Viewpoint: If We Want Gun Control, We’ll Need to Compromise

Americans have reached "tipping points" before, but those who want stronger gun laws need to appeal to the broad middle of the nation

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Mike Segar / Reuters

Wooden angel figures stand in a wooded area near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 16, 2012, to honor the victims of the school shooting

In the wake of the heartbreaking mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, supporters of gun control have argued that the attack should be a turning point in galvanizing popular opinion against guns — and producing strong gun-control legislation.

President Obama declared Saturday that “we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action” — though he did not provide details. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said that when Congress returns she will introduce a bill to restore the assault-weapons ban. Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said on Face the Nation on Sunday that “we could be at a tipping point” on gun-control legislation.

(MORE: Sandy Hook Shooting: Why Did Lanza Target a School?)

If any crime could usher in a new gun-control regime, last week’s slaughter of 20 6- and 7-year-olds should. But will it? Not likely. The same “tipping points” have presented themselves after previous mass shootings, but little progress has been made. Instead of continuing to act as if the nation is poised to reject guns, advocates for gun control should switch tactics. They should accept the reality that support for guns remains strong and work for a bipartisan “grand compromise” that offers gun owners substantive benefits in exchange for reasonable gun restrictions.

The U.S. has been confronted with a lot of horrific gun violence in recent years: the 32 killed at Virginia Tech in 2007; the 13 killed at Texas’ Fort Hood in 2009; the attack last year on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that left six people dead, including a federal judge; the 12 people killed in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater this year. But as mass shootings have become more frequent and more deadly, popular opinion has been moving steadily in favor of greater gun rights. In 1993, a Pew Research Center poll found that support for gun control overpowered support for gun rights by 57% to 34%. By this year, the margin had fallen to 47% to 46%. This support for guns is not just abstract: the FBI has logged a record 16.8 million background checks for gun purchases this year.

(PHOTOS: Connecticut Community Copes After School Shooting)

All of which makes the National Rifle Association’s goal of blocking gun-control laws a lot easier. It’s still possible that last week’s attack will swing popular opinion so strongly against guns that the NRA is powerless to stand in the way, but the odds are against it. Given that, the best chance for stronger laws would be for gun-control advocates to work with moderate members of the gun-owning community and come up with a grand-compromise gun bill. That means a bill that does not demonize guns but instead seeks to build a consensus in favor of prudent gun use.

A key to such a compromise would be trying to win the support of hunters by offering a bill that is respectful of gun traditions — to undercut the NRA’s often effective claim that “they are coming after your guns.” The compromise bill should also offer law-abiding sportsmen and sportswomen tangible improvements in the law — ones that do not increase the chances of mass shootings. The bill could expand the right to hunt certain nonendangered species in particular places and times. It could streamline some of the unnecessary red tape that hunters complain about in getting licenses. The drafters should look at other items on hunters’ legislative wish list, like excluding ammunition and fishing tackle from the Toxic Substances Control Act.

(MORE: In the Shadow of Sandy Hook, a Powerful Gun Organization Stays Silent)

In exchange for these substantive benefits, moderate gun owners should be willing to go along with important gun-control provisions that are not aimed at them. These could include the top items on the gun-control agenda: the assault-weapons ban, tougher background checks on gun purchasers, and stricter penalties for “straw purchasers” who illegally buy guns for people who should not have them.

Some supporters of gun control have been noting triumphantly that the NRA has laid low since Friday’s shooting — and that according to host David Gregory, no pro-gun Senators agreed to go on Meet the Press on Sunday. But this is what the gun lobby does after a mass shooting — it would be a mistake to believe that they are going away.

It’s tempting to engage in anti-gun polemics and hope that popular opinion will dramatically shift, but it is also likely a mistake. The smarter course for those who want stronger federal gun-control laws anytime soon is legislative stewardship and compromise. The best way to get the job done is to craft a law that appeals to the broad middle of the nation, pull in as many pro-gun moderates as possible, and marginalize the NRA and other anti-gun-control extremists.

