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Let the Gun Control Debate Begin

Governor Malloy’s State of the State address, the appointment of the Sandy Hook commission and the opening of the new legislative session marked the official start to the debate that will inevitably result in new gun control legislation for Connecticut.

 

This past week, I sat on the floor of the House for Governor Dannel Malloy’s State of the State address at the invitation of State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143).  The room was energized with the knowing smiles of campaign veterans and giddy, apple-cheeked newbies ready to put long-promised campaign ideals into practice. 

Gov. Malloy spent several choked-up minutes speaking about Newtown, the newly appointed Sandy Hook commission and the need for gun control. And although his speech was pretty darned light on the details of how to move the Connecticut economy forward (he actually spent more time waving the flags of accomplishment), he did get the soundbite of the day when he observed that the answer to the gun violence problem is not more guns.

Last week, and how to best respond to it. Most reader comments—and I read every single one, even if I don’t always respond—were insightful and rational.

Because Patch In and Patch Back are meant to encourage local debate about the issues of the day, rather than reply to each thread I decided to incorporate readers’ comments here:  

  1. Many asked, "Could someone please explain how mental health evaluations will stop crime?" The Sandy Hook assassin used guns taken from his mother, who acquired her weapons legally and presumably would have passed a mental health background check.
  2. Some said, "Maybe the answer to gun control IS more guns." No one talks about the number of people whose lives were saved after an armed citizen took out an unsuspecting attacker. Perhaps trained-and-packing staff could prevent future tragedies.
  3. Others observed, "Are you crazy? No one should have a gun except for members of law enforcement or the military, period." Do you really think your handgun or shotgun is going to keep you safe in the unlikely event the U.S. government storms your house?
  4. And finally: "A killer with conviction will still find a way to kill, gun or no gun." Remember Oklahoma City?

Many readers used statistics to solidify their points, the details of which I did not verify and will not report here. But lest this debate become a retread of I’ll see your safe and legal gun ownership statistic with an equally persuasive gun violence statistic and raise you with a heartbreaking anecdote, let us stop and reflect on some additional considerations.

First, as of this writing, there has been no credible information on the medicine the Newtown shooter may have been taking. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that he was, obviously, mentally ill. What, if any, treatments were made available to him? Did he engage in or refuse treatment, and why?

Second, law-abiding, gun-owning citizens are exposed to the same violent movies, video games and news every day that gun-owning criminals are. Nevertheless, most gun owners are able to resist these violent influences and make it through their lives without committing horrific crimes (or having their weapons stolen for the purpose of committing horrific crimes). Does this fact render the cultural influence argument moot?

Third, shouldn't the purpose of this legislation be to reduce violence in all its forms, not just reduce the number or type of guns sold in Connecticut? And if that is the case, don't we need to address the serious mental health treatment issue in this country?

The ugly truth is that any current or future Connecticut gun control legislation, no matter how strict, is impotent if a crazed person decides to commit a mass killing. Securing a weapon, is, apparently, a simple matter for a determined criminal.

The nature of these tragedies is such that civilized society is compelled to act. And yet, this compulsion to “do something” often results in feels-good, does-nothing, time-squandering legislation.   

The gun control debate, up until now, has always resulted in a stalemate because both sides are well armed (no pun intended) with equally persuasive statistics and advocates. Nevertheless, the Second Amendment is clear: the people have the right to keep and bear arms and the Supreme Court of the United States has twice ruled in recent few years to uphold #2.

As a result, our best approach is de-stigmatizing psychological illness to encourage family members to seek help for those who need it most and by making that help readily available. Perhaps we should make a thorough mental health evaluation part and parcel of the well visit (let’s put Obamacare to work!). We should also implement an “if you see something, say something” approach to potential public safety threats.

Just to be clear, I’m no mental health expert. But the approaches we’ve used thus far clearly aren’t working. Anyone who would attack a school, or a movie theater, or a military base, or a mall, or an office is clearly in need of treatment.

Finally, let us remember that more legislation is only better legislation if it provides real value and lasting positive change.

