Archives For guns

2014-04-15_16-02-09“As a result of [Supreme Court] rulings, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were ‘well regulated,’ has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of the draftsmen. As so amended, it would read: ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.’ ”

SOURCE: Constitution Check: Does the Second Amendment need to be amended? – Yahoo News.

The topic of the second amendment to the Constitution has many different interpretations but to me it seems obvious to have only one true meaning. Anyone using an ounce of common sense and a something more than a casual study of U.S. history knows what the second amendment means.

We are coming up on our primary elections time in my very red State and that means that all the radical are coming out of the woodwork. One is Eric Bassler running for the State Senate in my area. Mr. Bassler is well-funded but of course he will not reveal just who his backers are. He sends colorful 5.5 x 11 inch post cards weekly now. He wants me to be sure that I know that he is anti-government in all respects and he will NEVER vote to take away my guns.

When the constitution was written it was generally believed that the new United States of America would have a “citizen army” instead of a professional one as maintained by many other countries of the time.  When the need arose citizens would pick up their personal weapons and come forward to man the army. To assure that scenario  the right to have arms was an essential part of that philosophy.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century and of course the concept of a citizen army is totally foreign to us. We abandoned that idea many years ago and therefore the second amendment is essentially irrelevant if not archaic.

I certainly wish Mr. Madison had added the suggested words when he wrote the second amendment but unfortunately he didn’t do that. It just seems very strange to me how any of those nine justices who sit on the Supreme Court can’t understand this basic history behind the words of this amendment.

I know that guns have a long history with us and understand that many have a love affair with them for that and other reasons.  I just wish they would find another reason to support their gun addiction and give up the very illogical dependence on the second amendment as the reason to be able to keep them.

2014-04-23_08-57-37The silencer buying frenzy is the second wave of gun-related purchases in the last two years. After the Newtown massacre, gun owners feared that a weapons ban would be enacted and rushed to buy assault rifles. Now that last year’s push for universal background checks has failed, gun owners have a lot of guns on their hands, and are outfitting them with gadgets including silencers, flashlights, laser scopes, stocks, pistol grips and rail systems.

via Gun Silencers Are Suddenly Selling Like Hot Cakes | TIME.com.

Now you can kill your neighbor without anyone hearing you. We can’t seem to get enough accessories for all our guns. Only in America.  How sad is all this stuff???

Thank Heavens…..

April 10, 2014

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Thank heavens that he couldn’t find a gun…..

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Guns….I’m also not so sure that, as my friend said, it (gun violence) is the way the “world” is. The more I travel the world I am convinced it’s not the way the world is… it’s the way the USA is. I’ve seen a lot of the world, with travels taking me to about a dozen countries a year and this is what I’ve seen:

In one year, guns murdered:

27 in Australia, 59 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 190 in Canada… and 10,177 in the US.

Recently I was in a kid’s room looking at all the books on his shelf. I picked up a copy of Guinness Book of World Records. As we flipped through all the freaky and wild facts, one page caught my attention because it had a gun on it. “MOST GUNS” was the record. And which country held the record? The US — with nearly 300 million guns. But what haunted me even more was seeing that we have around 90 guns for every 100 people, almost as many guns as people. The runner up was India, with about 4 guns per 100 people…..

I don’t want gun violence to be normal, or acceptable. I don’t want it to simply be “the way the world is” — or the way the US is.

SOURCE: Shane Claiborne: Bringing America Back to Life | Red Letter Christians.

Add three more to the list from yet another school shooting on Monday. Will we ever as a country say “enough is enough”. Like so many other things the rest of the world has discovered solutions to this problem.  I know for the most part we are a macho country and that is at the heart of our gun fetish. But most would say that Australia is also in the macho category and their gun murder rate is 99% less than ours. Shouldn’t we be learning a lesson from them?

I for one am very much aligned with Shane on this and many other issues. It isn’t the way the world is and it doesn’t have to be the way the U.S. is!  We seem to be guided by a rather insignificant minority on this and several other issues.  When will the mammoth middle finally say “enough is enough” and take back control of our country? I am tired of seeing yet another picture of weeping children due to the gun violence around them……

Please all you people who parrot “Guns don’t kill people…” don’t bother to comment on this post. I am utterly not in the mood to listen to you right now if I ever am….

