Wilson had seen fit to attack me by showing up his record in comparison with mine. But I am not going to do that to-night. I am going to simply speak of what I myself have done and what I think ought to be done in this country of ours.
It is essential that here should be organizations of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly, to recognize the fact that he must organize that there must be such organization, that the laboring man must organize for his own protection, and that it is the duty of the rest of is to help him and not hinder him in organizing. That is one-half appeal that I make.
Now, the other half is to the labor man himself. My appeal to him is to remember that as he wants justice, so he must do justice. I want every labor man, every labor leader, every organized union man, to take the lead in denouncing disorder and in denouncing the inciting of riot; that in this country we shall proceed under the protection of our laws and with all respect to the laws, I want the labor men to feel in their turn that exactly as justice must be done them so they must do justice. They must bear their duty as citizens, their duty to this great country of ours, and that they must not rest content unless they do that duty to the fullest degree.
I know these doctors, when they get hold of me, will never let me go back, and there are just a few more things that I want to say to you.
And here I have got to make one comparison between Mr. Wilson and myself, simply because he has invited it and I cannot shrink from it. Mr. Wilson has seen fit to attack me, to say that I did not do much against the trusts when I was President. I have got two answers to make to that. In the first place what I did, and then I want to compare what I did when I was President with what Mr. Wilson did not do when he was governor.
When I took the office the antitrust law was practically a dead letter and the interstate commerce law in as poor a condition. I had to revive both laws. I did. I enforced both. It will be easy enough to do now what I did then, but the reason that it is easy now is because I did it when it was hard.
Nobody was doing anything. I found speedily that the interstate commerce law by being made perfect could be made a most useful instrument for helping solve some of our industrial problems. So with the antitrust law. I speedily found out that almost the only positive good achieved by such a successful lawsuit as the Northern Securities suit, for instance, was in establishing the principle that the government was supreme over the big corporation, but by itself that the law did not accomplish any of the things that we ought to have accomplished; and so I began to fight for the amendment of the law along the lines of the interstate commerce law, and now we propose, we Progressives, to establish and interstate commission having the same power over industrial concerns that the Interstate Commerce Commission has over railroads, so that whenever there is in the future a decision rendered in such important matters as the recent suits against the Standard Oil, the Sugar – no, not that – Tobacco – Tobacco Trust – we will have a commission which will see that the decree of the court is really made effective; that it is not made a merely nominal decree.
Our opponents have said that we intend to legalize monopoly. Nonsense. They have legalized monopoly. At this moment the Standard Oil and Tobacco Trust monopolies are legalized; they are being carried on under the decree of the Supreme Court. Our proposal is really to break up monopoly. Our proposal is to lay down certain requirements, and then to require the commerce commission – the industrial commission – to see that the trusts live up to those requirements. Our opponents have spoken as if we were going to let the commission declare what those requirements should be. Not at all. We are going to put the requirements in the law and then see that the commission requires them to obey that law.
And now, friends, as Mr. Wilson has invited the comparison, I only want to say this: Mr. Wilson has said that the States are the proper authorities to deal with the trusts. Well, about eighty percent of the trusts are organized in New Jersey. The Standard Oil, the Tobacco, the Sugar, the Beef, all those trusts are organized in the state of New Jersey and the laws of New Jersey say that their charters can at any time be amended or repealed if they misbehave themselves and give the government ample power to act about those laws, and Mr. Wilson has been governor a year and nine months and he has not opened his lips. The chapter describing what Mr. Wilson has done about trusts in New Jersey would read precisely like a chapter describing snakes in Ireland, which ran: “There are no snakes in Ireland.” Mr. Wilson has done precisely and exactly nothing about the trusts.
I tell you, and I told you at the beginning, I do not say anything on the stump that I do not believe. I do not say anything I do not know. Let any of Mr. Wilson’s friends on Tuesday point out one thing or let Mr. Wilson point out one thing that he has done about the trusts as governor of New Jersey.
