Google+ Replying to my pro-gun friends - Coffee Party USA

Replying to my pro-gun friends

gun_control_rally_sm.jpegThis was originally published on December 16, 2012. It's gone through several edits, most recently on February 2, 2013.

Dear friends who can't tolerate anyone bringing up gun control: You're not going to intimidate me with your !!!!s, ????s, WORDS IN ALL CAPS, namecalling, and threats to unfriend. I am going to speak my mind regardless of your protestations.

I just wish you loved the First Amendment as much as your reading of the Second Amendment. Instead trying to bully people into submission, let us speak freely. Most people aren't calling for a ban on guns contrary to your knee-jerk reactions. We want better regulations on something that is already regulated. We just want improvements. To quote my friend Jim Sanches, there's a difference between regulating and banning. 

In fact, I am pro-non-assault-style-guns-with-high-magazine-capacity for civilians for self defense after thorough background checks, training, and if responsibly maintained.

Respect that America needs to talk about this massacre considering many factors and nuances. So, stop making wild accusations, calling people morons, and trying to shut down discussion.

Dear friends who say that calling for better gun laws is like calling for a ban on cars: First of all, cars are not designed to kill people. Deaths arise from accidents. Secondly, car ownership and driving are highly regulated activities including an elaborate licensing system, insurance mandate, penalties and terms for getting licenses revoked. What we are saying, to quote my friend Mike Stafford, is like calling for seat belt laws after a car crash, not banning cars.

Jim Sanches writes, "If they're going to use the car analogy, fine, let's regulate them as well as we do cars then. We mandate seat belts, headlights, the licensing of every car yearly and liability insurance on every car for starters. Not to mention all the rules of the road, traffic lights, stops signs, etc we all must obey even if we've never violated any of them."

Dear friends who say that Newtown is about mental illness and we should only discuss improving healthcare for the mentally ill: This is like saying drinking and driving is about alcoholism and we should only discuss treatment for alcoholism and not discuss how to prevent drinking and driving. 

Dear friends who say that guns don't kill people, people kill people: People with guns kill people. Guns are dangerous like poison is dangerous, especially guns designed for combat. It's not something we want readily available and in every home and public building. Even if people try to be responsible about its storage and usage, accidents and terrible destruction will occur, especially with children and mentally unstable people around. This is a public safety issue.  If we can accept restrictions on smoking for public health reasons, why not accept restrictions on gun purchases for public safety reasons?

In general, I think gun control is a public safety issue just like people flying planes or driving cars without proper training is a public safety issue.

Dear friends who say we need guns to protect ourselves from the government: To beat the US government, you're gonna need bigger and better weapons than guns. Would you be in favor of legalizing civilians owning tanks, bombs, fighter planes, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Also, if you really believe the government is out to get you, it's likely that you suffer from a mental illness.

In general, I have a problem with you thinking it's patriotic to shoot government employees with your guns.

Dear friends who treat the Constitution as some holy scripture from God and who think they have divined the correct, original, literal, interpretation of it: News Flash! The founding fathers were not psychics who could predict the future. They didn't think of everything. The Constitution doesn't mention online identity theft. Does that mean we shouldn't protect ourselves from it? The genius of the framers of the Constitution is that they wrote a living document that was designed to be amended as we go. There are limits to the Second Amendment as there is to the First Amendment. For instance, you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater because it endangers the public.

There are ongoing debates about how to interpret the Second Amendment. Jeffrey Toobin writes in the New Yorker:

Before the nineteen-seventies, the N.R.A. had been devoted mostly to non-political issues, like gun safety. But a coup d’état at the group’s annual convention in 1977 brought a group of committed political conservatives to power—as part of the leading edge of the new, more rightward-leaning Republican Party. The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as “a fraud.”

Dear friends who think we need more God in the classroom: Our country is founded on the the principle of the separation of church and state because it is dangerous to mix power and religion. Historically, it's led to tyranny. No, we do not need more religion in classrooms. We need more common sense and respect for the give-and-take of our democratic process. We need to insist on fact-based, civil dialogue.

Dear friends who think we need more guns in the classroom to protect our children: Why stop at arming teachers? Why not arm children? How far will you go in thinking that easy access to guns is the solution to the problem of gun violence in our society? Do you want any regulation at all? Do you want buying assault rifles to be as easy as getting a Slurpee from 7-11? Would you allow children to purchase guns? Do you really think easy access to combat weapons is about personal freedom? Do you really think that's what founding fathers had in mind when they made enormous sacrifices to build America? I can't understand how you're thinking about this.

Dear friends who fear that your guns will be confiscated: NRA seems to enjoy inciting fears among gun owners that guns will be banned and their weapons confiscated. This is just a fear tactic. I don't see anyone on the national stage calling for this, certainly not on Capitol Hill. 

There is a big difference between NRA members and NRA leadership by the way. There are ideas for better regulations that the majority of NRA members agree on, but the NRA leadership does not advocate for them or are fiercely opposed to them. For example, the majority of NRA members support closing the gun show loophole, reporting lost and stolen guns, and states sharing records with the National Instant Background Check System.

Instead of encouraging discussion and real information, NRA spreads fear and misinformation. Please listen to what we are actually saying instead of what you fear we are saying.

