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From the Amendment II Democrats blog on MySpace:

You may have noticed that, in light of President Obama's apparent reluctance to press the issue on certain proposed gun laws, there have been some recent calls for Second Amendment activists to compromise in the interest of reducing violent crime and increasing public safety. My dictionary, however, defines "compromise" as an agreement in which all parties involved are willing to make concessions or scale back their demands. Pray tell me, what concessions are the Brady Campaign and the Violence Policy Center willing to make?

Lest we forget, ever since the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, right up until 2004, the only thing that American gun owners have done is lose ground to the other side. We have seen full-automatic weapons banned from the civilian market. Then we have seen semi-automatic weapons banned from the civilian market. And now the trend continues among gun-control advocates - instead of learning their lesson from the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, and despite the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in the case of DC v. Heller, gun-control advocates not only want to see the semi-automatic ban restored, but followed with similar legislation on .50-caliber rifles. Some even want to see civilians restricted to monthly quotas for gun purchases or even ammunition purchases. Where is the "compromise" in all of this?

When it comes to our Constitutional rights as Americans, however, we owe it to ourselves and our children to sustain a mindset of constant vigilance. Over the past few years, too many of us have become pliant and weak when confronted with wiretapping, torture,  corruption, and the suppression of free speech and the right to keep and bear arms. In other words, we compromised, hoping that the other side would do likewise.  It has not.

Some proposed gun legislation I tend to take more personally than others, which results in an elevated level of my own involvement in Democratic grassroots politics and the fight to define our party’s message on our Second Amendment rights. How welcome this attempt to raise awareness on gun issues is among my fellow Democrats, however, is still a matter of controversy. Nevertheless, for better or worse, the only points I have volunteered where we could find common ground with gun-control activists are in the need for a well-regulated firearms industry and in the need for more education on gun safety and violence involving firearms. Notice, however, that I have only mentioned common ground, never compromise. The Second Amendment still mentions "the right of the people to keep and bear arms," and as long as Democrats say they support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they have to support this as well without degenerating into some linguistic version of Three-Card Monte in which the law-abiding American citizen finds himself relegated to older designs of bolt-action hunting rifles in order for lawmakers to foster some illusion of domestic pacification or even, God forgive me, "Homeland Security."

A few weeks ago, I mentioned on an on-line Democratic forum that I'd like to see a firearms version of Driver's Ed made available to high school students, where teens could learn how to shoot firearms in a safe, secure environment with direct supervision by teachers, police officers, etc. This way, if a student started exhibiting poor impulse control, swagger, anger management issues, or any other detrimental behavior, instructors could immediately step in and counsel the student on how to deal with those issues so they do not create bigger problems during adulthood. Someone on the forum who is more supportive of gun-control measures then suggested that the class should include a visit from someone who has survived being shot by a criminal; this way, students could interact with a survivor of violent crime and develop an understanding of what happens to a person, his or her family and friends, and to society in general when someone uses a gun to commit a crime. I told the gun-control advocate that I thought his idea was great. After all, when I attended Driver's Ed, I saw the same grainy 8mm reels of grisly automobile crashes that you did when it was your turn in class, and I hardly felt traumatized by the images of smashed windows, crumpled frames, limp bodies, and blood-spattered vinyl. On the contrary, it reinforced the sad fact that people can (and do) get severely injured or even killed in auto accidents, and the same thing could happen to me if I didn't pay attention to the road, pedestrians, and other motorists. Why not apply the same principle to teaching the next generation about the consequences of misusing firearms?

That is an example of common ground, not compromise. This was an example where I could sit down with an advocate for tougher gun-control laws and we could both come away with a plan for increasing public safety that we feel good about.

With support for the traditional gun-control paradigm at an all-time low according to some recent polls, my message to gun-control advocates is that maybe we should focus more on common ground in order to fulfill our part of this whole "a more perfect Union" deal. There is always room for improving how Americans do things - complacency is not something we should aspire to, but instead challenge. Same goes for firearms safety and legislation. Never mind that history and momentum are on my side; I want that more perfect Union just as much as you do. So let's sit down and talk about it. Let's evolve new ideas while preserving our rights.

And so, my fellow pro-RKBA Democrats, let's seek the common ground, and to Hell with compromise.

Originally posted to derby378 on Tue May 12, 2009 at 08:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Drgrishka1, EthrDemon, Marja E, tgrshark13

    Nobody ever said this was going to be easy, but I have faith that it can be done.

    •  Can we get a real, honest to god test (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      EthrDemon

      like we do with the damn cars?