And now, friends, there is one thing I want to say especially to you people here in Wisconsin. All that I have said so far is what I would say in any part of the Union. I have a peculiar right to ask that in this great contest you men and women of Wisconsin shall stand with us. You have taken the lead in progressive movements here in Wisconsin. You have taught the rest of us to look to you for inspiration and leadership. Now, friends, you have made that movement here locally. You will being doing a dreadful injustice to yourselves; you will be doing a dreadful injustice to the rest of us throughout the Union, if you fail to stand with us now that we are making this national movement. What I am about to say now I want yo to understand. If I speak of Mr. Wilson I speak with no mind of bitterness. I merely want to discuss the difference of policy between the Progressive and the Democratic party and to ask you to think for yourselves which party you will follow. I will say that, friends, because the Republican party is beaten. Nobody needs to have any idea that anything can be done with the Republican party.
When the Republican party – not the Republican party – when the bosses in control of the Republican party, the Barneses and Penroses, last June stole the nomination and wrecked the Republican party for good and all – I want to point out to you that nominally they stole that nomination from me, but it was really from you. They did not like me, and the longer they live the less cause they will have to like me. But while they don’t like me, they dread you. You are the people that they dread. They dread the people themselves, and those bosses and the big special interests behind them made up their mind that they would rather see the Republican party wrecked than see it come under the control of the people themselves. So I am not dealing with the Republican party. There are only two ways you can vote this year. You can be progressive or reactionary. Whether you vote Republican or Democratic it does not make a difference, you are voting reactionary.
Now, the Democratic party in its platform and through the utterances of Mr. Wilson has distinctly committed itself to the old flintlock, muzzle-loaded doctrine of States’ rights, and I have said distinctly we are for people’s rights. We are for the rights of the people. If they can be obtained best through National Government, then we are for national rights. We are for people’s rights however it is necessary to secure them.
Mr. Wilson has made a long essay against Senator Beveridge’s bill to abolish child labor. It is the same kind of argument that would be made against our bill to prohibit women from working more than eight hours a day in industry. It is the same kind of argument that would have to be made; if it is true, it would apply equally against our proposal to insist that in continuous industries there shall be by law one day’s rest in seven and three-shift eight-hour day. You have labor laws here in Wisconsin, and chamber of commerce will tell you that because of that fact there are industries that will not come to Wisconsin. They prefer to stay outside where they can work children of tender years, where they can work women fourteen and sixteen hours a day, where if it is a continuous industry, they can work men twelve hours a day and seven days a week.
Now, friends, I know that you of Wisconsin would never repeal those laws even if they are at your commercial hurt, just as I am trying to get New York to adopt such laws even though it will be to the New York’s commercial hurt. But if possible I want to arrange it so that we can have justice without commercial hurt, and you can only get that if you have justice enforced nationally. You won’t be burdened in Wisconsin with industries not coming to the State if the same good laws are extended all over the other States. Do you see what I mean? The States all compete in a common market; and it is not justice to the employers of a State that has enforced just and proper laws to have them exposed to the competition of another State where no such laws are enforced. Now, the Democratic platform, and their speakers declare we shall not have such laws. Mr. Wilson has distinctly declared that we shall not have a national law to prohibit the labor of children, to prohibit child labor. He has distinctly declared that we shall not have a law to establish a minimum wage for women.
I ask you to look at our declaration and hear and read our platform about social and industrial justice and then, friends, vote for the Progressive ticket without regard to me, without regard to my personality, for only by voting for that platform can you be true to the cause of progress throughout this Union.
Talk about a rough rider! The speech lasted for 90 minutes.
Doctors felt it would be too risky to remove the bullet and Roosevelt spent the rest of his life with it lodged in his chest.
Roosevelt was at this point seeking a third term after a four-year break from serving two terms, the first of which he served after the assassination of President William McKinley. His shooter, John Schrank, stated when caught: “any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.” Roosevelt, running on the “Bull Moose” or Progressive ticket, subsequently lost his bid for the presidency to Woodrow Wilson.
Isn’t it uncanny how well this speech could apply today, with just a few names and details changed? Imagine what he would have to say about today’s media and political climate!
When discussing gun control, it’s difficult for either side to find common ground. Many people, like me, have no problem with safe, responsible gun ownership, with logical and effective controls that minimize risks of misuse and accidents. But when we discuss such controls, the NRA and the Second Amendment fanatics freak out and say we are trying to take everyone’s guns away. “It’s a slippery slope to tyranny,” they say. If so, I contend that we have jumped off of a cliff toward death and destruction to avoid that slope.
