Some Still Love their Guns More than God

January 11, 2013

In February 2011, I wrote this blog about how I though some people love their guns more than they love God. In other words, they love their guns more than they care about the people that die each year by guns.  I still believe that there is a segment of the population that this applies to.  And they scare me.

In the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, Wisconsin and Sandy Hook, the wound of gun violence in the United States has been ripped open. And you can hear diatribes on both sides of the question on the major news and cable show all day and all night. It is the topic du jour.

I do think there are rational people on both sides who could some together to do something meaningful toward solving the problem of gun violence in our country. If we could eliminate the nuts on both sides, it could happen.

However, the NRA and its real constituents, the gun makers, would never go for anything meaningful in the way of real gun control and registration and, the radical gun control nuts would never settle for anything less than confiscation of all privately-owned weaponry.  But there is a middle ground.

What does, frankly, amaze me the most is that Utah appears to be the most gun crazy state in the union?   For example, Officials in Spring City, Utah are proposing that every household own a gun. A recent gun show in Sandy packed them in as the fear of a restriction fueled a buying frenzy. I have friends there that are signing up in droves for gun classes. Even though I probably know better, I would expect the place where the LDS Church grew up and is headquartered to be more in tune with the Prince of Peace and less with the Peacemaker (a Colt six shooter).

So if someone wants to buy a gun, handgun or rifle to protect them and their family and, are legally able to purchase the weapon, I really see nothing wrong with that. If you are a hunter or a target shooter and want to own weapons to enjoy your sport, you should be able to.

I do worry very much about the extreme folks that claim that their guns are necessary to protect against a tyrannical government or an attack against the people by the US Military. It might be true that the second amendment was written for a new nation for that very purpose. But back then, everyone had a single shot musket, which took minutes to load.  Do these folks really think that even with assault weapons they could take on the US Military if the military seriously wanted to take over?  With planes, tanks, drones, nukes and a navy, these so-called citizen militias would not even stand a chance. So to me, that is a bad reason to own a gun.

Something needs to be done. The answer to 34 killings a day by guns cannot be more guns or more armed people, in our schools, in our malls and in our homes.

In most of the cases, the guns used in gun murder started their life as a legal purchase. Some purchased by the very perpetrators themselves, or left in the home easily accessible by a family member and, some that were sold to, stolen by, or somehow acquired by a bad guy.

I am hopeful that reason can prevail and that something will be done that can have a meaningful impact on gun violence.  I am still hopeful for a civil dialog where the problem can be addressed and a solution found.

116 Responses to Some Still Love their Guns More than God

  1. Stephen R. Marsh on January 11, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    You have a point. I’ve long been concerned at the death rate from abused pharmaceuticals. If only they were regulated. Surely the six figure death toll from them would be reduced.

    There must be a middle way.

    Or look at the number of deaths from medical malpractice. It is huge, more than six figures a year (compared to less than 5% of that number from guns). If only medicine were regulated.

    Or look at what President Hinkley said about how we needed to have reasonable limits on guns. Surely, people are willing to listen to what he said?

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  2. GBSmith on January 11, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    A number of years ago I wrote one of my senators about my concern regarding guns as a public health issue. Several months later I received a form letter reply thanking me for my support of gun ownership and the right to keep and bear arms. My conclusion was that an individual who is not a donor and doesn’t represent some large group, I might as well keep my opinions to myself. I don’t s see that that has changed.

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  3. Dave on January 11, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Love the graphic.

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  4. AndrewJDavis on January 11, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Stephen, you bringing up those other points has nothing to do with gun control. I think one of the biggest reasons why I can stand talking with people about gun control is because so many of people for less gun control try far more often to deflect the debate.

    Not once has anyone asked me when they bring up topics like you mentioned, or deaths caused by drunk driving, what my opinion on those topics were before accusing me of not caring about those other topics. I notice you have done the same in assuming Jeff does not want to prevent deaths caused by substance abuse or medical malpractice.

    I will quote another prophet to you, and to anyone else who tries to derail the thread with illogical arguments trying to defend a side that (in my opinion) has *no* defense:

    “STOP IT”

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  5. Jenn on January 11, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    I couldn’t agree more, and have yet to hear an argument in response that isn’t full of holes.

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  6. aerin on January 11, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    I have no issue with every household owning guns. Train everyone to use a gun and store it safely. Then, anyone who uses a gun in a crime is put in prison for life.

    There’s a difference between regulating and licensing firearms and taking all guns away. I wish I had owned stock in firearm manufacturers after both of Obama’s elections. I know of people who went out and bought more guns. And the President never said he was going to take away guns.

    Why do we need assault rifles and high capacity magazines? I haven’t seen a convincing argument in the nuclear age.

    I’m glad we’re having a national conversation. This is important. I’ve heard many ideas…limit ammunition, stop gun shows, gun buy back. Why not have a mandatory week waiting period? If you can’t plan ahead when you need a gun, maybe you shouldn’t own one.

    I won’t say most gun owners agree with me, but at least they will admit that they don’t really need assault rifles (their hunting rifle is fine) and they could wait a week to purchase a gun.

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  7. Will on January 11, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    I’m with Joseph Smith on this one, who’s Idea of going to the jail ‘like a lamb to the slaughter” meant carrying one (a pepperbox) and possibly two weapons into the jail with him (or smuggled in) to confront the mob. If anyone has watched a lamb going to the slaughter, they understand this reference better. They kick, squeal, buck and wine like, well: a lamb going to the slaughter.

    The problem is not guns; the problem is crazy people with guns. This is the issue we need to address. This is what we need to go after. We need to do everything in our power to get guns out of the hands of crazy people. Along these lines, anyone with a mental disorder of any type should not be allowed to purchase a gun. Even if they are they are on medication.

    Joseph Smith, the father of our dispensation and perhaps the greatest prophet of all time (save Jesus only), found it necessary to carry a gun (possibly two) in his last moments. He did not use it to go and kill a bunch of unarmed people; he used it to defend himself against injustice. He used it to shoot at the mob after they stormed the jail. He shot three men. Unfortunately, none of them died.

    The thing all of these killers have in common is that they are all crazy. Stark raving mad and the way to stop them, just like in Trolley Square in Salt Lake a few years ago is for MORE good people (like Joseph) to carry weapons. Or more specifically, the man who carried a gun into the Trolley Square mall (illegally) and killed the madman who tried to commit mass murder. In this case the good guy won. If he were not there dozens or hundreds more would have died. The madman had over 6,000 rounds of .223 ammo.

    Simple: more guns in the hands of good guys; and less in the hands of bad guys. Becuase it is not an issue of guns, it is an issue of good vs. evil.

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  8. Stephen M (Ethesis) on January 11, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Andrew — sorry you disagree with President Hinkley that something needs to be done about guns.

    Or was my post tl;dr make snide comments because you could not be bothered to finish it.?

    Honestly, that is what I see too often.

    I agree we probably need to do something. How and what and how to place it into context is the question I have — and that I would like to see considered.

    Getting rid of Saturday night specials seemed like a very good idea. Net result is that gun crime did not go down, just got deadlier. Things got worse instead of better.

    I am wanting more thought. Less knee jerk, yet also paying attention to what prophets have said recently.

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  9. Stephen M (Ethesis) on January 11, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Or does anyone really think that the side expressed here had no defense:

    “Or look at what President Hinkley said about how we needed to have reasonable limits on guns. Surely, people are willing to listen to what he said?”

    Is the idea of reasonable limits indefensible?

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  10. Llenrad on January 11, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Why is it considered extreme to think our government could one day become tyrannical? Wouldn’t a government that restricts freedoms be considered, at least on some level, a tyranny? I am in no way implying that we are as bad as some of the famous regimes throughout history who have murdered millions of their own people, but at the same time, to think it could never happen to us is just plain silly.

    After we were bombed by the Japanese in WWII there was talk about invading the mainland. Their military commander said that would not be wise since there “was a gun behind every blade of grass.” They did not fear our army near as much as the armed populous.

    I tire of the argument that the weapons of our day shouldn’t be considered covered by the second amendment because our founders never would have dreamed of such weapons. Our founders wanted us to have the same defences that our military possessed, to protect us from them (the government).

    It saddens me to see violence on the news, however if every gun magically disappeared today that violence would still exist. Look at Britain, no guns but a sky high violent crime rate. People will harm other people with or without the guns.

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  11. AndrewJDavis on January 11, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Well I totally misread your post then Stephen. Yes, I read the whole thing, but the tone of the first and third paragraphs to me indicated that you were calling Jeff out for not preventing those deaths while he still is trying to prevent gun related deaths. I still fail to see what the points about pharmaceuticals and malpractice have to do with gun control — they are another (very worthy) set of battles which have nothing to do in my opinion with gun control.

    In my (small) defense, I lived for 6 years only 25 miles from Newtown, and moved away only 1.5 years ago. I know people from there, and it hurt. What hurt more, though was some of my extended family making those same points you did — but in all seriousness — about why we don’t need gun control. They argued that since I didn’t make any argument against controlling drunk driving by taking away cars, I should not make an argument about taking away their guns. That was in my head as I read your comments.

    tl;dr for that part: I didn’t understand your point, and I’m sorry. But, I’m not sure I still do understand what you were trying to say.

    Now, for a meaningful contribution actually on gun control.
    1. Guns are made for one purpose: killing.
    2. If we want to reduce death by guns, we reduce two things: the number of guns, and the desire to kill.

    All discussion I think can be based around these two points — how to reduce the number of them, and how to convince people killing isn’t the answer.

    I personally would be fine with completely eliminating all private gun ownership and the 2nd amendment entirely. I do not believe that now in our time a well regulated militia is required for the safety of our land and people. At least if you interpret that militia as private people not part of the US military.

    However, I realize many people disagree with me, and I would be willing to compromise. Starting with eliminating all private ownership of military style assault weapons or any weapon which can shoot more than X number of times per minute (X to be determined, I’d say 3).

    As for reducing the desire to kill, we need much much better mental health care, which requires that we as a nation be willing to fork over some money for it. It is in all our best interests to see that each school has multiple trained counselors, who are ready to help step in at a young age to teach people how to deal with depression and other mental disorders.

    Parents must be there to teach their kids how to deal with anger. Anger management must be a part of everyone’s life. We all have anger, but we all have to learn to deal with it without resorting to using violence, the last refuge of the incompetent.

    I would argue the best answer is family driven, but of course, many others can step up: Hollywood/TV could stop promoting films/shows where the characters don’t control their anger and give in to the desire to kill.

    We could also perhaps point out the need to see others not as the Other, but as one of us — a fellow human — a child of God. Even the people trying to kill Americans. I was somewhat saddened when the cheering went up when Bin Laden was killed. Not because he died, but because of how the cheering implied that vengence is a good thing. Perhaps the world is a better place without him in it, but I will not take joy in his death.

    tl;dr again:
    Guns AND people kill people. We have to fix both.

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  12. Jeff Spector on January 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Llenrad,

    I suppose a healthy paranoia is good for some people, but it seems tough to live a life that way, especially when they are no evidence of that happening.

    A couple of corrections:

    1. No proof a Japanese military leader (it was attributed to Yamamoto) ever said that quote. In fact, it has been pretty much de-bunked (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isoroku_Yamamoto).

    2. The comment about Britain and their crime rate is also wrong. A trip to the British Home office website confirms this. their crime rate is much.much less than what goes on in the US.

    In this argument, true facts is very hard to come by.

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  13. Jeff Spector on January 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    BTW, many like to point to “crazy people” as the source of the problem. Most gun crimes are not committed by “crazy” people, but sane people who may be “crazy” for the moment.

    If they didn’t have access to the gun, perhaps the crime might not occur.

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  14. Bin on January 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Will:

    Joseph may have carried a gun, but I distinctly remember Jesus doing something completely different when he was taken. Similar stories, completely different reactions.

    Maybe this rings a bell:

    … for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

    Stephen:

    The difference (HUGE difference) between medical malpractice (and even introducing it into this discussion is nothing more than a seriously flawed straw man argument) is that doctors don’t own equipment, don’t go to years and years of schooling in order to hurt someone.

    A gun, by contrast, simply isn’t meant to help suture a wound, or to repair a heart or to stint an artery or to do anything other than kill something. That’s it’s sole raison d’etre. Guns kill – whether that’s an animal or a person or something else, that’s what they do.

    Now, as to chastising Andrew for not wanting to listen to what President Hinckley said, well, I’m quite certain that’s not how it works. Pleading to a church authority as if his word is the final say is little more than an abuse of authority…D&C 121 doesn’t waver at all on that. LDS are authority whores (meaning we’ll do anything an “authority” in the Church tells us to do because, well, he’s got the title and we HAVE to follow it) and you’ve given us a fine example of that.

    Now, was he invoking the whole “Thus Saith the Lord” mantra or was it just his opinion on the matter? Was it like his opinion that girls didn’t need more than one set of earrings, or was it, “The Lord says we need more gun laws/restrictions”?

    As for me, I don’t own a gun. I used to own multiple AR15s and an Ak47. Sold them all and haven’t bought another one since. I’m not sure why I would want to have something in my home that is designed with no other intent than to kill with reckless abandon. And, I’m a vegan so killing for meat isn’t really my cup of tea.

    So be it.

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  15. Mormon Heretic on January 11, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    There was an interesting exchange on the Diane Rehm Show a few days ago. Diane interviewed Robert Spitzer, the author of four books on gun policy, including “The Politics of Gun Control.”

    SPITZER, “Well, most of the focus on the gun issue is guns and homicide, guns and murder, for obvious reasons. But we know that each and every year, gun suicides exceed gun homicides and — by a pretty significant number. So, for example, in 2010, the last year — as Dan was just saying, the last year for which fairly complete data is available from the government, there were over 19,000 gun suicides compared to about 11,000 gun homicides.

