A Risky Subject

Gun control.  And all of the good and ridiculous conversations that are currently going on in this country.  I’ve seen both of the following images on Facebook recently, and both are completely ridiculous to me.

When your children and mine are likely to be specific targets of gun violence, or violence of any kind, then, yes, they should also have 11 armed guards at their school. Until they are (and I hope they never ever are), that argument is null and void.

The same goes for this image.  The President of the United States, Vice-President, and numerous others are likely to be specific targets of gun violence, terrorist attacks, and assassination attempts.  So, yes, they have many armed guards and teams solely dedicated to their safety.  Are you?  If not, stop using that as your argument.

We have a serious problem with mental illness in this country and there is just not enough help for those who suffer from those diseases, or support for their family members.  The system needs an overhaul.  I will not argue that point.

The new regulations that President Obama proposed today pretty much make perfect sense to me.  We keep a list of people who buy Sudafed, but we don’t think it’s a good idea to keep a gun registry????

No one is proposing taking away guns from law abiding citizens.  If you have money and a clean background check, you can get a gun.  Your 2nd Amendment rights are not being violated.  You can still protect yourself and your family.  Stop whining.

Also, check out what Jon Stewart has to say on the subject.

*If you want to comment and are having trouble, I’m really sorry.  I’ve checked my WordPress settings and you should not have to log in, but it appears it’s still asking for that info.  I’m contacting WordPress support to figure it out.*


21 thoughts on “A Risky Subject

  1. No one reasonable (this includes the NRA) begrudges President Obama or his children the Secret Service protection that they receive or even the private security at the school that his children attend. What rubs some people the wrong way is when politicians who enjoy that curtain of security basically dismiss the idea that any of us common folk could possibly need a gun (whether personally or in defense of their children at home or at school). President Obama’s children are, of course, high value targets and are, as you point out, subject to some particular types of threats that the majority of the public is not subject to.

    That said, there is another type of threat out there that has shown itself in places least expected. Places where people inevitably say “We never thought it could happen here”. That the first type of threat exists and warrants the protection that those subject to it are provided does not discount in any way the very real existence of the latter type of threat. I mean, that’s why we are having this conversation, if I’m not mistaken. The inescapable reality is that yes, all of these massacres do have something in common; and it’s not the type of weapon used. It is that upon commencement, pretty much the first action taken is to grab a phone and call for someone with a gun…

    …and wait.

    I can’t begin to imagine the feelings of helplessness that the victims at Sandy Hook must have experienced . Virginia Tech. Fort Hood. Columbine. Those 5-10 minutes probably felt like an eternity, hearing the crack of the rifle while hiding in closets or under their desks.

    Yesterday, I was watching a video feed of the New York State Assembly debating the passage of an “improved” assault weapons ban. New York has had a ban that mirrored the federal ban that was in place from 1994-2004 ever since the federal ban expired, very similar to the one that many are calling to be re-enacted. An assembly member questioning a sponsor of the bill asked an interesting question; basically, he pointed out that last year, there were 5 homicides committed in the state with rifles. Rifle doesn’t automatically imply “assault weapon”, the term includes bolt-action hunting rifles and the like…so a maximum of 5 homicides were committed with AWs. The overwhelming majority were committed with handguns, and if the assembly was truly concerned with saving lives, they’d be having a discussion about banning handguns as well. He then noted that he was sure that’s coming, eventually. Make no mistake, what was just passed in New York does infringe on the rights of the people and their ability to defend themselves, and represents a de facto ban on countless firearms in common use for defensive purposes.

    I could point out that a registry or an AWB would not have stopped Sandy Hook (Connecticut, after all, has an AWB consistent with the one proposed federally). I could point out more than one example in the United States of America in the past two decades where guns were taken from citizens by the government, both with the assistance of a registry and without. I could point out the very real differences in the utility of a “high capacity magazine” in the two very different situations of planned, offensive use in a sterile area and in that of unplanned, lawful self-defense by someone under attack in their home or elsewhere, possibly by multiple armed assailants. I could point out multiple active shooter scenarios accomplished without the use of “high capacity magazines”, or massacres committed without firearms at all. I could point out several self-defense incidents where attackers under the influence of narcotics absorbed 15-20 rounds from pistols or AR-15s and were not killed, and were able to continue to fight. I could point out the ineffectiveness of the Clinton AWB in doing anything. I could point out the many times that those in favor of gun control (and in a position to do something about it) have identified the gradual nature of their intended ends (make no mistake, that end is an America that resembles the United Kingdom). And I could point out that, much like New York, should President Obama successfully achieve all of his stated goals; were another Sandy Hook to occur, we’ll be having this conversation about 7 round magazines and other further restrictions.

