Letters to the Editor

Letter: Gun control

August 8, 2015

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To the editor:

If you are one of the nearly 90 percent of Americans who favor some form of gun safety regulation and one of your gun lobby friends throws the Second Amendment at you, I’d like to make a suggestion: Throw it back.

The Second Amendment consists of one sentence, the first half of which is a prepositional phrase. I quote:  “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.” The third word in the Second Amendment is the word regulated, and the word militia means the same thing today that it meant when the founders were debating the constitution: a group of local volunteers who come together for the common defense of the community.

If your friend made it through eighth-grade English, he will know that the purpose of a prepositional phrase is to modify or limit the meaning of the full sentence. It seems like the founders left plenty of room in the Second Amendment for some common sense gun regulation.

It’s easy to understand why the National Rifle Association refuses to recognize the first half of the Second Amendment, but what’s your excuse?

Comments

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

Another diehard. The 2nd amendment expects every citizen to own weapons and furnish their own in time of need. The well regulated militia only comes into play when he citizens are called upon by the state or country to defend our freedoms. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Jeffrey Lafleur 2 years, 4 months ago

I cannot find a single poll to back up that 90% claim. The closest thing I found was a January 2013 Gallup poll that had shown that 91% of those surveyed supported background checks. In the same survey asking if the respondents supported more gun control, only 54% said yes.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/162083/americans-wanted-gun-background-checks-pass-senate.aspx

As far as your second amendment interpretation..

In 2008, the Supreme court ruled that the individual right of owning a gun was independent of the prefatory militia clause. Meaning that the meaning of the word "regulated" is irrelevant to the individual.

A very similar argument to your own was presented during that trial. It was not effective, as 250 years of recorded historical precedence was available to discredit it.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

Gun control does not necessarily include hunting gear.

Guns designed for the military should definitely be under strict regulations.

Robert Ries 2 years, 4 months ago

"...shall not be infringed." RIng any bells?

The Right has nothing to do with hunting. Hunting is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but certainly falls under the ninth and Tenth Amendments. The Second has another intent entirely.

P.S. That Mauser-bolt-action 'hunting' rifle? Yeah, originally designed directly as a weapon of war. Now what?

Justin Hoffman 2 years, 4 months ago

Give it up people. We have enough sensible gun control already. We just need to enforce the laws we have. Heck, it was a major screw up by the FBI that allowed the Charleston shooter to get a gun. They couldn't even enforce their own laws and they are still apologizing for it. 9 innocent people lost their lives because of that mistake. You blame guns? I blame people.

If you want to continue the fight for you 2nd Amendment freedoms, join one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country, the NRA. Help make one of the strongest groups stronger.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-director-screening-error-allowed-dylann-roof-to-purchase-gun/ www.nra.org

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 4 months ago

In Kansas there is no longer gun control, except a short background check if you buy it from a real gun dealer or a law abiding gun dealer. No training is required about how to use the gun or about laws. Concealed carry training told people that if they ever have to pull their gun on someone, even if they don't fire it, they must report it to the police, or risk losing their license. Apparently anyone can pull their gun now, and never report it, because there is no license to lose.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

The laws against gun use haven't changed. The only byproduct of Kansas' gun laws is fewer violent crimes.

P Allen Macfarlane 2 years, 4 months ago

How do you know that fewer violent crimes have resulted from Kansas gun laws? Correlation with an effect is not the same thing as cause and effect.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

How do you know that violent crimes did not go down because of gun laws? One thing for certain is that the gun laws have not increased violent crime.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 2 years, 4 months ago

The new concealed carry law has only been in effect for a month.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

Yup, but CC and open carry laws started in 2008. From that date thru 2013 violent crime decreased by about 2000 crimes per year. Every year as more CC permits were issued violent crime has decreased. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues.

Robert Ries 2 years, 4 months ago

May I please see your First, Fourth, Thirteenth and Twenty-Sixth Amendment Permits, proof of training and receipts for fees paid to the government.

P.S. You are either ignorant or lying. Look, gun control: http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/kansas.pdf

P Allen Macfarlane 2 years, 4 months ago

If we have enough sensible gun control, then what explains Columbine, the shootings at the Jewish synagogue in Kansas City, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School?

Justin Hoffman 2 years, 4 months ago

Explain to me why people still die in alcohol related crashes when we have strict laws against driving under the influence. Or why people that are not using their seatbelt die in crashes when we have a law that says you must use your seatbelt.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

Columbine: Illegally purchased firearms, home made explosives(which are already illegal) Jewish Synagogue: His firearms purchases were illegal through a straw buyer. Sandy Hook: Shooter was already barred from purchasing guns.

