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The mass murder in Tuscon shook me to the core Saturday, and I send my most sincere condolences to the families of Christina-Taylor Green, Dot Morris, John Roll, Phyllis Schnec, Dorwin Stoddard and Gabe Zimmerman, and I am hoping for a successful recovery for Congresswoman Giffords and the eight other wounded individuals. However, in no way does the incident change my beliefs about the Second Amendment and the utility of firearms in our society.

I'd like to explain why, as respectfully as I can, because I think civil dialog in the wake of a tragedy like this is difficult yet critical. I know I am in the vast minority within this community when it comes to this particular constitutional right, and I think it's important that those who see only negative value in firearms hear the other side, preferably from a progressive ally.

First, to be clear, I strongly favor licensing for firearms, and I disagree with the Arizona law that allowed Jared Loughner to obtain a firearm without getting a license. If we require a license to drive a car, we should require a license to own a gun (so long as the process is reasonable). If licensing was still required in Arizona, it might have prevented Loughner from obtaining a gun legally, although he most likely would have been able to obtain one illegally if he was determined to do so.

On the Second Amendment:

What happened in Tucson was horrific. There have been horrific tragedies involving guns in the past, and there will be horrific tragedies involving guns in the future. This is a terrible reality of our society. However, it is odd and disconcerting  to see progressives, people who believe in a fierce protection of every other right afforded in the Constitution, willing to use a tragedy as an argument to limit our rights as American citizens.

September 11th was horrific, yet we fight tooth and nail to protect the Fourth Amendment, our right to privacy, despite the argument by the Bush and Obama administrations that certain privacy rights must be restricted to keep us safe. And we fight for the Fifth Amendment, pressuring our government to bring the Guantanamo detainees to trial, despite the fact that many see a danger in giving alleged terrorists the opportunity to be found innocent.

Why do we defend these rights, even in situations when there is a possibility that it might make us less safe?

Because if we only abide by the Constitution when it is convenient, the Constitution is worthless. That’s why I believe the right to keep and bear arms is as important to defend as every other right afforded by the Constitution.

On the Utility of Firearms:

When a gun is involved in a death, it makes the news. However when a gun is successfully used to prevent an act of violence, it goes unnoticed (especially in over 99% of cases when no bullets are fired). This is reality, and it makes sense; however, the disparate amount of attention paid to the two types of events creates a public misconception about the costs vs. benefits of allowing citizens to have firearms.

For every tragedy that occurs due to an irresponsible (or worse) action with a gun, there are many instances where guns are used to prevent a tragedy. According to the National Self Defense Survey conducted by Florida State University criminologists in 1994, the rate of Defensive Gun Uses was projected nationwide to approximately 2.5 million per year. Among 15.7% of gun defenders interviewed nationwide during the survey, the defender believed that someone "almost certainly" would have died had the gun not been used for protection. (In another 14.2% cases, the defender believed someone "probably" would have died if the gun hadn't been used in defense.) Even if these statistics are over-inflated, and we say 10% of Defensive Gun Uses resulted in a life being saved, that would mean 250,000 lives per year are saved due to defensive gun use.

On the other hand, the CDC National Center for Injury Prevention & Control reports that firearms caused 31,244 deaths in 2007 (the latest year they have statistics). Of these, 17,352 were due to suicide and 351 were due to legal intervention.

So, analyzing the costs versus benefits of an armed citizenry, the data shows that guns are resulting in lives being saved more than lives being taken on an order of at least 10 to 1. And this is just death. Obviously firearms are used to prevent other crimes such as rape, home invasion and robbery.

Firearms do not kill as many people as automobiles (42,031) or medical malpractice (195,000), yet we wouldn’t think of banning cars or doctors because the benefits of getting around and getting properly treated outweigh the potential tragedy of a drunk driver or a negligent doctor. Likewise, it’s only fair for gun control advocates to consider the positive value of firearms, and to think about the hundreds of thousands of people who believe they would have been robbed, raped, or killed if they were not armed during a violent altercation.

Again, my heart goes out to the victims in Tucson, and I wish for the recovery of those who were injured. But as horrible as it is,  I believe it is problematic (and in some cases disingenuous) to use tragedy as an argument for the limitation of our constitutional rights.

Note: Many seem to think the high-capacity magazine Loughner was carrying would have been illegal before 2004 when the assault-weapons ban was in effect. To clarify, it would have been illegal to manufacture a new high-capacity magazine; however, pre-existing “grandfathered” magazines would have been readily available. The assault weapons ban is a subject for another day, but gun-control advocates should understand that there were so many loopholes and ambiguities in that legislation, the "ban" didn’t really do anything other than drive up the price for certain items and change the look of a few models. If you think the health care bill was a political red herring, you really need to study the AWB.

Originally posted to Age of Quarrel on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 03:45 PM PST.

Also republished by Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, your screen name will get a workout (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, Otteray Scribe

    in a little while.   Sorry to say...

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 03:55:31 PM PST

  •  Thanks for your excellent and informative diary. (27+ / 0-)

    I too number among the progressives on this site who are also gun owners.  Far too many here voice well-intentioned but often sadly uninformed opinions regarding firearms. They use, for example, 'semi-automatic' as if it is some terrible new kind of firepower in an exotic, assault-type weapon, not realizing that semi-automatic pistols have been around since the late 1800's.  Diaries like yours hopefully will help educate those who need more information before they make knee-jerk, often uninformed statements regarding firearms ownership and use.

    Again, thank you.

  •  Re licensing (13+ / 0-)

    I personally wouldn't mind requiring a license to own a firearm, but I see a lot of potential for the, shall we say, more enthusiastic brand of gun controller to abuse the licensing system to seize some firearms in the future. Given that not licensing is now the status quo, why should the NRA/SFA/etc compromise on this?

    (That's entirely aside from the class issues that come into play with any licensing scheme...)

    •  Because (10+ / 0-)

      it's a deadly weapon, just like a motor vehicle is? OTOH, "driving" isn't a constitutional right, it's a privilege. Still, I'm of the mind if "law enforcement" (or whoever) wants your guns, licensed or not, they'll find them (unless you bury them in your backyard or something, and--well, what good are they to you then?)

      I see both sides of this argument. And I, too, am a gun-owning, pro-Second Amendment Democrat, and I get angered when my fellow Dems castigate folks like me with a broad brush (I'm some kind of macho Rambo wannabe, etc.--I mean, first of all, I'm a woman, hee hee!). All kidding aside, I honestly believe that there should be licensing, if for no other reason than to make sure that those who possess firearms are taught how to use them safely!

      There are other things we can do that do not infringe on our right to bear arms, too, IMO. I mean, I'm sorry, I don't want, nor do I need, the capacity to fire off 30 rounds in one blast to protect my home! If federal law enforcement doesn't use that sort of magazine as a matter of standard practice, then why the hell should I be able to?

      And IMO, there is nothing wrong with limiting where we sell this stuff. Wal Mart? Oh, for God's sake, this much should be a no-brainer.

      I especially appreciate this part of the diary, because this hardly ever gets talked on "the left":

      When a gun is involved in a death, it makes the news. However when a gun is successfully used to prevent an act of violence, it goes unnoticed (especially in over 99% of cases when no bullets are fired). This is reality, and it makes sense; however, the disparate amount of attention paid to the two types of events creates a public misconception about the costs vs. benefits of allowing citizens to have firearms.