    Going into detail on all of those issues could probably comprise a book, however, so I’ll refrain. And I haven’t yet even mentioned the Second Amendment.

    Anyone who knows me at all surely knows what side of the gun control debate I come down on. I tend to be outspoken about the issue, however I do so in an attempt to combat misconceptions perpetuated by many sources and promote awareness. I try to educate those that I can. Are their people who are “whining”? Probably. But I consider them to be in the minority. This is a serious issue that warrants discussion.

    • I don’t think that this issue is one that can be solved overnight, or with an assault weapon ban (though I’m in favor of it), because you are right, most gun violence involves a handgun. But there are some really good things in the proposal, including increased access to mental health counselors, more security at schools (although I freely admit the proposed 1000 additional law enforcement officers gets spread pretty thin among 50 states), a ban on armor piercing bullets, and gun violence research. There does need to be more discussion on both sides to find answers that really work. I truly am not in favor of removing guns from people who are law abiding citizens, and by no means do I think that I have the answers, but we have to start somewhere and the proposal that came out yesterday is a good place to start.

      I didn’t mention that law that Kennesaw, Georgia has requiring the head of every household to own a gun with ammunition, but their crime rate is very low with very little gun violence. Maybe school principals should be required to have a concealed weapons licence?

      Certainly having an opinion on this matter isn’t whining, like you said, this issue warrants discussion. I’m just tired of the inflammatory remarks that are put out by special interest groups that do nothing more than get people riled up, don’t actually solve anything, and are all over the media. Those people whine. I respect those who have an educated opinion and who can educate me. So thank you for posting, Brian.

  2. The big problem is that this President is not allowing Congress to make these decisions. He is going around the constitution with executive orders and threatens to do that going forward if Congress doesn’t do what he wants. That upsets the balance of power that the founding fathers originally built into the constitution. He is trying to take away your ability to buy high powered rifles and has already made attempts to take away clips of more than 10 ( a traditional 9mil hand gun has around 15… such as Ivan’s glock).

    Additionally, you need to understand that this is more like a slipperly slope. it is the “first step” with the eventual goal being to remove weapons. The founding fathers wanted us to be able to have guns to protect ourselves not from mental patients but from a tyranical government (which this government is quickly becoming). That is how they freed themselves from Britain. The first thing Hitler did when taking power was to remove weapons from people. The goal is eventually to do that. It is like the frog boiling in a pot of water (the heat with be turned up slowly). Trust me it will happen. Just like I believe in the future, they are going to try to push vaccinations (including the flu vaccine on everyone)… I have already heard talks about this. It is TOO much government influence in our lives. The states need to be able to make decisions, the federal government should not become an overpowering force like it has become. The worst is that these things are bypassing our PEOPLE ELECTED officials in Congress. The President is acting unilaterally to make these decisions. That is a serious problem and against the Constitution.

    Just as a side note… Jon Stewart is an idiot.. seriously!

    • Here is the list of Executive Orders (http://foxnewsinsider.com/2013/01/16/read-full-list-of-23-gun-violence-reduction-executive-actions/). All of these things are within his power as President to do. There are no new laws, only him giving instructions to government agencies which are under his employ.

      Many of his recommendations are mentioned in the article below. And they are only recommendations, similar to ones that you and I can make to Congress. So if your argument is that he is exceeding his power and bypassing Congress, that’s simply not true. He is leaving the lawmaking to the legislature. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/01/16/obama-urges-new-restrictions-on-assault-weapons-magazines-as-part-gun-control/

      Jon Stewart doesn’t need me to defend him, but you calling him an idiot doesn’t add validity to your argument.

      Also, I’m acutely aware of what’s going on in healthcare right now, especially as relates to vaccines, but that is a subject for another post, and not relevant to this particular discussion.

      • I wasn’t trying to add credence to my argument by calling Jon Stewart an idiot. However, you chose to utilize him to “support” your argument. In my opinion, it would have been practically equivalent to you using “Barney” (and I mean the purple dinosaur) to support you point. Tacking Jon Stewart’s opinion on to your argument doesn’t give it any more support, because he is a “self-proclaimed idiot”.

        The only reason I brought up vaccines is because all of this that has been going on deals with the fundamental issue of how much government we want in our lives. You do not believe the government should force us to give vaccines to our children, or to adults even. However, it is perfectly ok, for a government to force us to do other things? I am not saying vaccines and guns have anything to do with each other, other than the fact that they speak to the amount of government intervention we want in our lives.

        If the government is trying to save the lives of children via getting rid of guns (and that is their logic to some extent), than what is to say they won’t also try to “save” the lives of children by requiring them all to be vaccinated. Then what do you do?

