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

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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.  

Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime, killed in the infamous and tragic school shooting, has written a book; "American Carnage", that speaks of America's insatiable appetite for guns and the ensuing death of so many young people.It puts into perspective the horrors of gun violence and our political leaders resistance to enacting meaningful gun reform. See cover of his book here.

 

 

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.


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Comments

Here he goes again, so eloquently...

Thank you Dennis Moore on your commentary on assault rifles. You break things down so sensibly and so powerfully. I hope you circulate it widely. I wholeheartedly agree: This is not even close to what our forefathers would have wanted. I so applaud Dennis for the way he continues to advocate for gun control. Thanks for motivating all of us, Dennis, to get off our butts and peacefully come together to put a stop to all this madness. Bless you for the time you take to remind all of us that we must do our part.

Guns/Control

This madness has got to stop. What is wrong with people??? The second amendment: Our forefathers must be horrified.!!! This is not what they intended. What is currently happening doesn't jive with "pursuit of happiness." Let's turn this world around, please.!!!

SCOTUS rules today in regard to mass killing machine!

The Supreme Court did the unspeakable today, in a 6 to 3 ruling they indicated that the weapon that killed 58 in Las Vegas at a concert, was not considered a machine gun (Bump Stock) and could be used in similar and future situations. The 

Condolences for the death of LASD Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer!

My heart goes out to the family of Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Ryan Clinkunbroomer for another senseless act of gun violence and murder. I was at a community meeting here in the Antelope Valley city of Lancaster last night when I first heard of the murder of Deputy Clinkunbroomer in Palmdale, just blocks away from the Palmdale Police station. It has been alleged that the perpetrator had a cache of weapons in his possession, which underscores the insanity of this gun violence. Again, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Ryan Clinkunbroomer!

2 more shootings just today in a Louisville!

This gun violence continues today, just after the 3 racially motivated killings in Jacksonville yesterday, there was 2 more killings just today in Louisville, Kentucky! It makes me think twice about even going out.

 

Gun control

Well said, my Friend! The 2nd amendment has been totally misinterpreted for years. Not just AR-15's but all guns should be banned. I know that' a bold statement, but there are other means to protect oneself. Mass shooting reports are as common as hearing the weather forecast. We shouldn't (as a society) have to live in a world where we know another shooting is likely only hours away. Yes, ban assault weapons, but take the rest of the guns with it! Great job, Dennis, for bringing us such candid awareness. It is champions like you who can make a ban happen. I personally, am grateful to you! Really well written piece, too. I hope your review goes viral. Your story touches me deeply. Thank God you are still in this world to make it a better place.

I was born in Missouri, scene of today’s mass shooting!

Although living most of my life in Chicago, I was actually born in Mssouri, scene of a mass shooting in mas shooting in Kansas City, as the citizens were there to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs winnng their 2nd consecutive Super Bowl. I am saddened by what happened today as 1 was killed and 22 were injured. I have many family and friends in Kansas City, and once worked at City Hall, and had planned to get off the train just last week in a short layover to hug and greet family and friends, then get back on the train to continue on to Chicago to stay with my son and watch the Super Bowl with his him. Missouri has one of the weakest gun laws in the country, having open carry laws. This also comes on the anniversary of the Parkland shooting in Florida.

Gun laws?

Dennis, you really should learn to count to 10 and wait until the facts come out prior to these ridiculous rants. What we know so far about the shooting that took place in Missouri - Two African American males in custody, another sought by FBI. Two juveniles also in custody, and although they refuse to divulge any information about them due to their age (unlike Kyle Rittenhouse) I'm certain we can make an educated guess here as to their affiliation with the others. Oh, let's not forget to mention that the guns recovered thus far were stolen. How much you want to bet that none of these individuals were legally allowed to own guns in the first place? If you still think this is a "gun problem" you're part of the problem.

3 killed in racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville!

The carnage continues, with the shooting of 3 people in Jacksonville, Florida, that was described as a racially motivated shooting! And this occurred on the 60 year anniversary of Dr. King's "March on Washington". I am saddened, and a bit numb! This madness has just got to stop!

All guns should be banned!

I agree with you totally, and it is not as bold a statement as you might think, all guns should be banned! Just think of our society and the contributions that all those lost lives could have made!

Washington sets a poor example.

Tens of thousands of enemies of the US government in various counties around the world are killed and Washington brags about it in the media. Obama frequently okayed death by drone while he was in office, and from Hillary we got: "We came, we saw, he died" -- and that concerned a US ally! (Gaddafi) Might makes right!. . . And domestically the widening rich vs. poor divide results in untreated mental health situations and suicides for all ages, especially veterans who may have been involved in foreign deaths. Some don't kill themselves, they kill others.