      For every tragedy that occurs due to an irresponsible (or worse) action with a gun, there are many instances where guns are used to prevent a tragedy.  

      We stopped a robbery in our home awhile back. Never once did I have to fire. The guy bolted--he got nothing from us, and neither of us was hurt.

      There is such a thing as a good deterrent. It works, and it works extremely well. Unfortunately, these are the stories most of us don't hear about.

      REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told

      by lunachickie on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:55:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thank you for your reasoned discussion. (6+ / 0-)

        I am also a gun-owning progressive, learned to shoot and hunt (a little) from my dad at the age of about seven. Never did much enjoy shooting little critters, I guess, but understanding firearms effectively dispels fear of them. I think the antiviolence part of the firearms story gets very little media play, far less than deserved, and I think that the licensing argument is a reasonable one to make in conjunction with this, for the following reason: in most person to person conflicts, introduction of a weapon will result in one of two outcomes - it will either end it, or escalate it. Those who would introduce deadly force, or the threat of it, should be qualified to do so, and furthermore, they should be be prepared to follow through, because they might be called upon to do exactly that in defense of themselves or others. A well-conducted licensing and skills program for firearms might offer the possibility that this goal could be achieved, and also offers some chance of monitoring the performance of individuals seeking the right to carry personal arms, possibly "weeding out" those unqualified (by whatever criteria) to do so. I doubt that perfection could be reached in this fashion - plenty of really awful drivers are licensed every year, for example - but you concept has merit.

  •  Well it's time to reban assault weapons... (4+ / 0-)

    I don't care if things do get regrandfathered in, if it's effect don't occur til I'm 60, I'll be happy.  I'd rather just get it over with now, then kvetch and caww about how it has no immediate effect

    Dr. Dean...Paging Dr. Dean...he's not on-call you say...then get me DR. MATT!! STAT!!!

    by doctormatt06 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:01:56 PM PST

  •  This: "The assault weapons ban is... (8+ / 0-)

    The assault weapons ban is a subject for another day, but gun-control advocates should understand that there were so many loopholes and ambiguities in that legislation, the "ban" didn’t really do anything other than drive up the price for certain items and change the look of a few models.

    No. The assault weapons ban should be addressed at this moment. Now. Tonight. Emergency legislation.

    Gather 'em up and melt 'em down along with those killing machine "clips". Fuck this, man.

    This is insane. Even the cops are out gunned.

    "It's hell to pay when the fiddler stops." ~Leonard Cohen

    by Annalize5 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:02:08 PM PST

    •  Really? (17+ / 0-)

      Emergency legislation?
      What is an "assault weapon"?
      What is defense of marriage or partial birth abortion?
      You have not clue one what the fuck you're talking about, obviously.

      "Acting on Hate does not require guns" - Deoliver47

      by kestrel9000 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:08:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Annalize, the terminology matters. (15+ / 0-)

      A lot.

      A true "assault rifle" is, and has been banned for over 70 years, as is ANY "machine gun" or other fully automatic weapon.  Only cops and the military can have them, and the cops mostly keep them locked up for special occasions.

      Please understand that such a weapon fires 10 times or more in a second, and keeps firing until it is out of ammo, or the trigger is released.

      ALL weapons allowed to the public are capable of firing each time the trigger is pulled, unless it requires chambering a new cartridge before firing like older hunting rifles and shotguns. Even a 140 year old "six-shooter" (a "revolver") fires each time the trigger is pulled.

      "Semi-automatic" means that the gun reloads each time it is fired by pulling the trigger until it has used up all the cartridges in its "magazine", where they are stored.  Semi-automatic pistols have the magazine in the grip, between 7 and 17, depending on the make and model of the gun. A trained shooter might hit the target at a rate of one bullet in a second or two with a semi-automatic.

      Finally, with all that in mind, the so-called "assault weapon ban" (AWB) was rightfully mocked because it banned a bout ten models (or so) of semiautomatic rifles that were specifically designed to LOOK LIKE military assault rifles, all scary and black and everything, so idiots could play pretend warriors, without actually having the firepower that a true assault weapon has. It also banned manufacture of larger capacity magazines, but I'm not certain that was for all weapons or only for certain specified ones.  Meanwhile, literally hundreds, if not thousands of models of semi-automatic weapons that look like ordinary guns were not affected and are still sold with the same firepower as the scary fake "assault weapons".

      The AWB was a feel-good measure that snookered the gun control community because they didn't know the difference and thought they were accomplishing something.

      As this diary demonstrates, there are all kinds of sane, normal and even progressive people, even here in the DKos community, who own firearms. A few of them started the RKBA group that diaries regularly to address the issues, but even they are quite divided in their views, although most of them loathe the NRA. I was a member of RKBA briefly, but I found a few of them to be too ideological about it and with a hair-trigger defensive reaction that I just didn't want to be associated with. Others of that group I call friends, but we have more interesting things to talk about than guns guns guns.

      I am 65 and have owned guns of various legal types most of my adult life. I don't make an ideology of this; I just keep certain tools safely set aside in case I need them.  Where I live, in the rural mountain West, many households do the same.

      I am well to the left of most Kossaks.  I speak out to you (and anyone reading) here in the interest of promoting rational discussion. I see here over and over well-meaning people who don't grasp certain basic concepts concerning firearms and I, perhaps foolishly, believe it helps to be informative.

      At root, a gun is simply a better way to throw a stone, which is about as human a thing as exists. Humans have thrown stones since they became humans, to kill animals to eat, to ward off danger, and, on occasion, unfortunately, to attack other humans. Sometimes humans even throw stones just for the fun of it, as I am sure you have seen for yourself, if you were ever around children. Owning and shooting a gun is not aberrant behavior, but I would be right there with you in agreeing that some people ought not to be allowed to have a gun.

      Thanks for reading.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:02:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  claude, thank you for this... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        I do remember having this conversation, (possibly with you) in one of those gun threads.

        I too live rurally and am used to people having guns. Rifles probably. Critters and all that.

        At one time I considered carrying a hand gun as a woman living alone but for whatever reason never pursued it. I don't like instruments of killing. Never will, I guess.

        What I'm addressing here, claude, is the out of control, over the top access to handguns to anybody that wants one. I see no hope of ever "licensing" every person who carries a handgun. Gun shows. Shop and go~! No prob.

        So to my mind, a semi-automatic or an automatic weapon are both killing machines designed to kill human beings.

        And why would anyone need a 33 round clip?!

        Again, thanks for your comment and explanation.

        "It's hell to pay when the fiddler stops." ~Leonard Cohen

        by Annalize5 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:27:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ya know some of us (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, ER Doc, KVoimakas, theatre goon

        black assault rifle owning "idiots" happened to have liked shooting our M-16 and wanted something that was as close as we could get to what we were already very familiar with.

        Thanks for the attack though, really appreciated.

    •  "the cops are outgunned"? (0+ / 0-)

      Fucking seriously?

      Booooolshyte.

      The police have fully automatic firearms, i.e. fucking machine guns.

      They have gas grenades, flash-bangs and smoke grenades.

      They have armoured fucking vehicles with .50 caliber military machine guns!!

