Archive for Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter: Gun ‘rights’

April 29, 2013


To the editor:

We accept that the Second Amendment affirms opposition to foreign, invading forces. But personal guns are hardly required today for national defense or food.

“Self-defense” is trumpeted by the National Rifle Association and the gun manufacturers. The Kansas NRA promotes gun safety education programs. Good! Accidental discharges with fatal consequences occur too often.

I have frequently attended events at the Dole Institute — and recommend it to many. However, two assertions made at a recent event about “self-defense” should be challenged. One speaker said she wanted to confront “with a 50” any group of five or six big men charging into her house. Is a gang of five likely to “invade”? How likely is that? Who is likely to lose in the “battle”? My guess: any intruder(s) is prepared to shoot first and outshoot any opponent.

Opponents of gun registration and background checks contend it is an intrusion on our freedoms. Often cited: Hitler ordered registration and took away guns. First, Hitler did not remove all guns. (WWII vets told me of finding many guns in German homes.) Second, Hitler’s rise was facilitated by conditions after WWI. He gave Germans a ‘new’ spirit — dignity among nations, building Autobahns, reducing unemployment, and an impossible ‘dream.’

Registration of guns and owners is no greater threat to personal freedom than being required to register our automobiles and be certified to drive one. Driving or gun ownership is a privilege, not a right.

Some say: outlawing guns means only outlaws will have guns. No!! We still will have our police, sheriffs, military, highway patrols, and National Guard.


Benjamin Roberts 5 years, 1 month ago

Donny - you lost it at your first sentence, "We accept that the Second Amendment affirms opposition to foreign, invading forces."

This amendment was about 1) stopping an oppressive federal government, 2) personal rights of each state's people.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

Seems to me you made a leap in assumptions. Where in your last sentence does it say that this "well regulated Militia" is designed to protect the "free State" against the federal government instead of outside forces? Seems like a state militia could also be used against foreign, invading forces. In fact, when has a state militia ever been used against our federal government?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

"when has a state militia ever been used against our federal government?" - Wouldn't the Civil War be just such an example?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

Wikipedia has an interesting article about them, and they've been almost exclusively used for everything BUT against the feds. Even in the southern states who used their militias against the north during the civil war, you could make the case that since they seceded, they were fighting against an invading foreign force, and from the North's perspective, they were suppressing an insurrection within the US, so neither would be technically against the federal government.

In more recent history, many states have state conscripted National Guards, as opposed to the US National Guard, but once again, they have pitched in to fight national wars overseas, helped keep the order and provide assistance to their own citizens during disasters, etc. That's a bunch of times where they did NOT fight against the feds. Give me an example of where they did, and then you might have a point.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"Give me an example of where they did, and then you might have a point."

Colorado and pot. Kansas and guns. Oregon and assisted suicide.

Watch the news or something.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

You got lost in the pronoun, I'm afraid. By "they" I was clearly referring to state militias/state national guardsmen, not state laws that differ from federal laws. You, hawkins, Did I Say That still have no point until you can give an example of a state militia fighting the feds.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Brownback is the commander in chief of the Kansas national guard and he is fighting the federal government on several fronts. Just because he hasn't deployed troops doesn't make the fight less real.

bandito 5 years, 1 month ago

Owning a gun not a right? That's why it's found in the "Bill of Rights"! Besides ever read the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights? Any right not expressly given to the government was reserved by states and the people! (See 9th and 10th Amendments) Don, a basic 8th course on the Constitution teaches you that! You must have been asleep during that lesson. Don't think any of those things that you mention won't or can't happen again? Those who fail to remember the past are doomed to repeat it!

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Why would any rational person want to create a situation in which only criminals have guns?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

You misunderstand my point.

I was questioning your statements about the lte.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

They are a rational criminal seeking to reduce their workplace hazards?

gphawk89 5 years, 1 month ago

"We still will have our police, sheriffs, military, highway patrols, and National Guard." This is way overused but appropriate: "When seconds count, help is only minutes away."

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

None of the police have any obligation to protect you from harm. Self defense is up to you.

