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Call me a political coward, but I don’t want to get within ten feet of gun control.

The Tucson shootings have, for good reason, revived talk of handgun restrictions.  But most democrats don’t want to fight that battle and I completely understand why.

The political costs are too great.

Many democrats are scared of the National Rifle Association and should be.  They’re masters at intervening in close races.  The 2000 election, for example, would have easily gone to Al Gore if not for the NRA.

But there are other reasons that I don’t beat the drum on this issue.

I regularly encounter working-class people with populist economic political values who don’t want the government messing with their gun rights.

Many of us have been at union meetings where labor leaders had to implore their members to support democrats who, for example, voted to ban assault weapons.

I have no interest in alienating this constituency.

Finally, as a strong advocate of speech and due process protections, I’m willing to concede the constitutional argument on the 2nd amendment.  Frankly, I found myself mostly in support of the Supreme Court’s recent gun control reversals.

I consider it "settled law" that Americans have the right to keep a gun in their homes.  The courts will work through the specifics - no bazookas in the basement or machine guns in the public square - but that debate will take place with me and some other progressive populists watching silently from the sidelines.

Originally posted to laborlou on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:28 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you're going to stay on the sidelines... (19+ / 0-)

    ...while society debates "bazookas in the basement or machine guns in the public square," you'd be an odd duck even amongst the Daily Kos RKBA group, I suspect.  While I understand the importance of being sensitive to the concerns and desires of people whom we're trying to court politically, there are limits.  I think it's fair to say that a not insubstantial share of the White working class is hostile to progressive views on racial, gender, and sexual-identity justice, for instance: are we to stay mum on those issues, for fear of alienating them?  

    "George Washington said I was beautiful"--Sarah Palin on Barbara Bush, as imagined by Mark Sumner

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:34:50 PM PST

    •  to be honest... (18+ / 0-)

      i'm generally much more willing to risk alienating working-class constituencies over race and gay rights.  i just think, overall, the gun issue is a real loser for us.

      Lou Siegel is a Labor educator and consultant, working with Los Angeles unions in communications, public policy and fundraising

      by laborlou on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:47:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need to take a lesson from Republicans (25+ / 0-)

        They don't avoid issues because they're supposedly losers: they attack precisely on those issues where you might think they would be reluctant, as a message of strength and confidence.  They don't shy away from talking about the inheritance tax or freedom for banks--they take those issues by the throat and make their (ridiculous) arguments with such apparent conviction that just enough people come away thinking that, wow, there must be something to that.  Meanwhile, Democrats pick their way through the issues thicket, avoiding anything messy and looking/hoping for an issue so perfect that they can win on it without any political skill.  There's no such issue!  

        "George Washington said I was beautiful"--Sarah Palin on Barbara Bush, as imagined by Mark Sumner

        by Rich in PA on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:01:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I've got zero respect for this (10+ / 0-)

        as a negotiating tactic.  Conceding, while gaining no counter-concessions...  Typical of our Party at the moment, or should I say, for most of my adult life.

        ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

        by deben on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:08:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Persuasion... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hkorens, JayFromPA

          Sometimes effective change is not about the full frontal assault all the time on all issues.

          I suspect Laborlou spends most of his energy trying to persuade like-minded biconceptual responsible blue collar folks on economic issues.

          In that context, digressing into anti-gun politics is worse than a red herring, it is received as an alienating diatribe that burns bridges.

          What Laborlou needs to do is use his identity to wriggle his progressive idealogy into the unsuspecting minds.

          As a progressive I accept Laborlou's pragmatic decision to focus on the proximal issues of those seeks to influence.

          (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

          by Enterik on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:50:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  point well taken (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayFromPA

            Lou Siegel is a Labor educator and consultant, working with Los Angeles unions in communications, public policy and fundraising

            by laborlou on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:55:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  An alienating diatribe that burns bridges? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            miriam

            Nobody respects "alienating diatribes," if that's how principled stands are cartooned out of national debate by fellow Dems.

            But what nobody actually respects is weakness.  Yielding on principles in order supposedly to curry votes is how Dems perennially lose on principles and on votes.

            ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

            by deben on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:20:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who are persuading? (0+ / 0-)

              There are a lot of people out there who are mixed bags and we want to reach them and tug them our way without their resistance, for when they become progressive on one issue it bleeds a little into others. But if Laborlou were to delve into gun policy at a union meeting at best it would be considered irrelevant and at worst he would be seen as a busybody outsider or going native. For the most part he's not ceding anything, he's focusing his efforts where they have the most impact.

              Think of a game of Go. Sometimes you get behind your opponent on the stones and if you force it the grouping will resolve in a tactical win for your opponent. Instead, you back off there and work on another more favorable grouping with an eye to regaining the advantage by linking your groups.

              In laborlou's gameboard, conservative thinking about guns are the former grouping and progressive thinking about economics the latter grouping. No matter how hard he tries to force that first grouping he reinforces the opponents advantage. In the real world he is stimulating conservative neurons. He is engendering resistance in those he would persuade. His alternative is to stimulate their thinking on economics knowing, or at least hoping in the fullness of time that this effort will benefit resolution of that other outstanding issue.

              (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

              by Enterik on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:41:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  When asked, an honest opinion is respected (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Shirl In Idaho

                vastly more than prevaricating pandering.  Union members are adults.  They can read people who won't state their opinions and won't stand their ground.  Voters simply despise this.  People (including union members who should not be condescended to) can agree on things they agree on and disagree with those they don't.  What they will not do is follow wimps.

                ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

                by deben on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:51:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Labor state his opinion, didn't he? (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not sure what sort of situations you imagine Laborlou to find himself? I imagine him to be holding forth on Taft-Hartley or why they should vote for the Democratic Party candidate. Do I imagine that someone is going to stand up and say,

                  "Lou, that's all well and good, but where do you stand on guns"?

                  I suppose it's a concern, but I'm guessing Lou could state quite succinctly,  

                  "It's settled law. The details that need to be ironed out pale in comparison to the very urgent economic problems we've been talking about today".

                  He's not prevaricating or pandering, he's not standing or losing ground and he is not being wimpy. Lou is focusing his limited resources on the things that matter to his constituents.

