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Letters: America not a democracy

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  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 29, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    Has anyone here mentioned State's Rights? If citizens were abiding by the constitution, then most of the so-called issues that 'divide' us would be sent to the the states, as the Constitution states, and be decided there! Thus, if the state of California wants Gay marriage, let them have it. If Connecticut wants to confiscate all guns, let them do it--if that's what their citizens want. However, it is amazing how insecure people are when they have to strike out on their own. Instead of doing that, a person (state or citizens from that state) looks around and thinks, 'Well, if I'm going to do this, then everybody else has to do it with me, then if I am wrong, I won't look so bad!' Liberty brings risk! Let liberty be heard from state to state so we can really find out what ideas are the best! There should be no partisan bickering or trying to prove someone else wrong or right, except at the local level. I believe in our Republic,the rule of law, and the constitution, all of which, won't mean a hill of beans without God.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 29, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    Redshirt... much of what you say is true... but over the last 20 years, the NRA has been able to create law that has stripped the ATF with much of its ability to enforce these laws. For example, a law was passed that only allows the ATF to view gun sale logs every two years. And the department still doesn't have a head... that has been blocked for years.

    The NRA wants to make it easier to buy a gun than to buy a drink... and in many cases, it is. There is no drive for responsible gun ownership.

    But I do agree.... enforcing current law is always better than creating new law.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 28, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    Rather than creating a new bureaucratic nightmare, how about we enforce existing laws. The Gun Control Act of 1968 already prohibits strawman purchase and makes it illegal to sell to people with criminal histories and mental problems.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 28, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    @mark "[W]ho is it you believe is the final arbiter?"

    The final arbiter is the American people. We elect leaders based on how closely their views of the Constitution match ours. We elect the president who nominates Supreme Court justices. We elect the Congress who creates the laws to be judged. If we don't like the results, we vote them out of office. In the long haul, we the people decide what the Constitution means.

    This, by the way, is what prevented the Senate from passing gun control.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2013 1:16 p.m.

    "No where in the Constitution does it say that courts are the final arbiter of the constitution..

    In most places the constitution needs no arbitration anyway. Its pretty clear."

    So, I wonder, who is it you believe is the final arbiter? By the way, the constitution is clear on the process, but I was just wondering who you think is the final arbiter.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    April 28, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    Mr Richards, you are so disengenous. Americans are asking to close the loopholes to background checks. That is all the bill was about. According to the FBI, during the past 15 years since the current background check law was passed there have been 2 million gun purchase denials for various reasons. It stands to reason that by closing a few more loopholes we would prevent a few more. The proposed bill did not close the transactions between individuals and would not save everyone but by doing nothing you are condoning and I for one expect better. The average wife beater with a record will find it too inconvenient to buy a pistol. Criminals who are using gun shows to purchase weapons will find it more difficult. By doing nothing you are saying because there are law breakers for every law then why have the law.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 28, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    ‘Letters: America not a democracy’

    =====

    Thanks.

    ...and I'm reminded of that fact each and ever time I think of GW Bush being "selected", and NOT "elected".

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    April 27, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    UtahBlueDevil wrote (in part), "arising under this Constitution". Those are interesting words. The Constitution is not some nebulous document that no one can understand without the help of thousands of court cases. It is the Supreme Law of the Land upon which all law is measured. In effect, it is the steel ruler that is used to measure the duties and authority of the federal government. It is not the rubber ruler that so many people bend and twist and then claim that they "measured" their argument by using the Constitution.

    "Under" does not mean "outside". It does not mean "over". It means exactly what it says. Any law that disagrees with the Supreme Law of the Land - as written and as ratified by the States - is not eligible to go before the Court without being labeled unconstitutional - no matter how many judges think differently.

    Self-important judges will argue forever that they have the right to legislate from the bench by ruling something that disagrees with the Constitution. Not only are they wrong, but they are the worst kinds of hypocrites, people who claim to honor law and order while they actively work to destroy both.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 27, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    @pragmatistferlife

    Your logical error is assuming current trends will continue indefinitely. Sometimes a trend is only a trend.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 27, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    @CJB

    "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made,..."