JohnBrown 5 years, 1 month ago

I disagree with the LTE. But the key phrase in the 2nd Amendment is "A well regulated militia..".

So does the "regulating"?

Given that this is an amendment to the Constitution, it obviously refers to the United States government doing the "regulating". By definition, any "regulating" the government wants to do should not be objectionable.

As for the "right to bear arms.." part, it's obvious that the writers of the 2nd Amendment had in mind muskets and flintlock pistols. Re-interpreting the 2nd Amendment to mean 50 cal sniper rifles with scopes, m79 grenade launchers, hand grenades, or automatic rifles is simply the view of liberal activist judges and their ilk.


voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

The Heller decision specifically upholds regulation of firearm ownership, according to the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia:

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

Would have been better if Judge Antonin Scalia would have based his decision on the Constitution. The decision does not make any "new law". I don't think the Preamble to the Bill of Rights allows the Judge to make a decision in this area. It is illegal.

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

With Justice Scalia, there would be no Heller decision, and thus no ruling by the Supreme Court that the right to bear arms rests with individuals, rather than militias. So are you sure, In_God, that you want to denigrate his opinion? And do you really claim to have a superior knowledge of the Constitution to that of a Supreme Court justice?

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights is very clear and easy to understand. It is not so much a case of superior knowledge, but of common sense and ability to read. The 2nd amendment already says that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. It is common knowledge that the militia is the whole people, and the whole people are not always (in fact rarely) in the militia. The case is already answered in the amendment itself. It is because there are people that like to twist words (like on this thread) to cause controversy when there is none.

Phoghorn 5 years, 1 month ago

"Well regulated" means well functioning or orderly. The Militia is the people and was not to be regulated by a state or federal government because the term regulated did not mean "to be governed" or "to be controlled". A closer translation would be "to be well rehearsed".

Also, the Founding Fathers did not foresee the internet when they wrote the 1st Amendment. I do however, enjoy the right to express myself freely with means other than a fountain pen.

Mark English 5 years, 1 month ago

Of equal sadness??? You are soo lost it's ridiculous!

Truly yours, Catholic

Phoghorn 5 years, 1 month ago

What do Google and modern firearms have in common?

The Fathers had neither, and I use both.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

If Samuel Colt had Google he'd spend all day searching for topics that are pertinent to his interest and not inventing automatic weapons.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution gives Congress the authority to arm, train, govern, discipline and organize militias.

So, your concept of them is not the same as the founders.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

@John, since the government can not regulate a Right of the people, your definition of regulate is sorely lacking. A well regulated militia is one that is well equipped and trained. It clearly does not mean regulated as in commerce.

hipper_than_hip 5 years, 1 month ago

So the First Amendment is about movable type, paper and ink -- hand-driven -- right?

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

You are confused about American history, Dont_Tread_On_Me. At the time the Constitution was written, the United States was not subject to the government of Great Britain. The American Revolution had already been won; the peace treaty was signed. The US government was formulated according to the Articles of Confederation. Far from being "tyrannical," leading Americans thought that that government was too weak, and the Constitution was written in order to strength the government.

No matter how you try to define "well regulated," no properly provisioned or properly functioning militia can operate without an accurate enumeration of what weapons it possesses and who is in physical possession of them. No properly provisioned or properly functioning militia can operate without ascertaining that the persons in possession of its weapons can use them safely and effectively, and that the weapons cannot end up in the hands of persons who will misuse them. So no matter which way you try to twist the definition, Dont_Tread, we end up in the same place.

Phoghorn 5 years, 1 month ago

The Bill of Rights trumps what society deems "reasonable". That was the whole point of having a Constitution and Bill of Rights. It prevents a simple majority (ie 51%) from controlling policy based on some current whim.

Section 2 illuminates a major fallacy concerning the Second Amendment. It was never intended to allow private citizens to possess arms solely designed for hunting and sport.