    Now, people often misunderstand the significance of that number because there’s an attitude that says, well, if a person is going to commit suicide, they’re going to do it no matter if they have a gun available or a piece of rope or a knife or some poison. But while people may turn to different methods, the point about a gun is that it is uniquely efficient as a way, and easy as a way, to kill yourself.

    And we know that there are numerous studies, dozens of studies, which demonstrate that the physical presence of guns among — in the population and people’s homes makes suicide much more likely because if you go to a gun as a method of suicide, it is the most effective way. The likelihood of you succeeding and killing yourself with a gun is about 90 percent.

    That’s a far higher “success rate” — that’s the term the medical profession uses — than any other method. Moreover, we know that if you can intercede with somebody who is suicidal or even who attempts suicide but unsuccessfully, the odds are very great that you can help those people, get them past the suicidal impulse, and they won’t try suicide again, by and large. So it is a uniquely dangerous implement with respect to the suicide trends in the United States every year, and it’s a public health issue, among other things.

    REHM, “And what do we know about countries where the good guys are armed? Are the death rates lower? Is there a great benefit to arming the good guys and keeping the bad guys away from guns?”

    SPITZER, “Well, let me preface this by saying that I wrote an article on Huffington Post a year or two ago called “The Good-Guy-Bad-Guy Myth,” and actually it was more recent than that. And it makes the point that in, you know, Hollywood lore, on television programs, we are the omniscient observer, and we get to see who the good guys and the bad guys are.

    It’s one of the things that’s interesting about, you know, watching cop programs and the like. But in real life, it’s extremely difficult to divide up society in that way, and certainly there are many good people and well-intentioned people, whether in the United States or in other nations, who have arms, who have guns, who are attempting to be helpful in various ways but who often wind up doing harm.

    If you examine developing societies in South America, for example, where there’s a significant armed presence — there was an article about this in the newspaper yesterday — the presence of armed soldiers and security guards exist in nations like Colombia and other Central South American nations because their governments are unable to maintain sort of basic order in their society.

    And these are also nations that have very, very high injury and death rates and especially rates from guns. So that is symptomatic of a nation where the government is unable to provide for sort of the basic protections for citizens in their daily lives. And the United States is not in that category. We’re a pretty safe nation, all things considered.”

    Suicide is the part of the gun debate that NEVER gets talked about; there are nearly twice as many suicides as homicides. Guns are uniquely effective compared to other instruments of death.

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  16. Will on January 11, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    AndrewJDavis

    First off, the Savior said there would be “wars and rumors of wars”. What he was saying, besides the obvious associated with such a direct statement, is that there would be evil people in the world. It started with Lucifer in the War in Heaven and has continued up until now. Most of the madmen in our history have been heavily indoctrinated by the political left — Hitler and Mussolini and the National Socialist Party; Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Jimmy Jones and Chavez with collectivist ideologies; and, the current whore of the earth, militant Islam and it’s quest for social justice. Combined, they have killed hundreds of millions. NOT millions or hundreds, BUT hundreds of millions.

    What is most troubling is that ALL of these madmen started by taking guns from the general populace. ALL of them. They could not have committed mass murder of their own people if they had an armed populace. The reason Switzerland requires gun ownership by its populace is because they were tired of being invaded by Germany. By similar inspiration, yes inspiration, we have the second amendment to protect ourselves not from a foreign army (that is the military’s job), but from our own government. So we don’t have some crazy leftist trying to implement social justice, which has translated into the most mass murder.

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  17. Mormon Heretic on January 11, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    Here is another blurb from the Diane Rehm Show.

    REHM, “And yet here’s an email from Peter, who says, “I find it odd that the NRA is saying mental health issues are the cause of the recent mass shooting and should be addressed, yet they managed to have a law put in place in some bill that makes it illegal for doctors to ask patients about their gun ownership?” Bob.”

    SPITZER, “Yeah. It’s symptomatic of this notion of throwing up as many barriers as possible to obtaining better information. And it’s really kind of a hidden political war behind much of what’s going on, which is to essentially keep us as ignorant as possible about what is going on with respect to gun ownership, gun trafficking and related matters”

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  18. dba.brotherp on January 11, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Will,

    You talked about governments taking away guns from the population and then the government killed the population.

    My question to you is why didn’t the population resist giving up their guns?

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  19. AndrewJDavis on January 11, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    @ Will — no, will, the removal of guns is not what troubles me. What troubles me is that people use the excuse of evil in other people (who you rightly name as such) to excuse the same acts in themselves.

    I would much rather follow the example of the parents of the Sons of Heleman than the Sons themselves. Even if it means I die. I do not think I could honestly look at someone with the intent to kill them, no matter what. Nor do I think anyone should be proud to say they could do that.

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  20. Llenrad on January 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Jeff,

    I’ll give you the lack of proof on the quote, however the Stats from the British Home Office do confirm my point.

    If we look at the most recent violent crime numbers in England/Whales it is at 762,515. While the US for the same year the number is 1,203,564. Yes a larger number, but when you compare per 100,000 you see that the UK is 1,361/100k and the US is at 386/100k (or about 3.5 times higher)

    The UK murder rate is lower, at 1.3 while the US is currently at 4.7. However if we look at where the murder is happening in the US we see that it is in metropolitan areas with a population over 250,000. In fact the rate for both violent crimes and murder is double the national average in these areas.

    Now the US has a 186 metropolitan areas over 250k. The UK (England and Whales) has 32. This means the US has 6 times more hot spots for violent crimes and murder.

    Overall violent crime, according to the FBI, has dropped 50% since 1992 even though assault rifle purchases during the same time have increased by at least 50%.

    We need to address why crime is happening in the areas that it is, and not have a knee jerk reaction and start taking away rights.

    To All,

    Yes guns can be used to kill people. However, sane and law abiding citizens do not. It should not matter one bit if I want to have 3 shots in my magazine or 30. It is a very slippery slope when we start to allow government what we can and cannot do. I am very much in the camp of “if you are not hurting anyone, then do whatever you want.” That list would include: owning any type of weapon you want, do whatever type of drug you want, have whatever type of relationship you want, etc. We need to punish people that cause harm to someone else and not worry about what types of defense someone chooses to buy.

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  21. Virgil Z on January 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    If there is a causal link between the number of civilian held firearms and the firearms violence rate, the numbers would clearly indicate that more guns = less violence as the number of civilian arms in the USA has risen dramatically over the last 20 years (principally in the categories of modern semi-automatic handguns and modern sporting rifles which are so far the current targets of new restrictions) – but over that same time period violent crime is down to near record low levels. If one would like to argue these two trends are unrelated – then we’d still have to conclude that gun ownership levels have little to do with actual crime rates.

    One could also note that the worst areas for violent crime in the US tend to have the lowest levels of legal ownership and heaviest gun control restrictions. These areas grossly skew comparisons to other countries for firearms violence rates.

    As to ‘assault rifles’ vs ‘hunting rifles’ – these are arbitrary definitions based on cosmetics and not function. Hunting rifles are almost always of a higher caliber (more deadly) than the AR-15 and AK style rifles. Semi-automatic hunting rifles have been with us since the early 1900’s as have ‘high capacity’ magazines over 10rnds which came into common use in the 1930’s. The mechanics of how a semi-auto AR-15 fires and a Remington 7600 hunting rifle functions is identical. Fully automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since 1934. Every study of the now defunct 1994 assault weapons / magazine ban showed it had no discernible affect on crime rates.

    Could an armed America defeat its own military? The current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and uprisings in Libia/Syria certainly show the difficulty in controlling a hostile populace – this within populations that are more geographically compact, poor, low-tech, and less armed than the USA.

    Speaking more positively, firearms are used for legal self defense anywhere from 50K (anti-gun groups) to 500K (FBI), to 2M+ times per year. In most cases, the simple sight of the gun was sufficient to deter an attack – certainly a less violent event for all involved. Any discussion of gun control that doesn’t acknowledge the value of self defense should be a non-starter. Most of the current proposals are simply retreads of past, failed experiments – so why should they get any serious consideration? Fundamentally, they are an assertion of collectivism – that individuals shouldn’t provide for their own defense, but should rely on the benevolent ‘community’ to protect them and the darker implication that protection can be withheld from those deemed unworthy.

    Ultimately, firearm ownership is an expression of self-reliance, freedom, and responsibility. The US is a study of contrasts – we have huge income disparities, cultural disparities, religious differences, political differences, age differences, and 30-47% of US households own something approaching 300 million guns. Yet, excluding urban cores, we’re one of the most peaceful countries on earth. I think that there’s a relationship there. I hope gun owners are successful in keeping it that way.

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  22. John Mansfield on January 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Since an armed populace is no obstacle to a mighty modern army with nuclear weapons, the U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have some explaining to do.

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  23. Will on January 11, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    “My question to you is why didn’t the population resist giving up their guns?”

    They were stupid.

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  24. Mormon Heretic on January 11, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Virgil, Freakonomics noted that the drop in crime was attributable to

    The crime rate in the late 1980′s was growing. Crack cocaine was an epidemic, fueling the crime rate; conventional wisdom said that crime would continue to increase.Yet a funny thing happened in the early 1990s: the crime rate dropped.

    Many theories came out to explain why the crime rate dropped. Levitt’s data showed that Community Policing strategies didn’t make any difference. The following items explained a little more than half of the drop in crime:

    harsher sentences: 30%
    decrease in crack cocaine use and associated violence: 15%
    gun control, better economy, and more police officers: 10%
    This still leaves about 45% of the decrease in crime unexplained. Levitt had an unusual explanation: abortion.

    So, the gun control may have explained perhaps 3.3% of the drop in crime since the 1980s. While his abortion theory isn’t provable, it is an interesting theory. I posted about Abortion and Crime. Another theory thinks Lead poisoning (paint, gasoline, etc) may contribute to the rise and fall of violent crime.

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  25. Bin on January 11, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Will:

    You’ve made the comment before, and based a lot of your beliefs off of it, but it needs to be challenged. This is what you said:

    “the Savior said there would be “wars and rumors of wars”. What he was saying, besides the obvious associated with such a direct statement, is that there would be evil people in the world.”

    There is an important difference between stating something and actually condoning that something. I could say the same thing today – someone in my hometown will be raped today. That that something will happen in no means condones that same thing.

    Will there be wars? Sure, we’re in a perpetual war. Will there be evil? Sure, though “evil” remains to be defined. To many, someone living with a girlfriend, unmarried, is “evil.” To others, same sex unions is “evil.” For the sake of argument, I proposed that war is evil. All war. If Christ is the “Prince of Peace”, then I have a very hard time believing that he is also the author of war or some end times mentality that we need war in order to usher in his second coming.

    What we lack is any degree of creativity to work out resolutions and/or conflict in any other way than reaching for the nearest gun, or tank, or drone or other killing machine. Guns were made to kill. That’s it. If you want a gun, go for it. If you want, be at it. But you should also know that it will only take one moment of temporary craziness, or insanity, to become that reckless individual using a legally (or not) obtained firearm to kill others.

    What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

    There are many causes I am prepared to die for, but no cause that I am prepared to kill for. – Gandi

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  26. dba.brotherp on January 11, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Will @23

    Sure, a stupid population is one possibility. Another possibility is that the population gave up their guns under threat from the government. Maybe the threat was a fine, imprisonment, excessive taxes :), etc. I don’t know the threat was but the point is the population would rather give up their guns then face the government threat.

    So if a population gave up their guns under a government threat, what makes you think that a population wouldn’t give up their guns when the threat is actually carried out and government rolls in with the Army and knocks down the doors and tells them to hand over their guns?

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  27. Will on January 11, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    AndrewJDavis,

    “other people (who you rightly name as such)
    to excuse the same acts in themselves”

    This is a naïve attitude that totally goes contrary to the law of God and completely dismisses the plan of salvation. It was called the War in Heaven, because it was such – a war. It wasn’t an argument, or a heated discussed, or simple miscommunication. It was war. A brutal, no holds bar, fight to the spiritual death type of war – a war that was worse than anything we have seen due to its eternal consequence. Those that were spiritually killed, will be spiritually dead forever – 1/3 of the stars of heaven according to Revelations 12:4. They will never experience mortality or any of the blessings that accompany the distribution of the souls of men after mortal death.

    God himself lead the good guys and wanted to grant us the freedom to act and to be acted upon; whereas, Lucifer wanted to control the agency of man (Moses 4). God himself cannot stop evil people from making evil choices, or as Nephi taught we would cease to be God. If God cannot control evil, then why do you think it is possible for ANY government to do the same? The only way to stop evil people who use guns (or any other weapon) is to have a bigger gun.

    With this said, we should follow the rules of engagement outlined in the 98th section of the D&C, with emphasis on “publish peace and renounce war”. But, at some point as indicated in this inspired section and the overall theme of the Book of Mormon, it is necessary to release holy hell.

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  28. Will on January 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Bin,

    “There is an important difference between stating something and actually condoning that something”

    I never suggested he condones war and with your statement you clearly missed my point and the point of the Savior.

    What he is saying is that there is evil in this world – some that have spilt over from the War in Heaven and some that are inspired by those from this crowd. They want power, glory, or honor; or, they want to control others for these same reasons. They are evil. We cannot avoid them. We must, at some point, confront them. They won’t simply go away because we impose sanctions or ask them to be nice. As mentioned above, we need to follow the rules of engagement outlined in 98th section of the D&C, but at some point, as indicated in Ecclesiastes, there is a time to kill.

    Gandi is not Jesus, thank Goodness.

