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Letters: Assault weapon distinction

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:18 a.m.

    "Fully automatic weapons have been regulated in the U.S. since 1934."

    And yet, it would be very difficult to pass even an automatic weapon ban today.
    The "shall not be infringed" crowd believes in any and all weapons, anyplace.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    The same people who say that "the problem isn't guns, it's mental health care", are the same people who are opposed to providing mental health care to all Americans.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Brad,

    Reaonable people are for reasonable controls.

    Unreasonable people in this debate just dig in their heels, refuse to give an inch out of an irrational paranoia that the 2nd Amendment is going away.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    I agree the current efforts are kind of symbolic. But they're not nothing, and that's symbolic, too. And nobody is about quashing your second amendment rights.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Reality:

    1. Obama isn't coming to get your guns - any of them - even assault rifles.

    2. Most Americans WANT a background checks - which btw, is still 100% Constitutional.

    3. And FYI - weapon registration is also 100% Constitutional.

    4. The 2nd ammendment doesn't specify caliber, grain, or capacity. If you Tea-Partiers want to get technical - our right to bear arms only applies to the single shot, .50 caliber, black power, muzzle-loaders of our Founding Fathers.

    5. When neo-cons can finish reading ALL of the 2nd amendment - and prove to us all where they get their training and keep it current, I'll give them credit as to being "well-regulated" - per the Constition. [Otherwise, I'll refer to them what they really are - an un-organized Mob.]

  • usraptor Woodland Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    EDM,
    What are reasonable controls? Everything currently proposed will have no effect on future shootings. Connecticut, has one of the strictest gun control laws in the US and it did not stop the shooting. Washington DC and Chicago have some of the strongest gun control laws in the US and their homicides rates are the highest in the nation. Gun homicides, robberies, assaults and home invasion robberies are up dramatically in Australia since they enacted they gun ban. However, gun homicides in the US is at the lowest rate in 3 decades. So just how are gun controls, symbolic or not, going to curb gun violence in the US? What we need is better laws/treatment for the mentally ill.
    Roland, you are 100% mistaken. As a retired Police Officer I can say with certainty that those who support there second amendment rights are not the ones that are against better health laws. The ACLU and liberal judges are the ones who make it almost impossible to hold someone for a mental health evaluation when they are a danger to themselves or others. Now days you virtually have to take someone before a judge to get them committed.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 9:58 a.m.

    About the only difference between a fully automatic weapon and semi-automatic is how fast a shooter can move his trigger finger.

    It takes about four seconds for a full auto military weapon to unload a 30 round magazine. It takes about six or seven seconds for it to be emptied by someone with a strong trigger finger.

    Mighty big difference.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    @JoeBlow:
    "...it would be very difficult to pass even an automatic weapon ban today. The "shall not be infringed" crowd believes in any and all weapons, anyplace."

    The purpose of the Second Amendment is to maintain the capacity to deal with a tyrannical government, should one arise in America. In order to do this, the arms of the militia authorized by the Amendment would have to be equal to what the government has in its arsenal. Else, any effort to overthrow a corrupt government would meet with disastrous failure... which would render the Amendment worthless.

  • usraptor Woodland Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Joe Blow, you have no logical response to what I said, so instead you change the subject to something that isn't even on the table. EDM, did you listen to Dianne Feinstein and her desire to take all guns? Also, why should we "give an inch" on something that will have absolutely no effect on gun violence and is purely symbolic? Give me some reasonable laws that will make a real difference in gun violence and I will support them. LDS liberal, what can I say. You need to stop watching CNN and MSNBC and Piers Morgan and open you eyes. And you are the one that needs to read the 2nd amendment. It does not say "single shot, .50 caliber, black power, muzzle-loaders." As far as training, I am not the one who goes before Congress, touting stricter gun control laws, holding a weapon with my finger on the trigger. Re gun registration laws, what purpose does it serve? Would that have stopped any of the mass shootings? No! Also, do criminals register their guns? No! We need better mental health laws, not gun control laws.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    "Instead of penalizing law-abiding American citizens by taking their guns, our lawmakers should spend their efforts on providing better care for the mentally ill instead of making it harder to hold and treat them."