Our children are dying and our response is MORE GUNS! Arm teachers, put guards in every school, concealed carry all over the place. MY RIGHT to bear arms trumps your right to life. If a few crazies slip through and shoot up a school, that’s the price of freedom.
No, I don’t accept that. Freedom is watching a movie in peace, sending your kids to school without fear, buying a pizza without getting shot, not worrying about someone “going postal” at work. We can’t end all violence, but the answer is most certainly not BUY MORE GUNS.
In the video, Annabel Park, founder of The Coffee Party, tries to talk about gun regulation reform with a gentleman at the first NRA press conference after the Newtown school shooting. The man is against gun control, because making crack and cocaine illegal hasn’t stopped people from using drugs. He later concedes that he is okay with waiting periods and background checks. Hooray! But when asked if he would like to see the “gunshow loophole” closed, he says “NO” He doesn’t really follow up with a good reason, other than making guns illegal will do nothing to curb gun ownership and he is a believer in “free commerce.” Miss Park then asks if, since making crack and heroin illegal hasn’t stopped drug use, should they be made legal in the name of “free commerce.” The man says, “NO” and chuckles as if she is the irrational one. She wrote a great article about her experience at the press conference, titled “The Zombification of America,” that was featured on HuffPo. In it she says:
This is my fear about America in a nutshell: Are we feeling so alienated from one another that we see the other as zombie-like and worthless? That is, not deserving of compassion, a voice in the political process, or even life? And, is this alienation creeping into our legislative process? Everything from gun control to the budget, immigration policies and Stand Your Ground laws?
And if that is the case, what are ultimate consequences and what are the remedies?
I do accept the point of my pro-gun friends and perhaps the creators of The Walking Dead that to some extent that civilization (law and order) is more fragile than we’d like to believe it is and there are some truly awful and destructive people out there. I can readily imagine needing to defend myself from chaotic and violent forces in our society.
The problem is that the belief that civilization is breaking down can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The less you trust and value civilization and the inherent worth of human beings, the more willing you will be to live outside it and see the people inside as weak, parasitic and worthless. This kind of alienation from our society just is destabilizing.
In a recent discussion about gun control, I asked what regulations we could all agree on, to have some common ground to start from. My question went unanswered. The reason why this question usually leads nowhere is because if they allow that a single regulation makes common sense, they cannot logically proceed with their assertion that the gun show loophole should remain in place.
It makes SENSE to do background checks to weed out criminals and the mentally unstable. It makes SENSE to have a short waiting period to possibly cut down on rash violent events, such as when a woman purchased her weapon legally at a gun shop, walked out, and shot herself dead in the store parking lot on New Years Day. It makes SENSE to require gun owners to keep their weapons SECURE to prevent horrific tragedies. And I think it makes SENSE to modify STAND YOUR GROUND laws to clarify that it doesn’t mean you can provoke an altercation, use a gun in a fistfight, and kill an unarmed person with impunity.
A tip when discussing this subject with a pro-gun/zero restrictions person: do not say “assault weapons.” This sends them off on a tangent about how there is no such thing as an assault rifle and every gun is technically an assault weapon. SO, just call it a semiautomatic rifle or by its name to avoid that tedious pitfall. The other day I saw this image on Facebook, posted by several of my friends:
AR-15s and its cousins are capable of firing a hundred rounds quickly without reloading. There are no restrictions on owning this weapon after the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire. The fact is, there isn’t much difference in the above weapons. It is quite easy to convert an AR-15 to fully automatic, though it’s illegal to do so. The expired federal assault weapons ban was easily and regularly sidestepped. There is no limit on the size of the magazine. There is no limit to ammunition that can be purchased and absolutely no monitoring of unusually large weapon and ammo purchases. James Holmes, who killed dozens in the Aurora, Colorado theater shootings, purchased a massive amount of ammunition and tactical gear online without raising a single eyebrow.
