Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Attitude shift

January 1, 2013

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To the editor:

Three reasons are used for individual possession of guns. First, national defense — not a 21st century role for individuals. Second, sport — hunting as recreation or hobby, maybe some food. Third, self defense — protection of self, but not a guarantee.

So “fear” claims center stage. Does this justify guns, concealed or overt, automatic or not, in a grade school or a movie theater or an Indian reservation or a Sikh temple or a market square?  

Interrupting inappropriate and even fatal possession and use of guns is essential. Changing attitudes are needed, as was done for smoking. Wild West days are gone?

Remember who said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”?

Comments

KSManimal 2 years, 3 months ago

The focus on "need" for guns is irrelevant. Nobody "needs" a gun. Nor does anyone "need" freedom of speech, religion, assembly, ...or the right to due process, or to vote, or anything else in the Bill of Rights. All anyone really needs are food, air, water, and shelter.

Of course, we decided long ago that life would be more worth living if we had a bit more than just what we need - hence the Bill of Rights.

SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

Strange. Owning guns makes life "more worth living"?

SnakeFist 2 years, 3 months ago

So life is "more worth living" with guns? Is life with a 100 round drum magazine more worth living than life with a 30 round magazine?

All of our rights are limited by reasonable restrictions. Just as the right to free speech doesn't entitle someone to endanger others by yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, the right to bear arms shouldn't entitle someone to have a weapon that can kill dozens of people as fast as he can pull the trigger.

Abdu Omar 2 years, 3 months ago

"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." isn't this contradictory to the saying that "God helps those who help themselves"? If a country or a party oppresses you, you are going to pray for them? No help yourself and fight them where ever you see them and when they stop oppressing you, you stop fighting them. This is a better way since it removes the oppression and if you fight against oppression, God will help you. Don't be lame and let your enemy walk all over you, that shows cowardice not faith. God wants none of His followers to live under oppression.

hedshrinker 2 years, 3 months ago

the basis of non-violent resistance is Matthew 5:39-41: "If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." ie instead of being reactive in an ever-escalating cycle of violence, we can interrupt that process by saying you can't force me into simply following your action with a (perhaps futile) reaction, but I and I alone am in control of how I choose to respond. Walking away is often the better part of valor; only machismo types believe otherwise.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

You're mixing metaphors or something here. One quote is from the Bible and one is not.

I don't pray, but yes, some people do pray for those who oppress them--- and some people are pacifists and believe that is what the Bible teaches. You seem to think that you speak for God. I don't think that you do.

JW1944 2 years, 3 months ago

The concept of American citizens having the right to bear arms back in the 1700's made sense. The idea was to have the ability to at least try to overthrow the government if things turned into a dictatorship. However, this is not the 1700's. Even if every American owned fully automatic assault rifles with a thousands of rounds of ammo think about the futility of trying to overthrow our government today. Our "Defense" budget is larger than the next 10 countries put together, our govt has nuclear weapons, biological weapons, nuclear aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, drones, hundreds of satellites, GPS, thousands of warships, bombers, fighter jets, the CIA, the FBI, wiretapping, etc, etc.The NRA & likewise argument of keeping & bearing arms for this purpose is nothing more than fantasia.I can see sport hunting as a right, although I do not partake, however, the only right to have assault weapons is for nut cases to continue slaughtering our innocent babies. Is this really what we want? Every other month innocent people are being gunned down for this long outdated argument for keeping assault weapons - we've got 2 choices; make them illegal or continue to have innocent kids' blood on our hands & I guarantee it will happen again & again. Try sleeping good with that on your concscience.

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

The right to bear arms in the Second Amendment is explicitly connected to a "well regulated Militia" and "the security of a free State." If we in this country decided to respect those specifications in regard to the Constitution, then most of the problems connected with gun ownership would diminish.

It is only very recent Supreme Court cases that have resulted in the reinterpretation of the Second Amendment to allow such unrestricted ownership of firearms by individuals. However, even those cases are much more limited in scope than the gun over-enthusiasts claim. The Supreme Court justices affirmed the legitimacy of restricting who may own and carry weapons, what kinds of weapons they may carry, and where they have carry them. Furthermore, the decisions were not intended to be definitive, and they could easily be overturned by the court later on (just as the Dred Scott decision famously was).

Responsible gun owners are not a problem. The problem is this: too many gun owners aren't responsible. They don't store weapons safely, so they get into the hands of people who misuse them. They sell weapons without checking to see whether the purchasers will be responsible with them. They allow people whom they know to be unstable or excitable continue to own weapons. They think that owning a gun gives them the "right" to act as vigilantes, going off to "prevent crime" and shooting innocent people in the process. Restrictions on certain types of weapons might mitigate the destruction, but they won't keep weapons out of dangerous hands.