      I want to make sure that the next guy who buys a gun doesn't shoot the neighborhood kids because they're setting off firecrackers on his lawn (you know they sound like mortar fire).

      Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

      by RisingTide on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:05:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Okay, so here's the problem. (0+ / 0-)

      We've got a lot of rural poor folks driving into the city to sell guns to criminals -- a rampant evasion of our current background check laws.

      How do we fix?

      Cityfolk around here have been proposing a "mandatory reporting" for stolen guns, that way they can prosecute people if they keep selling guns to criminals...

      Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

      by RisingTide on Tue May 12, 2009 at 10:06:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Um, really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Plutonium Page, Shadan7, Hannibal

    Then we have seen semi-automatic weapons banned from the civilian market.

    I have owned a S&W .22 semi-automatic for over 10 years.  I go to gun shops and there are loads of them for sale.  When, exactly, were these banned?

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by gchaucer2 on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:01:06 AM PDT

  •  Where is the gun? What is its purpose? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, FutureNow

    That is the ultimate question, I guess.  The Second Amendment is framed explicitly in terms of a well-ordered militia, not an abstract "Guns? Sure!" absolute right.

    Even taking the argument that the right to bear arms includes the right to bear arms against the government, you are still left with the terrible, excruciating question of context.

    Keeping a well-controlled gun to preserve your right of insurrection should the need arise is one thing. Let's face it, if Cheney and Co had fiddled the Diebolds to steal the election, I would have been on the barricades and so would have many of you.

    But those aren't the guns that gun-control advocates worry about.  So when you prate about "common ground," remember you'll have to be talking to a young mother in the inner city who has to worry about whether her child is going to pick up a stray slug from that semi-auto rifle you want to fondle on the way home from school.

    The Constitution, as the saying goes, isn't a suicide pact.

    When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

    •  Nobody's saying we should abandon inner-city kids (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RisingTide

      Unfortunately, their neighborhoods have been subjected to decades of institutional malaise, but tougher gun laws won't do anything to change that. These people need education, jobs, opportunity, and dignity - and legislators who have enough guts to bring all of these to such neighborhoods.

  •  When I am able to detect a legitimate (0+ / 0-)

    reason why civilians needs guns, and a legitimate threat to them being able to own them, that's when I'll see a need for the "constant vigilance" you're calling for on this issue.  I accept that gun ownership is an American right, but that doesn't mean there should be no limits on what sort of guns a civilian can have.

    Proud to be an American, once more.

    by LeanneB on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:07:09 AM PDT

    •  When I am able to detect (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shadan7, Marja E, tgrshark13

      a legitimate reason why people need to deny the Holocaust happened, I will exted to them the First Amendment protections.  

      Further, people who have to rely on the incopmetent DC or NOLA police do NEED guns.

      •  I never said I deny Second Amendment rights (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, I specifically said that I accept that it is a right in this country to have guns.  But it is patently ridiculous to act as though gun owners are in danger of losing that right.  A certain amount of regulation is only sensible.

        Proud to be an American, once more.

        by LeanneB on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:58:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Luckily (0+ / 0-)

      in this nation we respect rights, which means they originate from being a human itself not granted from some authority as a privilege.  Nobody needs to show they need to undertake a right to anyone else in order to undertake it.

      Why do you need to express your political view, why do you need free speech, why do you need internet access, a tv, why do you need to protest the government, why do you need to consume alcohol, why do you need...

      Never in America should anyone ever ask this question of someone undertaking a right.

  •  If only the Second Amendment crowd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, LeanneB

    cared half as much for the Fourth.

    "[T]he policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder." Richard J. Daley

    by DaNang65 on Tue May 12, 2009 at 09:12:43 AM PDT

  •  I think the Second (0+ / 0-)

    Amendment gives the states the right to regulate gun ownership as part of regulating the militia.  

    Where the "reasonable" line lies is the real question.  Most cops I know tell me their concerns are: 1) the chief source of illegal firearms are stolen legal fire arms; and 2) the fact that people are very poor on firearms safety.

    Having the states and groups like the NRA sustain and expand safety training and regulating fire arms security (safes and the like) might do more than restrictions on ownership.  

    •  that's not what I'm getting up here in liberal (0+ / 0-)

      appalachia.
      seems legal gun owners drive into the big city to sell their guns on the black market to criminals.

      Jesus ain't comin', go ahead and put the Nukes back now.

      by RisingTide on Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:04:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So get tougher on straw purchases (0+ / 0-)

        and lock those suppliers up and ban them from buying firearms again.  Don't push laws which aren't going to stop them and which are going to harm law abiding gun owners.

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