“Guns are killing us!”

Again, someone has used an AR-15 weapon to shoot and kill 5 people in Texas, including a nine year old kid! When will this madness stop?

"Someone"

That someone was in the country illegally and had been previously deported on numerous occasions. He shouldn't have been here in the first place. If the government did its job and secured our borders, this tragedy would have been avoided. Additionally, if the government wasn't handing out drivers licenses to people here illegally, he wouldn't be able to purchase a firearm, although I doubt that would deter him considering he's a criminal. Stop blaming the instrument, this blood id on the hands of those who fail to enforce our laws.

Stop with the rhetoric.

I was unable to find the word "slaughter" anywhere in the document you posted. Good grief, enough already.

"American Carnage": Fred Guttenberg

Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, killed in the tragic and infamous Parkland School shooting, has written a book that should touch the hearts of all parents; "American Carnage". 

“8 killed by gunfire at Allen, Texas mall!”

I feel the pain and pray for the families and survivors of this senseless act of gun  violence, as my family experienced something similar in Chicago many years ago, but we were a Blessed and survived. Please, let's end this great gun violence now!

Governor Jay Inslee bans assault weapons in Washington!

Governor Jay Inslee of the State of Washington did the sensible thing by recently signing the bill to ban assault weapons on that state, which includes the AR-15. The bill also includes the manufacture and transport of those weapons.

Sensible?

Gun bans aren't designed to prevent crime by criminals, they're designed to disarm law abiding citizens who might have to defend themselves from criminals. There can never be any serious discussion regarding "gun control" until Democrats start enforcing laws, and prosecuting criminals who violate existing gun laws. Most of the gun related crimes in this country are committed by repeat offenders who've managed to get back out on the streets due to weak Democratically appointed judges and the no-bail policies of your party. Go back and look how many of these shootings would have been prevented if the laws we already have in place would have been enforced with the criminals who committed them. Your pleadings for gun bans is the admission that the culture of immorality and godlessness the Left has advocated for decades has created monsters.

Atlanta Police: 1 Dead, 4 Hospitalized After Shooting!

This gun madness continues, with an ongoing shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, as this just happened, and law enforcement is looking for the shooter. I have family and friends in this city, and actually attended my cousin Brian's wedding there many years ago.

Missing context here.

Your headline is missing some relevant details, try this one instead. "Disgruntled black man with prior criminal record shoots 5 women killing at least 1"

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

Tennessee GOP expels two Dems over Anti-Gun stance!

Today, the state of Tennessee GOP House expelled two Democratic legislators over their stance against gun violence, after the AR-15 shooting deaths of three children in a school in Tennessee.

AR-15 Killing

Another killing today at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky by a disgruntled employee wielding an AR-15 rifle, killing 5. This madness needs to stop

AR-15s Don't Kill

anymore than pencils misspell words. This was another unhinged Democrat killer with pronouns in his bio. The Colorado Springs shooter identified as non binary. The Denver shooter identified as trans. The Aberdeen shooter identified as trans. The Nashville shooter identified as trans. One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists. Stop blaming the gun and looking for reasons to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens. Be honest enough to admit the real problem here, it's not hard to see.

AR-15s Do Kill

. . .that's obvious when they are wrongly used by mentally ill people, of which there are many in our society, for various reasons. The latest shooter allegedly suffered from football concussions.

AR-15s are weapons of war and has no place in America!

There is no way to downplay the significance of AR-15s in our society, whether the person wielding it is mentally ill or otherwise, it is an instrument of war and causes devastating destruction on a person's body. They all should be confiscated and destroyed! This thing about the right to bear arms is outdated and anathema to our society. Think about it for one minute, how can a society love and appreciate our children, and allow anyone to brandish and use those weapons on our children? Those espousing those thoughts and views should be ashamed of themselves.

I'm sorry...

I quit reading after you declared that our Constitution was "outdated". I realize that a rational discussion here is not possible. Good day, Dennis.

What an AR-15 does to a child’s body “MedScape”

A group of surgeons explains on "MedScape" what an AR-15 does to a child's body, particularly the three children killed recently in Louisville. It is horrific! In some instances of other mass killings they indicate in gross detail the destructive nature of this weapon on war, which describes their heads being blown off. In regard to TimSDCA reference to the Constitution, the destructive nature of the AR-15 was not around or available when it was written, which is why there was a ban on assault weapons, which needs to be restored. I believe that TimSDCA is a sensible man, which he should consider the impact at least of what this weapon has on children.

