READER'S EDITORIAL: 2ND AMENDMENT MISINTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION IS CAUSE FOR PROLIFERATION OF GUN VIOLENCE

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this

 

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. --2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution

By Dennis Moore (a survivor of gun violence)

June 15, 2016 (San Diego)--The framers of the Constitution did not have in mind that the right to bear arms would result in the countless deaths of ordinary citizens by other ordinary citizens throughout our great country by “Glocks” and other semi-automatic weapons at malls and schools. Nor could they have envisioned the shooting deaths of  nine members of a church in South Carolina at a worship service by a deranged young man, as well as the mass killings by gunfire at a theater in Colorado.

The framers of our U.S. Constitution, and particularly the 2nd Amendment notion of the right to bear arms, would be rolling over in their graves, if they were aware that their legislation contributed to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Columbine High School shooting, the recent San Bernardino massacre, and the recent Beretta USA opening of their new $15 million state-of-the-art firearms manufacturing and engineering center in Gallatin, Tennessee, which ultimately will kill even more people. Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee would have the audacity to state: “Obviously in Tennessee we take great pride in the Second Amendment and we were proud to have a company like Beretta move here.”

Modern debates about the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. This question, however, was not even raised until long after the Bill of Rights was adopted.

Many in the Founding generation believed that governments are prone to use soldiers to oppress the people. English history suggested that this risk could be controlled by permitting the government to raise armies (consisting of full-time paid troops) only when needed to fight foreign adversaries. For other purposes, such as responding to sudden invasions or other emergencies, the government could rely on a militia that consisted of ordinary civilians who supplied their own weapons and received some part-time, unpaid military training. This seems to be where our current distorted view on the “right to bear arms” for ordinary citizens evolved.

Civilians no longer expect to use their household weapons for militia duty, although they still keep and bear arms to defend against common criminals (as well as for hunting and other forms of recreation).

The law and its perception has also changed. While states in the Founding era regulated guns – blacks were often prohibited from possessing firearms and militia weapons were frequently registered on government rolls – gun laws today are more extensive and controversial. 

I speak from experience as a victim of gun violence in my hometown of Chicago, having been shot in my stomach some 35 years ago at a family reunion after dancing with my wife, and in the throes of dying while grabbing my stomach in the area I was shot in and collapsing to the floor. My two sons, Damien and Darius, some 15 years after my near fatal gunshot injury, suffered a similar near fatal gunshot injury also in Chicago while coming home from the movie “Mortal Combat”, at their respective ages of 11 and 16. It was a painful and traumatic time and experience for our family, but unlike so many other gunshot injuries throughout America, I feel Blessed and thankful that we survived it and are alive to talk about it.

After Damien's surgery it was recommended by the doctors that he and our family have trauma therapy, but we only attended one session, which is perhaps why I now suffer from dysthymia, not to mention what other psychological pains others in our family may still have.

Damien lost his spleen in this shooting some 20 years ago, but it did not prevent him from being a star athlete at Hoffman Estates High School, just outside Chicago, and being honored with a plaque and his picture on the wall at the school as "Athlete of the Month" and making the Honor Roll for academics. It is truly a blessing that he is alive, and I was able to get a Father's Day greeting from him just recently.

Also, this past November in Chicago, my beloved nephew "Scooter" became a victim of gun violence as he was murdered on the westside of this city. I can recall quite poignantly a birthday party that he attended for my son Damien when they both were little kids. Scooter is pictured here with the party hat on standing next to my sons Darius and Damien, and their cousin Aaron in happier times some 30 years ago. Never would I have imagined that my nephew's life would have been ended by a gun.

To the National Rifle Association (NRA), Charlton Heston, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, perhaps they need to have a near death experience as I and my family have had before they advocate for the so-called Right to Bear Arms provision of the 2nd Amendment.

Germany, Donald Trump's ancestral home, seems to have found the solution to gun control and deaths from assault weapons. Tough gun control laws in Germany that were rigorously tightened after two ghastly school shootings in 2002 and 2009 have helped cut the number of firearm killings in half to about 50 a year, according to experts. Gun homicides in Germany fell from 106 in 2002 to 75 in 2009 and 51 in 2010 before climbing to 61 in 2012, according to the most recent data from GunPolicy.org.

By comparison, there were 10,945 gun homicides in the United States in 2014. This May, 66 people were shot dead just in Chicago.

"It's the mentality here that's so different," said Dietrich Oberwittler, a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg. "There is no gun mentality in Germany. It's a society that doesn't accept the idea that guns are needed for self-defense,,, On the contrary, we see guns lead to a loss of security."

Let me explain the painful experience and consequences of getting shot in my stomach on that fateful night some 35 years ago, feeling that hot lead, and fearing death as I struggled against passing out: “While walking my mother outside of the ‘Mecca Lounge’ on 115th & Michigan in Chicago to get some air from a volatile situation, after she had gotten into an altercation with another woman, this other woman shot twice at my mother with a 22 caliber revolver, but fortunately she missed my mother but hit me in my stomach and another man in his leg. People were scrambling under tables and everywhere, not realizing at the time that I had been shot. I instinctively grabbed my stomach and looked down and saw the blood flowing, which is when I felt this burning pain as if a hot knife was stuck in my stomach and I collapsed to the floor. I began to pass out, but fought it off, thinking that if I did I might not revive and would die. That ‘white light’ that you hear so many people talk about, is what I experienced as I thought of my wife and son Darius at the time. I was rushed to Roseland Community Hospital on the Southside of Chicago in a police paddy wagon, and at the hospital in the emergency room one of the policemen asked me if I wanted to press charges against the shooter. I said no, and ironically, I would later find out that the shooter was actually the mother of one of my best friends.”