Sooooo you want to make what they did... illegaler?

Bob Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

The current regime's Orwellian use of the phrase "common sense" to describe their attempts to disarm Americans is a failure.

Lisa Prybyl 2 years, 4 months ago

Richard, would your 'amendment' to the 2nd include 'pink' guns?

Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

If the pink guns were ever military issue assault weapons ....... take them off the market.

The NRA was a family type organization until about 1980 at which time big corporate special interest money began their covert operation of taking over names that would not be suspicious by the public soon. This was being done to compromise political campaign contributions. Koch money sponsors maybe 100 tax exempt PAC's.

Tax exempt codes began being abused as they are today to compromise political campaign regulations. The Chamber of Commerce is now a PAC for the American Legislative Exchange Council Party aka ALEC.

If the pink guns are now or ever were military issue assault weapons ....... take them off the market. Smash them up and recycle the metal. While pink guns may be very lady like it is manipulation by the gun industry marketing people not to mention the bad guys can spot the color hot pink a mile away thus reducing if not eliminating the desired effectiveness perhaps producing more dead females.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

Nearly every bolt action has seen military service at some point. The civilian AR-15 with the lack of auto/burst fire was never ever issued for military service. You are thinking of the M4 and M16 which share cosmetic appearance as those civilians can purchase, but work significantly differently.

Robert Ries 2 years, 4 months ago

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html

"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001) , the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."

Also, you are apparently ignorant of firearms technology of the time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puckle_gun

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson_rifle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_Air_Rifle

The founders of this nation included scientists, engineers, inventors, teachers and philosophers. They were obviously capable of imagining far more than you know.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

This letter is one of the most sensible and sane commentaries on this issue. And yet the NRA and their cronies continue their contention that "sensible gun control" means that the black, non-citizen, non-citizen President of the United States is "coming for your guns". You see the ads everywhere wanting you to "vote" whether President Obama should be allowed to "get your guns" when nothing of the sort has ever been advocated. They are harvesting e-mail address if you have ever fallen for this scam.

There should be reasonable and specific regulations including background checks that include any record of mental incompetency. Recent events show that persons who commit these horrible crimes have such a history, yet the NRA their insane reasoning, feels that this somehow means that all citizens will be so affected. The requirement that gun owners should have permits and training to carry deadly weapons has been recently removed by the idiot governor of Kansas making us more unsafe. His contention that "every citizen is safe with guns" fails in view of recent events. Fortunately no such shootings have happened in Kansas, but the possibility exists. Perhaps a "shootout" of two idiots in the lobby of a library somewhere might influence the governor, but I doubt it.

Robert Ries 2 years, 4 months ago

Actually, it's grossly unfactual, ignorant, illogical and counter to any concept of freedom and liberty.

Bob Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

The new totalitarians have also co-opted "sensible and sane" to their own ends.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

A well balanced breakfast being necessary to the start of a healthy day, the right of the people to keep and eat food shall not be infringed.

According to this letter's author, the prepositional phrase at the start would mean that the second part is changed dramatically... In other words, the right to have food would require it to be balanced, and only used for breakfast?

Nope. The sentence could in fact exist completely in tact without the prepositional phrase at the beginning. It states the reason behind it, not the requirement for the sentence. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Is a complete and whole sentence. Let me rephrase the sentence so you can go back to whatever teacher misinformed you about sentence structure and smack them:

Because we believe the citizen militia is the strength of our nation, all persons should be allowed to be armed.

Also, why the hell would the founding fathers, who just got done fighting a war against the army of their nation and regional governors using citizen volunteers and their personally owned arms(which were actually rifles, and better than the muskets used by the standing army), turn around and state that the only arms to be protected should be those of the national army and regional governors?

Jason Johnson 2 years, 4 months ago

Agreed, not to mention that the Founders wanted limited government. The well-regulated militia was supposed to be out of the control of the Federal government. As it stands now, the POTUS is ultimately in charge of the military, state or federal

Robert Ries 2 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Hamill, apparently YOU are the one that didn't "(make) it through eighth-grade English". This: "...the purpose of a prepositional phrase is to modify or limit the meaning of the full sentence." is not at all complete and true. Also, it would put the subordinate clause (look it up) in direct conflict with the "shall not be infringed".

