Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Constitution During Tragedy: Part 2

I still continue to be saddened by the tragedy.  The names were released yesterday, collages of the young faces are being shared on Facebook and Twitter today, and it’s just heartbreaking.   I did something nice for my own son today – grateful to still have him – even if he is not young anymore.

Here’s a collage that just broke me.

faces

 

Take a moment and mourn.  What a loss.  😦

.

.

When you’re ready:

Back to the Constitution, we’re starting to see leaders emerge into the debates, and it’s the usual suspects.  I’m sure while Wayne LaPierre of the NRA will be mailing me on how guns could have stopped this earlier with someone packing,  Harry Reid, Chuck Shumer and even the Pro-Gun Democrats are being targeted for quotes that will politicize this debate quickly.   .

So how does the Constitution hold up in the wake of tragedy?  After all, that’s the point of this blog mini-series here.  The answer is:  Not so well.

Charles Shumer told Anti-Gun Avocates that we “Have to admit that there’s a 2nd Amendment“.

“We’ve been gridlocked,” he said on CBS’s Face The Nation. “We need a new paradigm because both sides are in the corner and they could come to the middle. Those of who are pro-gun control have to admit that there is a Second Amendment right to bear arms… once we establish that there is a constitutional right to bear arms we should have the right admit, and maybe they’ll be more willing to admit, that no amendment is absolute after all.”

See what he did there?

If we admit that the 2nd Amendment is a legitimate Amendment (in which nobody in their right mind was denying this), then we’ll make THE OTHER GUYS admit something too, and then we’ll chisel away at those staunch bigots and their nearly impossible to bastardize 2nd Amendment rights that we can’t seem to spin!

In other words – we’ll admit a little something, and then berate them until they inch our way.

In other OTHER words – “Once we, as a group, openly admit that there’s a Constitutional Right and smooch their asses a little bit, and then suggest that Amendments aren’t absolute, we’ll then make our argument that the 2nd Amendment isn’t absolute, and that your right CAN’T be infringed – EXCEPT by this NEW LAW designed by us to….  

(wait for it….)  

PROTECT YOU!!!”

cat

Do you know why the Preamble exists?   Here’s why:

BOR

See, if you believed in the Constitution in the first place, you don’t give this gum-flapping about “Amendments aren’t absolute”.  They’re absolute, and if not, they ARE ABSOLUTELY ABOUT TAKING POWER FROM POLITICIANS, like Senator Chuck Schumer who would limit the powers granted to citizens.

This is precisely why I’m not only saddened by history-ignorant Americans saying this sort of stupid stuff,  but because our LEADERS are saying it while openly strategizing on how to get PARTISAN LAWS PASSED that they think will get them re-elected!

Two words for you, Chuck:    Sell out!

No wonder Americans are repeating this stuff.  They hear a ridiculous claim, like:

  • FBI/NCIS system should be mandatory.   Wouldn’t have helped in this situation.
  • Banning Automatic Rifles should be mandatory.  Wouldn’t have helped in this situation.
  • Banning Semi-Automatic Rifles should be mandatory.  Wouldn’t have helped in this situation.
  • Banning Assault Rifles should be mandatory.  The guy shot kids with handguns.
  • Banning handguns should be mandatory.   Right, so law abiding citizens can just mosey down the street with a musket, because clearly, that’s what the Founding Fathers wanted.  Don’t be stupid.
  • Where was the background check?  He would have passed it.
  • Schools should be a Gun Free Zone!  Yeah, it sure was, wasn’t it?   Except for two.
  • Maybe if there was an education on Guns, this wouldn’t happen.   Schumer is finally admitting that they EXIST and we have a right to bear them.   You want the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program in schools?  OK!  I’m good with the message of “If you find it stop, don’t pick it up, run away from it, tell an adult”.
  • Let’s hold the gun owner responsible.   She is – her poor judgment got her the death penalty.
  • This is because of Gun Shows!  Nope, not here either.
  • Let’s make a law not allowing mental patients access to guns.  Already a law.