                  Yes, we should wear our progressive morality with confidence, but what of those in our midst who are likely progressives who don't share all our views? I don't think we should take them to task for their insufficiency. I think we should persuade them when the time is right and when we do we should advocate progressive means to progressive ends. In so doing, we will stimulate their progressive neurons to fire and thereby promote more progressive thought.

                  Were Lou to take the action you suggest, I have little doubt much of his audience would tune him out then and in the future and that is an outcome we progressives cannot afford in order to satisfy our sense of moral indignation.

                  (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

                  by Enterik on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 06:37:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Problem is, he is trying to persuade Dems (0+ / 0-)

                    to give up on Second Amendment issues.  To yield to the right.  That's the point of his writing this here on DKos.  His own views on guns and his interactions with labor unions are being generalized to a rule for every Dem to live by.  Not me.  And his talk of tactics should not dissuade anyone else from expressing loud and clear principles.

                    Clearly we share a common interest in winning.  I believe the best "tactic" to win is to not to focus on tactics, but to speak plainly on what we believe.

                    ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

                    by deben on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 07:09:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I didn't read it that way... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...Laborlou seemed to be expressing his position and relating it to that of his constituency. Clearly, he sees a role for gun regulation measures that need to be resolved, but will not delve into that policy arena when there are much larger issues on which his constituents can relate and have much more traction.

                      Also, he said he will sit silently by, which means he won't be entering the debate one way or the other. Clearly, he didn't say anything close to ceding the issue to the regressives, only that he would focus elsewhere.

                      Whether his reasoning should be persuasive to others is not a matter for you to decide. Clearly, you haven't been persuaded. I'm, and I suspect Laborlou, are fine with that. I have no idea what your demographic is or what your policy cynosure is. We are a big tent party with room for all sorts of Democrats.

                      It seems to me that you must travel in a different circle than Laborlou and I am curious to know how you feel your unequivocal advocacy affects the change you seek.

                      (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

                      by Enterik on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 05:01:41 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The unequivocal advocacy is here: (0+ / 0-)

                        Finally, as a strong advocate of speech and due process protections, I’m willing to concede the constitutional argument on the 2nd amendment.  Frankly, I found myself mostly in support of the Supreme Court’s recent gun control reversals.

                        I consider it "settled law" that Americans have the right to keep a gun in their homes.

                        Are any of us Democrats allowed to explore the consequences of that?  Do New Yorkers need to live like they're in Cheney's Wyoming?  Do most Americans want to?

                        I've lived in rural Wisconson and walked out of the door and shot every kind of rifle or shotgun a person might have.  I've also lived in metro areas where there's no legitimate place to shoot.  In Nashville, I was in a pawn shop and watched young teenagers at the pistol counter.  While watching, I said to myself, "They're shopping.  An older friend will be coming back to buy them the one they're looking at."  My family, my children lived in Nashville.  My family and I have rights too.  To life.  I watched an idiot pull out a pistol and wave it at the driver in front of him who had cut him off.  I saw blood splattered in a store in Memphis where one of our employees was shot by a thief with a shotgun.  And more.  How much does it take?  As for my demo, my views on guns are informed by my experiences.  They depend on the state, as Howard Dean has said.  I am not an unequivocal advocate of gun freedoms nor limits.  Not like the writer of this diary.

                        But getting back to tactics.  This diary's intent is to present a tactic for persuading.  I'll repeat.  Voters see right through "tactics."  If individuals don't believe in a position, don't try to cozy up to union members or anyone else by saying what you think they want to hear.  They will rip through the facade and despise us for it.

                        ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

                        by deben on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 06:28:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Again, what facade? (0+ / 0-)

                          By the very words you quote Laborlou is making a personal assertion, he is willing to concede the point. That is about as authentic as it gets. It is not a facade or a grift or a tactic. Sure you can disagree but it's hard to see where the intimated lack of authenticity comes from?

                          I didn't interpret his diary as a managed retreat in the generic sense. It seemed a practical outgrowth of his considered political opinion which is decidedly equivocal. Quite clearly he also believes that there are outstanding issues regarding gun regulation.

                          As a practical consideration, unbidden forays into gun control policy are a waste of time, regardless of ones stance on the position. If you have limited time and resources, you must prioritize. No doubt, Laborlou would rather stay on union topic than digress into a debate about gun control.

                          If anything I think Laborlou was announcing his identity to a community expressing a fair amount of anti-gun sentiment. Clearly, he perceives himself to be a progressive and his union work reinforces that sense to me.

                          If you think he was trying to persuade others into a whoelsale abdication of regulatory advocacy, I think your worry and effort are misplaced. In the regard of your concern, Laborlou wasn't particularly persuasive.

                          Like you, I have been steeped in rural and metropolitan gun culture and with a CSI father that's worked over 17,000 bodies, I can say I have been well acquainted with the nadir of humanity. Yet I find myself at neither extreme of the spectrum when it comes to solutions, something that has not changed upon reading his diary.

                          In the end, I ask you to consider the possibility that the potential cost of alienation may be more than the benefit of being authentic. It would be nice to think we live in a world where people would respect a difference of opinion on one issue and compartmentalize it from the rest. Unfortunately, science and experience demonstrate otherwise. Some times circumspection is the prudent choice.

                          Laborlou has offered his position and I deem it to be functional given his circumstances and opinion on the matter. Clearly, you are in a different place and I'm fine with that as well. In fact, I'll go so far as to suggest you post your own diary on the topic, that I might understand your position more fully.

                          I have said my peace, you may have the last comment if you wish. Thank you for a thoughtful and civil discussion.

                          (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

                          by Enterik on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 07:38:02 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The contention: (0+ / 0-)

                            ...the potential cost of alienation may be more than the benefit of being authentic.

                            Not on board for that for reasons already stated.

                            One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a ...

                            I'm plenty darkly cynical about politics, but not about the persuasive authority of truth thought through, sincerely believed, practiced, and expressed with confidence.

                            Agreed on goals, disagreed on tactics, Enterik.  Thanks for the discussion.  Over and out.

                            ...make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

                            by deben on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:15:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  As far as 'they' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          are concerned, there's nothing to negotiate. Things are fine as they are, you can go to Walmart and buy 500 rounds of ammo in the morning, empty some of it into a Congressperson and the crowd in the afternoon.