Phoghorn 5 years, 1 month ago

I am a busy man, so I can't be on here 24/7. I will just let the original 2nd Amendment speak for itself as it covers all bases. Why improve on a good thing? ;-)

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

No, Dont_Tread, we were *not founded as a Christian nation. The Constitution explicitly omits any mention of God, and prohibits any religious test for the holding of any public office or public trust. The Bill of Rights explicitly prohibits the Federal government from establishing any religion. As a result, those states that had originally been founded by religious groups--some of the original 13 colonies, but not all of them--repealed the laws they had on the books to promote one religious denomination over any other.

For a second time today, Dont_Tread, you are revealing that you really don't know the facts of American history. So why should we trust your statements concerning the meaning of the Second Amendment?

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

Wrong again, Dont_Tread. There is only one mention of God in the Declaration of Independence, namely, "Nature's God." There is a reference to the "Creator" and a reference to "Divine Providence." None of those references implies a specifically Christian mindset. In fact, they are more in keeping with a Deist religious view. Nothing in the Declaration of Independence can be taken to be the establishment of the United States as a Christian nation.

Yes, some of the colonies had explicit endorsement of specific forms of Christianity as part of their foundational documents. But because those laws violated the Constitution, they had to be repealed during the first years of the Republic. So the United States (as opposed to British colonies) was not founded as a Christian nation.

For a third time today, Dont_Tread, you have shown yourself to be unfamiliar with basic facts of American history.

eastcoastboy 5 years, 1 month ago

Great video!!! But i like this one better. Because it could actually happen.

LA_Ex 5 years, 1 month ago

God given right? Where does it say this in the bible? The founding fathers gave me the Second Amendment.....not your god.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 1 month ago

Paranoid much? Or just delusional? NOBODY has said anything about taking your guns.Step away from Faux Noise. God given right? Puhleez.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 1 month ago

private citizens do not need military style weapons. they are fun to shoot. i own a lot of firearms. i do not own an m4 or a 50 cal barrett. the militia did not defeat the british. george washington and the trained continental army did.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually George Washington was funded by private citizens to buy military firearms for his army.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"private citizens do not need military style weapons."

They don't need jury trials either, but they get them anyway. You said it yourself, military weapons are fun to shoot. I had a blast with the M60 back in the day. I could run through thousands of rounds and want more.

Luckily, in America, if you can pass the scrutiny, you can own and fire such weapons.

Sure we don't need them, but the word "need" isn't in the second amendment.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 1 month ago

"Sure we don't need them, but the word "need" isn't in the second amendment."

This has always been my pet peeve. Why do you always see gun haters talking down to gun owners and pressuring them to justify why they want to own a gun?

Why should you be allowed the right to vote, to assemble, to give an opinion without fear of being thrown into a political prison or the right to privacy? We should never have to defend what is fundamental to being an American citizen. Promoting gun safety is not what this has been about. It is about government power getting out of control.

Brock Masters 5 years, 1 month ago

Everyone is entitled to an opinion but it is truly disheartening to read uninformed comments. I do not understand how someone can base their argument and opinion on the notion that gun ownership is not a right but just a privilege

People need to take the time to educate themselves on important topics.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

Agreed, that this is a right, as defined in the Bill of Rights. This, of course, doesn't mean that you can't legally lose those rights because of your behavior, just as a felon loses her or his right to vote and any number of other "rights" guaranteed by law, correct?

It seems to me that lots of folks are overly concerned about stopping the potential for voter fraud but then turn right around and say if someone who has forfeited their right to legally hold a lethal weapon because of their behavior, well, that it's OK to have an accounting system that's full of loopholes and gaps for keeping track of that. Of course, breaking the law by carrying a gun when you're no longer entitled to do so is much harder to stop than preventing voter fraud, but it seems that at least closing the most obvious loopholes would be in the interest of all law abiding citizens.

And speaking of education, do you support funding research that will lead to a better understanding of the nature of gun violence and how to reduce its incidence, within the context of our rights, of course?

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

You can't permanently loose your rights. Rights (and Bill of Rights) did not originate from the government so they can not take them away. They are a list of freedoms and restrictions on federal government. (Only Judge Scalia thinks he can start limiting your Rights, contrary to the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, law ). Rights can only be temporarily suspended, for things like prison, or mental illness. Rights that are temporarily suspended can later be restored.