  3. Also, btw… an AWB will not really solve anything. Criminals do not obey laws. You should have seen the documentary that was done where they went into jails and asked if the current criminals in there would abide by the law (an AWB). They flat out said they would not. They basically said “I will have whatever gun I want”. Criminals don’t obey laws… flat out. So an AWB is ridiculous. I do not agree with one at all… and as I mentioned (and has been proven time and time again in government) it is a very slippery slope.

  4. One other thing though….my mom remembers when all the government wanted to do was make the abortion pill legal…that was it “supposedly”. Now look what is happening…Christian companies are being forced against beliefs to pay for the pill for their employees. The government never says what their eventual goal is but they do it all in tiny baby steps…continuing to infringe upon our rights..day by day. In Tennessee some counties have made it a requirement for nurses to be fully vaccinated…or they lose their jobs. It isn’t the government’s job. We are becoming a nanny state where the government is in every aspect if our lives.

  5. It wasn’t until 2006 that the Supreme Court recognized the Second Amendment gave a right to own a firearm for self defense (District of Columbia v. Heller). Known as a “strict constructionist” or one who reads the Constitution very literally, Justice Scalia had to do some linguistic gymnastics to get there. The same justice who does not believe things such as “substantive” due process exists because it is not expressly written in the 5th or 14th amendment – which protects your right to raise your family as you please, the right to marriage, the right to procreate – somehow found that the following amendment protects a persons right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, such as defense within the home.

    “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.”

    Most people, including those above, believe that the 2nd Amendment is to protect you from a tyrannical government. However, as was stated in Heller, in order to protect yourself from a 21st century government you will need at least a few dozen F16s, tanks, drones, possibly nuclear weapons, and satellite surveillance and imaging capabilities. Do you think the people should have a right to bear these? Even lawful people? Even with all of the above you will likely be outmatched by even a 3rd world military. Back to Heller, even my NRA member law students thought that Scalia’s opinion was a bunch of crap – especially, considering Scalia’s arguments in every other case and that DC isn’t even a state! (see dissent)

    Regardless, I’m fine with people having hand guns, I think it is a stretch to find it in the 2nd amendment (especially if you are some form of strict constructionist or originialist as many 2nd amendment people claim to be). Furthermore, you don’t even appreciate that the President has continually used the phase “2nd amendment right.” Most “liberals” don’t even believe that right exists. (I’m sure it’s just lip service though)

    And a word on “infringement”….and “slippery slope”…NO RIGHT IS ABSOLUTE. The First Amendment (the one that comes before the 2nd) EXPRESSLY protects the Free Exercise of Religion. Yet, many religions in America cannot practice their beliefs to the full extent (or freely exercise their religion) – i.e. smoke peyote or the more extreme child sacrifice. Also the First Amendment EXPRESSLY states that “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” What a great constitutional right that everyone can agree on and it allows us to have this discussion on the internet. But remember, NO RIGHT IS ABSOLUTE. For example, it is unlawful to scream “FIRE” in a crowded movie theater. It is also lawful for a city to require you to get a permit before you stage a protest or a parade. “But wait!!! We have a first amendment! This is infringement! Ah government sucks!”
    No right is absolute – especially in a society were there is more than ONE person.
    And really, slippery slope…we regulate the speed cars can go on the road. That doesn’t mean one day we won’t be able to drive cars (which are also very dangerous I might add). Regulation is just that – regulation – not PROHIBITION.

    Finally, the 2nd amendment, how it reads to a strict constructionist, has not been infringed. EVERY state that WANTS a militia can have a militia. Currently, at least 18 states have them (Wikipedia). And if the 2nd amendment does provide you with a right to have a gun for self-defense – not against the gov’t – but against other people (which is what Scalia states in Heller) than the 2nd does EXPRESSLY provide that that right can be “WELL REGULATED.”

    And Jon Stewart is a self-proclaimed idiot, so no argument there, but even a self proclaimed idiot can realize some of extreme arguments (on both sides) that make even an idiot look intelligent.

  6. Regarding the theoretical superiority of force of a “modern” government with respect to the general public, I would submit that over the past five decades, we have multiple examples of inferior forces having various degrees of success in frustrating the militaries of superpowers. Your argument about fighter jets and nukes is a common one, as if the fact that a disparity in force exists means that the people shouldn’t even bother thinking that they’d have a chance. They might as well just hang it up and take whatever comes. It would be difficult to construct a historically sound argument in which the founders would approve of a government having an exclusive monopoly on force. I would point out one area in which a different disparity exists, and it’s not in favor of the government. There are various estimates on the number of armed Americans, whatever number you pick it is in the neighborhood of two orders of magnitude greater than that of the federal military. A theoretical conflict between these two groups would not be on an 18th century battlefield with European style formations and the civilians wearing red coats. In the same context as the conflicts that I alluded to above, these advantages in asymmetrical warfare can act in favor of the “inferior” force.

