Hand guns: Oh, grow up already!

Monday, June 30th, 2008 @ %I:%M %p | Life

This has been bugging me since last week’s Supreme Court ruling; decided that I have to get this off my chest.

Last week the US Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 decision that Washington DC’s ban on hand guns violated the Second Amendment ( http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/07slipopinion.html ). The next morning I was watching CNN HeadlineNews as usual. There they did a poll among the viewers: text RobinA if you agree with the ruling and text RobinB if you don’t. While of course entirely unscientific the outcome was telling and surprising: 84% in favor of the ruling. Probably the Supreme Court’s ruling is in the end a correct interpretation of current law, I found the high percentage in favor the really surprising, and maybe the worrying, part. The amendment was made in 1791. Its addition may well have been very appropriate then. Just a few years since Independence with distrust of (distant) government still very high, formal and functional law enforcement was probably far and few between, concepts of law and order different from now. But do we still life in the 18th century? But does the freedom to bear arms still outweigh its dangers?

Many arguments I hear made in support of gun ownership don’t make sense to me. Some of them seem not to get any further than reiterating the amendment itself: I have a right to own and bear arms because the amendment says and therefor I bear arms. That really falls in the “do you also jump off a bridge when I tell you to”-category. This stuff is a little too serious for a “just because I can” reasoning.
Two friends here in Rochester (at least that I know of) own and sometimes carry guns. Of one it is rumored that he always has a gun with him. That does not make me feel safer. Should I then also carry a gun to compensate? No, I don’t subscribe to the opinion that more guns make the world safer. Less guns make the world safer. Sure, guns don’t kill people; people kill people. But they sure make it easier; having a gun makes it a lot easier to kill someone in anger than when not having one.

One of the friends once argued that gun ownership helps keep the US a democracy and avoids something like Nazi Germany happening here. That comparison doesn’t hold. First, the Nazi party was elected into power in accordance with German law. Secondly, Germany was awash with guns and weapons from WW I and so none of that gun ownership prevented the well-known history from developing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_Party#Rise_to_power:_1925.E2.80.931933). One could argue that the abundance of weapons helped.

There is ample documentation that the abundance of hand guns in cities contribute to the high levels of violent crimes and homicides. Take my home town Rochester, NY with the enviable position of having the highest homicide rate in New York state: http://multimedia.democratandchronicle.com/maps/2007homicides.html and http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/archives/2006/4/Rochester:+made+for+murder+ . The US homicide rate is the highest of the Western world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_homicide_rate – 5.7 per 100.000 citizens in the US vs for example 0.98 in Germany). Almost all of the school shootings over the last ten years have been committed by students who either themselves or their parents had legal access to the fire arms used in those very dreadful events (for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Illinois_University_shooting, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Tech_massacre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Lake_High_School_massacre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre). So if the argument is that gun ownership makes this a safer country then I am really worried what kind of Armageddon this Land of the Free woud be without.

Each time, organizations like the NRA argue that only the existing laws on gun control should be better followed and then none of those things would have happened. No, it doesn’t work that way. In the end this is a choice between your freedom to own and carry a gun, and my freedom and our children’s freedom to a safe environment. And I put before you that the freedom for a safe environment is the higher good.

Yesterday we had a neighborhood dinner party. The Supreme Court ruling came up. One of our neighbors said he was happy with the ruling because it was nuanced and it didn’t uphold the hand gun ban in Washington DC. He was happy with this because if the Supreme Court had decided in favor of Washington DC then he was fearful that this would have brought out “every gun lover in America and Obama would loose the election.” That is just too cynical for me. That is supporting the right decision for all the wrong reasons or the other way around. It made me think of the movie Bobby which we just watched a few days before. The movie ends with Robert Kennedy’s speech reviewing all the problems of that time (1968 remember): the Vietnam war, the protests, the struggle for civil rights, domestic violence and so forth. He asked a still very relevant question ( http://www.angelfire.com/pa4/kennedy/speech.html : On Mindless Menace of Violence): “What has violence ever accomplished?”
Where is this age’s RFK? Brave to take a specific stance on this, to stand for his or her beliefs no matter what. Where is the real world president that Michael Douglas played in The American President ( http://www.americanrhetoric.com/MovieSpeeches/moviespeechtheamericanpresident.html ): “I will go door to door if I have to, but I am gonna convince Americans I’m right, and I’m gonna to get the guns.”

