Saturday, January 12, 2013

Call For Honesty In The Gun-Grab Debate

It is no secret that I strongly uphold, support, and defend the Second Amendment.

I uphold the whole US Constitution including the 16th Amendment, which I would love to see repealed. However, it is the supreme law of the land and I support it as long as it remains.

The US Constitution isn't arbitrary. It isn't subject to moral relevancy. It is a "living document" only in the aspect that it contains provisions to be amended as necessary.

With school shootings and mass shootings falsely perceived as on the rise and at an all-time high, the debate for stricter gun control has dominated political discussions.

As a citizen, I would love to see some honesty and facts from both sides of the argument. The facts have been so skewed, it makes fact-checking a nightmare and devolves the whole debate into emotive ad hominem attacks and false rhetoric.

Joey Biden made the threat that Obama was going to grab guns through executive orders. However, he remained ambiguous and vague on exactly what those EOs could be. Joey, be honest. Constitutionally, what is Obama allowed to do? The Second Amendment is clear. He cannot infringe upon the rights to own and carry firearms. The policy that infringes upon that by banning privately owned firearms from federal buildings is already in place.

Some on the right have screamed that Obama will make these rules by executive decree, just like he has with over 900 other EOs. The fact is that Obama has not issued over 900 EOs. The official records show he has issued less than 150 EOs.

EOs, however, are supposed to be administrative guidelines on how legislation will be enacted and executed. The legislation is the order, the mission. EOs are commanders' guidance for implementation. Anything beyond that is a violation of the limits on authority the US Constitution places upon the executive branch.

I've  heard arguments that movies and video games are spawning this violence.

There were no video games in 1929. History shows that 1929 was the year with the most mass shootings in our history. More kids died in these mass shootings in 1929 than have in Colombine through Sandy Hook. In those days, movies were not as graphic. Music was far less violent. Kids played "cops and robbers" with sticks. There is no provable correlation. So, let's be honest and logical.

A more logical finger could be pointed to the mainstream news media who glorify these acts of violence and make the perpetrators famous (infamous) with their way of publicizing these tragic events as entertainment spectacles. While more reasonable and logical, this is almost as ridiculous. Your average, common, decent person does not, in their right mind, consider "going postal" as an act of glory.

The call for bans on so-called "assault rifles" is ridiculous. There is already a restriction on fully-automatic "machine guns" and weapons with "burst fire" capabilities. However, that ban against assault rifles was in place at the time of the Colombine massacre. It didn't stop it. Such a ban as well as a ban on magazine capacities greater than 10 rounds are in place in California. They didn't stop a 16 year old who was tired of being bullied from taking a shotgun to Taft High School and shooting two other students.

In the case of that 16 year old, the soft "I'm OK, You're OK, bullies are mean" counseling didn't seem to help either. Medications were definitely not the answer. The kid needed a father figure and a backbone to stand up to the bullies. The backbone he grabbed was a shotgun. A better one would have been a few boxing lessons and a Pyrrhic victory, at least, in standing up to them. When I think of incidents such as these, I find myself recalling the movies "3 O'Clock High" and "My Bodyguard". 

We can blame pharmaceuticals, sure. However, again, we have no proof that these drugs nor the withdrawal caused these violent, psychotic breaks. We can surmise that many of these shootings were premeditated. So, did these monsters decide they would stop medications and plan a mass homicide? That is not likley, but is feasible. Sick minds concoct sick plans.

I've seen statistics demonstrating how low gun violence is in the UK versus the US. However, even with a 15+ year old ban on firearms in the UK, they still have gun related violence and death. Criminals still have guns and still use them for crime. In addition, the UK still has a high violent crime rate. It is just that criminals are using knives and bludgeoning devices such as hammers and axe handles to kill people rather than guns. In considering this, I'd rather be shot to death than beaten into a vegetative state, how about you?

Then we have the basis for the Second Amendment itself. For some reason, the gun-grabbers are going to hunting and sport-shooting clubs asking about what would be acceptable gun control measures. That avoids all reason and logic. The Second Amendment isn't about hunting and fishing.

The Supreme Court did rule that that the Second Amendment was about personal, private protection of life, liberty and property, though. They also ruled that it is not the job of any police force to protect individual life. It is their job to respond to crimes, not to prevent them.

