George W Bush said he would be happy to sign a re-authorization of the assault
weapons ban. Mitt Romney also supported it at the time, although he has
certainly reversed himself on that position by now (surprise, surprise,
What is there to discuss? There can be no gun controls, we have to live with
these tragedies and do something about the causes of people going crazy for
economic despair.This tragedy and many other previous tragedy's
are directly related to the economy, foreign invitationals occupation, and
forced in to a life of poverty. Just as in all 3rd world countries poverty and
despair make people do desperate things, even assault their friends and
neighbors.Our forefathers were wise to acknowledge the despair that
an oppressive governemnt can place on a people so this is why we have this right
to own guns and defend ourselves from oppression and anarchy in government.If there is to be a discussion, let it be about rights and oppression
We should start by looking at the absence of gun deaths in Canada, and start
working towards a Canadian model of gun control. They are a much safer country
because of their firearm restrictions. And while we're at it maybe we
should take a look at their health care system!
The NRA never rests, and this article is just one more evidence of that fact.
Demonize those that "seek political advantage" in the aftermath of a
mass shooting and declare that passage any new gun control laws would be both
ineffective and unconstitutional. Those that fight solutions are
the problem. And the problem is mass murder by legally obtainable assault
weapons designed for military use sold to anyone with the cash to buy them.
People die because we keep finding ridiculous gun industry reason for not
controlling access to these weapons of mass destruction. There is nothing sacred
about the 2nd amendment. It, like all other constitution provision, is eligible
for amendment. The founder's could not have foreseen the destructive
capacity of modern assault weapons. The Gun industry would have you believe
that new laws will not work and that the 2nd Amendment was written on stone by
the finger of God. People die in the name of profit.
An excellent and well reasoned article. We need more sensible people like this
writer among us.
When journalists learn to read, they will see the words, "shall not be
infringed" as part of the 2nd Amendment.If Michael Gerson
chooses to limit the number or type or magazine capacity of the guns that he
chooses to keep and bear, that is his business. He is not authorized, nor is
Congress authorized, nor is the President authorized, nor is the Court
authorized to put limits on gun ownership.That is the Supreme Law of
the Land. There is no higher law that supersedes the Supreme Law of the Land.
There is no higher authority. Anyone who suggests limiting our
rights, when THAT particular right has the words attached, "shall not be
infringed" is either very ignorant of the law or he is an enemy to the
people, an enemy who is trying to take away our guaranteed RIGHTS.
Ah, Mike, Mike, Mike . . . .I'll bet your tune would change
dramatically if you or any of your family were ever in the line of fire of some
nut case with a semi-auto jammed with extra capacity clips.Of course
that is assuming that you survive after you fail in your pitiful attempt to
protect them by blazing away with your CCW -- perhaps even causing a few
collateral casualties in the process.Two questions: 1) Have you
ever actually been in combat? 2) Why do you refuse to understand that attempts
to "limit your RIGHTS" are simply sensible people trying to establish
sensible rules for firearms our Founding Fathers never imagined could possibly
Take away a mass murderers gun what is to prevent him from throwing?
gasoline bombs into the crowded theater?This would have killed even
cjb. Evil must be eliminated, and sometimes you must do it one step at a time.
Your comment is an NRA talking point. For now gas bombs are not killing people
are they? Assault weapons are. You can be part of the solution or you can
rationalize the problem. That is just what the Gun Manufacturers and the NRA
want you to do.
Interesting that Vermont I believe has no restriction on guns, yet a tiny
incident of gun violence. I believe that if a person in the movie audience had
carried a gun things might have been different. I also suggest that in a country
like Iraq if every home had an AK-47 and the home owner had honest property
rights things might be different there. My son lives in Rockwall County, Texas.
It is a fairly well off county. It has the highest concealed carry rate, and
the lowest gun crime rate. One of the problems is we get the carry card, but
don't actually carry the gun around.
Maybe if he had used smaller clips his gun wouldn't have jammed and he
would have been able to continue reloading and firing and killing more and more
people.It's impossible to play "what if" with these
kinds of things. The big problem is identifying those who are about to go off
the deep end. We can't really do that very well, apparently. And even if
we could, our mental health system has changed to not allow involuntary
committments so if wouldn't matter if we could."Our
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly
inadequate to the government of any other. " - John Adams
Mr. One Old Man,Even God, himself, values our agency above all. He
has told us what he would like us to do but then He allows us to do as we please
with no forceful restaint from him even when his children decide to kill each
other. Are we wiser than God? Do we know something that he does not know?The price of freedom is accepting the fact that some people will misuse
that freedom and that some of us will pay an awful price. How can we
ever become more than mere animals if we let government lead us around with a
ring in our nose to keep us from hurting ourselves or others?
