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Intro: "There are around 90 guns for every 100 Americans yet, despite 85 fatal shootings a day, the mighty US gun lobby is as powerful as ever. In the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing, Gary Younge reports on the country's deadly attachment to firearms."

A family looks at a pistol at an annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which now claims more than 4 million members. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A family looks at a pistol at an annual meeting of the National Rifle Association, which now claims more than 4 million members. (photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)



America's Deadly Devotion to Guns

By Gary Younge, Guardian UK

17 April 12

 

There are around 90 guns for every 100 Americans yet, despite 85 fatal shootings a day, the mighty US gun lobby is as powerful as ever. In the wake of Trayvon Martin's killing, Gary Younge reports on the country's deadly attachment to firearms.

t an organising breakfast for National Rifle Association (NRA) grassroots activists, Samuel Richardson, a man with whom I have not exchanged a word, passes me a note. "Please read the book Injustice by Adams," it reads. "He was [sic] lawyer for US Justice Department who prosecuted Black Panther Case." Quite why Richardson thinks this book is for me is not clear. There are six other people at the table, a couple of them journalists. The fact I am the only black person in a room of around 200 may have something to do with it.

J Christian Adams, a former department of justice lawyer, resigned after the department decided not to prosecute members of the New Black Panther party who brandished guns and intimidated poll watchers outside a voting station in Philadelphia in 2008. Several attorneys, including Republicans, have argued that while the case was serious it did not warrant the department's resources. Adams believed there were darker forces at play, claiming the case "gave the public a glimpse of the racially discriminatory worldview" of the department under Obama.

Richardson goes further. The press and the government are in cahoots, he explains, to oppress white people. "It's fascistic," he explains. "It's just like Hitler did. Discriminating against one ethnic group and claiming that they're the cause of everything that's wrong. It's what happened in Rwanda," intimating that white Americans, like Tutsis, could one day find themselves systematically slaughtered in their own land.

It would be easy to ridicule the NRA. Billboards for its national convention all around St Louis promise "acres of guns and gear". In the exhibition hall they are giving two free guns, twice a day, to anyone wearing a sticker that says "Ambush", and they are selling semi-automatics in pink camouflage. One of the most powerful lobbying organisations in the country and deeply embedded in the Republican party, the NRA still calls itself the country's oldest civil rights organisation.

But America's relationship with guns is as deep and complex at home as it is perplexing abroad. The fact that most British police are not armed confounds even the most liberal here. And even though the nation is evenly split on whether there should be more gun control, every time there is a gun-related tragedy, whether it is the shootings in Arizona, Virgina Tech or any number of schools, the issue has been effectively removed from the electoral conversation. And at the centre of these apparent contradictions stands the NRA, once an organisation that represented the rights of hunters and sportsmen and now a major political player closely linked to the gun industry.

"All the domestic controversies of the Americans at first appear to a stranger to be incomprehensible or puerile," suggested the 19th-century French chronicler Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America. "And he is at a loss whether to pity a people who take such arrant trifles in good earnest or to envy that happiness which enables a community to discuss them."

But guns in America are no trifling matter. There are approximately 90 guns for every 100 people in the US (a rate almost 15 times higher than England and Wales). More than 85 people a day are killed with guns and more than twice that number are injured with them. Gun murders are the leading cause of death among African Americans under the age of 44.

And the NRA is no joke. Claiming gun ownership as a civil liberty protected by the second amendment, it opposes virtually all gun control legislation. It claims more than 4 million members, has a budget of more than $300m and spent almost $3m last year - when there were no nationwide elections - on lobbying.

The second amendment to the US constitution reads: "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." There has long been a dispute about whether "the people" described refers to individuals or the individual states. But there is no disagreement about its broader intent, which is to provide the constitutional means to mount a military defence against a tyrannical government.

"It's about independence and freedom," explains David Britt. "When you have a democratic system and an honourable people then you trust the citizens." Britt, an affable man in his 60s, does not lend himself easily to caricature. Elsewhere in the room, one T-shirt quotes Thessalonians 3:10 ("If any would not work neither should he eat") on the back and "I hate welfare" on the front. Another T-shirt announces: "Christian, American, Heterosexual, Pro-Gun, Conservative. Any Questions?"

Britt is more understated, conservative but more likely to water at the mouth talking about barbecue in his native Memphis than foam at the mouth over a Fox News talking point. He doesn't fetishise guns but fondly recalls his grandfather giving him his first rifle when he was seven. "He said it's not a toy and he showed me how to use it properly."

Britt believes individual gun ownership is a guarantor of democracy. "In Europe they cede their rights and freedoms to their governments. But we think the government should be subservient to us."

For all the rightwing demagoguery associated with the NRA, this is quite a radical notion. The trouble is that, left in the hands of individuals, each gets to define their own version of tyranny and potentially undermine democracy with their firearms. Some believe the healthcare law enacted by a democratically elected Congress is tyrannical.

In the hardscrabble town of Pahrump, Nevada, in 2010, I witnessed a conversation between conservatives about the most propitious moment to militarily challenge this government. "The last thing we want to see is to break out our arms," said one. "But we need to have 'em in hand, and the government needs to know that we will use [our arms] if they continue down the path they're on."

But the second amendment is not the only factor that embeds guns in America's culture. As a settler nation that had to both impose and maintain its domination over indigenous people to acquire and defend land and feed itself in a frontier state, the gun made America, as we understand it today, possible. "None of us in the free world would have what we have if it were not for guns," says Britt. "It's about freedom, it's not about violence."

Missouri representative Jeanette Oxford, who represents a district in St Louis, disagrees. "From the outset violence was enforced with weapons of various kinds in North America," she says. "I think the ability to enforce your right through might is ingrained in us."

It is also an important component of something else that is central to American society: capitalism. Guns make money. A lot of it. Since 1990 the sale of legal guns alone has come to, on average, about $3.5bn every year. And it is recession-proof, rising and falling less with the economic tide than the electoral one. When Democrats are elected the sales go up. And when a black Democrat is elected, they skyrocket. The week Barack Obama was elected gun sales leapt 50% against the previous year. And they have continued to rise sharply.

In the exhibition hall at the convention, the industry is showcasing its arsenal. As well as rows of semi-automatic weapons of all colours and sizes there are tables with a range of handguns and accessories: Eagle grips in ultra pearl black and ivory polymer, Hornady bullets ("accurate, deadly, dependable") and general appeals to the rustic, manly and patriotic.

A few blocks away at St Louis City Hall some of the survivors of the shooting in Tucson last year are staging a press conference to call for greater gun control. Some are gun owners themselves. Mavy Stoddard, 77, weeps as she recalls the death of her husband Dorwan, 78, one of the six people killed that day, who covered her with his body when gunfire erupted.

"He fell on top of me," she says. "He was shot through the temple. Some how I got out from under him and held him on my lap for seven or eight minutes before he died."

The tone is not strident but plaintive. No one here wants to touch the second amendment or is calling for wholesale reform of the gun laws. Mavy can't understand why the NRA leadership won't even take her calls or sit down to discuss the issue with her. St Louis has been named the most dangerous city in America for two years running and leads the nation in black homicides. Three years ago, Ernecia Coles, 40, was bidding farewell to business associates in the historically black neighbourhood of Ville when shooting erupted. "I got hit by a stray bullet. It went under my left ear, zig-zagged through my soft tissue, went through my neck and exited my right jaw." Coles grew up around guns in rural Virginia. Her father had one for protection. But in a city such as St Louis, she says, they play a different role. "For now, the risk of gun violence is the price you pay for working and living in urban America."

Elizabeth Watkins lost two of her sons to gun violence. The first, Timothy, 28, was shot after a fight in Miami in 1990. The second, Mark, also 28, was caught in crossfire, while visiting a friend in St Louis. As spokesperson for Families Advocating Safe Streets, Watkins used to attend funerals of those who fell to gun violence in the city. "I had to stop going after a while," she says. "I couldn't take it any more."

Despite their experiences, neither is calling for root-and-branch reform. "I'm not saying people shouldn't be able to protect their property. But guns are too available to young people." Coles believes the NRA should be "compelled to examine and address the unintended consequences that that constitutional right has brought about in many American communities and against too many innocent American citizens."