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ob⋅ses⋅sion /əbseʃən/  —  noun

an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone

syn: fixation

Kids with GunsStoryline:

The gun was small and light, the training wheels of firearms. The .22-caliber, single-shot Crickett rifle turned deadly on Tuesday, officials in Kentucky said, when a 5-year-old Cumberland County boy shot and killed his 2-year-old sister in what the coroner described to a local paper as “just one of those crazy accidents.”

Source: Guns made for kids: How young is too young to shoot? – U.S. News.

The above definition of obsession is a pretty simple yet accurate one. Are guns an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with some of us, particularly in the U.S.? I think the parents who gave a five-year old a loaded gun definitely fit that definition!  Like Newton, sadly there is a two-year old life that was extinguished as a result and an innocent five-year old who will have to live with that for the rest of his life.  I wonder if that tragic loss of life changed those parents views of guns?  I kind of doubt it because if they buy a gun for their five-year old  their guns are probably a very deep-rooted compulsion. I hope that they at least suffer some legal consequences for this death but since Kentucky is a pretty NRA leading red State I doubt that there will be any action taken against them.  As the coroner said “just a crazy accident”. The Crickett rifle did not turn deadly; it was deadly to start with!

I know I will get a healthy share of flamers with this post but again but I just can’t understand how something whose sole purpose is to kill became so endemic in our society. Guns, besides death and inflating egos has little or no purpose. But, shamefully it has become so engrained that even classrooms of kids dying and a five-year old killing a two-year old has no effect on the  “protecting my guns at all cost” mentality.

A five-year old killing his two-year old sister with a gun given to him by his parents! How sad and tragic is that. That is probably one of the saddest parts of the twenty-first century for me. Thirty-five thousand Americans will die as a result of guns in our country this coming year. Why can’t we find a less deadly toy to occupy our weekends?

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In spite of a vote last Thursday in favor of debating new gun measures, some Democrats who are facing re-election next year in conservative states have already said they will not vote for the background check measure offered by Senators Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, forcing Democrats to look desperately across the aisle to fill the gaps.

Republicans, in the meantime, are bitterly torn between moderates who feel pressure to respond to polls showing a majority of Americans in support of some new gun regulations and conservatives who are deeply opposed to them.

Source: Party Rifts Complicate Chances for Gun Bill Passage – NYTimes.com.

It is sad to see that party politics takes the front burner in the gun regulation work. How did the obstruction views of the NRA become so powerful? The vast majority of the citizens of this country are in favor of background checks as one cog in the solution to the preposterous gun violence in the country.  This pressure from the powerful gun lobbies is nothing new but it is still just as shameful. When a politician’s desire to remain in office outweighs his will to do the common good then it is probably time for him to step back and think why he went to  Washington in the first place.

I totally refuse to be a single issue voter or citizen. We all must look at the common good and stand on those issues. We should never just fixate on one issue. That makes us too narrow minded….

Banner -In The News

gun ownersSource: Rate of Gun Ownership Is Down, Survey Shows – NYTimes.com.

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.

In 2012, the share of American households with guns was 34 percent, according to survey results released on Thursday. Researchers said the difference compared with 2010, when the rate was 32 percent, was not statistically significant.

The findings contrast with the impression left by a flurry of news reports about people rushing to buy guns and clearing shop shelves of assault rifles after the massacre last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“There are all these claims that gun ownership is going through the roof,” said Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “But I suspect the increase in gun sales has been limited mostly to current gun owners. The most reputable surveys show a decline over time in the share of households with guns.”

So, it seems that all the recent increase in gun sales is to those who want to increase their arsenal and not those who are bringing the first gun into their homes. That is good news indeed!  To actually see an almost 40% decrease in gun owning households is very contrary to what some would have us believe. It seems, all the vitriol rhetoric from the NRA aside, that most of us just don’t buy into their bunker mentality of needing a gun to stave off the imminent home invasion. We sensibly see that if we buy a gun we are 42 times more likely to kill ourselves or a loved one than someone invading our homes.

Now if we can just get our beliefs aligned with these numbers and pass some sensible gun regulations in this country we just might be able to reduce our murder rates and other type statistics more in line with the rest of the world. Since even a good percentage of current gun owners are also in favor of regulating firearms it seems like a no-brainer to get this done.

