Archive for Saturday, June 3, 2017

Political shift, hospital’s fears hand NRA defeat in Kansas

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left, R-Overland Park, speaks against an amendment to concealed carry legislation offered by Senate President Susan Wagle, right, R-Wichita, during a debate, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Wagle's amendment has the backing of the National Rifle Association and narrows a bill aimed at keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, left, R-Overland Park, speaks against an amendment to concealed carry legislation offered by Senate President Susan Wagle, right, R-Wichita, during a debate, Thursday, June 1, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Wagle's amendment has the backing of the National Rifle Association and narrows a bill aimed at keeping concealed weapons out of public hospitals. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

June 3, 2017

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— Kansas lawmakers bucked the National Rifle Association by approving a measure meant to keep concealed guns out of hospitals — a testament to how much the Republican-controlled Legislature shifted to the left in last year's elections.

The state has been a testing ground for gun-rights advocates' favored policies, but the Legislature was able to rewrite Kansas' 2013 concealed carry law because voters upset with Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's allies ousted two dozen conservatives and gave Democrats and GOP moderates more power.

The action also shows that even some conservatives who normally vote with the NRA paid particular attention to the concerns of the University of Kansas Health System, which sought the change.

"I'm more interested in health care and economics than I am in my NRA rating," Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, a conservative Overland Park Republican, told his colleagues during debate.

Like other health care facilities, the University of Kansas Health System faced a July 1 deadline to make potentially expensive security upgrades or to allow concealed guns, as required under the 2013 law. That law said gun owners could bring their concealed weapons into public buildings that don't have "adequate" security such as guards and metal detectors, but it gave universities, public hospitals and other health care facilities four years to comply.

The NRA and other gun-rights advocates pushed for a narrower bill, applying to fewer institutions and only in areas restricted to the general public, arguing that a broader restriction would prevent people from protecting themselves during a criminal attack.

"We agree that are some areas that are more sensitive and those facilities may want to keep guns out," said NRA lobbyist Travis Couture-Lovelady, a former Kansas House member. "We were willing to provide certain flexibility within the law."

To be sure, Democrats and some GOP moderates wanted an even broader bill with a permanent exemption for universities. But the passage of the more limited bill still breaks a long string of legislative victories for the NRA and other gun-rights advocates since Brownback took office in January 2011.

Another 2013 law forbade the use of government money to lobby on gun issues, and the following year, lawmakers stripped cities and counties of their power to regulate guns. A 2015 law ended a requirement that gun owners obtain a state permit to carry concealed.

Brownback has not said whether he'll sign or veto the bill approved by legislators. But lawmakers on both sides acknowledged that it wouldn't have passed at all last year.

"We wouldn't even have had the hearing," said Rep. Stephanie Clayton, a moderate Overland Park Republican. "The effort never would have been made."

Legislators felt compelled to revisit concealed carry laws this year after Brownback proposed having his cash-strapped state spend $24 million over two years to upgrade security at the state's two mental hospitals and its two hospitals for the developmentally disabled. Lawmakers balked at the expense, but most also weren't ready to allow guns at mental institutions.

A key player was the University of Kansas Health System, which estimated one-time expenses at $5 million and annual security costs at $27 million.

Backers of the bill said the law put the system in a tough spot: Allow concealed guns and risk losing world-class staff or install airport-like security that would have patients and families waiting in like to get into the Kansas City, Kansas, hospital.

"They do their research, and none of the other hospitals that we compete with on that national stage have this same — they don't allow guns," said Rep. Kathy Wolfe Moore, a Kansas City Democrat.

Comments

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am a life NRA member, and a retired peace officer who served 30 years. I have consistently supported the right of a law abiding citizen to carry a firearm to protect themselves and their families, but there have to be limits. I would never support firearms in a mental institution, except for highly trained hospital security, or peace officers. It is a dangerous environment, and guns should be prohibited, except for the exceptions I stated above. Many of our mass shootings have been done by people with mental problems.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"Many of our mass shootings have been done by people with mental problems."

You completely ignore that those shootings have primarily occurred in places with just little plastic signs 'protecting' them.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Primarily? And, so what? So we continue to give even those who ignore "little plastic signs" carte blanche? That's not even sensible. Under that reasoning we need to repeal driver's license requirements because people ignore "little metal signs". Just be honest and say you support gun holders' universal right to carry. At least have the courage of your convictions.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Under your reasoning, only unsafe drivers would be allowed to have seat belts and air bags. If you obey the "little metal signs" you don't need to protect yourself from those who don't...

Just be honest and say that you support criminals over law abiding citizens. At least have the courage of your convictions.

As for me, I do believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I've stated that pretty clearly in the past on here and I'm sure I'll state it again many times. Unlike the 1st Amendment, which is a control only on government, the 2nd Amendment is stated as a universal right. "Shall not be infringed" means that no restrictions are allowed. Any place that an individual is allowed to go, the 2nd Amendment goes with them. I'm not heartless though. I'm willing to concede that metallic weapons should not be carried into the MRI room. However, I'm also not real comfortable trusting in a little plastic sign on the MRI room door instead of a metal detector, but that has nothing to do with guns...

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I am well aware of that. Gun Free zones are hunting grounds for mass murderers. Please note that I am only talking about mental hospitals

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The vast majority of places have those plastic signs. What's your point?

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

My point is that putting up signs to stop "people with mental problems" from carrying guns has a track record of failure. It's counter intuitive as these "people with mental problems" primarily chose such undefended locations for their shooting sprees.

RJ Johnson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

It's a false sense of security Dorothy. Do you really believe those with mental health issues are going to pay any attention to those signs, let alone a criminal???

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Not "hospital’s fears", hospital's reasoned understanding of their environment. And Charles is right. Trained security is what is needed in hospitals.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

By "reasoned understanding of their environment", do you mean like the CEO of KU Hospital (if I recall his position correctly) demanding an exception because he needed the signs so that his security guards could continue to confiscate weapons from the people (they catch) carrying weapons right past those signs? He didn't want any metal detectors to actually stop the ones they are currently missing...

Trained security is a good thing, but without metal detectors to allow them to stop the guns from being brought in, they are just a reactionary force that is unlikely to be able to respond to a threat as quickly as an armed victim.