Given the scale of the problem, one is struck by how modest many of these demands are. Yet the mantra from NRA enthusiasts and others is that guns don't kill people, people kill people. This banal iteration conveniently ignores the fact that people can kill people far easier with guns than almost anything else and that, in a country with high levels of inequality, poverty and segregation, such as America, they are more likely to do so.

It also does not account for the NRA's role in pushing legislation such as stand-your-ground laws that allowed George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin's killer, to walk free for more than six weeks. The law states that anyone who perceives a threat to their life has a right to use a weapon. The core of the debate over the last few weeks has not been Zimmerman's right to bear arms but that the law now on the books in more than 20 other states protected him from even being arrested for so long and makes it difficult to prosecute.

The day registration opened at the NRA, Zimmerman's face peered from every newsstand following his arrest, but the case barely came up unless raised by a journalist. There was some contrition. "It's a tragedy," says Britt. "It shouldn't have happened. But I think the media has exploited it." But also some defiance. "He was attacked and he defended himself," claims Richardson, before going on to say nobody knows all the facts and returning to the problem of the New Black Panthers.

Back at the grassroots breakfast the organisers are gearing up the activists for this election year. "Bad people get sent to Washington because good people don't vote," they say. When it comes to engaging potential allies they are told to "hunt where the ducks are" - gun clubs, hunting groups and so on. Each electoral district has an assigned Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) who acts as a go-between among candidates, members and gun owners. Few domestic organisations can rival the NRA in lobby power.

Liberal legislators recognise and respect its influence precisely because it is so effective. "They don't have shoot-ins and rifle marches," explains Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank. "They write and call. The NRA - person for person - they are extremely influential because they lobby that way."

In 2000, Democrats credited the NRA with swinging the election for George Bush by costing Al Gore his home state of Tennessee. It was around that time that Democrats, as a party, effectively gave up on gun control. Obama, during his first two years, signed laws allowing guns in national parks and on checked baggage on trains. In 2010 he was graded "F" by gun control group Brady Campaign. The NRA has not won the argument - only a tiny percentage believe, like the NRA, that controls are too strict and a plurality want to make them stricter - but they do keep on winning the votes.

Halfway through the session a slide displays the four people they consider the most important obstacles to their cause. Obama, Hillary Clinton (sitting in front of a United Nations flag), Eric Holder, Obama's black attorney general, and Sonia Sotomayor, the Latina supreme court judge. All, by their titles, are legitimate targets for the NRA. And yet one could not help sense the symbolic significance. Two women and three people of colour in positions of authority, in a country where women are becoming more politically assertive and white people will be in a minority in 30 years, looking down on a room of overwhelmingly ageing white men defending their right to bear arms.

The NRA is not entirely certain what to do with its partial success. Partly it keeps pushing for laws that would expand the places where guns might be carried, including churches, bars and college campuses (it supports a group called Students for Concealed Carry). Partly, it opposes even the most basic controls, such as legislation to ban gun sales to people on the government's terrorist watchlist, meaning a suspected terrorist can be denied the right to board a plane but not to buy a gun.

This has left the NRA with a problem. Now the Democrats have caved and the supreme court has a pro-gun majority, it simply has no worthy enemy. No one at the convention can point to a single concrete piece of legislation from the White House that they didn't like. Instead, they simply raise the spectre of an Obama second term. Unfettered by the need to stand again, he will come for your guns. There is absolutely nothing, beyond his right to appoint people to the Supreme Court and beyond, to suggest this is true. But there is nothing to prove it couldn't be either.

In Missouri, says Oxford, one representative attempted to add gun ownership to the list of protected categories alongside race, gender and disability so that no gun owner could be discriminated against in employment. "We asked her if she knew anyone that had ever happened to," says Oxford. "She didn't."

It is this fear, of the unknown and the known, both manufactured, exploited and real, that hangs over the convention. Time and again people paint scenarios in which I or my family might be attacked, threatened or in some way violated as a rationale for arming myself. In this atmosphere, Richardson's evocation of Rwanda, while extreme, is not entirely ludicrous.

"Ultimately it comes down to whether you trust other people or not," says one gun control activist. "We do, they don't." The ideas that the government might protect you, that the police might come, that if nobody had guns then nobody would need to worry about being shot, are laughed away. "By the time you call the police it could be too late," says Britt, who has never had to pull a gun on anyone but has had to make it clear he might a few times. "All they can do is write the report." When the breakfast is over I tell Britt that I am heading into town to see some people. "Be careful," he says. "St Louis is a very dangerous place."

 

Comments   

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-33 # Martintfre 2012-04-17 09:21
Every person has a right to defend their own life.
Legitimate function of government is to protect the inherent rights of the people - not to treat the people as government property.
 
 
+40 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:34
Explain for us the function of your gun in keeping the government at bay.
 
 
-12 # Martintfre 2012-04-17 11:14
Quoting Billy Bob:
Explain for us the function of your gun in keeping the government at bay.


I tried before - but it was not posted.

Imagine how different history would have been had 6 million German Jews been armed in the late 1930's through early 1940's
 
 
+12 # doginsuds 2012-04-17 17:17
It is one thing to be armed and dangerous, but quite another to be armed, dangerous and TRAINED. Sort of like learning how to drive which is easy, or Driver's ed which teaches you not to get into accidents.. The best example is the Swiss Army. Make every male go to Military training two weeks out of every year, and then keep a gun at home, (what Switzerland does.) That is your answer to your argument of what would have happened if the Jews were armed (or better still, the Cambodians in the 70s, or the Rwandans in the 90s, etc.) That certainly kept the Swiss safe in the 1930s and 40s. It always was strange how that country didn't go under the Nazi Boot. (Then again they laundered Nazi gold and money, too.)
 
 
+6 # ericlipps 2012-04-18 10:49
Quote:
Imagine how different history would have been had 6 million German Jews been armed in the late 1930's through early 1940's
It would have had to be, since there were no more than 600,000 Jews in all of Germany in 1933. The 6 million figure includes Jews from all over Europe.

And if they had all been rmed, down to the last infant, they'd still have been outgunned (and likely gunned down) by a determined Nazi Party.
 
 
+2 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:46
Absurd scenario. Not germaine to this conversation.
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-04-17 13:59
Billy Bob: Simply Look at history, for one the American Revolution..if England had disarmed the colonies we would still have a British accent...The British Attempt to Disarm the Colonists was a Substantial Cause to the Outbreak of the Revolutionary War. You might want to read for yourself the importance of this right and a government that has gone mad...
http://www.saf.org/lawreviews/wayment1.htm
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-04-17 14:16
Billy Bob: for you and anyone else who has a question about why arms are a defense against your own government:
England's attempt to violate the right to keep and bear arms of the people of Massachusetts was "the last straw," causing the Revolutionary War.[54] David Hackett Fisher's book, Paul Revere's Ride, is an excellent sequential account of the beginning of the Revolutionary War in Massachusetts.[ 55] In this history, Fisher explains that in the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, Parliament enacted the Coercive Acts which called for such things as closing the port of Boston, restricting the local town governments by curtailing their town meetings, creating a new system of courts in the colony, and lastly, revoking the Massachusetts Charter which was the form of government created by the people of that colony.[56] The outraged citizens [Page 213] of Massachusetts referred to the Coercive Acts as the "Intolerable Acts," and began to openly defy this new set of laws.[57]
As a result of this resistance, the British government began efforts to disarm the colonists to prevent war.[58] To achieve this result, Parliament banned all exports of muskets and ammunition to the colonies.[59] To further Parliament's aim, General Thomas Gage, the commander in chief of the British Army and the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, planned to prevent war by removing from Yankee hands the means of violent resistance.[60] More below
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-17 14:18
According to Gage's plan, the Red Coats were to disarm New England by a series of small, secret "surgical operations."[61 ] However, according to Fisher, one major drawback existed in Gage's plan; the people of New England were jealous of their liberties, particularly their right to keep and bear arms.[62]
Hence, the Minutemen were more than willing to contend with the British Army as it marched to Lexington and Concord in an attempt to disarm the rebellious patriots.[63] Despite their resulting debacle in this operation, General Gage and the British Army soon succeeded in disarming the individual citizens of Boston,[64] and this in turn helped to persuade the rest of the colonies to enter the war. On July 6, 1775, in its Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, the Continental Congress specifically mentioned the disarmament of the citizens of Boston as one of the reasons to take up arms against the British.[65]

The main reason to own and kep weapons is against your own government when it has taken a course against your rights... Stop buying into the false flag syndrome...if we are to remain free we must also have the means to remain free!
 