Stop blaming the instrument...

a gun didn't do the violence in Louisville; a person did. When will we quit blaming the instrument, and address the mental health issue? As for your reference to the Constitution, the 2A, and it's list of allowable firearms including the "AR-15" - it's right there Dennis...right next to the word "Musket". I respect your position here, but it differs from my own, and I don't believe we'll find common ground on this matter. I will leave you with this thought, Dennis...you want to know why it's important for citizens to be able to purchase and own weapons on par with those of the military? Ask a Ukrainian.

Relevant details intentionally omitted

Another act of gun violence by a member of the LGBTQ cult, a woman who identifies as a man, also a migrant from El Salvador with a criminal record dating back to 2005 and a "Free Palestine" sticker on her gun was stopped by two good guys with guns before she could commit mass murder. Details matter, Dennis.

The Constitution protects rights of a well-armed militia,

Not anybody who wants to own any kind of weapon.  In the Colonial era, that was the militia fighting the British with single-shot muskets.

The Supreme Court has previously upheld a ban on assault weapons as legal. Many other weapons are illegal such as private ownership of tanks and shoulder-fired missiles.There is no legal reason why AR-15 guns used in so many mass shootings can't be regulated or restricted--except for the lack of willpower by Republican legislators.

Dennis has lost multiple family members to gun violence and has every right to be treated with respect for voicing his views.

"Shall Not Be Infringed"

This isn't hard, it's written very clearly regardless of your attempts to obfuscate the language. I have no desire to argue this fact with either of you, at some point you simply have to let people be wrong for the sake of argument. As for your fixation on the "AR-15", those too are protected, which is why the previous ban was lifted. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare" Additionally, I would add that "everyone" has every right to be treated with respect for voicing their views.

AR-15s Do Kill

. . .that's obvious when they are wrongly used by mentally ill people, of which there are many in our society, for various reasons. The latest shooter allegedly suffered from football concussions.

Sanctuary of a Monterey Park ballroom is shattered!

The sanctuary of a Monterey Park ballroom is shattered by more gun violence, as 11 elderly people were gunned down by a 72-year-old man. Ironically, this senseless violence happened at the beginning of the recent celebration of the "Lunar New Year", and in the city where my health care provider utilizes a case management service for me. The shooter did his dastardly deed in Monterey Park, then left for another ballrron in Alhambra, and left for his final location of Torrence, California, where he commited suicide. Ironically, I have a connection with all those locations, as my son Julien and I lived just outside Torrance as he was pursuing his graduation from CalArts in Valencia. This senseless gun violence has got to stop!

Parents of Oxford Michigan High School Shooter Charged!

When will this insanity end? The parents of the Oxford High School shooter was charged today with 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter for providing their son with the gun that killed people at his school.

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.

 

 

I grieve for the 19 children killed in Uvalde, Texas!

Again, we have this horrible trend in our country, the shooting of unarmed children. Each time something like this happens I am reminded of the near fatal shooting of my then 16 and 11 year old sons in Chicago some twenty-five years ago. I feel so blessed to wake up each morning and be able to call or do a video chat with my sons, something that the parents of the 19 children in Uvalde, Texas that were recently killed by an 18-year-old young man. My heart goes out to those parents and their surviving family members. I have already cried for those children, as well as prayed for strength for the parents. 

At least 12 dead in Virginia Beach shooting!

It has just been reported that at least 12 have been shot dead in Virginia Beach, including the shooter. When will this madness end, and we get stricter gun control laws?

Court rules gun maker can be sued over shooting

Gun maker Remington can be sued over how it marketed the rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, a divided Connecticut Supreme Court ruled last Thursday.

 

The plaintiffs in Connecticut include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre. They argue the Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle used by Newtown shooter Adam Lanza is too dangerous for the public and Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people, including those with mental illness.

 

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, has denied wrongdoing  and previously insisted it can't be sued because of the 2005 law, called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

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.

 

 

 

10 killed in Colorado and 8 killed in the Atlanta area!

This madness has got to stop, we as a country can do better! Just in a week's time 10 people were shot and killed by a gunman in Colorado and 8 were killed by a gunman in the Atlanta area. My heart goes out to the surviving families for I sense their pain. I am Blessed that God allowed me not to feel the direct hurt and pain that the parents and family members of those deceased, as both of my sons survived a similar shooting at the same time some 25 years ago in Chicago. I have been near tears for the Asian-Americans shot and killed in Atlanta last week and the people killed just yesterday in Colorado. Ironically, in both shootings it was done by 21-year old men just walking into an establishment and indiscriminately shooting. Again, my heart goes out to the surviving families and I pray for our country!

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