It is "the right of the people", not a right of the militia.

"well regulated" applies to the militia, not "the right of the people".

Membership in a militia is neither a requirement nor a prerequisite to exercise the Right, through simple grammar, history, legal precedent or intent of the authors.

http://www.libertygunrights.com/4pg2A%20Diagram.pdf

http://www.largo.org/literary.html

http://www.constitution.org/mil/embar2nd.htm

http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa46.htm

P.S. The militia still very much exists. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/311

When called up, you can regulate the hell out of it. (And we do so.)

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

"Also, why the hell would the founding fathers, who just got done fighting a war against the army of their nation and regional governors using citizen volunteers and their personally owned arms(which were actually rifles, and better than the muskets used by the standing army), turn around and state that the only arms to be protected should be those of the national army and regional governors?"

Simple....because the Founding Fathers could not have ever conceived what sort of mayhem and murder could possibly result from a society 200 years later where mental illness is ignored and indeed, encouraged by our so called "entertainment" sources of the present time. Also where there are "citizens" who have absolutely no conscience against killing a school full of school age children and their teachers.

Furthermore, your contention that a group of citizens armed with pistols and shot guns could ever hold off any stupidly imaginary "government" takeover armed with tanks, artillery, fighter planes and bombs is so ridiculous that it completely fails any sane logic. This completely crazy and illogical fantasy has been used far too much by the gun lobby to prevent some SANE AND REASONABLE controls on who can buy and have deadly weapons and prevent persons who are KNOWN to be threats cannot.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

Riiiiight, because our military with it's tanks and bombs and aircraft have had an easy time in countries where the fighters are using small arms.... Personally, I would rather those NOT be limited to the regular military, however, having had friends who work on those military craft, few civilians could afford the daily upkeep. But lets examine your claim that the founding fathers couldn't envision the 20th century(As stupid as that argument is). First off several of them were inventors, and were aware of larger scale weapons which were owned by civilians(Merchant ships at the time were privately owned, and had cannons for protection). There were guns which could fire in rapid succession already invented and even used at the time of the revolutionary war. But lets just pretend that they didn't know about all of that... Does freedom of religion only apply to religions that existed at the time of the founding? How about freedom of the press and speech... They could never have envisioned violent video games where people acted bloody violence out... Should the first amendment be amended to eliminate all violence in movies and games and speech which is not peaceful?

Now do you see how "SANE AND REASONABLE" can be twisted? Your definition of sane and reasonable differs significantly from mine. Lets put a litmus test on every restriction about to be put in place... Would that restriction have STOPPED the actions of the crazy person who violated numerous laws before committing the murder that the law is being put forward for. So far I hear a lot of talk about "sane" laws, but have not seen a single one that would have stopped ANYTHING.

You mention the murder of school children. HOW would you propose we stop him from doing so? He never passed a background check. In fact he FAILED a check when he tried to purchase one. He STOLE his weapons and killed their owner. Sooooo your proposal is make his murder suicide... illegaller?

Justin Hoffman 2 years, 4 months ago

Thomas-- When Wayne LaPierre retires you should apply.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

LOL If only, I doubt I could get the votes for it. But I would be fine if Colion Noir took his place haha.

John Middleton 2 years, 4 months ago

"Furthermore, your contention that a group of citizens armed with pistols and shot guns could ever hold off any stupidly imaginary "government" takeover armed with tanks, artillery, fighter planes and bombs is so ridiculous that it completely fails any sane logic. "

The Russian army would have loved to have had you on their propaganda team when the Afghan citizens, without any tanks, planes or helicopters, handed the Russian army, armed with tanks, planes, helicopters, artillery and bombs, their butts in a basket before they ran them out of Afghanistan. 14000 Russian dead, 54000 Russian wounded, over 300 helicopters, 100 airplanes, 140 tanks and 400 artillery pieces destroyed by the Afghans. All done by a citizen militia.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

"All done by a citizen militia." There was much more to the defeat of the Russian invaders than being run out by "a citizen militia" They were against a Russian foe from a country on the brink of collapse, fighting a war that had nothing to do with any particular reason, just the politics of the Soviet Union that was engaged in the savagery of it's own citizens. A Soviet Union that allowed many submarine sailors to die is a sunken submarine to avoid asking help from other countries for political reasons that could have rescued the crew . Your choice of Russia is not a very good example of comparison to the U.S. military.

And the Afgans has plenty of weapons from other middle eastern countries in their fight with the Russian invaders.