 
-1 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 17:57
Bravo John Locke to all of your above comments! COMMON SENSE vs emotional fear struck thinking.
 
 
+2 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:27
paulrevere: Common sense is not what they are looking for here...They want obedience and blind faith...
 
 
-4 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:42
John Locke I'm going to steal your post because it makes sense.
 
 
0 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:50
And when did this all happen? And you think this diatribe is germane to the limited gun control legislation that has been proposed at either a state or federal level?
 
 
-2 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:24
the function of an armed populace isnt so much an iduvidual deterrent but a collective one.
 
 
-3 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:22
why does this simple comment have so many negative views?
 
 
+1 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:51
Because it's not true.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:30
Todd try reading more You are so off base with your thinking...
 
 
-14 # Martintfre 2012-04-17 09:24
//J Christian Adams, a former department of justice lawyer, resigned after the department decided not to prosecute members of the New Black Panther party who brandished guns and intimidated poll watchers outside a voting station in Philadelphia in 2008.//

If Klans men were doing that action I would want them prosecuted as well.
 
 
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:34
Of course the klan is doing every bit as much and worse.
 
 
-8 # Martintfre 2012-04-17 11:34
Quoting Billy Bob:
Of course the klan is doing every bit as much and worse.


Really - Is the government giving them a free pass too?
Apparently at least 5 readers here think the Klan should be able to threaten voters.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-04-17 14:19
Martintfre That does not surprise me!
 
 
+1 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:51
Sure we do. Yea.
 
 
-6 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:27
so again please explain why bounty hunting by the new black panthers hanst been followed or prosecuted in popular media?
 
 
+13 # Majikman 2012-04-17 15:09
I recall TeaParty folks with assault weapons openly displayed at political rallies. They weren't arrested or even challenged...um ...where they white or black?
 
 
+4 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 09:56
I read every thing RSN sends out. I have even contributed to you. So now you know I'm no right wing gun nut. When you can show me a lawful way to get guns out of the hands of people like these: http://chasthuglife.blogspot.com/ Then talk to me about gun control. Do you really think people like the ones on this blog are going to give up their 9's and AK's? I am an old man. I can't defend myself with my bare hands anymore. Google Tryone Woodfork, the man who attacked and murdered the wife of a 92 year old WWII vet sending him to the hospital in critical condition. For what? $200 and TV set. Not a word about this from any national news agency. When you figure out how to keep guns out of the hands of drug dealers and gang bangers. THEN you can talk about gun control. I speak for all of us seniors out here living at the mercy of whatever crimnal feels entitled to rape and pilage our homes, then brag about it on facebook. Crime is not about people starving or needing food. Get real. Crime today is nothing but a blood sport complete with bragging rights, played out on every street in America. If you really want to watch this country descend into total chaos, take away the law abiding citizens right to defend themselves. You want to control guns, hell man, guns aren't the problem, bullets are the problem. The govenment will never come after the guns. What they will do is cut off the supply of ammunition or outlaw lead. Then and only then will the playing field be level.
 
 
+30 # Rainphase 2012-04-17 11:11
Most people who are in favor of gun control don't have a problem with people defending their homes with guns. They have a problem with laws like Stand Your Ground that allow someone to go pick a fight with someone else, shoot them and then claim self-defense, like Zimmerman did. And have a problem with the NRA's resistance to background checks and restrictions of any kind, including for convicted felons. Gun control advocates are also in favor gun registration, which would at least put a trail to a gun used in a crime. But the gun lobby is controlled by the gun industry and they want to make and sell as many guns as possible and if that's out into the street and into the hands of criminals, all the better - it encourages people to buy guns in reaction to crime and that's more money for them. So they stoke paranoia and actually oppose legislation that would increase safety and reduce crime in order to increase their profits and we all pay the price.
 
 
+5 # doneasley 2012-04-18 00:26
Quoting Rainphase:
Most people who are in favor of gun control don't have a problem with people defending their homes with guns.


Well said, Rainphase. Just a few more
points:
1. The Gun Lobby has put so much fear into legislators that they're paralyzed. One of the surviving victims of the VA Tech massacre, now a member of the Brady Campaign against Gun Violence, was on Capitol Hill today. He tried to get Congressmen to put forth an amendment that would keep guns out of the hands of:
o Convicted felons;
o Those convicted of domestic violence;
o Terrorists; and...
o People determined to be seriously mentally ill.
ALL he talked to - Republicans and Democrats, male and female - agreed that these people SHOULD NOT HAVE WEAPONS. But, to a person, they were AFRAID to introduce his amendment!

2. If you give the 2nd Amendment a good read and realize when it was ratified (1791), you'll understand that it was meant to allow us to "keep and bear arms" in SUPPORT of our government - not in OPPOSITION to our government as Gun Rights advocates would have you believe. Article I, Section 8 further defines the role of the MILITIA.

3. Those who think they can take up arms against the government have forgotten the lessons of the Branch Davidians and the MOVE organization in Philadelphia. Sure you can make a splash for as long as the military will allow it, but then you'd better go home.
 
 
-6 # paulrevere 2012-04-18 08:55
"it was meant to allow us to "keep and bear arms" in SUPPORT of our government - not in OPPOSITION to our government "

I beg to differ...the Constitution was written SOLELY as a limiting factor on government as it states what the government CANNOT do...per the hallowed words of the Declaration of Independance "when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the Object evinces as design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to throw off such Government..."

The present day parallels between the Brits back then and our rulers by theft today are undenaible...an d as I've stated previously on this thread, the shear number of weapons demands that authorities think twice before becoming overt with force.

Doubt nothing question everything for nothing is simple and little is true
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-04-18 15:24
Paul, You are incorrect...it is to protect against a renegade government and as the Declaration of Independencs states
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--Tha t to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"

The Second Amendment was added to the Bill of Rights to insure we had the ability...
 
 
-2 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:59
And your comparing our democrarcy to England under King George? I fail to see a connection.
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:31
Of course you would!
 
 
+1 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:57
Yes, and you'll recall the Florida police association was strongly against the Stand-Your-Grou nd law. Cops don't want all these guns in the hands of citizens. What about the theft of all these legal guns?
 
 
+2 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 11:55
Love how you follow the NRA line of "Obama may not take away our guns but he will get our ammo." Nobody ever suggested you can't keep a gun in your home for self protection. Nobody. But many are against conceal-carry laws and their follow-up law, stand-your-grou nd. You wouldn't have one without the other. Ask Trayvon martin's parents about this.
 
 
-13 # James Marcus 2012-04-17 09:58
Agree with Martyinfre, entirely
 
 
-29 # tc399 2012-04-17 10:04
The 'New Yorker' complains, and Huffington post is featuring the story, that -

"The United States is the country with the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world. (The second highest is Yemen, where the rate is nevertheless only half that of the U.S.) No civilian population is more powerfully armed."

They think it's a bad thing. But it is the ONLY reason we are still somewhat free. What kills more people than firearms?

(1) preventable medical mistakes in hospitals.
(2) self abuse (smoking, obesity, drugs, suicide)
(3) automobiles/vehicles
(4) falls - ladders/windows (yes, WINDOWS!)
(5) disease (flu, AIDS)
(6) table saws
(7) parental abuse/neglect
(8) stupidity
(9) hope/prayer (waiting for the police or FD to come and save you.)
(10) temperature extremes/natura l disasters
 
 
+13 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:36
I pose the same question to you. In what way does your gun ensure any of your Constitutional rights?
 
 
+13 # BVA 2012-04-17 15:08
And Yemen is the second most "somewhat free" nation in the world?
 