    It’s funny how times change. The common refrain of those in government (and elsewhere) today who seek to impose firearms restrictions is that the Second Amendment is about hunting and sportsmen. In the 1930s, it was the stated position of the government and the finding of the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment did not protect weapons that were not suitable for use in connection with military or militia duty. US v Miller ironically upheld the National Firearms Act by ruling that a short barrel shotgun was not suitable as such (it is in 2013 and it was in 1934 when NFA was passed, see World War I). It’s worth noting that the defendants did not appear, and Miller wasn’t even alive when the decision was rendered.

    As far as Heller and Scalia and the meaning of the Second Amendment, I would point out that by a simple black and white reading of the text, the right to a militia is not protected or enumerated by the Second Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms is. That a militia is necessary to the security of a free state is listed as *a* reason for that right to exist. It is painfully clear by reading the contemporary statements of those involved in the formation of this country, and the construction of our founding documents that those men believed that all people retain a natural right of self defense, against governments and individuals. It would exist even in the absence of the Second Amendment. A common argument against individual ownership is that “the founders never could have imagined the technology we have today”. While I didn’t notice you making that argument, I’ll just go ahead and mention that that notion is historically laughable and ignorant. And I would again point out as I did before that the founders would *never* be in favor of the government having a monopoly of force, technology be what it may. Ignorance, which I believe must be willful, of this reality is one of the biggest problems with the Heller dissent.

    As you should well know, words have meanings. The meaning of the word “regulated” in the year 2013 is different than it was in the year 1789. A fair, historically accurate reading of “well-regulated” in the context of the 2A would be more along the lines of well trained or in good order. (Federalist 29, for starters).
    Regarding the “fire in a crowded theater” argument, it is true that such behavior, inciting a panic in an unjustified manner, is unacceptable conduct and our society punishes that. I would point out that the right to free speech exists nonetheless and those who abuse it are held accountable for their actions. To carry that concept to firearms, simple possession of, for instance, an AR-15 or a 30 round magazine would not be an abuse of anything; improper use of that firearm would be.

    I do live in the real world, and I’m well aware that there have been restrictions imposed by the government for a long time. Such is the world we live in and that’s not going to change. I’m not going to sit here and lobby for the repeal of the NFA, even though I think it is absurd. My previous post was based in a completely different perspective; the arbitrary nature, impracticality and ineffectiveness of proposed regulations in achieving their stated goals of saving lives. I’ve started to scratch the surface of the constitutional argument simply as a matter of response. You are correct in acknowledging that President Obama does in fact give lip service to a “Second Amendment right”, but the fact of the matter is that the slippery slope exists. Generally speaking those who would seek to restrict firearms ownership are intelligent enough that they have to operate within the bounds of mainstream opinion. Occasionally they let their true feelings show through, and statements like this by those currently in power could probably fill a page or two without breaking a sweat. Feinstein in the 90s describing how she’d tell Mr. and Mrs. America to “turn them all in” if she had the votes for it is but a single example of this. Statements by lobbying groups such as VPC, MAIG, Brady outlining the necessity for a gradual progression in turning America from what it is now into current day England could fill a book.

    Let me lay out a theoretical scenario for you. It’s 2015, the Republicans in the House conceded to everything that President Obama asked for in 2013 and every single one of Obama’s proposals is put into place. Another elementary school is shot up, with double digit fatalities. The murderer used firearms totally compliant with federal law, 10 round magazines, etc (make no mistake, a similar level of casualties could be achieved given the constraints of what I’m describing). Can you honestly sit there and tell me that you believe that we wouldn’t be having this discussion again, and that President Obama wouldn’t be saying that “something must be done”, and that additional restrictions must be imposed? Do you really think that those seeking to impose restrictions on gun ownership will think that their mission has been accomplished with the imposition of a Federal AWB? So much of what is being proposed now has absolutely nothing to do with Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech, or Fort Hood, or Columbine. It is simply an opportunity that is being taken advantage of to push the agenda further in the desired direction. And the next time something happens, we’ll be having a discussion about the elimination of grandfathering and 7 round magazine capacity limits.

    Kind of like just happened this week in New York.

  7. So is the right for self-defense against the government or private persons? The Bill of Rights was written for protection of private persons from state action so I would argue for protection from the state if anything. If that’s so, Heller had a gun legally in DC, it just had to be disassembled. I would assume that you would hear about the federal gov’t going tyrannical in time for you to assemble your gun. Self-defense sure – it’s been recognized throughout the common law. But since when is a gun the only way to defend yourself. It’s a leap to say that because you have the right to defend yourself, you have the right to have a handgun in your home. That is defending yourself from a particular theoretical situation.