          If you aren't actually negotiating anything, 'they' don't have to do anything at all to make you happy.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:56:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's not just strategy. It's principle. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catesby, theatre goon, Joieau

        It's like it is with the 1st amendment and the Phelps family. Restricting constitutional rights is sometimes very tempting, but it can be a slippery slope.

    •  what's this RKBA? (0+ / 0-)

      I've seen the acronym a few times but don't know what it is.

      "They're all crooks!" - Shahryar

      by Shahryar on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:41:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, not really..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, theatre goon

      Frankly here's a guy in the political trenches telling you the truth you don't want to hear, that gun control is a looser politically. If you want to take a lesson from the Republicans, then let's become 'compassionate liberals' and drop the effort to repeal the second amendment.

      This is exactly what the RKBA group here is saying - the Republicans have two issues, religion and guns, which make their base. Take one away and Nancy gets the speaker's gavel again.

  •  So that's it, you quit? (15+ / 0-)

    No one is seriously talking about taking away guns.

    But we are discussing reasonable restrictions and controls, and we will continue to do so.

    Sometimes doing the right thing, is the right thing to do.

    We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

    by twigg on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:36:01 PM PST

  •  So the thugs get to decide (16+ / 0-)

    public policy through intimidation?

    Lookit we're not talking about Godfather "your signature or your brains" stuff here. Or is that what the USA has descended to?

    I can only weep for you if that be the case.

    Exspectamus et vigilamus: quod nolite somnamus.

    by tapu dali on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:36:05 PM PST

  •  The NRA Didn't Inject 3 Billion Extra Dollars (8+ / 0-)

    into last fall's election. I don't think they're the big kid on the block any more.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:37:29 PM PST

  •  "...well regulated" (11+ / 0-)

    even the ammendment itself calls on regulations.

    Nobody is taking away guns.  But registrations, background checks, limits on ammo, types of guns, all fall into that 'well-regulated' part of the Second Ammendment.

    I told a pro-gun friend this:  How about we make a deal.  For every regulation you want taken away, the equal number of regulations are taking away from abortion clinics.  Or immigration policy.  Or health care reform.

    I live on Long Island.  I am joining Carolyn McCarthy in her fight to ban, in one way or another, the quick-firing, large number bullet holding types of weapoons that have no place in our society.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:45:01 PM PST

    •  "well regulated" in the context of the late 1700s (15+ / 0-)

      meant well trained and organized.  Think of the root of the word.  A regulator clock is one that runs well and is accurate. You regulate an engine to produce the power you expect.  

      Regulation does not always mean that limits are imposed on something, such as regulate a bank. The other, and much older meaning of the word is that the militia should always be ready and they should be trained to defend their homes and villages if the government troops were too far away or too widely scattered to help them in time of danger.  

      As I wrote the other day, I have spent the past several years studying the life of my gggg-grandfather and ggg-grandfather who were members of he Watauga Militia, later to be known as the Troop of Overmountain Men. They were a ragtag bunch of farmers, long hunters and tradesmen when they started. By the time they arrived at King's Mountain, they were "well regulated." They had been whipped into fighting shape by Colonel John Sevier and his officers, one of whom was my gggg-grandfather, who was a Captain.

      When those words were written, it was not even considered that the central (Federal) government would be nosing into the backwoods to "regulate" the frontier militias that formed our first line of defense for the small communities and towns in those days.

      It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

      by Otteray Scribe on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:59:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The usage survives in the phrase (13+ / 0-)

        "regular army", as contrasted with "irregular".

        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 Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:00:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is not at all obvious. (0+ / 0-)

        18th century educated Englishmen, as the the then revolutionaries were, knew both Latin and Greek.

        "Regulate" as an English verb, has as its ultimate root the Latin "rex; rego": king (n.); to rule (v.).

        It can have the meaning of "ordinary" as opposed to "supernumerary (irregular)", cf. "supernumerary fellow" of Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, etc.

        I cannot look back from the year 2010 and perceive what the Framers thought the meaning of "well-regulated" was in 1787.

        To say "ruled" or "controlled" cannot be dismissed.

        True, as a Canadian I have no say in US political disputes, but clearly the language admits the meaning of control.

        It is sophism to argue otherwise.

        Exspectamus et vigilamus: quod nolite somnamus.

        by tapu dali on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:39:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ultraviolet uk, allergywoman
        What is a "well-regulated militia" if there are no militias in existence, and how does that relate to the right of all citizens to own private arsenals, as anticipated by the founders?
        •  Two things in your comment. (7+ / 0-)

          First, any abrogation of a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights throws the burden of proof on whomever would limit those rights. The person or people holding that right has no burden of proof at all. We do not have any trouble defending rights such as those found in the First and Fourth Amendment. Why is is to hard to accept that we have a Second Amendment?

          Second, you describe it as, "...right of all citizens to own private arsenals..."  This is inflammatory language that is not necessary in a reasoned discussion.  It has nothing to do with owning an "arsenal," whatever that is.  It is about the right of an individual to own and keep the firearm of their choice. It is possible fora private citizen to own a fully automatic weapon (a machine gun) or a cannon, but such weapons are heavily regulated, taxed and are prohibitively expensive. I deal in the underworld of crime and criminals and never once in the past forty years have I come across a crime where a machine gun or cannon was used.  

          As for the language, may I suggest a careful reading of the essay I linked to above and then the two Supreme Court decisions that are linked.  Not just a skimming, but careful reading for comprehension. You do not have to agree, but it is now the law of the land and I ask you to try and understand it.

          It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

          by Otteray Scribe on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:23:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Angela Quattrano

            First, the contrast between a militia in the Amendment and privately owned weapons is entirely justified. You cannot argue that regulated means organised with one breath, in order to fight against new regulations being introduced, and then say that completely unregulated individuals have this right.

            Secondly, it is to do with owning an arsenal, because that is what people are claiming the right to do. There is nothing inflammatory about that statement, it is entirely factual. You say it is about the right of any individual to keep "the firearm of their choice". OK, so everyone has the right under the Second Amendment to keep one firearm, and one only.