    Good, then let the GOP support a single-payer health-care system that covers all Americans. Otherwise, they are hypocrites.

    But the whole "care for the mentally ill" dodge is just that. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 20 percent of Americans experienced a mental illness in 2011. At best, 60 percent of those received treatment. Of those who did receive treatment, most are not violent. But no mental health professional can gaze into a crystal ball and tell us just when stress or some random event might tip someone off the edge.

    What do we do, take guns away from everyone who experiences a mental illness? All 45.9 million of them in 2011? And there was a new crop in 2012, and there will be another this year. And what do you mean, Mr. Merritt, by "providing better care" for them? What is better care, and how will it prevent another Newtown? You're naive.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    wrz
    As you point out, a number of the Founders did think the 2nd Amendment is there to provide for an armed citizenry in case of a tyrannical ruler. We've already seen it in action, haven't we? 1861-65? Wasn't that a situation where a sizeable part of the country thought they were being deprived of their rights (specifically, the right to own other human beings), and rose up in armed rebellion against their oppressors? That happened, right? 600,000 casualties later, we saw, clearly and without dispute, what a horrendous mistake it was.
    The 2nd Amendment has been tried and found wanting. It can lead to nothing but bloodshed and misery.

  • usraptor Woodland Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Naive, I don't think so. After 36 years in law enforcement I have probably dealt with more mentally ill people than you. What do I mean by better mental health care/laws? It means a family member can get help when they ask for it without having to jump through a million hoops enacted by liberal law makers and judges. When I first became a PO you could put somebody on a 72 hour mental health hold when I or a family member felt they were a danger. Now it's almost impossible thanks to our liberal friends who want to make sure their rights are not violated. Tell me how new gun control laws are going to stop the mentally ill from going on a shooting rampage? Do you think the mentally ill and criminals are going to abide by gun control laws? For those who want to register our firearms, what purpose does that serve? How is gun registration going to stop somebody bent on mass murder? I know what the intent of that kind of law is, do you?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    "The purpose of the Second Amendment is to maintain the capacity to deal with a tyrannical government"

    That is your interpretation. I believe the discussion of militias in the constitution was because of OTHER tyrannical governments, not ours. This was at a time when we did not have an federal army and armed citizens would be called to defend our country.

    Raptor - "Joe Blow, you have no logical response to what I said, so instead you change the subject to something that isn't even on the table"

    Funny, I have not responded since you posted.
    Want a logical response?

    It is a complicated problem. NO single solution will fix it.
    It is hard to argue that if automatic weapons were easily available, they may have been used and most likely more people would die.

    Is the solution smaller clips or banning assault weapons? Nope. But they could help. Background checks? Waiting periods? Not unreasonable. Reagan staunchly supported the Brady bill and instituted a 15_day waiting period in California.

    Then you write "did you listen to Dianne Feinstein and her desire to take all guns?"

    My post contain no outright falsehoods. You cannot say the same.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    @WRZ: Do you seriously think that individual citizens have the right to own all the same weapons that our military does? ICBMs, Predator Drones, Cruise Missiles, Tanks, Aircraft Carriers? I can not take seriously anyone who actually believes that, although I agree that a bunch of guys with AR-15s in their basements are no match for a Predator Drone.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    It's so weird that a group that so strongly favors no restrictions on guns is the first group to put restrictions on health care, marriage, drugs, and alcohol.

    Hypocritical much redshirt, mike richards, wrz?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    I see un-organized mob of angry citizens who keep loosing democratically held elections,
    who keep trying to tell us their AR-15s, and AK-47s and limited amounts of ammunition can over-throw the United States Government and military.

    I beleive the Taliban had a better chance --

    at least they had -- Formal Training, some sort of Organization, numerous Foreign suppliers, fully automatic weapons, surface to air missiles, and a legitamate reason to fight while trying to ward off foreign invaders and occupiers.

    Eric Samuelsen
    Provo, UT
    Just proved you with a little History lesson about another bunch of silly rednecks who thought they were above the Constitution, tried to overthrow the Federal government, and take matters into their own hands.

    It doesn't turn out like you saw in Rambo, or how El Rushbo tells you.