Why is it that whenever there is a major tragedy involving some gunman with
semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips, conservatives say:
"Now isn't the time to talk about keeping this from happening
again"? It seems they want to wait until the incident fades from memory and
then they don't do anything because nothing is happening to focus attention
on these types of weapons.The whole situation is: If something
happens, don't talk about it because we need to grieve; if nothing has
happened, it is not necessary to talk about it.We're not
talking Second Amendment issues. We're talking about high-powered,
military-type semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity ammunition clips which allow
firing large numbers of bullets at a time, and closing legal loopholes which
undermines background checks on the purchase of guns by people with the intent
to harm others. There is no effort to keep people from having guns for purposes
of hunting, target shooting, and personal ownership.It just
doesn't make any reasonable sense other than to accept the tragedy and keep
the profits going to the gun and ammunition manufacturers.
Mr. White, with all due respect, that is one of the most silly comments
I've ever read.Doesn't the Lord expect us all to use
wisdom? Where is the wisdom in allowing anything to go with respect to
It is appropriate when a tragedy occurs to consider the question if any factor
could've prevented the tragedy. If a societal tragedy doesn't prompt
us to look at the system then we are being irresponsible and ignorant. That said. If someone is determined to commit mass murder
and mayhem it will be difficult to prevent all such events. But should we then
adopt the attitude it is not preventable so why try? Do we not purchase car
alarms or home alarms to deter some would-be criminals? There are numerous
examples of things most of us do to try to prevent tragedy befalling our
families. Do we want our police forces out-gunned? Do we have a
system of justice which consists of a trained, equipped force to deal with crime
and a criminal justice system to prosecute crimes? Should we move toward
citizens becoming judge, jury and executioner? How many countries have such a
system and what are the results? What is their quality of life? Broadly looking at the statistics the states with the lowest (per capita) gun
ownership rates also have the lowest firearm death rates.
It's not the gun as a machine that's a problem. It's the gun as a
The First Amendment is not absolute. One cannot shout "Fire" in a
crowded theater.The Second Amendment is not absolute. One cannot shoot
firearms in a crowded theater.I'm a bleeding heart liberal,
blue through and through, but I have enough rightwing paranoia to believe that
an armed populace helps keep the government honest. And I'm willing to
accept that the "militia" in the Second Amendment refers to individuals
and not a national guard. That said, however, I find it interesting that the
only place the word "regulate" in any form appears in the Constitution
is in the Second Amendment. We have vast regulatory bureaucracies (EPA, FDA,
etc.) on the hazy basis of the Interstate Commerce and General Welfare clauses,
and yet in the one area where the Constitution explicitly mandates regulation
(and "well regulated," at that), regulation is resisted tooth and nail
(presumably, nails on cold dying fingers).The use of "well
regulated" implies that the Founders could conceive of unregulated or poorly
regulated militias and intentionally chose stronger control. At the very least,
this seems to support inventory control and proficiency standards for gun
owners.I rarely agree with Gerson, but today he's right.
old manTwo questions: 1) Have you ever actually been in combat? 2) Why do
you refuse to understand that attempts to "limit your RIGHTS" are simply
sensible people trying to establish sensible rules for firearms our Founding
Fathers never imagined could possibly exist?two answers plus one: yes I
have been in combat.why do you refuse to understand what the second
amendment was about?why do you refuse to understand that the founding
fathers fully expected individuals to be able to own the same small arms that
the military owned?
A question: Are any weapons not covered by the second amendment? How about
grenade launchers? How about flame throwers? How about Predator Drones? Which
weapons can civilians own? You can't really draw the line at military vs
civilian equipment, because an ordinary hunting rifle is much further advanced
than any military weapon the founders could have possessed.I support
the right of law abiding citizens to posses guns, but there has to be a line
somewhere. Where is it?
Re: "We're not talking Second Amendment issues. We're talking
about high-powered, military-type semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity
ammunition clips . . . ."It's sad that liberals no longer
seem capable of even recognizing Second Amendment issues. They've
disingenuously defined away the problem for so long, they appear to have
convinced themselves normal people actually take them seriously.Real
people will never understand why liberals are so intent on placing criminals in
a position of advantage over us. But, rather than trusting them or their
pandering liberal politicians to define the criminal threat for us, real people
look to the ACTUAL criminal threat in deciding how to protect against it.Those trained in military or self-defense tactics recognize that area,
or fully automatic weapons are not particularly useful for self defense in an
urban environment. But high capacity magazines? Criminals have plenty of
those.And always will, no matter what the law says.So,
why would liberals insist we stop and reload after every 10th round, while
criminals keep plugging away at us?
liberal larryif you want to live in Canada, then move to Canada.What
we should be looking at is that every municipality that allows concealed carry
has a lower violent crime rate then the more restrictive communities. why
aren't we demanding the right to carry and honoring the 2nd amendment.
