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Rep. Sherry Appleton, D-Poulsbo, said House Bill 1012, filed last month, was spurred by the Trayvon Martin shooting last February, in which a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida shot dead the unarmed Martin, 17, after confronting him on the street.... Appleton's bill would have required a person to retreat from a dangerous confrontation that person “knows or should know” that doing so would afford “complete safety.”

.... Washington is one of at least 29 states with no explicit duty to retreat.

Appleton said her bill was written in September and she lamented that it was caught up in the reignited national debate over guns in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people, including 20 children, were killed.

“It's unfortunate, because Newtown happened, and that riled up so many people,” Appleton said.

.... The threats against Appleton, which were among the more than 100 emails and telephone calls she received about the bill after reports of it circulated on gun advocacy websites, were non-specific but “very scary,” said her assistant, Donna Bezon.

We are in desperate need for a open and candid discussion of guns in this nation. I wrote to my legislators:

Dear Linda, Tracey and Roger:

I was extremely shocked to learn that your colleague, Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo, was, in the last legislative term, forced by terrorist threats to withdraw HB 1012 which sought to limit self-defense rights. Ms. Appleton received threats by telephone and email that caused her to fear for her life.

I believe -- and I hope that you as my elected representative also believe -- that everything, even guns and the right to own and use guns and the meaning of the Second Amendment are open subjects for discussion and debate without fearing for our lives and well being.

A misinterpretation of the Second Amendment appears to have trumped the First Amendment. Now we, as a nation, are not allowed to discuss gun violence. The NRA has traitorously silenced the first and primary freedoms of a free State delineated in the First Amendment.

We must have a long and serious and detailed and in-depth discussion of the horrific amount of recurring gun violence in this nation.

And the discussion must begin today.

A misinterpretation of the Second Amendment has trumped the First Amendment.

The opening provision of the Second Amendment reads::

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State ... “

The security of a free state is encoded in the First Amendment. It must be remembered that the First Amendment, first and foremost of the amendments, is meant to be protected by the provisions of the Second Amendment.

“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.”

In other words, “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...”

But, persons who have maliciously chosen to misinterpret the Second Amendment to say that it speaks only of individual ownership of guns have also traitorously silenced the first and primary freedoms of a free State delineated in the First Amendment – and we, the citizens of that supposed Free State, are not allowed to discuss gun violence in this nation.

As a result, gun violence in every possible nook and cranny of this supposed Free State erupts over and over and over again.

We must restore the First Amendment. We must be free to act as citizens of a Free State and we must have a long and serious and detailed discussion of the horrific amount of recurring gun violence in this nation.

Please advise me as to where you stand on my First Amendment rights.

Thank you.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have always thought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Sandino

    that the second ammendment argument was a bunch of hooey...and a complete misinterpretation ......Anyone versed in junior high grammar can figure out that the second part of that ammendment refers to the first part before the comma....in other words it refers to a well-regulated militia!!

    And that was the interpretation until around 1980, when, under an all out assault by the NRA and their gun owner  nuts to revamp the interpretation finally paid off..until we are where we are today.....

    " We're all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can."................Will Rogers

    by tvdude on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:36:20 PM PST

    •  I'm guessing you're not versed in junior high.. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Plus, the original was quite different. (0+ / 0-)
        The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
        Original draft by madison.
        What we ended up getting was after that original was sent through committee after committee over several months.

        I imagine after some time, it ended up being very much like the back/forth of the debt ceiling. Where people who thought one way had dug into their positions and people who felt another way had planted their feet firmly, until finally it was just passed without the final proofread where fresh eyes might have made it simpler.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink. The answer is not gun control, it's people care.

        by JayFromPA on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:54:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You should have also know from jr high history (5+ / 0-)

      class that Jefferson wrote and debated publicly many, many times on the 2A and every thing he said or suggested not just implied but directly explained that the citizens should be armed....period.  

      IF the 2A was meant to only arm those in the militias....then why didn't that law/rule apply from the day it was created.  The founding fathers didn't fall over dead the day it was written and leave it all up to third interpretation from that moment on....and yet through out our entire history, guns were in almost every home in America, until the last few years.  

      No one posted signs around the towns of America that read, "Bill of Rights was created last night...don't leave your guns with your wives or sons...it is now illegal unless you are in the militia!"  