MORE: The Latest Crime-Solving Technique the Gun Lobby Doesn’t Like

1042 comments
KarryDayton
KarryDayton

One is either in contempt for the Constitution or in contempt for local customs and ideals.  It need to not take an IQ of 140 to weigh out the values and make a rational and intelligent decision about which of those has more value: The unchanging supreme law of the land that ensures equality and protection from the Government otherwise known as the Constitution or the constant mutable ever changing emotionalism of mostly cowardly individuals whom are too afraid to take up protection of their own lives, let alone their own rights, otherwise known as local customs.  Frankly, I choose the Constitution, for it ensures that my neighbors and friends and loved ones are best suited to pursue their own happiness and thus, by doing so, ensures that my own freedom be maintained.  The other option always ends in Tyranny.  No local or contemporary law can supersede the Constitution.  It can only be altered by Constitutional amendment.  If it could the sitting government anywhere in the US could simply do away with the vote and appoint themselves for life.  No one would let that happen in the real world, why are we so willing to let it happen to other parts of the Constitution?  If you want to change the 2nd, then by all means put it to a vote and have it ratified by the States.  But until that moment, should we not have respect for the full document?  In the end 'gun control' is misnomer, the real conversation should be about the value of the Constitution and it's place in your future.

RubenoffJohnson
RubenoffJohnson

we all have the rights to own reasonable gun's ie' a rifle for hunting, a shotgun for game birds and a hand gun for home protection, if we have a clear criminal record and no mental issue's we should have no problem pre qualifying in the background check prior to the purchase of the guns we want to fullfill the wishe's in our rights, We then have the responsibility to ensure all these guns are secured in a steel lockable gun safe away from children, and if we want the children to use the rifles, we must for safety send them to gun safety training courses, seems pretty basic stuff, Guns will not be taken away unless we abuse their use in criminal activitie's in which we have abused our own right's and must suffer the action's of the prevailing law's

tinklebrook
tinklebrook

It is very sad that almost half of Americans are willing to voluntarily relinquish basic constitutional rights and are so ignorant of our own history to believe that the 2nd Amendment is about hunting. The Federalist Papers are very clear. The populace, the 'We The People' part, were to have like firearms for three reasons. 1) in case the government drifted toward tyranny, and 2) in case the military tried for a coup, 3) to be ready to serve our government in defending our country in case of invasion.

While I would agree that all seem unlikely to most Americans today, I am sure that Jews felt safe in Germany in the 1920's, Chinese felt empowered before Mao Tze Tung, Cambodia never imagined Pol Pot, and the Russians were quite surprised that Stalin's government could murder 65 million people.

ColoradoPhil
ColoradoPhil

That is one big step in the right direction. However, the gun lobby is as strong as it is because of the gun owners who support the right to self defense. Without jthem there is still no chance of change.

acstorm07
acstorm07

THERE IS NO COMPROMISE !!!


This attack on Assault weapons, semi auto's and large capacity magazines are just a stepping stone for these Dictators. They will not be satisfied until we are totaly disarmed and inslaved. History does not lie.


NO COMPROMISE !!!!

WilliamYarbrough
WilliamYarbrough

The Constitution allows for no compromise if this nation is to survive.

BenjaminAllenWhetham
BenjaminAllenWhetham

"Compromise" to a liberal means "give us what we want." In a few years they call for more compromise which amounts to "give us more of what we want." There is NEVER any talk about liberals giving up a bit on some view they hold.

As someone else pointed out about abortion. "Will you compromise and  also support "common sense laws for unborn children"  something like finding the youngest preemie  to survive and make that the last date for an abortion, as it is now proved that babies that young are viable." Yet if you were to put that in a serious bill the liberals would be jumping from rooftops rather than support such compromise.

We see the same with guns, automatic weapons are already heavily regulated under the 1934 NFA tax and the registry was closed in 1986, limiting the supply. Those of us into NFA weapons for years have simply wanted the registry re-opened so we don't have to spend $9,000 to buy a legal 26 year old full-auto 10/22  22 rimfire while the Mexican drug cartels pay $150 for brand new illegal AKs from China, Russia, or wherever.. Yet if this too were put up to a vote liberals would be claiming that we want to give automatic weapons to school children despite the NFA regulations that would remain in place along with the laws on illegal guns.

They complain about pollution from lead bullets, but then ban non toxic steel core ammunition as "armor piercing" even though they use rebar grade steel that gives mo more armor penetration than lead. They want to mandate all copper ammunition, ignoring, for the time being, that copper has its own pollution issues as well.

We have already "compromised" too much when it comes to guns. More is not going to solve anything and lessening some laws won't make things worse.