Charlie January 16, 2013 at 04:09 PM
All - please read the WSJ opinion by the DC prosecutor on gun control. It is a sobering law enforcement view on the ill effects of the very measures being proposed. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324081704578235460300469292.html?mod=ITP_opinion_0
Connecticut15 January 16, 2013 at 07:48 PM
To most of the posters on this article and to CP&GO, it is refreshing to read good and reasoned exchanges. Thank you to Charlie, ETP, and CP&GO. And yes, CP&GO should have his/her own column - which does not negate Lisa's important, measured, and balanced thoughts.
Connecticut15 January 16, 2013 at 07:53 PM
As per the 2nd Amendment, education on it illuminates that it was not regarding establishing the right but what could not be done to the right. Nor would it have been designed for hunters only. Since context appears to be important to those who embrace a contemporary liberal philosophy, context regarding the rights protected needs to be understood and accepted - we have an inherent right to defense and especially to defending against tyranny.
MAC January 16, 2013 at 09:40 PM
People in CT concerned for self-defense be warned: The majority of gun-related legislation that has been introduced is an affront to our constitutional rights as law-abiding citizens. This unfortunate theme is epitomized in Senate Bill 122, introduced by Senator Edward Meyer (D-12). SB 122 seeks to prohibit the purchase, sale, donation, transportation, possession and use of any firearm except one designed to fire a ^^single round^^!! If enacted, SB 122 will only render law-abiding citizens and their families as defenseless victims. Firearms designed to fire more than a single round are overwhelmingly the most commonly owned firearms for self-defense and home protection, recreational and competitive target shooting, marksmanship training, and/or hunting. This arbitrary and unconstitutional legislation will only victimize law-abiding citizens in Connecticut, and leave them vulnerable to the criminal who will never comply with a gun control law to only possess a firearm that only fires a single round. Please contact your state legislators (ct.gov--click on "legislature") and encourage them to stand up for freedom and protect your Right to Keep and Bear Arms this legislative session. SB 122 is just one of dozens of misguided anti-gun bills that have been introduced that will penalize only law-abiding citizens in Connecticut. Note that Sen. Meyer has also introduced a bill to legalize "Assisted Suicide"!! Typical heartless liberal insanity--both of these!
Alethiologist January 17, 2013 at 02:06 PM
In 1999, State Senator Barack Obama voted “present” on a bill that would require adult prosecution for discharging a gun in or near a school. That legislation came as a response to the tragic Columbine High School shooting that year. SB 759 provided that anyone 15 years of age or older charged with aggravated battery with a weapon in school or within 1,000 feet of a school would be charged as an adult. It passed the Illinois State Senate in a 52-1 vote, with 5 members voting present — including Obama. That vote followed a trend for the young lawmaker, whose controversial votes on crime legislation often raised eyebrows. A Chicago Tribune editorial even accused Obama of being a “gutless sheep” for missing a vote on crime legislation in late 1999. Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/16/flashback-in-1999-obama-wouldnt-support-tougher-prosecution-for-school-shooters/#ixzz2IF2ZneRU
Jlo January 17, 2013 at 05:18 PM
AZ- Well you said ourself that we need to regulate what guns are made. Since real assault weapons are already highly regulated in the US I assumed your desire for more restrictions would naturally encompass the current AR-15 model and high capacity magazines, both of which I contend have little to no relevance to any discussion about reducing gun violence. I do agree that access needs to be more tightly monitored and all transfers should be subject to background checks. This could be easily done by requiring anyone transferring a gun to do so by going to an FFL and having them stamp the paperwork and run a background check on the buyer. I've heard 40% thrown around as the percent of firearm transactions which slip through the loophole and are not subject to a background check. But lets get one thing straight, this WILL reduce overall gun crime, its going to make it much harder for the bloods, crips, latin kings, etc to obtain guns and that is great, it will reduce murders in my opinion. It will NOT stop school massacres because in most cases those are previously law abiding folks who's first brush with the law is the shooting itself. As a gun owner I'm all for common sense checks and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the unstable, unfortunately alot of what Obama is proposing and NY is trying to just targets legal gun owners.