The real question we should be asking here is: What is the difference between an “assault rifle” and THIS:
A very well-trained infantryman could fire, at BEST, five rounds per minute from this weapon. A semi-automatic weapon with high-capacity magazine can fire about 60 shots per minute, or as quickly as you can pull a trigger. I’ve heard some say 400 per minute for fully-auto, but I don’t know about that. That’s a pretty big difference. Old Brown Bess above was the type of weapon used when our founding fathers drafted the Constitution. There’s a WORLD of difference between these two weapons.
So, the argument is that one needs guns for personal protection. More importantly, there is some kind of major event on the horizon. Maybe there will be a terrible plague that wipes out most of the population, and the ones that are left want YOUR shit! There may eventually be a zombie apocalypse or Obama may decide to finally go full dictator on us and we will need to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government. The seeds of this are already planted with the Patriot Act, warrantless wiretapping, and drones flying around over American soil, spying on its own people. There are chemtrail clouds crisscrossing the sky, raining mind-control down upon us.
The Second Amendment reads:
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.
If one delves into the history and the context of the second amendment, it becomes clear that this amendment doesn’t grant unfettered rights to guns. Historically, there has been all KINDS of regulation going on, with many of the population (BLACK PEOPLE) exempted from this “right.” The founding fathers had very strict gun regulations. In addition to the aforementioned exclusion of black people, slave or free, white men who refused to swear their support for the revolution couldn’t own a gun. Men who were allowed to bear arms were REQUIRED to own a weapon and regularly report for militia duty. Hello, individual mandate! What would Antonin Scalia have to say about this? A record of each man’s guns were also recorded by the government! How would the NRA score George Washington? FAILING.
After the Civil War, freedmen who had fought for the North brought their weapons home to the south. Posses quickly rounded up their weapons as southern states instituted “Black Codes”- laws against black people owning firearms. Predictably, the modern gun control movement began in the late 60’s when the Black Panthers took to carrying around loaded weapons in public. This led California Republicans, most notably Ronald Reagan, to support tough restrictions on firearms. In California he signed Mulford Act in 1967, “prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one’s person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street.” Eventually, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968, which required federal licensing for dealers, regulated interstate commerce of firearms, and prohibited sales to minors, criminals, and the mentally ill. Ronald Reagan was also a supporter of the Brady Bill, enacted after his attempted assassination and named for James Brady, who took one of the bullets meant for Reagan in the head and was nearly killed. This is what Reagan had to say about it in an Op-ed for the New York Times:
This nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before Congress now — the Brady bill — had been law back in 1981.
Named for Jim Brady, this legislation would establish a national seven-day waiting period before a handgun purchaser could take delivery. It would allow local law enforcement officials to do background checks for criminal records or known histories of mental disturbances. Those with such records would be prohibited from buying the handguns.
While there has been a Federal law on the books for more than 20 years that prohibits the sale of firearms to felons, fugitives, drug addicts and the mentally ill, it has no enforcement mechanism and basically works on the honor system, with the purchaser filling out a statement that the gun dealer sticks in a drawer.
The Brady bill would require the handgun dealer to provide a copy of the prospective purchaser’s sworn statement to local law enforcement authorities so that background checks could be made. Based upon the evidence in states that already have handgun purchase waiting periods, this bill — on a nationwide scale — can’t help but stop thousands of illegal handgun purchases.
And, since many handguns are acquired in the heat of passion (to settle a quarrel, for example) or at times of depression brought on by potential suicide, the Brady bill would provide a cooling-off period that would certainly have the effect of reducing the number of handgun deaths.
Critics claim that “waiting period” legislation in the states that have it doesn’t work, that criminals just go to nearby states that lack such laws to buy their weapons. True enough, and all the more reason to have a Federal law that fills the gaps. While the Brady bill would not apply to states that already have waiting periods of at least seven days or that already require background checks, it would automatically cover the states that don’t. The effect would be a uniform standard across the country.