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

So, In_God_we_trust thinks he is a more authoritative scholar of the Constitution than Justice Antonin Scalia?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 1 month ago

Agreed. And that changes nothing about the need for a good list of who is currently suspended, correct? You would have to go through the same legal channels to reinstate your name on a gun registry just as you do to regain your other suspended rights, correct?

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 1 month ago

The only thing that Don accomplished with this letter was start to make me wonder if I should finally join the NRA.

oldvet 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, jay, it is time to join. People like Don want to take away your rights, pay no attention to their false compromising rhetoric. The NRA is lobbying for you in DC to protect your constitutional rights and needs your help. Now is the time to join.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 1 month ago

The NRA does NOT lobby for anyone except gun manufacturers. This is why their answer to any question concerning guns is always MORE GUNS.It's not concerned with your rights, it is concerned with making more money.

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

GOA is also a fine organization to consider joining. (Maybe better than the NRA) IMHO.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 1 month ago

actually weapons were a problem for colonial militias. standardization for ammunition was a headache. after concord, lexington and breed's hill it was obvious that a standing army was needed. our army after 1776 was predominately young men who enlisted for terms of service not the gentlemen volunteers of myth and legend. militia was still used but was considered a liability. exceptions were king's mountain and the guerilla war in the south.

i quit the nra three years ago. they have lost prespective and i believe shill for the gun industry.

old combat vet

Mark English 5 years, 1 month ago

Old Combat vet, My military given M-16 killed no innocent civilians during my tour in Iraq. It killed the enemy and enemy alone. My AR-15 in the civilian world kills paper targets and coyotes alike. Tell me why again this is a problem for you, me, and other law abiding citizens like AGNOSTIC. My myth and legend tour consisted of the best 4 years of my life. It ended with defending freedom from terrorists. There will always be weapons like these around and if there is laws passed to take mine away I will have no choice but to abide. However do you think that criminals will abide by the same rules. Remember this "When seconds count, the Police are only minutes away."

Recent Combat Vet

Phoghorn 5 years, 1 month ago

You know you enjoyed seeing the reference.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 1 month ago

its not. you did not use your ar15 to kill 20+ innocents in a school. do not confuse history with current events. I respect you for your service in the sandpile. if you know what you are doing a handgun or shotgun will suffice for self-defense. i do agree shooting semi-auto is fun. the only semi-auto i have is my old model 1100.

Steve Crockett 5 years, 1 month ago

To those not in favor of background checks on line and at gun shows. Do you really think its OK for Alqueda, Zokar the terrorist or some crazy directly out of the looney bin at the State pen to be able to buy assault weapons with 100 round clips on line or at a gun show without even showing an ID? Thats just __!!!!!!!!!

In_God_we_trust 5 years, 1 month ago

How many terrorists have decided to use a background check to date?

wyattearp2 5 years, 1 month ago

Remember when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns....And who will they keep using them against; YOU and ME..

voevoda 5 years, 1 month ago

The Founders did not put "In God We Trust" on our currency. It was added first, on only one coin, in 1864, in the midst of the Civil War. It was not used uniformly on currency until Congress required it in legislation in 1955. That was at the height of the Cold War, when American legislators wanted to emphasize how the US was different from the Communist and atheistic Soviet Union. In the same period, the words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance, which previously had no mention of any deity.

Maddy Griffin 5 years, 1 month ago

They didn', that was added after WWll.And do you reeally think we are using the same currency our founding fathers used?