AZ January 17, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Jlo. Again, I did not say regulate what guns are made. I said that gun manufacturers have responsible on their end who has access and control of their guns. To be clear the gun manufacturer is responsible for the transfer from their hands to the next. That means they, the gun manufacturer, is responsible for that they not handing it over to the wrong kind of person or seller. I do have to comment about the wrong kind of person. The wrong kind of person includes much more than criminals. This is the tough part, there are many who are perfectly law abiding individuals that lead normal lives that probably should not have a gun. One example I was given is that you would not sell a long range sniper rifle to a blind person without doing some serious investigation.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 17, 2013 at 07:38 PM
MAC - I know nothing about Meyer as he is not my senator. I assume that the absurdity of this bill makes it a stunt. But let's assume for a moment that this somehow passed, what would the real-world impact be on the various contributors to what we all combine into "Gun Violence": Suicides (no impact given single shot events) Accidents involving children or adults (no impact given single shot events) Emotional/known-shooter events (marginal impact given they happen quickly and at short range) Criminal shootings (no impact since criminals disregard laws) Mass murder (no impact given determined sick motivations and large mag availability) Not terribly impactful is it? Anyone what to refute the above? More importantly, what would be the impact on crime generally and the safety of the law-abiding? There are two pieces of research that have attempted to quantify the impact of an armed citizenry on crime events, not gross statistics. One of the efforts was done by a nominally anti-gun guy and he came up with 113,000 crimes interrupted per year. The other report, by the pro-gun Cato Inst, came up with a range of 800K to 1.2MM events. The problem with these efforts is that, absent something reportable to LE, many events go unreported. Let's split the difference and say the actual number is 300,000 per year, or 829 daily. If 1% of such interrupted crimes might end in murder, that's 3,000 saved lives. How many rapes? How many muggings? How many beatings?
Jlo January 17, 2013 at 07:46 PM
AZ- I see where you are going but you're a bit misguided on how firearms sales work. Since laws vary state to state I'll use CT as an example. If I want to buy a gun I have to either 1) go to a Federal Firearms Licensee (i.e. a gun store), 2) go to a gun show, 3) buy directly from a friend. Gun manufacturers do not sell directly to citizens, they either sell to the FFL holder who then in turn conducts a background check on me before transferring the weapon, or they sell to me but ship to the FFL holder who handles the paperwork/background check. This includes internet sales...i.e. if a shop in Florida has the new handgun I want I can buy it online but they will only ship it to a registered FFL in my home state. In short I cannot buy a gun directly over the internet or phone, all purchases go through a FFL holder. The laws regarding person to person transfers are more lax on rifles, honestly I am not very familiar with them because I have never bought a weapon via a private sale. This avenue is obviously open to abuse and I'm in favor of restricting it, but the retail gun market in CT and most of the country is very well controlled. Gun store owners will (and do) deny people who give them bad vibes for whatever reason.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 17, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I think it is fair to say that thousands of violent crimes are being stopped every year due to the presence or intervention of an armed citizen. How many here in CT? I do not know the unknowable but it could be in the 100s. So, should Meyer have his way and all we law-abiding gun owners are religated to single barrel derringers, how much of a deterent would be present to the still armed-to-the-teeth criminal? I would venture to say a whole lot less than we do today. Heinlein, in a work of fiction wrote "An armed society is a polite society". While that is an extreme view and used by some on the pro-gun side, it still has an element of truth to it. Violent aggravated crime and gun crime is rampant in cities with some of the strongest gun control laws in the nation. NO ONE can argue that in places like Chicago, more_laws=less_gun-violence. In Detroit, budget cutbacks have gotten so bad that the reduced police staffs can't keep citizens safe. The justified homicide rate (citizen protecting against an assailant) in MoTown is 2000% the national average! Detroit has "normal" gun laws but what would the body count look like if they had the same as Chicago, which does not suffer such budget woes (yet)? Meyer is a grandstanding moron.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 17, 2013 at 10:07 PM
1. HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY 2. GOOD PLAN, I AM SURE THE SOME OF THE DEAD PATRONS IN THE AURORA THEATER DID NOT THINK OF THAT 3. SEE FOXHOLE ANALGOY. 4. YES, BUT YOUR WOULD BE RUNNING AWAY FROM FIRE SO LET HIM/HER TAKE CARE OF THE SHOOTER.. 5. EVER BEEN IN A CINEMARK CHAIN MOVIE THEATER - DOZENS ACROSS THE COUTRY AND EVERY ONE OF THEM BLISSFULLY "GUN FREE". EVER GO TO DMV? THE VA? ANY COURTHOUSE? ANY SCHOOL? ALL GUN FREE ZONES. THINK OF THAT BEFORE YOU ENTER THEM? 6. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS. BUT, WHEN CONFRONTED WITH AN ARMED CIVILIAN, THAT ACTIVE SHOOTER MOVES FROM OFFENSE TO DEFENSE THROWING OFF THEIR AIM AND RATE OF FIRE, LIKELY FORCING A RETREAT. THAT WILL GIVE YOU YOUR WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO FLEE. 7. WHY DO I DOUBT THAT WILL BE ON YOUR MIND AS YOU ARE RUNNING DOWN THE STREET/MALL/ETC.? AZ, do you drink adult beverages because you are driving me to drink.....
Jlo January 17, 2013 at 10:19 PM
AZ- I agree, but the in store sales are not a reason for that. Anyone buying a gun from an FFL has been vetted via an FBI background check. We can tighten up the private transactions though. As for your thoughts on guns, that is fine and I respect that. There was a time in my life that I didn't own guns, some of my family and friends don't like or are fearful of guns too, that is fine, I'm not running around flaunting my firearms every chance I get. Most of the time I keep my guns secure at home. I carry sometimes but usually only when I am a) going somewhere sketchy, say to bridgeport or south norwalk, or b) when I have to transport something of value like cash or jewelry. I carry with an inside the waste band holster and don't print, I'm the average non descript guy in line at the Village Market deli, you could hug me and have no idea I have a gun. The only way you are going to be exposed to my guns is if you break into my house or try to rob or assault me or someone around me.
Steve January 18, 2013 at 04:02 AM
AZ, may I recommend you do some additional historical reading? I can suggest two books that I own "The Founders' Second Amendment" by Stephen Halbrook & "Armed America" by Clayton Cramer. Both include references to those involved with the founding documents, their intent & how they thought. The Federalist & Anti-Federalist papers are probably also important, but I personally have not read them completely.
Lisa Bigelow January 18, 2013 at 01:58 PM
AZ, Many others have argued your point as well but the SCOTUS disagrees, which, I believe, renders this argument moot. Lisa
Steve January 18, 2013 at 04:55 PM
Well, I'm a little cautious about lending to people I don't know. If you have a library card, "The Founders' Second Amendment" is available thru Interlibrary loan at Greenwich, Fairfield & Westport libraries. "Armed America" is also available, but only at one library in CT, so might be harder. If you don't, maybe we can work something out.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 18, 2013 at 07:20 PM
AZ - That is fine and that is how the SCotUS is supposed to operate. But we are beyond constitutional discussions at this point. There is a witch hunt on and those with the torches don't care about the details. More immediately for all of us, do we pass laws that are driven by emotion, that are the reaction to one event, that ignore other types of "gun violence" and that neuter the armed citizen in his constitutional right to self-defense? I have shown ad naseum that magazine capacity limits for pistols will not have an impact on suicides, accidents, known-shooter situations and criminals. These four types of the leading causes of gun injuries and deaths. Yet in the first three, magazine capacity has no bearing because most are single shot events by necessity or proximity. And criminals don't care about the law or they would not be criminal so mag limits are moot to them. But in doing so, even with the inarguable point that it will not impact such things, many are willing to pass a law that will not permit me to carry the number of rounds for which my self-defense handguns were designed and bought. I would be happy to limit my full size SIG to 10 round if you can get every potential future assailant to do the same. But you can't, so why should my arms be neutered for insignificant social gain? I am sorry, but my right to self-protection trumps anyone's need to "do something". An NO, I am not compelling you to be near me infringing your happiness.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 18, 2013 at 07:35 PM