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  29. Will on January 11, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    dba,

    “So if a population gave up their guns under a government threat”

    It ain’t gonna happen in the US, no matter how much clout Barry thinks he has. It is part of the constitution, which can only be changed by a super majority of Congress and the States, which are mostly held by representatives who own guns. Because of this I’m sure Barack will try and pass some executive order which will be over-ridden by the 5 good guys on the court. He will continue to cry are stores that sell guns and ammo with continue to thrive.

    Bottom line, gun ownership is too embedded in American society because of the inspiration of the 2nd amendment to be changed. Guns and Ammo will continue to flourish. Buy stock in them because they will continue to increase in market share.

    I know several people that own stores that sell guns and they can’t keep guns and ammo on the shelf.

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  30. Jeff Spector on January 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    “I know several people that own stores that sell guns and they can’t keep guns and ammo on the shelf.”

    The same people that buy up all the toilet paper when they hear there might be a shortage.

    They need the guns for just about the same reason.

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  31. Tom on January 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Lots of gun talk in Utah. I’m not looking to take anyone’s guns. But I do wonder what would be the better example and course. Just imagine if Utahns instead of hoarding ammo and guns, buried their ammo and guns in a collective statement about violence. Wouldn’t that do more to change the culture of violence than celebrating guns could ever do? Wouldn’t that have the potential of making a statement that could reverberate throughout the country? I thought we were supposed to be a light on a hill, I thought Zion was a place for those to go who wouldn’t take up arms, I thought that we were supposed to be a witness of an alternative even better way of living.

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  32. Tom on January 11, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Will:

    “As mentioned above, we need to follow the rules of engagement outlined in 98th section of the D&C, but at some point, as indicated in Ecclesiastes, there is a time to kill.”

    Rules of engagement outlined in D&C 98?? I submit that you, based on your rhetoric here (this thread) and numerous other ones, haven’t the slightest idea about what 98 really says. Follow my name, watch the video and respond.

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  33. Jeff Spector on January 11, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Zion is apparently not located in Utah. I’ve always thought of it as Goshen, anyway.

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  34. Casey on January 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Love the arguments here invoking Joseph Smith and other LDS prophets to support their pro-gun views. Great job representing our religion, folks.

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  35. wreddyornot on January 11, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    The notion of “evil people” seems to run a lot through your thinking in all of this, Will. Is that by design and by nature? Are “evil people” of a type, other than you or I am? Isn’t the Gospel about conversion? How many people do you know who’ve been converted at the end of a barrel? Not only are there “evil people” but “evil governments” that we need our guns to protect against. Doesn’t it make more sense to work together than to take extreme positions that are not charitable?

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  36. Henry on January 11, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Bin:
    On America’s Most Wanted 2 flight attendants were in their apartment when 2 men started violently breaking down the door. They ran to the bedroom and one of the women got a gun and knelt down beside the bed and waited. The 2 men broke down the door and went to the bedroom. The flight attendant shot them both dead. Now, aren’t you glad they had the gun? What’s an alternative for safety?

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  37. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    #22 – This comment deserves its own special refutation for its revelation of UTTER IGNORANCE on the part of the submitter.

    If the objective is to merely massacre the opposition, without regard to collateral damage, civilian casualties, and destruction of property, then, by all means, Nuke ‘em! We proved that worked at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were that the objective of the Federal Government of the United States, when George W. Bush was President in 2001 towards Afghanistan, or Iraq in 2003, then a few missions of B-2s and F-117s, with tanker and AWACS support, could have nullified any anti-anticraft opposition. Then we could send in the “Big Boys”…namely, the time-honored B-52, or “BUFF” (Big,Ugly,Fat,”Feller”) with either nuclear or conventional payloads, or combination thereof. Never mind the international opprobrium that the USA and its people would be subjected to for such an inhumane slaughter. Let’s assume that it could be disregarded or there was somehow such an imperative that massacring wholesale the military and peoples of those countries was the only feasible alternative. We have always had the means to commit wholesale slaughter. I am gratified that this country has chosen otherwise, not necessarily that we’ve gone into those countries at all. I have long been opposed to that action. However, to fulfill national objectives, we have elected a form of selective surgery rather than amputation or euthanasia. This by its very nature hobbles our military, and makes armed resistance by guerrillas and irregulars possible. They cannot take us in an open conflict, they’d get slaughtered. But they can wear us down piecemeal, until we get tired, “declare victory”, and go home.
    If it came to that, the people of this country could, if they retained their personal arms, even clandestinely, likewise mount effective resistance against a foreign occupation OR a government gone tyrannical. It has been done time and time before. It’s called ASYMMETRIC WARFARE. Better, however, to resist the slippery slope towards tyranny, which even the current deluded lot of “gun-grabbers” may have no such intentions, in the political arena peacefully. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

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  38. Llenrad on January 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Casey,

    I guess I missed the lesson when were we are taught we shouldn’t own and use guns. Although I am aware The Handbook does not allow them in the walls of Church owned properties.

    Unless you go to one of the hunting preserves, where The Church will then gladly take however many thousands of dollars you are willing to spend to get yourself a trophy animal. Just be sure to give much “thanksgiving” seeing your new rack mounted on a wall. BTW most hunting rifles are WAY more powerful than your average “assault rifle.”

    I realize we should strive to be a kinder, gentler, loving, and peaceful people, however we are still allowed to defend ourselves if we choose.

    Please let us not judge others by how they choose to defend their families.

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  39. Stephen R. Marsh on January 11, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Mormon Heretic — careful of using reason, logic and math …

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  40. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    #30 – Jeff, I hope that was jocular by intent. If it was intended to be serious, it belies your considerable intellect. I’d have preferred “politicians and diapers ought to be replaced often, and for the same reason.”

    If you’d dug a little deeper into WikiQuote, you’d have found this discussion on the blog:

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Isoroku_Yamamoto

    Suffice it that I agree that quoted factcheck.org as a reliable source is mistaken as they have their own agenda and bias.

    However, DID the late Admiral ever say anything about the daunting prospect of facing armed American civilians so numbers that there would be one behind every blade of grass? If he did, it’d be remarkable that it was ever documented. According to Prange, who asserts the “blade of grass quotation w/o sources..”

    “Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians, among whom armchair arguments about war are being glibly bandied about in the name of state politics, have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.” This was misinterpreted when it got to the American press that Yamamoto was boasting of marching across the USA and dictating peace terms in the White House. In fact, he was cautioning what a daunting prospect it was to take on the US. Further indication of his misgivings about the misadventure that Tojo and the Japanese Imperial GHQ was to embark upon: “In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.” This was fulfilled almost literally to the days at Midway and Guadalcanal.
    Since due to the Japanese interservice rivalry, with Gen. Tojo as PM, Yamamoto would have already had to deal with a perception of being “defeatist”, even though he was a realist and shiveringly accurate in his predictions. I had mentioned in a prior blog (can’t remember if it was on W&T, though) about Yamamoto mentioned the “blade of grass” concept to the Emperor. I now correct myself. The Admiral would have never had the opportunity to brief the emperor save in the presence of Tojo, so he’d have never risked expressing ‘defeatist’ sentiments to the man regarded as a living deity in front of his superior officer.
    IMO, whether the quote was actually uttered by Isoroko Yamamoto, the fear of confronting armed American civilians was certainly on the minds of Japanese Naval planners, who would have had the primary responsibility for an attack on the US. However, as they didn’t even fully conquer New Guinea, and never landed in Australia or Hawaii, the Naval Staff would never have devoted much time to such a project. By the time Yamamoto was intercepted on a flight to the Solomons by American P-38 fighters and killed in 1943, the IJN had it hands full just keeping the various island garrisons reinforced and supplied, never mind serious plans to take the offensive anywhere.

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  41. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    #31 – Wishful thinking. The Savior admonished Peter to put away his sword after cutting off a guard’s ear. This meant not only was He giving up his life willingly, he was saving Peter from arrest and likely execution. But the Savior also said for his disciples, that if they didn’t already have a sword, to get one. He meant for them to defend themselves in the usual manner instead of relying on some nebulous miracles. Perhaps also then if it were known that the disciples were armed and ready to defend themselves, that would of itself tend to deter mischief, which is better than conflict itself.

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  42. LDS Anarchist on January 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Well, I suppose I ought to chime in here. Let me state for the record that I am for gun control, but against gun rights infringement. The state needs to have their weapons closely controlled and limited (and in very many instances, completely taken away), by legislation, so as to guarantee that they will never pose a threat to American freedoms via standing armies with unlimited types and numbers of weaponry. And the gun rights of law-abiding citizens should not ever be infringed in any way, whatsoever.

    I am gladdened by the OP’s statement that Utah is gun happy and that there is a city proposing that every household have a gun. What wonderful news! That does much to restore my confidence in the LDS. As long as they obey this commandment to defend themselves and maintain their rights, even to bloodshed, they will be protected by the Lord. I hope the LDS in other places around the world follow their example and arm themselves and covenant to defend these principles of freedom, also.

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  43. wreddyornot on January 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    “This meant…he was saving Peter from arrest and likely execution.” and “He meant for them to defend themselves in the usual manner instead of relying on some nebulous miracles.” You know this, Douglas, how?

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  44. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Now to address the OP: My other comments are lengthy as it is.

    Both the title and the accompanying picture are “loaded” (pun intended). They convey an view that IMO is skewed, that if you wish to arm yourself that somehow it is contrary to the will of the Lord. Certainly if one obtains arms with the intent to do unjustifiable harm (i.e., crime, or situations that are not self-defense or defense of the helpless, or military or law enforcement service), THAT is contrary to the will of God and, I hope, the laws of any civilized Government.

    I have yet to see any cogent argument that supports the notion that limiting the firearm choices or technology of law-abiding civilians will somehow preclude tragedies like Sandy Hook or make our streets safer. A great deal of deaths attributed to firearms are (1) mostly sidearms, and (2) could be well characterized as “scum versus scum”, and absent collateral damage, might be considered a public service. There simply is no epidemic of gunplay breaking out amongst employed, sober, law-abiding Americans.
    The argument should come straight to an outright attempt to repeal the Second Amendment. Any incremental measures, like the 1934 National Firearms Act and subsequent, are, IMO, grotesquely unconstitutional and an offense to freedom-loving Americans. If crime, even that committed with “assault weapons” (in the days of “Ma Barker” and “Bonnie and Clyle, it was the infamous “Tommy Gun”, even though both gangs preferred a BAR to the Thompson) happens, then the criminals themselves should be prosecuted and jailed (or executed), not law-abiding civilians. I would say that the choice of firearm technology is for the individual, provided he can take responsibility to properly keep the weapon(s) and train with them. (“Well regulated militia” isn’t just for the National Guard, which is NOT the militia, BTW..). This I assert though I’d caution novices against acquiring significant firepower, especially if it strains their budget. A good test of whether someone, provided they have the money, should get a military-styled semi-automatic rifle or carbine or not: If it gives you a “rush” or makes you feel “cool”, DON’T! GUNS are NOT toys, they are WEAPONS! I have little difficulty with keeping firearms away from the mentally and/or emotionally unstable though I have concerns about reasonableness and due process.
    It is NOT extremism or paranoia to fear that registration and/or limitations on civilian ownership of firearms could lead to confiscation and tyranny, it is history. It was attempted unsuccessfully by the British Generals Thomas Gage, “Gentleman Johnny” Burgoyne, and Lord Cornwallis and likely spurred Colonials who were “on the face” to side with the rag-tag “Rebels”. In Weimar Germany, the government instituted strict gun controls to stem the politically-motivated street violence, primarily the running battles between KPD and NSDAP (plus Berlin was in many ways as “roaring” in the Twenties as was Chicago). When the Nazis took over in 1933, they actually “liberalized” gun ownership…but ONLY for themselves and those they felt that they could trust. The rest, like Communists and Jews, were virtually helpless.
    Finally, I’ll put a plug in for one in my inventory (an “arms cache” by California standards, lightly armed by Texas standards)..my great-Uncle jumped with the 11th Airborne Division in Luzon in 1945, carrying with him his paratroop M1 carbine. That rifle was used to give a few Japanese soldiers their cherish honor of dying for their Emperor (as the fictional Lt. Aldo Raine would put it, he “obliged” them), especially in liberating a couple of POW camps. It was handed down to my Dad, who in turn gave it to me when my mother passed away in ’95. I have practiced with it and it’s a handy sporting rifle and varminter. A new version of it would be illegal under CA’s misguided “assault weapon” laws, but it’s grandfathered as a war relic. What Sen. Feinstein proposes is an affront to the service that one of her fellow Jewish Americans rendered in the service to his country. If her proposed legislation were passed, my response would be akin to what another Jewish American, in his most famous role as Mr. Spock, said should be told to Starfleet command at the end of ST VI..(e.g. where to go…). Be assured that in my great-Uncle’s honor, as much as practicality and steadfastness in asserting my Constitutional rights, that I would NEVER register this weapon nor surrender it willingly…they’d have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

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  45. Mormon Heretic on January 11, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    Steve, you’re right. It doesn’t appear that anyone here is interested in actual data on guns, but want to blather about ideology.

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  46. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    #45 – and WHAT data would that be? I’ve yet to see ANY cogent study that would give a reasonable American cause to want to repeal the Second Amendment. It restrains (at least in theory, since the prior president, GWB, or as I call him, “Shrub”, called it a “scrap of paper”) the Government from “infringing” on the right to keep and bear arms. It should be also noted that it does NOT compel Americans (at least civilians) to bear arms. It gives the same cry as the Pro-Abortion crowd bleats: “Don’t want a (gun) abortion? Don’t get one!”
    So I ask the more pertinent questions: I don’t question your desire to not possess a firearm if that’s your thing. Why do you think the Government has the ability to prevent me from owning the firearms of my choice in technology and quantity? Why is there a presumption that my possession of firearms constitutes a threat to public safety? Finally, how can any Government official judge my self-defense needs?