 
+4 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:30
[quote name="Majikman" ]I recall TeaParty folks with assault weapons openly displayed at political rallies. They weren't arrested or even challenged...um ...where

wow how dare you use common sense...lol
 
 
-28 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 10:09
In these times...our individual gun rights are even more important. The government, in its hysteria, fomented by the hysterical and undeniable in its irrationality at present fearstruck, cannot conceive of how to CONTROL the masses, especially in the numbers as stated above.

I cheer gun rights, and I do not trust those frothing with hysteria aimed at infringing those rights.

Considering we live in a country with a population exceeding 300 million, the number of gun deaths a year, especially, deaths resulting from a stranger doing armed assault, are small and even miniscule.

Centers of gang and drug related activity, probably should be overseen with intensity regarding guns. The vast majority, like probably 99% of gun owners do not kill people...to consider the call for disarming the US population is absolutely wrong and dizzy with over emotional reaction.
 
 
-1 # John Locke 2012-04-17 15:33
Paul absolutely: anyone who is willing to give up their weapons will deserve what happens after that...Fortunat ely I live in a state where the people are armed and understand what this government is all about, and we have the lowest crime rate in the nation...and everyone is armed...
 
 
-1 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:01
What state? I need to know so I won't drive through it.
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:33
Utah Stay away from I-15
 
 
-19 # dick 2012-04-17 10:17
People write, "Guns in the hands of gangs are ravaging our cities." There you have it. Our elected governments LET gangs & drug runners run major parts of our cities. Not Toronto. Not Quebec city. As long as the government FLAT OUT REFUSES to make us safe from psychos, rapists, macho aggressors, we have NO CHOICE but to defend ourselves. Arm all women. Arm all seniors. Arm all the vulnerable. Not with AKs, but with stunners or some high tech self defense apparatus. Govt WILL NOT protect you. Progressives Unite! Defend your loved ones.
 
 
+23 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:39
Progressives apparently need to unite and arm ourselves against our conservative neighbors.
 
 
-4 # John Locke 2012-04-17 15:37
Hey; Liberals have a right to disarm themselves, but they don't have that right to make me give up my means of defense...
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:03
What if you felt a machine gun and an RPG would make you safer? Is the government to permit those types of weapons? How about an artillary piece or a tank? Is that okay as well? Where is the line to be drawn?
 
 
+1 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:32
so now you advocate persoanl weapons?
why doe it have to be progressives against conservatives on this issue?
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:09
Mac because that is how you are defining the issue...
 
 
0 # shraeve 2012-04-24 21:03
How often is it that a conservative robs, rapes, and murders someone?
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-04-17 15:35
In Los Angeles the CIA armed the gangs...as long as we have a criminal government, guns are our only protection...an d from the government as well
 
 
0 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:33
John the CIA didnt arm cartels the gov't did with crappy arms sales.
 
 
-3 # John Locke 2012-04-18 06:55
MacW: The CIA armed the Bloods and the crypts!Two LA Gangs!
 
 
+2 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:03
Prove it. You can't and never will!
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:22
Hide your head in the sane maybe it will all go away... the problem here is you don't want to be informed...

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/Secret_ties_between_CIA_drugs_revealed_2625.shtml

http://ndsn.org/oct96/ciadrugs.html

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA/secret_war.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Ross_(drug_trafficker)

http://www.mega.nu/ampp/webb.html
 
 
+42 # irvingwood 2012-04-17 10:26
I'm just relieved that I don't live in the USA with all it's paranoia and violence. What stand out is the extreme hysteria with which gun-owners view their chances of being robbed or broken in to. The higher crime rate in the USA does not account for this. I blame the American male's hyper-sensitive ego and sense of powerlessness. All that vigilante-hero strutting and macho posturing is funny to outsiders, but deadly serious to American males. I feel sorry for them, but as long as they keep their penchant for violence at home I can live with it.
 
 
+6 # jwb110 2012-04-17 10:27
Th purpose of the 2nd Amendment is a way to protect a nation against a Giv't that has become oppressive. I am not a gun nut, though I do own handguns, but in light of the laws coming out of Washington that continue to infringe on the publics Constitutional Rights, I am not so sure that arming a potential milicia to protect us against our own Gov't. The Liberals have to let the Conservatives know that we are armed also. Don't tread on us either.
 
 
+16 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:37
How will your gun protect you against the government?
 
 
+2 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 11:06
It won't Billy. But the government is not physically attacking us in our own homes or the Walmart parking lot. Like these people:
http://chasthuglife.blogspot.com/?view=classic Control the bullets the same why a pharmacy controls perscriptions and the gun becomes just another tool to be used only when needed. google Chris Rcok + gun control.
 
 
+3 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 11:45
It is not ONE GUN, or ONE GROUP OF GUNS, but the combined number that serve to REQUIRE the government to think twice about a martial effort to qwell the protests of any sort...does anyone hear read what is going on against ecology protesters, animal rights protesters, military maneuvers in urban America, over 4000 SWAT actions a WEEK as measure in 2004???
First thing dictatorships or fascists or those who desire dominance do is take away a persons defenses...thin k about it.
 
 
+2 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:06
I am so afraid. I can just see the goernment attacking me with an M1A1 tank. But by God, I'll fight them off with my .22 rifle! Get real people.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:36
Todd you won't need to, a good citizen will always follow his governments orders...No further comment
 
 
0 # shraeve 2012-04-24 21:17
An occupying force cannot stay in their tanks forever. The M1A1 is huge, extremely heavy, uses an immense amount of fuel, and there are many places it cannot go. It is not invulnerable - no tank is. An occupation by M1A1s would not be sustainable.

About 20% - 25% of the US casualties in Iraq came from small arms fire. That is a significant percentage. It seems to me that the most common weapon among the Iraqis is the AK-47. The AK fires a wimpy, half-power round. It is very weak even compared to a 30-06, which is probably the most common deer rifle in the USA. The 30-06 is wimpy compared to some of the rifles that are in the hands of Americans. One person who wrote a book on police firearm self-defense said there are people in the USA with weapons that will shoot through ANYTHING.
 
 
-6 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:35
Quoting Billy Bob:
How will your gun protect you against the government?

It won't Billy. But the government is not physically attacking us in our own homes or the Walmart parking lot. Like these people:
http://chasthuglife.blogspot.com/?view=classic Control the bullets the same why a pharmacy controls perscriptions and the gun becomes just another tool to be used only when needed. google Chris Rcok + gun control.
 
 
+24 # concernedhuman 2012-04-17 10:32
All I ask is know one should be able to get a gun permit in any state without a 6 month wait and get checked out, are they legal, their age etc. that is all. What's the hurry. Also automatic weapons should not be legal period. I want to get a permit to go hunting and I would not mind waiting for 6 months, what is the big deal.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2012-04-17 10:42
Of course the response would be, "but ju-udge! I need to do some killin' NOW!!!"
 
 
-10 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:37
Billy no self respecting hunter would use that argument. This is the opinion of all that disavow hunting and its purpose to serve the almighty spotted owl.
 
 
+29 # Citizen Mike 2012-04-17 10:40
As I have said before, I have no problem with defining gun ownership as a civil right. One could reasonably keep a gun at home in case of some emergency.

But carrying a gun or wearing it in public places is a separate issue and in my opinion should properly be regulated by local laws.

A third issue is firing a gun at a person, this must be tightly regulated by criminal law. We must be careful to define when this action may or may not be permitted.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:38
Finally some commen sense! It is regulated by local laws....
 
 
+40 # seeuingoa 2012-04-17 10:44
The difference between USA
and democratic Europe:

No money in politics,
No guns,
No death penalty,
Universal healthcare.

W O W !! What a difference that makes.
 
 
-10 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:43
you obviously have no knowledge of EU poicy on gun laws.
1. France has very liberal gun ownership laws more so than the US.
2.Spain legal to hunt.
3.Italy legal to hunt
4.England legal to hunt.

If you really believe that money has no effect on politics in any country than you are silly.
Several european countries have the death penalty for capial murder they just dont exercise it.
Universal healthcare is not a cure all, ask immigrnats in France from former french colonies and see what thier benefits are.
 