            Except that is not what you and they are arguing for, is it?

            www.thepeoplesview.net - Where Pragmatic Progressives are now Regrouping - Clear thinking liberals welcome

            by ultraviolet uk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:50:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This comment indicates (11+ / 0-)

              a total failure to understand the Second Amendment. May I reiterate my suggestion to read the two Supreme Court decisions. Not just skim over, but to read them. They set out what the Court now interprets the words to mean.  

              As for "regulate," like many words in the English language, it has more than one meaning.  The Simkins court in Oklahoma, back in 1926, had one interpretation. The Heller and McDonald decisions set all previous interpretations aside. Also, note the comment by Robobagpiper above regarding the letter from General Washington about needing regulated (i.e., skilled and trained) men.  

              And if you can find anywhere, just anywhere, in the Second Amendment or any controlling Supreme Court decision that limits firearm ownership to just one weapon, I will kiss your ass at high noon on the courthouse steps.  

              It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

              by Otteray Scribe on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 01:35:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you agree that the Second Amendment right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Angela Quattrano

                is not limited to one firearm, then DON'T criticise people who say that the right is being used to justify private citizens keeping an arsenal, and claim we are talking only about people owning a single firearm.

                Your arguments are mutually contradictory and irrational.

                www.thepeoplesview.net - Where Pragmatic Progressives are now Regrouping - Clear thinking liberals welcome

                by ultraviolet uk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 03:20:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I've seen it argued here (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Otteray Scribe, Mandell
              that "well-regulated" is originally intended to mean "entirely unregulated, but running smoothly".

              Can't argue with that. Doesn't make enough sense to argue against it.

      •  And in the context of the 1700s (0+ / 0-)

        the weapons we are talking about here were unimaginable weapons of mass slaughter. So it cannot reasonably be argued that the Second Amendment applies to these weapons.

        www.thepeoplesview.net - Where Pragmatic Progressives are now Regrouping - Clear thinking liberals welcome

        by ultraviolet uk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:45:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, as a matter of fact, it can. n/t (10+ / 0-)

          It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

          by Otteray Scribe on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 01:56:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It can, it was, and it's the law. (5+ / 0-)

          It's very clear what the founders intended in the second. They wanted to eliminate the need for a standing army by having a civilian population able to defend the nation. Failing that, they wanted any standing army wielded by the whoever held the power of government to be unable to resist the will of the the civilian population.  Finally they made sure the population had the means to resist and remove an oppressive government.

          What is true to the time frame is they had just removed an oppressive government, one that had several times tried to strip them of weapons.

          In the present day we have unprecedented access to firearms, not fully automatic military weapons, but weapons in their volume and function that are good enough the basic proposition of the second is still true.  We will nibble at the edges controlling this magazine size or that reporting standard, but the basic right will remain.

          In living memory a British army was defeated and landed without equipment back in Britain. For many months, there was a real danger of invasion, and men drilled with broomsticks.  Just sayin' :o)

      •  "Militia" in the context of the late 1700's (0+ / 0-)

        Meant citizen soldiers for the defense of the nation and communities.

        Long ago these were replaced by standing, professional police forces and an army.

        So let's make a deal:

        :: zero military spending
        :: zero police spending
        :: keep the 2nd amendment unrestricted
        :: put your safety in the hands of your neighbors

        Sound good? Deal?

        BTW ...

        Regulation does not always mean that limits are imposed on something, such as regulate a bank. The other, and much older meaning of the word is that the militia should always be ready and they should be trained to defend their homes and villages if the government troops were too far away or too widely scattered to help them in time of danger.

         

        Apperently you don't understand the root word regulate

        transitive verb

        1a) to govern or direct according to rule b (1) : to bring under the control of law or constituted authority (2) : to make regulations for or concerning [regulate the industries of a country]

        1. to bring order, method, or uniformity to [regulate one's habits]
        1. to fix or adjust the time, amount, degree, or rate of [regulate the pressure of a tire]

        Most certianly to regulate is to apply rules, limits and conditions, otherwise any laws regulating arms of any type would be held uncostitutional, and such regulations are well settled law.

        And most certianly it was not intended that anyone would be free to hold arms for any purpose; in fact, at that point in time, it was applied to men, not womens, slaves or any other part-human excluded from the rights granted and obligations imposed.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 05:11:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you know what a 'bark' is (4+ / 0-)

      in the context of 18th C English?

      You may think it is a noise a dog makes, or something that a tree grows, but you would be completely wrong.

      How about the word 'press'?  It didn't mean to iron, or to push something.

      So if I told you 'he was pressed onto a bark', you would have no clue as to what I was actually saying.  You might think the person was a tree-hugger.

      'Regulated' is another of those words.

      In the context of the language of the time, regulated did not mean governed according to laws, as it does today.  Today, regulations rule our life, but that was not the case at the time.

      'Regulated' at that time was a word closely associated with timekeeping, meaning well-ordered and precise and suitable to the task.

      Considering that militias at the time were local, and made up of citizens (no, they were NOT the equivalent of the National Guard!), well-regulated meant well provisioned, well-armed and suitable to the task of warfare - meaning having the ability to use those weapons.

      The words had absolutely nothing to do with laws.

      If the words 'well regulated' meant laws and restrictions, where were the such governing laws that were implemented at the time?

      •  Dead Wrong (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, allergywoman

        The states did have laws involving gun ownership during the pre-Revolution and early Republic periods.  Citizens were expected to register their weapons so that the colonies and states could have some idea of the number of weapons available.  During the early Republic, the militias were ordered to drill a specified number of days per year.  These were often not observed, but the laws did exist.  It was not an unfettered "anything goes" period as you imply in your description of the period.

        Regulation therefore means that the state can dictate what is expected of a person holding the "arms."  It can specify when it is to be used and what reporting is demanded after that use.  The state can demand that every person owning an "arm" register with the state after passing certain requirements.  It does not mean that a person has absolute license to do whatever they believe they can do with the weapon in total secrecy.  

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:35:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Today (0+ / 0-)

        We have standing, professional police forces and a 3 branch military.

        And indeed, what may have been then a need for a "Militia" no longer exists, and rather, law abiding citizens may have a greater need for protection against "Militias" as presently defined.

        So yes, by all means lets update our vocabularies and laws because times have changed.

