Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Arming Children and the First Freedom (part 2)

If you haven't read the first part of this post, do so now. What follows will make more sense then.

As I mentioned prior, I missed all the hubbub over the NRA coming to Denver right after Columbine. So let me address that first and continue down the path where I planned to all along:
As a member of the NRA, I think I know what they're all about (click here to read more). From a simple group promoting shooting skills, they have evolved into an organization responsible for 1. educating both children and adults, police officers and hunters, in the use and practice of handling firearms and 2. protecting the Second Amendment from those who would see us disarmed and placed at the mercy of those who would still have guns (both criminals and the government). Now I have heard some idiotic blather concerning them and I will respond in kind:

Come on, how many people are dead because of the actions of Charleton Heston [and the NRA]?
How many laws and politicians did he [Heston] influence to put big, powerful
guns in the hands of teenagers who killed 8 year olds on swing sets?
people like Heston would have disagreed with me, made it easier for
kids to get such weapons [M-60's] and then staged an NRA rally in the town where
those kids just gunned down half of their classmates.

I'll address all three of these points in one, because it's a fundamental misunderstanding of what the NRA does. First the short answers to the two questions: None and None. The purpose of stopping gun laws, and by adding new conceal-and-carry laws, is to put guns into the hands of responsible, law-abiding citizens who shoulder the responsibility for protecting themselves and others by carrying such weapons. No one is angrier when thugs or crazy people circumvent or break laws to get weapons to cause mayhem and destruction and death. But every law that denies a gun to someone who should not be denied for criminal activity or mental problem simply disarms those that follow the law. For every criminal and thug and murderer out there, there is no waiting period, there is no background check, there is no upbringing that teaches them respect for life. And there sure as hell is no law that will stop them from getting a gun if they seek to own one. That is why the NRA can come somewhere where people have been shot down without a moment of doubt. Because we champion those who seek to be responsible gun owners. That, and I'm pretty certain no one is worried that someone would come into an NRA gathering and try to shoot anyone.

And as for the automatic weapons, show me the law where anyone sane is suggesting we start arming children with them and I'll shut up. Well? Thought so.

It [2nd Amendment] clearly states that since we don't have an army, we need to arm our
citizens so they can fight the British Army when they show up.

Actually, it says this (emphasis added): 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
. It said nothing about having an army (we did) and we had already beaten the Brits (there was no war or threat until the Adams administration). But it certainly does secure a right to be armed.

This is the essence of District of Columbia v. Heller. When the Supreme court finally reached a decision, it is my hope that they will state, once and for all, that this is an individual right, just as all the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights are. I'll save the rest of my commentary until I can read the juicy parts of the decision.


Beth said...

I read both parts and have to say I think our founding fathers were very wise, and must be turning in their graves to see the arguments people have over this most important right we need to insure.

Patrick M said...

Beth, if we could dig down, find our founding fathers, and wire them with generators, we could power a small city at the speed they're spinning. That's how bad we've managed to twist the Constitution.

Beth said...

A small city? Or maybe Las Vegas?!?

BB-Idaho said...

"It said nothing about having an army.." So, what's a well regulated militia?

Patrick M said...

A well regulated militia is citizens with guns that can assemble and defend. It's not an army. Militia can be integrated into the army, as they were in the Revolutionary War. But an army is an organized and regimented fighting force.

Enlightened enough? Next question.

BB-Idaho said...

"Militia can be integrated into the army," like the National Guard or Ready Reserve?

Patrick M said...

Yep. But that's also why the amendment secures the right (like all the others) as an individual right.

That brings us back to District of Columbia v. Heller, which will define this more clearly.

BB-Idaho said...

"Yep. But that's also why the amendment secures the right (like all the others) as an individual right." So the well-regulated militia thing empowers gov't to
'call up' gun owners for military
duty? (I understand the basic rights set forth in the amendment,
just have problems with the militia
intent and interpetation)

Patrick M said...

Thus comes the supreme court case.

I really wish the founding fathers had been just a little clearer. That way it couldn't get interpreted the way it has been.