Jason'Honey-Badger'Whitson
Jason'Honey-Badger'Whitson

Define "assault weapon", because it is NOT the same thing as "assault rifle" which are already banned and/or strictly controlled.

Banning "assault weapons" is a banial and pointless task pursuant to banning things that look scary or make noise.  Want to decrease these types of tragedies, stop failing children at young ages when it comes to teaching them REAL coping skills and expectations about life.  The liberals are murdering children daily by forcing them to believe in these false "self esteem" agenda that leaves them unable to cope with real life once they get into the real world.

josco
josco

Here's the thing.  Gun control works.  The mother of the Sandy Hook
shooter failed to control her guns.  That cost her her life, the life of
her son, and the innocent victims at the school.  You want guns?  Go
ahead.  Have them.  But you control them.  The mother knew her
son was a wacko.  Why in the name of all that's responsible would she allow
him anywhere near them?  She was judged responsible, bought them legally,
and put them in the hands of her irresponsible son.
So, have your guns.  And if they fall out of your responsible grasp and
are, for any reason, used in a crime, let you be charged as if you had committed
it.  That's responsibility.  I can live with that.  The children
at Sandy Hook would have, too.

dontn123
dontn123

Who abides by gun control?  Is it a. Criminals or b. law abiding citizens?  Gee ain't it so simple. Now let's balance the budget where I'll trade you 2 small dirty dimes for that big shiny nickel.

mwacky4u
mwacky4u

Gun control is a flawed social policy. It cannot stop mass violence. All societies foster violence of sorts. Life for people who live at the fringes is hard, worrisome, demeaning, and prone to evoke anger. I assert that in America--a dynamic and adaptive society--many people survive at the fringes. Anger which cannot be expressed with guns, can be express with vehicular homicide (cars, trucks, planes), bombs, arson, and poisonings. Block the sale of guns—and someone will innovate. The media will spread the news. Copycat acts of violence will flourish. This is a historical fact. Why does American society today (2012) foster mass violence more than Great Britain or Germany? There may be no singular answer. However, the people at the fringes of each society surely differ as do the types of worries and frustrations that these people endure. American society today (2012) is what it is. I do not propose sweeping social change. I do invite intelligent and thoughtful dialogue. Politicians back agendas that win elections. When the majority fear guns, "gun control" becomes law. But American society continues unchanged and unchallenged. Mass violence has been—and will likely continue to be—endemic to human social relations until our cultural and social values change.

RobertPerrotta
RobertPerrotta

http://wh.gov/nLac

Sign this petition against an assualt weapons ban. The far left spoke. Now we must say our piece. We cannot sit by and let our second amendment rights be stripped away. The media and far left use the word assualt rifle in a manner that means to strike fear in those who know no better. There has been not a single "assualt weapon used in the recent attacks. An assualt weapon is a weapon with selective fire. The first step is this legislative action to ban assualt weapons.. The next is the total errosion of the 2nd amendment. Please speak out before it is to late, your opinion counts.

bernardmmarx
bernardmmarx

Changing any sort of gun laws won't make a difference, just look at China. Guns cannot be bought by citizens in China, but that hasn't stopped violence. In fact on the same day as Sandy Hook a Chinese man stabbed 22 children in school and an 85 year old woman before he was subdued. Five similar incidents have occurred in China  since 2010 with the victim count numbering more than 80. The fuss about gun control illustrates just how ignorant the majority of the public is. Can't anyone see that weapons aren't the problem? This violence is caused by the moral vacancy, emotional disenfranchisement, and sense of absolute apathy promoted by our culture. We are the cause of all of this violence. Gun control is only a ruse. I hope to God that I am not the only one who sees this.

summerhb
summerhb

My proposal is to implement a sensor or GPS locator in all assault rifles and dangerous weapons that can impact a large population of innocent people and/or bystanders. These weapons, sensors and GPS components are very applicable to incorporate into the assault rifles and would alert local authorities, school personnel, and people in surrounding areas to be aware of.

Just like the sensors in the department stores that can identify theft of an item.

Brian Summerhill

Truthinaction
Truthinaction

More people die accidentally from doctor's than those who die in car crashes and by firearms combined!