 
+1 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:08
Come on, we know you can hunt in Europe. That's not what's being discussed here. As far a France's gun laws, I doubt what you say and I demand you prove it.
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-04-21 14:24
Todd stop demanding and do your own research...You have been wrong every time you make a demand!
 
 
0 # shraeve 2012-04-24 21:19
The last time I checked, France has some handguns in private hands. France also has a very low murder rate.
 
 
+2 # penhog 2012-04-20 10:58
Make me up some more stories these don't make the truth out of non sense and mis truth
 
 
+20 # Pondering and Pandering 2012-04-17 10:53
First let me make clear I suppot gun ownership and the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
But we Americans seem to have a strange craving for guns and violence. I've wondered if on one level it is a manhood thing for men who see their guns as an extension of their sexual potency. For women, I sense they are looking for some greater measure of protection from assault and fear is a real factor. Otherwise the NRA and the gun industry want to make money and people want to play with these things. That play can be deadly.
 
 
+16 # Peace Anonymous 2012-04-17 10:58
Nothing promotes emotional and insane rhetoric quite like discussions on guns and religion. There are other places in the world every bit as free as America. I have even encountered men with a long history in the military who have told me that Kabul is safer to walk in than D.C. Sad commentary isn't it?
 
 
+15 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 12:52
America is not free...we have an exponent larger prison population, local police that look like US Special Forces, laws like Posse Comitatus and Habeas Corpus struck down, a DHS that is running rampant on US highways and in US airports (feeling up old ladies and small children)and on and on...get a grip and recognize this reality please!
 
 
0 # shraeve 2012-04-24 21:21
That is because it is almost impossible to own a handgun in D.C.
 
 
+15 # Maverick 2012-04-17 11:03
==========
JIMMY423: "If you really want to watch this country descend into total chaos, take away the law abiding citizens right to defend themselves."
==========
Ummm . . . uh . . . really? So can you give me a list of countries which have descended into "total chaos" because, unlike us, they don't have enough guns to arm 90% of their population? Okay, I'll make it easier, just one country . . . name ONE country who has experienced "total chaos" because every citizen isn't armed like some wannabee gangsta' or mercenary.
==========
I agree on one thing. Guns don't kill people; only freakin' IDIOTS kill people. Easy access to guns just makes it a LOT easier for them to do so. If you are ever in the presence of a seriously bad guy? I mean a REAL bad guy -- so very UNlike how they are portrayed on TV? You'll never know it until it's too late. Pulling your gun will just make it easier for him to shoot you -- with your own gun no less. Who says there isn't cosmic justice in this world? In the meantime, try real hard to not 'accidentally' shoot any of your grandkids. (It happens.)
==========
sail4free
==========
 
 
-2 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 12:56
Tunsia, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somelia, Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morroco, Oman, how many more do you want? Who had the guns? The people, the private citizens or the tyrants? What's the difference between a government tyrannt and a street criminal? Tanks. As for REAL bad guys, give me a break. How REAL does an idiot trying to make his bones have to be? He's a human being. A bullet is a bullet. No REAL bad guy is going to break into my home so he can steal my TV and sell it for strip club tip money. It's the idiot wannabes both cops and robbers, the posers, who get all trigger happy. The REAL bad guys you mention, never do their own dirty work. They aren't the problem when it comes to self defense in your own home. You are right, you never see them, or hear them, they work in secret, and the evidence of their criminal behavior is the only residue of their involvement. In this sense they are just like politicians: Only in it for the money and the power.
 
 
0 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:47
Jimmy you have to realize that most who post on here have never seen that type of violence...not defending just saying.
 
 
+1 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 12:58
Red Herring on that 'show me one country' business. There has been no movement in history as powerful and dominant as that which the US LED hegemony displays. No NEED for guns as they enslave with minimal wages, debt, fear, pitting one social/religiou s group against another etc. See a write up or two on Edward Bernays and how he, with the help of his uncle Siggie Freud developed, in the name of corporations and for money and power, the manipulative psychologies and propaganda that show up today as world wide but particularly US populations of human 'bots enslaved to gmo foods, filling garages and storage units with the usless and redundant and kept there by their fears of destitution and bad health...that good enough there Maverick?
 
 
0 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 13:03
Oh, and my grandkids father defends the bad guys in court, so our grandkids are all pretty hip to both sides of the street violence argument. By the way, you might want to read the book: The Sociopath Next Door. It explains a lot about what motivates many of the REAL bad guys you mentioned. Then ask yourself if the book describes anyone know. And by the way, I grew up with Vietnam and the Civil Rights marches. I didn't get this old by accident.
 
 
+3 # Todd Williams 2012-04-20 12:10
It really kills me (no pun intended) that many of these conceal carry folks that I know are INCAPABLE of killing anyone and are not trained to do so. It's a dangerous thing to carry a concealed weapon.
 
 
+4 # szq5777 2012-04-17 11:21
I hate guns. I do not equate guns with freedom. Assult weapons and handguns represent horror, violence, and slavery.I do not own a gun and would not own one. Gun ownership would make me feel vicious and dirty! I would feel like an animal. America is not a civilized country. I do not see logicly where every citizen owning a gun could protect you from an oppressive government in this day and age. Are not nuclear weapons and all kinds of "smart bombs" in the hands of the government? Unless the NRA could issue an atomic bomb to every citizen the point is mute! I see no reason to believe that the government is going to put over 300 million people into concentration camps!
 
 
-3 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:48
well you are certainly not obliged to own one.
 
 
+2 # grouchy 2012-04-17 11:34
I once saw a total wall of a relative lined up with guns, all leaning up against the wall as per military formation. That is just one individual's collection. I have long thought just how many guns already exist out there in our society? So, if we pass gun control laws (there can theoretically be made a case for that--or not), just how do we get control over all these weapons? I think that program would cost us some additional taxes!
 
 
+16 # Martintfre 2012-04-17 11:42
Shooting at the wrong target.

If you all really really want to curb gun violence then it is time to end the insane war on Drugs that fuels the lions share of this -- From the Fast and Furious down to the picayune turf wars on St Louis streets.
 
 
+3 # ENetArch 2012-04-17 11:48
There seems to be a link made in this article and it's readers that gun owners are the main cause of gun violence. Is there any statistical facts that back this up?

In other words, what is the number of gun related incidents between registered gun owners and non-registered gun owners?
 
 
-2 # switch 2012-04-17 11:57
There is no 'reasonable gun control'.

I could agree w/anything proposed. 3-day waiting period? I have all I need now, I can wait 3 days (or 2 weeks). 1 gun a month? I cannot afford to buy one gun a month (but if they pass it, I'll feel it's my patriotic duty to do so. :)) No more full-auto? Practically there, they are so expensive, I'm trying to sell mine.

I would accept any/all those proposals - provided, we agree that's the last restriction. If it does not solve gun crime, tough. Try loosening controls.

But the Brady bunch would never agree to that. They will not be satisfied until every legal gun is confiscated and destroyed. Until every honest, law abiding citizen is dis-armed. At that point, truly the only people w/guns will be criminals.
 
 
+4 # BVA 2012-04-17 15:17
The gun manufacturers flood the market with more guns than there are potential legal gun purchasers, guaranteeing that more guns will go to criminal elements (here and in Mexico), and to the mentally unbalanced.

NRA lobbying campaigns are really marketing campaigns for guns. The NRA is the marketing trade association for the gun manufacturers.

They don't care how many outgunned police and innocent bystanders are killed and maimed by this marketing campaign.

They don't care how many more suicides they enable.

And they certainly don't care how much more tax revenue must be devoted to TSA-type inspections for public buildings, and to upgrade the police firepower and protective vests (Google AZ S.B. 2729)
 
 
-4 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:53
Okay seriously?
Right now all the gun manufacturers in the US are flooded with orderes due to "the President is coming to get your guns craziness" which is inflamed not by the NRA in asmuch as by local and state laws pertaining where yu live.
The NRA is no more powerful than the NAACP or ACLU which no one likes to admit.
Out gunned police officers are outclassed by illegal weapons to begin with, not magic unicorn inspired shipments from no where.
 