      Do you put any effort into being a clueless, ignorant tool, or is it an inbred talent inherited from Uncle Dad?

  •  The RKBA tag has been removed. (15+ / 0-)

    Diarist, please be advised that there is a Daily Kos RKBA group and we reserve that tag for our series diaries. Please do not reapply it.
    Not negging on you, just wanted you to know thta.
    THanks for this, by the way.
    Tipped and recced.

    "Acting on Hate does not require guns" - Deoliver47

    by kestrel9000 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:02:49 PM PST

  •  It seems the town fathers of 1880's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Annalize5

    AZ had more common sense about guns than we do today.

    No guns period inside the city limits.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:02:51 PM PST

    •  ...yet the gunfight at the OK Corral happened (11+ / 0-)

      despite the anti-gun ordinance.

      Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

      by Simian on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:11:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well . . . (0+ / 0-)

        Politico

        In late 1880, as regional violence ratcheted up, Tombstone strengthened its existing ban on concealed weapons to outlaw the carrying of any deadly weapons within the town limits. The Earps (who were Republicans) and Doc Holliday maintained that they were acting as law officers-not citizen vigilantes-when they shot their opponents. That is to say, they were sworn officers whose jobs included enforcement of Tombstone's gun laws.

        [snip]

        Even the Tombstone town council of 1880 realized that some people with guns have intent to kill-and that reasonable laws could help stop them.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:28:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What about all the gunfights that didn't happen? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        claude, Oh Mary Oh

        If the reality was anything like the Wild West image, there must have been arguments, bar-fights and the like that could have become shootings if the actors had been armed.

        Safeguards sometimes fail. That is no reason to do away with safeguards.

        Your argument is like saying, "The driver was killed even though he was wearing a seatbelt, so we should do away with seatbelts.

        •  Funny thing about that... (8+ / 0-)

          Is there's a lot of shootings in Chicago where guns are outlawed - well except if you are rich or politically connected. Could it be that the people who obey gun laws are the same folks who obey other laws? Might it then be supposed that people who don't obey other laws don't observe firearms ordinances either? What is the world coming too?!!?

          Sincere apology for the ironic snarking, I'm just in that frame of mind tonight.

        •  By all means please provide me a way to measure (7+ / 0-)

          all the gunfights that didn't happen because of this.

          Every individual has a civil right to pursue what they believe are the best means of defending their rights from infringement.  This is inalienable to the human characteristic and while individuals, groups, and states can infringe on that inherent right it does nothing at all to change the existence or moral strength behind the existence of that right.

  •  Since the diarist favors licensing, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Annalize5, FG, KVoimakas, laker

    it appears to me that he or she agrees that the Second Amendment allows for regulation.  It does use the words "well regulated," after all.
    I think the conundrum is what constitutes proper, Constitutional regulation, and what constitutes infringement.
    On this, people disagree, and are likely to always disagree.

    It's no crime to be poor. But they're working on it.

    by jazzmaniac on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:04:08 PM PST

  •  A few comments (10+ / 0-)

    Because if we only abide by the Constitution when it is convenient, the Constitution is worthless. That’s why I believe the right to keep and bear arms is as important to defend as every other right afforded by the Constitution.

    The Fourth and Fifth amendments are not limited in their text by application to "well-regulated militias."  Thus, there is no inconsistency, it's not abiding by the Constitution "when convenient," but rather abiding by the Constitution "as written."

    For every tragedy that occurs due to an irresponsible (or worse) action with a gun, there are many instances where guns are used to prevent a tragedy.

    According to a Brady Campaign study, criminal gun use is 4 times more common than self-defense gun use.

    Firearms do not kill as many people as automobiles (42,031) or medical malpractice (195,000), yet we wouldn’t think of banning cars or doctors because the benefits of getting around and getting properly treated outweigh the potential tragedy of a drunk driver or a negligent doctor.

    You went off the rails on this one.  Guns are designed for the purpose of killing.  Automobiles are designed for the purpose of transportation, and the number of safe trips is astronomically higher than the number of trips resulting in a death.  Likewise, medical care is designed for the purpose of saving lives, and that care improves health astronomically more often than malpractice kills a patient.

    •  If you're right about the 2nd Amendment... (9+ / 0-)

      It's funny how the founding fathers never clarified their intentions. The 2nd amendment was understood non-controversially to be an individual right from 1787 until about the 1920s, when gun-control groups started springing up.

      You'd think if they meant it only to apply to militia members, they would have said something about it.

      The higher that the can monkey climb, the more he shows his tail.

      by Age of Quarrel on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:19:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, laker

        The founding fathers included the "well-regulated militia" language because they wanted the federal government to be restricted from disarming militias.  Individual gun ownership was never considered in the 2nd Amdendment, as it wasn't necessary, it was delegated to the states under the 10th Amendment.  That's why several states put the right to bear arms in their own constitutions.  It never came up until the 1920s because states had decided to allow individual rights to own guns.

        •  If I'm wrong, than the Supreme Court is wrong... (6+ / 0-)

          The 10th Amendment:

          "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

          Your argument only makes sense if gun rights do not fall under the jurisdiction of Federal Law. I think the fact that gun rights are specified in the Constitution nullifies that argument.

          Also, several states put RBKA in their constitutions, yet every state allowed people to own guns. Why? because people believed it was a constitutional right, and it wasn't controversial.

          I agree that the text "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." is ambiguous. And that's why I find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers wouldn't have clarified it if they didn't think it was an individual right, as that's how it was perceived.  

          The higher that the can monkey climb, the more he shows his tail.

          by Age of Quarrel on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:37:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The states have the power to regulate guns (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, Simian, laker

            by the 10th Amendment.  Congress also has some overlapping power on gun laws via the commerce clause and the general welfare clause, among perhaps other provisions.

            Some states allow gun ownership but choose not to include the right to bear arms in their state constitutions (such as New Jersey) because they have decided to allow some gun ownership as a privilege, but to not make it a state constitutional right.  It had nothing to do with whether it was a US constitutional right, and had everything to do with whether the state wanted to make gun ownership a right or a privilege.

            I don't understand your confusion with that.  There's a million things that states allow ownership of without putting it into their state constitutions.  Couches, for example.  I never saw a state constitution that said individuals have the right to own couches.  Does that mean the states assumed couch-owning was a US constitutional right and thus they didn't have to bother with it in their own state constitutions?

        •  Not quite. Language evolves. (5+ / 0-)

          At the time, 'militia' was clearly (like, in dictionaries) understood to mean 'the armed body of citizenry'.

          And, applied to that correct definition, 'well-regulated' meant that those citizens were to be armed and to maintain their arms.

          Sort of like in Switzerland, today.

          It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

          by Jaime Frontero on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:40:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure you mean "The framers" and not (0+ / 0-)

          "The founding fathers."  An easy mistake.  
          Keep in mind, when you speak of individual gun ownership, that the Second Amendment never uses the word "gun."  It says "arms."
          I've yet to meet a true Second Amendment absolutist (not saying they don't exist though.)
          We regulate what age a person can be to lawfully purchase a gun.
          We greatly restrict who can possess, what for expediency I will call a "machine gun."
          I've yet to meet a gun owner who objected to preventing the mentally ill from purchasing a gun, although the Second Amendment makes no such distinction, or for that matter convicted felons.  And just as an aside:  Does anyone realize that a mentally healthy person can develop mental illness after purchasing a gun?
          We restrict, or at least we endeavor to restrict, bringing guns into schools, and onto commercial airliners.
          So, as I said in my earlier comment, it seems that most people readily accept a fair amount of regulation on their right to keep and bear arms.
          The argument is over whether these restrictions, and other proposed restrictions, are in keeping with the Constitution's reference to "well regulated."