So using this leftie wingnut logic, we need to ban doctors

Trey
Trey

Will you compromise and  also support "common sense laws for unborn children"  something like finding the youngest preemie  to survive and make that the last date for an abortion, as it is now proved that babies that young are viable.  I some what doubt  you will support that due to the slippery slope you would now be standing on.  We the people that believe the founders meant for us to have effective arms feel the same way .. first "assault weapons"  then it will be "easily hidden" then well you get the idea I think.


The US Supreme court has fond in our favor as well as the weapons protected by the 2nd are those in "common use" by any measure the self loading rifle with standard size magazines is in common use.

DC v Heller  

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html

Search for "common use"

llandrus
llandrus

"The bill could expand the right to hunt certain nonendangered species in particular places and times." States, not the federal government, are in charge of wildlife management plans that would have to be changed under such a scheme. The idea that you could offer a compromise that includes greater hunting rights in exchange for gun control is frankly an ignorant suggestion that could only be written by someone who has no idea how hunting actually works in this country.

MichaelKeefer
MichaelKeefer

So do you think the criminals will had in there High capacity / assault guns when the law abiding citizen are forced to  hands in theirs ? Gee I hope so.....I sure the Criminals wanna do whats right.....right!!

GregWoolhouse
GregWoolhouse

Folks on the left live in the world of unicorns and rainbows.  There are very, very few "moderate gun owners".  I know hundreds of gun owners, and pretty much all of them are Second Amendment absolutists.  The Second Amendment is NOT about hunting or sport-shooting.  People not afraid of guns understand this.  There will be no "compromise".  I wish you people had the nads to admit what you really want - no guns in private hands - instead of this sneaking, skulking incrementalism.  Have the courage of your convictions.

The left believes in safety through universal weakness.  The Second Amendment community believes in safety through universal strength.  Let's have that debate.

eyeswideopeninus
eyeswideopeninus

How about a Wrongful Death Tax on gun manufacturers? Set up a tax with an exponential scale based on the number of unlawful killings made each year by each particular type of gun. Perhaps have different scale for different types of guns based on the design purpose of the type. For example, non-repeating hunting rifles might have the lowest and slowest increasing scale and semi-automatic assault rifles and large magazines a much higher and steeper one.

The tax revenue would be good for the country, whether it was targeted to specific violence-related programs or unrestricted. The statistical predictability of the likely tax would provide specific financial incentives for the gun manufacturers to invest a portion of their revenue to decrease the illegal uses of their products. It would justly place a portion of the financial impact (real cost) of illegal gun use directly on those who first profit from their manufacture and sale.

mwacky4u
mwacky4u

Guns are neither good nor bad. Those who oppose guns do not understand them. It is natural to fear what is not understood. The safe and proficient handling of a weapon is a martial art. One cannot master a martial without discipline. One cannot master it without learning self-deference, respect and control. Three years ago, I knew nothing of guns--and I opposed them. I disliked those who owned them. But I took the time to learn my enemy. I attended a gun training class. I bought a gun. I learned to shoot it. In the process, I learned a tremendous amount about myself. I know to avoid conflict whenever possible, I know to respect the views of those whom I do not understand. I am a better citizen today, and society is better off, because I was able to gain invaluable experience. As more citizens learn the discipline to practice a martial art, civility and our nation will inevitably flourish.

dfusss1982
dfusss1982

Gun control means being able to hit what you're shooting at...  What these politician are talking about is treating every citizen as a criminal, with malicious intent, and further limiting the individual's right to defend his/her home, property, and body.  Furthermore, the "assault weapons" ban is idiotic on it's face, since it deals mostly with cosmetic issues.  Take any .22 rifle and put a retractable butt-stock on it and it becomes illegal.  That's asinine.

If you want a proper prospective on "gun control" consider this:  A large majority of gun crime is committed by urban youths, who happen to be African American...  so it would be logical then to make it unlawful for African Americans to own firearms.  Do you have a problem with that?  If so, ask yourself why. 

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@KarryDayton Agreed. We can choose to live in tyranny under a democratic-socialist (communist) government like Russia, or we can step up and stop the tyranny at its source. I say we need to say to heck with the line between Democrat, and Republican, and draw a new line. A line based on the true United States Of America and to heck with every thing else. Here is the choice Tyranny or Freedom.  You pick one not both and no middle ground. 