 
+8 # Citizen Mike 2012-04-17 11:58
Pon has a point, we have a cultural romanticism attached to guns which is fed by Hollywood and the press. Our ideas about the use of guns to solve problems do not serve us well personally or nationally. Every day brings us new stories about guns being used in domestic violence or personal disputes. And this blends right in with our international relations using armed intimidation instead of diplomacy.
 
 
+3 # JackB 2012-04-17 12:02
This is just liberal hypocrisy. They don't approve of guns so no one can have one.

There are legally owned guns & illegally owned guns. The vast majority of guns used in crimes are illegal guns. So of course it stands to reason to attack the legally owned guns.

There is no impact on criminal activity because no one is paying attention to the illegal guns. Heck, we have an administration that makes them available to criminal cartels.

If this, or any administration, seriously targets illegal weapons then gun control could become a reality. What we have today is hypocrisy - nothing more.
 
 
+1 # penhog 2012-04-20 10:55
there are no conservatives who are anti gun and there are no liberals who condone gun rights...your hypocrisy is showing
 
 
+8 # oldguitars 2012-04-17 12:27
I'm a believer in education. There are lots of guns out there and we need to be sure that kids and guns don't ever get together. When they are old enough, they need to learn that these things are not toys and that they have a purpose. The best thing, to me at least, is if you are going to have a gun in the house, get anyone who might use it to the range and teach them basic gun safety.
I'm much more afraid of the person on the road texting their friends than my neighbor who might have a gun.
We are a gun society, many uneducated on the dangers of gun ownership. I'd like to see a more concentrated educational program for first-time gun buyers and a requirement that you know how to use
it correctly and that you prove that, at a range, and increase the level of safety and awareness of the responsibility of owning a gun. There are lots of ways to hurt other people, guns are just one, and probably a small one in the big picture.
Lock them up, learn to use them and respect what they can do. The horse is out of the barn on this one, education
and safety are what counts. Increased gun laws will just create more felons
who have yet to be arrested, most of which are law-abiding citizens.
I'm not an NRA member but they seem to be working in this direction and I think that's good. One issue is that we have so many different laws in different places that it's hard to know what's legal and what's not.
Be safe,they are not toys.
 
 
-1 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:54
careful yo're using common sense there.
 
 
+5 # Sophie 2012-04-17 12:44
Apparently, mentally unstable individuals, former criminals, or whoever can own a gun. Why do Americans need to own assault rifles, and other military weapons of war? After taking a look at gun deaths and related debilitating injuries resulting from gun wounds--NOTHING justifies the mantra of the NRA. They are despicable. What the NRA is preaching is NOT about democracy at all.
Read--

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/10/us-gun-crime-gabrielle-giffords-jared-lee-loughner

"On a federal level, since Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2009 the US has moved backwards on gun control. His election prompted a sudden surge in sales of guns...

The president has made no attempt to revive the ban on assault weapons that Bill Clinton introduced and George Bush allowed to lapse in 2004. If he had, Loughner wouldn't have been able to carry his Glock 19 loaded with 30 bullets, all of which he fired within a matter of seconds. He probably still would have shot his target, Giffords, but he wouldn't have taken the life of six others and wounded 14 more.

Instead, Obama has allowed, on his watch, guns to be carried for the first time in the US's national parks. He has watched as the courts have stripped Washington and Chicago – two cities troubled by high gun crimerates – of their stringent controls on handguns."
 
 
+5 # paulrevere 2012-04-17 13:09
We should also note here in this discussion that the US is by many factors of 10 the largest producer of armaments in the world...those things are not produced by just a few hundred thousand of our population...ev er consider how many MILLIONS of our fellow citizens are involved in arms production...?

Might there just be a connection to the citizenry and arms psychology involved with our heaviest industry?
 
 
0 # MacW 2012-04-17 21:58
okay for:
1. The UK Gaurdian is the same newspaper that advocated disarming the police force of Britain (worked really well in your riots last year)
2. The assualt weapons ban wouls have no effect since it was for so called :assualt rifles" not pistols.
Please keep your comments in the KNOW for your own country,
 
 
+6 # aitengri 2012-04-17 12:46
That amendment is a garbled piece of language, and is responsible much of our confused debate. Yes, "a well regulated militia", meaning, a citizen army, well regulated (we haven't had that for what, a couple of hundred years?) - but this is what is meant by "the right of citizens to bear arms". Not a horde of individuals randomly "carrying" all over the map! The original militias were call up groups, part of one's domestic obligation to society. For a while, universal conscription sort of implied that connection to the "militia" concept. Still, having to parse that ambiguity in the original language creates today's confusion and lies at the root of the semantic problem. There is sits, like a dumb lump, the one simple conditional clause, with no elaboration, just an assumption long gone with the brains that "assumed" it, dissolved into the earth feeding trees in memorial cemeteries.
 
 
-5 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:02
Quoting aitengri:
That amendment is a garbled piece of language, and is responsible much of our confused debate. Yes, "a well regulated militia", meaning, a citizen army, well regulated (we haven't had that for what, a couple of hundred years?) - but this is what is meant by "the right of citizens to bear arms". Not a horde of individuals randomly "carrying" all over the map! The original militias were call up groups, part of one's domestic obligation to society. For a while, universal conscription sort of implied that connection to the "militia" concept. Still, having to parse that ambiguity in the original language creates today's confusion and lies at the root of the semantic problem. There is sits, like a dumb lump, the one simple conditional clause, with no elaboration, just an assumption long gone with the brains that "assumed" it, dissolved into the earth feeding trees in memorial cemeteries.



So the Supreme Court re-afirming that the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution pertains the "all citizens" of the United States isn't good enough?
 
 
-4 # Martintfre 2012-04-18 05:58
How about this for clarity
"Right to Bear Arms
Section 21

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."

That was written and approved by Quakers see Pennsylvania State Constitution.
 
 
+7 # Wind in His Hair 2012-04-17 12:50
Most people in my area "carry", and we wave hello at our neighbors. We don't throw them the finger or curse at them. Strangers are eyed with suspicion until they state their business. Of course I live in that part of Pennsylvania between Philly and Pittsburgh that is called Alabama. I worked hard to elect Obama and I am also a life member of the NRA. I am a proud union member and believe a woman should have the right of choice. There are no clear cuts on this issue and never will be.
 
 
+10 # oldguitars 2012-04-17 13:02
This is a sad commentary on what we think of as important. My neighbor is dying because he can't afford his medications, another neighbor is about to lose his home because he can't get a job. Greed is rampant, politicians divided down party lines and paralyzed by party politics. Drug use is everywhere, many of the drugs are legal. And we want to spend time and money worrying about guns? Look at the big picture here and lets fix what we can fix and make a real difference in the quality of American life. All the headlines tell of about the people killed by some fool with a gun when in that same day, hundreds died because they raided their own family drug cabinet and killed themselves getting high.
Get real, fight what is really affecting the huge majority of Americans, help them out, guns kill a few, our habits, foods, drugs and stupidity kills thousands.
 
 
+6 # Old Man 2012-04-17 13:09
People....All the Gun Companies, Manufacturing, retailing, is a very large industry in itself. Lobbyists in this industry are so entwined with government you will never have your weapons taken from you, you will always be able to protect your delusional paranoia.
 
 
-4 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:04
kind of like pot and glaucoma?
 
 
0 # penhog 2012-04-20 10:52
the constitution is subject to debate by delusional people with an agenda based upon their own personal values concerning their neighbors rights.
 
 
+14 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-04-17 13:40
If "penis enlargers" really worked, gun sales would go down.
 
 
+7 # kitster 2012-04-17 15:05
how can you be a true christian and not own a gun? rev. neut gingrich...afte r contemplating the fat around his belly button...declar ed at the national redneck association (nra) convention that every person in the world should have a gun. he said it is their god-given right. and who knows more about god than gingrich? after all, he wrote one of the gospels. neuterotomy comes right after john in the new conservative bible.
 