  • usraptor Woodland Hills, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Joe Blow. What "falsehood" did I state? Do you listen to the news? I have nothing against a 15-day waiting period and background checks. Again you talk about automatic weapons which are not the issue and haven't been for decades. In my original letter I was pointing out the difference between automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons and that most people who want to ban alleged assault weapons don't know the difference. However, instead of bringing up any logical discussion about banning semi-automatic weapons, you changed the subject, twice, to fully automatic weapons. Again, how is banning semi-automatic assault weapons and smaller magazines, not clips, going to stop mass shootings? It isn't. Anybody familiar with semi automatic weapons can change a magazine in 1-2 seconds or less. I fully agree with you that it's a complicated issue and their is no simple solution. However, this knee jerk reaction to ban assault type weapons that have no difference in functionality from semi-automatic handguns and sporting rifles is not the answer.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    BTW - You neo-cons have it all wrong.

    The Government can not "infringe" (i.e., confisgate) your assault guns.

    BUT

    The Congress has full constitutional authority over commerce,
    so, banning the furture sales is 100% fully constitutional.

    Infringed has nothing to do with buying and selling.

    Go ahead, make an BushMaster in your garage, keep the rifle Grandpa gave you --
    but controlling the buying and selling of such weapons passes Constitutional muster.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    "you changed the subject, twice, to fully automatic weapons."

    My point is that banning fully automatic weapons probably did save lives. I understand that this is not the discussion, but it is germane. If banning fully automatic weapons is "reasonable" should not semi-automatic weapons at least enter into the conversation?

    Also, please note that many feel that there should be NO restrictions as to number, type and place one should be allowed to carry.

    "What "falsehood" did I state?"

    How about this one.

    "did you listen to Dianne Feinstein and her desire to take all guns?"

    From CNN politics.

    "The restrictions would not apply to guns owned before enactment of any law. Feinstein noted her proposal exempts from the ban more than 2,000 models used for hunting or sporting purposes."

    And finally you write "Again, how is banning semi-automatic assault weapons and smaller magazines, not clips, going to stop mass shootings? "

    It wont. Nothing will "stop mass shootings"

    Neither will a waiting period or background checks. But of those things you write

    "I have nothing against a 15-day waiting period and background checks."

    Measures are meant to reduce not stop.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    As usual, the liberal left has missed the entire argument. They continually tell us that only "big brother" has the right to give us rights. They have turned everything completely backwards.

    This nation derives all of its authority from the people. The government has no power. The government has no authority except what the people have delegated to it. The people, not the government, make the rules. Those rules are made when the people instruct their representatives to write laws. Those representatives have no authority independent of the people. The government has no authority independent of the people.

    The right to keep and bear arms belongs to the people, not to the government. The right to regulate arms belongs to the people, not to the government. No one gave the government that authority; in fact, the people explicitly forbade the government from handling gun rights.

    The left ignores that fact. The left still believes that we have a king. The left still believes that the king bestows on us "rights".

    God made us free. God gave us rights. We control the government. The government does not control us.

  • Lew Scannon Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    Mr. Merritt/usraptor:

    Do you have mental illness in your family? Do you understand from a very personal standpoint just how complex and unpredictable this is? The answer to our gun problem is not in "providing better care" for the mentally ill. The answer is also not in interpreting the second amendment to mean that citizens of this country can own as many guns of any type as they want and for any purpose. We need to understand the solutions that other countries seem to have figured out and implement them.

    The salient thing about rights is that they come with responsibilities. When enough people refuse to accept the responsibilities, we lose those rights. All of us, not just those who abuse them. We reached that point long ago. FYI, since Newtown, there have been at least 1,440 documented gun deaths in America. We can stop the carnage if we really want to.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    As usual, the liberal left has missed the entire argument. They continually tell us that only "big brother" has the right to give us rights. They have turned everything completely backwards.

    This nation derives all of its authority from the people. The government has no power. The government has no authority except what the people have delegated to it. The people, not the government, make the rules.

    ============

    News Flash -- Mike,

    The PEOPLE are the one's asking for the gun controls,
    and the Representatives are listening and responding to it.

    Just as you say,
    Just as it should be.