        Unless, of course, if you are a Republican, in which case it is likely you advocate going back to the 18th Century.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 05:18:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with Lou (17+ / 0-)

    and go further in saying the I personally am a supporter of the 2nd. I'm not saying that reasonable restrictions are beyond consideration and I find the national NRA odious. Local NRAs are quite helpful as I understand with gun safety classes and what not, but the national organization has to fear monger to keep the money flowing.

    People who feel passionate about their right to own a gun can get easily manipulated and IMO we have learned that they are a substantial voting block. We have made inroads with many of these voters and I would hate to lose them, many gun owners are already Dems and their association with the party has opened their eyes to where the party comes from. Let's be cautious, please.

    If you are a die hard gun hater and don't believe anyone should own a gun, I know my words are falling on deaf ears, I used to be you. But, if you are open to owning guns then surely you must know how hard it has been to just get to this point with voters, we aren't going to take your guns.

    "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

    by high uintas on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:46:39 PM PST

  •  some issues should not be about politics (9+ / 0-)

    and gun control is one of them.  I don't give a fuck what the political cost is or what people think it is... if it helps save lives of children and people then screw the political costs.  At some point people need to stand up to the voilence

    RIP Pike Miners We will never forget

    by GlowNZ on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:46:59 PM PST

  •  Repeat after me (6+ / 0-)

    "Gun control is a state and local issue. The federal government has adequate laws on the books at present and I oppose further expansion. The needs of people in New York City are different than Moorcrest, Wyoming and it is appropriate to let locals in those areas set more restrictive policies if they wish to do so, and not to do so if they do not wish to."

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 05:52:06 PM PST

    •  Let us hope that Kennedy and the RATS agree. (0+ / 0-)

      Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

      by freelunch on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:18:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Repeat after Me" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ultraviolet uk

      "Abortion is a state and local issue. The federal government has adequate laws on the books at present and I oppose further expansion. The needs of people in New York City are different than Moorcrest, Wyoming and it is appropriate to let locals in those areas set more restrictive policies if they wish to do so, and not to do so if they do not wish to."

  •  30 plus clips is not needed by anyone (5+ / 0-)

    AR gun ban is needed.  Guns rights is BS rights.  Safe and Sane gun laws are good for everyone.  

  •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tnproud2b

    It's a losing battle.

  •  Because Ted Nugent is such a "swell"guy I bet (5+ / 0-)

    So you are going to let him "frame the debate" on this issue.

    Folks like you are really "puzzling" to say the least.

    There is no reaso for any civilian to have an arsenal at hoem, or a sniper rifle in the basement.

  •  2nd Amendment refers to "people", not "persons". (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko, gzodik, Wordsinthewind, jan4insight

    "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms"

    The Constitution uses the word "persons" to define individual rights and the word "people" to define collective rights. The "right to bear arms" is therefore a collective right, not an individual one.

    After all, "We the people" don't have a personal right to our own individual Constitution.

    I think my two cents buys your two cents.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:10:34 PM PST

    •  I'll add my two cents to your two cents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, Wordsinthewind

      in the hope that we can double the volume on your reasoned and sane message. Thank you!

      "If Gabby Giffords can open her eyes tonight, maybe we can too."

      by jan4insight on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:17:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm no scholar, but this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight

        is my understanding. Anyone is free to correct me.

        I will admit, though, that any challenge to gun "rights" is doomed with this Congress and this Court. Maybe in 30 years.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:43:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  why don't you finish the quote? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, theatre goon

          Pretty selective quote
          "..., the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed...."
          you need that last part to understand. If its a group right, then why is it #2 in a list of individual rights?

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:25:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  First off (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ultraviolet uk

            it isn't #2, it was originally #4.

            Two were never ratified.

            Secondly ... The Bill of Rights doesn't confer any Rights. The Rights are inalienable. The Constitution prevents laws that would remove them.

            The 2nd Amendment is one sentence, and you cannot parse it.

            Scotus parsed it for political reasons ... They abandoned any pretennce of constitutionalism, and legislated from the Bench, by one vote.

            We do not forgive our candidates their humanity, therefore we compel them to appear inhuman

            by twigg on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 12:02:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Say what???? (7+ / 0-)

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      So the First and Fourth Amendments apply only to collective rights, not individual rights? I think not!

      -5.12, -5.23

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:46:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fail. (0+ / 0-)

        Individuals do not assemble; people do. Unless you're talking about the right to self-assembly, which I can assure you the founding fathers did not discuss.

        And "to be secure in their persons" speaks to the individual liberty of each person to be free of these things.

        "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

        by Bob Love on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:07:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you are clearly wrong (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, rockhound, exlrrp, theatre goon

          or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

              The right to petition for a redress of grievances is obviously an individual right, as well as a collective one. Additionally, the "right of the people to peaceably assemble" does not refer only to organized meetings of all the people. It is an individual right allowing anyone to meet with anyone else, small groups or large organizations. It most certainly is an individual right that allows me to attend meetings of Physicians for a National Healthcare Program and the ACLU as well as the NRA, if I choose.
             The Fourth Amendment secures the right of "the people" to be secure not only "in their persons," but also in their houses, papers, and effects. The right belongs to "the people," and this is clearly an individual right. Being secure "in their persons" in this setting does not extend the right to be an individual one here. It refers specifically to one's "person" being searched, as opposed to ones house or personal effects.

          -5.12, -5.23

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:26:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Persons" and "people" meaning (0+ / 0-)

            two different things, I prefer to believe that the authors of the Constitution chose theme deliberately. The 2nd Amendment could have been applied to "persons". It doesn't. The authors knew what these terms meant. Draw your own conclusions.

            Yes, secure in their persons and houses, papers and effects, but "persons" individualizes "people", and the ensuing terms also clearly apply to individuals, not a collective ownership of homes, papers and effects; to believe otherwise would be absurd.

            And yes, your right of assembly allows you to attend meetings with other people. If you were attending alone, it would hardly be a meeting, would it?

            "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

            by Bob Love on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:35:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

      And today, the people have standing police forces and a standing professional military.