      During the Oregon Train, a family was not allowed to sign up to enter a group of travelers unless they had arms and 6 months of ammo....single women had to join a family and provide their own gun.  No one was prosecuted for advertising an illegal activity by requiring non-militia people to own and carry a weapon.

      During the Civil War, women and young children protected their farms from invaders and continues to harvest animals with guns to feed their families.  No one rounded them up because they had illegal guns in their home.

      If they only meant the militia...don't you think we would have had one single arrest from that day on to suggest that a week later, a month later, a year later, a decade later or a century later that only the militia were supposed to have gun.   Yet, no such arrest exists.....not then and not now.  Why? because it was not illegal to own guns then and they never meant only the militia.

      •  This sentence fragment jumps out at me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ExStr8, Sandino

        "...guns were in almost every home in America, until the last few years."

        That's not even close to being true. People who live in non-rural areas, with reasonably fast police response time and who are not hunters are not likely to own a firearm. It's not like cities and suburbs are new.

        •  Ok even today 2013....there are 310 mil firearms (0+ / 0-)

          this country.....that equates to 88 firearms per 100 people in this country.  50% of American homes has at least one firearm....1 in 2.  The span of polls indicate that anywhere from 39 to 48% of individuals are gun owners (such as they were the one in the household to purchase the gun in the household).... and that includes 40% of the gun owners that list themselves as Democrats.

           These are the numbers of people who don't mind answering a survey about guns.  If my house was called, and I was asked this question....I would say "none ya" and hang up.

           What is "shocking" is this is the lowest amount of gun owners in our history, relative to our actual population numbers....as it has remained steady or on a slight decline for the past couple of decades.  It is true that the gun owners of today generally own more guns than ever before but the amount of gun owners relative to actual population numbers is lower than the past.

          At the time of the Bill of Rights, almost every home, that had a free family living in it,  had a gun....for mere survival, if for nothing else.   Every free man owned one.  Even my ancestors had guns, they were just hidden in barns and hay lofts or under mattresses.  

          Again, not one arrest  from the time of the Bill of Rights being created related to this "new Law" our founding fathers made that day about guns being only for the militia.  Not a day later, a year later and so on.  Matter of fact, try to find a law from the latter 1700's or 1800's in Anytown, USA that states, "No individual can own or possess a weapon unless they are actively enlisted in the state militia"  Any law....anywhere.

           Why?  They never meant only the militia, and if you think about it....could you imagine the chaos the day after creating the Bill of Rights and the newly formed government running around collecting guns from farmers and ranchers and men who traveled on horseback etc.  Do you think for a second the people at that time, who used guns in everyday life just to eat, would have allowed that? No way.  They never meant just the militia.

          •  Where? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            Are your stats on this?

            Show me the numbers.

          •  Surely we can agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino

            that 50% of homes is no where near "almost every home in America". That would be my only point. Too many gun owners think that it truly is "almost every home in America".

            •  Really? 1 in 2. On a block of 10 houses, 5 out (0+ / 0-)

              10 houses has at least one gun....  and that's statistically speaking, meaning that it's numbers that "we know of...and they answered the question in the affirmative".  There may be much more, such as illegal guns and people who won't answer for the Census or a poll.

              And this is just household numbers....If Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith answer that they are gun owners (so 1 of the 2 or 50%) but then we look closer and Mr. Smith has a .45 and Mrs. Smith has a 9mm and the kids are in 4 H and each have a junior rifle....well you get the picture.....310 million firearms.  

              This is why it is political poison.  People who are not around guns or who have never had one, have no idea how many people really value this right. So when politically is become a topic in Congress, people expect a few thousand "gun nuts" to get all worked up about it and then are surprised when approval ratings for said politician goes into the toilet. This is why....gun ownership is way more prevalent than you know.

                I grew up in the South and now live in the West and I truly hardly know anyone that doesn't at least have one and I hang with left leaning people.  But if I know you don't have one or you're against it in some way....I'm not likely to bring out my collection for you to gander at....so you might know me forever and never have a clue I own them.

              •  It appears that you are unclear (0+ / 0-)

                on the concept of what the phrase "almost every" means. Hint: 1 out of 2 ain't it.

                We also are apparently in disagreement on what a "gun nut" is. For me, a gun nut is someone who thinks that they have the right to own any gun that they want. I contend that the vast majority of gun owners are not gun nuts—by my definition of gun nut. My logical conclusion is that most gun owners would support the POTUS in his attempts at gun regulation.