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  47. Mormon Heretic on January 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Doug, as an ideologue, I wouldn’t expect you to recognize data when you see it. But if you’re interested, go back and read the comments I wrote, especially regarding guns and suicide. Where’s your outrage? Suicide by gun is a much worse problem than any of the mass shootings.

    Personally, I’d like to see this discussed from a public health perspective (of course my background is in Public Health and statistics), rather than frothing at the mouth zealots pro and con of the NRA (and yes, your latest comment confirms that you are a frothing at the mouth ideologue.)

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  48. Jared on January 11, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I’ve been in the military. I know enough about guns to both respect and dislike them.

    However, I worry more about the damage being inflicted on the US Constitution than I do about gun violence.

    I’m concerned about the media. They’re not doing their job. Their not investigating and presenting facts and both sides of the issue to help put gun rights and gun violence into perspective.

    Someone sent me the following link. It is worth the few minutes it takes to view.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ooa98FHuaU0

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  49. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    #47 – my primary concern, with regards to suicide by firearm, is that the round does not also strike an unintended innocent or otherwise cause mischief. If the sad individual who would take his/her own life is that reckless in doing so, I feel little sympathy. Naturally I would hope anyone would get crisis intervention before taking such a drastic and unalterable step.
    What is being argued is that misuse by some compels prohibition for all. By that logic, take motor vehicles out of private operation, and makes us “peons” ride the bus, since all too many drive carelessly, don’t properly maintain our rides, or put more octane in us than in the vehicle’s fuel tank. Or, since prescription drugs can and unfortunately are heavily abused, or swallowed en masse they can facilitate one’s doom, don’t allow anyone to walk away from a pharmacy with enough pills in a bottle that they could possibly kill themselves.
    Again, show me that the proportion of firearms used for crimes or to inflict self-injury is great enough against the hundreds of millions owned and borne responsibly. The numbers just aren’t there. What is there is the American public having a hissyfit every time some nutcase grabs some weapons and finds a designated disarmed zone, like a school or a shopping mall, and blasts away, expecting no resistance. The irony is that in the eyes of the liberal media it’s the law-abiding gun owning public that is to blame, not the pathetic security procedures of said institutions, or, most important, the perpetrator himself.
    Don’t get me wrong. I abhor violence. I have never had cause to level any weapon at a person in my 53 years. It would be my happiness to never need to do so until they lower me into the ground. Nor do I relish the notion of having to use my weapons to defend either my family or my fellow Americans from lawlessness and banditry, even at the hands of those that wield and abuse Government power, but I’m prepared to do so if there is no alternative. I fear any Government that fears my ownership of any weapon that I can afford to purchase and train with. I insist on my right to remain an armed citizen and will resist with necessary vigor any attempts to render me an unarmed subject or slave (or corpse).

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  50. LDS Anarchist on January 11, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    As an anarchist, I stick to a strict “no infringement” policy. So, no background checks, no taxes, no registrations, no needed permits, etc. Buying a gun should be a private, personal thing, between the gun shop/manufacturer and the purchaser. I believe that even convicted felons who have served their time have a right to keep and bear arms. Also, I don’t believe in the concept of so-called “legal” purchases. All purchases of firearms are legal, unless the firearms are hot (stolen property.) So, “black market” purchases are perfectly legal, in my view. (Zero infringement is my standard.)

    In fact, I foresee such a great need for arming the American populace to the teeth, without any knowledge of such transactions, that the release of the names of people who own registered firearms, that was done recently under the Freedom of Information Act, which caused such a firestorm of anger from gun rights activists, is actually something that I agree with. I’d rather release (or threaten to release) all the names of those with registered firearms, making it all public knowledge, so that the American public, in response, takes its firearm purchases underground, below the radar of government and public knowledge, just as the criminals do. That is where gun purchases should have always been.

    So, I don’t view “illegal” gun purchases as illegal, but as right and just. I’m actually quite embarrassed that the criminals are getting their weapons in the right and wise manner, while law-abiding citizens are doing it the wrong and foolish way.

    Possessing and bearing (carrying) arms is not a crime and never should be. It’s a right. And everyone should go around carrying their weapons with them, if they have them. All our rights ought to be exercised while exercising our gun rights. That’s how we guarantee our freedoms. What you do with that gun is another story. If you commit a crime and are convicted, that’s one thing. That’s when your rights should be temporarily (or permanently) taken away. But so-called gun control is just gun rights infringement of law-abiding citizens, and is morally wrong.

    Lastly, as a latter-day saint, I’d have to agree with the anarchist in me. The word of God is on the side of the gun rights advocates and against all those calling for infringement.

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  51. LDS Anarchist on January 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    What’s violent crime got to do with it?

    The rise or fall of crime rates, or of violent crime rates, have nothing, whatsoever, to do with the 2nd Amendment. These are two separate issues and are unrelated.

    If a statistic, or even if all statistics, showed that when a city had 80% of its population attending church each Sunday, its violent crime rate went up 50%, but when only 40% of the population attended church, its crime rate went down 50%, would that make it morally right to infringe upon the people’s right to worship in their churches? Would you be justified in prohibiting a person from attending church more than once every two Sundays?

    We are dealing with rights, which puts it outside of certain parameters. Rights can be waived by the people who possess them, or forcibly removed conviction of a crime, crimes being acts that infringe upon other people’s rights.

    So, the crime rate, or the violent crime rate can be spouted by one side or the other, for or against gun rights. But none of that matters one single bit. If the right to keep and bear arms were a revokable privilege, then citing crime rates would be all and good, but it’s not a privilege. It’s a right. And thus, let there be all the violent crime you can conceive of, committed by all the criminals imaginable. That still has no bearing on my right to keep and bear arms.

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  52. LDS Anarchist on January 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    #51 typos should read:

    Rights can be waived by the people who possess them, or forcibly removed during the conviction of a criminal, crimes being acts that infringe upon other people’s rights.

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  53. Douglas on January 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    LDS Anarchist is making some interesting points.
    I would agree with allowing those once convicted of a felony provided that the process of dealing with convicted felons were revamped. That is, if ‘forgiveness’ were actually possible for a felon after he served his time in the PENITENTiary, and, in keeping with Gospel principles of repentance, said felon were to serve out a lengthy but appropriate period of probation after incarceration (like a re-baptized member having to wait a year to get his Priesthood restored) without blemish, make restitution to the best of his abilities, and in the opinion of a judge or tribunal expressed sincere remorse for his crime(s), THEN the felony charge(s) could be dismissed, enabling full restoration of civil rights. Naturally, a murderer wouldn’t have this ability, since his punishment out to be a quick drop and a sudden stop. Other similar serious crimes should have a lifetime probation, making full exercise of civil rights, including gun ownership, impossible. This is where I’d differ with the Anarchist. Without the rule of law enabling in effect the deprivation of citizenship (if you can’t vote or own firearms, de facto you’re not a citizen), where is the sting to a criminal in committing serious crimes?
    Of course, I’m enamored of Heinlein’s vision of his Terran Federation in “Starship Troopers”. With the TF, military or similar service, with ensuing risks (including death in combat) was necessary to be granted citizenship, with the right to bear arms and vote. Sort of a large-scale knighthood. I’d never expect it to be implemented in the USA, but at least it reinforces the idea that those that decide are those that have proved themselves in the service of their fellows. That, more than anything else, would encourage actual politics as the fictional Padme Amidala described (naively) to her beau, Anakin, when also naively he expressed the desire that the politicians should simply convene and work out solutions for the “common good” (whatever that would be in the Galactic Republic of Star Wars or in the USA). Her claim was, “That’s WHAT we DO”. However, then she qualified her response by saying, “the trouble is, we don’t always agree…”. A term of service, like we LDS hopefully experience in the mission field, gives us perspective in our futures in making decisions that affect others.

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  54. LDS Anarchist on January 11, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    #19 AndrewJDavis,

    I would much rather follow the example of the parents of the Sons of Helaman than the Sons themselves.

    If that is the case, then you should be teaching people to arm themselves, for the parents of the stripling warriors taught their sons to obey the commandments of God which were given to the Nephites, which were of arming themselves and defending the land and their rights, even to bloodshed. (See Alma 53:21. Also see Alma 48:14-16 for these commandments of God, given to the Nephites.) These are the same commandments that the Gentile Mormons have been given, per D&C 98.

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  55. LDS Anarchist on January 12, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    #53 Douglas,

    In D&C 98, the Lord said, “That principle of freedom, in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind.” So, the Bill of Rights is not an American thing (a civil right, but a human thing (a natural right.) Citizenship, then, has nothing to do with it. Regardless of what country you pertain to as a citizen, you’ve got this basic, human right to keep and bear arms, and any country that seeks to take it away from you is morally bankrupt.

    Only insofar as you break the laws, should your natural rights be taken away. Once you are no longer breaking the laws (you’ve been released from prison), the exercise of your natural rights must be permitted, otherwise, you are still, technically, in prison, but without the protections afforded to you by the prison. (On the outside, your own firearms protect you, whereas on the inside, the walls and armed guards are supposed to be your protection.)

    I like your revamping of the penitentiary system. I think that would work much better than the system we have currently set up, although I wish we knew what the laws of the Nephite seer/king Mosiah were, which didn’t appear to have any prison system, at all. From my reading, they had temporary jails, but no long term prisons.

    We don’t know much about it, but there are a couple things that are plain: Everyone was put under covenant, with penalties attached, so if they wanted to be let out of prison for non-capital offense crimes, they had to “sign on the dotted line.” If they didn’t, their punishments were enacted, according to the laws of Mosiah, which laws were given by God. It was the breaking of those agreed upon covenants that allowed them, or gave them power and authority, to exercise the agreed upon penalties.

    That just system, set up by God through Mosiah, made it unnecessary for prisons. Perhaps one day we will receive these laws. One can hope…

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  56. kramer on January 12, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    So many more people die in automobile crashes every year. The government whould require govenors on cars and trucks so that they cannot travel faster than 20 MPH. Think of the lives saved! Do it for the children.

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  57. dba.brotherp on January 12, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    kramer,

    Are you arguing for safety devices on guns like there are on cars, licenses to use guns like people need for cars, property taxes on guns like there are on cars, registration for guns like they do for cars, required insurance for guns like people need for cars?

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  58. FireTag on January 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    As long as we’re asking for statistics, Erick Erickson pulled down some quotes from a 2011 Obama Justice Department Report that should be a basis for policy discussion.

    “Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders. The victimization rate for blacks (27.8 per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000). The offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).”

    “Males represented 77% of homicide victims and nearly 90% of offenders. The victimization rate for males (11.6 per 100,000) was 3 times higher than the rate for females (3.4 per 100,000). The offending rate for males (15.1 per 100,000) was almost 9 times higher than the rate for females (1.7 per 100,000).”

    “Approximately a third (34%) of murder victims and almost half (49%) of the offenders were under age 25. For both victims and offenders, the rate per 100,000 peaked in the 18 to 24 year-old age group at 17.1 victims per 100,000 and 29.3 offenders per 100,000.”

    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf

    Erickson goes on: ”The profile of the typical murderer with a gun is a black male in a city under the age of 25. This is not to suggest we should profile young black men. We should not. But we should, if we really want to curb gun violence in the United States, start our conversation looking at this phenomenon….In our urban areas — and gun violence happens much more in urban areas than anywhere else — young black men, often in broken families, are joining gangs and committing acts of violence against each other.”

    In my mind, when you are forced to live among enemies who are willing to kill you using fist or club, and who are stronger than you are, an arms race will be triggered. Trying to legislate away arms races, as the West has tried for a century, doesn’t work well whether you apply it to Bosnia, Syria, the drug corridors of Northern Mexico, or inner-city Chicago. And the NRA doesn’t have a whole lot of pull in any of those places, does it?

    Our sin in regard to guns isn’t in allowing too much access to them; until we have fewer predators or a lot more wealth on the local, national, and global scale, we will be leaving too many people outside the personal security envelope that is the only thing that keeps most people from seeking to exercise their right to bear arms.

    Oh, and there are apparently a number of people in the world (and a lot of people on the American left who believe them :D ) who seem to have the imagination and patience to believe they can take on the might of any military power and win. Or did we win in Afghanistan while I wasn’t looking?

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  59. LDS Anarchist on January 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Here’s a Fox news broadcast on that Utah town encouraging everyone to own a gun:

    http://youtu.be/hNPJ-EfMqmU

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  60. Bryan in Va on January 12, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    “I do worry very much about the extreme folks that claim that their guns are necessary to protect against a tyrannical government.”

    Was “Fast and Furious” anything other than tyranny by the US Government? Would you want Mexicans living among drug cartels using arms purposefully not confiscated by the US government to not be able to defend themselves?

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  61. Douglas on January 12, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    To all that ridicule the notion that US Government would NEVER turn on its citizens:

    It already did. Never mind that conflict so misnamed as the “Civil War”…considering the methods of total warfare, waged not only against the Confederate military, but also against its civilians, whom from the perspective of the United States were still it’s citizens. An example was Sherman’s “march to the sea”, which laid waste a thirty-mile wide corridor between Atlanta and Savannah.
    Ask yourself if any German would have predicted that a crazy, somewhat emotionally unbalanced leader of a fringe party in Bavaria, sent to prison for a furtive rebellion against state authority, would be appointed chancellor of the entire nation in less than a decade. Oh to have told the leaders of the Jewish community in Germany that they’d better get themselves hence from Deustchland, else in fifteen years they’d be concentration-camp bound. They’d have regarded me as a crank.
    I submit that it’s because the law-abiding population is well armed that no serious attempt to subvert this country has found traction. That’s why we must be stalwarts with regards to our Second Amendment rights. The going price of freedom is still vigilance.