So with all this, I have very little hope that rational, normally educated people would be able to handle a conversation on this topic.   But I went into NPR’s Facebook page and tried to dialogue peacefully and respectfully – and usually NPR listeners are rational, reasonable and respectable, as am I.

I was told that I was an idiot, and should end up dead like “other gun owner jerkoffs like David Koresh”.   I simply made the point that when heroes use a gun, they’re heroes.  And when villains use a gun, they’re still villains.  That was it.  That was the sum total of my offering, and my response was comparisons to religious crazy mass-murderers who kill their followers.   I guess I should be happy that the person didn’t Godwin me straight to Hitler or Stalin-like status.

At least they mix it up a little, I guess.  “Hooray for small gifts”, I’ve since decided.

I thought I would take a quick look at WhiteHouse.Gov to see what kind of petitions are going on – after all, that’s kind of a good indicator of ideas and attitudes.  I did this to sort of gauge the average American’s thought process to see how capable we are of solving this dilemma, and what ideas generated the most amount of agreement. This could show us how people gravitate towards intelligent ideas and compromise.   Or how doomed we are with polarization and bigotry and sound-bytes.

Let’s take a look at the whole snapshot at this moment, and then we’ll address each one.

Image

Well, I was hoping for a better selection with more inflammatory mish-mash, but this is pretty moderate, even for WhiteHouse.gov standards.  So let’s jump in with both feet on this:

im1

Free mental health care.   Well, THAT didn’t take long.

Well, we’re lucky to get treatment with insurance for anything other than a yearly checkup with ObamaCare as it is.  You can argue if that’s better than nothing, but at the growing costs and (SURPRISE!  Recent additional tax of 63 bucks for preexisting conditions – that’s a bummer)  I’m betting that this is fiscally impossible.  Seriously, if we can’t get people cancer treatment, or eyeglasses or X-Rays or two ailments in one visit on the government plan, do you really think we’re going to risk the entire program on adding expensive and unproven mental health sciences as a generic solution?   I’ll answer that now: No.  We aren’t.

Banning the sale on “assault rifles” (I’ll go into that later)  and “high capacity magazines”.  We saw this with the Brady Bill, and it didn’t stop criminals.  Rather, it empowered them to have a better weapon than the police who might come to stop them, and it created an underground enterprise.  Those who legally had high capacity magazines made a fortune selling them on Ebay to strangers.   Remember my analogy where prisoners make weapons out of envelope glue, and broken parts of kitchen utensils?   Hate + Rage + Time = Tragedy.   I believe you’re truly delaying the obvious by thinking that not selling high capacity magazines is going to instantly stop certain crimes, but no research available today suggests that.   And high capacity magainzes, of which there are millions in distribution through both legal and illegal means is no way going to stop:

a)  anyone from getting one
b) anyone from using it
c) a criminal from modifying a legal one to an illegal one anyway, even if every one was collected and destroyed – which will never happen – there is simply not enough manpower to do this.

I guess you can try if you’re hell-bent, but if I want to carry 20 rounds and you only allow 10 round magazines, I can carry 2.   Now how does that save anyone’s life?

Okay, here’s some more citizenry brain-busters on how to solve this problem:

im2

These schools are overcrowded, on a budget, and barely have enough money to enact legislation to rob Peter to pay Paul down the line.   What we need is more teachers, more buildings, and more resources.   This is not simply “moving funds from one account to another”, this is “creating an account and funding it”.   You just created a bigger, less efficient and more expensive government.   You can’t fund armed guards at every school, and even if you could, wouldn’t the shooter take that person out first, and leave you in the same position?  Kids can be dumb, but they’re not stupid, and kevlar vests don’t protect your face.

Besides, I’m not sure I want recent ex-military returnees to be hanging out with kids and guns without a serious psyche evaluation.  Guys, these people are sometimes struggling to function normally in a world where their lives aren’t being threatened.  Hand them a gun and put them on a junior high campus?   Yet 700+ people think this is a splendid idea.