I also would like to point the discrepancy between laws made, and laws enforced. Last I check the Total population,(as taken by the census) for the USA was in the ball park of 315 million. 10,000 of these people work for the government, 4,000 of that 10,000 are federal law enforcement. That's 4,000 of them and around 315 million of us. The US Government can in no way use it's military force against it's own civilians. Should some one be dumb enough to try it, Well, that is why we  have the right to bare arms. the right to form a militia,freedom of speech, and an ideology that is for the people, by the people.

Oh and one more thing I recommend a Presidential Screening process be put into effect. To be inspect by a collection of CIVILIAN not government experts; In an UN-biased committee. This will do two things; The first is to silence Conspiracy theories, the second is for the people to know for a fact who they are electing, is who they say they are. .  

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@RubenoffJohnson I agree with some/ most of what you are saying. However, what I defend my home with is no one else's business. Also you can do as much damage with a handgun as an assault rifle, and given the right variables a knife or two can be just as dangerous. The point is it isn't the gun it's who is on what end of it. I am an avid sports shooter(with other interests.) I can tell you now that I don't use a gun for house hold defense. I like the sharp approach to certain situations. 

Also this is just a stepping stone attempt to nullify the Second Amendment. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, by the way. It is a stones throw away from Gun limitations on legal owners, to the complete Nullification of the Second Amendment.

I would also like to point out in another reply that I did: The population situation. Around 315 million people are in this country at all times; Of those 4,000  people are Federal Law Enforcers. How safe do you feel knowing how ill-equipped or government really is to protect us from criminals? Not safe at all. How safe do you feel knowing that a criminal doesn't care what some political fat cat says? Not safe. And for my final question, How stupid are these people going to feel when a criminal has an assault rifle, their derringer is empty, they decide to mouth off and say its illegal to use an assault type weapon, and the criminal laughs and shoots them any way? Very briefly they will feel like Massive Morons.

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@tinklebrook  Agreed. Laws are just words in the eyes of the criminal. Which own is going to keep you alive longer, Aweapon in the right persons hand or words from the wrong persons mouth?

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco Here is another thing: any Government restrictions on The Second or any amendment, is not going to end well. Looking through history. Example: Nazi Germany was met with no in-country resistance, why?  Because Hitler was a smooth talker.... BULL. It was because back then the people Germany did not have access to a proper means to protect themselves from this sort of tyranny. 

Proper Gun Control is not something the government can do for you. You have to take the responsibility there. Here is what I mean: You have a semi automatic ar-15 model 308. It is you responsibility to do the following:

Clean the gun, Secure the gun in an NRA-approved gun SAFE not a cabinet. Cabinets are for Vintage weapons that DO NOT fire.

Secure the ammo separately. Only ever have at most 2 magazines with bullets in them, to be inspected twice a day. 

Change the Combination on your safe every 3 days for the Gun Safe, And ever 4 days for the ammo safe. 

Know your weapon, and how to use. It is just as important that you know when to use it.

Ignorance of these basic principles of basic gun ownership is to blame for these shooting. Not the guns, and not society. It was His parents choice to be ignorant of the consequence's and the child s fault for even thinking that was OK. Even more the parents fault for not parenting their child properly, and the governments fault for getting in the way of proper parenting.

So in one big circle we get back to the real issue the government won't allow parents to punish their children any more. What is to stop a child from running from the time out corner ? A swat to the backside you say? Well now you locked up for child abuse and the "little darling" is allowed to do what ever it wants to. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. But no lets not take responsibility for our actions, when blaming society(that we made ourselves) is so much easier. 

RobertPerrotta
RobertPerrotta

@bernardmmarx

http://wh.gov/nLac

Sign this petition against an assualt weapons ban. The far left spoke. Now we must say our piece. We cannot sit by and let our second amendment rights be stripped away. The media and far left use the word assualt rifle in a manner that means to strike fear in those who know no better. There has been not a single "assualt weapon used in the recent attacks. An assualt weapon is a weapon with selective fire. The first step is this legislative action to ban assualt weapons.. The next is the total errosion of the 2nd amendment. Please speak out before it is to late, your opinion counts.

Trey
Trey

@summerhb 


And no one would ever be able to remove one of these ?

