Debate Concerning President Obama’s Call For Discourse on Gun Violence

Rob: Some musings today concerning President Obama on gun violence: he simply asks to begin the political discussion
Legitimate topics of discussion:
What about the right of the public to safety?

What are the limits on the right to bear arms?
What was “the right to bear arms” as it existed at the framing of the constitution?
The 2nd Amendment addresses that right in the context of state militias: what significance does that have?
Concerning those areas outside the veil of that right, what powers does the congress have to address the high level of gun violence we are experiencing? How can it appropriately assure the public’s right to safety?
Since the 2nd Amendment does nothing to grant a right to bear arms nor to limit the states’ powers to abridge it, what can state and municipal bodies do to address the right of the public to be safe from gun violence?
Cathy tend to focus on the “well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” part of the 2nd amendment. In my opinion this does not refer to carrying a handgun or assault rifle through the street in the off chance that you come across a “bad guy” who isn’t a tyrant.

Janece f Recent mass killings were committed with guns obtained legally. Does that tell us that the screening process for getting weapons might not be safe and effective?

Robert E Wheeler These should be part of the dialogue.

Jim The Supremes have affirmed the peoples rights Bob, along with limited state and federal rights to regulate.
Your premise is wrong. The government has laws to protect its citizens from crimes, but the law can’t be everywhere at the same time.

Robert E Wheeler Well said. That is part of the dialogue, but shouldn’t be a trump card to end the discussion..

Anna Bon matter how many gun laws there are, the criminals and crazies always find a way to get guns

Everett The intention was clear even a century ago when they reorganized the militias into the military, state (paid) National Guard and the unorganized (volunteer) militias.
In short, all able bodied males ages 18-45, have the absolute personal right and second amendment right to keep and bear arms of any type, and as many as they can afford.

That is very clear on intent. What happens when we age out is not clear, But in an emergency, I doubt next year that they will turn me away as a sniper for the unorganized militia.

So what changed in society, besides news coverage, that the farmer or businessman who can drop everything else to defend their family, neighbors, and country is no longer acceptable?

Robert E Wheeler More musing: accepting the well articulated view of my former classmate and friend, Jim Corr, have the circumstances changed since the establishment of our own Constitution so that the “well armed citizenry” might itself present a tyrannous threat to the nation and its citizens?
There is no doubt about it: the Federalist papers show that the Second Amendment was intended primarily to allow for the arming of the citizens so as to effectuate their resistance to the tyranny of… their federal government.
Wouldn’t that necessarily imply that they have weapons effective against those of their tyrannous national government, including armored air power and nuclear weapons?
Would it now permit the tyranny of a few to impose their will or inflict fear upon the increased size of population who have greater reliance upon order within their government?
What effect increased gun violence against citizens?
Is it time to reexamine the Second Amendment in the light of a dramatically changed world from that existing at the time of its making?

Jim Disagree with your decription of “living constitution.” That’s a liberal view. The basic premise of this amendment is indesputable. If you want to change that you must amend the Constitution.
Now to the real problem of keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. As far as we know Mercer purchased his guns legally. Is there anyway that could have been prevented? What if everyone diagnosed with a mental health disorder had that information placed in a government data base which could be flagged if the attempted to buy a gun?

Robert E Wheeler Fascinating discussion!

Everett Maybe part of the problem is the main benefit of armed citizens. What is that benefit? No one has been insane enough to start a military invasion of the USA during our lifetimes. Yes, there were the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks. But they were attacks, not armed invasions. The founders remembered countries over running other countries in Europe. We should remember two world wars from at least history class, and be prepared to stop any invasion of our land.
Actual quote or not, this concept contains truth.

My second thought comes from two friends in fire and rescue squads. They both believe the statistics that show what percentage of assaults or deaths are “caused by gun use” are flat out wrong. But it is not wrong in the direction I figured they would say.