Let your congressmen know that you are one of the vast majority who want sensible gun control.

Before I leave this post we need to consider another possibility for all the recent gun purchases. We know for a fact that there is a thriving and very lucrative business of buying guns in this country and then selling them at a big profit to the drug cartels of Central and South America. If gun control legislation is achieved it is almost certain that this “guns for drug money” will be addressed.  Isn’t that yet another reason to put in some sensible gun regulations?

Only Seven Murders….

February 26, 2013

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Source: No guns at home, so Japanese shoot ‘em up in Guam – Itineraries on NBCNews.com.

Because guns are so hard to find, gun-related crime is extremely rare. They were used in only seven murders in Japan — a nation of about 130 million people — in 2011, the most recent year for official statistics. In the U.S., with 315 million people, there are more than 11,000 gun-related killings annually.  The Japanese are proud of their low crime rate and generally support tough gun-control policies.

Given the propensity to violence in this country I can’t even imagine a country of 130 million only having seven murders in a year! I suspect there will be that many in Chicago within the next two days.  How does Japan keep violence down to such a miniscule level?  Part of it I’m sure is their culture. Even though Japan was one of the countries that started the last world war they basically have a very non-violent society now. They generally show great respect for each other, especially their elders. They are just not the type to have a lot of bravado  as we in the U.S. seem to overflow with.

But there is also another major reason for such a low murder rate and that is guns are almost impossible to obtain in their society.  The NRA is constantly harping that if the bad guys didn’t have guns they would learn to kill with other weapons but Japan seems to prove them wrong.  I don’t think that Japan is devoid of bad guys. Human greed which spurns so much lawlessness is probably just as endemic in their country as it is in most others. When a gun makes killing so painless (at least for the one doing the shooting) it makes murder just too easy and a spur of the moment thing.

Too bad we can’t learn even the simplest lessons from our neighbors in other countries. If we could take the best ideas of each country and incorporate them here…. Instead we stubbornly insist that we alone are the only ones that can get anything right. How naive is that??

Statistics Averse……

February 22, 2013

Source: To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

Chart with color wavesThe national map of suicide lights up in states with the highest gun ownership rates. Wyoming, Montana and Alaska, the states with the three highest suicide rates, are also the top gun-owning states, according to the Harvard center. The state-level data are too broad to tell whether the deaths were in homes with guns, but a series of individual-level studies since the early 1990s found a direct link. Most researchers say the weight of evidence from multiple studies is that guns in the home increase the risk of suicide.

“The literature suggests that having a gun in your home to protect your family is like bringing a time bomb into your house,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, an epidemiologist who helped establish the C.D.C.’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Instead of protecting you, it’s more likely to blow up.”

It is known that the NRA is adamantly against even studying the violence around guns. Maybe this limited study is one of the reasons. It shows that guns are the preferred tool of choice for those contemplating suicide. It also show that if you really are serious about killing yourself you will have a much higher success rate if you use a gun than any other choice.

While so far this post seems to be about guns, it is really about statistics. I think we in the country are just statistics averse. We just can’t seem to accept that branch of science as giving us any valuable information. Even when we see election after election being accurately predicted with statistics we still don’t really believe in them. If we did we would understand that other countries that have sensible gun regulations have lower murder rates, suicide rates, and accidental death rates than those, like the U.S. that stubbornly refuse to enact the necessary controls.

I don’t know what it will take to bring us to our senses regarding things that are statistically proven to benefit our society but we, for one reason or another, are adamantly against. Statistically we know that without pre-school education our kids are doomed to trying to catch up with their peers but for some reason we resist giving pre-school opportunities to some. Statistically we know that the U.S. is falling further behind many other countries when it comes to the quality of general education for our population but that doesn’t seem to alarm us much. We leave the education of our children up to our local neighbors to decide how and what they will learn. Of course they have little or no knowledge of statistics or the world where our children will be competing.

We need to listen more when statistics show us that we need to do some things differently if we want to maintain a world class society.  Now don’t get me wrong. I am very aware that statistics can and is often done in a faulty method.  We have to be careful that there is validity and not manipulation behind the statistics that we use.