If you truly believe that there should not be guns in hospitals, support the current law and push for funding for the necessary means to keep them out. If you don't mind armed criminals in these facilities, quit trying to disarm the potential victim pool.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I thought you guys were for budgetary responsibility. Now, you propose spending more government money (yours) for this?

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

No, I don't propose spending the money. I simply told Dorothy what route she would need to take to actually accomplish the results she claims to seek. I did not say that I support such a route nor the funding that it would require because I do not. Sorry to ruin your attempt to twist what I actually said...

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

CORRECTION:

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers bucked the National Rifle Association by approving a measure meant to keep metal detectors out of hospitals — a testament to how much the Republican-controlled Legislature recognizes that they don't have the money to do the right thing and actually keep guns out of hospitals.

Greg Cooper 5 months, 2 weeks ago

That's just wrong, Andrew, and you know it. Call it what it is. The NRA, and you, are not in as strong a majority as you thought when it comes to rational thinking.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

No, it's not wrong. In fact, if you read further down in the article, they bury basically the same analysis:

"Legislators felt compelled to revisit concealed carry laws this year after Brownback proposed having his cash-strapped state spend $24 million over two years to upgrade security at the state's two mental hospitals and its two hospitals for the developmentally disabled. Lawmakers balked at the expense, but most also weren't ready to allow guns at mental institutions.

A key player was the University of Kansas Health System, which estimated one-time expenses at $5 million and annual security costs at $27 million."

Sorry to burst your Kool-Aid bubble, but this bill was about money, not guns.

Jan Smith 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The idea of keeping guns out of hospitals or other soft targets is a nice idea with the one exception and that is crazy people and criminals don't obey the law. If they did our prisons would be empty. Or as they say, locks are just to keep the honest people honest.... We live in a world where you have to choose to defend yourself or be a victim. Law enforcement does a great job but if you are relying on them to defend you your automatically putting yourself in a losing situation. And most law enforcement would tell you that. Having nice ideals is wonderful until you become a victim. Then your thought process will change.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So what world or neighborhood do you live in? I have never been shot at, and I'm 64 years old. I have never been threatened, robbed, or raped. Do you really live your life with your hand on your trigger ready to shoot anyone who looks suspicious? Do you live in an inner city neighborhood.

A lot of people own guns in rough neighborhoods in Kansas City, because they want to protect themselves. I'll bet a lot of the parents of the children who have been shot and killed recently probably had guns for protection. Didn't do much good, did it?

I'm sorry if you were a victim, but you can't spend your whole life living in fear.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

She apparently lives in the real world, rather than your fantasy world where "it couldn't happen to me".

It is sad that guns cannot stop every crime and save every innocent victim. However, that is no reason to jump off the high dive into an empty pool and demand that guns not stop any crime nor save any innocent victim.

Now, I'm curious. Do you live in fear with smoke detectors and/or a fire extinguisher in your house? Do you ride in fear with your seat belt on? Do you drive in fear with a spare tire and jack in the trunk (or AAA on your phone)? Do you sleep in fear with locks on your doors and windows? Do you cross streets in fear by looking each way and staying in the cross walk? Do you eat in fear by cooking chicken and pork to the recommended temperature?

If taking precautions against possible negative events is "living in fear", I submit that everybody lives in fear just about every minute of their life.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Andrew, The Constitution says that the United States can legally be a country where every adult straps on a gun in the morning and is therefore prepared to defend themselves against any lunatic who tries to shoot up his or her fellow citizens, whether that be in the kindergarten room, the lunch room or the bathroom. There's only one small problem with that scenario: the vast, vast majority of United States citizens don't want to live in that kind of a world and will try to create gun-free zones because even though this is a legal world, it's just not one where we want to be to raise our families, have a productive job and exercise all of our other freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The NRA is never going to win this argument.

There's a fundamental optimism about restricting guns to legal activities such as hunting, skeet shooting, target practice, and collective law enforcement just as there is a fundamental optimism about creating laws that you drive down the road on the right side of the road.

There's a difference between traffic rules about which side to drive on and guns, though, because while in cars, most accidents where folks cross the line are truly accidents. Only a few crazos will deliberately drive into your car head-on simply because it's pretty much mutually assured destruction, A gun will allow you to crash your car, hurting or killing the other guy while you are uninjured, unless that other person has a gun.

But evening the odds to the level of mutually assured destruction is not a world that many folks want to voluntarily create if they can find an alternative, so the NRA is never going to convince most citizens to have more than a grudging acknowledgement of that choice. People want to curb gun violence period, and see this as a viable alternative to a new kind of Wild West where the gun is the Law, and I sincerely hope that we citizens work hard at assuring that places like the Center for Disease Control receive ample research funding on the most effective way to curb gun violence, certainly more effective ones than arming every adult. I look forward to also seeing good research finding out ways to de-escalate situations so that folks don't feel the need to pack heat wherever they go.

The social contract requires that some individual rights take a back seat to rules that allow us to live next to neighbors, something that is as hardwired into our species as our individual rights. Finding that balance point between individual freedom and membership in a community is a dynamic one, but one that we must continue to search for and keep abreast of if we expect to live long, happy lives in the main.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So, you believe rights are just privileges that can be dismissed at your discretion and self defense is equivalent to driving on the wrong side of the road. I'm happy that you are willing to so publicly admit you are an anti-American idiot. I'll stick with the founding fathers, thank you very much.

To bad the truth about the Wild West indicates that it was safer than Chicago or New York City. To bad for you, that is.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Gee, I thought you might be able to have a thoughtful discussion about the tradeoffs--by calling me an anti-American idiot, you seem to be more a wolf in sheep's clothing. Thanks for the clarification, Andrew. I thought you could follow lines of reasoning better than what your characterizations of what I said belie. Maybe you can, but we'll never know with those kinds of answers.

To say that our founding fathers had in mind our technologically complex, information-rich country with over 300 million folks in mind when they wrote the Constitution, and that they thought that the dynamic balance between individual rights and community responsibilities was fixed, immutable and not in need of translation to a changing society is as ridiculous as saying that they would have insisted that we cannot use anything other than the black powder musket and cannons, or that we heat only with wood and coal and ride horses or oxen for transportation. Do you honestly think that they would be against trying to develop effective measures that would protect gun ownership and reduce gun violence? Where's your evidence?

But since you have fallen into name calling and NRA sloganeering, I guess that discussion isn't going to take place.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I can follow lines of reasoning quite well, which is why I was able to call you out for what you said.