Rural and urban, people will use whatever is at hand to commit evil deeds. And according to the guys who try to save lives and mop up the messes, crimes using Flat Screen TV’s or a kitchen knife are grossly under reported.

It appears you are much more likely to be killed at home with fists or anything but the kitchen sink than by a mass shooter.

One likely scenario the rural one fears involves fertilizer, diesel, and a digital clock in a school or theater next time.

None of these objects can be regulated enough to overcome the evil in the human heart. You would have to start with the stick or rock Cain used to murder Able.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and is wicked. Who can know it!

Jim Well said.

Cathy Automobiles, kitchen knives, flat screen TV’s, fists, fertilizer, diesel, digital clocks: these are all objects that have other uses. Automobiles are actually tightly regulated. You have to be licensed and insured, and the vehicle has to be registered in order to operate one. Maybe that’s a good starting point. At the very least, let’s not pretend that gun violence isn’t really a problem in our society.

Jim Hundreds of thousands of babies killed through abortion compared to less than 9000 killed with firearms. I guess its how you define problem.

Cathy That of course is a separate issue, unrelated to gun violence. Is your point that gun violence is not a problem unless it is the only problem? I though we were at least in agreement that gun violence is a problem!

Jim Violence of any kind is a problem. The source of the violence isn’t the gun. It is the person firing the gun! I don’t have a solutuon to violence. Christ taught us to treat others as we would like to be treated. That is a rule i try to live by. It is frustrating that others dont see it that same way. You’re seeking a solution to a societal problem that has become compounded by drugs, alcohol, mental illness etc, when there is no one single solution.

Everett Cigarettes (and other tobacco products) have no other use. Not self defense, not hunting, no sporting use, and it is highly regulated. Tobacco, while still legal, harms then kills 440,000 each year. Why is it still legal? How many fires are started by careless smokers, and what about the property damage and deaths from those fires?

The VW diesel emission cheating scheme is projected to kill more people in the U.S. each of the next ten years than mass shootings have.

The press has us focusing on the wrong things. Educating and elevating the poor but willing and able, helping the disabled, treating those with substance abuse issues, and treating the mentally ill would save and improve so many more lives than banter about gun control. And the return on investment would be much greater than further gun legislation and seizure programs. But these things do not make exciting headlines.

Jim Absolutely agree Everett!

Cathy Everett, cigarettes and VW are worth talking about and doing something about. They are, however, unrelated to gun violence. Either gun violence is a problem or it isn’t. If it is, then we should do something about it, whether tobacco is legal or not (I personally don’t think it should be, but at least smokers are mostly just killing themselves).
Bringing up other problems doesn’t lessen the problem at hand. We are a nation of problem-solvers, and there are 300 million of us. We can devote some great minds to working on multiple problems at once.

Jim Violence in general is a problem (repeating myself). We should punish those who are guilty of it, not those who had no part in it. The one size fits all solution for gun violence is to ban guns. That won’t happen! You would be inviting civil war. The solutions then are to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and of the mentally ill. Can we agree on that?

Cathy (Actually Cathy this time) I don’t think that Ernie is calling for an all-out ban on guns, but rather some sensible laws and precautions, but I’ll let him reply if he wants to.

What do you think about a federal licensing or permitting system like some states already have? People who want to buy a gun would pass a background check that includes a doctor’s form (much like the form that exists for kindergarten), training and exam, registration, and perhaps insurance. These are all things we do for our cars, so why not for guns?

The doctor’s form would help prevent some inappropriate people (homicidal/suicidal/ generally unfit for gun ownership) from obtaining a permit. The training would be beneficial for any owner. Registration would be helpful if the gun is stolen. Insurance, well, because it seems practical.

Jim When i go to purchase a firearm i have to complete this long form which goes to ATF i believe. In there i have to declare im a citizen and i believe that ive no mental illness. I could be wrong in that. I could live with a certificate from my doctor attesting to my mental well being. Doctors would want to be indemnified though from law suits. I dont get the insurance part. Insurance for what. I insure my guns from theft.