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  62. MH on January 12, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Doug,

    my primary concern, with regards to suicide by firearm, is that the round does not also strike an unintended innocent or otherwise cause mischief.

    Your fear is misplaced. As stated earlier, there were over 19,000 gun suicides compared to about 11,000 gun homicides in 2010.

    If the sad individual who would take his/her own life is that reckless in doing so, I feel little sympathy.

    And you call yourself a Christian?

    Naturally I would hope anyone would get crisis intervention before taking such a drastic and unalterable step.

    Well, if the NRA was interested in some good PR, rather than EXPANDING BIG GOVERNMENT and putting ARMED GOVERNMENT AGENTS in every school, why don’t they actually spend some money on suicide prevention programs? You say you’re fearful of a tyrannical government, but your solution to this problem is to put ARMED GUARDS in every school? Your solution is EXPANDING the tyranny you pretend to oppose. Let’s not forget that it takes money to pay the cops, and aren’t you one who wants to cut government spending? Where’s the money? Please explain the logic here, because it makes no sense to me.

    What is being argued is that misuse by some compels prohibition for all.

    Please tell me where ANYONE on this thread wants to prohibit all weapons. This is a gross distortion. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I believe that we need to do something to prevent the nutcases from doing bad things. Do you support Charles Manson owning a gun? How about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold? What about Jared Loughner or Timothy McVeigh? Only a moron would say yes these people should have guns. But it seems to me that the NRA would rather have 30,000 suicides and murders per year and protect the criminals “right to bear arms” than actually do something to prevent the criminals from getting a gun in the first place.

    Why is it that anybody that tries to prevent these atrocities suddenly ends up on the slippery slope to complete gun prohibition? I am not advocating that at all, and your statement of that is a ridiculous exaggeration.

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  63. Howard on January 12, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Develop a notch filter triggered alarm sensitive to gunshot audio frequencies and amplitude curves limited to ignore nearly all other sounds to minimize false positives. Install them in school rooms, theaters etc. like smoke alarms and on light poles in inter cities for triangulation. Offer a bounty bonus to police for immediate capture of an armed suspect who’s weapon matches the audio signature of the alarm.

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  64. Mormon Heretic on January 12, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Kramer, I actually like the car analogy. When someone proves they are unfit to drive (through DUI, or epilepsy, or poor driving ability in elderly) we take away their right to drive a car. Why is it a bad idea to do that with guns?

    We limit quantities purchased for cold medicines to prevent people from making meth as easily. We limit the amount of iron in multivitamins to prevent overdosing in children. Why is it a bad idea to do this with guns?

    Should the mentally ill own guns? Is it a bad idea to background check a mentally ill person?

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  65. Mormon Heretic on January 12, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Our sin in regard to guns isn’t in allowing too much access to them; until we have fewer predators or a lot more wealth on the local, national, and global scale, we will be leaving too many people outside the personal security envelope that is the only thing that keeps most people from seeking to exercise their right to bear arms.

    FireTag, I like this statement, and I can find some agreement with it, except for “only.” Rather than expanding the arms race, why can’t the NRA support programs that teach anger management, domestic abuse prevention, and the like. In some cases, we do need to be more vigilant, but there is not “only 1″ solution, and putting all the eggs in the basket of arming citizens seems to have a lot of untended consequences, including accidental firearm discharge, and makes suicide much more likely to be successful than other methods like poisoning or cutting ones wrists. Surely a multi-pronged solution would be much better than putting all the eggs in one basket. I am reminded of Steven Pinker’s scenario:

    In a state of anarchy, there’s a constant temptation to invade your neighbors preemptively, before they invade you. More recently, Thomas Schelling gives the analogy of a homeowner who hears a rustling in the basement. Being a good American, he has a pistol in the nightstand, pulls out his gun, and walks down the stairs. And what does he see but a burglar with a gun in his hand. Now, each one of them is thinking, “I don’t really want to kill that guy, but he’s about to kill me. Maybe I had better shoot him, before he shoots me, especially since, even if he doesn’t want to kill me, he’s probably worrying right now that I might kill him before he kills me.” And so on. Hunter-gatherer peoples explicitly go through this train of thought, and will often raid their neighbors out of fear of being raided first.

    Now, one way of dealing with this problem is by deterrence. You don’t strike first, but you have a publicly announced policy that you will retaliate savagely if you are invaded. The only thing is that it’s liable to having its bluff called, and therefore can only work if it’s credible. To make it credible, you must avenge all insults and settle all scores, which leads to the cycles of bloody vendetta. Life becomes an episode of “The Sopranos.” Hobbes’ solution, the “Leviathan,” was that if authority for the legitimate use of violence was vested in a single democratic agency — a leviathan — then such a state can reduce the temptation of attack, because any kind of aggression will be punished, leaving its profitability as zero. That would remove the temptation to invade preemptively, out of fear of them attacking you first. It removes the need for a hair trigger for retaliation to make your deterrent threat credible. And therefore, it would lead to a state of peace. Eisner — the man who plotted the homicide rates that you failed to see in the earlier slide — argued that the timing of the decline of homicide in Europe coincided with the rise of centralized states. So that’s a bit of a support for the leviathan theory. Also supporting it is the fact that we today see eruptions of violence in zones of anarchy, in failed states, collapsed empires, frontier regions, mafias, street gangs and so on.

    See my post on Holiday Violence.

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  66. Douglas on January 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    Ah, “Heretic”…yes, I consider myself a disciple of Christ…albeit an imperfect one that He had to give himself to pay the sins thereof.
    The issue is that the proposed limits on types or numbers of firearms by the LAW-ABIDING population cannot be demonstrated by experience to have any direct desirable effect on violent crimes and/or suicides related to firearms. There are already a myriad of laws proscribing firearm possession by criminals, those dishonorably discharged by the military (considered equivalent to a felony conviction), and the mentally unbalanced. In the case of the first, I even contest a lifetime ban by those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence (but not a misdemeanor assault, say, in a bar?), either the crime is serious enough to warrant a felony conviction or the guilty ought only to be prohibited firearms during the probation period. The potential for rehabilitation and hopefully the lack of seriousness of the crime (though I don’t wish to trivialize domestic violence) is what supposedly makes it in the interest of the people to seek only a misdemeanor charge in the first place. In case of mental problems, I would agree sincerely simply on the grounds of “well regulated militia”..ergo, every able-bodied adult is a potential irregular, and I don’t want any “loose cannons”. The problem is due process, which there isn’t space on this forum to elaborate.
    The “gun-grabbers” (which isn’t necessarily yourself, you KNOW how you feel about it, I don’t presume to think for you) would, if they could get away with it, completely disarm the American populace. It’s a slippery slope thing. It already started in 1934 with the National Firearms Act. I’ve still been looking for a picture of the ad from the early twenties showing a rancher ‘hosing down’ cattle rustlers with his “Chicago Typewriter”! Yow! I believe it was $299 F.O.B.! True, things WERE a bit wild in Chicago, “Where a man named Al Capone, tried to make that town his own…”. But was it the availability of sub-machine guns that facilitated the rise of organized crime? I think, rather, it was Prohibition itself that gave such lucrative opportunity that it “upped the ante” for the criminal element. Other than the depredation of “celebrity spree gangsters” in the period 1933-1935 (Barrow Gang, Pretty Boy Floyd, Ma Barker, Machine Gun Kelly), was there an epidemic of crimes committed with Thompsons, Bergmann MP18s, BARs, and similar? Rather, it was that the media of the time (radio, movies, newsreels, and phonograph records) was glamorizing the antics of the aforementioned gangs running amok, mainly in the Dust-Bowl impoverished Midwest. There was a feeling that “something” HAD to be done. It should be kept in mind that submachine guns were relatively expensive, which naturally precluded their widespread acceptance by the law-abiding population. Since we’d entered into a period of isolationism and felt that the vastness of the oceans and our Navy would keep any adversaries away, and we were at peace with our neighbors, nor was there any significant local insurrection, the American public didn’t feel threatened. The passage of the NFA in ’34 was a relatively easy sell since few Americans owned the ‘prohibited class’ anyway. The problem with Sen. Feinstein’s proposals are that they classify weapons as ‘assault’, worthy of prohibition, based on appearance or having useful features typically associated with a combat function, even if they’re semi-automatic. The magazine prohibition, in particular, is not only wrong-headed since in virtually every case of a ‘first-person’ shooter, the selection of magazine (30 round, 20 round, or 10 round) would have made little difference as the victims were unarmed. For even a novice user, reloading is easily and quickly done. Such a prohibition hampers the function of the weapon when used for defensive purposes. As an example, I have a Browning Hi-Power which was handed down from a relative; it has a 15-shot mag which would be illegal in CA today, but when sold was legal. This sidearm can’t be legally resold in CA but it can be gifted to a ‘close’ relative, so if I will it to one of my sons they can possess it legally. With that particular configuration, I feel no need for a second semi-auto pistol. I do have a Smith and Wesson revolver, but though perfectly useful for self-defense (its a .357 Magnum), it’s usually reserved for plinking and is stored in the safe. As is my M1 paratroop carbine; again, it would be quite handy for home defense, but my 12-gauge pump shotgun has better stopping power and is easier to handle.
    The point of this long-winded discussion is that intelligent, law-abiding Americans are perfectly capable of arming and protecting themselves and their families, and left to select whatever hardware they deem appropriate for their needs, even “military-style”, will usually bear them in a responsible manner. What then ARE the ‘gun-grabbers’ afraid of? I submit they’re afraid that well-armed, self-reliant civilians are further proof that the “Nanny State” is not needed and not wanted, and they can’t deal with that. Hence these petty tyrants whine and wheedle about those ‘nasty guns’ and ‘protecting the children’. I still like Mr. Spock’s proposed rejoinder to Starfleet’s request to bring the Enterprise-A to base to be retired (if he were human). The same is the least I’d say to those that want to infringe my right to keep and bear arms.

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  67. Mormon Heretic on January 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    The point of this long-winded discussion is that intelligent, law-abiding Americans are perfectly capable of arming and protecting themselves and their families, and left to select whatever hardware they deem appropriate for their needs, even “military-style”, will usually bear them in a responsible manner.

    I agree with this statement, and I suspect that many Americans do too. But I think the NRA could make a LOT of friends if they promoted “responsible” gun ownership. If the NRA supported a law banning guns from the mentally ill, they’d get a lot more respect from me. If the NRA had programs that helped to prevent domestic violence, they’d get a lot of respect from me. If they NRA promoted anger management classes, they’d get a lot of respect from me. I’d even be comfortable with military style weapons amongst the general population if we could cut the suicide and/or murder rate by implementing a MULTI-pronged approach to the problem. Instead, it seems the NRA won’t even let doctors ask patients about gun use. It’s as if the NRA wants the mentally ill and domestic abusers to own guns, and that just seems incredibly irresponsible to me.

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  68. Douglas on January 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Agree with some of your views on the NRA. Wayne LaPierre did the organization no favors with his ridiculous proposal to put armed guards in every school. Would that have fallen to the Dept of Homeland Security? Judging by the abysmal job their TSA directorate is doing, I don’t want them in our schools! That’s why instead I’m with Gun Owners of America. NRA shouldn’t be involved with anger management classes or battling domestic violence; their support of better-qualified organizations would suffice. They should focus on gun owner training, safety programs for novices and children, and Second Amendment advocacy.
    A comment about physicians asking their patients about gun ‘use’…yes, I don’t agree with the NRA proposing to PROHIBIT doctors from reporting a situation with a gun-owned patient, which, in their professional judgement, poses a danger to the patient himself or others. That’s undue interference with the doctor’s ethics and the doctor-patient relationship. OTOH, there is also interference in the doctor-patient relationship by the Government. I was asked by my daughter’s pediatrician if I owned any firearms. I politely told her that I considered her inquiry to be inapprpropriate. She then told me (we’ve had her since my 12 y.o.’s birth) that she was required by the HMO’s policy to report it to her department head who would in turn refer it to legal counsel, to then be passed to Child Protective Services. I then requested to see the department head ASAP. I then informed this person that this line of questioning was inappropriate and intrusive, and I would refuse to discuss whether I owned any weapons at all and how they were handled in the home. He then gave a stock “my hands are tied on this”, so I called my attorney, who contacted their counsel and informed them that the HMO and its member physicians would be subject to a lawsuit if they contacted CPS w/o probably cause. Since then, I’ve heard nothing. Half an hour of the lawyer’s time ($150.00) thanks to this nitwittery, but a necessary evil to protect one’s freedoms. If that’s the worst that I have to put up with, I can’t complain too much.

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  69. LDS Anarchist on January 12, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    #64 MH wrote:

    Kramer, I actually like the car analogy. When someone proves they are unfit to drive (through DUI, or epilepsy, or poor driving ability in elderly) we take away their right to drive a car.

    Last I checked, driving a car (motor vehicle) was a revokable privilege, not a right. “Driving” is a legal term requiring licensing. However, everyone has the right to travel. But good luck convincing an ignorant cop of that. Although I once knew a man who regularly traveled by car and motorcycle, without a driver’s license (since he wasn’t driving, he was traveling) and he would get pulled over, arrested, made to appear in court, and then his case would always be dismissed, because of his assertion of his driving right. The judges who knew of him or heard of him would just dismiss the case once they saw his name. Also, after awhile, even the cops began to recognize him and just let him go about his way, without arresting him or issuing a citation. It’s been years since I’ve seen him, but I’d put money on it that he’s still traveling by automobile (I don’t think he ever called it a motor vehicle) without any driver’s license.