    I like the underdog, guerrilla warfare, Jack Bauer argument but shouldn’t we remember that our military is made up of our friends and family members. Why are they going to try and kill us? Plus, many states have legal militias that actually do have some of the necessary equipment. Thankfully we are a part of the United Nations 🙂 and I believe our allies would step in if our hypothetical tyrannical government decided to start killing us….but why are they going to kill us again? Doesn’t the liberal government need us to continue to work so that they can tax us at exorbitant rates and hand the money to the poor? Where will they get this money if they eliminate us?

    If you are going to quote extreme examples of anti-gun people than I’m sure I could find thousands of people that state they believe they should be able to carry rocket-launchers with a concealed weapons permit. The truth is that most people are okay with guns existing in people’s hands. They just think that certain regulations – just like in cars whether or not you have used them unlawfully – have regulations (i.e. registration, limits on speed, seat belts, air bags). And because gun rights are now a constitutional right, the government will have to show that every regulation it passes uses the least restrictive means to meet a compelling government interest. The slippery slope stops with the three branches of government. If all three branches go too far, we elect a new president every four years. Just put some term limits on Congressmen and we’ll be set.

    But in all honesty, it’s hard to say that these regulations haven’t or won’t work because school shootings have happened in the past. How long has it been since ATF had a full-time director? Apparently they have the same amount of staff members that they had in the 70s and they only get around to checking gun dealers once every 17 years. Congress has made ATF so powerless in the past that it’s ridiculous to attack their ineffectiveness. (please tell me that the idiot John Stewart is wrong – http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-january-16-2013/there-goes-the-boom – sorry it’s where I get my news because FOX and CNN are too funny for me to take seriously) It’s not even illegal to sell a gun to a drunk guy…but don’t let him get in the car…really?

    If the regulations pass we will ever really know whether or not they are effective to some degree? The best measure of effectiveness in this context would be “non-events;” which is immeasurable – or zero (but the point being you can’t tell how many shootings didn’t happen because they never occurred). Sure similar casualties can be made with greater restrictions but the point is to make it harder to occur. It’s an odds game. Most people believe we will see another school shooting (that’s scary) but for now, this is the easiest way to try and control the damage. Does it really make it harder for you? Harder to the point that you practically don’t have a gun anymore?

    If the theoretical situation happens, then maybe the solution is not gun control. But what is the solution? Many reasonable gun owners, including yourself, say that they are for reasonable regulations but then argue the slipperly slope – so, in other words, they are not for reasonable regulations. What are reasonable regulations in your mind? And if it’s reasonable, would you let them pass?

    • I feel like the problem in all this thinking is the belief that for some reason, any gun control measures are going to prevent gun related crimes. Yes, MAYBE some criminals legally acquire their weapons. However, criminals are going to obtain guns no matter what, whether it is an AR-15 or a handgun. They will have guns, and they will have the guns they want. Criminals don’t obey laws (set by Congress or otherwise). That is the definition. So, sure, we can say that we need to regulate them. Fine, but the criminals who want them… will still have them. They will find a way because they don’t care. There is this underlying belief that some how this is going to “help” crime, and “prevent” school shootings. I honestly don’t believe that will happen. People who want to kill other people, will find a way. I truly believe the only way to prevent shootings is to arm the teachers in the schools. There have been a few news stories (although they don’t get widely spread due to a mostly liberal new media), where a shooter has come in to a public place, but has been stopped by a citizen with a gun (I can’t remember the story, but there was one recently). I believe in “original intent” of the constitution, and I believe it was to defend ourselves from others and from the government. If in 20 years, guns are obsolete, and everyone is using rocket launchers to blow up schools, then ya, we should be able to have rocket launchers as our form of “arms”.

      Also, as a side note, you mentioned “friends and family”, and “why would they want to kill you?”. There have been experiments performed years ago by Milgram (and I will admit they were extreme) where they tested how people would obey someone of authority (these tests were basically trying to determine if the soldiers in the German army could be blamed for their actions). The tests were to determine if the participant would go against his or her conscience in hurting someone else, if an authority figure told him or her to do it. The majority of the people in the experiment actually carried out the action (although it caused them great pain and stress to do so… they still did it). This result shocked the majority of psychologists (since most only assumed a small percentage would comply). I don’t believe that it is impossible to say that people, even friends and family, could turn against people they know.

      You also mention, why would a government want to “kill its own people”. The people that “fund it”. Explain Nazi Germany then. Why would Hitler want to kill so many people? The people who funded the country?… because he was deranged (to say the least). Are we too proud a nation to believe we could not suffer a similar fate?