Cathy As with cars, liability for damage or injury caused by your improper use of the gun (after your first “accident” it may be hard to get insurance:) –E

Jim I know it exists. Making it mandatory is another separate issue. Kind of like forcing people to sign up for Obamacare. If you commit a gun crime you may be charged criminally, but you could also be sued in civil court.

Everett Require gun insurance for what exactly?

The rest of the idea is a lot of hassle and a potential restriction of freedoms for what is actually a very small number of deaths and injuries. Motor vehicles, while being a keystone of our lifestyle, still kill way too many people. Why should a similar program help responsible, legal gun owners? Car theft, accidents, and drunk driving still happen.

Firearm registration programs have led to abuse (newspaper publication of owners name and addresses to start with) and eventually to universal buyback and confiscation in places like England and Australia. Then like it or not, crime rates, including violent home invasions, go up. That is not how I want to live.

Jim The problem with the medical certificate is what happens if your condition changes after you by the gun? Would have to be a provision for the doctor to update.

Jim The medical privacy issue would be the most difficult to overcome. How about we guard our schools like we guard our government offices, banks, military installations, and movie stars…with armed guards.

Everett Yes, please!

Jim Goid night all!

Everett This sounds too incredible, but is true. I taught in a Nebraska school where the judge required a student to attend so he would stay out of further trouble. The kid was accused of robbing banks with his meth head brothers and their friends. He had also brought and passed a pistol around school. (He was avoiding a locker check.) This was soon after Columbine, and the judge overrode the school suspension because of the bank robbery charges.

I do not think he legally obtained the hand guns, and the staff would have appreciated some body guards.

Inner city schools could use help with gang and drug control, too. Metal detectors are not enough.
Annita Wheeler Parmelee Something else:…/our-tragic…/

Our Tragic Response to the Oregon Tragedy
Witnessing all the online fury, I can’t help but feel like this unspeakable tragedy in Oregon has just become — if…

Robert E Wheeler Good article, Annita. And it should not shortcut the political discourse that the President ernestly pleads for.

Sally I bet our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves. Change it because a bunch of people don’t like it. Bah! Guns don’t kill, People that are sick kill.

Robert E Wheeler What can I say!

Annita Ernie, trying to sort out what you really think from the sarcasm.. I assume you really don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons. I doubt you think we can (or should) control people’s diets to reduce obesity. You do think we should limit “sick people’s” access to weapons, never mind praying. You do see a significant difference between the shootings that occur every day in Chicago and Iran wiping the nation of Israel off the map just because they are there.

Cathy Annita, these are all the same arguments we hear for not taking action on gun violence. If they sound ridiculous to you in this context, I can tell you that they sound equally ridiculous to many of us when we’re talking about trying to make sensible changes to gun laws.

Annita Ernie, Quoting myself…”Trying to figure out who can own guns is the wrong solution. Maybe a better question would be why are so many boys and young men in our country unemployed, angry, doing poorly academically, and feeling hopeless. We don’t value them as a group or individually. Have you noticed most of the “mass” shooters in recent years have been young men? It seems to me if we thought about this sociologically we might place some blame on our society. We’ve progressed to where we deny the reality of things that give meaning and purpose to life.”

Cathy I almost completely agree with you Annita. I remember growing up in a time when I didn’t worry about mass shooters, and didn’t do lockdown drills at school. The world was a fascinating and exciting place, rather than a dangerous place where we all needed to be armed. There were unlimited possibilities. Our society has become obsessed with violence and with guns. TV, movies, video games, and real life are all full of it. I want us to work on these things, just like you do! But I also want us to admit that the easy availability of weapons that allow you to make life or death decisions by moving a finger is making it easier for unhappy, maladjusted, hopeless, or just mentally ill people to do horrible things. We can work this problem from both sides simultaneously — they are not mutually exclusive!

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