WHAT THE HELL? Can it be true? How would the NRA, who appointed Reagan an Honorary Life Member, score the former president today? FAILING! While we’re at it, how would the NRA score itself if it were rating the NRA of the past? FAILING! Karl T. Frederick, president of the NRA, helped draft The Uniform Firearms Act of 1930, a state-level act which required permits for carrying firearms, allowed police to confiscate weapons if proper documentation was not provided, prohibited sales to minors, habitual drunkards, and other undesirables, required licensed dealers to record each sale and report it to the government, and wait 48 hours before completing the sale. This gave rise to the National Firearms Act of 1934, which regulated sawed off shotguns and machine guns. Frederick gave testimony about the legislation and had this to say:
“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one…. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”
OH, MY GOD. He sounds like Hitler. But actually, Frederick was a fierce advocate for gun rights. Again, some common sense regulation, something the current incarnation of the NRA opposes, was not always anathema to the “gun crowd.” Especially when it came to undesirables having them. Often, the NRA supported these laws because it tended to PROTECT the right to bear arms because it sought to keep them out of the hands of those who would give guns and responsible gun owners a bad name.
There has to be a line somewhere. If semi-automatic rifles are okay, why not submachine guns? IF, god forbid, a tyrannical government comes a-knockin, what use will a semi-automatic rifle be? If Special Forces dropped out of the sky into your heavily-armed compound, would you be able to successfully repel them with your trifling semi-automatics and shotguns? Landmines, nerve gas, and perhaps some missile and grenade launchers would greatly level the playing field. But really, you need a nuke to be totally prepared for tyranny.
If we accept that the Second Amendment grants us all the right to bear arms without prejudice, then every government law regarding firearms ever passed is unconstitutional and we might as well start stocking up on M-16s. If we accept that there are some reasonable restrictions that can be imposed, then we have to debate what they are. And we can’t cry SECOND AMENDMENT every time a law is proposed, because that in and of itself is no argument if we have already agreed that some regulation is needed. There has to be REASON and deliberation involved.
Gun Guy says, “the Swiss government gives every citizen a gun and there is almost no gun violence there because guns don’t kill people!” Okay, this kinda portrays us as a bloodthirsty serial killer culture, doesn’t it? But also, it’s a misleading statement about Switzerland, as I wrote this summer. 80 PERCENT of gun deaths in 23 developed nations occurred in the United States. There have been over thirty mass shootings in the US since Columbine. Immediately after most of these shootings, applications for purchasing firearms and sales of semiautomatic assault rifles skyrocket.
The most popular gun purchased after the Sandy Hook Massacre? The Bushmaster .223, which was used by several mass murderers: John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo, the DC snipers used it to kill 10 people. James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter, killed 12 and wounded 58 with it. Jacob Tyler Roberts, mall shooter, killed 2 and himself with a Bushmaster. Last, but not least, Adam Lanza, murderer of 20 children and seven adults, used one to fire multiple bullets into each tiny body. This was a powerful advertisement for the effectiveness of a Bushmaster in the hands of a human being. Because, of course, a Bushmaster just lying there on the table is nothing more than a paperweight.
Another point from Gun Guy: “They should outlaw cars because cars kill more people than guns! I mean, we regulate the crap out of cars, license drivers, ticket people for breaking traffic laws, require them to be insured, prohibit them from drinking and driving, make people register them and pay taxes on them-and we STILL have vehicular deaths EVERY DAY!” It’s true, you just can’t legislate away bad stuff happening. Seat belts save lives, but you have to CHOOSE to wear it. There are speed limits, but we’ve all broken that law. So should we go back to the days when there were no seat belts and you hold a cold one between your legs as you shifted gears? I don’t know…I’ll let you imagine the consequences.
Same with forks, because it feeds my mouth, makes me fat, and gives me diabetes. Guns and forks, menaces to society. The discussion over gun control always leads to this highly sophisticated conclusion. Every. Single. Time. There is no “middle ground.” There is no place upon which we can begin to agree. I say “gun regulation,” you say “from my cold, dead hands.”
But I don’t want to even think about cold, dead hands. I just want to figure out how to minimize gun violence and accidental deaths. Let’s look at Switzerland, let’s look at Canada, let’s think about Australia, ALL countries that have armed citizenry, but have a tiny FRACTION of the gun violence that we have. Let’s talk about access to mental health care and help for parents trying to care for mentally ill children. Let’s discuss violent cultural messages and video games and TV shows and music. Let’s talk about what makes America unique among all other developed countries in gun-related homicides, suicides, and accidents. We have to start somewhere.