In a recent USA Today story by Jarrett Bell, New Orleans Saints’ coach Sean Payton lamented the “madness” of guns, particularly in view of the recent shooting death of one of his former football players, Will Smith. After the senseless shooting that left former defensive end Smith dead, and his wife, Racquel, wounded amid a beef linked to a traffic accident, the New Orleans Saints coach pleaded for more gun control. Payton specifically stated: “Two-hundred years from now, they’re going to look back and say, ‘What was that madness about?’ I applaud him and would be out front joining him!

Just recently, April 22, 2016, 8 family members were shot to death at 4 rural Ohio sites. This “madness,” as Sean Payton states, has got to stop! We as a country have to come to our senses! The victims were identified as the Rhoden family in and near Piketon, Ohio.

Also, just recently, the largest and deadliest mass shooting in United States history occurred in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S.-born shooter who had pledged his allegiance to ISIS, gunned down 50 people in a club in Orlando – ironically, using the same type of automatic weapon used in the mass killings in Aurora and Newtown. Just today, and in defiance of the NRA, the senior senator from Florida, Bill Nelson, stated on MSNBC: “The automatic weapon used by the killer is not for hunting, as so many in the NRA proclaims, but for killing!”

This is what the AR-15 assault rifle looks like, the same weapon used to kill those little children in Sandy Hook and Orlando, and the weapon that Senator Bill Nelson is attempting to legislate a ban on.

Just yesterday, February 14, 2018, a Nikolas Cruz, walks into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15 assault rifle, and shoots to death 17 people. This senseless gun violence has to stop!

Dahlia Lithwick, who writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus, has written an article stating: "How the NRA and Conservatives Perverted the Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms." Lithwick further states: "So clearly and unequivocally held was this worldview that no less a liberal squish than Richard Nixon Supreme Court appointee Warren Burger said after his retirement in 1991 that the Second Amendment 'has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud - I repeat the word 'fraud' - on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime." This reading was based on precedent. The Supreme Court had clearly agreed with Burger's interpretation and not not that of the special interest groups he chastised, perhaps most famously in a 1939 case called U.S. v. Miller.

Bryan Caforio, a former partner in the law firm of Susman Godfrey and who is running against Congressman Steve Knight in California's 25th Congressional District, is in support of the latest gun control initiative, "No Fly, No Buy." It remains to be seen just how far it gets him in his campaign to unseat Knight, as Knight seems opposed to it.

I am sure that the framers of the constitution, particularly as it regards the 2nd Amendment, are turning over in their graves over what has been transpiring in our country.

Just recently, former Miami Heat NBA basketball star Dwayne Wade, himself a Chicago native, felt the anguish and pain as so many others at the hand of gun violence. Wade's cousin, Nykea Aldridge, a mother of four, was gunned down in Chicago. Although Illinois and the city of Chicago has strict gun controls, a lot of the gang bangers and those wanting to inflict harm on others, find it convenient to just go across state lines to Indiana, where gun controls are less stringent. Ironically, Indiana is where Donald Trump's choice for Vice President, Mike Pence, is the governor. Also, ironically, after Nykea Aldridge was gunned down on the streets of Chicago while pushing a baby stroller, Donald Trump tweeted about the gang violence in Chicago, without first giving any condolences to Dwayne Wade and the Aldridge family. Instead, he used it as a campaign opportunity.

Also, and just recently, one of the students killed in the Parkland, Florida school shooting, was buried wearing the jersey of Dwayne Wade. In honor of this student, Wade wore the name of this student on his basketball shoes at a subsequent Miami Heat game.

Assault weapons should be totally banned, as they are a tool of war, and the 2nd Amendment should be repealed. Just recently, John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, has called for the repeal of the Second Amendment.  

 

The opinions in this editorial reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, please contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.

 

 

Dennis Moore has been the Bookshelf  section editor of the East County Magazine and the book review editor of SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He is also the author of a book about Chicago politics; “The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago." Mr. Moore can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.

Comments

Limitations are not the same as banning

I don't think there is anyone who has lost a friend or loved one to gun violence who does not wish there were some way of limiting the ability to purchase firearms by those on record as having exhibited psychosocial behaviors. It would not be a cure-all for sure, because there will always be those who are very adept at living double lives that are unobservable even by those closest to them. But restrictions would be a start. ----KB Schaller

John Paul Stevens: "Repeal the Second Amendment"

John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, recently called for the repeal of the Second Amendment in an article in The New York Times, specifically stating: "Rarely in my lifetime have I seen the type of civic engagement schoolchildren and their supporters demonstrated in Washington and other major cities throughout the country this past Saturday. These demonstrations demand our respect. They reveal the broad public support for legislation to minimize the risk of mass killings of schoolchildren and others in our society."

 

John Paul Stevens further stated:"That support is a clear sign to lawmakers to enact legslation prohibiting civilian ownership of semiautomatic weapons, increasing the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years old, and establishing more comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms. But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment."   

That's never going to happen.

Even most people who want sensible gun reforms would stop short of repealing all gun ownership rights. Many Americans just want a gun for hunting, self defense or target shootnig.

The  need for regulation, in most Americans' views based on surveys, are when a person with a mental illness or violent record or record of making threats wants a gun, as well as  sales of  automatic or semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines that enable mass murders the killing capacity of a military-style weapon. 

I can't envision the founding fathers wanting to ban weapons to hunt deer or turkeys.  But they probably didn't want everyone to have weapons of mass murder, either.  There is a sensible balance, if both sides would quit demanding extremes.