Then we have the one on the right.  UNBELIEVABLE.   This White House will not “ensure” ANYTHING when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.  The Constitution ALREADY ENSURES that citizens cannot be limited for that very reason.    My guess is that this is someone’s idea of appealing to the White House to “Remember the 2nd Amendment” like a “Remember the Alamo” type of statement.  At least, I hope so.  Please tell me that people know that we ALREADY HAVE THIS RIGHT, and don’t need approval from the WHITE HOUSE to say yes or no on an AMENDMENT.   If you give the government the idea that they can take something away, tax it, or stick a law on it when it’s NON-NEGOTIABLE, then they start thinking, “Hey, we can change this shit up a little”.   STOP DOING THAT.   If you trumpet the 2nd Amendment, understand that this is not granted to us BY the Government.  It’s granted to us to deny the government powers that they don’t deserve because they can’t deny you from having that power.   THAT’S WHAT A RIGHT *IS ALL ABOUT*.

im3Okay, I don’t care about those other issues at the moment, so we’ll carry on with what holds merit on this topic.

A show of hands.  No, really.  How many people think that an “investigation into the relationship of psychiatric evaluations and school shootings” will produce anything but “further results (and funds) are needed to become more aware, educated and produce accurate data”?

I have some data.  Of the last 5 school shootings, “No Gun Zones” or “permission required ahead of time for carrying a gun on school property” were requirements on 100% of campuses.  Of the last 2 mall shootings, those also were “Gun Free Zones”.    Hey, that’s free, and easily searchable.

Are we suggesting that we can profile – and systematically disarm people based on psychiatric assessments on if they’ll bring a gun to a school and kill people?   I mean, what’s the end result?

Here’s another free idea:  If you’re required to take psychiatric drugs, then admit yourself to a facility and get healed.  Don’t allow people to stop their meds and shoot guns, or drive cars into busses, or run naked through malls.  There are ALREADY LAWS against people with mental diseases owning firearms.

Whoever wrote “Stronger gun control” was just lazy, and you got a lot of votes with no substance.  Congratulations, 10,000 people agreed that blaming guns is the answer.   Good going!   Because criminals follow the laws, this will surely stop them if we pass the “magical right law”.

I’m starting to wonder if Americans understand their own Constitution.

im4

I don’t want a gun in every classroom, and nobody should be forced to carry as a mandate of employment.  I have high regard for teachers, and I believe if they want to, they should have one.  No teacher should be forced to have a weapon they are scared of, unable to control, unwilling to use, or could be taken away by a student or other perpetrator.    I also believe that kids will not respect an adult, even with a gun, and this may compound the issue if a student attacks a teacher, who would then defend themselves with lethal means.

To the guy who wrote about ending violence committed by assault weapons, the only person who was shot by a rifle was the perpetrator’s mother, and we don’t even know yet if it had the three Federal parts attached that would designate it as an “assault weapon“.  But don’t wait for that information to be made available – let’s just jump to conclusions.  Because, you know, “we think”.   All the kids and school administrators were shot with handguns.  If you’re okay with disarming the public because you don’t like certain guns, AT LEAST BLAME THE RIGHT GUNS.   I mean, that’s like saying, “let’s ban lock-picking tools when criminals are using crowbars to smash and break car windows.  Because that will stop cars from getting stolen!”  Really, idiot?   How does it solve the problem when you have failed to IDENTIFY the very problem you claim to have a solution for?

This situation and reaction requires reading, comprehension, analysis and organization of thought.  THEN an opinion, and delivery of said opinion.   If you can’t handle that, please don’t write petitions on WhiteHouse.Gov, and for pete’s sake, don’t sign to enact laws against a weapon that wasn’t used.

No, seriously.  Silence yourself and put your emotions aside for a moment.   Learn something about a topic before speaking.   Because when you’re stupid and write stuff like this, serious people can’t take you seriously.

im5

I’m actually okay with designating WBC as a hate group, except that they aren’t killing anybody.  They’re simply using free (albiet distasteful and divisive) speech.   But nobody is clamoring to abolish the 1st Amendment because it’s being misused and trampled on by unmentionables and derelicts.

So you see, why would we abolish the 2nd Amendment?