          It's no crime to be poor. But they're working on it.

          by jazzmaniac on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:32:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've met one now (6+ / 0-)

            Nice to meet you.

            Arms is defined as "weapons used to wage war".

            The mentally ill and felons after release have the same rights to self defense as anyone else.

            As for felons they need to stop being treated as second class citizens when they are released.  Either they have served their time and come back with full access to everything as citizens or they should stay in jail (not that I agree with jail as a punishment but that is a different discussion).

            No age limit other than the age of majority.
            No restriction, no licensing, no inventory, no identity check.
            No laws on type, function, design.
            No laws on ammunition.

            Same as buying a pack of chewing gum.

            Alcohol Tobacco Firearms should not be a government agency, it should be a convenience store.

            •  Wow. You take my breath away. (0+ / 0-)

              But tell me, why shouldn't a minor have the right of self-defense?

              It's no crime to be poor. But they're working on it.

              by jazzmaniac on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:15:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They do have it but like all rights it is held (5+ / 0-)

                in a proxy state by their guardians.  If the guardians decide the child can undertake that right (or if they have proven so via emancipation) then the child could undertake the right and its commensurate responsibility.

                The same as we do with all things with children.

                We can argue what that age of majority should be but its an unavoidable aspect of human nature that our brains and bodies must mature.

                •  Oh, I agree there is ample precedent (0+ / 0-)

                  for assigning various ages at which certain rights can be assumed by individuals.  And of course, they vary by state, and by subject.  And I don't disagree that brains and bodies mature over time.
                  But I'm wondering where your Constitutional justification for this practice resides.

                  It's no crime to be poor. But they're working on it.

                  by jazzmaniac on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:47:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In the equitable application of law (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gerrilea, PavePusher, theatre goon

                    since the voting age is 18 it is the time when individuals are judged to be able to support their opinions and undertake full autonomy.  They make their own decisions and solely undertake the consequences.  If they were to hold the right of contract at an earlier age then they should be able to vote and act as any adult, if it were to come at a higher age other access must be held off as well.

                    It is an arbitrary age but so long as it is applied equally to all I cannot seem to find any other way to assign a cutoff for expected maturity.

                    Although I suppose one could make the case for the age to be lowered to 15 to encompass all who are within the unorganized militia.  

                    •  It seems it would have to be lowered to (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PavePusher

                      15 to comply with the militia code you cited earlier.  But tell me.....what happens when you turn 46?  Do your rights as an arms carrying militia member vanish?  And what about women?  Don't they have the same Second Amendment rights as men?
                      BTW-I want to thank your for your prompt answers to my posts.  I appreciate the dialogue.

                      It's no crime to be poor. But they're working on it.

                      by jazzmaniac on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 11:15:36 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I wouldn't mind it being lowered but (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PavePusher

                        it is not a requirement. The militia code being a body of law inferior to the Constitution does not bind it. Nor is the Second Amendment bound by the constraints of what the militia is composed of.  I was merely entertaining your line of  reasoning. I invite you to continue to consider what the laws would have to be like if the Second Amendment were referring only to the organized and unorganized militia.  I think it would then require exactly as you state.

                        No problem at all, I enjoy the discussion.

                      •  I think that various ERA laws... (0+ / 0-)

                        would address that.

            •  Arms, however, are biased in their meaning (4+ / 0-)

              towards those carried by an infantryman (the "stand of arms" being the term for an infantryman's kit in those days).

              Anything bigger would tend to fall under "ordinance", and it is reasonably debatable whether the protections of the 2nd are afforded them.

              Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

              by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:41:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except that private ownership of ordinance (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea, PavePusher, theatre goon

                at the time was well known, widespread and totally legal before and after the Constitution.  A popular example are the privateers used against the Barbary Pirates in which private warships equipped with canons were used.

                If only the right for what we call small arms was enshrined then certainly there would be some historical criticism of the possession of ordinance by citizenry yet there is no trace of it until the modern era.

                •  Just because private ownership was known (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PavePusher, theatre goon

                  doesn't mean it's guaranteed the same absolute Constitutional protection; it simply means that Congress had not yet seen fit to exercise its authority over it.

                  Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                  by Robobagpiper on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 03:53:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't see any authority of Congress existing (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    gerrilea, PavePusher

                    in such an area in Article 1 Section 8.

                    By the 10th amendment such powers would be in the possession of the state or the people.

                    I think from the historical perspective we can see that it was an assumed part and parcel of "arms" (otherwise a more exact phrase such as "a stand of arms" would likely have been used).  Much the same as the power of states to secede was an assumed and understood power at the time of the writing.

        •  Thanks for the condecension, you have a side of.. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Elmar, KVoimakas, theatre goon

          arrogance to go with it?

          This guy doesn't agree.

        •  Um you do understand that (6+ / 0-)

          every able bodied male age 15-45 is in the militia right?

          Its right there in the militia code of the US.

          So you believe that 15 year olds should have full access to firearms because they are members of the militia?

          The second amendment was derived from the pre-existing PA Constitution Article 21 which states "The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves or the state shall not be questioned."

          States who joined the union after the forming added wording similar to the 2nd amendment but as for the original colonies - they already had it before we were a united anything.

          History - it does a brain good.

        •  Not consistent with any body of writing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KVoimakas, PavePusher, theatre goon

          by the founders. You're pulling that interpretation out of thin air.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:39:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They would have said something about it? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wreck Smurfy, laker, streetsmart96

        Like starting the Second Amendment with language mentioning a well-regulated militia?  

        What do pro-gun advocates make of the "well-regulated militia" justification that is plain in a very short statement?  I've always wondered how they seem to utterly ignore half of an amendment that is so important to them.

        •  It's pretty clear. (9+ / 0-)

          It's explanatory, not exclusionary.

          You can't call up an armed militia from an unarmed populace.

        •  What do you make of (7+ / 0-)

          "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." part of it?

          It seems to me you're ignoring that part.

          It's interesting, every other amendment of the Bill of Rights expresses an individual right. I think it would be a little weird if they intended this one to be different than all the rest.

          The higher that the can monkey climb, the more he shows his tail.

          by Age of Quarrel on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:41:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're ignoring my question (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Duncan Idaho, streetsmart96

            The right to bear arms is not infringed by regulation, I would argue.  I don't see the two parts of the amendment as being mutually exclusive, and doubt the Founding Fathers did either.  

            How do you reconcile the two?  Pointing obsessively to the phrase you highlight while ignoring the other half of the amendment doesn't reconcile anything.

            •  Oh thats fine then (6+ / 0-)

              I'll just regulate your free speech to one sentence a month provided you get fingerprinted, voice identified and you fill out a form explaining why you believe you should be granted the ability to speak.

              Then after a few months of review and interview some state office manager will decide if the state allows  you to speak and we only charge 150 dollars for your license.

