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.  😦

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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

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