I can better understand the desire to limit capacity of AR/AK mags as an attempt to mitigate future carnage in a mass shooting. If Lanza did fumble a mag swap and kids escaped, then there is a reason (still unproven at this point). Yet, I can make an argument that an AR is a better home-defense option than a pistol or even a shotgun, even in the hands of only a modestly trained person, I won't. (if you want that explanation, ask) What I would like to see is a new debate that breaks out magazine capacity to two different limits, one for pistols and one for rifles (Harrison, you still reading this thread?) Let's bifurcate the discussion because the 10-round concept is a relic of the 1994 federal AWB when most handguns were revolvers (6 shots) or 1911/"Colt 45" semi-autos (9 rounds or less). Let's have a modern, 21st century pistol mag discussion because the bad guys are not using circa-1994 handguns. Why two standards? Because a pistol mag limit will impact thousands more self-defense handgun owners than will a lower rifle mag limit. People carry concealed handguns every day for self-protection, not AR/AKs. More pistols are in the bedside Microvaults than are rifles in the bedroom closet. Thus, a separate pistol mag limit of say 20 rounds will not neuter 300,000 pistols in CT, will not compromise my self-defense rights and will not give the criminals an advantage should a confrontation come. So, is anyone interested in having this discussion?
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 04:04 AM
AZ - Please, if you want to be treated seriously, drop the snark and address the issue. Anyone of any political persuasion should be able to see that if they are truly interested in mitigating the wide swath of gun violence causes, magazine limits on pistols is NOT the answer. If you disagree, then tell us all how this argument is incorrect and how mag limits will reduce the causes of over 90% of all gun-related injuries and deaths. No, anti-gun types have to resort to snark when their "solutions" are shown to not be worth the paper on which they will be printed. They call for "reasoned debate" and "sensible solutions" but immediately fart when a reasoned person shows their ideas are far from sensible and worse, ineffective. In a world of Sen Meyer's single shot pistols, suicide, accidents, drunken spouse shootings will all be as possible and likely as they are today. And the criminals will be just as armed as they are today because they are criminals. AZ, stay far far away from the Capitol in Hartford tomorrow because there will be dozens of gun owners there packing heat and we know how allergic you are to guns.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 04:17 AM
AZ - Here's an idea, why don't you pull up your favorite search site and look at "Connecticut home invasion" and see what comes up. Don't know about home invasions, those are breaking & entering burglaries when the home owner is home. Count how many different events there are beyond the Petits (sp?). Read what happens to some of the homes occupants. Look at the locations. And then ponder why local law enforcement could not stop those invasions ahead of time. The armed trio that was arrested late last year was conducting their home invasions from Harrison up to Darien. They hit a house less than a mile from mine. These guys wore body armor and were armed with Glocks. Fortunately, then never hurt anyone other than roughing them up. I appreciate that you have not desire to be anywhere near guns but you and others with similar feelings can not extrapolate your "needs" onto our rights to self defense. BTW, the Westchester paper that put up the map of handgun owners' homes has taken down the map. The blowback was overwhelming, no matter how they rationalize it. I guess they learned something about unintended consequences.
Steve January 19, 2013 at 04:18 AM
My question would be, should we be making laws because they 'might' have an impact on less than 2.6% of homicides that are committed with any rifle? I submit that restricting an enumerated right without definitive evidence that there will some public safety benefit is illogical. The sale of modern sporting rifles that accept magazines of 20 or 30+ rounds has increased over the last 20 years. If magazines of 30 rounds were a problem, wouldn't the percentage of homicides committed with rifles be on the upswing? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323468604578245803845796068.html http://gunnuts.net/2013/01/11/who-needs-more-than-10-rounds/
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Then it had the desired effect.
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 05:26 AM