I think that a Swiss-type solution might work better. In order to own a gun, a person would need to prove first that he knows how to handle it safely--often through completion of a term of military service or police training. Most of the ammunition would be kept at an armory, and individuals would be allowed to take no more than they need for legitimate purposes. Most important, every firearm would be registered to a specific owner, who would be personally responsible financially and criminally for seeing that it was not lost, stolen, or misused. One violation, and he would lose the right to possess firearms forever. That kind of system would go far towards separating out responsible gun owners from the irresponsible ones.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I didn't sign an oath to defend kids, I signed one to protect the constitution. Your hysterics are not effective.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Best estimate I could find is about 46% of households, which translates into about 52 million people.

They appear to own about 4 guns/household, which would mean about 200 million guns, but not of course 200 million owners.

voevoda 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm confused by the pro-gun spokesmen who simultaneously argue two contradictory things:

1) The American world is so dangerous--there are so many criminals just waiting to attack people, invade their homes, kill them for the thrill, etc., that it is imperative for personal safety that they--and ideally every law-abiding citizen--have guns for personal protection and carry them whereever they go;

and

2) Almost nobody among those persons who possess guns is irresponsible and dangerous, and therefore there is no reason for any limits on gun ownership or where and when gun owners can carry weapons.

Both of those contentions cannot be true. If there are only 30,000 persons who possess guns who might use them in a dangerous manner, then there is really little reason for most people to own guns (except for recreational reasons) or any reason carry them around. After all, the chances of ever running into one of those 30,000 persons at a moment when he is intent upon mayhem would be astronomical. So virtually nobody would be less safe if access to guns were to be much limited.

However, if contention No. 1 is true, and ordinary American desperately need guns for their own protection, then we have a national safety crisis, and it becomes imperative that we find ways of preventing guns from finding their way into the hands of people who commit crimes with them. That would necessarily mean much better control over who gets weapons and how securely they keep them.

Niemoller 2 years, 3 months ago

Not every rapist carries a gun, not every home invasion begins with a gun, not every killer kills with a gun! Your obvious assumption is your problem. Even if the 30,000 gun owning bad guys commit 2 crimes each, account for all the bad guys that commit crimes without a damn gun.

Niemoller 2 years, 3 months ago

Furthermore, guns fulfill three, and possibly the first four, of the levels on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. They provide food, safety and esteem (confidence). And you can ask anyone who has hunting buddies, guns/cross bows bring together friends and family. Name something else that can do that.

JohnBrown 2 years, 3 months ago

If it ever goes to the Supreme Court, hopefully the conservative judges will interpret the 2nd Amendment as envisioned by the original writers and only allow flintlocks and ban everything else.

JohnBrown

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"allow flintlocks and ban everything else."

Allow printing presses and ban everything else.

Niemoller 2 years, 3 months ago

What if instead it read:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and I am still here because I was armed.


You want to say it is about fear. I offer this in opposition.

Story from a Kansas State Highway Patrol officer :

I made a traffic stop on an elderly lady the other day for speeding on U.S. 166 Eastbound at Mile Marker 73 just East of Sedan, KS. I asked for her driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance. The lady took out the required information and handed it to me. In with the cards I was somewhat surprised (due to her advanced age) to see she had a conceal carry permit. I looked at her and asked if she had a weapon in her possession at this time.

She responded that she indeed had a .45 automatic in her glove box. Something---body language, or the way she said it---made me want to ask if she had any other firearms. She did admit to also having a 9mm Glock in her center console. Now I had to ask one more time if that was all. She responded once again that she did have just one more, a .38 special in her purse. I then asked her what was she so afraid of.

She looked me right in the eye and said, "Not a f***ing thing!"

Niemoller 2 years, 3 months ago

Jan. 4, 2013 – Atlanta, GA; Dec. 17, 2012 - San Antonio, Texas; Dec. 31, 2011 – Oklahoma, OK; Oct. 17, 2012 – Calera, OK ;

Prevention and Protection is less popular in America then mass murder. Why else do stories like the ones above barely get attention? We allow this attitude to continue everyday, we allow the insane to prevail over the heroes. “It’s just good business.” – says every newspaper ever. The people who would be the first to disarm us are the same ones that will squash US, oppress US, demoralize US, and demonize US. They are the same ones that will get to keep their guns. Frankly, I am not worried about the crazies, I am worried about the police state in which we live. Ask yourself if you are against guns because people kill people with them, or are you against guns because you could not kill someone with one. Bad things happen to good people (especially by out of control governments, which is exactly what we have in the US) and when that person turns out to be you, you would be wise to have a .38 special or better in your hand. If we were really serious about gun control, we would stop the manufacturing of guns and get control of the ones that are in existence. We would skyrocket the price of bullets like Chris Rock said. That is what is real. But we don't really want to do what is real. But once again, the only people who would benefit would be the rich...the poor would still be poor and powerless and disarmed. When are we going to wake up America?

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 3 months ago

LOL! If that had happened in central Texas, That could have been my mom! If her German Shepard" Remington" doesn't get you, The Lady Smith will and she is an excellent shot even at 70. If she knew the lady from Sedan, KS. I am sure they would be good friends.

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