              Then you can go out and buy one of the speeches(if you want to craft your own there are other regulations) at one of the federally licensed speech dealers.  There are private speech dealers out there but we are trying to crack down on that "public speech loophole" and polling shows people want it closed so thats good.

              Now you have to fill out more forms when you go the federally licensed speech dealer and make sure if your city limits your speeches to only certain approved ones that you buy one on the list otherwise its a felony and you can't ever speak again (no appeal,so be careful) oh and this list can change at any time and there is no method of telling you and we don't update the website often.

              Then once you pay your 35 dollar fee and your purchase is recorded in our speech database (in case you abuse it like Sarah Palin - oh my!) you only have to wait seven days before you can speak.

              See how easy that is!  Your right isn't being infringed at all - just regulated.

              Oh and make sure your state doesn't prohibit certain inflections or words or thats another felony.

              Enjoy the great American past time of free speech citizen!

              •  Pardon me (0+ / 0-)

                ... but that's a colossal pile of horseshit.  Your slippery slope inanities are hoary and utterly beside the point.  They sound exactly like those of the people justifying Gitmo and torture and profiling in the wake of 9/11.

                When my words can blow away 20 people in a couple of minutes, come back to me with those arguments.

                •  No offense Dallasdoc, really. (6+ / 0-)

                  And I'm absolutely certain you don't believe your words can blow away 20 people.

                  I've been reading you as long as I've been on DK - and it's usually an informative and rewarding experience.

                  I note, however, that you do appear to believe that words - those of somebody else - can 'blow people away'.  Or, as you've put it, incite others to violence:

                  The media are deeply complicit

                  They have enabled the rhetoric of violence on the right by utterly ignoring it, by not objecting to it, by refusing to embrace even the most rudimentary of ethical standards to hold our political figures against.

                  Media figures have bent over so far backward to avoid criticizing the Sharron Angles and Ann Coulters and Sarah Palins for their horrible rhetoric of violence that they have permitted, even encouraged its steady escalation.  And now they compound their sin of omission by straining to create false equivalences that absolve the real inciters of violence yet again, in order to avoid any introspection or self-criticism on their own part.

                  Like it or not, Elmar has a point - and it's a point that you've somewhat agreed with in other contexts.

                  Who is more deserving of our contempt: those disturbed saps who buy Palin's shit?  Or Palin?

                  In a world of perfect equivalencies (which this, of course, is not), who should be regulated, and for what?

                  What is mightier, Dallasdoc - the sword, or the pen?

                  It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

                  by Jaime Frontero on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:30:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No it is not. (4+ / 0-)

                  This is exactly how handguns are currently "regulated" in many areas without - as you put it "infringing" on the right that is protected.

                  Not such an easy pill to swallow when the target of such good natured regulations are on something you like to exercise is it?

              •  The extraordinary contempt Americans have for (5+ / 0-)

                their most basic liberties - across the political spectrum - is precisely why the Founders saw the need to set many (but not all) of them out explicitly in a Bill of Rights.

                Well said.

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:22:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  You don't seem to understand what well-regulated (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, rockhound, Elmar, theatre goon

          meant to the framers. There is copious correspondence showing that it's quite different from the 20th century usage referring to rules issued by an executive bureaucracy under a Congressional mandate.

          Example: during the Revolutionary War, a fort commander sent a letter to Washington requesting additional troops for his garrison. Washington replied that he had none to spare, and that the commander should procures "the best-regulated militiamen as can be found".

          In the language of the Framers, a "well-regulated" militia was one uniformly equipped and trained in drill.

          That is, militiamen made "regular" (as opposed to an irregular army, an example of which in the generation before Washington had made it to 100 miles of London with a mix of muskets, claymores, shields, and Lochaber axes).

          The 2nd doesn't mean what you intend it to mean, because you don't understand the language it was written in.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 08:47:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's my take on it. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PavePusher

          I actually believe the Constitution allows for the control and regulation and or training in arms, as a necessary part of national defense when "we the people", ages 15-45 are called into service to protect it.

          Shays Rebellion under the Articles of Confederation revealed this flaw.  There were no clear lines of command and control.

          That said, we don't live under a Napoleonic code.  We live under an English Common Law code.  

          And since the 2nd A specifically states when or how arms can be "regulated", it's clear only when called into service...not before or after...just during one's time in defense of our nation.

          Pretty easy and very clear...IMO...

          And this interpretation is inline with other provisions of the Constitution:

          Article 1, Section:

          To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

          We were not to have a standing army, "we the people" were obligated to protect ourselves and our country.

          Keeps the gov't from becoming tyrannical...

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 07:50:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Dishonest use of statistics (4+ / 0-)

      The supposed "2.5 million cases of defensive gun use" is justified by a very poorly documented paper from 1995.  It references, critically but without any refutation, the National Crime Victimization Survey data of 1994 which shows only 68-80,000 such uses.  The paper cites 13 other studies summarized in a table which is unavailable at the link.  I do note one of the later footnotes is a defense of the use of "junk science", however.

      There are no recent national survey statistics I can find.  For anybody to rely on self-reported surveys without noting who's doing the surveys or what possible biases they might have -- in a field where political and commercial biases ought to be presumed rather than discounted -- is naive at best.

    •  I am part of the militia (4+ / 0-)

      I am well trained and maintain my arms in good working order (thats the definition of regulated back then).

      Thus you agree my right to Keep and Bear arms is unlimited correct?

  •  Good diary, (10+ / 0-)

    and good, succinct defense of gun rights in the wake of the shootings.

    I suspect that Kossacks are less anti-gun than you may believe.  There was a poll on yesterday that seemed to show that up to a quarter of us either own guns or live in a household where someone does.

    Re Loughner: a license requirement almost certainly wouldn't have prevented him from owning a gun.  He had a 9mm as early as high school, by his friend's account, and was an expert shot who could easily have passed any licensing requirement.  Only if he had first tried to purchase a weapon after he passed the point of no return in his psychosis (if, in fact, he ever did) would a licensing requirement possibly have deterred him.

    How do you feel about the 33-round Glock factory clips the shooter was carrying?  I believe in the right to bear arms, but I don't think the Founding Fathers had 33-round clips in mind.  Loughner was tackled when he stopped to reload.  It clearly would have saved a number of people's lives and avoided wounding of a number of others had he been forced to reload after 8 (or 12 or 13) rounds.  Banning such clips (which we have done in Cali) is perfectly reasonable, it seems to me.

    Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.

    by Simian on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:08:24 PM PST

  •  213 people have been shot today. (8+ / 0-)

    ...and the day isn't over.

    That's the Tuscon body count times 10 - and the day isn't over.

    Just thought I'd add that as perspective.  Some of us are awfully tired of having OUR rights to be safe pushed aside by the NRA.

    Number is courtesy of the Brady Center, which gives a minute-by-minute update of the number of people shot daily.  Year to date: 3,162,

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:11:46 PM PST

  •  Talking to my partner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OMwordTHRUdaFOG, Wreck Smurfy

    He's a hunter and was a gunsmith when he was in the military....Glock magazines not for sale in Canada.

    Ammo costs $1.20 each versus 22 cents in the States.