  8. Well I’m sorry that your argument comes down to Hitler. I choose not to live my life in the fear that a horrible man like him will not assume power in this country. Sure, it’s possible. Anything’s possible. Do you walk around with a helmet all the time because you might slip and fall? This is more likely to occur than a Hitler again; so wear a helmet. We could go on about possibilities forever, they are innumerable. But we are talking about people shooting children in schools. This is an ACTUAL and REAL problem that EXISTS in OUR country TODAY. Not a hypothetical Hitler. You cannot protect yourself from every risk. But if you are going to protect yourself from a risk – it should be one that is more likely than not to occur. The reason Hitler is used as an example all the time is because he was an outlier…I don’t need to explain Nazi Germany. It is an extreme possibility and fear of it would prevent anything from getting done while real children are killed by real people.

    The question is what can reasonably be done to LOWER the risk. Not eliminate it. No risk can be eliminated in the absolute sense. Many of the school shootings occurred with lawfully obtained guns. There’s two separate issues: (1) how to reduce the risk of horrific incidents occurring with guns (which I agree that the solution is probably mental health but science hasn’t progressed far enough to figure this out) and (2) when incidents do occur, how to reduce the harm. It’s not illogical to think that banning assault weapons and clip sizes COULD help issue two. Maybe it’s not the best way or the easiest way. But it’s A solution that we can have for now that could help. (non extreme example: seat belts sometimes kill people and maybe in a few years we’ll have a better option but in most cases, it reduced the risk of injuries in automobile accidents – that’s why your required to wear one today).

    Arming teachers might be an option but again that is not an absolute fix. With that option you also have to consider accidental shootings. Also, once you arm teachers you put every child within 20 feet of a gun at all times. Most high school students could beat up their teacher if they wanted to. So you also have to consider that this option just made it easier for guns to be obtained by children under 18, illegally. Again, it may be a reasonable option, but you have to consider that it has its own consequences as well. Either way, this would take time and money to institute. What can we do now? What we can do to reduce the harm?

    Because the argument keeps coming up, I think you should Google (or Bing if Google is too liberal) “slippery slope” argument. Almost much every source will tell you that it is a weak argument, if not a logical fallacy, because it ignores that there can be middle ground. This is not an easy question to answer. But we get no closer to a solution when everyone just talks about extremes or the infinite possibilities that could occur.

    • I don’t believe the possibility of another Hitler is so “far out there”. You may believe that, I don’t. The way this country is going, with the constant moral decay, I think another Hitler is not as “rare” as you may think. But that comes down to personal opinion.

      I am not sure where you got the statistic saying that more “crimes” are committed with a legally purchased firearm, but I am having a hard time finding anything that supports that. Actually, when I research it, I am getting quite the opposite answer (that the majority of crimes are performed with an illegal fire arm). But for arguments sake, lets just say that more legal guns are used. Do you really think that a criminal cares if they break the law to acquire a gun to use in a crime? The only people who care, are the people who would want to legally obtain one to defend themselves. Although this is old… this is from the DOJ. “In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source.” I would have a hard time believing this had changed.

      The statistics are out there though that countries or states with more control tend to have more gun related violent crimes than those without gun control laws. So, I am not sure why people keep going back to this gun control argument when it has been shown not to work well in other countries or in other states. Honestly, it all comes down to “control” and I am not ok with the government having more control over me and my family. When it comes to guns or not.

      In reality, if we are going to talk about saving more “lives” and finding a reasonable solution… maybe we should ban alcohol again (because that worked SOOOO well the first time). More deaths are caused a year because of alcohol than guns (way more than AR-15s). Or for that matter, we should probably ban vehicles too…. because car crashes those result in more deaths as well.

      • I mean it all comes down to whether or not your wnat more government intervention in your life. I personally do not. I do not want more government regulation. I do not believe it helps, and I believe it actually does do harm. Our government has started to believe that it knows what is best for us… better than WE do. It know what is best for our children, it knows what is best for our households, it knows what is best for healthcare, it know what is best. I personally lean more libertarian than anything else. I want the government out of my life. It will not be long before (as I mentioned before) the government will be requiring all children to get vaccinations (I guarantee.. just wait 15 years), requiring that business MUST serve homosexuals (so as a photographer I would not be able to turn away a homosexual couple), and that churches and Christian business MUST hire homosexuals as any other, and marry them. The government doesn’t stop at one thing… they always inch further and further. My mom remembers when homosexuals ONLY wanted to be able to visit each other in the hospital (that was ALL), now, they want to marry.. and that is the fight. Same with the abortion pill (day after)… they JUST wanted to make it legal, now it is being forced on Christian companies. I understand this doesn’t have to do with the second amendment or gun control, but it does have to do with the ideas and opinions of our government. “They” know what is best for us. I am sorry, but I am not ok with them having that power.