      Who, ironically, are now tasked to defend the people from Militias.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 05:23:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once upon a time the NRA supported rational laws (12+ / 0-)

    They were some of the most active in making certain that everyone (at least every kid) who was going hunting had a gun safety course. I see no reason not to require every gun owner to pass a safety course and refreshers.

    The NRA never used to argue that you needed to be able to take out your city's entire police department. They used to be allies of the police, no more. What is sensible for personal protection, given that absolute bans on handguns will not work?

    1. Reasonably-sized clips laws and no grandfathering like last time.
    1. Training, training, training. Sure, have a gun, but learn to keep it from being your enemy. Everyone in the country who wants to keep a gun needs to know how to keep it safe and to keep the children in the household safe.
    1. Safer bullets. There's really no reason, aside from insurrection, to have cop-killer bullets. I doubt that the NRA is a front for organized crime, but they seem to be lockstep in opposing rational ammo.

    Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

    by freelunch on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:17:27 PM PST

  •  There is a very good reason to have that discussi (6+ / 0-)

    First a disclaimer: I own guns and occasionally use them for sport. I even have a CCW...

    So I am enthusiastic about having a discussion with other gun owners about how the gun dealers have taken over the issue, creating fear and paranoia just to sell more ammo.

    You go to a gun range. You shoot 10 rounds. Your spouse does. Then you check how you've done. You don't shoot 100 just to see how fast you've burned money!

    The entire myth about Obama or other Dems (like you) wanting to take away guns is just another big money ploy.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:21:38 PM PST

    •  It's worked quite well (0+ / 0-)

      for dealers and the NRA. They're making money hand over fist these days. That's why they're fighting back so hard. Just another version of the banksters.

      How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

      by skohayes on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 05:57:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's too dangerous to carry 6 oz of mouthwash on (7+ / 0-)

    to a plane, but it's a-ok to carry concealed semi-automatic pistols with 30+ round clips in public?

    Tell me this isn't true.

    I'm sick of being put at risk by the nation's gun craze.

    "The Euro-American state is a cowardly lion, a weeping bully, a plaintive lover to finance capital." Lauren Berlant

    by absolute beginner on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:22:37 PM PST

    •  When mouthwash is outlawed (7+ / 0-)

      only Outlaws will be kissed.

      Run from a knife, rush a gun.

      by ben masel on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:15:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any risk you are exposed to is due (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, theatre goon

      to people not to any inanimate objects they may or may not have.  

      Politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

      by oldpunk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 04:20:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I sure wish Loughner had only had mouthwash (0+ / 0-)

        on him and not a fucking assault weapon with a massive clip. Just sayin'.

        Spare the me NRA piety.

        "The Euro-American state is a cowardly lion, a weeping bully, a plaintive lover to finance capital." Lauren Berlant

        by absolute beginner on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 10:15:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Loughner didn't have an assault weapon, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phrogge prince, theatre goon

          but you knew that....I understand that facts are sometimes difficult to come to terms with, especially when they run at cross purposes to a persons world view or political persuasion, nevertheless inanimate objects pose no risk, it is when people are thrown into the mix that our exposure to risk increases.

          Now risk is a function of the likelihood (probability) of an incident taking place and potential severity of the incident. Risk is managed via the development and implementation of systems of control designed to reduce our exposure to risk to a level that is As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP).  Is our exposure to the risk of gun violence or better yet violence in general ALARP?  Are the controls we have in place adequate to manage the risk?  Do we have inefficient or weak controls that need to be modified, replaced or eliminated? Your mileage may vary.

          On final note it is impossible to eliminate all risk from our lives because just living necessitates exposure to risk.  Add living in a free society to that and our exposure increases.  I guess a good question we need to ask ourselves is what type and how much risk we are willing to expose ourselves to and still live in a relatively free society?

          Politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

          by oldpunk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 02:56:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was an assault and it was a weapon (0+ / 0-)

            6 dead, more than a dozen injured. That's the facts.

            Another massacre enabled by our nation's idiotic gun laws.

            I'm not buying your phony rationale. At long last, have you gun-firsters no shame?

            "The Euro-American state is a cowardly lion, a weeping bully, a plaintive lover to finance capital." Lauren Berlant

            by absolute beginner on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 04:51:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Those are the facts, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theatre goon

              it was an assault with a weapon. But since the weapon Loughner used was not an "Assault Weapon", a weapon that has a "select fire" capability, it is not a fact there was an assault with an assault weapon.

              While I am aware that language is fluid, I am also aware that words are for the most part clearly defined and it is those definitions that aid in our ability to communicate.  If we all had our own definitions of words our ability to communicate effectively would be severely hampered.  But since we don't get to make up our own definitions of words you don't get your own personal definition of an assault weapon, (any weapon used in an assault is an assault weapon).  Loughner didn't use an assault weapon regardless of how many people raise their voices and shriek to the contrary.  He used a semi-automatic pistol with an high capacity magazine, which is not an assault weapon, those are the facts.

              Politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

              by oldpunk on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 05:24:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The 30-round clip was BANNED under federal (0+ / 0-)

                assault weapons ban. That the ban was allowed to expire is indicative of the gun madness that grips this sad country.

                That's the fact.

                So, since Loughner used a weapon previously banned by federal gun law designed to restrict assault weapons, it's pretty much an assault weapon.

                The act separately defined and banned "large capacity ammunition feeding devices", which generally applied to magazines or other ammunition feeding devices with capacities of greater than an arbitrary number of rounds and which up to the time of the act had been considered normal or factory magazines. These ammunition feeding devices were also referred to in the media and popular culture as "high capacity magazines or feeding devices." Depending on the locality and type of firearm, the cutoff between a "normal" capacity and "high" capacity magazine was 3, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 20 rounds. The now defunct federal ban set the limit at 10 rounds.

                So, your pro-gun version of facts doesn't really pass muster. My designation of Loughner's gun as an assault weapon acknowledges the fact that his large clip turns his weapon into an assault weapon, as Congress had correctly designated it earlier.

                "The Euro-American state is a cowardly lion, a weeping bully, a plaintive lover to finance capital." Lauren Berlant

                by absolute beginner on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 11:43:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, an assault weapon is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ana Thema

                  select fire weapon, meaning you can select the number of rounds that can be fired with a single trigger pull, a single round, a three round burst or fully automatic. The Glock Loughner used did not have select fire capability nor did it have any of the cosmetic features  covered in the AWB. Therefore it cannot be construed as an assault weapon.  