So top left:  Ahh yes, “in the wake of a tragedy, make a knee-jerk decision based on the fact that tragedy and emotions are running high”.   It only counts when people can see victims on TV.   Let’s also interview some kids and find out “exactly how scared they were”.

Besides repeating some of the same points I made before, did anyone else notice how many posts were made with either poor or no punctuation?  How do these same people expect others to believe that their opinion is educated when they can’t even be fucked to use basic grammar, capitalization and punctuation?

This is why I don’t believe that most Americans really understand the Constitution, or the history – or quite frankly, the point of the documents that most define our country.   Free Speech allows for more than war protesting and saying the now-allowed word,” shit” on Network TV with FCC approval, or having parades and 99% Rallies and I’m truly concerned that few think it applies to anything else.   Thankfully, at least the people who champion free speech have at least tried to understand the concept, contradictions and consequences of free speech because simply put, ‘They say it because they can!’.   Some also think Free Speech means telling a cop to go copulate himself, and usually find that this specific flavor isn’t necessarily supported when being given a choice to comply with law enforcement – although it usually is to the credit of fine police officers who have more patience than I and can overlook that misuse.   I celebrate that.  THAT is the beauty of having Constitutional rights.  You can pretty much say what you want, when you want, where you want and nobody can say much otherwise.

Would you take that away because 9 idiots from Westboro are ugly?  Me either.  So don’t take my guns because someone else flips out and plays the fool.

Rather, people seem to have decided that individual liberties can be sacrificed in exchange for some safe-net of temporary controls enacted by the government, thereby rendering criminals weak, and everybody safe if they petition and get “the democratic majority” to agree, and based on this website and some of the comments made by our President about Constitutional issues, if this is a legitimate concern.

I would quote the President on some of his quotes, but he’s doing what Presidents do.  Trying to identify with us, mourning, talking about more talking, blah blah BLAH.   This sort of tragedy will not happen to you, Mr. President.  You are surrounded by the best fully automatic-switchable-to semi-automatic assault rifles the world knows, and some of the best shooters our military has produced with orders to kill anyone who threatens you.  Your kids are safe beyond reason.  Don’t talk to me about improving safety with new gun laws and making it harder for me to stop a criminal trying to hurt my family from the viewpoint of your perch, sir.  No, not fair.

So my question is really not to disrespect the President.  He has been utterly useless now as far as grabbing guns, and I’d like to see that continue.   He’s done a great job at doing NOTHING about gun control, and I, for one, am thankful.

Rather, my question is to the thinking citizen:  What would you give up to feel safe?  To feel that your kids are safe?  I hope you don’t say your liberties and your rights.   I really hope we aren’t going down that road as a country.  Are you willing to get tough?  Make a stand?  Be vulnerable until others also take a stand?  Do the right thing, rather than the ‘feel good’ option?   I hope so.

Soldiers risk their life so you can be protected by the Constitution, and back home, our leaders who won’t bring our troops home are telling the population that,  “Oh, those Constitutional Amendments?  Yeah, those are kinda-sorta interprety and stuff….”.

I very much hope this changes.

Part 3 coming sometime when I get to it.  This is time consuming and draining, but would love to hear your thoughts below.

Peace and love to you this Christmas Season.

–ANP

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Constitution During Tragedy: Part 1

In reading some of the responses on the Connecticut tragedy, I’m saddened on two fronts.

First, for the families and victims.  They were just kids.  New to the world, ignorant to their little futures and just learning to be independent and live in peace with those around them. Parents made lunches that they hoped would give their little ones nutrients, bathed and clothed their kids, and assumed that at the end of the day, they’d tuck their little ones in bed, repeat until high school, driving privileges, and maybe college and a successful career.

And it will never happen.  I’m pretty good with the English language, but even words are eluding me because it hurts to just think about.  I don’t even want to think about how lucky my son is 21 in a few months and made it through childhood alive.  This world sure doesn’t seem to cater towards the innocent and vulnerable, as evidenced by how the coverage of these stories place the limelight on the killer, rather than the victims.