    • Ok..so many….but if citizens don’t have them…how many more do you think there will be. I will tell you that in Texas people think twice about breaking into a home because 9/10 the person is armed. Ok so that is Japan….take a look a Brazil and Australia. The Portugals moved from Brazil because of all that corruption. Gun violence is crazy there and the citizens don’t have a way of protecting themselves. Gun related crimes skyrocketed in Australia after they banned guns. Regulation is often a stepping stone to banning. The Portugals actually have an interesting perspective because they are seeing many of the things that happened in Brazil happen here…causing more and more corruption.

      Maybe instead of attacking legal gun owners or making it harder to obtain a gun legally…they should start cracking down on Illegal gun purchases since those contribute to most of the crimes…but no…that is too much effort i guess…it is better to just make it harder for the average citizen to get one even though those make up a very small fraction of the gun related crimes.

  9. Again, you talk in such absolutes. To you government regulation = harm. No question. Liberty is a great thing but in a real society with more than one person and more than one family, we will have government regulation; and sometimes that means at the expense of liberty. I’m personally glad heroin, PCP, and cocaine aren’t legal and that DDT is banned. I guess you know that those are bad for your family but b/c of government bans, those things are kept further away from you and your family.

    Lindsey, I also have the right to pursue life and liberty too. And I would like to pursue my life not being ended by a bullet. But I would also like to pursue not ending someone else’s life with a bullet – even if that means taking one. Why should the only choice be to defend yourself with a gun? I choose, and so do many others, to allow that nasty government to protect me from harm. Sure they won’t protect me from all harm but they’ve done pretty good so far.

    Hospitals receive state funding, marriage licenses are given by the state – this is why the gov’t could tell them to serve homosexuals. But I don’t think you need to worry about the homosexuals and your business. Why would they want to use your services if you are that against them?

    And just for a little perspective that will take this a whole other direction – you are using the same argument against homosexuals that people used when they were trying to keep racial segregation – sure you’ll say they are different, and that may be, but just wanted to point out that perspective. First blacks couldn’t be in the same rooms as white people, then they wanted to marry white people, and now you have to serve them at your restaurant. Again, maybe you’ll say the circumstances are different but it is the same exact argument:

    (sorry Erin for blowing up your blog)

    • Yes, I understand it is the same argument as racial segregation, and that is exactly how the government is going to fight for homosexuality. They treat it as a racial segregation… therefore, a church should be required to marry them or it is “segregation”. I am not sure of the legality, but I think a church could get in trouble if it didn’t allow blacks to attend. I would of course have a problem with that as well based on my faith.. however if the government “decides” (in it all knowing manner) that homosexual discrimination is like racial discrimination, churches will be in a bit of problem (which btw, I do NOT believe homosexuality is like the racial issue at all. Homosexuality is a CHOICE, not a race… I don’t believe you are born with it and there is no scientific proof to back up the fact that anyone is). Just look at the case of hobby lobby… the government is already trying to say that as a “business” you have to right to your faith or your beliefs. I guess that would also be the case for christian book stores?

      Btw,…. I DO need to worry about the homosexual thing and my business. Since you aren’t in the photography business or wedding industry at all you may not be aware. But a photographer was already sued by a homosexual couple because the photographer refused to shoot their wedding due to her faith. A cake decorator was also sued. Whether or not these cases were won (and I have not kept up), it doesnt change the fact that the photographer had to pay all the legal fees for the fight. Not to mention, the fact that it definitely can become a reality… and it is not as far off as you think.

      I understand the government “defends us”… but let me tell you… I would much rather not wait on them to come defend me when someone breaks into my house or if someone opens up fire in a restaurant. You can wait on the government to come defend you… and I will defend myself. Why do you think that schools are always the target of mass gun violence? People know schools don’t have guns. There aren’t nearly as many cases as a guy opening up fire at a gun show.. or for that matter.. a restaurant in TX. Why? Because he would be shot down in a matter of seconds. I will stick to my guns to defend me and my faith… you can stick to the government.

  10. To respond to a few things that Erin said…first, I agree that 1000 officers doesn’t go very far. This is not something I’d like to see “solved” at the federal level; I don’t want a “School Security Administration”. Local officers would be my preference. When I was in middle and high school, sheriff’s deputies were assigned as school resource officers. I would repeal the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act, which has made by my estimation the majority of firearms owners in the United States federal felons. I would not require any non-LE school personnel to be armed, but would remove obstacles preventing them from being armed. Regarding “armor piercing ammunition”, all I can say is that the devil is in the details. Any centerfire rifle is capable of penetrating the body armor worn by line LEOs (soft armor). This would range from “high-powered” AR-15s (which are the smallest and least powerful rifle caliber there is) to any hunting rifle that isn’t evil or scary. There is already a federal ban on armor piercing handgun ammunition which was put into place in the mid 1980s. That being the case, I’m not sure exactly what the President is proposing when he says he wants to ban “armor piercing ammo”. As far as an AWB goes, the rifle used by Adam Lanza was not an assault weapon, according to CT law. It was compliant with the proposed federal assault weapons ban, which means reinstituting the ban would have done nothing to stop Sandy Hook.