Paladin_
Paladin_

@Truthinaction  true 


Doctors:

(A) The number of doctors in the US is approx. 700,000
(B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000
(C) Percent of doctors causing accidental deaths is over 17%
Statistics : courtesy of the US Dept. of Health & Human Services

Guns:

(A) The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000 (yes that's 80 million)
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
(C) Percent of gun owners causing accidental deaths is less than0.0019%
Statistics: courtesy of the FBI

So statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more
dangerous than gun owners.
Remember, guns don't kill people, doctors do.

FACT: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN,
BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS A DOCTOR.

Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We should
ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand!”

desertscar
desertscar

@dfusss1982 Let's try this logic. No guns kill. Only bullets kill. I am fine with all the guns in the land if just ban ammo and standard powder and ready made slugs/pellets. Yes a few would still find a way to make them, but not 99% of your owners. Guns could still act as a pretty decent club or hammer for self-defense purposes.

Back to a more serious tone. More gun violence is by whites than other groups, if you are talking about sheer numbers. Further, and more important fact than above: more gun related fatalities happen to those who own the gun or know the gun owner than that happen to strangers. This is even more the case (less random gun violence more vengence/anger/despair related violence/suicide) in areas very anti any form of gun control (South US and rural US).

josco
josco

@JarrodParker @josco So, do guns come with this list of responsibilities? Do you sign something saying you're taking them on?  Where does this list come from and what are the consequences if you fail to abide by them?  Who holds you accountable if you fail to do all this stuff?

Taking responsibility for your guns is exactly what I'm saying.  I don't expect the government to do it for anyone.  But I do expect accountability when someone fails to be responsible.  That's prosecution and that's government.  It's a free country.  We can do what we want at least once.  Law enforcement just means that after the law is broken, enforcement officials come in to clean up the mess.  Responsible people who know there are legal consequences for irresponsible actions tend to take their responsibilities seriously.

Gun control has been a part of our society since the constitution was drafted.  If not, then why can't I mail order myself a ZSU 23-4? It's just a really big ar-15 model 308 but it's controlled. I can't have one, even though the Soviets were going to try to shoot me down with it if I ever had to attack them in my nuclear armed F-111. I can't buy the nukes I sat alert with either. We're only talking about a line that defines what weapons civilians can have and what weapons they can't.  You draw that line somewhere between an ar-15 and a ZSU 23-4.  I draw that line somewhere between the ar-15 and a 30.06

bernardmmarx
bernardmmarx

@SilvanaWasitova @bernardmmarx Maybe so, but can you be objectively satisfied with the fact that a man entered a school with the intent to kill 22 children? No matter the outcome, his intent was to kill, and how is that in any way tolerable? 

summerhb
summerhb

@Trey @summerhb Trey, I have thought that idea over myself. Definitely some thought in design and review of the weapon should be reviewed in such a way that a sensor or GPS removal would cause ineffectiveness of weapon or alarming indication that the weapon was changed.

jasonbrianhall
jasonbrianhall

Ignore these statistics.

http://www.netwellness.org/healthtopics/domesticv/violenceUS.cfm 

Statistics on Violence by Race and Gender

In 1997, 4 out of 5 deaths by homicide and legal intervention were male, and 6 out of 7 were African Americans.1

The number of African Americans who died from injury by firearms in 1997 was 24.7 per 100,000, as opposed to 10.5 per 100,000 for whites. 1

The number of African American males who died from injury by firearms in 1997 was 46.1 per 100,000 (18.1 per 100,000 for white males).1

For males age 15-24, 119.9 per 100,000 African Americans and 24.8 per 100,000 whites died from injury by firearms.1

The number of African American suicides in 1997 was 3.6 per 100,000, as opposed to 7.2 per 100,000 whites.1

Life expectancy for white males was 7.1 years longer than for African American males in 1997 due to an advantage in the areas of heart disease, cancer, homicide, HIV infection and perinatal conditions. However, suicide and Alzheimers, killed more white males than African American males.1

josco
josco

@JarrodParker

Still thinking, Jarrod? I am too. And I think that the concept of tyranny has changed in the eyes of some people. It no longer means, “a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler”; or, “oppressive power exerted by government”; oppressive meaning, “unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power, unreasonably burdensome or severe”. We’re so far removed from tyranny that some people have altered “tyranny” to suit their purposes – to mislead and frighten people into taking action.