 
+5 # BVA 2012-04-17 15:27
NRA lobbying campaigns are really marketing campaigns for guns. The NRA is the gun manufacturers trade association. The corporate executives of the gun manufacturers want more profits to increase their salaries and to impress Wall Street increasing the value of the corporate stock. They don't care how many outgunned police and innocent bystanders are killed and maimed by this marketing campaign. They don't care about how many criminals they arm for the gang wars and other criminal activities. They don't care if this increases the number of domestic disputes that end in tragedy. They don't care how many more mass murders they facilitate. They don't care how many more suicides they enable. They don't care how much more tax revenue must be devoted to TSA-type inspections for public buildings, and to upgrade the police firepower and protective vests (Google AZ S.B. 2729).

The gun manufacturers flood the market with more guns than there are potential legal gun purchasers, guaranteeing that more guns will go to criminal elements (here and in Mexico), and to the mentally unbalanced. They exploit the membership of the NRA (most of whom sincerely believe that their hunting rifles, their marksmanship handguns, and their "walking at night in the city" protective handguns are about to be taken away by malevolent government authorities). They and the leaders of the NRA are as close to being evil as one can be without "officially" signing away their souls to the Devil.
 
 
-5 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:11
BVA currently the gun industry is overwhelmed for orders and that includes all major and minor manufactureres.
The NRA might have it's extreme wing that screams when the windblows but it focuses it's main attention to federal laws. ALL legal gun owners are concerned about stand your grounbd laws as thats the very reason we bought them.
The NRA has nothing to do with "pumping up" gun production anymore than GM does producing cars.
 
 
+4 # BenECoyote 2012-04-17 17:04
Vermont can hardly be accused of being a 'conservative' state, yet the very same constitution which outlawed slavery long before the United states, also strongly guarantees gun ownership rights. Unlike the US constitution, which has vague language as to why the right to bear arms is unambiguous:
Article 16th. Right to bear arms; standing armies; military power subordinate to civil

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State - and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

Vermont has some of the most lenient gun laws in the US, yet, our streets are safer than most states. The truth is, restricting gun ownership makes it easier for a government to trample the rights of the citizens. I am hardly a right winger, I support the immediate closure of Vermont Yankee, the labeling of GMO's, Universal health care as a basic human right, ending corporate personhood, ending corporate welfare for non sustainable businesses; but, as Vermont has proven, lenient gun laws do not equal rises in violent crime. Gun laws do not prevent criminals from possessing guns, nor do they lower violence, whereas, laws which carry draconian penalties for using firearms in the commission of a crime are effective deterrents, and yet retain the basic principles of liberty.
 
 
+8 # Rick Levy 2012-04-17 17:12
Real men don't worship guns.
 
 
-3 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:12
real men don't worship blind allegiance either.
 
 
-1 # tc399 2012-04-17 17:18
That "yemen" comment was propaganda from the anti-gun idiots. Let's talk about Switzerland or Israel where EVERYONE has to have a gun by law.
 
 
+2 # tc399 2012-04-17 17:22
I don't worship guns. I don't worship fishing poles either, but I use both on my farm to put food on the table.
 
 
+2 # davehaze 2012-04-17 18:18
Jesus and guns are not compatible. If you wanna be an atheist and arm yourself to the teeth okay by me. But a Christian? You either believe in the humble turn-your-other -cheek, a new-law-I-give- to-you, and unless-you-beco melike-children -you-cannot-ent er-the-kingdom- of-heaven kind of guy or you believe in Rambo. And guns are a false god if there ever was one.

There is a big disconnect with the folks who call themselves Christians and what they really want -- which is dead folks riddled with bullets. Which is what we got.
 
 
-6 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:14
okay you need to explain this one further...just because you own a gun and use it to hunt or defend you're home is no more against Christs teachings than carrying a sword in those times.
 
 
-6 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:38
Quoting davehaze:
Jesus and guns are not compatible. If you wanna be an atheist and arm yourself to the teeth okay by me. But a Christian? You either believe in the humble turn-your-other-cheek, a new-law-I-give-to-you, and unless-you-becomelike-children-you-cannot-enter-the-kingdom-of-heaven kind of guy or you believe in Rambo. And guns are a false god if there ever was one.

There is a big disconnect with the folks who call themselves Christians and what they really want -- which is dead folks riddled with bullets. Which is what we got.


you don't have to be christian and own a gun, no to mention that believing only that Christianity is the dominant religion in the world with your belief's subjective to nother religion
 
 
+3 # davehaze 2012-04-17 18:35
"If 'penis enlargers' really worked, gun sales would go down." Pablo Diablo is correct.

If guns were retooled to look like vaginas few guys would pick one up and point it at anyone.

Real guys like that over large fully loaded phallus --tho they'll never admit.
 
 
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-17 18:38
"Deadly Attachment" Those two words are enough ... People Kill People, too many of those people are Children. Adults want to kill each other let us make a large stadium and let the crazies go to it...Let Cheney lead them. But let's keep them in confinement so the rest of us can live.
 
 
0 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:15
what does that have to do with the price of tea in china?
 
 
+6 # corals33 2012-04-17 19:43
guns and racism ..well never mind we will still run around the world telling everyone else how great we are. america america!!!
 
 
+6 # corals33 2012-04-17 19:50
america has the most weapons of mass destruction and you people are debating gun ownership??? you're mad!!
 
 
+5 # corals33 2012-04-17 20:01
the white gentlemen who carved up africa at the BERLIN CONFERENCE boasted that they had guns while the africans did not. the result? untold riches for all the white countries and a lofty postion from which they can now call black people the thieves and violent criminals of this world.Praise the lord and pass the ammunition.
 
 
-6 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:39
okay and that coraleces to the mad profusion of african countries having ho many weapon as opposed to regulated ownership in the United States how?
 
 
-6 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 20:03
@DaveHaze Did you say a person can't call themselves Christian and own a gun? Then let me ask you this. What exactly was Peter trying to do to the Roman soldier when he cut the guy's ear off? Understand this about Christianity and self defense: Peter was not aiming for the soldiers ear, if he had enough muscle in the swing to take off an ear Peter would have cut into the soldier's shoulder. What happened was Peter was going for the guy's juggler, he came across with a side swipe, he was trying to cut his throat and the soldier ducked enough to only lose an ear. Either way, Peter was trying to kill him, which prompted Christ to make the famous statement, those who live by the sword will die by the sword, or gun, to bring the thing forward to today. But Jesus never told Peter he had no right to carry. They all carried back then. This is not the scenario being played out along the Mexican border with the US. Those guys are not killing each other in the name of the Lord. And it's working its way into every major US city. This is not what gun ownership is about, waging war in the streets. This discussion goes to the very center of the constitution and the rights of every law abiding citizen to defend themselves against all enemies both foreign and domestic. Look at this web blog and tell me which one of these guys you think is a legal gun owner. http://chasthuglife.blogspot.com/?view=flipcard
 
 
0 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 20:05
@DaveHaze Tell me exactly how you would negotiate with any one of those characters in the blog and get him to cooperate in peace and Christian fellowship with his neighbors in a gun free environment. I'm all ears. Until, I guess, one of these fine upstanding disciples of Christ decides he wants stick his 9 in one of them, right before he robs my house. What should I say to him Dave? What would you say to him? Or Them? You know, how would you defend yourself against a "crew," since they never, ever have the stones to do a job alone.
 
 
0 # jimmy423 2012-04-17 20:12
@Maverick If as you state "only freakin' IDIOTS kill people", then please by all means, tell me how I should defend myself when confronted by a freakin' idiot with a gun. Maybe you think I should just stand there in my PJs and debate him to death. Or read the bible to him? "now, now Mr. Gangsta, you know Jesus don't like no thugs jacking up other people's s@#t, so you just run along now, before I have to call the po-po." Give me a break. You don't know what fear is until you come home, with your wife and kids and come face to face with a total stranger in your bedroom who then pulls a gun on you. Been there and done that. I'm lucky to be alive, I think the only thing that saved me was having my whole family with me. He would have had to kill us all and at the time it was too much trouble. All he wanted was our TV. But I am curious Maverick, how would you handle a situation like that? You know? If it was your wife and kids? Would you really try to reason with the person, or just get down on your knees and beg him for your life? I truly hope you never have to answer that question in real time, like some Americans somewhere in this country have to answer it every 12 seconds of every day 24/7 in one out of five homes in the US. Google Tryrone Woodfork and tell me how you would feel if his victims had been your parents or grandparents. Never again, not me, not in this lifetime.
 