                  But if we go by the definition of an assault weapon as used in the AWB then an AK-47 is not considered an assault weapon unless it has both a collapsing stock and a bayonet lug. Other than that the AWB didn't really ban anything other than black scary guns with pistol grips, flash suppressors and collapsible stocks. You got to keep any weapons you already had and you could still purchase the weapons and magazines as long as they were manufactured prior to the legislation.

                  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the "assault weapon" ban and other gun control schemes, and found "insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws reviewed for preventing violence."

                  Rather pointless to enact laws that don't do what they were enacted to do.

                  Politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

                  by oldpunk on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 08:41:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I am a gun owner. (7+ / 0-)

    I enjoy target shooting.  I come from a family of gun owners and hunters.  While I admit, I could not support a flat-out total gun ban, some safety-based regulations are necessary.  For example, no individual needs an enormous clip, large enough to wipe out a small army.  No individual should be able to purchase weaponry without a thorough background check.  Certain types of weapons don't belong in the average home any more than storing nitro and dynamite belong there.  

    Frankly, my biggest beef with the NRA has always been their extremism; anything goes.  That approach doesn't work in life, where moderation in food, drink, and yes, even ammo just makes more sense.

    You are my brother, my sister. (Duty calls; good men answer. May it ever be so. (blue aardvark, DKos, 1.14.10))

    by RoCali on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:25:58 PM PST

  •  Meanwhile the Class War continues (7+ / 0-)

    and the planet continues to heat up.

    We, the 90% of people who have to get up in the morning and go to work, keep finding ways to bicker and ignore the fact that the Working Class, of whatever ideology, race or gender,  is the largest single constituency and interest group, while the 10% who own it all and for whom we labor, chuckle on their way to the bank.

    How about a little focus on the Big Picture, eh?

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:31:26 PM PST

  •  I agree, and I don't own a handgun (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, gerrilea, ER Doc, theatre goon
    1. Nothing will pass, it's a losing deal.
    1. Even if the Dems won a solid majority and had the ability to pass gun control it would be similar to the AWB, in other words useless at stopping violent gun death. The only thing the AWB did was help American manufacturers.

    After we've worked at all the paths already open to us then maybe think about restrictions or licensure. Mental health care, income inequality, unemployment, good enforcement of rules already on the books.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:34:05 PM PST

  •  Lots of other things to support... (4+ / 0-)

    ...plenty of other progressive things to eat up your time...and money.

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 06:40:21 PM PST

  •  Taking your ball and going home. (0+ / 0-)

    What a great progressive you are.

  •  Why I disagree (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, stevej, MA Liberal, koNko, allergywoman

    Number of Murders, United States, 2009: 15,241

    Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2009: 9,146

    Number of Murders, Britain, 2008*: 648
    (Since Britain’s population is 1/5 that of US, this is equivalent to 3,240 US murders)

    Number of Murders by[pdf] firearms, Britain, 2008* 39
    (equivalent to 195 US murders)

    Juan Cole

    I've lived in countries with strict gun control. Yes, humans can live without handguns. Shocking as it may seem.

    You want to hunt, I don't give a damn. You want to have a handgun to be macho....I care. The 2nd amendment doesn't cover either of those situations. The 2nd amendment was about the state being able to have a militia in fear of a over-powering republic.

    I have not seen any recent argument about owning guns as it relates to a political expression. An argument the 2nd Amendment addressed.

    And I sure as hell haven't seen anything remotely showing that having massive handguns makes us safer.

  •  The problem with gun control is the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, jan4insight

    same as the problem with many issues where liberals struggle...most people are (tepidly) on our side, but those on the other side are passionate in the extreme.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 07:24:10 PM PST

  •  I hate to ask this question, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sebastianguy99, Whatithink

    why is it that people get so up in arms (pardon the pun) about gun control only after this incident?

    People are killed all year long by guns.

    What makes these people more worthy of others outrage?  Were they any more special or important than the black kid who died in gang violence last month?

  •  Nothing good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, allergywoman

    positive, uplifting, enlightening or worthwhile ever came from a gun or owning a gun.

    JMO and I know many disagree with my views. All of my 70 years I have seen heartbreak, grief, lives shattered, great leaders stopped in their tracks, men, women and children. . .so many children deprived of even  experiencing life.  There is no reason for a gun in our day and age.  

    Violence and war are never the answer.

    JMO.  Flame away or spin your wheels trying to convince me otherwise, but I have seen it all through my lifetime and I am not convinced.  Your opinion will no doubt vary, I support your right to disagree outrageously with me.

    *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

    by Shirl In Idaho on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 08:52:52 PM PST

  •  Yeah,but, gun control is not the same (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PrahaPartizan, skohayes, allergywoman

    as ammo control. restricting how many rounds a gun can shoot is not "taking away someone's gun" and i'm sick of hearing arguements that make them the same thing. They're not. It's a commensense answer, imho.

    "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win" - Rupert Freaking Murdoch circa 1958

    by blueoregon on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:00:09 PM PST

    •  Go Ultra Strict Constructionist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allergywoman

      From what I've read, the legal system differentiated between "arms" and "ammunition" even in the pre-Revolutionary War period.  Therefore, the Founding Fathers were familiar with the differentiation and chose not to include it in the Constitution.  We know they chose not to include it because the amendment deals with only one of the items.  Had they wanted to include both "arms" and "ammunition" they would have included them.  Shove the strict constructionist argument as far as it will go into the right-wingers until it comes out their mouths.  Ammunition should be strictly controlled - ownership and purchase.  It is no different than drugs.  If you want to hold illegally, expect to spend time in prison.  Arguing that making criminals out of people who want to own ammunition illegally is no saner or more valid than those who argue that those who want to possess various restricted pharmaceuticals shouldn't be prosecuted.  This House won't pass any legislation like this, but the arguments can be used to hammer them politically, as any policy issue should be debated.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:21:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  REally? so you think it's fine for folks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allergywoman

    to be able to buy 30-shot clips? Why? What possible use could the average American have for an Uzi, a semi-automatic, a 30-clip magazine, etc., other than to kill.
    Target shooting? Well, you only need a 30-clip mag if you're too lazy to change the clip.
    And no one needs an uzi for hunting.
    We can have sensible gun laws that protect both those who believe in RKBA and those who want the general populace to not have to worry about some mental case being able to carry a concealed weapon.
    I'm for the RKBA, but I am also for sensible gun laws.
    You can't stay silent on the sidelines. the sidelines is the status quo...or worse.