    "A Canadian is merely an unarmed American with health care." John Wing

    by marigold on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:11:56 PM PST

  •  This survey is bull. You're saying that guns save (8+ / 0-)

    10 times more lives than the actual number of people murdered with them. Of course, if I use a gun for self-defense I will claim that it prevented murder. It's just post-purchase rationalization. It makes more sense to compare murder rates in different countries with different gun laws. Although this comparison will also be flawed, it is more meaningful than the survey. If your logic is correct, murder rate in these countries will be 10 times higher than it is in US while in fact it's usually lower (for developed countries).

    •  agreed, the conclusions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, Wreck Smurfy

      are a flat-out ridiculous fabrication.

      •  It was an accepted study. I saw an example when (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elmar

        my roommate used a gun through a closed door to dissuade someone from breaking into our apartment.

        None of us reported it.

        •  Good for you. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not against guns and they certainly prevent crimes when used for protection but these statistics make no sense.

          •  How not? (0+ / 0-)

            IIRC, there are approx 1 million violent crimes a year.  Total crime far higher, of course.

            IIRC, well under 50% of violent crime is commited with a gun.

            Is it any surprise that people would protect themselves with the most efficient tool possible?  If attaked with a knife, would you counter with a knife?  or a stick?  Sure, if those were the only tools available to you.  But you don't owe a criminal a level playing field.  So, many people decide to skip the intervening levels and go straight to the gold-standard of self defense.

            Thus, more defensive uses of guns than criminal uses.  

            •  I'm not sure it's true. Yes, if you happen to (0+ / 0-)

              have a gun around when being attacked of course you will use it if you can. But criminals will also use guns if they have them for the same reason. So there is no reason to believe that defensive uses will be more common than criminal ones. If access to guns is easy, both more criminals and more law-abiding people will have them so a higher percentage of crimes will be committed with guns. There is actually data on that: for example, in UK where guns are restricted criminals use knives a lot more often.
              The survey specifically says that guns prevent hundreds of thousands of murders (not just crimes) and that makes no sense to me.

    •  Also they don't mention the flip side of that (0+ / 0-)

      Even if we grant that guns are indeed used 2.5 million times a year to deter crimes, without any shots being fired. What about the times when a gun is used to threaten somebody, without shots being fired? Can we similarly assume that there are a similar number of incidences where guns have been brandished to threaten or scare somebody without shots being fired?

      In other words, whatever good that is being done by brandishing guns, is canceled out by the equal number of times that guns are being brandished for bad reasons.

      •  Right sothe obvious answer is to (5+ / 0-)

        pass a law that the criminals won't follow that makes it harder for those 2.5 million people to defend themselves in the future.

        Hey forget about the civil right of people to be able to protect their other rights - rights we don't like are ok to infringe on and legislate away right?

        You know like that right to not be wiretapped, kidnapped, jailed, or tortured, of hell assassinated (thanks Obama)?  You know so long as someone says something scary sounding about you its ok to have your rights vanish in a puff of fear - so says the majority.

        SO SAY WE ALL!

        Because that is the world you're working to make permanent.

        Either decent people stand up and defend everyone's rights - including and especially the rights they don't personally like - or we go happily towards a totalitarian state.  And then boy would you wish you had a gun.

  •  Sorry you're wrong (9+ / 0-)

    If more guns made Americans safer, we would be the safest country in the industrialized world, instead of the least safe.  There is no rational reason for a 31 clip Glock, are you hunting with it?, not very sporting.  The next time someone says "Guns don't kill people, people do" puke first and then ask them whether the person who said that would rather face a crazed, angry person armed with a knife or a gun, or a mugger armed with a semi-auto or a bat.  Americans need to grow up, and stop this John Wayne fantasy crap, no situation is made safer with a firearm, that's why the first thing that Wyatt Earp and other sheriffs did to make the Old West safer was ban guns in the town where they were sheriff.

  •  All gun apologies point to a single survey (6+ / 0-)

    by Gary Kleck; however, a Harvard study contradicts its conclusions (or at least maintains that crime and suicide overwhelm the supposed benefits of gun defense). Be careful drawing conclusions from it.

    I'm also unpersuaded by the "use it or lose it" constitutional issue to the extent it is used to frustrate passage of commonsense gun control laws.

    "I don't know anyone who doesn't want to spend more time in Paris" -- Barack Obama

    by 1arryb on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:19:41 PM PST

    •  I should add (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flo58, Wreck Smurfy

      I grew up on a ranch. I own a gun which I like to shoot...at the freakin' rifle range.

      "I don't know anyone who doesn't want to spend more time in Paris" -- Barack Obama

      by 1arryb on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:22:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why shouldn't a person who owns their own (4+ / 0-)

      life be able to decide how to end it?

      Suicide is a natural right. Its their life, its their choice.

      Only someone with an agenda would include suicide in a supposed study about the cost/benefit of firearm ownership.

    •  Uhm. No. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, Elmar, theatre goon

      The DoJ back in the mid 90s sponsored a report that said 1.5 million defensive gun uses a year. This was after Kleck's study/survey.

      (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 11:16:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, yes (0+ / 0-)

        Click the link in your original post and you will see that it does, indeed, point to the Gleck study. It was an easy mistake to make since the copy you refer to is unattributed. Click here for a better linkhere.

        The DoJ "study" is indeed, another fish altogether. Mainly because 1) it is not a study, but rather a report that surveys the study literature; and b) it does not support your factual claim of 1.5M DGUs(Defensive Gun Uses)/year. In fact, this report relies on several sources with numbers between 100k and 2.5M. The report then goes on to demolish the methodology of those studies reporting higher DGUs (example: If you believe Gleck, et. al., more rapes were prevented by the brandish/use of a weapon than all the rapes committed in the U.S. that year). There is much more. I highly encourage everyone to read the whole "defensive gun use" section of this report. It is illuminating on many levels.

        I know that the inhabitants of gun forums throw these numbers around like they are established fact, but like much of the right-wing worldview, it just ain't so.

        "I don't know anyone who doesn't want to spend more time in Paris" -- Barack Obama

        by 1arryb on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 11:36:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

          Ok, you called it a report, not a study. My mistake.

          "I don't know anyone who doesn't want to spend more time in Paris" -- Barack Obama

          by 1arryb on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 11:38:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Are you talking about this? (0+ / 0-)

          o Evidence suggests that this survey and others
          like it overestimate the frequency with which
          firearms were used by private citizens to defend
          against criminal attack.

          It sounds like they didn't want to actually believe the results of what they say. This was the Clinton era DoJ. The same administration that enacted the AWB. Do you think they'd be happy that the results they had showed something other than they wanted to see?

          (RKBA) Right to Keep and Bear Arms: interested in a DKos RKBA group? Email in profile. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 10:03:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  they will never give up their guns (3+ / 0-)

    I've given up. people who are pro-gun are never going to stop being so. there's something about the things that make them an essential part of many folks' image of themselves.

    I don't know why, but that seems to be so.

    it doesn't matter what happens, clearly. I have argued before, but can see that it's not an argument I will ever win.

    plus, they have guns. and I am intimidated by people who have guns.

    so I give up. they have won.

    •  It's time to organize (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terri, Annalize5, Scioto

      People like you and me--I'm not intimidated by those who use guns properly and are not aggressive or insane, but there's plenty of the inverse category--need to be organized into an anti-NRA.  There's more of us than them.