                •  Some of them, yes. If New York's new law is a (0+ / 0-)

                  any kind of blueprint then no I would definitely be opposed. I know no one who owns a gun who would be supportive of that kind of new regulations.

                  I am ok with background checks to even include private sales.  I am ok with mental health checks, as are done now. I am ok with felons and dangerous people being banned from owning and stiff penalties should they be caught in possession of a firearm.  I am somewhat ok with an assault weapons ban, although the one tried before was a failure.

                   I am not ok with gun registration, bullet audit, fees and fines and mandatory insurance on a Constitutional right, regulating magazine size, law abiding gun owners who have passed background checks to then have to be licensed and yearly renewal, limiting amount of guns one can have, semi automatic weapon bans etc.  

                  There are a lot of ideas floating around that I totally disagree with.

                   Go after the criminals....yes.  Go after the law abiding gun owners, no.

  •  Not a First Amendment violation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, elmo, AoT, JayFromPA

    I mean, even if individual citizens could violate your First Amendment rights in a private capacity (they can't) this wouldn't be an example of such.

    •  Only the state can violate the first amendment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, elmo, dewley notid

      "Congress shall make no law . . . "  SCOTUS in 1925, in Gitlow v. New York, held that the 14th Amendment extends the first amendment to state action.  Prior to the 14th Amendment enacted after the Civil War, the Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government, and states were allowed to restrict freedom of speech, as southern states made advocacy of abolition of slavery a crime.  Private individuals cannot violate the first amendment, but private threats and private intimidation and may be a crime, depending on the state.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:45:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Karen - there are no First Amendment issues (5+ / 0-)

    presented in your diary. The First Amendment is a constraint on governments.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 01:47:54 PM PST

  •  You see, you don't understand. (0+ / 0-)

    The only FREEDOM!!!™ that matters is the one whereby every yahoo with the IQ of a toadstool can acquire the artillery required to quickly and efficiently make mincemeat out of toddlers.

    Anything less is either fascism or communism, I forget which; probably both, to be on the safe side.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:11:25 PM PST

  •  Are you being hyperbolic, metaphorical, or (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, PSWaterspirit

    completely serious?

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 02:16:23 PM PST

  •  Are you suggesting that you are not free to (0+ / 0-)

    discuss gun regulation? Isn't that what you are doing right now?

    •  In the Kos community (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandino

      Discussion is not verboten. But there are many other venues where it cannot be discussed without threat. Witness the case of Sherry Appleton.

      •  But it's not a 1A violation...it's a crime in (0+ / 0-)

        other regards, if it's a real threat but not a violation of the Bill of Rights or the First Amendment.

          All of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights with the exception of number 10 were rights the people had the right to demand of their government.  After the Constitution was created to govern how our government was to run, Jefferson argued to Madison and others that the people's rights were not included.

         Jefferson wanted them in writing as part of the Constitution and at first Madison felt the Constitution was adequate and a properly run government in the manner as written in the Constitution would give the people the rights they deserved.  Jefferson and a growing coalition of others said they should be in a Bill of Rights to the people.  After discussion and public debate, Madison and others agreed and the Bill of Rights was created to be the rights all American citizens should expect and demand of their government...."the People's Rights" as it was called many times in other letters and writings.

         1-9 were for the people and number 10 was a concluding right to give anything not listed in the Constitution (government) or the Bill of Rights (people) would go to either the states or the people.

        So really only the state or the government can violate a right of the people or amendment of the Bill of Rights.  A person who has authority under the state of government can do this as well...but not an individual...although sometimes it is mistaken as such in some cases.

  •  Sherry Appleton is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino

    representing an area that has a large percentage of military both activer and former. My question is was she representing their wishes on this matter or is this something she decided to do in spite of their wishes. I can guess given I know the area very well that it was the later.

     Washington State and specifically Kitsap County have a long history of challenging all claims of self defense and putting people in jail for a crime if the claim does not hold up.

    Ms. Appleton may want to check in on her contiuents wishes that area has always been very pro gun and pro self defense.

    I want to know if Sherry Appleton is actually representing the will of her people because in this part of Washington that is something we take seriously.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 07:24:51 PM PST

  •  The second Amendment is to defend slavery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Karen Hedwig Backman

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