Dear friends who say I can't talk about gun control because I've never handled or owned a gun before: Have you ever taken crack and heroin? Do you have a position on what our laws should be regarding those drugs? Perhaps I should shoot up heroin, become an undocumented immigrant, and go to prison before I can call for ending the war on drugs, revising immigration policies and reforming the criminal justice system.

Dear friends who say that Hitler confiscated guns so don't confiscate gunsFirst of all, the vast majority of people are not calling confiscating guns. I'm certainly not. Secondly, this is just historically false. Hitler relaxed gun control laws of the Weimar Republic. Thirdly, Hitler loved dogs and used the bathroom. It's not a great argument to say Hitler did x so therefore don't do x.

Dear friends who say Sandy Hook is a hoax: I question the state of your mental health. If you really believe this, I think you suffer from severe paranoia and should be disqualified from buying guns. 

Dear friends who say "Second Amendment shall not be infringed!" no matter who is speaking, under what conditions, and which specific suggestions are made to try to keep guns away from homicidal people: I've listened to your arguments and frankly, you guys don't sound like freedom-loving, Constitution-protecting individuals. You just sound brainwashed. There are only so many ways a person can say that I don't give a crap about anyone else but myself and guns make me feel powerful and that is all that matters

[This is not directed at all gun owners. Just the ones who don't want to engage in any policy discussions involving stricter guns laws and try to shout people down invoking the Second Amendment.]

Dear all friends: I'm finding that it's very hard to engage in a constructive dialogue with people hellbent on bullying you until you give up or repeating gun lobby propaganda ad nauseum. Sometimes you just have to call a spade a spade in the way Joseph Welch called out Senator McCarthy during Army-McCarthy hearings. I want to direct the same lines said by Welch in 1954 to Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the NRA, who testified at the Senate committee hearing on January 30, 2013 and shamelessly uses fear-mongering to boost gun sales: Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Check out The Gun Debate - Special 2-hr show hosted by Annabel Park on Sunday, 1/13, 3:30pm ET.

Annabel is a filmmaker and the founder of the Coffee Party. Her new documentary project is Story of America: A Nation Divided. You can follow her on Twitter @annabelpark and subscribe to her Facebook updates.


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Showing 564 reactions

commented 2013-02-02 02:27:40 -0500 · Flag
To everyone: This thread has turned into Edward’s blog with long comments that very few people can possibly take the time to read. There are many complaints from people who are getting notifications in their emails. Let’s find another way to have dialogue. Commenting on a blog post is very limiting. I’m closing the comments.

Thanks for participating! I’ve learned a lot from you all.
commented 2013-02-02 01:19:46 -0500 · Flag
Brian, check out David Frum’s commentary:

Yet it remains most fundamentally true: people in that room interpreted their gun advocacy as license to shout at a grieving father. Whether you call it “heckling” or something else, it’s just wrong. And the impulse to parse, excuse, condone that we saw in blogs and on Twitter afterward was very nearly equally wrong: a substitution of ideology for basic human sympathy.
commented 2013-02-02 01:10:00 -0500 · Flag
Edward, you need to take a break from this thread.
commented 2013-02-02 00:35:41 -0500 · Flag
commented 2013-02-02 00:32:36 -0500 · Flag
Edward Crowell, I was not referring to you. Do you really think you fit this description? Dear friends who say “Second Amendment shall not be infringed!” no matter who is speaking, under what conditions, and which specific suggestions are made to try to keep guns away from homicidal people:

If you’re going to continue to say “screw you” to me or anyone else, you’d better find another place for your comments.
commented 2013-02-01 22:31:13 -0500 · Flag
I don’t think I will change your mind, however, I tend to look at gun control in the same terms I see drug laws—if you make them illegal, you will simply create a black market where criminals will still be able to get them. It isn’t difficult to manufactur firearms—they’re a fairly simple technology, easier than making LSD for certain.

I don’t like seeing children shot and I think that taking steps to prevent shootings is important. But I think that logic and evidence shows that we need to fix the social problems involved if we really want to stop this sort of thing. Keep in mind that while Japan has strict gun control and almost no gun violence, Brazil also has strict gun control and they have the highest gun related fatalities in the world. Simply banning guns doesn’t solve the problem. If I could make a perfectworld where people didn’t shoot each other, I would. Instead, I’d like to live in a world where people are interested in seriously tackling difficult issues. Gun control is amazingly easy. Too easy.

I don’t like any law that limits freedom without good cause. Now, you could argue that murder is illegal and yet people still committ it. True. But in my mind, locking a murderer up is more about keeping that person from harming more people. Making murder a crime may stop some people from committing murder, but I suspect that most decent people don’t really feel like going out and killing their fellow citizens. So the question becomes whether gun control will reduce gun crime. I take the position that it will not. The crimes that people commit using guns will still allow us to incarcerate them regardless of whether or not their weapons were illegal.

If, as I suggest, gun control will not limit the number of guns nor gun violence, then all gun control will achieve is putting weapons in the hands of criminals without leaving people the choice to own one for self-defense. I think it is very important to make certain that one limits one’s freedoms for the right reasons.

I can sympathize with pro-gun control advocates. I’m not an angry zealot who wants to scream in capitals on the internet. I believe in rational debate, and I’d ban all the guns in the world if I thought that it would work.