      It's the microeconomy, stupid!

      by chinshihtang on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:30:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Scioto

        but I just... the 'more of us'  doesn't seem to be enough. when progressive people love the things too, and want to prove that it's okay, when the only reason for many of the civilian kind of gun is to kill people, well.

        I read the account of the guy who had a gun at the Arizona shooting. He had a legal one, I assume, and was about to shoot the wrong person, because things happened so quickly. He was so grateful that other people there pointed out the real shooter, and he kept his gun in his pocket. thank goodness he did.

        people insisting, vehement, about walking around with guns in their pockets just seems...it's not the mark of a civil society, in my opinion. but, that's where things are. the only reason to have many of these guns in regular society is to kill people, and that's perfectly reasonable to these folks.

        so, what can I say to that? nothing.

    •  I'm not giving up my guns because they are a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk, Elmar, Mandell

      counterweight (perhaps not a guarantor, but an insurance policy) against repressive and regressive govts.  I don't for a moment imagine that I could hold off the ATF or the 101st Airborne Division, but I do know that 10's of millions of well armed citizens is not something to be triffled with.

      I know I know, when is govt every going to be so repressive and regressive that we will have to defend ourselves against it (and I don't mean health care reform ... I WANT THE PUBLIC OPTION)?  I don't know when and that is the point.

      It is NEVER a good idea to give the state a monopoly on lethal force.

      A well armed citizenry is an insurance policy against the unlikley occuring.  That's all.

      No quarter. No surrender.

      by hegemony57 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 06:47:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, there's nothing stopping you (0+ / 0-)

        absolutely nothing. my horror at the assertions of gun lovers doesn't stop any of you.

        I wish it did. I wish I knew the words to get the gun lovers to see how it feels to try to live in peace amongst folks who think this way.

        but they don't care about that. from the ghetto to the suburbs to the mountains to the deserts, they simply don't care.

        they only feel good armed.

        and so, look for the very same arguments the next time a shooting that the media deigns to cover occurs.

        and so it goes.

        •  You seem to be under the impression that if (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, hegemony57

          a person lives their life in peace then they will only encounter peaceful people.

          I find this to be dangerously naive but its your right to live in whatever fantasy construct you wish.

          You also seem to feel that there are no peace-loving gun owners.  I find this to be ill-informed.  Most conceal carry individuals carry because they are peaceful and wish to prevent or halt violent action - not to take it.  I have never personally met any CCW individual who looks forward to using their firearm on a person.  Just like I've never met anyone who looks forward to using their fire extinguisher or their seatbelt.

          •  ah, the 'naive' accusation (0+ / 0-)

            no. I grew up in gangland Hollis, Queens, during the birth of hiphop.

            early on, I remember attending the funeral of an elementary school classmate in St. Albans, Queens, who took the gun out of his big brother's 'secure hiding place' and played russian roulette on the swings in the local playground. and died, with a bullet to his head.

            I was briefly the girlfriend of the war leader of the Black Spades, in the South Bronx- he had several small armories in various places. Black boys - gang members and non - were being killed by cops, and killing each other, with attendant 'collateral damage' as the warmongers like to say.

            I have crouched behind a windowsill holding a cousin's screaming baby while gunshots whizzed by the open window.

            It amuses me, in a bitter, despairing kind of way, to be called naive, given my background. I have enough knowledge of and experience with people who love guns, openly.

            it's obvious to me that their toys of choice did not protect them, improve their lives, or the lives of those they loved. and yet, they, too, insisted on guns as the answer to a frightening world. were these folks in the ghettos so different from the people in the rest of the country? they too, would shoot when they were afraid.

            and so, as I said, until this uniquely American attitude changes, root and branch, the killings and the subsequent excuses will continue like night follows day. there will never be an end to frequent, senseless gun violence in America.

            because apparently, that's the way Americans like it.

            •  You did nothing to counter my consideration (0+ / 0-)

              of you as naive.  You've been around violence yet your initial comments still indicate you believe that the peaceful only know peace.  You even cite personal experience where it was obviously not the case but your statement "I wish it did. I wish I knew the words to get the gun lovers to see how it feels to try to live in peace amongst folks who think this way."  indicates you believe that desiring peace means that violence cannot occur.

              That is naive.  You've developed some psychological need to believe in fairytale regardless of the evidence against it.

              To be honest I don't care about your personal experiences (though you should), they do not compare to the accumulation and examination of evidence and the application of reason.

              Violent people do violent things to others and they do not factor in the philosophy of their targets.  Should one be unlucky enough to become a target of those who would use force on the innocent it behooves them to resist with their own force.

              You also seem to believe all gun owners to be violent which is not the case. We may however be realists.

              I hope you never have to experience such violence again in your life.

              •  the peaceful only know peace? (0+ / 0-)

                wow.

                that you think that was my message makes me even sadder, and I despair of compassionate, honest discussion even with someone who says they are progressive, or at least not rightwing.

                perhaps I didn't explain it well; if so, the fault is mine, of course.

                'a psychological need to believe in fairytales'.

                I see.

                and insulting me is how you seek to bring me to see your point of view on guns and gun control?

                right.

                this is why I said, there's nothing that people who want to live in a society whose framework re: gun violence is like Japan or Canada, or example, can do, except move.

                Americans are in love with their guns, and will never give them up, or agree on sensible regulation that acknowledges that the people who don't want to live in a fake wild west society (because, btw, those old wild west towns made sure that they regulated their guns) have a right to do so.

                •  You still haven't addressed my point. (0+ / 0-)

                  all you need to do is admit that you understand that violence can occur to people who are peaceful and that being peaceful does not offer some ward in and of itself against violence.

                  Thats it.

                  If you can't do that then please do move.

                  You know you can read the CDC's own report which states that there is no evidence gun control works.  (available http://www.cdc.gov/... If you want to actually address the underlying problems of violence in the US you need to first stop pushing the snake oil solution.

                  Red pill or blue pill time.

            •  Your experience is powerful and should be taken (0+ / 0-)

              into account in discussions about guns and gun violence and constitutional rights and what I think is the counter-force argument too.

              Thanks for your input, though I must come down on the side of more individual danger as a trade off for some increased measure of protection from a potentially repressive govt.

              No quarter. No surrender.

              by hegemony57 on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:47:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't mind giving up guns... (8+ / 0-)

    if everybody else would, including the police and military.

    I supported the Black Panthers and their use of firearms to counter police abuses.

    If we want people to stop shooting other people than we need to eliminate poverty, provide universal health care, deconstruct the US empire, and send the uber-wealthy to Dubai (among other things).

    That is where the violence comes from.

    "There is no JUSTICE, there's JUST US." Terry Pratchett

    by rubine on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:26:46 PM PST

  •  Glock 19 w/ 33rd. Mag (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, Simian, streetsmart96

    hotrodtba | May 31, 2007 | 43 likes, 14 dislikes

    My buddy shooting my Glock 19 with a 33 round mag in it. Can you say "high capacity"?

    "It's hell to pay when the fiddler stops." ~Leonard Cohen

    by Annalize5 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:30:10 PM PST

  •  The real scum in this situation... (4+ / 0-)

    is the weapons manufacturers.  They don't care where or what, the more they sell the better.