When you specifically list what you accept as "legal activities" with guns and associate that with agreeing to drive on the right side of the road, logically speaking the best association for the activities you didn't list (self defense being the most obvious) is with driving on the left side of the road. It's really not that complicated...

As for the first part of my comment, if you can take it away from me without cause on my part, it must be a privilege rather than a right. Therefore, if you think you can take away my right to keep and bear arms (or even just the bear part), then you don't believe it is actually a right. Once again, definitions and logic go against you.

As for you being an anti-American idiot, well, that's just the position you took. Sorry if you didn't expect anybody to call you on it.

Oh, I did see what you did there trying to invoke the NRA boogeyman to distract folks from what you and I actually wrote...

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks for trying to engage again; you still don't get why I brought up the driving on the right side of the road, though. Most folks stay on their side of the road mainly for self preservation. Even the criminal who wants to kill someone doesn't do it by having a head-on collision with them with their car because the criminal will get maimed or killed too. Criminals who kill prefer guns because they have a much better chance of surviving shooting someone with a gun than by killing them in a head-on collision. The NRA thinks that if that criminal had a good chance of looking down someone else's gun barrel when they pulled their own gun out, they might think twice about it, and the Bill of Rights (not the Constitution) says that is OK. Still with me? If your chance of getting killed by using a gun is anywhere close to that of getting killed by having a head-on collision, you might think twice about using that gun for criminal activity, right? The risks are too high.

But my point is that if there are enough gun toting adults out there to make that criminal think twice about using a gun to commit a crime/kill someone, most Americans DON'T think that is a good society to live and raise a family in. It is neither anti-American or idiotic to say that most citizens of our fair country would much rather figure out ways to find ways to effectively limit gun violence than to arm most adults and live with those consequences.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

" If your chance of getting killed by using a gun is anywhere close to that of getting killed by having a head-on collision, you might think twice about using that gun for criminal activity, right?" For a second I thought you were starting to see the light. Then you went back to crazy and said this:

"But my point is that if there are enough gun toting adults out there to make that criminal think twice about using a gun to commit a crime/kill someone, most Americans DON'T think that is a good society to live and raise a family in." Why do you think most Americans would prefer to live in a world where the criminal does NOT think twice about using a gun to commit a crime/kill someone rather than living in one where they do? Are you saying that most Americans are idiots who prefer the blissful ignorance of a false sense of security? If not, your claims are in contradiction to your supporting facts.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm not even saying that there should not be guns in our society, nor am I saying that private gun ownership is wrong. What I'm saying is that the average American strongly supports research in the arena of gun violence in order to see if we can develop a better alternatives to unacceptably high levels of gun violence that exists now. The average American does not believe that the NRA solution of arming every adult citizen is the best way to address the issue and thinks that we can come up with a better alternative. Furthermore I am a gun owner and I grew up with guns, so I think I can speak with as much authority on that subject as you, Andrew.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Then you are arguing against your own conclusion and I'm really superfluous in the discussion.

The problem is that too many people like you are too busy looking at the guns and getting scared instead of looking at the violence and getting results. Look at the gangs and organized crime where you will see that guns are the weapon of choice because they are the most efficient means to carry out these organizations' desired violence. The guns aren't causing the violence, the criminals are.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm not arguing against myself, and I'm not looking at guns and getting scared either, Andrew. I'm arguing for good evidence based research that helps our communities to sort the wheat from the chaff, to provide our neighborhoods some accurate data to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches so that they have the power to develop their own solutions that work for them, not have the solutions shoved down their throats. And the NRA is every bit as guilty of that as the anti-gun lobbyists. Give the power of creating solutions that work back to the communities who are facing their own unique set of challenges, and the only way I'm aware of being able to do that is by providing a means for each community to make that decision and to get valid, accurate feedback from whatever policies that they implement.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

"the vast, vast majority of United States citizens don't want to live in that kind of a world and will try to create gun-free zones"

"I sincerely hope that we citizens work hard at assuring that places like the Center for Disease Control receive ample research funding on the most effective way to curb gun violence, certainly more effective ones than arming every adult."

"The social contract requires that some individual rights take a back seat"

"What I'm saying is that the average American strongly supports research in the arena of gun violence in order to see if we can develop a better alternatives to unacceptably high levels of gun violence that exists now. The average American does not believe that the NRA solution of arming every adult citizen is the best way to address the issue"

I'm not sure if you are too stupid to understand what you're typing or too dishonest to admit it, but it's pretty clear that you are stating that the solution must be something other than allowing people to exercise their right to defend themselves. It's about finding an approach that removes guns from law abiding citizens. If you don't believe me, go back and read what you posted...

To be honest, I don't really know where to start in pointing out the wrong of your postings. The NRA is not advocating that every has to carry a gun. The beauty of concealed carry is that you don't even have to carry a gun to benefit from the law. Criminals don't like to face people who can defend themselves. Concealed carry may not make much difference for the football player who looks like he could chew you up and spit you out with no problem, but now a criminal has to wonder if the soft targets they prefer are hard targets in disguise.

It's interesting that you want the CDC to do this research. The only logical reason for their involvement is if you believe that wanting to defend yourself and your family is a symptom of a mental illness. Otherwise, they are the wrong organization and any research they do has a problem with credibility since the topic has nothing to with their purpose and does not align with the skill sets they hire. Granted, the numbers released by the FBI don't support your position, so I can see why you would want to distance yourself from them, even though they would be the group with the appropriate data.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Gee, Andrew, maybe if someone who has a differing opinion than you tries to carry on a conversation with you, you might consider starting with something other than: "I'm not sure if you are too stupid to understand what you're typing or too dishonest to admit it...." So it is with real reservations that I'm going to reply to your points, in hopes that you are capable of still listening despite the very poor form.

I presume you are familiar with the Dickey Amendment that forbids any research "that will advocate or promote gun control," right? Are aware that the CDC includes something called the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, headed by Mr. Mark Rosenberg during the time that the Dickey Amendment was passed in 2012? Well in 2015, Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Dickey wrote a joint editorial for the Washington Post that I think reflects what I think is a reasonable position to take on the whole issue:

“We have also come to see that gun-violence research can be created, organized and conducted with two objectives: first, to preserve the rights of law-abiding citizens and legal gun owners and, second, to make our homes and communities safer,” Dickey and Rosenberg wrote. “Well-structured research can be conducted to develop technologies and identify ways to achieve both objectives. We can get there only through research.”