It is time to grow up. We don’t live in 1791 anymore. Time to change the Constitution. Time to do away with the boyish urge to play with dangerous toys. Either that or stop complaining about the next homicide, the next school shooting, the next rage killing.

So there.

 

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    One Response to “Hand guns: Oh, grow up already!”

    1. Jerry Says:

      Speaking of growing up. Where have you been living? Certainly not in this universe. Did you have too many drugs when you were younger? You should maybe pay attention to what is going on around you and less at what you are reading. First, the majority of the media is owned by very few people and they are mostly very liberal. So, the crap your reading is what they want you to read, not the whole truth. To add to it the government, any government level, will not allow your media organization to attend any of their news releases if you print something they don’t like, truth or ortherwise. I have worked for the government for many years and can tell you straight up while much of what you here is the truth, it is only what they want to release, nothing more.
      So, back to guns. The gangs in San Antonio in the late 80s and 90s were at best horrific. You could not walk down any street in the city or the countryside without someone trying to rob, rape, or shoot you. Finally, they change a very strict concealed weapon law to allow any non-felon to carry a loaded concealed weapon. The issued a statement on TV to that affect. Legal handguns were bought by the thousands. Shops couldn’t keep stock. No news was ever published on anything happening in San Antonio, but hundreds of gang members were murdered in just the first month. Police would investigate, see the gang colors and illegal weapons, and not log the case. Almost every day driving to work you could see gang colored people along the side of the road where they had tried to shoot someone and had a whole bunch of people respond and take them out. Having been chased through the forest while jogging to avoid a gang that got out of the car to kill me, I had no remorse for these vermon. Nowhere in San Antonio was it safe to walk or even drive before the law was changed. Police were getting murdered at least one a week and they even shot their way into Wilfor Hall Medical Center while my daughter was there and we had to be moved out of the emergency room because they were coming in and the security police couldn’t hold them. That was on Lackland AFB. Federal installations run by different rules. 10 went in shooting, 10 went out in a hearse when the special forces got there.

      So, yes I believe people should carry guns. I also think they should have a dog. They keep burglars out of your house better than a gun would when you are sleeping. Yes, certain people should analyze their pesonalities and many should decide it is not safe for themselves or people around them for them to carry a gun. Now, if you want all who want to carry a gun to go through a mandatory training course that there is no restriction for registering as long as they attend, I’m all for it.

      You think handguns are dangerous. NRA people would say only the person is dangerous, not the gun. I’m saying both of you are ignoring things and people that are far more dangerous. I am an expert weapons control system tech. I can make a missle with sufficient capabilty to take out anyone or group of people within a number of miles you should be scared about. It takes less than a week to make one and common parts and substances can be used to make it. I have the personality that, if anyone lived long enough to make me angry, there is noone on this planet I couldn’t kill without them knowing who it was that sent it.

      What really scares me is anyone can get on the internet to do the same thing I’ve been trained to do.

      Here is the thing. We have people that are adults now that have no moral fiber. They don’t care about ruining peoples live by buying a company and selling off people’s retirements to make a fortune at there costs. You have bill gates who has no moral fiber at all. And, to a less famous extent, you have people who their parents did a horrible job of raising them or even taking care of their own lives to the level that these now supposed adults will kill you with a gun, a knife, a bomb, a car, or anything else and know as they are doing it little will happen to them if they get caught and they probably will never get caught.

      So, my suggestion to you is to raise your kids correctly and find a way to remove some of these worthless, criminal, mommy works so I can do anything I want, piles of crap that are devastating our society, from our society.

      Gun regulation is not the answer. Criminal regulation is.

      Oh and while you’re thinking that is what the police are for, keep in mind that the majority of the police hired come from the military police and the military police are the number one career field in all the militaries for corruption and criminal activity. I once saw someone murdered by a group of people. It haunts me to this day. They were off duty cops and it was a proffessional hit in the purest sense. There were about twenty of them that chased the guy down in a downtown area and assasinated them as I watched. They then walked several blocks, got into their police cars and left.

      You can believe what you want about any of this. I don’t care. I live because I keep people like you in check. When I go I fear for my kids because of people like you. Who will keep you in check when I’m gone.

      One last thing so you can think I’m crazy. I have never physically murdered anyone, but noone that I’ve hated is still alive. I’m hoping it is because someone else hates them more to the point they kill them in some way, some violently, but all are dead. My crazy thought is there are so many, even within my family, that there is no statitical possibility that it is not me in some way. If I had met you and decided I didn’t like you, you would have one to five years of life left. Crazy or not, I can’t stop it from happening.

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