Steve, Dont bother with logic and facts, they want to believe. Since the expiration of the federal AWB, estimates are that between 2mm and 5mm AR15 style weapons have been bought by civilians. The number of 30-round mags is likely ten times that. And yet, this style rifle has been used in only a handful of mass shootings, albeit ones that get huge focus and attention when they happen. But if only 2.6% of gun mortality is rifle-based, then the number due to ARs is even smaller since there are far more lever, bolt and other semi-autos than AR/AKs. As you point out, if ARs are so deadly, why aren't many more people using them to kill more people? The law of averages would suggest so if they were truly a menace to society. As I commented elsewhere, NY State passed a draconian AW ban and yet more people die getting hit by NYC subway cars than get killed by ARs in the entire state. And that is likely true in all states until there is a singular mass shooting. But again, no AW rifles at the mass murders at the UT Cock Tower, Columbine, Amish School, Stockton CA school, Hartford Distributors, Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords shooting, Oikos University, etc. If AR15s are so easy to get and so effective, why didn't the mass murders in all of these crimes use them? Why don't street criminals use them? President Obama made the point that 600+ Americans had died since Newtown, but not one is by AR15 that I have found. Most are illegal handguns. See a pattern?
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM
AZ - There you go again, using a technique from President Obama's rhetorical play book: set up an impossible opposing view to support your own "sensible" view. First, if you believe in an individual's right to self-defense, they you are sourcing those rights from either the Bill of Rights (Second Amendment) or the Connecticut State Constitution. Since you are using "defend themselves" then I will assume you mean Art. 1, Sec. 15 of the latter since it is the only one of the two that mentions "defense". If so, you will note that it is generic and does not limit that right to self-defense to home or anywhere else. So I DO NOT AGREE with you, there is no unrestricted right to defense with any weapon whatsoever. NO ONE on the gun rights side argues that right includes the use of belt-fed full-auto weapons nor "rocket launchers". Your tossing that out there is a canard meant to establish your rhetorical opponent as extreme. Second, you then extend your imagery of the machine gun toting defender of his castle taking his imaginary WMDs out for a ride in his pickup truck. Again, not a world any of we gun owners are suggesting. Where we AGREE is that all gun owners must be law-abiding and follow all rules and regs. There is an immense responsibility that comes with gun ownership especially handgun ownership. And we take it seriously. (continued)
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner January 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM
(continuing) AZ - Are you aware that the type of pistol permit provided in the state of Connecticut is simply a "carry" permit? Unlike other states that might expressly state "concealed carry", the Connecticut statute is moot on "concealed carry" (CC) or "open carry" (OC). The differences should be self-evident, concealed means away from public view (under garments or in a bag/pocket) and open carry means out in the open for everyone to see. Actually, I believe there is one or more states where the only carry option is wide out in the open. The vast majority of handgun carriers I know choose CC because they wish to remain low key (Rich B at CT Carry has different feelings). Why low key? First, why advertise that you are carrying to any potential assailants who might jump you to steal your weapon? Second, why agitate your fellow citizens who do are not comfortable with a handgun nearby? Third, given the 2nd, law enforcement must respond should there be a complaint. Thus, while you have the right to OC, agitating others could lead to an intersection with LE that is a time waster at best. So I and most others, when we choose to carry beyond our homes, do so concealed. And we are carrying handguns, not AR15s, not M249 full auto weapons, not rocket launchers - only what is sensible and allowed by law. And yes, the lawless and criminally insane do not follow laws. But criminals are smart, and usually use handguns which they cary very concealed.
Connecticut15 January 19, 2013 at 03:57 PM
"Moot" as in its preferred definition of debatable or open to discussion or 'moot' as in little practical value and merely academic or do you mean it as a political foregone conclusion,? Obama's self imposed 'mandates' when he barely 'won' half the vote yet wrongfully accused candidate Romney for dismissing 47% of the people? Obama holds no expertise in this area; he was not a Consitutional Law professor - he was teaching a course on the Constitution whose apparent only credential was to have graduated from law school and passed the bar without any real experience applying or defending the law in court. This was a preliminary course which apparently did not require a tried and tested litigator or someone with years of research, published studies, and theses on the subject. Let's put things in perspective and quit ascribing talents, credits, capabilities that do not exist
MAC January 19, 2013 at 05:25 PM