    Sorry you can't see it.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    usraptor -- are you SURE it was liberals who made mental health care so hard to get?

    Did you forget that St. Ronald the Reagan was the one who shut down mental hospitals? Have you forgotten that the Privacy Act was a Republican idea?

    You need to do some serious research.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    God made us free. God gave us rights.

    12:14 p.m. Jan. 30, 2013

    ==========

    So then, why doesn't GOD stop the mass shootings?

    BTW- Bro. Richards,
    God also gave us brains, intellect, wisdom and the capacity to solve our own problems.

    I suspect HE excepts us to use our brains and intellect to fix problems, not use more guns.
    Otherwise he'd given Adam a rifle, and tempted Eve with a howitzer.

    My personal belief is we mock God being made in His/Her likeness and image by neglecting the wisdom and knowledge uses and the gift he gave us, and not rely on guns to fix life's problems.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    And Mike Richards, you have, as usual, completely misstated liberal arguments. Absolutely no one is saying that 'big brother' has the right to give us rights. Absolutely no one believes we have king. You consistently do this, describe your opponents positions in ways that are frankly preposterous.
    But no one believes that rights come without responsibilities. We have the right, the god-given right, to free speech. But there are limitations that we all recognize to that right--we can't shout fire in a crowded theater, for example. The right to bear arms, I'll confess, is a right I don't care about. But that right, like any other, comes with restrictions. That's all we're talking about. What are responsible limitations to the right to bear arms, on the level of responsible limitations to the right to free speech.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal,

    Newsflash - The Constitution has to be amended. If you really think that you can get 75% of the States to back your idea of gun control then you know what has to be done.

    The Constitution protects us against people like you who claim that "the people demand". The people have clearly stated that the right to keep and bean arms shall not be infringed - by the government.

    Until the people tell their states that they want an oppresive government to rule and reign over them, a defacto return to monarchy, then people like you who pretend to speak for the masses are just out of luck.

    If you really took an oath to defend the constitution, as you claim that you did when you were sworn into the military, why do you break that oath now as you demand that government has the right to disregard the prohibition put on it to stay out of the gun control business?

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 30, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Ok then, why does it matter then? Why are gun nuts willing to pay 10 times as much for an assault style rifle over a hunting rifle? Why are the assault style weapons sold out everywhere? Why is the ammunition for assault weapons sold out?

    Well, we know the answers. It's a complete;y dishonest argument. I've been on the old tube watching reviews of assault "tactical" weapons and they say they are awesomely different and more lethal than any old rifle. You can't have both ways.

    The bottom line is in actual firing power many of the modern assault rifles control recoil and grouping very tightly while firing nearly as rapidly as a automatic weapon.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    usraptor-

    Thank you for an experienced and insightful look at this issue. You will find that the regulars on these pages spout a lot of anti-gun fear rhetoric that really doesn't address the issue of violence caused by the mentally ill.

    I remind the rest of you that the mother of the Newtown shooter tried to get him inpatient therapy, and was unable to due to the current laws. She made a terrible mistake in letting him have access to her weapons, but which she paid with her life. I personally believe she is alive in another realm and she is deeply saddened that her mistake allowed her son to harm the others.

    The lessons we need to learn from this are that parents have to take all aspects of parenting very seriously, that buzz in systems in schools are completely inadequate to keep our kids safe, and that since there are already a myriad of weapons out there that can't be taken back, we need better ways to protect ourselves where ever we go in a given day, and we need to address the mental health needs of people, both in prevention and treatment.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    "In order to do this, the arms of the militia authorized by the Amendment would have to be equal to what the government has in its arsenal. Else, any effort to overthrow a corrupt government would meet with disastrous failure... which would render the Amendment worthless."

    Thank you for summing up why this argument in support of the Second Amendment is "worthless" as you put it. Until you can buy a functioning Browning M2 .50 machine gun, Abrams tank, Apache helicoptor, F-22 Raptor, or Tomahawk missile at a gun show, the entire "we need to be able to fight a tyrannical government" argument is moot. That ship sailed many years ago.