Maybe that’s why I think we have to change – that is, get back to basics – as a society, and nothing is more basic than the Constitution.   And that leads me to the other front that saddens me:

Second, I’m reminded how out of touch people are with the Amendments of the United States Constitution.  And it’s frightening how instant-gratification and knee-jerk reactive Americans have gotten – and how people use a tragedy to push their agendas for political purposes as if such a quick reaction would “fix” a problem.  It’s like trying to dress an amputation with a Band-Aid because a Band-Aid is the most available item in the First Aid kit.

“But the tragedy just happened.  We need to heal.”.

Too early?  No.

For the families, yes – let them bury their dead.

You know, for the rest of us, it’s NOT too early.  It’s too LATE if people are actually suggesting that we need an overhaul of the Constitution when a tragedy strikes less than 24 hour prior.  “We need new rules”, people are saying.

“But they were just kids.  This is horrible!”

It’s absolutely horrible.  But the ages of victims isn’t a legitimate argument to nullifying the 2nd Amendment, or placing more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners, of which there are millions of them in the United States.

And I’ll spare you the “ban cars for drunk driving” one-liners I’m sure many of you are used to, although I personally believe that there’s a logical merit to such a comparison.   But here, let me give a few examples from people in my own Facebook circle that I disagreed with:

Image

Allow me to make a few points here.

1.  Disturbed people will make weapons when nothing is available.  For instance, prison stabbings and shanks are made over long periods of time by people who have access to no weapons, but have anger, hate, rage, revenge and no morals.  That’s right.  People who want to hurt others will take weeks or months to plan an attack with minimal resources.  They might bend off a piece of fence, wrap it in a mattress cover and stab someone in the neck so that they either choke on their own blood, or their organs eventually fail from internal injuries.  But the end result is the same.

And here’s a guy who just walked into a hospital with his gun, and was shot dead as he drew on officers:
http://www.cbs42.com/content/localnews/story/Suspect-killed-in-shooting-at-St-Vincents-Hospital/8pYa9a7o-EKtx0drjCn6Tg.cspx 

Here’s a student in Oklahoma who tried to get others to help him lock students and shoot them dead, and use explosives on police:
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20121214_11_0_BARTLE641724&r=2512

Making “guns more illegal” won’t stop these situations.

2.  A grenade would have done more harm faster than two handguns.  The Colorado Gunman had 30 grenades set up in his apartment, along with 10 gallons of Gasoline hoping for maximum damage.  Gun laws deal very little with grenades and explosives, and could do similar damage that you CAN’T outlaw:   http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/24/justice/colorado-theater-shooting/index.html
These were all legally purchased items, assembled carefully to do maximum damage to the largest amount of people.  Unless you want to outlaw bleach. Or muratic acid for pools.  Tinfoil.  Plastic soda bottles.  Etc.

The guy didn’t need a gun.  He had time, and hate.

3.  China does not have guns.  China DOES has a history of abusive human rights violations.   This is precisely what an unarmed populace who doesn’t even have the freedom to choose their own religion looks like.   You know the news you hear about China?  You hear it only because it has been approved by the government’s censorship committees and passed government scrutiny.  Those citizens will never be able to stand against their government for their abuses.  That should be a warning, not something we strive to be similar to.

4.  In Japan,  the Japanese society’s attitude toward suicide has been termed “tolerant,” and in many occasions suicide is seen as a “morally responsible action”.  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11013-008-9108-0

In that instance,  I actually agree that guns don’t belong in a society where suicide is socially acceptable, but that also makes it a non-comparison for U.S. related “gun death” comparisons.  Life is more valuable in the U.S. than the value this particular culture gives it, and guns would likely be misused in that environment.   Not that jumping in front of a train is better, but you can’t train jump in self-defense, and you can use a gun in self-defense.

Why DOES a person need 3 guns?  Excellent question, and I’ll answer why on my next installment.

The other post that I thought was note worthy:

Image 5

This is brilliant.  We just need someone who can identify “nutjobs” in the supermarket, at the DMV and at the gun stores so that they don’t buy too much lighter fluid, don’t run people over and don’t buy guys to kill people.  I don’t possess such a trait or skill, and venture to guess that nobody else does either.    Guns are currently regulated with more laws than automobiles, and the penalties for misuse are far stiffer.