 

 

Appeals Court: 2nd Amendment allows open carry of guns

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Second Amendment protects the right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, according to an Associated Press story by Brian Melley. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that Hawaii officials had violated George Young's rights when he was denied a permit to openly carry a loaded gun in public to protect himself. The decision reversed a lower court tuling that sided with officials who said the amendment only applied to guns kept in homes. "We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence, which the State of Hawaii 'has understandably sought to fight,''' Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote. "But, for better or worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense."

New TV ad calls for Knight to reject the NRA

Two groups puching for stricter gun laws are targeting an Antelope Valley congressman with a new ad that invokes last week's Highland High School shooting, according to a report from CNN, and repeated by the Antelope Valley Press.

 

Giffods, a group founded by former Arizona congresswoman and shooting victim Gabrielle Giffords, and the SoCal Healthcare Coalition are putting six figures behind a new ad titled, "Stand Up For Us," which will run on cable up to the June 5 primary. The ad targets Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and calls on him to "reject the NRA and accept and accept common sense gun laws." Knight's 25th Congressional District seat has been labeled a toss-up by CNN. Knight is in one of the 23 districts currently held by Republicans where Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.   

Readers: Keep hands off Second Amendment

In a survey conducted by the Antelope Valley Press, in Lancaster/Palmdale, California, where I now live, this question was posed to readers; "Is there merit to retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' argument that the Second Amendment should be repealed?" The recent results were Yes: 16.7%, and No 83.3%

 

Some of the readers left scathing comments about retired Justice Stevens, with one stating: "Absolutely no. Here we have a man that will be 98 years old on April 20. He needs to be concerned with the health of his soul at this point in his life, not stirring the pot. He's talking like like 'in order to weaken the National Rifle Association's ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation.'"

 

I personally feel that AR-15s should be banned, as they are weapons of war!

KB, good point.

Nobody screams that we're taking their right to own vehicles away because we require that people follow certain rules. If you're caught driving drunk you can lose your license or even have your vehicle impounded, for instance.  We don't let minors under 16 drive a vehicle.  You have to follow rules of the road.  And we don't allow people to own and drive any kind of vehicle around on a public street -- you can't drive an armed and armored tank here, unless you're in the military. 

The founders intended that the U.S. be protected by a well regulated militia.  As one of our readers noted this week, we have that in our National Guard and Coast Guard, protecting us from foreign and domestic threats.  We don't need a bunch of potentially crazed people running around with weapons of mass destruction in public places, meaning automatic and semi-automatic weapons meant for mass killing.

Regulating those weapons does NOT mean taking away rifles or pistols used for legitimate purposes such as hunting or self protection. 

Remember that when our founding fathers wrote the Constitution, the guns of their day were muzzle-loaded black powder muskets where you had to stop and tamp them down between every shot.  They never envisioned guns capable of the carnage we're seeing on a regular basis now.

 

 

 

"Do for Self" is the ONLY Solution for Black People!

A-Salaam- Alaikum, Yes, this needs repeating! Do for self is the ONLY Solution for Black on Black Killings & White Cop Killings. These killings are not only in Chicago, but Nationwide! The world is watching us kill each other and are delighting in our pain! White Klux Klan cops are never going to respect us. The violence in all inner cities is unbearable. The white cop killings are also unbearable, Yet, we have the power to make real changes. I have a young Black 18-year old son & I want him to live to a ripe old age! And Tougher Gun laws are not the only solution. Tougher Gun Laws only put more Black men in Jail. This only perpetuates Black men as the commodity for prisons. Our young black men & women need jobs in the inner city. They need a reason to stop killing! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad often stated that we should "do for self." Do for self means we need to create our own jobs. Do for self means we need to police our own self. We do not need to pay tax dollars to white cops in black areas to shoot young black men; nor do we need to keep killing each other. We need to learn to love ourselves more. I truly believe that the violence has a lot to do with young black men and women not knowing how to love themselves! We need to by and spend within our own Black Businesses. We need more black businesses in the inner-city. We need more black mentors in the inner cities. We need our frat brothers & sorority sisters to pitch in and show young black men and women how to have self-love and self-respect. We need to educate ourselves on loving ourselves & doing for self. Just putting more black men in jail with tougher gun laws is is not the solution because to be perfectly honest where are the real guns and drugs coming from??? Really??? Are they coming from the middleman on the street or from powerful people who pay off cops and turn a blind eye to what's really killing us in these neighborhoods.? Again don't let gun laws be the only solution We need to do for self and love ourselves and handle our own business. We don't need to beg white businesses or white cops to help us. Let's help Ourselves! Employ ourselves and Police ourselves = Love our BLACK Selves! Let's start our on "Special Black Police Force" employ and pay officers who truly care about saving young black men and not just killing them. Real Black minded officers who are trained at negotiating and mediating dire circumstances. Let stop being the commodity of prisons. Let's put the prison business out of business! Open our own Black Bank, Black Schools, Black Grocery Stores, Black Farms. That is how we survive and thrive! Respectfully yours, Dr. KK

"Do For Self"

I am inclined to agree basically with everything the author of this comment has to say, particularly as it regards cop killings in Chicago, my hometown and where my children were born and raised. It is a scary thought, that some deranged and racist cop could kill my son, as was the case with 17-year-old unarmed black teenager LaQuan McDaniel and 18-year-old unarmed black teenager Paul O'Neal. My son Julien is on his way back here to California from summer break in Chicago, where he is scheduled to graduate from the #1 acting school in the country, CalArts in Valencia. I pray that he gets back here safely, but I also realize that he, just like so many other young black men, are in the crosshairs of deranged and racist cops.