  • George Spelvin KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    -Prohibit lethal fire arms or devices that can be made lethal from being purchased or possessed by anyone under the age of 21 years. (I would suggest that weapons owned and posessed by a person of at least 21 years may be used by another person over the age of 16 years, provided that the juvenile's use of the weapon is under the direct supervision of the gun owner/licensee.)

    -No person who has a firearm licensed to him/her may loan the weapon to any other person without directly supervising the use of that weapon at all times.

    -Prohibit lethal weapons from being in the posession of anyone who is not a citizen of the United States of America for at least 10 consecutive years, and from being poessesed or used by any individual who has a felony record of violence.

    -Prohibit all automatic weapons, weapons that can be converted to automatic weapons, from being posessed by any citizen; that such should only be controlled or possessed by active military or law enforcement personnel.

    -All lethal weapons will be licensed through a state agency and licensed to one owner.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Do you use your bayonet mount deer hunting. Do you like to shot 30 or 40 rounds in a row at the range to be rambo like?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    J Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT
    If you really took an oath to defend the constitution, as you claim that you did when you were sworn into the military, why do you break that oath now...?

    2:06 p.m. Jan. 30, 2013

    ===========

    I sworn to defend ALL of it, not cherry picking snippets to suit political agendas.

    The 2nd ammendment clearly states a "well-regulated militia".
    When your type proves you are trained, and "well regulated" -- then I'll consider you a militia.
    Until then, you are precisely what you claim you are -- "unregulated", "no-regulations".
    In other words, -- a Mob.

    Furthermore;
    Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution: "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions"

    Note that the purpose of militias is to suppress insurrection, not to foment insurrection.

    Article 8 section 2 makes the President the commander in chief of the militias at any time they are called to serve.

    If you read the constitution you will find no example of militias being authorized to act against the government.

    I will defend the Consitution...ALL of it.
    against all enemies, foreign and Domestic - So help me God.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    OMM/LDS Lib,

    Only you would claim that others "cherry pick" when you cherry pick which Supreme Court decisions are binding on you ad on your oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

    There is absolutely no link between belonging to a militia and keeping and bearing arms. You twisted both the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings to pretend that there is a link.

    You also know that the President works for the people. The people do not work for the President. He commands the military to keep the generals from enslaving us by force. The President is forbidden from legislating and he is forbidden, by the same Constitution that you have chosen to ignore, to inhibit any citizen from keeping and bearing arms.

    You, Obama and his followers think that Americans can't read, can't think, can't comprehend. You are all sorely mistaken. Government did not give us the right to keep and bear arms. We prohibited government from passing laws that do that very thing.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    J Thompson,
    "Absolutely no link between belonging to a militia and keeping and bearing arms"
    Except for the specific linkage directly stated in the language of the Second Amendment.
    "The President is forbidden . . . to inhibit any citizen from keeping and bearing arms."
    Nonsense. No one's doing that. Sensible regulations are needed for every Constitutional right.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    Re Lew Scannon

    You forget about all the lives that guns save along with the peace of mind they provide, especially to women.

    You also forget that the second Ammendment is still part of our constitution.

    Perhaps you also forget or perhaps never knew, ..taking guns away from law abiding people does not help protect law abiding people. In fact quite the opposite.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 30, 2013 7:30 p.m.

    J Thompson
    SPRINGVILLE, UT
    OMM/LDS Lib,

    You twisted both the Constitution and the Supreme Court rulings to pretend...

    ===========

    Funny,
    coming from a man who can't accept this same Supreme courts Consitutional ruling 7-2 in Roe v. Wade.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    usraptor:

    You counter your own argument when you point out that fully automatic weapons haven't been legal - or really present, with very few exceptions - since the 1930s.

    Wouldn't the same thing happen over time if easily modified AR-15 and AK-47 weapons were outlawed today, along with magazines over 10 rounds? Eventually those weapons would dry up and be less accessible to crazy people. Most people don't realize that AK-47s and AR-15s can be modified to become fully automatic. Couple that with the giant clips, like the 100 round "drum" James Holmes used (along with body armor), and you have a mass killing machine that makes Virginia Tech look like a school yard fight.