Jason Johnson 2 years, 4 months ago

Fred writes, "Simple....because the Founding Fathers could not have ever conceived what sort of mayhem and murder could possibly result from a society 200 years later where mental illness is ignored and indeed, encouraged by our so called "entertainment" sources of the present time. Also where there are "citizens" who have absolutely no conscience against killing a school full of school age children and their teachers."

At that time, personal responsibility was very high, family values were very high, and people generally kept their word as gentlemen, and honor was very important.

Guns are not, and have never been the issue. Society is.

Bob Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

Typing in all caps doesn't make you seem sane or reasonable, Fred. Actually, it speaks ill of your mental state.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

Well, Bob, my "mental state" says that the mayhem and violence that has been created by the NRA and the misreading of "well-regulated militia" is not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind for our new nation.. .

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

20 years of increased guns in circulation, and during that time we've also seen a decrease in violent crime.

Jim Phillips 2 years, 4 months ago

It's funny, Mr. Hamill, how Constitutional scholars disagree with your interpretation of the Second Amendment. Once again, because I have stated this before, prior to 1968, if one had a Sears and Roebuck or a Montgomery Wards catalog and a charge card, an adult could call the store, give the clerk the card number, page number, item number of the firearm you wanted to buy, and it would be delivered to your door step in less than a week. Then came the hue and cry for "sensible gun laws". There was a brief fight, but the gun lobby gave in and we got the Gun Control Act of 1968. All was well with the world...until 1969, when the request came out for "sensible gun laws", which eventually came. And all was well with the world...until 1970, when the nation demanded "sensible gun laws". You can repeat this scenario for nearly every year from 1968 to 2015. Gun laws now are more restrictive and more abundant than they ever have been in the history of this country, and yet you still cry for "sensible gun laws". Apparently, anti-gunners, (I prefer to call them anti Constitutonalists) cannot decide on a sensible definition of "sensible". Also, once again, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1789. The Militia Act was not passed until 1792, thus making your militia argument moot.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

I remember back in the late 1950's, looking thru the ads in my dad's gun magazines. You could buy bazookas and shells, mortar and shells, Saturday night specials, grenades, etc. thru mail order.

What started the anti-gun movement was the mass purchases being made by the John Birchers.

Bob Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm not sure what magazines you were looking at. Grenades and such were made heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

Lawrence Freeman 2 years, 4 months ago

I did make a internet search for some of the old ads. I couldn't find any regarding grenades, but I do know they existed because I wanted a couple. My dad wouldn't get me any tho. :(

John Kyle 2 years, 4 months ago

I object to the author's grammatical misstatement.

It does NOT start with a prepositional phrase. The only prepositional phrases are: "to the security of a free state" which contains a prepositional phrase "of a free state" and then the final prepositional phrase "of the people"

Your eighth grade English should have taught you that prepositional phrases begin with prepositions.

Roger Selover 2 years, 4 months ago

Right, Tiny Tim disparages our 8th grade English. Maybe he would be interested in a genuine expert on American usage of grammar interpreting the 2nd Amendment?

l http://www.constitution.org/2ll/schol/2amd_grammar.htm

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

About all I can say at this time is that I am glad we did not have automobiles at the time of the Constitution. Cars would be the right of everyone, no requirements for registration or insurance, no requirements for a deriver's license to determine the owner's ability to operate the automobile safely, and no right to put lines on the road to keep traffic in order. Too bad we cannot make some similar assurances for gun owners today.

Thomas Medford 2 years, 4 months ago

Here's a clue for you. Cars are actually LESS regulated than firearms. That's right. LESS.

I can purchase a car and have it shipped to my doorstep. You can't with guns. I can purchase a car for a friend who gave me the money. Can't do that with guns I can operate ANY auto, even military grade vehicles in my own property. Can't even purchase the military hardware.

Your requirements on USING a vehicle are the same as the laws on USING a firearm. They restrict HOW a person may USE the vehicle. You can transport a vehicle without license registration or insurance through all 50 states(well 48, or 49, as it's rather difficult to transport a vehicle THROUGH Alaska and Hawaii), and not have to check the local laws about it. If I get a license in my home state, I don't have to worry about whether it's legal to drive through any state in the US.

Bob Smith 2 years, 4 months ago

False equivalence, Fred. How many logical fallacies can you hit in this thread?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 4 months ago

I will let others determine just how much of a fallacy is contained in my comparison of laws made for public safety.

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