    "In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."

    Do you find any other place where this power is granted to any other body of the government? Just wondering where you are finding wording where another party has equal or greater powers granted to it?

    Love to know what your thinking....

  • klink Provo, UT
    April 27, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    Seems like most on here that support the 'weapons ban / background checks' are missing the bigger point, or bigger issue. This new 'law' or 'ban' is more then just about the 2nd ammend. It's about ALL the 'Constitutional Rights' in general. It is no different then if the government started to 'Disregard' the 4th/5th Ammend. It seems typical (or even comical) for so called 'Liberals' to bash the 'Gun Nut', NRA supporters, who defend the 2nd ammend., YET, they scream 'Foul Play' when the government says "screw the 4th/5th amendments". You feel so strongly about the "Right to Privacy", and the "Right to remain silent", and the "Right to have legal council"... Yet, you dont seem to care about the 'Right to protect yourself with a gun".. Go figure..
    The other underlying issue is this. I imagine if the "Gun nuts", or NRA supporters, (People supporting the 2nd ammend.) felt there was a new "Law" being introduced that would ACTUALLY help reduce violent crimes, or that would ACTUALLY keep our children safer; they would support it without question

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 27, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    Re mederate

    No where in the Constitution does it say that courts are the final arbiter of the constitution..

    In most places the constitution needs no arbitration anyway. Its pretty clear.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 27, 2013 5:37 p.m.

    Re truth seeker

    I had heard that family transfers were exempt or might be exempt. I had heard nothing that transfers to friends might be exempt. one thing the show guntalk brought up is that if you are at a range and some one admires your gun and wants to shoot it, you could get into trouble for letting them borrow the gun for just a few minutes.

    if you are right about the friend transfers, I guess it would just depend how the particular court you went to. which is part of the problem. what if you loaned it to somebody you considered your friend, but the court said under the legal definition I choose to use they are not a friend. at that point you are in deep doodoo.

    there are just too many questions and given the animosity towards guns by so many people in the United States gun owners just didn't want to take that chance.

    in addition if you make a gun transfer you are required to keep records of that transfer for life and if you lose those records then what?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    April 27, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    "It's time people read and understood the Constitution."
    Too many people read the Constitution only. They are too lazy to read through the court cases. Your interpretation of the Constitution means nothing. The court system's interpretation means everything.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 27, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    The guile of those who are trying to tell us that the majority of Americans want Obama to control our right to keep and bear arms is astounding.

    IF the majority of Americans wanted Obama to seize our guns, would that be the legal thing to do?

    If 57% of Americans wanted ObamaCare to be tossed out, would they agree and toss it out?

    If the majority of Americans wanted DOMA to be enforced and same-sex marriage outlawed, would they be happy?

    If the majority of Americans wanted to take away their right to speak, would they agree?

    Mob rule, i.e., pure Democracy is NOT how America is run. Telling your Congressman to break the law by infringing on our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms without government infringement is asking your Congressman to commit an illegal act.

    Believing that the people can do anything without limit is just as bad as demanding that government perform duties outside its authorized scope.

    It's time people read and understood the Constitution.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 27, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    It would be VERY interesting if some TV station set up a deal in which they sent a convicted felon to a gun show and recorded his attempts to purchase weaponry. Record it with a hidden camera.

    Want to bet that within a few minutes our felon would have all the guns he could carry?

    But, right now, it would not be possible to charge the people who should be charged with a crime for selling to a restricted person.

    So why not just make background checks for personal sales optional? But declare that anyone who sells to someone who would fail a check would be slammed into jail for five years or more? Would that do the job?

    No -- but right now there is absolutely nothing to stop a dangerous person from going out to find somebody who wants to sell a gun and buying it.

    Something needs to change.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 27, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    Re:cjb

    "The NRA said that the Manchin-Toomey amendment would have "criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution."