    As outlawing Tommy Guns showed, it's more than symbolic, although nobody should pretend that any law, or waiting period, or modification to mental health laws (or access to mental healthcare) would prevent mass shootings. These events will occur again, because we have too many crazy people and too many guns. But nobody in elected office is talking about revoking guns.

  • Flame Salem, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:28 p.m.

    to me
    Joe Blow, it's common knowledge that in 1995 Feinstein stated she
    supported a ban on all guns. A position she recently reiterated.
    Goggle it.

    I find it interested that Brad points out the fallacy of a assault
    weapon ban and instead of providing any viable rebuttal to what he
    said the gun control advocates resort to the typical liberal tactic of
    changing the subject; health control, civil war, ICBMs, automatic
    weapons,2nd amendment and the tried and true name calling(LDS
    Liberal). Nobody offered one viable answer as to how an assault
    weapons ban, limited magazine size, and gun registration will prevent
    future mass murders. They also continue to ignore that since the gun
    ban in Australia gun homicides and violent crime have dramatically
    increased. The 1994 ban on assault weapons did not stop Columbine just
    as the current proposed legislation will have no effect on future mass
    murders. This is a social issue, not a gun control issue.

    Lew, speaking of hypocrites, if Obamacare is such a good thing, why
    did Congress and Obama exclude themselves? And why does Feinstein have a concealed weapons permit and hire armed guards to protect her?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    I'm willing to accept the "guns are protection against government tyranny" argument, but can someone supply examples of when it actually worked? Whiskey Rebellion? Nope. Civil War? Nope. Weather Underground? Nope. Oklahoma City? Nope. Symbionese Liberation Army? Nope. AIM occupation of Alcatraz? Nope. AIM occupation of Wounded Knee? Nope. Black Panthers? Nope. Montana Freemen? Nope. The 1987 Kamas seige (forgot the family's name)? Nope.

    Contrast that with with peaceful nonviolent tactics such as civil disobedience and street protests. Civil Rights Movement? Yes. Anti-arpartheid divestiture movement? Yes. Viet Nam War protests? Yes. Gay rights movement? Yes. Feminism? Yes. Clamshell Allaince? Yes. Utah MX missile protests? Yes. Nuclear testing? Yes.

    Armed insurrection may be enshrined in the Constitution. It just fails as an effective strategy for accomplishing an end.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    To all you "Liberals" and "Conservatives", I carry a smooth bore musket with me in public which makes me the most manly hipster American out there.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Lagomorph,

    Perhaps Armed insurrection is enshrined in the Constitution because our country gained it's independence through it.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    CBAX: :Perhaps Armed insurrection is enshrined in the Constitution because our country gained it's independence through it."

    The Revolutionary War was about the last time the citizenry had rough parity in arms with the government authority. Further, there were not the democratic institutions we have today (as a result of the revolution) available to the colonists to effect political change.

    My point is that however useful armed insurrection may have been in the past, today it is obsolete as a strategy to accomplish change. As others have pointed out in this forum, unless you have tanks, fighter jets, drones, and other big weapons, the citizenry is literally outgunned by the government. For most political conflicts there are nonviolent means within or outside the system to effect change (lawsuits, legislation, citizen initiatives, protests, civil disobedience, etc.) that have proven to be more effective than taking up arms. Please show me an example in America from the last century where armed citizens have successfully fought back against government overreach.

    The "armed citizenry is our defense against tyranny" line rouses our Braveheart fantasies, but it is so 18th century and works about as well as a flintlock. There are better ways now.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    CBAX: "Perhaps Armed insurrection is enshrined in the Constitution because our country gained it's independence through it."

    Another response-- The place where insurrection actually IS enshrined in the Constitution is Article 1, Section 8: "The Congress shall have Power… To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions..."