 
-1 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:19
jimmy423, unfortunately i don't think most folks understand what it is as you describe living in protected communities, public housing where many are forbidden to wn firearms or just have faith that the police will show up FAST because they gave to the local policeman's ball.
 
 
+3 # Peace Anonymous 2012-04-17 21:57
As usual we move to the extreme "what if" cases to justify our insanity. Any chronic alcoholic can find a good reason to drink. The truth, however, is the reason to stay sober is always more sensible. Do you really believe the answer to all of the senseless gun deaths in the USA is for everyone, everywhere to be packing? Do you think that will create a better and more prosperous world for future generations? Or is it time we changed how we think? If a drunk can change how he thinks about picking up a drink, can we not change how we think about picking up a gun? Think about it.
 
 
-1 # penhog 2012-04-20 10:48
face the fact that yout neighbors have thought and rendered their opinions and it has weight equal to your dissenting opinion. Zip up, your chauvinism is showing.
 
 
0 # MacW 2012-04-17 22:43
According to Gage's plan, the Red Coats were to disarm New England by a series of small, secret "surgical operations."[61 ] However, according to Fisher, one major drawback existed in Gage's plan; the people of New England were jealous of their liberties, particularly their right to keep and bear arms.[62]
Hence, the Minutemen were more than willing to contend with the British Army as it marched to Lexington and Concord in an attempt to disarm the rebellious patriots.[63] Despite their resulting debacle in this operation, General Gage and the British Army soon succeeded in disarming the individual citizens of Boston,[64] and this in turn helped to persuade the rest of the colonies to enter the war. On July 6, 1775, in its Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, the Continental Congress specifically mentioned the disarmament of the citizens of Boston as one of the reasons to take up arms against the British.[65]

The main reason to own and kep weapons is against your own government when it has taken a course against your rights... Stop buying into the false flag syndrome...if we are to remain free we must also have the means to remain free!
 
 
+5 # America 2012-04-18 03:50
Looks like most want America to move back to the violent gun era of the Wild West.
Individuals who perpetuate crime with guns are essentially cowards. Guns inflict mortal damage with little effort, just pulling a trigger. Just like that ... a life is taken.

When it is easy to procure a gun the mentally unstable, the cowards and the drug runners and criminal types take over.
We all are outraged by the Mexican drug war around and south of our borders. The key element that provides the killing resources are the easy access to guns IN THE USA.
Quote from a media report >> "MEXICO CITY -- About 70 percent of the guns seized in Mexico and submitted to a U.S. gun-tracing program came from the United States, according to a report released by three U.S. senators Monday." How ridiculous that we beat up on the Mexicans for the drug trade when WE supply them wth the resources.

How can having a gun in one's possession save us from the 'crazies' when we should start with tighter gun control and restircting access.

Do we seriouly want to escalate our country into one of violence and man to man shoot outs!
 
 
+1 # seeuingoa 2012-04-18 07:34
To MacW:

Of course I talk about CULTURAL
differences. I thought that was obvious.
 
 
0 # Maverick 2012-04-18 08:05
==========
JIMMY423: "And it's working its way into every major US city."
==========
And the paranoia underneath the foundation of all this pro-gun nonsense reveals its true colors.
==========
sail4free
==========
 
 
-1 # Sensible1 2012-04-18 09:23
The NRA is an important ally of the government. While the NRA promotes it's sale of guns, they do not push for unlimited weaponry. With the help of the NRA, only certain weapons are made available to the people, stopping short of weapons which can mitigate the kind of guns and weapons used by police and the military. This would prevent an armed take over by the people, unless you possess a Sherman tank, nuclear weapons, or WMD's in your arsenal. If you think the NRA goes to sleep at night thinking about constitution, rights, freedom, Davey Crocket, and all that romantic stuff, you're wrong. Its about the money, like everything in our society, and as long as the NRA can make billions selling guns, that's all that matters.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2012-04-19 04:07
The gun fetish in amerikkka is mostly marketing. Americans would buy a pile of dog shit if it were marketed well. Remember "pet rocks." The whole crap about the second amendment, keeping the government at bay, and self-protection s is only the marketing campaign. People quote advertising slogans as if they were real.

Guns are really expensive. A typical 9mm semi-auto can cost almost $1000. If someone actually uses it, bullets can cost almost a dollar each. What a stupid way to blow off a lot of money.

The gun manufacturers and their chief marketing company, the NRA, are laughing all the way to the bank. They've gotten into designing guns like fashion items -- pink ones for women, ugly vicious looking ones for men.
 
 
0 # Wind in His Hair 2012-04-19 05:14
There is no more divisive issue for Democrats than this one. They should have come down on the right side of this issue fifty years ago. Our country would be a much better place to live in. Republicans gained control and ran the country into the ground. People will vote for their guns, face it, it's true.
 
 
+3 # MrBtfsplk 2012-04-19 11:20
Always keep in mind that Politicians, Oligarchs, and Despots prefer an unarmed populace.
Never Forget all those countries who disarmed their people and killed millions within decades after the fact.
In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
This type of scenario is often repeated in history, and is difficult to find records of... I wonder why?
 
 
+3 # Electricrailwaygod 2012-04-19 17:49
America (United States) is THE most violent country on this planet! This absolutely INSANE! To arm everyone to the teeth! The NRA PROFITING off all this mayhem, doesn't really give a God damn whether everyone kills everyone else in a free-for-all! (So long as the guns are purchased and the weapon industry is making goobs of money)!

I am of Japanese decent. Yes some of us behaved badly during the Second World War. Again that was the GOVERNMENT, Tokyo! Not the ordinary Japanese people (Same holds true for Nazi Germany). These people were under DURESS under a FASCIST DICTATORSHIP and were FORCED to comply! They did NOT do so willingly!

That will happen in America as well, if these gun totting idiots go around threatening everyone!

I am going back to Japan soon -- to a modern post-war CIVILISED country! Japan has STRICT limitations on just who may own or possess a weapon! I AM ONE THOUSAND PERCENT IN FAVOUR OF THIS RESTRICTION! Japan is NOT a violent country! Even with the very small percentage who are members of the Yakuza, even that organisation has been moving away from senseless killing and into extortion, pornography, prostitution et al. For the most part Japan is a VERY tame and civilised country! That is MY mentality, a CIVILISED SOCIETY, a COLLECTIVE society! That is today's Japan!

America is too violent, sayonara America!
 
 
-1 # penhog 2012-04-20 10:45
The extremists think it wise to tamper with our constitution. The majority of free people want the right to arm themselves with firearms, untampered with by political dreamers who think that they and they alone can see a much better way of living. That's always the way of extremists.
 
 
+1 # colvictoria 2012-04-20 14:09
The one commandment that has always stuck in my mind is the one that says "thou shall not kill".
Having lost my youngest sibling (age 15) to gun violence I know the pain and sadness that comes when someone so young is taken away from this earth in such a violent way.
Reading all of these posts it seems that there is a lot of fear out there and not a whole lot of love and compassion emanating from our hearts.
No matter what situation I am in I would never carry a gun nor ever use one. I could never live with myself knowing that I took someone's life even if it was for self defense.
My life here on this earth plane is impermanent We are all mortals and we will all die. I'd like to spend my short time here being peaceful, mindful and fearless. When we live fearlessly there is no need to arm ourselves and live like we are in a prison.
I feel sorry for those people who live their short lives with so much hate, distrust, disdain, racism, violence and most of all FEAR.
 
 
0 # Brumbyy with 2Ys 2012-04-21 15:33
As I look on from shores afar in Australia at this debate and argument, I can't help returning to a statement in the original story above that eptiomises ( sorry no Z USA) the essence of the problem. In this I believe no gun problem will every be solved until these issues in your great country are truly addressed.

"This banal iteration conveniently ignores the fact that people can kill people far easier with guns than almost anything else and that, ""in a country with high levels of inequality, poverty and segregation, such as America, they are more likely to do so."""
 
 
0 # Ronv 2012-04-22 08:41
If guns don't kill people, then why is the military still buying them?

Just wondering...
 

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