I would like to finish by stating that the pro-gun control side is equally guilty of ad-hominem attacks, rhetoric, reductio ad absurdum, begging the question, and red herrings as the pro-gun side. Let’s stop with this sort of thing and try and find real solutions. I say that to everyone, regardless of what side of this debate you support.
commented 2013-02-01 22:29:21 -0500 · Flag
ok look at the clinton ban first what was it? a restriction on cosmetic improvments to guns of a certain type. it did nothing significant. and while it was in effect gun violence went up. two of the major countries that have publicly owned and train w gun owners have the least amount of gun violence. Switzerland and israel. Any law that they pass will target law abiding citizens not the criminals. Also if states and the government would have a comprehensive list of criminals and mental ill citizen’s that could be used to restrict those that have gun and access to them it would greatly reduce the amount of gun violence. now i’m not saying either side is right or wrong. What i am saying is we have these rights for a reason and history has shown that when these rights are taken away citizen’s become the victims not the criminals.
commented 2013-02-01 22:12:42 -0500 · Flag
See now I’m not progun. I just think that there are numerous law abiding citizens who are getting the shaft here. They’ve done nothing wrong and yet for some reason it’s okay to restrict their rights. I do wonder of state governments issued laws which checked your freedom of speech would you honestly not be upset?

I also see this as a rural v urban issue. Most people who live in urban communities don’t see guns as a practical tool. They see them as a tool of violence and well I guess when criminals are the only people with guns then I kind of get that point of view. Rural communities are not immune to gun crime but they’re far more likely to use their weapons as practical tools. They see their guns as part of what makes them what they are. Given that urban environments will typically have greater population density and thus more voting power the rural folks will lose the political argument which is why they are so steadfast in their constitutional principles.
commented 2013-02-01 21:58:35 -0500 · Flag
The NRA has had a tumultuous effect onm most citizens in the past century. Very rarely do they hold meetings on their gun use. I think localized reunions take place, but the fact is that they pose a sginificant threat when dealt with the recollection of participants’ appearance or contribution. If the NRA is questioned with the documentation of the organization’s recordkeeping, the dire answer that is being sought can be released to messengers of isolated authority. Personally, I haven’t experienced any NRA members practice their accuracy with dartboards, but members usually keep their weapons to themselves unless they are faced with the decision to sell them.
commented 2013-02-01 20:42:53 -0500 · Flag
Just added this: Dear friends who say ""Second Amendment shall not be infringed!" no matter who is speaking, under what conditions, and which specific suggestions are made to try to keep guns away from homicidal people: I’ve listened to your arguments and frankly, you guys don’t sound like freedom-loving, Constitution-protecting individuals. You just sound brainwashed. There are only so many ways a person can say that I don’t give a crap about anyone else but myself and guns make me feel powerful and that is all that matters.
commented 2013-02-01 17:02:00 -0500 · Flag
Edward, we have laws for conspiring to commit a crime, and many of the armed resistance groups are skinheads or KKK or Aryan Army etc. While they have a right to speak they don’t have a right to conspire against the government or specific people in the populace.

The reason you are having a problem getting data that contradicts your position is the fact that the best minds that were working on this data were shut down by NRA influence when it seemed the data was going to contradict their rhetoric. Reports like the 43 to 1 Kellerman report from the 80’s in Washington State do not forward the NRA agenda.

You may know many people that feel the way you do because maybe that is your association. I know a few people that feel the way you do, 2 or 3, but know many that feel, at the least, we need to manage every gun transfer with a viable background check on the recipient. Again, patchwork gun laws across the states cannot be viable.

When talking crime you have one thing, when talking accidents you have another, when talking going insane you have another. Without looking at all incidents of gun violence you might miss the reason we need preventative measures in place. We aren’t going to solve them all but if we can put a man on the moon or turn a machine that fills a building to do simple mathematics into an 8 ounce phone that gives you the world on demand, we can improve it. People are people. What won’t work is imaginary lines in the sand. Sounds too much like religion to me and religious righteousness never ends up well for significant numbers of honest people.
commented 2013-01-31 00:26:21 -0500 · Flag
OK, I lied. Thank you, Annabel. :) Hugs to everyone…and peace in your heart and soul. Bye now.
commented 2013-01-31 00:25:01 -0500 · Flag
This is the most amazing online dialogue I’ve ever seen. Thank you!
commented 2013-01-31 00:15:00 -0500 · Flag
Thank you, John Doelman, for your wonderful reply. I know that this is a really sensitive issue. I remember as a child, my very conservative mom used to warn us about the evil, God-denying communists who wanted to take over the U.S. and that their goal was to do it by 1968. I just knew that if I had a high powered gun, in those days a “machine gun”, I would be able to stop any communist who came to my door. I was very young. I still have a vacillation between whether owning a gun would make me more or less safe, and the more I think about it, the more I remember the words, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” Also, Einstein’s “It is impossible to simultaneously prepare for and prevent war.” Then there’s “A Course in Miracles”: “We create what we defend against.”

I understand the fear behind wanting to own enough guns and high powered munitions to do away with anyone who tried to rob me or my family of our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I have the knee jerk reaction that I would like to blow anyone who tried to harm my family or friends or animals off the face of the earth. That is a natural reaction to such a thought or fear. I totally understand it.