Further, a Bushman .223 is not an “automatic”, at least without serious modification.   It’s semi-automatic.   I realize pointing this out will be the fodder for anti-gun friends to claim that I’m being insensitive at this time, but stop before you start.  Automatic means multiple rounds per pressing – think mobsters and machine guns.   Semi-Automatic means that you need to pull the trigger 1x for 1 bullet.   Everything else you have to load 1-at-a-time.   This kid did not have an “automatic” weapon, and it’s posts like this that really set me off as people would look at this and deduct that “more rules for automatic weapons would have saved those kids”.   Arizona is the state with the most lax gun laws, and even we can’t have Automatic weapons without registering with the government and agreeing to ridiculous legislation, including the ability for them to search the premises where it will be stored.  Further,  any Full-Auto in the U.S. civilian sector is a pre-1986 or illegal, and costs thousands of dollars based on supply and demand.  This kid didn’t have that.  End of story.

And since I’ll never have an automatic, you can go ahead and make all the gun laws banning them that you want, but realize that doing so doesn’t change anything.  Only a select few even have access to that sort of weapon without modifications, and then the penalties are stiff if you modify and you can’t exactly hang out at gun ranges and pop those off without ATF rolling by to offer you some salutations and wanting a closer look.

Just as ridiculous would be someone who claims “If Obama didn’t allow the Gun Ban provision to expire, this wouldn’t have happened”.  Nonsense.  This gun was bought a while back, according to recent reports, and likely prior to any grandfather clause.  So  in reality, that “automatic gun” variable doesn’t even exist since he had a semi-automatic, which still allows for large capacity clips, flash suppressors and hand grips – and which was left in the car.  Not that this will stop people from demanding it anyway, “just in case”, I suppose.

Finally, since we were discussing China earlier, and some people have made the point that killing people couldn’t happen “as easily without guns”, let me put that MYTH to rest by sharing a story out of China about Zhang Minsheng, who killed 8 children at a school with a knife, some in front of their parents, until someone was able to hold him for police.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1269387/China-executes-Zhang-Minsheng-stabbed-8-schoolchildren-death.html

China gave him the death penalty.  Ironically, he was shot to death by firing squad by the government, but was able to take out 8 people with a knife.

Finally, for those who would be mad at the “gun types”  or “enthusiasts” or “members of the NRA”, let’s clear the air here.   These three groups are the largest PROPONENTS for stiffer sentences for criminals, criminal wrongdoing and harsher penalties for firearm misuse.  We already know you want to pull our firearms, and don’t say that you believe in “tighter regulation“.  That’s just fancy-footwork keywords for “More laws that disqualify citizens from owning”, and you darn well know it.  You either believe in preserving gun ownership, or you believe in removing gun ownership.  We know this, and obviously we don’t want criminals who don’t subscribe to adhering the law to be lumped in with those of us who DO adhere to the law, and follow it without compromise.   Rather, gun grabbers tend to see us all as potential shooters who would shoot our mothers in the face and then go on a kid-killing spree, and then champion other countries that ban guns, but then trample human rights.  I don’t understand that.

Yes, there are always PR issues with any advocacy lobby or group, but to say that anyone who advocates for firearm ownership is happy, or okay with the shooting of children, or sees what happened on Friday as acceptable couldn’t be further from accurate if they tried, and shame on you for even going there.

Many of us with guns would have pulled a trigger on the gunman after the first person was shot, and would have been justified to save lives both by law, and morally.  That’s exactly how that punk Jared Loughner, who shot Rep. Giffords in Tuscon, was apprehended – by an armed citizen.  The reporters always seem to forget when that happens, since that usually doesn’t make it in the news.

Except nobody would have been armed in this scenario.  Schools are “gun-free zones”.  Criminals don’t usually follow the law, so this is us trying to point out that rules, laws and enacting harsh limits only works when people are willing to follow those laws in the first place.

When people hate, they will kill.  It will take time, and effort, but they will do it.
When people love, they will heal.  It will take time, and effort, but they will do it.

Part 2, coming soon.

–ANP

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized