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Pearls of Wisdom

NRA vs. Gun Control Legislation

After watching too many reruns of “Gunfight at the OK Corral” and watching the Earps emerging victorious each time, the NRA decided to comment on the Newtown massacre. 

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” Wayne LaPierre, doing his best John Wayne impersonation, was the NRA speaker and he took no questions (or prisoners?) Why bother? He made his point. Arm the entire staff of every school with uzis and there will no more incidents like Columbine, Virginia Commonwealth, or Newtown. 

Mike Quigley, Illinois Democrat in the House, cogently expressed the reactions of many citizens: “Anyone who thought the NRA was going to come out today and make a common-sense statement about meaningful reform and safety was kidding themselves.  www.nytimes.com 12/22/12

On page 1 of the business section of the NY times on Saturday, there was an article on mental health reform.  It states that 26% of adults experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.  Unfortunately, after being confronted by the NRA lobby, the article may possibly have omitted that the majority of those adults were NRA lifetime members. 

This is not about new restrictive laws on assault weapons. This is about the NRAs total indifference to public sentiment after the tragedy in Newtown. This is about current gun owners running out this week to purchase new guns (many AR-15s) and to store up on ammunition to insure that any new legislation enacted by Washington will be too late to prevent them from pursuing their pastime/recreational hobby of treating assault weapons as “toys”. 

We live in a violent society; no one is disputing that fact.   If Hollywood decided to do a 2013 remake of “The Ten Commandments”, there is little doubt that Charlton Heston (former President of the NRA) would be taking on the Pharaoh with an AK-47 in lieu of the original “staff of God”.   Texas school children are still taught “Remember the Alamo” before the Pledge of Allegiance.  If they could get away with it, the NRA would be tearing down statues of George Washington in front of public schools and replacing them with statues of Rambo.

One can debate the original intent of the 2nd Amendment ad infinitum and never really know the full intent of the Founding Fathers in their inclusion of this in the Bill of Rights. But one can definitively state that Thomas Jefferson and his comrades could not have possibly foreseen the devastatingly powerful weapons developed in the 20th and 21st century, specifically assault-type weapons. 

The NRA and the staunch right-wing Republics insist on proclaiming their perverted view of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. They would like everyone to believe that it is absolutely necessary for every American to own a gun in order to protect themselves from the potential tyranny of the federal government.  The NRA cites the NSA, the CIA, DHS, TSA, and various other government agencies taking on more and more police powers and illegally collecting information on citizens, setting up massive databases.  Even if they are right on some level, is the solution to arm the entire public with assault weapons.  NOT!

Carl Bogus, a law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law, offers us a more historically correct point of view in his thesis published in the U.C. Davis Law Review, titled “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment”. Bogus’ arguments, if universally accepted, would alter the entire national interpretation of the Second Amendment.  Bogus states that James Madison composed the 2nd Amendment to assure the southern states that Congress would not undermine the slave system by disarming the militia, which were then the principal instruments of slave control throughout the South”.

If the Supreme Court were to consider Bogus’ hypothesis/view of history in future court decisions involving the Second Amendment, it potentially could alter the course of our future in terms of gun control for two important reasons:  (1) It would “ support the view that the amendment does not grant individuals a right to keep and bear arms for their own purposes; rather it only protects the right to bear arms within the militia, as defined within the main body of the Constitution, under the joint control of the federal and state governments. At the time, the southern states extensively regulated their militias and prescribed their slave control responsibilities and (2) the hidden history is important because it fundamentally changes how we think about the right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment takes on an entirely different complexion when instead of being symbolized by a musket in the hands of the minutemen, it is associated with a musket in the hands of the slave holder”. www.vpc.org.

This thesis certainly would blow the lid off the long held contention by the ultra conservative Republicans and the NRA that the 2nd amendment was to allow citizens to protect themselves from tyranny.   The author’s article is an outstanding example of insight into our history and it appears that his arguments are anything but “bogus”. 

Since the Newtown Massacre, there has been a great deal of talk by President Obama and Congress about new legislation.  Please forgive my cynicism for not believing.   Until I see some action, I’m not ready to accept that anything will be done.  And in the interim, the NRA will be pouring millions of lobbying dollars to insure that nothing significant will ever be passed.  God Bless America and God Help Our Children!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tracy December 26, 2012 at 06:53 PM
H- Great blog! I am a conservative who believes in the constitution and the right to bear arm HOWEVER, there is NO REASON for a person to bear automatic weapons, military grade ammunition. Tell me why anyone needs this? Outside of the metropolitan area, there is a better argument for protection and the hunters I know have great respect for guns and their use— so I cannot quite jump on the dissolving of the right to bear arms. I would like to see a that amendments to the constitutional right be authored to keep up with weapon technology (because the advancement of weapons was not foreseen or even imagined when it was written) OR—easier solution, tax the manufacturing process from beginning to end—make it hard for these companies to make any profit. Of course neither alternative offers a solution for what already exists out there. I would also like to hear your opinion about the mental health issues that are causing most of these tragedies ….
William Mays December 26, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Good to see some sane conservatives. I'm a gun owner myself, I've been hunting as well, but no hunter needs a automatic or semi-automatic weapon.
Howard L. Pearl December 27, 2012 at 01:35 AM
We live in a society where mental health issues are a constant topic for debate. Why don’t we do more to treat people with mental illness? (1) People with mental health issues often fail to seek help on their own. Forcing them to get help against their will is fruitless. (2) Health care policies have limited coverage for mental health, often restricting treatment. (3) There are no miracle cures; even long term treatments are often unsuccessful. Sales of assault-type weapons can be controlled through legislation. Mental illness is much more difficult, maybe impossible to eliminate.
Keith Jensen December 30, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Fast and Furious. This ugly Chapter remains open.Now, we have another sad story fueled further in the media and this blog. Piers Morgan says,"Obama should follow up by launching a Government buy-back for all existing assault weapons in circulation (as worked successfully in Los Angeles last week). I would go further, confiscating the rest and enforcing tough prison sentences on those who still insist on keeping one." http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2254758/Piers-Morgan-Deport-If-America-wont-change-crazy-gun-laws-I-deport-myself.html#ixzz2Ga0nzHo1 Shouldn't Piers first ask for accountability to the highest level of our own Government giving out free military grade assault weapons? When our President, who campaigned on 'transparency', will not allow a secure panel to review a government program of issuing guns, then we have a problem bigger than just simple gun control. http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/26/politics/pol-fast-furious/index.html 'Executive Privilege' is a term that is unsettling.Our own leader makes an example of this massacre as Howard brings to light, yet does not own a problem that his own administration allowed. Look at what one civilian grade weapon did in CT. Heartbreaking. Imagine what untold stories have taken place so far with the hundreds of military grade assault weapons that our own govt. put on the streets. Don’t just read the blog and move on. Howard provided a call to action. Pass on your concern: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
William Mays December 31, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Keith, any cop can tell you that undercover operations go wrong sometimes, and Fast and Furious is exactly that, except on a large scale. They provided the weapons intended to bust the dealers afterwards, and seize the weapons back I presume.

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