Do for self = Solution to Black on Black & White Cop Killings!

A-Salaam- Alaikum,. Do for self is the Solution to Black for Black on Black Killings & White Cop Killings. These killings are not only in Chicago, but Nationwide! The world is watching us kill each other and are delighting in our pain! White Klux Klan cops are never going to respect us. The violence in all inner cities is unbearable. The white cop killings are also unbearable, Yet, we have the power to make real changes. I have a young Black 18-year old son & I want him to live to a ripe old age! And Tougher Gun laws are not the only solution. Tougher Gun Laws only put more Black men in Jail. This only perpetuates Black men as the commodity for prisons. Our young black men & women need jobs in the inner city. They need a reason to stop killing! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad often stated that we should "do for self." Do for self means we need to create our own jobs. Do for self means we need to police our own self. We do not need to pay tax dollars to white cops in black areas to shoot young black men; nor do we need to keep killing each other. We need to learn to love ourselves more. I truly believe that the violence has a lot to do with young black men and women not knowing how to love themseves! We need to by and spend within our own Black Businesses. We need more black businesses in the inner-city. We need more black mentors in the inner cities. We need our frat brothers & sorority sisters to pitch in and show young black men and women how to have self-love and self-respect. We need to educate ourselves on loving ourselves & doing for self. Just putting more black men in jail with tougher gun laws is is not the solution because to be perfectly honest where are the real guns and drugs coming from??? Really??? Are they coming from the middleman on the street or from powerful people who pay off cops and turn a blind eye to what's really killing us in these neighborhoods.? Again don't let gun laws be the only solution We need to do for self and love ourselves and handle our own business. We don't need to beg white businesses or white cops to help us. Let's help Ourselves! Employ ourselves and Police ourselves = Love our BLACK Selves! Let's start our on "Special Black Police Force" employ and pay officers who truly care about saving young black men and not just killing them. Real Black minded officers who are trained at negotiating and mediating dire circumstances. Let stop being the commodity of prisons. Let's put the prison business out of business! Open our own Black Bank, Black Schools, Black Grocery Stores, Black Farms. That is how we survive and thrive! Respectfully yours Dr. KK

This revives bad memories of 2 school shootings in East County,

at Granite hills and Santana High Schools. At the time they were the 2 worst mass school shootings in U.S. history. Now so many others have killed even more, by shooters with access to semi-automatic assault rifles.

No other nation on earth has anywhere near this many mass shootings. 

 

Gun Control!! - Massacre in Las Vegas

This madness has to stop! If ever there was time for stricter gun control, it was after that horrific murder of 59 people in Las Vegas. Yesterday, after seeing that carnage on CNN, I called my daughter Brandy in Las Vegas to see if she was alright. Thank God she was, but we as a people and country must do something about this never ending cycle of killings throughout the country. And the NRA can't continue to hide behind the notion that the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to do this.

13-year-old with BB gun killed by police in Ohio

In a killing with unavoidable echoes of the Tamir Rice case out of Cleveland, a Columbus officer responding to a report of a $10 armed robbery shot a 13-year-old boy Wednesday night after the youngster pulled a BB gun from his waistband that looked "practically identical" to the weapon police use, authorities say.

Police Perspective

I am a former police officer, and a lot of what I saw when it came to gun control is a lack of self-control. Guns have their use; hunting, protection, etc; however, when the gun becomes the first option at the sign of conflict, instead of the last resort, there becomes a problem. I carried my own weapon before, and after I was a police officer; and fueled by fear, and with the new metal courage that I had locked tightly in my hands, I felt invincible. A guy approached my car when I was at a gas station once, I didn't know his motive, so I grabbed my weapon and rested it in my lap, as I cracked my window. It turned out that I had a dead bird lodged in the grill of my car. True enough, you never know, if someone has bad intentions, but grabbing my weapon, and possibly firing it, was about to be real. I would shoot with no hesitation when it came to my safety. However, that feeling of being invincible followed me to the police department, where we were taught to keep your hand on that gun when you are walking around; and with that constant realization I would reach for that gun whenever someone approached me just to ask a simple question. Myself and many officers were responsible, but there were also those who were trigger happy, and would shoot for less than hello. Some are fueled by fear and hate, and that is a deadly combination. Guns are great when used for their intended purpose. Guns are great when used by responsible gun owners. Guns clutched in the hands of people who have no self-control is another evil. "Get them, before they get me," is the mantra. More innocent blood is spilled than the blood of a perpetrator. The media helps to fuel our fear as well, they always remind us that we should be protecting ourselves from a certain race or class based on the images of violence that is shown from their perspective. Gun control-yes! People and self-control- absolutely! Will the world ever see it this way, I doubt it. I'm afraid that the world will get worse before better. Guns are being taken away from citizens, and government entities are hoarding massive amounts of them. There is a bigger picture that we all are ignoring. I just wish innocent blood did not have to be spilled anymore. Wonderful review Mr. Dennis Moore! Cortina Jackson Author of "On Earth As It Is In Hell" www.cortinajackson.com

"I CRIED FOR THE DALLAS POLICE OFFICERS"

I cried for the Dallas police officers and their families, just as I had earlier cried for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and their families in Louisiana and Minnesota. I particularly cried and grieved for the 15-year old son of Alton Sterling, who actually witnessed his father wrestled to the ground after being tased by two white policeman, and then seeing witnessing his father being shot a number of times. It was horrific and painful to see this young black man crying on TV and collapse in the arms of a bystander. America is better than what has been demonstrated throughout social media and the TV this week.