To do anything less than this leaves our law enforcement officers, local, state and national legislators and policy makers with the same tired old he-said-she-said arguments and no way to sort the wheat from the chaff. The position that everyone has the right to arm themselves does not mean that we can't take reasonable, evidence-based measures to make gun violence less probable and greatly reduce the number of accidents. 30,000 lives hang in the balance each year and it's irresponsible for the CDC to just ignore the 5th leading cause of death for individuals under 65.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

You speak out of both sides of your mouth and it's my fault for noticing? You didn't try to carry on a conversation. You misrepresented yourself and your intentions in an attempt to deceive me and advance your position, but were tripped up by the contradictory nature of certain lies you told. You have reduced yourself to nothing but useless noise...

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Sorry you don't see that it's possible to respect the second amendment AND see it worthwhile to look to alternatives to NRA's agenda of arming everyone as a way to reduce gun violence. I have consistently maintained this during this entire thread; sorry you didn't notice that earlier. I still don't know if you see the value of good research-based policies that are community-specific designed to reduce gun violence, but I can assure you that most Americans would be thrilled with such options being developed. I hope you don't stand in the way from these being developed in a way that also respects responsible gun ownership rights.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

"I still don't know if you see the value of good research-based policies" What do you know about 'good research-based policies' when you are demanding targeting the research to support your policies? I pointed out several quotes where you specified exactly what you see the purpose of the research to be, and it was all about removing the option of using a firearm for self defense. Don't blame me that you are so transparent in your desire violate not only my 2nd Amendment rights, but my very right to life. Blame yourself for supporting such an anti-American, unconstitutional position.

With that, I'm done. I have better things to do than try to educate an idiot.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

The problem all along is your refusal to even admit to the possibility that there might be some effective ways to reduce gun violence that does not entail arming every adult with a gun for self defense purposes. You've never admitted that there might be some very effective ways to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that continue to go hand in hand with guns, and that research can provide the criteria to be be able to sort out what works and what doesn't. Why would you be so afraid of looking for better alternatives than arming every adult, and not be willing to admit that arming everyone might have unintended consequences?

Your last post pretty much clarifies your intentions, which has been to "educate," which in your usage means to convert me over to the NRA position of arming citizens to the point that they can reduce gun violence through the threat of more gun violence. And yes, you've wasted your time, because I've never said that it's not our right to own guns and to arm ourselves in self defense. Your fear that I'm out to get your gun is purely your fear based projection, and has nothing to do with reality, which I've also stated all along. What I HAVE also said all along is that money spent looking for alternatives to that scenario has great potential to reduce gun violence even more effectively and would be money well spent. There are a whole host of research questions that might lead to effective prevention measures that would result in less gun violence. What are the most effective ways to limit gun access to folks who are suicidal? Gun violence in cities follow patterns that mimic disease spreading epidemiology: can what we've learned about reducing the spread of infectious diseases be effectively applied to gun violence of this type, and exactly how? What incentives work that would create better compliance with gun owners to lock up their weapons to prevent theft/accidents from kids playing with guns laying around the house? Guns that are not loaded can't accidentally hurt, but how can they be used defensively if they aren't loaded, so what is the best way to prevent accidents?

The list goes on and on, and yet the opportunity for the research community to address this public health issue has been stupidly blocked by the extremist position taken by the NRA that even the author of the Dickey Amendment considers to be over the line. Hopefully the few folks who have bothered to read all the way down the thread to this will be rewarded with a little more enlightened information on the topic, in spite of your attempts to "educate," Andrew.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

Okay, so I changed my mind. Ignorance and dishonesty of this level requires a response.

Did you see in California where the Senate voted to exempt themselves from their gun control legislation? Sure, it failed, but that doesn't change the fact that gun control is generally a dishonest approach to stack the deck in somebody else's favor. Whether that be politicians exempting themselves or the rich hiring armed security guards to protect them while they rally against guns or even the hypocrites who just ignore the laws they promote and carry anyway. You fall into the same pattern, pushing for research to justify suppressing the 2nd Amendment rights of the common, law abiding citizens while doing nothing about the criminals and the violence they commit.

I'm not afraid of legitimate, optional alternatives. Of course, I'm also not the liar saying that the NRA wants to force everybody to carry a gun. The problem is that you've made it exceedingly clear that you don't care if the alternatives are legitimate and you certainly don't want them to be optional. You haven't found any alternative yet (other than let the criminals win) but you've already removed self defense from your list of legitimate uses of a firearm. Your attacks on me are nothing more than a really bad smoke screen to try to hide the predetermined agenda of your biased research to bolster your unconstitutional position.

Now, tell me why I should trust anything you say?

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

I quote myself from my very first comment: "The Constitution says that the United States can legally be a country where every adult straps on a gun in the morning and is therefore prepared to defend themselves against any lunatic who tries to shoot up his or her fellow citizens, whether that be in the kindergarten room, the lunch room or the bathroom."

Now I have and will continue to say that most Americans would prefer not to live in such a world where this is necessary. But have I EVER said that I think that people's right to possess guns should be taken away? NO. You continue to accuse me of this when I have repeatedly said just the opposite. Get it yet?

Now. I DO believe that if we can develop policies that reduce gun violence, i.e. the accidental shootings, the suicides where guns are the preferred means, or where people who should legitimately have their right to carry a gun taken away because of a well documented history of violence and/or mental illness with a tendency toward violence/suicide, that research CAN help us develop community-specific policies that reduce the incidence of gun violence WITHOUT taking away anyone's legitimate right to posses a gun.

So I stand falsely accused by your last post, and I don't know how to state all of this more clearly. In fact, I think YOUR stance is more likely to end up with our rights to posses a gun being restricted in the future than mine, because if the rate of gun violence doesn't come down and there is no chance to research the underlying reasons, then the anti-gun lobby will continue to spout half truths just as the NRA is spouting theirs, and our rights might get thrown out with the resulting bathwater, so to speak.

So there it is, Andrew. I'm not asking you to even agree with my stance, which I believe is the attitude of most Americans, but at least try to understand it for what it is--and is not.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

So, you quote yourself talking out of one side of your mouth, but it means nothing unless you also quote yourself talking out of the the other side of your mouth...