I don’t believe we should have all of our guns confiscated, even though I’m not a hunter and would never be one because I love all animals. I believe it is our right to have a gun if we wish…and I also remember the words of the Second Amendment, “…a well REGULATED militia”. I also know that guns very often don’t help because we can’t grab them as quickly as The Waco Kid in “Blazing Saddles”. I believe they should be regulated. I believe in background checks, closing the loopholes, doing what we can to keep the arms out of the hands of children and the mentally unstable.

Just to let everyone know, this is the first time I have entered this conversation or even SEEN it since I first posted. I can see that it was quite a conversation catalyst. This will be the last time I will be here. Carry on and God bless you as you figure out where and why you stand on this issue. Please remember, the victims have rights too. They have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness like everyone else. Don’t let these gun victims death’s be for naught. And please, for your own sake and the sake of the world, don’t live your life based on fear.
commented 2013-01-30 20:53:13 -0500 · Flag
It really is simple. Crimes are committed by criminals or people who have a temporary or permanent psychological impairment, including those who hole up and form armed resistance groups. Can we at least agree on that? We do not have to reduce the number of guns. We need to take those guns out of the hands of the aforementioned in order to reduce the gun violence rate. Tell me your brilliant idea of how we are going to do that?
commented 2013-01-30 19:49:31 -0500 · Flag
ANother part of your story I have an issue with Annabel, is this…

“The new group pushed for a novel interpretation of the Second Amendment, one that gave individuals, not just militias, the right to bear arms. It was an uphill struggle. At first, their views were widely scorned. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, who was no liberal, mocked the individual-rights theory of the amendment as “a fraud.”

What exactly do you, or the author of that statement think a militia is?

According to on line dictionary…(even though I knew this already….people want a source besides myself)…:

mi·li·tia (m-lsh)
1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

And according to the history of the U.S.militia by the 1994 constitution society,

“When asked what the Militia was, George Mason, one of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, said, “Who are the Militia? They consist now of the whole people, except for a few public officers.”

“The Framers also insisted on a distinction between the “genuine” Militia and a “select” militia, which they viewed as a danger, just as much a danger as a standing army. They did not want a militia whose members might consist of anything less than the entire people, or at least able-bodied ones in a certain age range, because if selected on any other basis, they might be used to oppress other parts of the population"

“Just as militias are essentially local, so also are they essentially independent of established authorities, since the militia may have to challenge or bypass those authorities if they abuse their authority or fail to perform their lawful duties.”

Right….and for example…..when those said authorities try to make laws restricting gun ownership…..

SO, when it comes to being regulated…..they were ok with having the cizens trained, and ready to be called to duty at any given time, and they apparently were ok with them being “sort of” regulated by a local entity….like very localized government……but….when wars, or other types of danger weren’t (and aren’t) taking place against the country..the federal government is supposed to have absolutely zero power over the militias, and basically leave us the F alone.

That’s what a milita is….it is independant of a military…AND independant of the government.
commented 2013-01-30 19:27:53 -0500 · Flag

“And Beverly’s statement is hypocrisy?”

Yes….and I explained quite clearly how. And we’ve been over it a thousand times already how there is no evidence that supports your opinion that more guns=more crime….altho there is a crap ton that contradicts it. SO really…honestly…again….it’s not my imagination… And as far as…“Believe me, every gun crime in the paper or on TV, and they WILL put them there, weakens the “do nothing” position.”

Well…I’ll give you that just about every gun crime will be on TV, that’s what they want to do….make you scared. What they will NOT put on TV…is every instance that a gun was used to PREVENT a crime, or save someone’s life. The liberal media is biased that way……the media is not a relevant source of information….they ALWAYS get the story wrong, as well as sensationalize it. And they won’t print or show something that they can’t sensationalize…..a story about a gun being used to save someone’s life? Well….that’s not news is it? Not news that they can add their anti gun bias to anyway….doesn’t support their stance very well does it?
commented 2013-01-30 18:06:06 -0500 · Flag
And Beverly’s statement is hypocrisy? For the vast majority of people the idea that if there are fewer guns there will be less violence is real. It is only in YOUR imagination that less guns equals more gun crime. This is EXACTLY why we need licensing. What Gabbie Giffords husband said today is exactly correct. Your not agreeing with that in principle puts you in the extreme minority. Believe me, every gun crime in the paper or on TV, and they WILL put them there, weakens the “do nothing” position.
commented 2013-01-30 15:21:03 -0500 · Flag
I love how people on the anti gun side can’t see the hypocrisy in their own statements…like Beverly S….. “Bottom line is, there is too much gun violence and too many guns are too available to unstable people. THIS MUST BE STOPPED! We have a right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that is more important than someone’s paranoid thoughts that they need to arm themselves with a WMD against some imaginary threat.”

“There is too much gun violence”…….so… it a real threat then, or am I being paranoid because it’s an imaginary threat? Because if it’s NOT a real threat……then it is YOU Beverly, who is paranoid, and there really isn’t that much gun violence.

And….so…is it only YOU then…..or “WE” meaning, only you on the gun control side, who have the right to Life Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Do I not have that right as well? Because, well…guns help protect me against a threat… in…you know…the fact that there’s too much gun violence out there….and must be stopped….I intend to stop whoever tries to harm me or my family….with my guns, if need be….

I don’t cause any of the gun violence out there…..I just want to protect myself from it….and..well…my theory is, if you want to have the best odds of protecting yourself from a threat, you have to be equally, or better yet….even better armed.