I am sure the families of Dallas police officers Brent Thompson, Michael Kroland Patrick Zamirripa are in just as much hur and pain as those of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

 

My 22-year-old daughter called me early this morning from Chicago while I was in bed, expressing to me a concern that she might lose her job after she had responded to a facebook comment by a white acquaintance of her's that indicated Alton Sterling and Philando Castile would be alive today if they had of not resisted and done what the police officers directed them to do. Anyone watching those horrific videos of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile would beg to differ. It is very unfortunate that we as a people, black and white, have different viewpointson these recent tragedies and race relations in general.

 

My daughter in her intemperate way, as one might expect of a 22-year-old black woman from Chicago, expressed little sympathy for the 5 police officers killed in Dallas by a 25-year-old black man who stated before he himself was killed: "He was fed up with what has been happening to black men throughout our country,and wantedto kill as many whites ashe could, especially white police officers." It is my opinion that the majority of blacks in this country does not share this belief andopiion of Micah Zavier-Johnson, the killer of the 5 policemen in Dallas. My daughter had called me again earlier yesterday morning, expressing to me how much she was hurting over what she viewed on TV of the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. My daughter has a lot of learning and growing u to do, but I will be there to help her.

 

Contrasting with my daughter's thoughts and opinions, are those of a much more mature and experienced person, former New York Mayor and District Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. This morning in response to a question by MSNBC's Brian Williams about the Minnesota Govenor indicating that it was racism and that if the passengers in the Philando Castile car where white no one would have been killed, Rudolph Giuliani objected vociferously and tried to place the blame for what happened in Dallas and throughout the country on the "Black Lives Matter" movement. It is that type of thinking that hasour country and the races divided.

 

In my subject Readers Editorial about gun violence, I include a photo of my daughter's cousin "Scooter" who was killed by gun violence in Chicago, along with her brothers Darius and Damien as little kids, who had also been shot in Chicago at the ages of 11 and 16, but they are alive today some 20 years later. Perhaps that factors in my daughter's hurt and pain, just as it does with me.

 

The state of Texas is an open carry state, which allows their citizens to openly carry the type of gun that Micah Xavier-Johnson used to kill those 5 policemen. Perhaps these lives could have been prevented if they did not have such a law. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the policemen, as well as that of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. 

 

Police perspective - weapons

You and your colleagues may be calm, sensible and responsible users of weapons. But we have seen rogue police officers gone wild. The real weapons ban debate is not about banning lawful use of less powerful weapons such as hand guns as some of the less scrupulous media outlets would want the people to believe. Rather it is about the use of weapons designed for wars by any civilian or the rogue few. But if we want to keep such powerful weapons to fight against the all powerful government lest it enslaves us, then that is a different question.

TEXAS OPEN CARRY LAW CONTRIBUTED TO POLICEMEN SHOOTINGS

Starting January 1, 2016, folks with a concealed carry license in Texas will be permitted to openly carry rifles and shotguns, but not handguns. The shooter of the 5 policemen in Texas took advantage of this, as well as another citizen that was initially suspected by the authorities of being involved, but later exonerated.

The open carry law also caused problems for police

When they were trying to identify any and all possible shooters. Tough to do when multiple people in the crowd were toting guns openly displayed.  This scenario could delay law enforcement finding the actual shooter(s) in other active shooter scenarios.

The other point worth making is that pro-gun folks have long claimed that if everyone could carry guns, they could take out an active shooter. That didn't happen in Dallas. People in the crowd with guns just ran away or took cover, while the mass shooter continued the slaughter.

I believe automatic and semi-automatic rifles should be banned. They serve no legitimate purpose. You can hunt or protect your household with other weapons that don't fire dozens of rounds at a time.  These were designed as mlitary weapons and should not be available to civilians in my view; only the U.S. is insane enough to allow this and with devastating results - more mass shootings than any nation on earth.

To be clear,  I DO support 2nd amendment rights for citizens to own reasonable weapons for things like hunting or self protection; we have rural areas where people living out in the backcountry are vulnerable to drug smugglers and other criminals,for instance. But I do NOT support weapons designed for mass killings.  While background checks for all gun ownership is also a good idea to make it harder for people with mental illnesses or criminal backgrounds to get guns of various sorts, that alone is not enough since if someone has no such background and just snaps, decides to join ISIS or go on a vendetta rampage.   The only way to prevent most mass killings (barring someone who secures a weapon illegally) would be to outlaw assault weapons.

 

 

 

Anaverde teacher killed in Vegas attack

Anaverde Hills School kindergarten teacher Jennifer Parks was one of at least 59 people killed Sunday night in a mass shooting at an outdoor country music concert in Las Vegas that also injured more than 500 people, according to a story in the Antelope Valley Press in Palmdale, California, by Julie Drake and Allison Gatlin. I picked up the same newspaper this morning, and found out that another person from the Antelope Valley was killed, a lady from Littlerock.

Weapons Are Necessary...Both Spiritual and Natural

The issue of natural weapons is a controversial hotbed issue. However, I believe that weapons are necessary. Since creation, mankind has always had an enemy or enemies. Thus, weapons are necessary for our protection. Whether one admits it or not, man has both natural and supernatural enemies, and there are weapons needed for both. Ephesians chapter six speaks about spiritual weapons needed for spiritual warfare, and if you read the Old Testament it is replete with natural wars and mention of natural weapons, such as swords, knives, staves, bows, arrows, horses, chariots etc. used against the enemies of that day. These were the weapons of choice for that day. Today's weapons have changed tremendously. The problem is that many of today's weapons are not used against our natural enemies, but are used indiscriminately and senselessly against one another. Definitely gun laws are needed, but until all of mankind's enemies have been put down, someone had better have both natural and spiritual weapons for personal protection and for the protection of one's families.