    The amendment specifically exempted family and friend transfers from the requirement to conduct a criminal background check. But it did extend the requirement to Internet and gun show sales. So only if a friend or family member purchased a gun in one of those settings would the background check requirement kick in. That’s a limited circumstance, to be sure. And as Wintemute argued, it was added a layer of paperwork but did not make familial gun transfers crimes."
    (Politifact)

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 27, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    We are a Republic with democratic principles. The dangers of democracy are ultimately mob rule. Republics focus on the rule of law and protect the rights of the minority and the individual from the people and its own government.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 27, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Toomey has seen a 10 point approval minus disapproval gain since voting for it and Ayotte a 15 point drop since voting against it. Hopefully that pressure can stick.

  • SteveD North Salt Lake, UT
    April 27, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I hope this points out how liberals choose to ignore the fact that most people did not want Obamacare but it was shoved down our throats anyway. Now they scream about the majority wanting a law that gets voted down, you can't have it both ways.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 27, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    "The problem with the background check bill is that would have made all transfers of guns illegal unless a background check was performed first. what this means is you couldn't loan your friend your gun unless he got a background check first. It also means that he couldn't give you back your gun unless you got a background check first."

    Um no. Not at all. You clearly don't understand the background check bill.

    What gun enthusiasts seem to advocate is unlimited and unfettered gun sales. Should anyone and everyone have access to any and every weapon ever created? So we should all have access to machine guns, drones, and nukes? Remember now, according to you folks any regulation is an infringement on the 2nd amendment!

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 27, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    The problem with the background check bill is that would have made all transfers of guns illegal unless a background check was performed first. what this means is you couldn't loan your friend your gun unless he got a background check first. It also means that he couldn't give you back your gun unless you got a background check first.

    If you needed to have your gun repaired you couldn't transfer your gun to gun Smiths unless he got a background check first. When you went to pick up your gun he wouldn't be able to give it to you until you also have a background check first.

    As in many things the devil is in the details and this is what gun owners were fighting against.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 27, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    From Politifact:
    "Jay Corzine has attended and studies gun shows in Florida. The UCF professor says that based on his observation, no more than 15 to 20% of sales at gun shows happen without a background check. But when you add in other private sales -- neighbors selling to neighbors, ads in the paper, etc. -- the 40% figure is "probably accurate" and "a very good figure to use."

    Gary Kleck, whose research has provided the foundation for less restrictive concealed carry laws, agrees that conditions in the gun market haven’t changed much.

    "I know of no affirmative reason to think that the methods of acquiring guns has significantly changed in recent decades, or that conditions have changed such that private (non-dealer) transfers have become more (or less) important. The laws regulating gun sales have not gotten significantly more (or less) strict since the Brady Act, so there's no strong basis for expecting fewer dealer sales or more non-dealer sales as a result of legal changes," Kleck, a professor at Florida State University, wrote in an email.

    Kleck says the 40% estimate is "probably still reasonably valid today."

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 27, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    And...Republicans are doing everything they can to kill democracy in America (voting restrictions, electorial college changes, excessive use of the fillibuster etc.) because they have lost the public.

    Argue over 90% or 40% all you want but general social studies clearly show Republicans are losing the gun battle also. Studies that have consistantly been taken since the '70's show a sharp decline in gun ownership. Again you can argue about the validity of the individual study but when the same study with the same questions has shown a decline from 50% to 35% over the last 30 years you have to believe the trend favors the 90% number. In addition the study shows the decline comes from democrats and independents and the prevelance of female heads of households all trends supported by other studies. Two more trends..increased urbanization leading to fewer hunters, and a decline in the number of citizens introduced to guns through military service.

    Republicans will eventually lose this battle because gun restrictions are legal..and fewer and fewer Americans believe that liberty is defined by guns.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 27, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    The alternative of rule by majority is rule by minority.

    The representatives of the people in government are elected by the people to do the will of God, as determined by the representatives. Not.

    The “We the People” of republicans is not necessarily the “We the People” that most people think of as being “We the People”.

    The only reason we have any freedoms at all is because we have a government to enforce the restrictions of freedom from those who would take away our freedoms.