If you don’t think you need a gun to protect yourself against all the violence out there….(because you know….you might be considered paranoid)….by all means….don’t buy one!! But….don’t take away MY right to!

Finally, WMD’s….really? Because you have no real argument you throw that out there huh? Because you know nothing of the subject you’re complaining about, and wanting changes to, you resort to WMD’s…ok…

And Edward… disrespect, but, as an attorney, it’s your job, as well as, well….habit I guess, to muddle things up….you know….create doubt, and “grey” areas. Unless of course, you’re a patent attorney or something like that….. For this reason…..I can’t respect your position on my proposition.

" One, i don’t trust doctors to make that call reliably." Well, I do. Of course you don’t….you’re an attorney. You could also make a convicted felon look very trustworthy if you wanted to. I don’t trust attorneys.

Furthermore, if the fact of someone being declared a danger, or too mentally unstable, is enough to keep them from, as I said earlier, driving a car, taking care of themselves by themselves….ie…living alone unsupervised, mingling normally with society, being able to stay in a regular school…and all kinds of other things….it sure as hell is enough of a diagnosis to keep them away from guns.

What’s the difference between you wanting to lock the person up, vs me wanting to have the guns locked up? I understand who you want to have locked up….but….that’s not really fair either….they haven’t actually committed a crime….we don’t really allow preemptive strikes on that kind of thing here either. Not in so much as locking someone up…..unless you’re talking about a mental institution……if that’s the case….now we’re getting somewhere……that’s what I’ve been saying for years…..bring back the mental hospitals.
commented 2013-01-29 14:08:29 -0500 · Flag

I did not call you an idiot, nor did I intimate it, I questioned how much you knew because you made such a generalized blanket statement covering such a wide range of a condition that includes many different functionalities. Knowing what I know I would not make such a statement because I believe it is a simplistic view of a complex problem. If you choose to do so that is up to you.”

OK…sorry forgive me. I thought people were smart enough to be able to understand this.

Look…a documented mental illness that would qualify someone to not be allowed to own firearms, comes down to the answer to one simple question asked by their Dr…….is the patient a danger to themselves, or society?

If the answer is yes, then they can’t own a F-ing gun. Period. And if they live in a home where there is known to be guns…..that sure as hell satisfies probable cause to have them be randomly searched.

And who cares if I didn’t say give an example of someone with downs in my other What are you….paragraph police? Someone else used it in responding to my post so I was responding to them…if you’re going to police me, at least look at all the responses to see why I may be talking about something before calling me out on it!

“Big difference between owning and being around.”

Well…actually in the case of what I’m talking about….not really…….what’s your point? I was saying that the owners of the guns, in the homes where mentally ill people live…..people mentally ill to the point of being a danger to themselves and society, should have to keep their guns locked up…..(pretty hard to follow I know…but give it a shot)….then I said “it would be up to her Dr to determine if it was safe for her to either own, or even be around one.” What’s your point? If someone is a danger to themselves ot society, does it matter if they owned a gun, or just had easy access to them because the people they lived with keep them strewn about their house?

And read Edwards posts carefully too…He said…

“People who are or have shown serious criminal or idiot tendencies (say sufficient to meet the usual burden of proof for that sort of thing, like beyond a reasonable doubt) are fairly hard to defend. I’d like to keep anyone that dangerous out of public without supervision, but I could possibly deal with restricting their gun rights as a trade off for physical liberty, just to see how that goes…oh, wait, that hasn’t gone well. Criminals and idiots continue to get guns. Nevermind, lock them up till we’re safe from them or at least let people defend themselves since the system can’t (not won’t, is actually incapable).”

So…actually as you can see…he is also suggesting violating a right….he’s not just saying , lock up people who have already committed a crime….nope…lock them up even if they show criminalistic or idiotic tendencies…. which…I’m not even saying is really a bad idea either…you just basically called me a liar is all, so I’m just showing you where I’m not is all…

As I said…I’m talking about locking up guns…..he’s talking about locking up people…..big difference. Yes….both are violating constitutional rights…..mine….I think is justified because I feel probable cause is satisfied.
commented 2013-01-29 07:59:32 -0500 · Flag
Annoying fact: gun control only benefits criminals and madmen. As a liberal, I see that and wonder why people want to put a bandaid on a systemic wound. We throw the mentally ill out on the street to save a few bucks, perpetuate unalloyed violence on TV and in video games for cheap thrills, expect underpaid teachers to fix our lousy parenting. We defund arts in our schools but idolize vapid celebrate. We renege on our civic duty and then bitch when politicians and corporations run amok. We pollute our environment until it makes us sick, drink till we’re stupid and then try to drive, and we sacrifice our youth to fight illegal wars we can’t win while denying women their Constitutional equality. But if we pass a few laws to control guns, that will fix us; the data says otherwise.

If we remove guns, the crazies will use cars, bombs, baseball bats, poison, box cutters…you name it. These “feel good” laws criminalized honest citizens and give naive people a false sense of security—until next time. We have to turn off the TV, pick up our trash, trade the almighty dollar for almighty love, stop fighting and living in fear and ignorance because we don’t take the time to understand one another—or nothing good will come of this.