    Andrew, I firmly believe in your right to choose whatever method of defense you see fit. If that’s a phone calling 911, more power to you. Erin mentioned Kennesaw earlier, and while some pro-gun people glorify their law I am not in favor of it. From my perspective, I know that if someone enters my house and intends to do me, Katie, or the kids harm, calling the cops is all well and good but it is a near certainty that I will come face to face with that attacker before the police arrive. And that said, the Supreme Court has held that there is no specific duty for any law enforcement agency to me or my family. I am primarily responsible for their safety. As I told you when we were talking a few weeks ago, I do not believe that someone should own a firearm for self-defense if they do not have the mindset and willingness to use lethal force. The use of lethal force should be limited to defense of life in my opinion. I do not believe that using lethal force in defense of life is inconsistent with Biblical teachings. I hope that I never have to shoot anyone. The vast majority of gun owners out there share that feeling. The vast majority of gun owners are also not living their lives in fear, but acknowledge the possibility for the need to defend one’s self just as they have a fire extinguisher or wear a seat belt, though they don’t expect a house fire or to be in a traffic collision. I’m not sure I understand what seems to be your desire to transfer whatever moral issue you may have with using lethal force to someone else who happens to have a badge on their shirt. I could be misunderstanding you however.

  11. Andrew, you think the 2nd amendment means one thing, Brian another. You can harp on Scalia but the point is there will never be a point where everyone agrees. Just like with Biblical interpretation. So, as difficult as it is, to me a constructive “gun control” conversation is one where both sides can put their emotions aside. Instead of the right being emotionally charged about their guns being taken away and the left being emotionally charged about gun owners being the reason for those 20 kids dying, let’s sit down together. Do we agree that, whether it is a constitutional right or priveledge, non criminals mentally stable can own guns? If yes, do we think it should be limited to certain guns? If yes, why? Ftr, I will say please stop listening to media terminology. There is no definition for assault weapon. There is a reason it is always referred to as “military STYLE” because although it might look similar to a military weapon, it is not. A semi auto handgun and semi auto rifle are not that dissimilar, except that a handgun is easier to conceal and much more likely to be used. Do they serve a purpose? Yes, I personally know people who used them for hunting hogs last weekend. People use them in competition shooting, which since the days of Annie Oakley, has been a source of entertainment (and very impressive I might add…highly recommend the show Top Shot). Do not be persuaded into thinking they dispel bullets more quickly than a handgun, not true. I am not as up on gun knowledge as my husband, but I do know that these are not the same as weapons used by the military. Anyways, got off on a tangent. After logically determining whether certain guns should be banned, we can work from there as to what will truly help. This scenario will never happen because of emotions, which the Bible warns us are dangerous. That is why Christians are not to “follow their heart” as the world says because we are told it is deceitful above all things. But we have to agree that there will always be evil and we will not always be able to prevent it from achieving its goal( look at the tragedy in Noway where guns are not allowed). Andrew, you mentioned you don’t want to use a gun to defend yourself or your family…the good news is, despite the sheer volume of guns in our country, the odds are very much in your favor that you won’t have to. Because of your lifestyle (not involved in criminal/gang activity, don’t live in a high crime/inner city area, no family probs, etc) it is very possible that you will never encounter an opportunity where you have to do this. I myself struggle with whether I would be able to make that choice, although try to harm one of my children and its an entirely different story. Perhaps you will find the same thing when your little one is born, maybe not. I don’t really see a correlation between guns and gays, but I do see the hypocrisy of those claiming to want to do something about guns “for the children” but saying its a woman’s choice to abort. Its the same with murder charges…you murder a pregnant woman you get pegged for two charges…just don’t get it. Didn’t mean to stray there. Anyways, while everyone is not always going to agree, we should appreciate the differences and focus on really trying to work together and try and change things for the better. I think that personal accountability is a big reason behind crime problems. Something happens and we rarely blame the person that made that choice, but rather the weapon they used or their mom, or even gun owners. We don’t try and ban anything else used to kill people (baseball bats, cars, subways recently in NY, fire, or rope to name a few) I’m just really not sure why guns get so much crap. Sorry if my rambling doesn’t make sense, but just wanted to speak up a little. (And this will prob be a little too kumbaya for some, but its what I think). And let’s try and follow what the Bible says and consider others as better than ourselves (even when we think different politically) and don’t think of ourselves (and thus our opinions) more highly than we ought. 🙂

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