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  70. LDS Anarchist on January 12, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    #68 Douglas,

    Speaking of doctors inquiring about firearms, have you seen this?

    Gun Advocates Celebrate ‘Secret’ Obamacare Provision Forbidding Exec Order To Regulate Guns And Ammo

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  71. mh on January 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Ldsa, I wrote a comment mentioning anarchy and you go off about cars?

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  72. LDS Anarchist on January 12, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    MH, yep.

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  73. FireTag on January 12, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    MH:

    I did read your Holiday Violence post, though I was in downtime mode and didn’t comment much. The planetary monopoly of force concept was the idea behind “collective security” as outlined in the formation of both the League of Nations and United Nations. Both failed, because universal idealism in collective security is no more or less real than the universal idealism of resistance to lust, greed, or corruption is. Even in ancient Rome, the first Dictator saved the Republic and relinquished the power. The second, Julius Caesar, did not. Never give power to an Obama that you wouldn’t entrust to a Nixon, and vice versa.

    The desire of some people to do evil is real. Even if, optimally, that might be reduced to a small fraction of the population given infinite resources, even God has apparently NOT been able to avoid the existence of “outer darkness” entirely.

    We don’t have close to infinite resources; certainly, and getting over serious domestic abuse or psychological trauma can be a life-long process in which access to counseling is only one of many poorly understood variables.

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  74. Douglas on January 13, 2013 at 12:13 AM

    #69 – I would contend that de facto driving is in fact a ‘right’, but no state will declare it in any literature because to deny a ‘right’ requires far more exacting procedures under due process of law than revoking a privilege. Often the situation demands immediate attention…like with Senator Crapo of Idaho, for example. As long as the ‘privilege’ is denied only on the basis of statutory or factual disqualification (you’re not old enough, you can’t pass a driving test, you don’t have the eyesight or the coordination necessary to operate a motor vehicle, or you have a pattern of disregarding traffic laws, etc.) and NOT used arbitrarily to keep otherwise qualified motorists riding the bus (ex: a vindictive Governor uses his DMV to punish his political enemies). There IS a right to travel freely in the United States as long as you can walk to where you want to go or you can afford the common carrier or drive there. What IS of notable concern related to this discussion is the so-called “No Fly” list, and the sometimes arbitrary reasons to end up on it. It does seem that it has been used by the previous and the current administrations to punish their respective critics and opponents. This is becoming a slippery slope. In the old Soviet Union, travel was very restricted even if one had the means…you had to prove a need, which often entailed bribery.
    The Second Amendment doesn’t mean the Government confers the right to bear arms upon the people, it means that the Government is restraining from infringing that right that is presumed to already exist. But as GWB said to one of his aides, it and the rest of the Constitution is a mere scrap of paper unless we gun owners and sympathizers remain vigilant. If firearms are outlawed, then be an outlaw.

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  75. Hedgehog on January 13, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Most of this sounds alien to me, though I had heard it is still somewhere on British statute that we’re all meant to undertake regular training in archery – or something to that effect, so pretty old. It doesn’t happen.

    A comment on a radio comedy program this week on the US gun debate went something along the lines of (with apologies for the very poor second hand delivery) not understanding the reasoning that the second ammendment couldn’t be changed – lets take a look at that word ammendment.

    In Britain we have knife crime more than gun crime. Those who want them will always find a weapon of some sort I imagine…

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  76. Mormon Heretic on January 13, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Hedgehog, you’re right that “Those who want them will always find a weapon of some sort”, but in regards to suicide, guns are much more successful than every other method. The idea is that if someone fails at poisoning, for example, we can intervene and save the person’s life.

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  77. [...] other interesting discussion topics, we have responsible gun ownership, a new excuse for why God lets bad things happen to kids, French food rules (fairly [...]

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  78. Douglas on January 13, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    #76 – tragically (though obviously not as tragic as a ‘successful’ attempt), not all attempts to take one’s life by gun are fatal either…but in some cases, it would have been more merciful. Again, a non-sequitir as to method of suicide, and HOW does that, in light of the Second Amendment, give the Federal Government and/or the several states, an imperative to restrict firearm ownership? MH, the essence of the “Nanny State” is futile attempts to protect people from the consequences of their ignorance and stupidity. We do that with children when they are minors, but when our children become adults, we often do them greater disservice by not letting them suffer the consequences of bad choices. Dependency, IMO, a terrible state for an adult to exist it, whether it be on another single person or a collection of persons embodied in a governmental authority. So, if adults are denied their natural (or “God-given”, depending on whom you credit) ability to defend themselves by whatever means they deemed proper, then you make them dependent on others for matters they can and want to work out for themselves.

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  79. Mormon Heretic on January 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Douglas, the “nanny” state has the charge to protect its citizens. A better question is “what can the state do to make life better so that suicide and murder is prevented?” As a Zion people, aren’t we charged with making life more godly? Standing idly (with little sympathy as you stated earlier) while watching 19,000 people per year kill themselves is hardly godly. Staffing schools with more BIG GOVERNMENT police makes us a police state (even if it is local police.) This is not a godly solution: it’s a recipe for more accidental shootings and an arms race. (But that’s exactly what some people want.)

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  80. Graceforgrace on January 13, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    You have some great points. I think they should make it harder to own a gun, but as we see the government can’t regulate everything. Bad people will still find drugs, use guns, etc. etc.

    What the people need is the Good Lord in their hearts. Maybe all the new missionaries will make a difference…

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  81. Jeff Spector on January 13, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Well, unfortunately, we didn’t have a near reasonable discussion as I had hoped for, but knew was near impossible.

    The notion that the guns nuts are saving us from tyranny is quite laughable both the standpoint that they think they can outgun a takeover by the military should they decide to use all the assets at their disposal and, since we already have a very corrupt government, their guns have done nothing to stop it thus far.

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  82. Douglas on January 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    MH, even if the wholesale confiscation of firearms could be accomplished peacefully in the United States, and I honestly doubt that it could be at all, it would do little or nothing with regard to suicides. The assumption that absent a gun that even a significant portion of these unfortunates would be saved is ill-founded.
    The Founding Fathers that wrote the Constitution were wise to enumerate what powers the Federal Government was to have AND even then they had to issue ten amendments (“Bill of Rights”) since many were concerned that the Government would, over time, usurp more and more power unto itself. It has done so in defiance of same anyway. All of them are limitations on the Government, NOT a “granting” of rights by the Government, since (1) these rights were presumed to be either a part of common law or to be God-given, and (2) the Federal government was intended to be the servant of the several states and the people at large, not the other way around. Hence why, no, the United States Government does NOT have the specific charge to address suicides, by gun or by turning on the gas, etc. etc., that the several states and the municipalities therein are already sufficient to deal with that manner of issue under law enforcement and/or public health.

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  83. Douglas on January 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Jeff – your characterization of those that steadfastly assert their Second Amendment rights as “gun nuts” is both condescending, demanding, and unworthy of a man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.
    No one, not myself or most anyone that I know that adovcates gun ownership rights feels that insurrection is necessary now or is imminent. Au contraire, mon frere, we would rather “duke it out” in the political arena and in the marketplace of ideas because we desire peace AND to reform our Government. Most of what has gone on, and not just with Second Amendment issues, has been on the order of the “how to boil a frog in water” analogy. Considering what the Continentals got so upset about (Stamp Act, Intolerable Acts, etc) that they were motivated to use Boston Harbor to brew tea, convene two Continental Congresses, raise an army and get George Washington to command it, and finally write a “treasonous” act of Declaration of Independence, would seem light compared to the taxes and burden that our own government imposes today. But, as the fictional Benjamin Martin (based on several men, including Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion) remarked, “Why should I trade one tyrant 3000 miles away for 3000 tyrants a mile away? A legislature can strip a man of his rights as easily as a despot.” And we reelect this “legislature” to a degree of job security practically unrivaled anywhere.

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  84. Stephen R. Marsh on January 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Well, I now know that “assault weapons” (and all rifles in the United States combined) kill fewer people a year than do hammers and clubs.

    I’ve also learned that the deadliest attack on a school was a firebomb attack, not one with firearms.

    http://www.assaultweapon.info/ was sent me by a friend. Learning a good deal.

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  85. Douglas on January 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Well, all my ‘hardware’ has killed or injured less people than rode in a vehicle (or amphibious vehicle) driven by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. But I consider that to be a success, not a frustration. Of course, I’d rather avoid situations where gunplay might occur. I’m too old to look for trouble, and don’t want to make it easy for trouble to find me.

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  86. Hedgehog on January 14, 2013 at 1:28 AM

    #76 MH,
    Up to date stats for suicide methods in Britain seem to be hard to come by, but I found this for 2001:
    http://lostallhope.com/suicide-statistics/england-wales-methods-suicide
    and a research summary:
    http://cebmh.warne.ox.ac.uk/csr/resmethods.html
    Men favour hanging, and women poisoning by a fairly large margin. Firearms are low for both, but lower for women – whether this is down to lower access or preference I don’t know. Obviously overall access is lower than in the US, but I don’t know how that splits between men and women. Is a difference in preference for firearms bewtween men and women in the US? Is hanging really that much less successful than fire-arms?
    Lying/jumping in front of a train or equivalent was about the same for both, and higher than fire-arms, but I’m pretty sure the train drivers would have preferred them to choose a different method. There was a radio program a few years ago looking at the effects on the traumatised drivers.
    There’s also the element of to what extent a suicide is a determined act, and to what extent it is a cry for help, and that may affect the choice of method.
    The research study did say used of firearms dropped with greater restriction in firearms, but didn’t comment on whether that led to reduced success, so far as I could see. In any case I wouldn’t want to see a more relaxed attitude to firearms in Britain.

    With my reference to the required archery training (no idea when they stopped enforcing this, but it must have been 100s of years ago), it occured to me that this attitude towards having an armed populace ready to fight might be connected to the age of the nation as a whole, and the US is relatively young there.

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  87. AndrewJDavis on January 14, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    @LDSAnarchist

    I appreciate you quoting that scripture — it has caused me to think quite a bit this past weekend about your ideas. However, for me personally, I would rather follow the ideas of the Anti-Nephi-Lehite people in Alma 24. For example in verse 6:
    “Now there was not one soul among all the people who had been converted unto the Lord that would take up arms against their brethren; nay, they would not even make any preparations for war;”

    Or verses 18 and 19:
    “And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they anever would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and bcovenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would cgive up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.

    19 And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to abelieve and to know the truth, they were bfirm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.”

    Now, I realize that this people did not obey what Mormon said about Captain Moroni. Therein lies the quandary — which example do we follow?

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  88. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    #81 Jeff Specter,

    Let’s see if I get this straight…

    If a person who advocates no infringement on his right to keep and bear arms is a “gun nut,” then that would mean that:

    a person who advocates no infringement on the right to speak one’s mind must be a “windbag”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to worship as one pleases must be a “religious freak”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to peaceably assemble with others must be “part of a gang”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain silent must be “hiding something”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to counsel must be an “ignorant person”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be a “spy”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to privacy must be “doing something shameful”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain free from cruel and unusual punishment must be “sympathetic to terrorists”;

    and a person who advocates no infringement on State rights must be a “secessionist”;

    and a person who advocates any natural right no listed in the Bill of Rights must be an “anarchist.”

    Is that how you see it, Jeff?

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  89. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    #81 Jeff Spector,

    One more thing…

    Well, unfortunately, we didn’t have a near reasonable discussion as I had hoped for, but knew was near impossible.

    By “reasonable discussion” I suppose you meant a discussion which covered the “middle ground” of the issue, as opposed to the extreme views of a gun ban and a zero infringement policy. The “middle ground” is the place of compromise, and is an admirable position to take when discussing all the laws of man that do not deal with rights infringement. Once you deal with human or natural or God-given rights, you are not justified in taking any middle ground.

    To give an example. You have the right to your life, do you not? Does the law have any justification to infringe upon your right to life? There are the two extreme postitions: 1) take away Jeff’s right to life (by immediately executing him) and 2) leave Jeff alone to live as long a life as God has allowed him to live. Then there is the “middle ground” position: 3) administer poison to Jeff so that his life is cut short by 50%, or just execute him when he gets to age 40 (about half a life span). Which appeals to you, Jeff? Do you like the “middle ground” position when it deals with your right to life? How about your right to the liberty, or any other right? What is the “reasonable” position when it comes to rights? Would it not be the “extreme” position of NO INFRINGEMENT? Wouldn’t the “middle ground” (the position of compromise) concerning rights be “unreasonable” to you?

    Now, perhaps you still too stubborn to admit the logic of what I just wrote above, and perhaps you could say, “Well, I don’t have a problem with the government shortening my life, or reducing my liberty, or taking half of my property away, etc. I don’t mind the government infringing on my rights.” And perhaps that would be true. Perhaps you don’t have a problem with it. But do you not see that there is NO JUSTIFICATION, whatsoever, in infringing upon the rights of others? In other words, although you may agree to have your own rights infringed, which is within your rights, since anyone can waive their own rights, yet no one is justified in waiving the rights of others against their will. Using the power of government to infringe upon the rights of others is unjustifiable. In other words, it is a sin. It is morally wrong. Surely, you must see this self-evident fact.

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  90. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    #87 AndrewJDavis,

    Now, I realize that this people did not obey what Mormon said about Captain Moroni. Therein lies the quandary — which example do we follow?

    We follow captain Moroni, not the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. I’ll explain why.

    The Anti-Nephi-Lehies were an exception to a rule. They were converts who were outside of the Nephite law system when they converted to Christ, because they were Lamanites who had never entered into the Nephite covenants (which God had commanded the Nephites to make.) So, upon conversion, these Lamanites, feeling this brotherly love towards their unconverted Lamanite brethren, took this vow never to shed Lamanite blood. They could do this in righteousness because they weren’t already put under the Nephite covenants to defend against the Lamanites even unto bloodshed. When they joined the people of Ammon among the Nephites, they had to keep their oath, for it is a gospel law to keep our oaths, therefore, exception was made for them concerning these war laws given to the Nephites by God. In other words, they were exempt from taking up arms because of their oath, and it was accounted unto them for righteousness.

    The Nephites, on the other hand, had all the laws of God given to them from the get-go, which were the laws given to Moses, Lehi and lastly through Mosiah. These laws required that they defend themselves against the Lamanites, even to bloodshed. They required that they be armed, which is why we find Nephi making swords out of the sword of Laban and arming his people. He needed to do this to comply with this God-given law of defense. It was the purpose of the Lord to show forth His strength to the Nephites, therefore, they were always smaller in number in comparison to the innumerable Lamanites, yet one Nephite could defeat an average of 11 Lamanites in battle, because of this miraculous strength of the Lord which they received. All of this so that God could show His matchless power to them (and the Lamanites.)

    The Nephites WERE NOT JUSTIFIED in refusing to take arms, for if they refused to take up arms in defense of their country, they violated their covenants, which were dictated by God. Justification for the Nephites, then, only came from defending the country.

    The Gentile Mormons (us) have been given the same war laws as the Nephites, therefore, we have no justification in refusing to take up arms. If any latter-day saint refuses to take up arms, citing the Anti-Nephi-Lehies as their reason, they break their baptismal covenant, for that covenant covers the laws given to the Gentiles, not the unique circumstances of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.

    These things were understood by the Nephites, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, and by Mormon (and also Moroni). This is why when the war became sore, the people of Ammon considered breaking their oath and taking up arms, like the Nephites. On the one hand commandments of God were given to the Nephites, which the people of Ammon desired to live, but couldn’t because of their oath, and they had to watch their Nephite brethren be mowed down by their Lamanite brethren, and they thought to do break the oath, but were convinced by Helaman not to because Helaman was sure that the Lord would strengthen the Nephites accordingly. And He did. But the fact that they were willing to break the oath shows that they didn’t feel that what the Nephites were doing was sin, nor what they taught their sons to do. It was righteousness, and it is righteousness for us (Gentiles).

    I could expound more on this, but this is already too long of a comment. Suffice it to say that Mormon did not hold up the Anti-Nephi-Lehies because of any principle of non-violence. He held them up because of their willingness to keep the covenants and oaths they made with God, even if it meant their death, as well as other reasons which I won’t go into. (I apologize to everyone for the length of this comment.)

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  91. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    #61 Jeff Spector,

    The notion that the guns nuts are saving us from tyranny is quite laughable both the standpoint that they think they can outgun a takeover by the military should they decide to use all the assets at their disposal.

    The U.S. military is made up of Americans. If a majority of Americans opposed the government and took up arms against it, you would have a repeat of Alma 46:29.

    And it came to pass that when Amalickiah saw that the people of Moroni were more numerous than the Amalickiahitesand he also saw that his people were doubtful concerning the justice of the cause in which they had undertaken—therefore, fearing that he should not gain the point, he took those of his people who would and departed into the land of Nephi.

    In other words, many of the Americans in the military and in the police and other forces would begin to doubt the justness of their war against the people and very many would end up siding with the people against the government. Defections among the ranks is a very real concern for those who are orchestrating these affairs. At the very least, morale would be at an all time low and you might get military personnel intentionally missing their targets. If the government had foreign forces to command, that would be a different situation. The other matter to consider is that should the military “decide to use all the assets at their disposal,” as you put it, this would incite the anger of the American people against the government, and all the fence sitters both within and without the government would side with the people. There are very many variables to consider in this. It is not as cut and dry as you make it out to be.

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  92. slowpoke on January 14, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    #81–
    Maybe you don’t think guns are any trouble for tyrants, but tyrants do. That’s why tyrants typically disarm the population as soon and as thoroughly as they can.

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  93. Jeff Spector on January 14, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Ana,

    “In other words, many of the Americans in the military and in the police and other forces would begin to doubt the justness of their war against the people and very many would end up siding with the people against the government.”

    It is possible and probably likely. But we’ve also seen our dedicated military fight in wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan that might be hard to justify and obey their orders. So it is not clear that enough would defect to make a change in the outcome if enough troops with highly lethel assets would remain.

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  94. Jeff Spector on January 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Anar,

    “Let’s see if I get this straight…”

    “If a person who advocates no infringement on his right to keep and bear arms is a “gun nut,” then that would mean that:

    a person who advocates no infringement on the right to speak one’s mind must be a “windbag”;”

    There are limited on free speech just as there are limits on every right in the Bill or Rights and Constitution.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to worship as one pleases must be a “religious freak”;”

    You cannot offer a human being as a sacrifice for your religious beliefs.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to peaceably assemble with others must be “part of a gang”;”

    You cannot enter a person’s home or business and occupy it in the name of a peaceful assembly.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain silent must be “hiding something”;”

    They might be. But that is one right that is pretty absolute.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to counsel must be an “ignorant person”;”

    what would make them ignorant? I don’t get this one.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain free from unreasonable searches and seizures must be a “spy”;”

    This is also not absolute to the the probably cause provision.

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to privacy must be “doing something shameful”;”

    Oh, Like the being Pro-choice and having the choice of what to do with your own body??

    and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to remain free from cruel and unusual punishment must be “sympathetic to terrorists”;”

    Again, the courts have ruled on cruel and inhuman punishment. That didn’t stop some adminstrations from practising it anyway.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on State rights must be a “secessionist”;”

    Again their are limits on what States can do. They do not have an asolute right to anything. They can’t issue their own money, for example.

    “and a person who advocates any natural right no listed in the Bill of Rights must be an “anarchist.””

    Depends on what it is. you do not have the right to swing your arm such that it hits the nose of another person.

    And your point is?

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  95. FireTag on January 14, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Ana and Jeff:

    Seems to me this is the exact process we’ve seen unfolding in Syria and Libya, among other places. Tyrants from one side or the other(s) will escalate the weaponry and drive everyone to flee, submit, or join a side.

    “How does one prevent the rise of a tyrant in the first place?” seems a more urgent concern than worrying about how to we prevent the tyrant from becoming armed.

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  96. Jeff Spector on January 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    Douglas,

    “Jeff – your characterization of those that steadfastly assert their Second Amendment rights as “gun nuts” is both condescending, demanding, and unworthy of a man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood.”

    First of all, I reject your assertion out right and will not even address it.

    Secondly, in spite of the paranoia to the contrary, I am not, nor is anyone here that I have read advocating anything by way of the second amendment. I am not suggesting the confiscation of weapons.

    A middle ground apprpach would be to limit some types of weapons that are not legitimately used for hunting, target shooting or protection but are designed as killing machines. There is also a middle ground approach that limits the number of round you can attach to your weapon at any one time. And their is also a legimate need for full and complete background check on weapons sales.

    Those do nothing to infringe on the bulk of law abiding reasonable gun owners.

    Of course, to the small, but noisy group of gun nuts, it will be unsatifactory because they feel entitled to any type of weapon they wish, any quantity of ammo they wish and the unfettered use of their weapon for any purpose, anytime.

    As we have seen on this blog and other places, they do not wish a discussion, they just bloviate.

    It is sad. And for those, who hide behind their religion and feel their position is justified by The Savior, I feel sorry for them even more.

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  97. Jeff Spector on January 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Firetag,

    ““How does one prevent the rise of a tyrant in the first place?” seems a more urgent concern than worrying about how to we prevent the tyrant from becoming armed.”

    Of course. Unfortunately, those tyrants were in place for a long time, supported by other neighborhood tyrants. the arms are merely in place to keep the tyrants in power or get them there. The sad part is that the people have allowed it in the first place.

    that is one of the things that makes this country as special as it is. Once the Independence from Britain was assured, they laid down their arms and picked up pens to draft our rules to live by. While not perfect, it has worked all this time and expected to into the future.

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  98. Will on January 14, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    “A middle ground apprpach would be to limit some types of weapons that are not legitimately used for hunting, target shooting or protection but are designed as killing machines”

    If you have ever shot a hand gun, it can be hard to control and can be hard to hit a moving target. This is augmented when you are confronted with a high tense situation such as a home intruder. In this instance; it is nice to have a SIG556 with a 30 round clip so you don’t miss your target and subject your family up to a hostage situation. It is a lot of cleanup afterword, but worth it if your family is safe.

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  99. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    A middle ground approach would be to limit some types of weapons that are not legitimately used for hunting, target shooting or protection but are designed as killing machines. We have some of this now, machine guns are regulated. I’m a gun owner but I’m not opposed to this idea as long as the regulation is focused on firepower and standoff distance rather than cosmetics. However I would like to point out that a sniper shooting a single round at a time can hold our free nation in fear – see Beltway sniper. Ultimately you will either have to confiscate guns or improve police response to make a big difference.

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  100. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    OMG a SIG556 with a 30 round clip because you can’t control your aim under stress? Who’s going to keep your family and neighbors alive with all that lead flying around? You don’t need 30 rounds, you need some combat training!

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  101. Will on January 14, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    I think most people are over-reacting and the situation is not that bad. As tragic as the most recent event was, madmen doing this type of thing represent a very small portion of the population. Out of over 330 million people we have one nut like this every few years. I think the odds of this type of event are amazingly low. There are just as many people that go off with knifes, arson, poison and other weapons.

    We just need to take a deep breath and recognize it for what it is, a sign of the times. It is much more important to make sure you and your family are living the way that you should in the unlikely event you are involved in such a tragedy.

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  102. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I think most people are over-reacting…As tragic as the most recent event was, madmen doing this type of thing represent a very small portion of the population. Out of over 330 million people we have one nut like this every few years. I agree. As Stephen pointed out there are much bigger issues like pharmaceutical abuse and medical malpractice.

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  103. Will on January 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    OMG, Howard, Yes. The same reason the military uses similar weapons; to increase thier chances of survival in a tense situation. The glock is for backup, incase the SIG jambs.

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  104. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    Improve your skill and experience and you will reduce collateral damage, your home shouldn’t be turned into a combat zone endangering your neighbors because of an intruder or two. BTW, when was the last time you “needed” to shoot someone while you were at home?

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  105. Will on January 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    BTW, when was the last time you “needed” to shoot someone while you were at home”

    Never. And hopefully never. With the scout motto, ‘be prepared’

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  106. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    So, maybe you’re overreacting too.

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  107. Howard on January 14, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Our spirits reside in animal bodies that were programed for acute life or death, fight or flight responses in the wild. This leaves us with exaggerated fear and anger responses that while statistically “normal” are actually dysfunctional overreactions in modern life. See road rage. This is part of the natural man and it is to be “thrown off” or transcended for our own good, our health and to advance spiritually. Modern lives create mostly chronic not acute stress, failure to attenuate and relax our fear and anger results in illness and early death. The truth is when we aren’t buying guns for sport we’re buying them out of fear and as a potential means to express our anger. It isn’t socially acceptable for men to express fear so they typically express anger when they are frightened. Women are generally wired the opposite expressing fear when they are angry.

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  108. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    #94 Jeff Spector,

    I don’t think anyone is advocating “absolute rights.” The principle is that a person can should be able to exercise his rights insofar as he doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others. So, you can’t use your freedom of speech to intentionally lie and deceive the people, or perjure yourself, and you can’t use your right of worship to infringe upon someone’s right to life by sacrificing them, and so on and so forth. Rights are only righteously exercised when they do not infringe upon another person’s right. A right exercised by infringing on someone else is a crime.

    And this is the whole point of the matter. The law ought to be concerned with crime, both its prevention and its punishment, but it must not infringe upon anyone’s right under the guise of crime prevention, otherwise, the law itself becomes criminal.

    “and a person who advocates no infringement on the right to counsel must be an “ignorant person”;”

    what would make them ignorant? I don’t get this one.

    They don’t know the law well enough to defend themselves (pro se), so they need legal counsel.And your point is?My point is that using such labels is sophomoric.

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  109. LDS Anarchist on January 14, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Uh, the above had problems with quotations. That should read:

    And your point is?

    My point is that using such labels is sophomoric.

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  110. Douglas on January 14, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    ” The law ought to be concerned with crime, both its prevention and its punishment, but it must not infringe upon anyone’s right under the guise of crime prevention, otherwise, the law itself becomes criminal.” – this is to the gun debate as was Colin Kapernick to the Packers last Saturday evening.