One thing that has become clear to me is that any gun legislation, IF enacted at all, should be handled on a very local level to match the lifestyle and needs of each community. Why? Because somewhere in the bayou there is a good old boy who makes his living by trolling black-water lagoons for precious sunken logs. He shoots at the water with a .44 cal. revolver and can tell by the ping if there is a log below. He calls it “redneck sonar”. Is it right to take his tool away and force him to crawl around on the mucky bottom with the alligators and water moccasins?
followed this page 2013-01-29 07:59:27 -0500
commented 2013-01-29 03:59:00 -0500 · Flag
This brings up every question that gun fanatic paranoiacs ask…and it provides logical answers and poses more food for thought. Bottom line is, there is too much gun violence and too many guns are too available to unstable people. THIS MUST BE STOPPED! We have a right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that is more important than someone’s paranoid thoughts that they need to arm themselves with a WMD against some imaginary threat.
commented 2013-01-29 02:06:15 -0500 · Flag
Brian, I already said I knew it was a slap in the face to another amendment. I also said that I could live with it because I think it does fulfill probable cause.

You question my knowledge on the subject of autism spectrum disorders…..instigating that I’m an idiot? I work in healthcare. I’m certified in what I do, and this year in order to renew my certification, I had to study autism spectrum disorders. Since orthopedics is my specialty, one may question why I had to research autism spectrum disorders , but apparently they just want all of us to be well versed in all areas of healthcare, you know, to be able to understand all patients better. I get that.

Anyway, so yes, it’s a very wide spectrum. No kidding. That’s why they call it autism spectrum disorder. Our neighbors kid has aspergers, (part of the spectrum, and with which there’s a whole spectrum of that particular disorder as well. Would I trust her with a gun? Probably not. But that’s mainly because she’s 13 and has never even seen one before. That’s up to her parents. They don’t own any guns. How safe she would be later in should be determined by her dr. If he/she thinks she’s not safe to have one or be around one, it should be noted, documented, and if she’s ever living in a home where there is known to be firearms, if the owners of those firearms don’t want to store them in an alternative safe place, then they would have to allow random searches to make sure they’re locked up. It’d be up to them, they could choose either way. And, since you have the right to own guns, but don’t NEED to own guns, yes safes come in many different levels, and you would be required to keep them in a very very good safe, at your own expense.

I actually don’t really think my idea is any worse than Edwards. We both are suggesting sacrificing a right. He’s proposing locking the people up. I’m only proposing locking the guns up, and allowing yourself to be inspected randomly. I’d say mine is actually a lot more palatable than his option!

And yes Edward. They are still mentally I’ll when they’re on their meds. There’s no guarantee that they won’t stop taking them. Actually it’s very well known that for most mentally I’ll people, once they start feeling better, they quit taking their meds, especially if they are left to it themselves. So yes. They are still very much mentally ill.

Can a person with downs be considered safe to own a gun? Probably not. Not without constant supervision. What doesn’t everyone get about the fact that they’re just not wired like the rest of us? We keep certain people from driving cars, and all kinds of other things. Is it really that ludicrous to want to make sure they stay away from guns?

And yes, they did say something about how the mother stored the guns. She didn’t. And she took him out and taught him to shoot. Brilliant idea mom!!
commented 2013-01-28 20:02:09 -0500 · Flag

“You guys are just so full of stereotypes. Liberal this and socialist that. How about capable of thinking?

We are thinking….that’s why we’re saying “socialism”

“People that vote with the tea party are typically (but not always) a little less educated, a little more gullible to the garbage being spewed by the Glenn Becks of the world, and a little less likely to look at both sides of ANY issue”

I’d agree with that….although I’d even venture to say, even if they’re’s wrongly educated. Tea party people are overzealous uber religious freaks….but I’m generalizing….

“A country only works because of regulations and compromise”

Umm…well….sort of, but it depends on how those regulations and compromises are brought about….if it goes against the principles of how the country waas founded, and goes against it’s own constitution…well…then, there’s a big problem. And as far as tweaking them to make them better…sure…but there’s a legitimate process for that…want to change things? Fine…do it right…put it to a vote! Otherwise you can just throw away everything we stand for and might as well just let a dictator take over…

“Is 12 to 1 good odds? 12 people are injured by one’s own gun compared to 1 used to prevent a crime.”

So…people are stupid…..legislation, and regulation isn’t going to fix that. If they can’t follow simple instructions, what makes you think they’re going to be able to follow complex laws?

“This is a perfect example of what is wrong with the USA. We all want it our way and get all upset when our advocates suggest negotiating and compromise.”

Like, as in the way YOU get angry and continue to argue with me, and completely disregard what I’ve suggested as compromise? We’ve already determined that you are indeed obstinate……I’ve put forth a couple of ideas for what you would call compromise….what did I get? Nothing….no acknowledgement….no…just more carbon copy complaints about pro-gun people not being willing to compromise.

On the other hand….what have YOU put forth besides wanting to allow the taking away of my (and our)freedoms?

I’ve suggested we figure out why certain states aren’t already following the laws set forth by the federal government…..why is that? Federal law already prohibits certain…(the bad people we all refer to) from buying firearms….so…why is it still happening in some states? Why do some states get away with not doing background checks….well….that’s actually pretty easy….because the government…incompetent as usual….set forth laws dictating who can’t own them….but, then never put out a law requiring states to do checks to look for them. DOH! The ones that do are just doing their part by their own good will basically. (In other words..the states themselves made it a law.) So… about you just start by yelling at the federal government to start enforcing laws already on the books….that’s not even going to cost a lot of money!