If you doubt that, consider the case of Donna Kristofak. Donna had a court order on her violent ex-husband. She called the police because he continued to stalk her, making repeated attempts on her life. Yet, despite the court order, police could do nothing until he actually committed a crime that violated  the restraining order. He finally did. He stabbed Donna to death.

Police response times average around 23 minutes nationwide. This does include your more rural areas where a police responder may have a 25 minute drive to the location. In most cities, the average is less than 15 minutes.

It takes 8 minutes to bleed out from an arterial rupture. It's why the US Army changed its first aid training to quickly employ a tourniquet, when feasible, to get bleeding under control. This change in procedure saved hundreds of US Soldiers' lives in combat compared to the Vietnam era procedure of starting with a pressure bandage.

That means the police and ambulances have 8 minutes from the time a criminal attacks to get to you to save your life. In the case of the woman who saved her two 9 year old twins, the police took 11 minutes to arrive from the time they were called. The assailant was already in the house. The 911 dispatch had just relayed, through her husband, that the responders were on the way when the assailant started breaking down the hatch to the crawlspace. She shot him 5 out of 6 times. The police arrived minutes later. They arrived in time to save the criminal's life so he can stand trial. However, they may not have made it in time to keep the woman and her kids from harm had she not shot him.

Ed Schultz made some hair-brained comment that no civilian has ever stopped a shooting. There are hundreds of true stories that demonstrate how private citizens with carry permits have stopped crime. There are even more that exemplify how a firearm in a home has stopped crime. In fact, an on-the-scene civilian with a carry permit is already there. There is no "response time" involved. So, they tend to act quickly enough that what could have become a mass shooting is held to lower victims. If the shooting has lower than 5 victims (4 or less), it is not classified as a "mass shooting". So, like a terrorist attack prevented by changing security postures and measures, we cannot accurately calculate how many mass shootings have ever been thwarted.

The Second Amendment is not meant to grant the right to bear arms. It is meant to protect a right that is already there. We were born with it. That is the plain truth.

The founders acknowledged the right. The protection was written in as an after-thought because some forward-thinking individuals foresaw a day when the government may attempt to infringe upon that right. They wanted the people to have a constitutionally mandated protection for that right so the government could not steal it on its road to devolving into tyranny.

The founders fought a hard war against a tyrant who wanted, among other  things, to deprive the colonists of firearms. They also wanted  to force the colonists to give up their property to house the imperial army.

The revolution was largely fought by free citizens who did not give up their firearms. They jumped in and fought in their communities when British forces attempted to occupy.

That same right later came in handy when, in 1812, the British came back attempting to reclaim the liberated states.

During the Cold War, an underlying paranoia of  Soviet infiltration lead to a desire to be  ready to repel such tyranny should it invade.

The actor Adam Baldwin, who played John Casey on the TV show "Chuck", made a remarkable reference on Twitter a few days ago. Adam is only a few years older than I and we both attended high school in Illinois. His high school, New Trier, in a Chicago suburb, had marksmanship classes, once upon a time. They taught students how to safely employ and fire a .22 caliber rifle. In fact, in the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, many high schools across the country had marksmanship teams. By the late 70s, most schools discontinued these programs. Many summer camps held similar classes. The intentions behind these classes were to teach teenagers gun safety. They taught them that firearms are tools, not toys. However, the primary purpose, other than safety, of these classes was to train individuals in firearm marksmanship so they could assist in defending their homes, properties, families, communities, and the nation against armed aggressors.

Embracing the Second Amendment and teaching kids to properly and safely use firearms betters the nation. It gives the armed forces, police forces, and other necessary armed militia a partially trained base to draw its volunteers from.

Then we get back to that "tyranny" fear and the prime purpose behind the Second Amendment. Its purpose is not to arm militia. Its purpose is to enable to defend against an armed militia that is being employed by a government turned tyrannical. That comma, often referred to as ablative, is not. It has meaning. It changes the meaning of the clauses. That meaning is simply "because the governments at the state and federal levels have militia, the individual people must also be allowed to be armed in case they need to defend themselves against corruption and tyranny".

In any respect, any measure to curb, hinder, restrict, or prohibit the ownership or carrying of firearms is a violation of the Second Amendment. 

So let's start with the facts. If you want to talk about reducing gun violence and increasing gun safety, let's start with education. Let's start with family values with good parental figures, both male and female role models. Let's get back to the times when kids played rough, 2-hand-touch football on the street or in a vacant lot instead of online gaming.