Roland Kayser,Intelligent people can reevaluate their data, readjust their
conclusions, and change their opinion accordingly, surprise, surprise.
Truthseeker"Broadly looking at the statistics the states with the
lowest (per capita) gun ownership rates also have the lowest firearm death
rates."totally false. the communities that allow concealed carry and
2nd amendment rights have the lowest violent crime rates. why do you think
police stations are never attacked?
We should really look at what is driving people crazy.That aside,
we're not hearing of mass stabbings in countries with strict gun laws.
People just arn't inclined to stab thier wives and kids and then stab
themselves in the head either.If you are buying an assault style
weapon because you think you will have to fight the government, you are largly
UNDERplanning. You will need a large airforce. Just ask anyone still alive of
the former Iraqi guard. If you're really scared of the
government and it's awesome power you may want to support shrinking the
military. It saves money and is easier to defend against - a twofer that
achieves supposed conservative goals. Yet if you really just want any lame
excuse to buy that next weapon that makes you feel strong - carry on.
Very gray. You know what country has completly unifringed gun rights? Sudan.
The ironic thing is that the first thing the largely conservative Bush army did
in Iraq and Afganistan was to seize guns to "make it safer". Have any of you conservatives opposed the confiscation or Afganstanian or
Iraqi's guns? Where is the outrage? Shouldn't you have been handing
them more guns to make it safer? World peace? Easy, just hand out guns to
absolutly everyone even children. No requirements, definetly no licenses or
qulifications. Conservative agenda : A gun in every hand - oppose at
all costs a chicken in every pot.
LagomorphThe act of shouting "Fire" is the crime. Ownership
of a firearm is not the crime. The use of a firearm for illegal purposes is the
crime.You stated that an armed populace helps keep the government
honest and you said that "militia" refers to individuals; but, then you
stated that the government should control the "militia's" access to
firearms. Huh?If "well regulated militia" refers to the
individual, and if "shall not be infringed" is an absolute right - just
as it says it is, how can turning control of firearms over to the government
protect the "militia" from the government?Agency comes with
accountability. Those who violate that accountability will be punished AFTER
the crime is committed, not before. After all, anyone can shout
"Fire!", but the act of shouting "Fire!" requires
Re: "The ironic thing is that the first thing the largely conservative Bush
army did in Iraq and Afganistan was to seize guns to 'make it
safer'."That's not what we did.We did
seize caches from known and suspected bad guys and prohibited carrying guns in
certain places. But we assumed law-abiding homeowners would need their guns to
protect themselves during a very lawless time and left them alone.
When the country was founded owning slaves was considered an absolute right. The
founding fathers were not perfect in any way. To cling to the idea that thier
words "shall not be infringed" as forever binding is as logical as
arguing that slavery should still be legal and practiced.
may 2003 ; US to implement gun ban in IraqThe interim US
administration in Baghdad announced a gun amnesty yesterday before a total ban
is implemented next week in an effort to stamp-out the lawlessness that now
pervades the streets of all major towns and cities here. Iraqis will
be urged to turn in all handguns, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and
any extra tanks or anti-aircraft artillery pieces that may have been overlooked
during the coalition's initial searches. A Pentagon spokesman
explained: "The security situation has deteriorated to such an extent that
there's folks out there with all sortsa' mass weaponry and
they're not hesitatin' in usin' it. I mean it'd be insane to
just let people run around the streets with sub-machine guns and
semi-automatics, so we really got no choice but to outlaw 'em."
Actually Mike Richards, shouting "fire" is not a crime. It's the
result of shouting "fire" that matters. You could be a hero or villian
depending on the circumstances. I keep hearing gun nuts explain that
they are arming to defend themselves against the government. But that
doesn't make sense since the government's military is too powerfull to
defend against with (giggle) 40 year old, Soviet, Communist, Marxist, derated
AK-47's. (oh, the irony!) What conservative gun nuts seem to be
preparing for is a neo-confederate state and civil war.
@ Mike Richards"When journalists learn to read, they will see the
words, "shall not be infringed" as part of the 2nd Amendment."Gerson is not proposing limiting gun ownership. However, using your
common tactic ,nowhere in the US Constitution does it mention magazine capacity.