I’ve also suggested giving law enforcement the ability to randomly search a home where it is known that there is BOTH, a documented mentally ill person living, AND there are firearms registered to either the owners, or occupants of that particular address, to make sure that the firearms are locked up at all times. Well…except when the normal, sane owners of them are going hunting or target shooting with them of course.

I would call the second one a huge compromise, since it violates another amendment in and of itself…..but…since we all can agree that it’s mentally ill people doing these mass shootings, I think probable cause is dictated. I concede that you can’t trust people to practice good judgement when it comes to their kids….“Oh…Johnny isn’t that sick….he’s just fine….the Dr said he was a danger, but I don’t think he is.” Yeah…OK mom of the sandy Hook shooter who took her insanse son out and taught him how to shoot. Retarded. So…no….a person with Autism spectrum disorders, schitzophrenia, paranoid delusions, retardation, etc should not be allowed around firearms….it would SEEM common sense….their brains don’t work they way the rest of ours do! They don’t see it as wrong….they don’t understand right and wrong…..but…since we’ve become so “progressive” in this country…we’re too afraid to say…“If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck…’s probably a duck.”

Sorry….but, if you’re too much of a recluse to funtion normally in society, you probably shouldn’t be around guns….and your parents for sure shouldn’t be taking you out and teaching you how to shoot. It’s the parent’s responsibility to notice behavior issues in their own kinds, and well, some parents fail miserably. The parents of all of these shooters….FAIL!! All of the shooters had known, or at the very least suspected behavior or mental issues, if not full on mental illness diagnosis. WTF?! I have no problem saying, FINE…make them lock up their guns! And let them be randomly checked on to make sure they are doing it.

I would even venture to say that even the gun used for home defense, (handgun) could be locked up in a safe, right on the bedstand, with a lighted large keypad on it. Only the (sane) owner of it would know the pin. IN that case, you’d still be able to have your personal home defense gun right at your disposal….you would even be able to have it loaded up and ready……just locked in the safe. If you’re going to have time to get your gun out at all…you’re going to have time to punch in a PIN to get it out anyway.

So..let’s here some suggestions from YOU, that don’t involve taking my guns away.
commented 2013-01-28 16:21:25 -0500 · Flag
You guys are just so full of stereotypes. Liberal this and socialist that. How about capable of thinking? People that vote with the tea party are typically (but not always) a little less educated, a little more gullible to the garbage being spewed by the Glenn Becks of the world, and a little less likely to look at both sides of ANY issue. A country only works because of regulations and compromise. Do we like them all? Probably not but we can tweak them to make it better if they aren’t working.

Is 12 to 1 good odds? 12 people are injured by one’s own gun compared to 1 used to prevent a crime. I think Kevorkian had it right but most of those 12 aren’t dying from a terminal disease… This is a perfect example of what is wrong with the USA. We all want it our way and get all upset when our advocates suggest negotiating and compromise. We are so conditioned to beat down our opponents with ridicule and vitriol that we can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel when the opponent actually wins. A country of hate and guns does not portend for an adult resolution to any problem. As far as this goes, guns are a part of the problem. If we CAN’T or SHOULDN’T change the 2nd Amendment, then we need to do everything we can to keep them out of the hands of those that have either proven they are not responsible or are very likely to not be responsible. People that will not even agree with that statement do not belong in this conversation.
commented 2013-01-28 13:22:38 -0500 · Flag

I’ve always had a problem with a few of things you said in particular…such as: “Dear friends who say that guns don’t kill people, people kill people: People with guns kill people.”

I don’t. None of my other friends who own guns do. And this ties directly into your other argument that I can’t wrap my head around:

Dear friends who say that Newtown is about mental illness and we should only discuss improving healthcare for the mentally ill: This is like saying drinking and driving is about alcoholism and we should only discuss treatment for alcoholism and not discuss how to prevent drinking and driving" And so you’re saying that just because drinking and driving isn’t ONLY about alcoholism that you shouldn’t even look into that side of it? You are suggesting, I presume then, that by preventing drinking and driving in that case, you would be calling for either more laws on it, or possibly going back to prohibition then right? I would argue, that actually most people who drink and drive are at least in the beginning stages of alcoholism. And…look at all the laws that surround it now! They’ve lowered the legal limit from .10 to .08…which is a joke….that’s like one beer, depending on how long it’s been since you’ve drank it. They’ve stiffened the penalties….etc….what good has it done? Not a whole lot….sure…it goes down a tiny bit after they pass new laws on it, but I would argue that it’s mainly because there is a ton of media attention about whatever they did about it at that time, and people know that cops are on the warpath for a while, so they lay low until the hype blows over.

Well….anyway….as I said, I own guns….I don’t kill people….and I don’t know anyone who has or does…..(except some military friends……and they don’t talk about it outright) and I know a LOT of gun owners! While I would say that…no….probably not all instances of drinking and driving are just because of alcoholism…….I would say that most definitely ALL of these cases of mass shootings are completely mentally ill related. I don’t see how you could possibly think otherwise. It’s not just “people with guns kill people” no, no normal stable person goes out and shoots 26 people…I’ve never shot anyone…..hopefully will never HAVE to…..that’s the feeling of all of us regular people out here, who own guns. We don’t buy them with the desire or intent of shooting someone, unless it’s completely for self defense….. I mean really? So, you’re saying that you think that anyone is capable of just going out and committing mass murder at any time? WOW…you must be very afraid all time….how can you trust anyone in that case? You can’t even trust yourself in that case…..better not go out and buy a gun… might do something horrible with it!