    •  Control the Ammunition (0+ / 0-)

      Clip size is immaterial if ammunition is restricted.  Who cares if the clip can hold thirty rounds if the shooter has only five rounds available for carrying around in public?  Building a case for controlling ammunition availability would likely be much easier than arguing about the accouterments which fit on weapons.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Fri Jan 14, 2011 at 10:42:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of people miss the point... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound, oldpunk, phrogge prince

    It's not that Democrats are caving to the Republicans on this issue -- it's that a considerable portion of Democrats do not support new, restrictive gun control measures.

    Acknowledging that fact isn't conceding the point to the Republicans, it's conceding the point to your own constituency.

    You can't win elections if you alienate a large portion of your own base.

    Excellent diary -- tipped and recced.

  •  I'm no fan of firearms, but (0+ / 0-)

    there is some truth to what you say.  The NRA appears to have some extreme positions, even for its members.  If we're to believe what has been said in the media, the members wouldn't have a big problem with restricting the size of magazines.  I only know what I hear, though.

    Frankly, I don't get the whole "sport" idea of guns.  A semi-automatic with super-duper scope and unlimited rounds doesn't seem as though is could miss anything.  Just spray until it's empty and see what's still standing.  If you can't miss, where is the challenge?  At least bow hunters need some skill.  I must have missed the "kill things" gene....

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 04:58:50 AM PST

    •  Non-hunters don't always get it. (4+ / 0-)

      That's okay -- I don't get a lot of things I'm not experienced with, either.

      I can't speak for all hunters, of course, but I can describe what I know the case to be about myself and all the hunters I know.

      We don't hunt just to go out and kill something.  We hunt to put meat into the freezer.  I'm not going to get into the debate about whether we could go buy it at the supermarket -- I think that's beside the point here.

      With that in mind, I want the most efficient and effective tool I can find -- there is no "pray and spray," as you describe.  If at all possible, I prefer to use a single shot.  That doesn't always work out -- more than one are sometimes necessary.  Scopes make the shot more accurate, to take the animal more cleanly.  When scopes are used, at any rate, I prefer open sights, personally.

      That said, I haven't hunted in years -- not because I'm against it, I've frankly gotten a bit too lazy to do so, and know enough other hunters who share.

      Hope that helps a bit -- the best way to "get" something is to just learn something about it.

      •  I don't have as much problem with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon

        the scopes as with the automatic, gazillion shot rifles (and handguns).  (Heck, I think there are scopes for bows, too, aren't there?)  

        There was a talk radio guy here who was explaining about some of the really high-powered guns available now.  He said he didn't like to go hunting on opening day of any season because there were too many people with those kinds of guns, and they could shoot someone they couldn't even see because the guns had such a long range.  This was from a gun guy, and no tree-hugger, for sure.  

        I don't have any trouble with putting meat on the table.  People who eat what they kill, and respect private property and the legal season, etc., aren't what I'm talking about, at least I don't think so.  Does it really take a semi-automatic rifle that can shoot something a mile away to do what you're talking about?  I'm not being a smart aleck - I really want to know and understand.  I feel free to ask you because you were so respectful in your reply.  I don't always get that when I venture into a gun discussion.  :-)

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 03:32:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you still catch this reply. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phrogge prince, luckylizard

          Been a long, busy day for me.

          Semi-auto rifles tend to be more accurate when you do require a second shot, other ways to chamber a second round cause more disruption to the rifle itself.

          That said, I prefer a bolt-action myself, for the most part.  And because a bullet may travel a mile away, that doesn't mean you can hit what you're shooting at at that distance.  That's why any good hunter always knows what's on the other side of whatever they are shooting at, in case they do miss.  In fact, it doesn't have to be a "high-powered" rifle to do so -- the ubiquitous .22 long will travel a very long way.

          I do own a semi-automatic rifle, I keep in the ranch truck for whatever may come along.  In fact, when I bought it, it came with a 25-round magazine.  The only time I've used that was when I was target shooting -- the only time I personally have a use for such a mag.  Great for practice, but I carry it with a five-round magazine for actual use.

          Basically, people prefer the sort of firearm they are the most comfortable with -- semi-auto, bolt-action, lever-action, whatever.

          And yeah, I believe there may be scopes for bows -- I'm a truly abysmal shot with a bow, so I'm not completely sure on that.  I have, though, done some black-powder hunting in the past.  You can be every bit as accurate as you can with modern arms, really.

          A bit of a rambling answer, but I was trying to touch on several points there.  Hope it was helpful.

          :-)

          •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon

            I feel a whole lot smarter now.  Guns scare me for a lot of reasons, and it's not always easy to get someone who is gracious enough to educate.  This gives me a better idea of the kinds of guns and their uses, and I really appreciate the time you took to help me understand.

            -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

            by luckylizard on Sat Jan 15, 2011 at 04:51:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're very welcome. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              luckylizard

              Always happy to share my experience and information with others.

              If you have any other questions, I'm usually in any of the RKBA-tagged diaries -- and if you happen to come up with something I can't answer, someone else there most likely can.  If you prefer e-mail, follow through onto my profile here and it's easy to find, without being posted directly for spammers.

              I honestly do understand how people can be afraid of guns -- and the best way to stop being afraid of something is to learn more about it.

  •  I recall a similar arguement when we tried... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to pass the Iowa ERA a while back.

    It was obvious on its face from the wording of the Amendment that it would legalize same sex marriage in Iowa, but we were expected to claim otherwise, since same sex marriage was then considered as a political loser (like gun control now) that would never happen in our lifetimes.

    So, instead of giving straightforward and honest arguements about why this would be a good thing, folks were reduced to giving silly disengenuous arguements that they knew were contradictory.

    And we still don't have an ERA here in Iowa.

    Aparently, the strategy of running away didn't work.

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