For AZ, on the ^necessity^ of the 2nd Amendment--summary, including video link, see this: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/01/16/nrthings-you-never-knew-about-the-second-amendment/ ..."'other world governments trampled peoples rights… the idea was to prevent the government from ever trampling our rights.' He [historian David Barton] added that unlike any country in Europe, Americans insisted the government could not touch what God had given them. "The Founders also used the philosophical term 'laws of nature and nature's God,' which Barton informed is contained in Blackstone’s commentary on the law. The idea is that certain things come to one from nature, such as the deep-seated biological mechanism of self-defense. The historian also noted that James Wilson, a signer of both the Constitution and Declaration of Independence noted that the law of nature is to defend oneself, and that — through the castle doctrine —^^ a private citizen failing to defend his home or family — even with deadly force — would be considered negligence." ^^... "Barton addressed the founding of the NRA. While some like to demonize the pro-Second Amendment group and even call it prejudiced, it turns out the powerful group was in fact started by two Union generals in 1871 as a means to driving out the Ku Klux Klan and ensuring that blacks, who although then-free were not allowed means with which to defend themselves — could in fact legally own a gun."...
J MAC January 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Indeed, modern gun control, 1970's and on, started at a state level in California in order to hinder the Black Panthers who were effectively using arms to protect blacks from undue police brutality, interesting to note it was also a conservative initiative that Reagan supported as governor. Likewise, in the last decade the rampant erosion of economic and civil liberties in confluence with a rapidly devaluing monetary system, is cause for concern for any sensible citizen. If Mr. Obama were to, by executive order, infringe on the right for normal citizens to protect themselves, he would be guilty of insurrection of oath of office and perhaps treason. The immediate disposal of the POTUS would be justified and necessary to preserve the hope of liberty, peace, and prosperity. It is the duty of the congress and the SCOTUS to remove the POTUS in times of insurrection and treason, but if they fail to act the duty duly falls upon the people. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. " -Thomas Jefferson
canaan guy January 22, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Concerned Parent & Gun Owner, you have too much time on your hands to type those long responses. Gun owner here as well, but dude. relax. Check your meds.
Thomas Paine January 22, 2013 at 05:24 PM
CG - I type quite fast. I also do not read the sports pages and I have avoided the playoffs this season (Giant's fan) so plenty of free time. Even got to the range this weekend. Meds consist of Molson, Beefeater and cabernet, in moderation of course. CG, I continue to worry that this "discussion" on the topics of the day are being dominated by one side of the discussion and it is not the side to which you and I are more partial. I can not sit back and let foolish and ineffective ideas be promoted as "solutions" when we know they will solve nothing. Worse, things like a magazine capacity limit will provide a false sense of security and, if passed, might actually prevent some other really important ideas (like mental health issues with rampage killers), from getting their proper attention. I would be interested in your comments on this: http://wilton.patch.com/blog_posts/gun-violence-magazine-capacity-part-one If you feel like commenting (beyond the word count) please do so there. I am interested in the thoughts of others who will be familiar with the subject matter. Thanks for your concern.
clint January 23, 2013 at 09:09 PM
FYI: Why Governments Disarm Citizens History shows without exception that governments are corruptible and over time become tyrannical. Americans must accept this as truth or they will never have freedom and liberty. History also provides examples of peoples disarmed by their governments. Gun control was implemented for ‘reasonable’ purposes in : Ottoman Turkey, 1915-1917, results : 1.5 million Armenians murdered Soviet Union, 1929-1945, results : 20+ million civilians murdered * the number has recently been updated to include up to 60 million Nazi Germany 1933-1945, results: 20 million civilians murdered Nationalist China, 1927-1949, results: 10 million civilians murdered Red China, 1949-1976, results: 35 – 60 million civilians murdered Guatemala 1960-1981, results 200,000 civilians murdered Uganda 1971-1979, results: 300,000 civilians murdered Cambodia 1975-1979, results: 2 million civilians murdered Rwanda 1994 , results 800,000 Tutsi people murdered

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