To them, “tyranny” has come to mean the passage of laws, according to legislative processes outlined in the U.S. Constitution and Constitutions of the various States; laws with which they don’t agree. Laws that don’t suit them. So much so that they’re oppressive – unjust or cruel, unreasonably burdensome or severe. What follows is to question the need for laws. “They’re just words”. Law-abiding citizens don’t need laws (how do we know unless we have laws to abide by?). We’re free people and we have rights. I may exercise my rights according to my own judgment. Who can even THINK of regulating my rights?

The only guarantee from a society like that is that a tyrant will arise. “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins” – John Locke.

What you’re complaining about, Jarrod, is democracy in action. It’s how we run our country, our republic. Government by the people. Supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them through free elections, which are based on free expression and well-established civil rights.

As a military man having fought four wars and various other contingencies for our country, I get very much afraid for our future when I hear talk of tyranny and oppression, armed uprisings and secession because one man happened to get re-elected. Pray God that talk remains rhetoric! And pray God it remains transparent to the majority of us!

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco @JarrodParker No I actually went hunting for eight hours holding my bow up for 85% of the time that made my arms tired. This is a cake walk.

josco
josco

@JarrodParker @josco Wish I were there to pat you on the back.  Your arms must be tired of it.  The Assault Weapons Ban comes out of committee on Thursday.  Go talk to them.

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco But really laws aside Here is a slight problem with this whole thing:

What makes a criminal? A person 'who breaks the laws' for any reason. 

What makes a psychotic criminal? A person with a  mental illness 'who breaks laws' for any reason.

What makes an armed psychotic criminal?A person who is equipped with a weapon, has a mental illness, and Breaks Laws for any reason.

Notice a trend here? Again I must point out that laws are words, crimes are action. Actions always speak louder then words. And that is exactly the truth of the real world.

Do I condone unnecessary violence? no. Do I understand that people don't think that way? yes. Do I think that violent crimes against my fellow humans is a form of tyranny? yes. Should people be allowed to defend themselves? yes. Should the amount of force be regulated? yes.(I draw the line at anti-vehicle weapons like the Barret 50.) Should any weapon be allowed for hunting uses? no. (seriously, 50 cal vs moose? exsessive and wasteful.) 

What i my issue with the Barret 50 caliber rifle? It has great fire power, a decent clip size and re-chamber speed and has a great design. It is still pretty much 10-20 times more dangerous then any assault rifle. and lets not get started about the scary number of scopes it supports, as well as thermal, and IR. Legal or not the fact that those scopes exist and have a ridiculous long range keeps me up at night. I mean really whats next a scope that will tell them your next BM before you even know its going to happen?   Also the fact that 50 cal rounds can go through ALOT of stuff. While its unlikely, I don't want to have my head explode while I am on the can. That just ain't right. Do I think all hunting rifles should have a similar build, just less power? yes.( The frame-work is gorgeous.)

 

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco

Your whole argument is based on the fact that you are taking the words out of context to suit your argument here are a few examples of what I mean:

Ok your first mistake: It says Arms which is a broad spectrum term for weapon. Ranging from rocks to cannons. Not firearms which pertains only to combustion based projectile weapons. Also a common misconception is that a well maintained militia is under the supervision of the government, when in fact you could go outside and form a militia called the peace brigade and throw chocolates at violent people.  The point of a militia is that it is run by civilians not the government, There fore Your use of the national guard as a militia is extremely inaccurate. Also there really is no process for determining a well regulated militia, only what some power/money hungry bureaucrat wants. In other words that is a farce. 

Clear and Present Danger: Your example is correct, but your context is not. Based on intent alone. Yelling fire in a crowded area implies that you had intent towards danger. Buying a weapon, does not declare any intent beyond the fact that you bought a weapon.

Also read your rights again, It states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The States or the people, not the president, or any one else. 

So in all reality this whole debacle is not Constitutional, or even a federal matter, But a State matter.  

Now for what is a correct argument for your case:

Mental health. Lets face the fact here, a psycho with any weapon is bad. I do agree that there is no interference between screening for mental illness and/or background checks and the Constitution.(Infact they should have been in place a long time ago.)

Also sorry for not posting sooner, I really enjoy these conversations with competent  people, but I do have other things to do.