Tracking Chicago police

Nearly 6,000 illegal guns have been seized in the city this year a staggering amount of firepower that far outpaces those of other big cities, according to a story by Jennifer Smith Richards, Angela Caputo, Todd Lighty and Jason Meisner in the Los Angeles Times, dated August 29, 2016. The story also states that about 4 out of every 5 people shot by police in Chicago were African American males.

"Natural" weapons?

Other than rocks or branches, there's no such thing as "natural" weapons.  Swords, guns, knives, etc. are all made by man.

John Paul Stevens: "Repeal the Second Amendment"

John Paul Stevens, a retired associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, just in the last 24 hours, has called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment. In view of the recent gun violence and madness throughout our country, I totally agree with him.

Weapons are necessary

The Old Testament is replete with tales of murder and mayhem that may not have been necessary. The first report of genocide is found in the Old Testament when God cleared the land of Canaan of men, women, children, babies and fetuses so that the Hebrews could have that spot. Of course, that tale is fictional, just as is the tale of the Exodus, the parting of the Red Sea, the Ark and Moses.

So we should ban 22 caliber pistols?

That would never work, likewise with AR-15s which are owned by millions of Americans. As mentioned previously, these are not automatic weapons, also they are not assault rifles. They are semi-automatic, requiring a trigger pull for each shot, just like other rifle models many of which are more powerful. . . .Just like 22 caliber pistols, for that matter.

"Sweeping gun control package sent to governor"

Spurred by outrage over recent mass shootings, California lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown an unprecedented package of gun control bills, including a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, background checks for those buying ammunition and new restrictions on homemade firearms. In the wake of massacres in San Bernardino and Orlando, Fla., the flurry of legislative action once again puts California in the lead among states regulating firearms, and in stark contrast to inaction in the gridlocked Congress, officials said.

 

"I don't know how much more blood needs to be spilled in our schools, in our community centers, in public spaces, until the members of Congress act and we can do this nationwide," Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) told reporters after the vote. "Until that happens, we will not stop moving forward forcefully to make sure that we protect our families, to protect our children, protect our communities. This is a historic day." 

Hello Dennis,

Hello Dennis, Gun control is a hot-button issue, and people generally vary from one extreme to another; if they are mired in the Second Amendment which they consider sacrosanct, they equate those who hold a different viewpoint as just short of being anti-American. There is no budging them, no matter how much violence is perpetrated by criminals, the deranged, or those bent on waging Jihad against this country.

GOP senator seeks bipartisan gun deal

A moderate Republican senator sought broad bipartisan support last Tuesday for a compromise to block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists, a day after the chamber split along party lines to derail far more sweeping proposals. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, R-Ky., said he would allow a vote on the proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, but stopped short of endorsing the measure itself. The package seemed to face an uphill climb for the 60 votes it would need, thanks to the hurdles of election-year politics and opposition from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America. "If we can't pass this, it truly is a broken system up here," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Kiki, it isn't right to disparage people

who correctly choose to recognize that the US Constitution is the law of the land. The purpose of the so-called Bill of Rights in the Constitution is to limit the government's power to legislate against individual rights, rights we were born with. One can also make the argument that the government has too much power and has acted illegally both domestically and internationally, thus exacerbating the violence which we all condemn. . . . Martin Luther King, Jr: (quote). . . .As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked, and rightly so, “What about Vietnam?” They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

not right to disparage people

Don, you write, ". . . rights we were born with." Without government to enforce them, there is no such thing as "natural rights" or the like. In the Old West people toted guns around with them. Why? Because there was no actual law enforcement provider in place. God wasn't going to protect them because they had rights that they were born with.

Racist history of gun control leads to more victims.

I do not think I have ever read a diatribe so devoid of facts or even a rudimentary understanding of the Constitution and history. Maybe I should just chalk it up to someone who is used to the Chicago way of criminal life that has the strictest gun control in the country yet the highest murder rate. More on this later.
Firearm ownership is at a historic all-time high. Female firearm ownership at an all-time high and rising at double digit rate. Murder rate falling at a double digit rate everywhere concealed carry is allowed. Murder rates skyrocketing in all "gun free zones" like Baltimore and Chicago. Anyone with any common sense can see that firearms save lives. It is irrefutable, and it is factual. The vast majority of law abiding American citizens are for the 2nd Amendment. SCOTUS has ruled it is an INDIVIDUAL right. All of the mindless chatter cannot sway these facts.
The United States is number 115 in ranking of murder rate with a 3.8 per capita. FAR below number one with an 84.3!!!! This includes the FACT that our next door neighbor Mexico is number 22 with a WHOPPING 18.9!!! Or roughly 5 times the murder rate. What do we NOT have in common? Mexico has STRICTEST gun control laws in the world. You get them from the cartels and of course Eric Holder.
For those of you that are for gun control and constantly wonder why almost any proposal is met with opposition from the pro-gun crowd, here is some “common sense” for you. First lets break down the numbers of “gun violence” so you might be able to understand why we, the pro-gun crowd, get so offended when new gun laws are proposed.
Here are the numbers from 2013 via the CDC, ATF, FBI, and DOJ.
• Gun Homicide – 11,208
• Suicide = 21,175, accidental discharge = 505, and undetermined reason + 281

According to available FBI, ATF, and DOJ statistics illegal firearms make up for between 94% and 97% of crimes committed with guns, with less than one tenth of a percent of those are purchased from gun shows or misc. retail sales done without background checks.

So let’s figure this out.

6% of 11,208 = 673 homicides committed by legal gun owners who passed a background check, this number would also include self-defense cases that were found unjustifiable resulting in a homicide conviction.

