Guns And Ballots

The hot topic around the US these days is guns.  Should there be increased controls on gun ownership and use?  President Obama, along with many others think so.  Many others think not.

You’ve heard the arguments so many times before.  Guns are a Constitutional right, the government has no business interfering.

Guns involve, I believe, personal freedom and national security.  Sport shooting, hunting, and to some extent, personal protection are freedoms which in and of themselves, do not interfere with the rights of others.  So why shouldn’t these activities be practiced?

The conflict arise with where we exercise these freedoms, and when there are too many guns.   Hunting or shooting skeet on Main Street is obviously not acceptable.  Using a gun for personal protection inside ones home seems reasonable, but carrying a gun in public, engaging in an altercation and then shooting the other person is less clear and seems over the line.

With respect to “too many guns”, safe, secure storage becomes much more difficult.  With ownership of dozens of guns, the opportunity for guns to be stolen and get into the wrong hands becomes an unintended consequence.  (Guns often do go directly to the criminal element through straw purchases and direct resale.)  Local laws and police action can must deal with this situation.

The greater risk, in my opinion, are inappropriate guns, aka assault weapons.  This risk is most easily recognized with street gangs that arm themselves with automatic weapons.  These armed gangs present an unnecessary threat to law enforcement authorities.   But these crime gangs seem petty when compared to the potential existence of unregulated militias.  Can you imagine, an armed club, just outside of town, possessing tanks, 50 calibre machine guns, and arm held rockets?  Assault weapons are just the first step on a slippery slope.

It is time to put some focus on guns and why citizens should be able to possess them.  Protection against the government is not one of the justifications.  That’s why the US fought a civil war.

With a focus upon sports, hunting, personal protection, and maybe collecting, sensible regulations can be put in place.  Guns to protect Americans from their government is flatly a way to keep the rest of us from the ballot box.

 

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7 Comments on “Guns And Ballots”

  1. FLPatriot Says:

    I must have missed something. “That’s why the US fought a civil war”, when did the second amendment get changed after the civil war? I have read all amendments and don’t recall one that changed the second in anyway. Can you clear this up?


    • FL, good to hear from you again…

      I keep forgetting that the right sometimes needs to have everything spelled out slowly… the second Amendment has nothing to do with the Civil War… The Civil War was about some people (and their States) who chose to arm and rise up against the federal government… if they had prevailed, this would have been a case where armed force vacated the wishes of a voting majority…

    • FLPatriot Says:

      Zuk, you where the one that said that the Civil War was fought to decide whether protecting yourself against a tyrannical government was a right or not, that is the second amendment. Maybe you just misspoke in your post.

      Also, the Civil War was not a rising up against the federal government; it was states asserting their sovereignty. Let me make it clear, I am from New York (I moved to Florida to avoid shoveling snow and paying ridiculous taxes) and I am glad the union army won the Civil War, please do not mistake my comments as a pro-confederate stance.

      It was the Union Army that invaded the southern states to assert their will against the will of the people of those states. In the end the entire United States was re-unified as a single nation, but none of the first 10 amendments where either nullified or changed. If anything, the Civil War shows us why we do need to arm ourselves against a tyrannical government.

      This does not mean that I think we are currently in need to take up arms against our federal government. This does not mean that I think it is reasonable to believe that citizens in America today are capable of defending ourselves against an American military force with the weapons available to us. What it means is that we have the right to arm ourselves with whatever weapons we deem necessary as long as they are not used to infringe on someone else’s rights. Me having a scary AR-15 does not infringe on my neighbors rights in any rational way. Me having 100 rifles of various makes should not be seen as a threat against the government I served to protect or any citizen that lives with the freedoms I defended for them.

      If the federal government is threatened by my AR-15 then that is a problem with the mindset of the federal government.

      Sorry for the rant near the end there.


      • FL, first, I understand both reason to move to Florida… Good choice.

        Second, this is what was written “It is time to put some focus on guns and why citizens should be able to possess them. Protection against the government is not one of the justifications. That’s why the US fought a civil war.” It should be clear even to someone from NY that the civil war was about citizen using force for the purposes of not obeying Federal Laws…

        Third, with respect to your AR-15, it is unlikely there will be enough political will to confiscate all AR-15s. Never the less, the second Amendment does not ensure your right to bear a AR-15. The Supreme Court decision affirming the individual right to bear arms but did not list which ones. The Court said laws could be enacted that restricted use if those laws were reasonable…

        Just as with the first amendment, free speech does not entitle you yell fire in a crowded movie theater or to say untrue things about others (other than public officials and even there there are limits). In other words the 1st amendment has limits… And so does the second Amendment.

        Lastly, I agree that possessing many guns or even several AR-15s does not make you a threat to the government or for that matter anyone else. But it does provide you the means to be a threat if you chose to… That is why I draw the line at assault weapons and other smaller automatic calibre guns. If the guns have a place in sport or hunting and only small (less than 10 bullets) clips are used, I am ok…

        For starters, I think the country needs to wake up to the growing number of “off the range” militias…

  2. FLPatriot Says:

    “Never the less, the second Amendment does not ensure your right to bear a AR-15. The Supreme Court decision affirming the individual right to bear arms but did not list which ones. The Court said laws could be enacted that restricted use if those laws were reasonable”

    You make two arguments here, are you arguing from the constitution or from SCOTUS precedent?

    I know many will say it is the same thing, but it is not. The SCOTUS is a small group of people giving their opinion of the constitution, all be it an educated opinion and well informed, but it is still just an opinion. It would not be the first time the SCOTUS would have been wrong on interpreting the constitution.

    As for what the second amendment ensures I think it is plain and simple. The amendment was passed as saying “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. There is no clause that says that people could not bear a specific type of arms. To say anything different is to insert personal opinion into the argument.

    “But it does provide you the means to be a threat if you chose to… That is why I draw the line at assault weapons and other smaller automatic calibre guns.” If this was the measure by which we restrict ownership of things then I would take away all cars from MA draviers, I have lived there and they are dangerous with those things. More people die by cars every year than from guns, why not go after car ownership?

    Side note. ALL automatic weapons are heavily restricted and near impossible to own privatly. Also, what is an assult weapon?

    “For starters, I think the country needs to wake up to the growing number of “off the range” militias.” Why?


    • You ask an interesting question… are our rights based upon the Constitution or the Supreme Court? The answer I think is (1) what ever you can get away with, and when challenged in court, the final word is the Supreme Court… that is final word until they change their minds…

      Off range militias do worry me. Timothy McVeigh and Oklahoma City are a good example… As the country become more polarized, there is no way of telling what some of these groups might do…

      • FLPatriot Says:

        I agree that the SCOTUS has the final word on law, but that does not mean we should interpret the constitution based on their opinion. The Scalia “opinion” that is used as a “court ruling” is not a ruling on law, it is his opinion.

        I may be ignorant of militias being a city boy from NY, but I fear gangs more than militias. Besides, when was the last time we heard of a militia attacking people in the streets? I can tell you that we had a gange related murder yesterday in Chicago, and that is nearly a daily event that gets no national attention.


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