Now I have and will continue to say that when you talk about barring the 'bear' portion of the 2nd Amendment, the fact that you are willing to allow the keep portion doesn't mean much. When you use the 'keep' concession to distract from the fact that you are trying to stop the 'bear' portion, it's just another forked tongue lie like I have caught you in repeatedly. Give up the dishonesty already!

Yes, it is possible to reduce gun violence. However, as long as you continue to push for targeted research to achieve your true objective you are unlikely to find a real solution and I wouldn't trust you even if you claim you did because of the dishonesty you used to get there.

No, you do not stand falsely accused. You sit in anger and shame because I caught you. Heck, you couldn't even get through your "I'm a victim" paragraph without doing it again. When it was just my rights, you were all "some individual rights take a back seat" but as soon as you see your rights threatened you are suddenly about protecting them.

I do understand what your stance is. That's your problem... Your stance is that you have to find a way to disarm me to pacify the blissfully ignorant who believe it can't happen to them. Your stance is that it's better that I lose my rights than for you to lose yours.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

You claim that you are catching my ulterior motives that simply don't exist and there is no way that I can convince you otherwise, so I see no reason to continue this discussion. You seem to see everything as "either-or:" you are either FOR gun rights or AGAINST it, period. You seem incapable of comprehending that I'm "both-and:" I'm both FOR gun rights AND for reasonable, well-researched safeguards that reduce the incidence of gun violence. You consider that as speaking out of both sides of my mouth and I think your all-or-nothing attitude is fear based thinking that unnecessarily cuts us off from measures that would benefit everyone, INCLUDING the gun owning public. Nobody wants their gun to accidentally kill a child playing with a loaded gun they shouldn't have access to, or to have a gun used in the act of suicide, or to have a shooting incident spread like an infectious disease to where now 12 people are dead. If you don't understand this, or think it is legitimate to research into ways to reduce the incidence of these "collateral damage" deaths, then I have nothing more to say to you and must agree to disagree with you.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

Good. Slither away with your forked tongue and lie to me no more.

It's sad that you still fail to understand what a right really is. You either support it as a right or you don't. It's kind of like a light bulb. Even if you have a dimmer switch, it still is either on or off. Varying the amount of power flowing through it does not actually create a third state. Likewise, the degree to which you wish to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment does not change the fact that you are infringing.

Do you even listen to yourself? "Nobody wants their gun to accidentally kill a child playing with a loaded gun they shouldn't have access to, or to have a gun used in the act of suicide, or to have a shooting incident spread like an infectious disease to where now 12 people are dead." Why do you consider it more horrific for a kid to be killed playing with a loaded gun than a filled swimming pool? Why do you only care about suicide if they use a gun? Why is a mass shooting so much more evil than a bombing? Your infatuation with a specific, inanimate object is a dangerous obsession. I know that you refuse to see it from earlier in the discussion, but the focus on the gun in the equation is causing a tunnel vision that taints everything you try to do. We've already had the discussion on your sampling bias and you still refuse to recognize it. Once again I ask, why should I trust anything your research returns when you make it so clear that it is in fact tainted to return a specific result?

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

The Center for Disease Control has STUDIED swimming pool drownings and they have reduced the incidence of kids drowning in them as a result by promoting the most effective ways to prevent kids from drowning in pools. It studies every other cause of accidental deaths, it studies health-related mortalities, and in practically every cause, they've made a positive impact. Now exactly why is that? So I can throw your questions right back at you: your aversion toward studying anything to do with gun violence as a subset of overall violence is based on a completely irrational fear of how that might somehow lead to some unknown limitation on our right to own a gun, even though it seems that you don't know exactly why. Your infatuation with a specific set of words that were written in a different time in a country that has almost no resemblance to the current world and current technologies and yet you apply a blanket interpretation of the right to own guns as if we still had black powder muskets, a low population density in a world where folks lived most of their lives in a 10 mile radius of where they were born and where they knew most of their neighbors, compared to a world that is highly mobile, technologically and communication-rich in ways that would blow away our forefathers. Why should I believe that your interpretation has more relevance to our goal of reducing gun violence than what science can now tease out in terms of objective, situation-specific means to develop effective strategies to reduce gun violence?

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

I'm not opposed to gun violence being included in overall studies of violence. What I am opposed to is the gun violence only research that you keep pushing, and I do know why I oppose it. It's because it creates sampling bias. If you had actually read what I said in this and previous threads, you would know that I've been saying exactly that for some time.

Now, as to your ignorant suggestion that the founding fathers had nothing but black powder muskets, read my response to Dorothy below for an education on where firearm technology actually was at the time the 2nd Amendment was ratified. Besides, the federal government has already banned the Brown Bess (British Land Pattern Musket) so it's not like I could carry the same weapon that was carried by so many in the Revolutionary War even if I wanted to.

When you say "our goal of reducing gun violence" you're actually conflating my goal of reducing violence with your goal of reducing guns. I'm not willing to put blinders on just because you chose to wear them. Open your eyes to your bias or be relegated to the scrap heap of bad science.

In summary, I can't trust you, because you speak so fluently with your forked tongue and support bad science. Yes, I see you as a threat to my rights because that is the one thing you are fairly consistent in stating.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

That's right, Andrew: did you know that my forked tongue is in support of the "biased sampling" and "bad science" that targeted the problem of kids accidental swimming pool drownings from other causes of death, looked at the possible solutions such as swimming pool fences, swimming lessons and lifeguards and developed an outcomes-based set of recommendations that is reducing the problem?

My forked tongue is also supportive of the extensive research the CDC has done to study the variables that lead to falls in the elderly, such as sleep, bathroom arrangement, carpening, etc. and has developed the STEADI program to try to head off the anticipated rise in elderly falls as our older population rises in coming years? I suppose you consider this to be bad science, too, because of "sampling bias?"

Don't forget how the CDC's sampling bias unfairly focused on infection control in the hospital setting, or their appalling singling out the issue of bed sores that has reduced ulcer formation in bedridden and wheelchair patients. And don't forget: they are not content with just bothering the health of Americans! They had the audacity of unfairly isolating AIDS, ebola, zika and other emerging scourges to study the vectors of transmission and infections--I don't know how the people of the world can stand our imperialist urges!