Devon Kissinger 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm tired of the argument that the Founders were only referring to muskets and flintlocks. Have any of you heard of the Puckle Gun, it was patented in 1718, I don't believe the Founders were so short sighted.

grandnanny 5 years, 1 month ago

It's funny how everyone knows exactly what the Constitution means in regards to the 2nd Amendment, but no one knows what it says in Article 1, Section 8: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

That seems pretty clear to me that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to make sure that people had guns when they were called upon to prtect the union from insurrections and invasions. No mention of protection from the government, but to provide for calling forth the Militia. Remember there was no standing army. Now, we have a standing army and the military provides the weapons.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

It seems pretty clear to me that you don’t understand how a document like the Constitution works. Article 1, Section 8 is part of the base document. The Second Amendment comes later in the chronology. Therefore, the Amendment takes precedent in any interpretations.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

You must have been in such a hurry to respond that you didn’t even read and comprehend what I wrote.

I never said that the Second Amendment repealed anything, but it does place limits on what the Legislative Branch can do under its Article 1, Section 8 powers in relation to the private ownership of firearms. As you correctly pointed out, the Amendment deals with a right of the people that cannot be infringed by the Congress, no matter what powers it is granted in the Constitution to regulate the militia, or interstate commerce for that matter.

I believe the “fail” is yours……..

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Militias are irrelevant. "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is plain language that say's Americans can have guns.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

The point about Article 1, Section 8 that's interesting is that it shows what the founders meant when they discussed a "well regulated militia", the phrase in the 2nd amendment.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 1 month ago

The term “well regulated” or any derivation of the term is nowhere in Article 1, Section 8.

It would appear that you are trying to be one of Agnostick’s “time travelers that claim to have been in Philadelphia in 1787”.

If you would do a little research, you would find what the meaning of the term was, and is, as it relates to the Amendment. This has been pointed out so many times that it is becoming rather tiresome. You anti-freedom folks are becoming like broken records.

I guess it all goes back to my “extreme” opinion; if we can’t trust you with a firearm, why are you walking around freely among us?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago


And so? The description of the militia there completely contradicts the notion many seem to have. It was intended to be a national sort of army to protect us from outside dangers, and used to execute our laws. It was intended to be trained and governed by Congress.

The idea that it was intended to be a sort of hodgepodge group of citizens armed to defend against our own government seems completely at odds with that.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 1 month ago

Agnostick, in my opinion you have the most cogent and compelling comment on the subject.

However, when it comes to mental health, isn't what goes on between a patient and their psychiatrist/psychologist confidential? So, how could there be a public database with the names and illnesses of those who have mental health problems? Who would make up this list? Would it be national or local?

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"political terrorism"

I think that is pretty accurate. I bet most people think that universal checks are fine and support them. I believe the 90% number myself. The right is committing political terrorism because of the assault weapons ban. If the left wants to ban rifles with pistol grips, the right will punish ("terrorize" as you would say) the left by preventing any new law.

How else do you explain 90% of Americans supporting more background checks while the law requiring such checks is defeated so soundly and so easily? We want background checks, we just don't want democrats involved with any legislation regarding guns.

It will be a long time before democrats pass any new federal gun law in America.

hedshrinker 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe the law requiring background checks was "defeated soundly and easily" in contrast to 90% of the public supporting such legislation b/c there is almost NO connection between legislators' votes and what their constituents support. Big moneyed contributors and corporate interests own most legislators and they will do their masters' bidding to get elected over and over. And Republicans and their more nefarious allies will do anything to deny Democrats and especially the President a legislative victory, even if it breaks the entire country, as with the sequester.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 1 month ago

Ronald Reagan sometimes wore a gun and knew how to use it. He opposed most gun legislation as ridiculous but he did support the Brady bill and believed it made good sense to do a background check before selling a hand gun. He also claimed to know many of the original signers of the Constitution.

The problem we have today is that we cannot trust the gun haters and there is no beloved leader as we had with Reagan in spite of his flaws. Most Americans loved Reagan.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"He also claimed to know many of the original signers of the Constitution."

I thought he was one of the original signers.

hedshrinker 5 years, 1 month ago

"most Americans loved Reagan." not by a long shot; oh, sorry, about the pun, particularly in light of my next comment; to whit, Reagan may have supported the Brady Bill since he himself had been the subject of an assasination attempt. But who knows, he had a very loose association with the truth, talking frequently out of both sides of his mouth (Iran Contra, railing against big gubmint and spending while massively increasing both size and expenditures).

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