And another one: ‘Dear friends who say I can’t talk about gun control because I’ve never handled or owned a gun before, Have you ever taken crack and heroin? Do you have a position on what our laws should be regarding those drugs? Perhaps I should shoot up heroin, become an undocumented immigrant, and go to prison before I can call for ending the war on drugs, revising immigration policies and reforming the criminal justice system."

That’s another excellent example of showing exactly how laws, and more laws, and more regulation do absolutely nothing to stop a problem. Want to end the war on drugs? Make them legal. Making them legal takes away almost all of the benefit that criminals get by having them illegal. They won’t need to be smuggled across the border…thus ending the human mule problem….it would pretty much wipe out the war on the border problem….it would make them criminally worthless when you can just go get them at Walgreens. I mean….when’s the last time you’ve heard of someone smuggling booze over the border? Not since prohibition huh? Wow….imagine that!

And what have we learned from prohibition? Absolutely nothing. Any time looser laws are suggested on something, it’s always the same frenzy. OMG!! There’s going to be chaos and destruction!! My children, my children!! And what actually happens when said laws are loosened? "chirp, chirp, chirp…..
commented 2013-01-28 12:37:43 -0500 · Flag
Phillip, I agree with everything you said being accurate except the one about the Tea Party and theocracy. No one I have met or seen talk even on tv that claims affiliation has been a religious wacko, unlike a lot of prominent Republicans. The Republicans need to ditch their goofy anti-abortion stance immediately.
commented 2013-01-27 23:00:58 -0500 · Flag
Audra: I’ll echo you. I want the women of the nation to have full respect and equality in culture and law. I want the gays to have their marriage, hippies to have their pot, me to have my guns and everyone their free speech. The government has used guns to silence people as I remember Kent State. I can’t vote Republican or Democrat because they both violate the ideals of this nation. Libertarians ignore the Robber Baron era when Wall Street and big business when much more unregulated. Looks like the Coffee Party is going leftist and hell bent on damaging the 2nd amendment even more and the Tea Party is hell bent on creating a theocracy. Poot, I just want everyone to have all the freedom they responsibly handle and not judge the whole by the few. What party can I support for this?
commented 2013-01-27 02:34:49 -0500 · Flag
Edward…hahaha….actually, I second your statement….my house will also be vacant. I grew up on a farm, way out in the middle of nowhere….that’s where myself and my closest family and friends will be…away from all the nut jobs….it would be fun to be a fly on the wall and watch all the clueless people get hit with reality. it’ll be funny to see just how many people go over the edge simply because their cell phones don’t work. I also totally agree and understand what you’re saying about “falling into the trap” I didn’t mean it quite as it sounded….you’re absolutely correct on exactly what the 2nd…(and all others) amendments….as well as our initial bill of rights mean. They do not give us the right….we already have it….it limits the government. Absolutely correct. This is exactly what people do not get. It’s really sickening how many people these days have absolutely zero clue about what it really means. They don’t know, and they don’t care where we came from, or how we became a nation. They think the constitution is just some…“suggestions” or something like that, at the very least….it’s outdated…….it’s really really aggravating. You’re actually looked at as pretty much a freak if you display that you’re proud to be an American!

Now…once again…..on to John D…. I will not sit by, and let people say I’m some kind of paranoid freak, or insensitive, or un- American because I stand up for gun ownership rights. I don’t just stand up for gun rights, idiots……I stand up for all of our other rights too. I would fight just as strongly for your right (as well as my own) to say whatever the hell you want to say, whenever you want to say it. I fight for the rights of my gay friends…..that’s right….yeah, wow huh…..I’m not a bigot….imagine that…..I have some friends who are gay, and even though the issue has nothing to do with me, I believe that they have just as much right to happiness as I do, or you do…so yes….I fight for their rights just as hard as I fight for my right to bear arms. How? Same as I’m doing here…..arguing with clueless people. Writing my representatives….voting….etc etc. I do what I can where I can.

The bill of rights, and the amendments to our Constitution are the most important things in our government, and every single part of it is just as important as the next……even if it has nothing to do with you personally, or if you feel indifferent, or are even adverse to it.

I’d bet you wouldn’t be too happy if the cops just showed up at your house at one in the morning, busted through your door, with no warrant, and started rummaging through your stuff would you? I bet you’d sue wouldn’t you? I bet every last dollar I have that you would say your rights were violated wouldn’t you? If you didn’t,well, then you’re more of a sissy than I already think. But,…..You’re not too willing to say THAT part of the constitution is a joke, or outdated are you? That’s the only thing you need to get…… part of it is any less important than any other part of it…….like I said before….if you think ONE part of it is a joke….well…then you have to think that it’s ALL a joke…that’s how it works… it or not. So, if you don’t want to allow us, (or yourself) the right to bear arms, or, if you think that just because you only want to take away a certain kind of gun, or ammo, or magazine, that you’re not really going against the constitution, or, that even if you are, that it doesn’t really matter because that part of the constitution is just outdated,……well…then you should just log off of here….never mutter another word in this country, pack up all your stuff, and leave……because you just don’t get it..
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