And I grant you that I was not aware of the technological sophistication of arms in the 1790s when the 2nd Amendment was passed. But if you want more context, which is only fair, the 1790 census was 3,929,214 and the US covered a little over 1 million miles (1,059,550 by my estimation), so the population density was 3.7 people per square mile. Only Alaska has lower density: even Wyoming has 6 people/square mile, the second least populated density in the US.

Our average population density is currently 84.6 people per square mile here in the US. And THAT is the context of our current debate. So your flesh out your facts if you want to be taken seriously, Andrew, and have a great day.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

Don't yell at me because I read what you wrote close enough to catch you in your double-speak...

Yes, the CDC has some accomplishments. Interestingly enough, most of them were related to diseases which is what they are designed to research and what I indicated they should continue to research. Gee, I guess you agree with me...

Wow, population density means that your completely off-base comment on Revolutionary era firearms is valid again? Hardly! Kansas only had a 35.6 population density in 2015 and 21 counties had less than the 3.7 you referenced. The lowest was a tie at 1.7. So, I guess if you just want to go by population density, you still can't justify a blanket override of the 2nd Amendment. Of course, when you consider that the violent crime rate goes up with increased population density, you realize it's not a justification for eliminating self defense either. It's kind of interesting to pull up the crime rate and population density maps side by side to see the correlation.

Maybe you ought to flesh out your facts before you try to distract from mine.

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

  1. I'm not yelling, Andrew. Take a deep breath. Take another one. Now. I'm not going to repeat this again, since you are hearing me less and less, and I suspect you think I am not hearing you, either, so it makes no sense to continue with this thread.

  2. I have pointed out that the CDC has an entire division devoted to reducing accidental deaths through focused research projects, and indeed the head of this division has teamed up with the author of the Dickey Amendment that said that it is entirely possible and even desirable to devote some of their research dollars into the causes of gun violence in an attempt NOT to restrict gun ownership but INSTEAD to reduce preventable gun accidents and intentional gun deaths. You are entitled to think differently and I've given up trying to explain to you that such a focus is not "bad science" or "sampling bias" any more than focusing on the subset of children drowning in swimming pools is "bad science" or "sampling bias" because it excludes other types of accidental drownings and deaths. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

  3. As regarding the population density of a county within a state, you've provided a fine example of cherry picking. I can show you that my back yard has 0 density population since nobody actually is living there. Show me a million square mile section of the US with a density of 3.7, and I'll agree you have a point. But of course no such place exists outside of Alaska.

  4. I know you don't believe it, but ALL of my comments make it transparently clear that your thinking I'm asking for a blanket override of the 2nd amendment is pure projection, plain and simple, with absolutely no basis in reality. Oh, well, sorry to disappoint you.

  5. Increased population density does not necessarily mean an increase in violent crime; in fact violent crime in many of the most densely populated places on the planet is lower than some small towns in the good 'ole USA. Historically, violent crime has decreased over time if you compare rates in prehistoric hunting and gathering tribal societies to today as well.

But I'm done with this, because you're not really interested in a discussion. So be it, Andrew. Be well.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

  1. I'm sorry if you missed the point and focused on the word yelling. Perhaps I should have went with something more along the lines of "Don't shoot the messenger"?

  2. I agree that your later comments take on this tone. However, that doesn't erase my memory of your earlier comments like "There's a fundamental optimism about restricting guns to legal activities such as hunting, skeet shooting, target practice, and collective law enforcement" and "evening the odds to the level of mutually assured destruction is not a world that many folks want to voluntarily create" and "The social contract requires that some individual rights take a back seat". The more I pointed out these inconsistencies in your arguments, the more you back pedaled and created contradictions in your statements. Can you really not see that?

  3. Is it cherry picking because I picked Kansas? A direct analysis of the correlation between the population density and violent crime rate for every county is hardly cherry picking. True, I didn't take the time to look at it for every state, but it has held true for all that I have looked at over the years. Perhaps you could show me your data where the violent crime rate doesn't increase as population density increases because it looks to me like increased population density results in an increased need to defend one's self rather than decreasing it.

  4. If there is one thing I have said repeatedly is that you speak out of both sides of your mouth so much that I can't trust anything you say. Yes, you have made comments that you support the 2nd Amendment, but you've also made comments that you are open to, if not actually dead set on, violating my rights. I can't afford to assume that the comments where you agree with me are your true stance instead an attempt to pacify me, so I must proceed as if the comments where you threaten my rights are your true stance. If I'm wrong and you truly are on my side, you have nobody to blame but yourself for making comments that destroyed your credibility.

  5. Once again, show me the data. I'm not saying it doesn't exist because I haven't looked at it all. I am saying that what I've seen does not support your contention. I will say, if you have to use a town so small that even a single violent criminal results in a crime rate higher than your densely populated places, that actually will be cherry picking. I'm not saying that you'll have to resort to that, but I'm just letting you know I'll be watching for it.

I will be well because I will stand up for my rights. Perhaps someday you'll understand that telling somebody that their rights will have to take a back seat isn't exactly a 'conversation starter'...

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

Well perhaps we're making a little bit or progress on all of this--thanks for persevering. I think I am better understanding your concerns about my attitude by what you've pulled up from all of my comments, and realize that what you think I mean is something that I didn't intend. That's not backing off or speaking out of both sides of my mouth--it's clarifying. That's the whole point of discussing things, so you know where the other person is coming from.

For instance, when I talked about restricting guns to legal activities such as hunting, etc. my sole intention of saying that was to say that I'm for reducing the amount of ILLEGAL gun activity. I did not realize that you were taking my examples as a short list of "approved" activities, and every other use should be restricted. My list was in no way, shape or form meant to be comprehensive, rather just examples of legal activities as opposed to illegal uses of guns, which I presume you are against as well.

I stand by my opinion that most people don't want to live in a community where you have so many armed people that you have a climate of mutually assured destruction. The reason is clear: your chances of being unintentionally caught in crossfire and the chances of things escalating to serious injury and death because guns are present is extremely undesirable, especially when compared to viable alternatives (viable meaning realistic and yet taking advantage of research-based insights that could reduce risk)

As for the social contract meaning that some individual rights take a back seat, that is the very definition of what the social contract is, nothing more, nothing less. There are many examples I can give that I think you'd agree are legitimate "restrictions" of your individual rights that you accept because of the benefits of living in a community. For instance, are you OK with accepting not being able to walk naked down the street, if for no other reason that you don't want to have to see others doing the same, or maybe your kids having to see that? Following driving on the right side of the road, not deer hunting in a crowded neighborhood, not dumping raw sewage into the river, not abandoning the sick and elderly/disabled--just a few of the "restrictions" that we take in stride as being a part of a voluntary personal set of restrictions so you can live in a functioning community based on the golden rule to a greater or lesser extent.

I will be happy to provide you with some data that looks at the history of violence and population density, in various cultures and various settings over time--I'll post those when I have time to look them up for you.

continued below.......

Ken Lassman 5 months, 1 week ago

.....

I really don't have any idea about what rights you are claiming that I want to take away from you. I stand by each point I have made when I say that, and hopefully the clarifications at the top of this post will help you better understand where I'm coming from. If there are other statements that bother you, let me know and maybe we'll find out that you are thinking that I'm saying something that I never intended to convey to you, too. If it is because I want to promote doing more research into gun violence, both accidental and intentional, it is not with the intention of restricting your rights as it is about reducing the number of deaths caused by people with guns WITHOUT restricting your right to own them. I'm of the firm belief that if guns were made less prone to accidents and misuse, they would have more acceptance, not less.

So some progress, here, at least I'm taking your response as such. Hopefully my reply will also enlighten a few things for you as well.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months ago

It's clarifying if you straighten out a misperception and then maintain the clarified position. It's talking out of both sides of your mouth when you go back and forth. To be honest, I don't feel like going back and reading this whole exchange again, so I will allow that it is possible that my going back to certain posts distorted my view of which you were doing. I still don't trust you though...

The problem with your list, which I pointed out fairly quickly, is that you specifically left out self defense. Since the 'discussion' we were having largely revolved around self defense with a firearm, I don't see that kind of omission as being anything other than intentional. If it was, you would have clarified it as soon as I called you on it. You did not.

You obviously do not understand mutually assured destruction or you use the term in jest because if we actually managed to achieve it, there wouldn't be crossfires and escalations. Likewise, you have settled upon one possible example of a social contract that supports your statements. However, there is no requirement that rights be sacrificed as part of a social contract. Further, I would submit that the constitution IS a social contract. Therefore, to violate the rights stated in the constitution is to violate the social contract, not follow it. Interestingly enough, of all of the examples you gave of concessions within a social contracts, none of them violated a constitutional right. It's also interesting to note that Topeka (may have resolved it by now but) had a problem with a person walking down the street naked. They couldn't do anything about it unless he actually did something lewd while nude...

I think you're missing my point about crime rates and population density. How we have changed since prehistoric times is fairly irrelevant. What I was talking about, which is the current correlation between population density and crime rates, is more relevant to the discussion at hand. I made no contentions about a causation between the two. I simply pointed out that increased population density aligns with an increased crime rate which indicates a greater need for self defense rather than a decreased need. As such, your contention about our higher population density making the 2nd Amendment less necessary is flawed.

(cont)

Andrew Applegarth 5 months ago

(cont)

If you really don't have any idea about what rights I'm afraid of you taking away from me, you clearly haven't been reading my comments. I have specifically stated several times that while the position you were pushing might allow me to retain the right to keep arms, it would disallow me from bearing them. I believe I stated that in at least 3 comments. Likewise, I have stated several times that I would not quietly give up my right to self defense, so you should be able to figure out that "self defense" is one of the rights I see you trying to take away from me.

Now, I have a theoretical question for you. How many bathtub drownings have occurred because the CDC research limited their data set to swimming pools, which resulted in solutions aimed strictly at swimming pools? I'm not saying that stopping swimming pool drownings is a bad thing, but what if better solutions were missed because sampling bias allowed swimming pools to overshadow more widespread indicators? What percent of their conclusions applied to other drowning locations and what percent applied only to swimming pools, because sampling bias indicated the pool was the problem?

Ken Lassman 5 months ago

OK, from the top: You assume that since I did not list self defense in the list of examples that I have a problem with it? Well let me make it clear that I have absolutely no problem with the right of self defense; indeed since it is the basis for the 2nd Amendment, isn't that entirely self evident? That misunderstanding was easy to clear up.

Regarding the infallability of mutually assured destruction, the weakness of this concept becomes apparent in two very important cases: when one of the parties loses the desire to live/believes that she/he is sacrificing for the higher good, and when an accident occurs. Suicide bombers are a prime example of the first, and Dr. Strangelove's intrepid bomber inadvertently setting off the Russian doomsday machine is an example of the latter. Accidents and idealism are common enough to undercut the entire concept of mutually assured destruction as astand-alone solution to control on our impulses.

Regarding social contracts, why not go to one of the original ones: the 10 Commandments? By agreeing not to kill another person, you explicitly remove your right to kill someone who has wronged you. You explicitly remove your right to procreate with another person of the opposite sex who you are not married to. You explicitly agree to restrict your free speech by not taking the Lord's name in vain. These, too, are not in the constitution, and yet these kinds of agreements are necessary constraints that allow us to live in communities and are even more fundamental to the social contract idea than the Constitution, yes?

Regarding population density, you said that I am contending that increased densities reduces the need for the Second Amendment, which is simply putting your own fear-based words into my mouth again. I never said that, so thanks for the opportunity to once again clarify to you what I mean: I said that increased populations require that there by safeguards and policies developed that reduce the incidence of accidents, access to guns for folks who are suicidal, etc. and that good research can help us accomplish this without infringing on 2nd Amendment rights.

Regarding your concern about how research might reduce your ability to bear arms, can you give me a specific example where that might be the case? And regarding the solutions the CDC came up with for reducing children accidentally drowning in pools, are you proposing that since you can't put a fence around your bathtub, it's a waste to put them up around a swimming pool? I have no idea what your point is here. Solutions that come out of targeted research, are also targeted toward the problem they are researching, and the fact that they don't apply to other problems does not diminish their value. That is in fact why it is not sampling bias to define your target well. It would do no good to include bathtubs in your study if your intent was to protect children from accidentally drowning in swimming pools.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months ago

So, you need to clarify everything you said because you didn't mean what you initially said, I need to repeat myself multiple times because you didn't read what I wrote, and still I'm the one who's not interested in 'having a discussion'? You are a bad joke and I'm not laughing any more.