    Jeff – first off, if I call you on engaging in polemics and name-calling, own up to it. This sort of behavior belies your otherwise considerable intellect and testimony of the Gospel. If it pricked you, sorry, but I take serious offense at my appreciation of firearms and my determination to uphold the Second Amendment being likened to either unrighteousness or mental illness. Jeff, I was raised by a career Air Force officer who taught me the responsible use of firearms. He was fortunate that in the line of duty he never had to use personal arms…dropping iron bombs on the North Vietnamese from 30,000 feet was as close as it got…and if the 85mm and 57mm AAA or the SA-2 and SA-6 being fired back (the NVPA’s Mig-17s didn’t stand a chance against the “BUFF”), assuming he’d have survived the shoot-down, he’d have been able, ready, and willing to defend himself with what he usually had (M1911 .45 ACP sidearm, usually at least one Ruger or S&W .38, and either an Uzi or Ingram Mac-10, both .45 ACP. He taught me not only the basics in firearms proficiency, but also that the “right” that I’m so “nuts” for carries with it great responsibility. If that be mental illness, then let the inmates run the asylum.
    Now, while I assert that I ought to be fully able to acquire any of those weapons or any other personal arm of my choosing, regardless of it’s technical capability (muzzle-loaded all the way to full-auto), I would advise most to not even concern themselves with exotic hardware. The costs tend to be prohibitive for most folks anyway. Most gun owners, even given a relatively unlimited pocketbook, aren’t going to arm themselves as well as a Special Forces or Navy Seal going into a “hot LZ”. For example, I’d like to collect a fully-restored StG44, which if I’m willing to go through the background check (considering my current security clearance, that’d be a snap), AND pay the transfer tax, could still be done. Sen. Feinstein’s proposed legislation would take away even that, as well as require me to register my great-Uncle’s “paratroop” (factory-made folding stock) M1 carbine. Both are war relics, and I have a legitimate interest in collecting vintage arms. My choices for home defense are a .40-cal Browning Hi-Power, a S&W .357 revolver, and a Mossberg 12 gauge pump-action shotgun. The good Senator would have the Browning either registered or confiscated (15-round mag), never mind that it was perfectly legal when my father purchased it some 40 years ago as was its transference to yours truly.
    The trouble with ‘middle ground’ is simply this: what part of INFRINGEMENT is not understood? Methinks the authors of the Second Amendment envisioned accurately that if a despotic government attempted to just seize arms from the civilian populace outright, they’d be met with resistance with said arms, as happened in the Revolutionary War. BTW, in arguing against the feasibility of armed civilians resisting Government might, ergo, “resistance is few-tile”, it should be pointed out that few men of the times knowledgeable in military affairs would have given the colonial militiamen (“farmers…with clubs and pitchforks”) any chance of prevailing against the well-drilled and disciplined British and Hessian regulars. But we not singing “God Save the Queen” today, are we? No, the writers of the Bill of Rights thought it quite proper that a man could arm himself with whatever personal arms he could afford and learn to shoot with. We confuse the issue by asking what does one need to hunt with, but hunting was also a given…one day you might be trying to bag a turkey, the next you might be picking off a marauding band of “Native Americans” (themselves dealing with their version of “Immigration Control”). The point is, there was absolutely no discussion of limiting technology available to citizens, even as we progressed to the Minie ball, then cartridge rounds, from muskets to revolving rifles to the Henry and Winchester repeaters, to the first bolt-action rifles. Those that could afford the latest and greatest obtained them, and voila, was there a sudden outbreak of lawlessness and violence? Mais Non! Certainment pas! When DID the violence become more widespread? About the time this country got its first dose of the “Nanny State”, when well-intentioned but misguided folk got the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act passed to save us from “Demon Rum”. Well, if our “protectors” want to save us from those “nasty old guns”, let them try to repeal the Second Amendment. Failing that, my rights know no “middle ground”.

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  111. Jeff Spector on January 15, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Douglas,

    “first off, if I call you on engaging in polemics and name-calling, own up to it.”

    Likewise, I’m sure.

    Secondly, if the label fits, wear it. if it does not, ignore it. There are plenty of others around here as well. Not every comment is pointed at you…

    In spite of what you think, you are in a minority of gun owners who think they have a right to every weapon ever made because your personal and overly broad reading of the second amendment tells you so.

    Most responsible gun owners are willing to have some limits on certain things because they are not the least bit interested in being an branch of the US Armory.

    They don’t want or need semi-automatic assault rifles, large magazines nor are they afraid of a background check.

    I suspect that the gun crazies out there are going to make it tough on them and cause them further grieve over the weapons they have for sport or protection simply because the crazies have the loudest voices.

    It appears that you are not interested in protecting children and innocent people from further violence in the name of your rights. Which is the ultimate irony because the preamble to the constitution begins this way:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The right of domestic tranquility and the blessings of liberty appear long before the perceived right to own any firearm.

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  112. Jeff Spector on January 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    LDSA,

    “I don’t think anyone is advocating “absolute rights.”

    funny, when I read no infringement it sounded like an absolute right to me. I suppose I read it wrong.

    The problem with your argument is that given that 34 people are killed each day with guns any effort to limit access to those weapons is prevention. And a person’s right not to be killed should always supersede a person;s right to possess a firearm.

    And the rights of law-abiding citizens who own guns responsibly should also be protected.

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  113. FireTag on January 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Jeff: #97

    I would phrase it as “they kept their arms and picked up their pens to draft words to live by.” I can’t think of any periods where arms were put down by the innocent that they weren’t quickly taken up by criminal or would-be imperial elements. The rare thing is a group of people comfortable with not having power over others (and working actively to NOT accumulate such power).

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  114. FireTag on January 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Jeff: #112

    “The problem with your argument is that given that 34 people are killed each day with guns any effort to limit access to those weapons is prevention. And a person’s right not to be killed should always supersede a person;s right to possess a firearm.”

    The problem with THAT argument is that it is independent of whether the number is 34, .00034, or 34,000. It’s also independent of the subject of guns. Forcing people to run a quarter mile every morning at seven AM would also be death prevention. As would moving people out of cities onto collective farms, which some government sociopath actually tries somewhere every couple of decades.

    It is simply an extension of a progressive worldview that government ought to have the power to anything it decides is good, and that the Constitution merely gets in the way.

    The Constitution is SUPPOSED to get in the way of things that government thinks are good, because it presumes that government will be administered by corruptible human beings, not incorruptible angels (and the incorruptibility of all angels in theologically doubtful, for that matter :D )

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  115. LDS Anarchist on January 15, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    #112 Jeff Spector,

    An absolute right would be, for example, the theory of the divine right of kings, which superseded the rights of others. The natural rights of man do not supersede the rights of others, thus, they are not absolute. Thus, I have the right to keep and bear arms, but not the right to use them to murder people. It is proper (justifiable) to use government to restrain people from murdering people, but it must be done without infringing upon their rights. In other words, a person who is trying to or intends to murder someone (which are crimes) should be constrained, but someone who has no such intention should not have his rights restricted.

    Many of the so-called gun control arguments fall short because they equate murdering people with guns (a sin) to keeping and bearing arms (righteousness.) So, they seek to reduce or eliminate sin by stopping people from doing righteous acts.

    Now, we know that keeping and bearing arms is righteousness because the Lord has put his stamp of approval on the Bill of Rights. (See D&C 98:4-7.) So, we are to “befriend” the Second Amendment and are justified by the Lord in doing so. Conversely, we are unjustified if we do not befriend it, for the Lord says that “whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil.”

    The problem with your argument is that given that 34 people are killed each day with guns any effort to limit access to those weapons is prevention. And a person’s right not to be killed should always supersede a person;s right to possess a firearm.

    More people are killed each day with hammers and other such weapons than with guns, would you be in favor of restricting a person’s right to buy a hammer? A hammer, knife, etc., are all tools. They have their purpose. Guns are also tools. Their purpose is to deter, and if it comes to it, kill tyrants (people who infringe upon other people’s rights.) That is what the Second Amendment is for, to guarantee that the people always have access to tyrant stopping/killing tools.

    “A person’s right to not be killed” is what the Second Amendment is all about. This is exactly why the anti-Federalists sought to get these government restrictions (the Bill of Rights) in the Constitution. An armed tyrannical government can enslave, imprison, torture, massacre and generally infringe upon all the rights of an unarmed populace at its will and pleasure. However, it thinks twice when facing an armed populace. So, the right to keep and bear arms serves as a deterrent to would-be tyrants. The gun right is the “foundation of liberty which God [has] granted unto [us]” (Alma 46:10) and must be maintained un-infringed, otherwise, all our other rights will be in jeopardy.

    Have you ever wondered why the Nephite prophets never spoke against keeping and bearing swords, instead making weapons for their people and other preparations, keeping them armed and ready against Lamanite aggressions? How many times does the record state that the Nephites armed themselves “with all manner of weapons of war, of every kind”? Why do you suppose that God did not command the prophets to teach the people to restrict such proliferation of weapons, instead teaching them to arm themselves? Even the teachers in the church of God went about armed, as the results of Nehor’s and Gideon’s religious debate demonstrated.

    This issue is not political. It is fundamental to our faith. The Lord wants us armed, as the Nephites were, for we are to serve as a deterrent to evil forces in the world. The so-called gun control propaganda is based upon lies and deception, not upon gospel principles. It takes a false philosophy of man (disarmament of law-abiding citizens = safety and peace and less violent crime) and seeks to nullify the word of the Lord on the issue.

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  116. Douglas on January 15, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Jeff, you unintentionally insult me…don’t set it up on a tee, throw me some high “heat”! Figuratively speaking, my 80 y.o. Dad could park one of your fluffernutters.
    Ok…I’ll step up to the plate…
    ” Not every comment is pointed at you…” It’s not a matter of personal offense, it’s that whether you intended to or not, you tarred many that I’ve known and worked with over the years, many of whom are even more well-armed than I, and some have had to use firearms in the line of duty (military and/or law enforcement), and a few just in justifiable self-defense. Some are LDS, some aren’t. All expressed a desire that they’d rather never have fired a weapon at anyone if it could be helped, but not one did. So please confine the ‘nut’ label to those whom we’d probably both agree ought not to even have a Daisy BB rifle.

    “In spite of what you think, you are in a minority of gun owners who think they have a right to every weapon ever made because your personal and overly broad reading of the second amendment tells you so.”

    I beg to differ. If anything, I’m rather ‘moderate’ in that I don’t advocate breaking the current gun laws. I live in Cali(porn)ia, for pity’s sake! The level of stupidity with regard to gun control is far higher than in UT, AZ, or CO, and definitely TX. But I don’t keep a ‘secret cache’ or some nonsense like that. I work within the system to change these unconstitutional laws. I suppose the only ‘bad’ thing that I do is that the rounds for both my sidearms that they are loaded with (plus one speed-load for the S&W and one extra mag for the Browning) are cross-hatched, to ensure spread. They don’t leave the house. Doing that is definitely illegal, but it’s a “better judged by 12 than carried by 6, and I don’t want my daughter or one of my neighbors be one of those ‘carried by 6′ should my self-defense effort fail, OR, I foul up and put a round or two THROUGH the target and something (or someone) unintended. I prefer the rounds stay IN and do their job if that’s what it comes down to. BTW, that’s why ANY rifle (be it the .308 Winchester, .30 cal carbine, 7.92 Mauser, or if I had anything firing the .223 Remington like a ‘Bushmaster’ or other AR-15 clone) stays in the safe. Self-defense, yes, overkill, never.

    “Most responsible gun owners are willing to have some limits on certain things because they are not the least bit interested in being an branch of the US Armory.”

    Not in any forum that I’ve browsed or listened to. Virtually every gun owner I’ve known resents the current laws, let alone the proposed ones, as infringement on their rights and interference in their self-defense and family protection decisions. None that I know of NEED supervision from the Government to be responsible with their weapons. Many have military and/or law enforcement experience.
    There is no such thing as the “US Armory”. Do I wish to be in the military because I advocate the right to own whatever I can buy and train with? Not in the least! I’m too old anyway (53) to be anything other than what the Brit’s termed the “Home Guard”. I prefer to remain a member of the unorganized militia, ready to serve should my Governor call it up, or be deputized by the local sheriff in time of emergency. That way, should a modern equivalent of Captain Moroni raise a standard of liberty, I can contribute meaningfully.

    “They” want whatever they consider appropriate for their needs. Considering that over three million AR-15s have been produced and sold for the civilian market, I’d say it’s a weapon of choice. Over a half million clones of it and the M4 carbine derivative were sold in the US in 2009 alone. I’d say Americans have already voted for it with their pocketbooks. I’d buy one if the intended role we’re already satisfied with the M1 .30 cal carbine (it’s an ongoing debate as to which is better, I prefer the handling of the classic weapon and the better stopping power of the larger bore round, others swear by the Remington .223)
    I’ll let Officer Pyle of the San Jose PD help you distinguish what law enforcement considers an “assault” rifle versus a semi-automatic, your liberal hyperbole notwithstanding:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yATeti5GmI8

    “I suspect that the gun crazies out there are going to make it tough on them and cause them further grieve over the weapons they have for sport or protection simply because the crazies have the loudest voices.”

    No, those that understand the Constitution aren’t going to just roll over and let the phonies controlling the White House and the Senate cynically use the latest tragedy as an excuse to drive this country down the same tragic paths as other despots or would-be despots have done. What is “crazy” is to naively trust those that have lied over and over again, on this and virtually everything else.

    “It appears that you are not interested in protecting children and innocent people from further violence in the name of your rights.”

    Au contraire, mon frere. I’m am QUITE interesting in protecting children, starting with mine and theirs. You and every liberal bleating for gun control has yet to demonstrate that ANY of these proposed laws and “reasonable” restrictions would have in any way precluded these tragedies or that they have a provable positive impact on crime. Empirical evidence suggests otherwise. And that’s ALWAYS how we know that liberals lie (other than their lips move)…they start off with “we’re doing it for the children”. I’ll protect my offspring myself, thank you, I don’t need Diane Feinstein or Barack Obama to do it for me.

    “The right of domestic tranquility and the blessings of liberty appear long before the perceived right to own any firearm.” If the Government’s track record of safety in its own schools, military installations, and prisons is any indicator, I’ll prefer to be left alone to secure the ‘blessings of liberty’ for myself and my posterity without them, thank you.

    Jeff, you’re deluded anyway. The current agenda from the likes of Feinstein, Schumer, and Bloomberg isn’t about preserving gun ownership for “responsible” owners…it’s about eliminating guns from the private sector, period. To them all, I give the words of another Jew, in his most famous role (AFAIK, the last time he portrayed it).

    “If I were human, my response would be…go to hell! If..I were human…)

    I now lay down my bat and touch ‘em all to thunderous applause…

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