Limiting magazine capacity does not infringe on anybody's right to gun
ownership. I'm not saying I don't agree with you in
limiting gun ownership. I have many guns myself, most for my employment. I enjoy
my guns, I refuse to let anybody take them from me. I also refuse to be a
victim, so I protect myself as best I can. Obviously, the same cannot be said
about some others. As for "gun free" zones, if your firearms is
properly concealed, nobody will be the wiser.
LagomorphI find it interesting that the only place the word
"regulate" in any form appears in the Constitution is in the Second
Amendment. KJKNote that the term "regulated" at the
time of the Constitution meant "trained" or put into proper working
order. It did not mean to restrict. The Bill of Rights is all
about limiting the power of government over the people, not limiting the rights
OF the people. The 3rd amendment prohibits troops being stationed in homes.
The Founders envisioned the citizenry to have the same weapons as the regular
army so that the army can be repelled and can't be used to suppress the
people. It prevents marshal law. The 2nd Amendment is therefore about securing a
free state as it itself states. It is what secures all others rights we as
citizens enjoy. Our system is set up to allow abuses rather than
risk infringing upon peoples' rights. This is why we allow criminals to go
free on technicalities and require "beyond reasonable doubt" to convict
people.I doubt the Aurora shooter would have done what he did if he
expected someone to shoot back. There's the solution - PEOPLE SHOOTING
KJK: "Note that the term 'regulated' at the time of the
Constitution meant 'trained' or put into proper working order. It did
not mean to restrict."Fine. As I said in my OP, this supports
an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that proficiency standards are an
allowable precondition of gun ownership. Gun owners should be required to know
how to operate their weapon and be able to hit the target. Otherwise, the
citizens fighting government tyranny will do their cause more harm than good.Was James Holmes part of a well regulated militia? Although he sported
the wardrobe, it is not evident he was either "trained" or in
"proper working order" (fortunately, he couldn't operate his weapon
without it jamming, which saved untold lives).I'm all for
protecting the rights of the citizenry. I just agree with Gerson (a rare event)
that some rational middle ground exists where both gun rights and public safety
can be maintained.KJK: "I doubt the Aurora shooter would have
done what he did if he expected someone to shoot back."I think that
wearing full body armor indicates an expectation that someone would shoot back.
LagomorphKJK: "Note that the term 'regulated' at the time of
the Constitution meant 'trained' or put into proper working order. It
did not mean to restrict."Lagomorph: Fine. As I said in my OP,
this supports an interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that proficiency standards
are an allowable precondition of gun ownership. KJK: Since an educated
electorate is necessary for a successful democracy, perhaps passing a test over
the candidates and issues should be required for voting using that same logic.
If rights have preconditions, then they aren't rights.I think that
the “well regulated” phrase should force the Feds to train all
willing citizens.KJK: "I doubt the Aurora shooter would have
done what he did if he expected someone to shoot back."Lagomorph: I think that wearing full body armor indicates an expectation that
someone would shoot back.KJK: Good point. This just shows that we need
more armed citizens.... who would have shot him outside the protected torso and
then finished him off while he was writing in pain on the ground. The greater
the likelihood of death, the greater the deterrent. That's why police
stations are never robbed.
KJK: "...perhaps passing a test over the candidates and issues should be
required for voting using that same logic..."Much as I want an
educated, rational electorate, the Constitution prohibits certain limitations on
suffrage (e.g. poll taxes). Your test could be problematic. On the other hand,
my point was that under my interpretation of the Second Amendment, compulsory
training for weapons could be constitutional.KJK" "This
just shows that we need more armed citizens...."This just starts
a coevolutionary arms race, where arms and armor get exponentially bigger. Was
it Justice Scalia who recently said he thought the Second Amendment covered
handheld rocket launchers? What kind of body armor protects against an RPG?How about cultivating a society that does not idolize violence, that
seeks nonviolent solutions to problems, that has a working health care system
that provides good mental health care and identifies the mentally ill before
they erupt into violence? I prefer to participate in society unarmed and
trusting my fellow man, rather than walking in fear and loaded down with iron.
I'm all for not idolizing violence. The shooter was getting mental health
treatment. There is no easy solution that respects the rights of all Americans.
We tolerate criminals being freed on technicalities to protect the rights of
all. Perhaps this too is the price society must pay to ensure the rights of
To find an appropriate balance on gun control you should sign up for a firearms
safety class. They teach you all of that very knowledgeable stuff. Plus after
knowing it you should be less insecure of your neighbors owning guns.