    The Founders anticipated the possibility that the people might rebel against the government and made it the express constitutional duty of the militia to fight against insurrection. The Constitutionally mandated job of the militia (however you may define it as individual or collective) is to protect the governmental authority and oppose rebellion, not the other way around. In other words, the militia is on the side of the Storm Troopers, not Luke and Obi Wan. Also, Article 2, Section 2 makes the President the Commander in Chief of the militia. It makes it pretty hard for the militia to fight against the government in the name of the Constitution when the Constitution makes the government the commander of the militia. How do you follow your oath to uphold the Constitution in that situation?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    99% of the gun banners couldn't tell you the difference between a magazine and a chamber in a gun. Most have never hunted or shot anything other than a friends BB gun when they were 7. This is total ignorance at work here and look no further than Barack who couldn't describe the difference between a shot gun and what he called a "6 shooter" to shoot pheasants. This is laughable but unfortunately factual. Ignorance is rampant in liberal-ville and we will just have to fight it.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 31, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    patriot
    Cedar Hills, UT
    3:19 p.m. Jan. 31, 2013

    99% of the gun banners couldn't tell you the difference between a magazine and a chamber in a gun. Most have never hunted or shot anything other than a friends BB gun when they were 7.

    ===========

    I've bow, black power and rifle hunted.

    I'm also fully M-16 ceritfied, qualified, and have a Marksmanship Military Ribbon.

    I'm certified and qualified to inspection, install, and deploy conventional, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and weapons systems.

    ...and I'm a Liberal.

    This is laughable but unfortunately factual. Ignorance is rampant in patriot-ville and we will just have to fight it.

    BTW -
    I'm still waiting for an honest reply patriot --
    What branch of the military did you serve in?

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    To all those who support and agree with part or all of Obama and Fienstien's gun control objectives & rhetoric I pose these question due to the vast subjectivity, nebulousness & lack of agreement on specifics inherent to the current objectives & rhetoric of Obama and others calling for "reasonable" or "common sense" gun control.

    1.At what specific point of infringing upon the rights of lawful gun owners will you stand up and say-Obama/Congress you have gone too far, you have overstepped your bounds?

    2 What specifically in terms of executive orders would you find as too extreme and as a violation of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution and more specifically the separation of powers inherent to our system of government.

    3. In the event that Obama's gun control measures did reach your threshold a president overstepping his bounds through executive fiat, would you take a stand to have his orders repealed and push for Obama to held accountable & deprived of such unconstitutional powers?

    Please be serious as these are very serious questions that MUST be answered before a real honest good faith discussion of reasonable gun control can take place.

  • Flame Salem, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    Lew Scannon,
    I see you have resorted to the liberal tactic of name calling instead of providing answers in calling Mr. Merritt mentally ill. Since those who commit mass murder are obviously mentally ill, I think that better treatment for them would be a good start to the problem. Approx 36K people were killed and many more injured in car crashes last year. Should we ban people from owning and driving cars because of the small percentage who drive recklessly or drunk? What you keep ignoring is that crime in general and homicide rates in particular, except maybe in Chicago which has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, are down significantly. Mass murder is a social issue that lies squarely at the feet of the moral decline in this country in the past 20 years. Also, why is the crime and murder rates the highest in the Blue States? In the Red states, where the strongest supporters of the 2nd amendment live, crime and homicide rates are significantly lower.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    LDS Liberal:

    "If you Tea-Partiers want to get technical - our right to bear arms only applies to the single shot, .50 caliber, black power, muzzle-loaders of our Founding Fathers."

    And the First Amendment only applies to newspapers, pamphlets, and people shouting on soap boxes.

    You'll be tickled to know that a recent Supreme Court decision described your exact argument as "bordering on the frivolous." The justices were being kind. There's no "bordering" about it.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 1, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    I keep seeing the argument made that the Second Amendment's original rationale as a hedge against tyranny is outdated, because civilians couldn't outfight the United States military.

    But we don't *need* to outgun the military. A truly tyrannical government -- one openly defying the Constitution -- wouldn't dare call out the United States military to suppress American citizens. The officer corps takes an oath to the Constitution, not to the President. If the troops don't fire on civilians when ordered, that's the end of the regime. Happens over and over.

    On the other hand, if the regime has civilian security forces to do its work -- and it can always find at least some -- it can stay in power, so long as they're the only ones with guns. Consequently, I want the American public to have every weapon available to them -- with reasonable background screening; I'm fine with that -- that civilian enforcement agencies have. We don't have to outgun the military -- we just have to outgun enough people that any illegitimate government would *have* to call out the military, which would mean its end.