So now we know roughly how many crimes are committed by law abiding gun owners, 673, and we know roughly how many law abiding gun owners there is, about 80 million. So that means that statistically .0008% of us law abiding gun owners commit crime while 99.9992% of us do not! And the anti-gun crowd calls us gun worshipers, paranoid, and a myriad of other names along with bashing the NRA because of this .0008% ???

Now for the "gun show loophole".

.1% of 11,208 = 11 homicides with firearms from gun shows and retail sales with no background checks (This statistic is actually very hard to keep track of because it is so small). So at best, universal background checks might eliminate those 11 that were done with firearms being purchased without any background checks, if they didn’t find another way to obtain a gun illegally.

That leaves 10,524 homicides done with completely illegal firearms that would be absolutely unchanged by ANY gun control measure ever thought of. Matter of fact any new gun control laws would also have no effect on reducing suicides or gun accidents, those need to be addressed with mental healthcare, suicide prevention, and safety education, all of which the pro-gun crowd already advocates for. So obviously any new measures would have almost no impact on decreasing the number of victims of "gun violence".

So now for the million dollar question, what can we do about this?

First, start punishing the criminals and not legal gun owners we're getting sick of it! So how do we punish the criminals and prevent "gun violence"? Here are just a few ideas that would punish criminals and not law abiding gun owners-
• Mandatory - 25 year sentences for gun trafficking and straw purchasers.
• Mandatory - 25 to life sentences for using an illegal gun during the commission of ANY crime.
• Immediately Banish ALL GUN FREE ZONES!!! Allow law abiding citizens to at least defend themselves and their families!
• Quit making it so hard for law abiding citizens to get a concealed carry permit, if you can lawfully purchase a gun you should be able to carry it.
• Quit trying to ban “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines, these bans have no effect on crime since criminals can still get them regardless of your laws, banning them only prevents law abiding citizens from getting them.

These would at least be a good start!

Please remember that law abiding gun owners use their guns in defense of themselves, their family, or others, anywhere between 500 thousand and 2.5 million times a year! Statistically when law abiding gun owners use their personal weapons in self-defense 96% are successful without a shot fired. Of the remaining 4%, there are 78% to 90% of those that result in only wounding the criminal and only 10% to 22% are fatalities. This only equals between 0.625% and 3.125% of lawful gun owners so why is that number so hard to believe????
Lastly, A great article by Coulter on Democrats racist history of gun control says If that were true, every black person in America should get a gun and join the National Rifle Association, America's oldest and most august civil rights organization. Apparently this has occurred to no one because our excellent public education system ensures that no American under the age of 60 has the slightest notion of this country's history.

Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance.

(Contrary to what illiterates believe, the KKK was an outgrowth of the Democratic Party, with overlapping membership rolls. The Klan was to the Democrats what the American Civil Liberties Union is today: Not every Democrat is an ACLU'er, but every ACLU'er is a Democrat. Same with the Klan.)

In 1640, the very first gun control law ever enacted on these shores was passed in Virginia. It provided that blacks -- even freemen -- could not own guns.

Chief Justice Roger Taney's infamous opinion in Dred Scott v. Sandford circularly argued that blacks could not be citizens because if they were citizens, they would have the right to own guns: "[I]t would give them the full liberty," he said, "to keep and carry arms wherever they went."

Dealing with logic like that, Republicans eventually had to fight a Civil War to get the Democrats to give up slavery.

Alas, they were Democrats, so they couldn’t learn. After the war, Democratic legislatures enacted "Black Codes," denying black Americans the rights of citizenship -- such as the rather crucial one of bearing arms -- while other Democrats (sometimes the same Democrats) founded the Ku Klux Klan.

For more than a hundred years, Republicans have aggressively supported arming blacks, so they could defend themselves against Democrats.

The original draft of the Anti-Klan Act of 1871 -- passed at the urging of Republican president Ulysses S. Grant -- made it a federal felony to "deprive any citizen of the United States of any arms or weapons he may have in his house or possession for the defense of his person, family, or property." This section was deleted from the final bill only because it was deemed both beyond Congress' authority and superfluous, inasmuch as the rights of citizenship included the right to bear arms.

Under authority of the Anti-Klan Act, President Grant deployed the U.S. military to destroy the Klan, and pretty nearly completed the job.

But the Klan had a few resurgences in the early and mid-20th century. Curiously, wherever the Klan became a political force, gun control laws would suddenly appear on the books.

This will give you an idea of how gun control laws worked. Following the firebombing of his house in 1956, Dr. Martin Luther King, who was, among other things, a Christian minister, applied for a gun permit, but the Alabama authorities found him unsuitable. A decade later, he won a Nobel Peace Prize.

How's that "may issue" gun permit policy working for you?

The NRA opposed these discretionary gun permit laws and proceeded to grant NRA charters to blacks who sought to defend themselves from Klan violence -- including the great civil rights hero Robert F. Williams.

A World War II Marine veteran, Williams returned home to Monroe, N.C., to find the Klan riding high -- beating, lynching and murdering blacks at will. No one would join the NAACP for fear of Klan reprisals. Williams became president of the local chapter and increased membership from six to more than 200.

But it was not until he got a charter from the NRA in 1957 and founded the Black Armed Guard that the Klan got their comeuppance in Monroe.

Williams' repeated thwarting of violent Klan attacks is described in his stirring book, "Negroes With Guns." In one crucial battle, the Klan sieged the home of a black physician and his wife, but Williams and his Black Armed Guard stood sentry and repelled the larger, cowardly force. And that was the end of it.