  • ugottabkidn Sandy, UT
    April 27, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Have you ever noticed that polls are meaningless unless it agrees with your opinion? Have you ever noticed how Congress pretends they represent citizens when in reality it is for their wealthy donors. Have you ever noticed how some in this forum who claim expertise in the Constitution one day and the next, well it's another story because their leaders ignored opinions of the masses and demonstrated cowardice that corresponded with their opinion? Have you ever noticed that the rules of the King's English are thrown out when it comes to the 2nd Amendment? People just chop off half the sentence they don't like, kinda like how they interpet the whole Constitution and Bible. This amazes me everytime.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 27, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Suppose it is true that 90% really wanted gun control. Those people would have been better off getting their representatives to deal with the violent people in their jurisdictions, rather than to try to force their views on other areas of the country that don't share their views.

    We realize something they don't. Overly restrictive gun laws actually increases violence. FBI statistics proves this. Why would this be? Because good people follow the law, bad people don't. In areas where bad guys know good people are defenseless, they are less afraid to mug and rob people.

    Take a Chicago thug and put him in Utah. If he continues in his ways, he wouldn't live a year. Chances are in this environment he would get a job instead.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 27, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Background checks don't violate the constitution. Those that voted against the bill didn't defend the constitution, they did it to get a gold star beside their name on an NRA list somewhere.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 27, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    What Richard M. LaFontaine is saying is that what the people want doesn't matter. He forgets that we elect people to do OUR will . . . such as voting in favor of background checks to keep people safer (not totally safe -- just safer, and something that an overwhelming percentage of the people of the United States wanted). Instead, the only thing the majority of the politicians care about is pandering to the special interest groups to get their $$$ to fund their next campaign. The vote against background checks had nothing to do with "liberty" or "the Constitution" and everything to do with politicians getting dollars so they could fund a campaign to get themselves re-elected. The politicans forget (or ignore) what they are supposed to be doing and who they are supposed to be representing, and act for their own interests. Sad.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    April 27, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    Examine the source. Whenever anyone starts throwing numbers around in their argument, I am reminded that a large percentage of the population do not understand what the difference between a percent and a percentile, let alone margin of error, sampling bias, etc.

    We have a great need of more librarians (who make us check our sources) and statisticians in our society (who help us understand the numbers).

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 27, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    The supreme court already ruled that reasonable requirements such as background checks ARE constitutional.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 27, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    Yes, we are a Democratic Republic where we choose others from among us to represent us. We have city councils that represent us on the local level. We have county commissioners that represent us on the county level. Then we have representatives that represent us on the state and federal level. We elect "electors" to vote for us when a President is elected. Those who bring up "popular vote" know little about our form of government.

    California uses popular vote to amend its constitution. Recently the popular vote outlawed same-sex marriage. The first thing that those in favor of same-sex marriage did was to enlist the help of a judge who admitted to being homosexual to overturn the vote of the people. They want it both ways. They want popular vote so that everyone has a voice, but when that popular vote doesn't suit the minority, they look for "justice" in the courts.

    The Democratic Republic system works. It keeps emotion to a minimum and protects us from "pop star" presidents who temporarily gain power.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 27, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    If already most guns are sold with background checks, then this new law was going to change little. If that is that case, why was the opposition so strong to something so insignificant and already the rule of the land? Why fight against so hard something that was simply going to close a few loop holes in what the author claims was already a very inclusive law.

    If all the things the author stated are true... it just reinforces the point that the vote was purely political... and in fact "fixing" a problem was not the motivation at all. If that vast majority of gun sales were covered by background checks... there should have been little to no resistance in closing back channel method of acquiring weapons.

    this was all political theater and had nothing to do with protecting the constitution. The existing laws the author references prove background checks was not the issue at all..

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 27, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    It is true we have a compound constitutional republic.

    Re: gun laws, many forget that Utah has this to say in its constitution:
    Article I, Section 6. [Right to bear arms.]
    The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.

    Our representatives and senators in DC should represent Utah and make sure we don't lose our state constitutional rights at the hands of the Feds as well.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    April 27, 2013 12:04 a.m.

    " He forgets that this is not a democracy where the people get to rule by majority."

    I will remember this when a repub comes to me to complain about Romneycare errr I mean Obamacare and claims that the majority of Americans didn't want it.