 

josco
josco

@JarrodParker @josco One last thing that's more than just interesting.  The Fathers switched from the active voice in the 1st Amendment to the passive voice in the 2nd.  Pick up any English grammar or writer's manual and you'll find that "the passive is particularly useful (even recommended) in two situations: When it is more important to draw our attention to the person or thing acted upon and when the actor in the situation is not important".  What shall not be infringed?  The right shall not be infringed.  If the Fathers had intended that arms were not to be infringed, they would have written it that way.

As in the 1st, where my freedom of speech carries the caveat of  'clear and present danger', as established by the courts, my right to keep and bear arms in the 2nd is not carte blanche as to the arms I may keep.  And I'm sure the Fathers never said that we could disregard the rules of the English language when reading the Constitution.  Gun control is here to stay.  It's up to the courts to set the parameters, as they have with freedom of speech.

josco
josco

@JarrodParker

@josco  Look at the 1st Ammendment.  Congress shall not abridge my freedom of speech.  But if I yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre and cause a fatal stampede, I'll be prosecuted and the 1st won't save me.  Why, because congress can't abridge my freedom (subject) not my speech (object).  I have the freedom but under the 'clear and present danger' concept, I can't speak and case a fatal stampede by it and be immune from prosecution.

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.

josco
josco

@JarrodParker @josco Actually, it is the right that shall not be infringed, not the firearms.  'Right' is the subject of the sentence.  'Firearms' is the object of a prepositional phrase.  'Infringed' is the verb.  Verbs apply to subjects of sentences, not objects of prepositional phrases.  According to the rules of English, it is the right that shall not be infringed, not the arms.  The 9th refers to the 'right', not the firearms.

'To keep and bear arms' was put in the constitution almost as an afterthought.  Nowhere is it mentioned in the "Articles of Confederation".  The "Articles" stress time after time the 'well-regulated' militia.  At the time, and even into the "Civil War", the citizen-soldiers of the state militias were expected to show up for duty with their weapons.  The militias were and are now, as the state units of the National Guard, 'well-regulated'.  "We keep the cannons (the weapons clearly made for militaristic use), you show up with your guns" (the weapons appropriate for use in making a living and defending your property). 

The modern fear about state militias (the National Guard) is that the Guard can be federalized.  That's true only if the federal order is legal.  I believe (have to check this) that the Southern State militias were called up by the Feds as war approached.  If not, no matter.  The militias rallied to the governors -- stayed with the states and eventually the Confederation rather than go Federal.  The state National Guards may also do that.  In the event the Feds get so out of hand that in the State(s)' view it's time to rebel, the States would deem any Fed order illegal and the Guards would be obligated not to obey.  So the governor always has his/her state militia in that event.

Bottom line: limits on arms are constitutional if only because they are not expressly forbidden by the Constitution.  The right shall not be infringed, not the arms.

My take: If the weapon is militaristic in nature, it doesn't belong in the hands of the citizens.  It belongs with the "well-regulated" militias.

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco @JarrodParker Also I do draw a line, when we are being marched through the street like defenseless sheep. That is where I draw the line. You?

JarrodParker
JarrodParker

@josco@JarrodParker Actually you can mail order them, you just have to know how. 

Yes you do, except not on paper. You accept these responsibilities as soon as you purchase any weapon, gun or otherwise.  And as far as who holds who accountable well lets look at the facts: The Sandy Hook was was caused by negligence, His parents negligence to teach him how to be a human being, The gun's owner should be held for negligent homicide for allowing this person to obtain the weapon. 

And taking responsibility for the guns is already a part of our system anyway," gun registration."

And I hate to burst your bubble but there is no-where in the original Constitution is a limit on firearms. 

In fact here is what it says word for word:

  A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It was never about hunting or sporting. It is this country last and only true line of defense against corruption and tyranny.

So technically current gun laws are Un-Costitutional.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. (9th amendment)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.( 10th amendment)


desertscar
desertscar

@jasonbrianhall  

While your numbers are not current I stand corrected on race, there are slightly more African American victims and perpetrators than Whites in total numbers. (much higher when per capita)

That said, again, the vast majority of gun deaths are from owners of those gun or someone who personally knew the owner. That vast majority of gun-related deaths are NOT from a stranger or some kind of random act (which includes robberies where the victim did not know the perpetrator or as well as from these mass killings). People, particularly women, have far more to fear from the people they know (with guns or not) than people they don't know (with guns or not).

The best objective data is here: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/homicide.html