As the Klan found out, it's not so much fun when the rabbit's got the gun.

The NRA's proud history of fighting the Klan has been airbrushed out of the record by those who were complicit with the KKK, which is to say, the Democrats.

In the preface to "Negroes With Guns," Williams writes: "I have asserted the right of Negroes to meet the violence of the Ku Klux Klan by armed self-defense -- and have acted on it. It has always been an accepted right of Americans, as the history of our Western states proves, that where the law is unable, or unwilling, to enforce order, the citizens can, and must act in self-defense against lawless violence."

BRYAN CAFORIO: "NO FLY, NO BUY"

Bryan Caforio called on Representative Steve Knight this week to immediately take action and vote in favor of commonsense legislation that would improve the safety of Americans: Closing the loophole that allows suspects on the FBI Terrorist Watchlist to purchase firearms. Unlike Rep. Steve Knight, Bryan Caforiao believes that if you can't be trusted to fly on an airplane, you should not be able to buy firearms. Bryan Caforio and Rep. Steve Knight are running for California's 25th District Congressional seat, which covers northern Los Angeles County and part of Ventura County including the Antelope Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster, Santa Clarita, and Simi Valley.

garbage

i am a victim of a criminal who shot me , the weapon did not do anything on its own, nor was the NRA, Trump or anybody else responsible. NO automatic weapons were used in Orlando or any other terrorist or criminal shooting here in the USA.

You've no idea what you are talking about.

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” ― Patrick Henry The true problem is that in places like Chicago, only criminals have guns.

"The Second Amendment Hoax" by Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick who writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast "Amicus", states: "This is where I tell you that the current interpretation of the Second Amendment - the one held unto by Carson, and Donald Trump, and practically the entire Republican Party - is a hoax. Outside of the GOP, this is widely understood. But what we fail to comprehend, as we bury more of our dead in the name of freedom, is that it is a triple-deckerhoax: A lie wrapped in a fabrication, laquered over with a falsehood. That we chose to wrap it around our necks as a symbol of our own liberty is our own fault and shame."

What liberal propaganda.

Please if you are going to post at the very least provide a few links or some data of some kind to support your position. Throwing out slander never helps a discussion. Here I will show you how.

Gun control laws were originally promulgated by Democrats to keep guns out of the hands of blacks. This allowed the Democratic policy of slavery to proceed with fewer bumps and, after the Civil War, allowed the Democratic Ku Klux Klan to menace and murder black Americans with little resistance. (Contrary to what illiterates believe, the KKK was an outgrowth of the Democratic Party, with overlapping membership rolls. The Klan was to the Democrats what the American Civil Liberties Union is today: Not every Democrat is an ACLU’er, but every ACLU’er is a Democrat. Same with the Klan.)"

"..the Republican Party and a Republican President, Ulysses Grant, destroyed the KKK with their Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871.

How did the Ku Klux Klan re-emerge in the 20th century? For that, the Democratic Party is to blame. It was a racist Democrat President, Woodrow Wilson, who premiered Birth of a Nation in the White House. That racist movie was based on a racist book written by one of Wilson’s racist friends from college.

In 1915, the movie spawned the modern-day Klan, with its burning crosses and white sheets.

Inspired by the movie, some Georgia Democrats revived the Klan. Soon, the Ku Klux Klan again became a powerful force within the Democratic Party. The KKK so dominated the 1924 Democratic Convention that Republicans, speaking truth to power, called it the Klanbake.

In the 1930s, a Democrat President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, appointed a Klansman, Senator Hugo Black (D-AL), to the U.S. Supreme Court. In the 1950s, the Klansmen against whom the civil rights movement struggled were Democrats. The notorious police commissioner Bull Connor, who attacked African-Americans with dogs and clubs and fire hoses, was both a Klansman and the Democratic Party’s National Committeeman for Alabama. Starting in the 1980s, the Democratic Party elevated a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), to third-in-line for the presidency."

"Though Democratic leaders would later attribute Ku Klux Klan violence to poorer southern whites, the organization's membership crossed class lines, from small farmers and laborers to planters, lawyers, merchants, physicians and ministers. In the regions where most Klan activity took place, local law enforcement officials either belonged to the Klan or declined to take action against it, and even those who arrested accused Klansmen found it difficult to find witnesses willing to testify against them. Other leading white citizens in the South declined to speak out against the group's actions, giving them tacit approval. After 1870, Republican state governments in the South turned to Congress for help, resulting in the passage of three Enforcement Acts, the strongest of which was the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871."

Don't spread ignorance

I could not take anything that you said seriously after reading your implied "glocks" comment. The glock has absolutely no difference in functionality from any other of the 1,000's of simi automatic pistol in any way shape or form. Only thing that glocks have going for them is that they will take a beating and keep on shooting. You trying to put Glocks in some "assault rifle" category is dumb and the reason why people feel so strongly about their rights to bear arms. You have just proven their argument, you are lumping another weapon that for whatever reason you feel is more dangerous then then 1,000's of other simi automatic pistols. Slowly taking away our 2nd amendment rights one "category" at a time. No automatic weapon has been used in any of the shootings, its a simi automatic rifle technically it doesn't even fall under the classification of assault rifle. That category was given to it by the media.

Anything....

...I would say would not change your position. The founding fathers are more likely rolling over in their graves over the Federal Government taking over 1/3 of the "free" economy. The Communists running our Government at all levels do not understand the difference of the Government regulating interstate commerce and the Government owning the commerce. They will NEVER be able to take away all our guns but they can and are making it very difficult to live in a free country. Wait, our founding fathers suggested we needed to keep our guns to free us from OUR OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT. Keep your power dry.