    It would be a good thing to restrict the sale of guns to illegal crime syndicates, to unstable countries, and any government that shows a blatant disregard for human rights, like our government, for example.

    "There is no JUSTICE, there's JUST US." Terry Pratchett

    by rubine on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:33:03 PM PST

  •  I tipped and recced your diary (6+ / 0-)

    I think that it was thoughtful and non inflammatory.  I do not agree that guns are an adequate protection for most of the people in this country; there are just too many scenarios where the weapon does not help the gun owner but endangers him/her or children who may live in the residence.  There are too many people in our country who are within a hair's breadth of snapping, especially in this horrendous economy.  There are just too many people who will do whatever to get enough money to survive the next few days or the next fix, or whatever to feel ok even if it is for a few minutes or hours.  And finally, we really have to look at our society as a violence prone society rather than a society that will look to other solutions.

  •  That survey sounds iffy to me (0+ / 0-)
    Every nimrod who ever pulled a gun on somebody in the parking lot of a honky-tonk will insist that he was 100% in the right and that it was purely self defense. Who is going to admit that he was just a stupid drunken asshole with an inferiority complex?

    Also, have you ever considered all those other first world countries outside of the US? How come those people never have to wave their guns around? Shouldn't these people all be dead at the hands of dangerous criminals by now? How about the millions of people in Japan who don't own any guns at all? Shouldn't they be dying in droves since they couldn't defend themselves "2.5 million times a year"?

    Just as in the health care debate, it's very instructive to take a look at other first world countries, and try to figure out why our health care outcome is ranked 34 behind every other first world nation; and why our gun death rates are way behind all the other 1s world nations. This 'american exceptionalism' needs to go.

  •  I rec'd this because it presents a (9+ / 0-)

    pro-gun position in a calm way.  Kudos to the commenters, who also kept their cool.  

    I tend to see both sides of the ownership issue, and come down mostly on the side of folks having a right to own a gun.  I do believe in stronger licensing and registration.

    But I will simply never see the value of allowing citizens an unrestricted right to concealed weapons.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 04:45:40 PM PST

    •  Yeah, that goes a tad too far. (0+ / 0-)

      There has to be appropriate assurance of responsibility for concealed carry. And for any possession, in my opinion. I have a carry permit although since I work in my basement I don't actually carry the thing. Also have other weapons for sport.

      Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

      by billmosby on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:19:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several years ago the NFL had a debate topic (0+ / 0-)

    on banning hand guns.

    I have always been pretty pro gun. Probably because I live in a rural area with a lot of hunters. My dad was a hunter, and all of my brothers-in-law hunt.

    I think we should have no large magazines and no assault weapons. No dumb dumbs. ETC.

  •  true story department: the "ker-chunk" sound. (8+ / 0-)

    A close friend's mom had just retired and, as many retirees do, was driving across the US in a motor home to see the sights, and was in town visiting us along the way.  She had parked the motor home outside which was at the time in a sketchy part of town.  

    We heard some commotion outside and discretely peeked out the window out to see a bunch of sketchy city kids climbing on top of the motor home.  Uh. Oh.

    My friend has a shotgun and a rifle.  

    He got his shotgun and got right up to the open window a few feet away from the motor home, and operated the mechanism, which made the usual "ker-chunk!" sound that most people will immediately recognize as that shotgun sound.  

    Those kids instantly climbed off the motor home and scattered, and never came back.  

    No shots fired, no need to even say a word, much less make the shotgun visible.  

    That's called deterrence.  

  •  Of those 42,000 automobile fatalities... (5+ / 0-)

    .... fully half are caused by alcohol, along with half of all homicides and suicides.  

    So if we want to start talking about making it harder to get guns, we should also talk about making it harder to get alcohol.  

    For example by licensing drinking.  

    This would include mandatory alcohol safety courses that include having two drinks and performing various coordination tests to demonstrate how subtle forms of impairment occur.  

    Then also, anyone seeking to buy certain particularly powerful forms of alcohol, such as distilled spirits, would have to have a background check and a three-day waiting period.  

    Remember, it's not Prohibition unless it's called Prohibition.  

  •  I doubt the NRA would consider you pro-gun (4+ / 0-)

    for favoring any type of licensing. That would make you a stereotypical gun-grabbing liberal.

    But because they dragged the entire debate to the right you are basically a centrist.

    You would do much better as a "pro-gun" person convincing fellow gun owners to support whatever moderate minimalist regulation you have in mind than in lecturing progressives who want to ban guns, and who, if they actually exist, hold no power at all.

    "Only vigilance and resistance to this baby dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, can prevent the Khmer Rouge from appearing in this country." Michael Savage

    by bay of arizona on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:40:22 PM PST

  •  NRA talking points (4+ / 0-)

    I can’t rec this diary despite the reasonable tone and assurances of  progressive cred on the part of the diarist.  Basically, these are NRA talking points which are always broadcast after every horrific public    massacre by firearms.  They are meant to reassure us that guns are good, guns are American, guns are what our wise founding fathers would want us to carry around to preserve our freedoms.  

    James Madison  lived in a time of muzzle loaded muskets.  I believe that the 2nd amendment was not meant to abridge the 1st by preventing the peaceful right to assemble due to a perceived 2nd amendment ’right’ to tote around a semi-auto Glock with a high-cap magazine capable of laying down a withering field of fire.  

    Every reason I encounter for supporting this country’s fetish for firearms stems from ‘freedom‘.  But there are two types of freedom, freedoms ‘to’ something, like shoot your gun, and freedoms ‘from’ something, like not be shot by your gun.   I think it’s clear that the benefits of preserving the second freedom outweigh the first, so if the issue is the promotion of freedom, I believe that by giving up your gun, you increase the freedom of those around you.    

    The diarist has the right to promote the interest of the American gun manufacturers, We don’t need to nod along with the propaganda.  Guns are not a route to peaceful society, they are a means for the violent to intimidate us all.  If you are paranoid about our government to the point that you feel it necessary to arm yourself against it, I can assure you that the US military has firearms superiority over the citizenry.  Our bloated defense budget is proof of that.

    "Welcome to Costco, I love you"

    by martinjedlicka on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 05:40:27 PM PST

  •  This pro-gun leftist salutes you. Guns can be (7+ / 0-)

    deadly.  In certain hands they can be used to kill and maim innocents and reek havoc on communities.  In other hands they can be used to protect and defend individuals and the important rights we possess as a free people.

    I am heartsick over the senseless killing and horrific tradegy in Tuscon.  However, I believe we must strive to change and help people in need  without disarming the populace and giving the govt and law enforcement a monopoly on deadly force.

    In all ways I want to see a more progressive nation and I believe gun rights can be part of that future.

    No quarter. No surrender.

    by hegemony57 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 06:36:06 PM PST

  •  UN-fired gun used successfully 2 prevent violence (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elmar, KVoimakas, theatre goon, Mandell

    Do your Stats include when the police use an un-fired gun to prevent violence? I bet that almost never happens.. I NEVER read about it in the newspaper, its NEVER on the loco news??? WTF
    urbane myth?
    ergo... Civilian usage patterns must have at least some similarity's.
     

    PROUDLY dressing like Tarzan growing my hair like Jane and smelling like -Cheetah- Cheetos since 1967

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 07:15:59 PM PST

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