PS: A better translation is "Thou shalt not commit murder." It's still not a perfect translation, as there is no exact English equivalent. Non-justified homicide may be the closest in the context of the Old Testament. The various sanctioned deaths make it clear that the 6th Commandment was not a blanket ban on killing.

Okay, one last thing. When you say "It would do no good to include bathtubs in your study if your intent was to protect children from accidentally drowning in swimming pools." you prove my comment that you can't find solutions to the overall issue (drowning or violence) if you bias the sample. I don't want to just protect kids from drowning in swimming pools. I want to prevent kids from drowning in bathtubs, fountains, creeks, rivers, ponds, etc as well. Likewise, I also want to stop the violence by knife, bat, hammer, bomb, car, etc. To bad that your tainted research will never know what the commonalities are between those and find ways to tackle the overarching problems instead of focusing on the inanimate objects you can vilify. You call it good research. I call it narrow minded and error prone.

You can 'clarify' your lies all you want. I'm not buying.

Ken Lassman 5 months ago

I only clarify when you accuse me of saying something I didn't say, which happened pretty darned frequently. But you don't take kindly to having these thing pointed out to you, which is necessary for learning what the other guy is really trying to say. I've learned a few things from you by hanging in there, but if you don't want to try to understand any more, you certainly have that right. It's not easy to put aside your own firm beliefs and just listen in order to better understand the other guy.

And regarding your "one last thing," I'm all for preventing kids from drowning in all situations just as much as you, but if I can't do that, I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to do it wherever and whenever I can, one step at a time. That's what most research is designed to do.

But I'm just clarifying again--sorry about that. Be well, Andrew.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months ago

"I only clarify when you accuse me of saying something I didn't say" So, you're not reading what you write either. Somehow, that doesn't really surprise me. You keep "clarifying" every time I quote you. I guess it's time I quit bothering to read the words you type as well...

Ken Lassman 5 months ago

It's your commentary ABOUT my quotes that need clarifying, Andrew. You excel at attributing very creative if not inflammatory meaning to my words, which require me to go back and clarify, which I'm happy to do. But since you find offense at this, I've stopped this. As always, be well, Andrew.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 1 week ago

All those things you mentioned cannot kill someone else. What a false analogy. I'm sorry that you were a victim of crime, but I do take precautions. I have a security system, I don't walk alone at night, etc. Now, will there ever be a time when I'm in a place where a mass shooter happens? Maybe, but the odds are against it. And I am going to live my life, without being in constant fear and carrying around something so dangerous.

We have been calling for licensing gun owners, but only after they have taken extensive training, much more that what was required before with a concealed carry permit. But the NRA wants everyone to have guns, because it's their "right". Never mind that founding fathers would be as amazed at the power of our guns, as the indigenous people were amazed by the European's guns.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 1 week ago

Many of the things I listed can kill you and more of them can be used to kill you, but that wasn't the point. Nobody calls it living in fear to prepare for what might happen unless it's some hoplophobe like you and the precaution is to carry a gun. Did you know that some car manufacturers are actually removing the spare tire or making an it an extra option? I guess that changing a tire is too dangerous for folks like you. You further double down on dishonesty by implying that a weapon can only be used to stop a mass shooting. It doesn't get reported in the press that caters to folks like you, but guns are used in self defense situations quite often. Stopping a would-be carjacker may not matter to you, until it's your car they jack... Truly though, I'm sorry that you are so terrified of an inanimate object that you don't even trust yourself to carry one and I agree that you should not carry one. I would bet that most NRA members and lobbyists would agree with me.

Speaking of you misrepresenting the NRAs position, let me clarify it: The NRA wants everyone to have the right to keep and bear arms because the constitution guarantees everyone that right. They do not care whether or not each individual actually exercises that right. It's about keeping the right, not the gun. A "right" isn't something that you allow people to do because you agree with it. It's something you allow people to do even if you disagree with it, like you voting.

While the founding fathers might be amazed at people like you with an utter disregard for the constitution, I don't think they would be overly amazed at the power of our guns. They were intelligent people who recognized that skills improve with time and usage and they would expect gunsmithing skills to do so as well. Considering that not only rifles, but breach loading rifles, were used in the revolutionary war it's foolish to pretend they only had muskets. By the time the 2nd Amendment was ratified in 1791, the Girardoni air rifle had become the first repeating rifle of any kind to see military service and the Cookson Repeater Rifle was already being produced in the United States. If anything would amaze the founding fathers, it would probably be that the muskets of their time are currently prohibited by federal law as destructive devices instead of being considered firearms or maybe that individuals can no longer own artillery pieces such as swivel cannons, the Puckle Gun (revolving cannon), mortars, and grenade launchers. Have you heard of the Belton Flintlock, the roman candle style rapid firing weapon? The military passed on it because it fired too fast. The type and variety of weapons allowed at the time the 2nd Amendment was written is much larger than what is allowed today.

Nice try, but perhaps you should study up on period weapons before you spout off about them.

Renee Patrick 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Blissful ignorance sounds so much better than constant unrelenting and unwarranted suspicious paranoia. However, I think Ken is speaking to the type of social contract and rule governed contingencies we want to live under. An Everyman for himself verses a mutually respectful community (for the most part because violence is still rare given the number of people on the planet) is what I think he might be getting at. The research on guns that is out there suggests that the presence of a gun in a conflict heightens arousal, under which decision making can be impaired. Adding more people with guns, ready for conflict or concerend about conflict doesn't sound safer to me. This sounds like a recipe for more unnecessary violence to me, not less.

I have worked at one of the state facilities. The arming of all staff would place residents and staff at risk. The residents come into care with few if any possessions. I did not experience any fear of random people walking onto campus to shoot others. I have also taught at university and had students who were stressed or mentally ill and trained to use weapons. Having a gun in my purse would not have made me feel safer. The knowledge that I could request campus police presence and have a trained individual there did. I can handle a weapon, but I am not trained to do so in a conflict situation and feel that would increase the probability of more injury rather than reduce it.

Andrew Applegarth 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Since you prefer blissful ignorance, go with it. Don't worry about who might have a weapon on them, even if they are a law abiding citizen you fear instead of a criminal you don't worry about.

Nobody I know is saying that you or anybody else is going to be required to carry. If you are more comfortable waiting for a police response, I am well in favor of you not carrying. The difference is that I'm not going to try to strip away your right to do so.

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