Calm Down and Clean Your Guns

Updated: January 23, 2013

By RU Contributor Antonio Aguilar


I have a confession to make. In 2004 I murdered a clearing barrel. Yes, you heard me right. I stuck the muzzle of my assault weapon in the open mouth of a poor, innocent clearing barrel and I shot it at point blank range. Now, in my defense, wasn’t that was the clearing barrels were there for in Iraq? But, I’ll be the first to say it. I was careless and fully deserved the vicious thrashing I got after.

Why do I dig up this dirt from my past? Because with the aftermath of the recent gun violence, and the increasing talk about gun control, there was been some, in my mind, equally careless rhetoric and actions from people among the pro-gun lobby. Me, I’m about as pro-gun as they come and I’m not above posting or sharing the occasional piece of political propaganda on Facebook, but I’m also trying to stick close to the lessons the Army taught me (sometimes in very painful ways) about guns. They aren’t toys, they are weapons designed to kill and if handled correctly by the correct people they will only kill those who need killing. They certainly aren’t political props meant for making statements.

DavidGregoryWhat am I talking about here? Well, look at David Gregory. One idiot shows up on national TV, possibly violating the law in the process, in order to hold up a “high capacity” magazine (in the military or law enforcement sense, a completely standard and normal sized magazine) in an attempt to embarrass the NRA. But, on the other side of the aisle, there have been a few cases I can think of recently of pro-gun people doing equally foolish things; such as taking their guns out and walking around public streets where they know full well people will call the police, in an attempt to make a political statement. Is open carrying allowed? In some states, yes. Is it smart? Not always. What is so hard, if you have a CHL, of simply carrying concealed? You’re still exercising your rights, and you’re not freaking people out and pushing those in the middle over to the left? You’re also not instigating a potentially violent situation. Police officers open carry in uniform, or in plain clothes with a badge showing, but you will not see a professional officer pulling a gun out and showing it off. Guns are not toys, or props. They are weapons to be handled with respect and caution.

This is where I think the pro-gun camp is shooting themselves in the foot, rhetorically speaking. If you’ve been in the military, think about it like this. Remember in Basic (or OSUT for my fellow combat arms guys out there), how there was usually one scared and sheltered kid who never fired a gun before in his life? Remember how he was on the M16 range? There’s usually one in every training cycle, hardly wanting to touch the weapon out of sheer terror, and they have to be eased into it; taught that it won’t hurt them or anyone they don’t intend to hurt if they handle it right. Many people who are on the fence on the gun control issue are like that. What will convince them to support the 2nd Amendment more; finding out that the quiet, calm, and sober person they’ve been friends with for years is a gun owner through a normal and rational conversation; or seeing someone striding down the road brandishing a gun and yelling out that they dare the government to come and take it from them?

The 2nd Amendment didn’t just say that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, it also stated something else. The very first line of that critical portion of the Constitution mentions “a well regulated militia”. Get those two critical words there, “well regulated”? While the two portions are somewhat separate, I think they were included together as well for a reason. Private gun ownership is addressed in the second part, and the formation of the militia (today’s National Guard and State Guard) in the first, but I believe that the founding fathers grouped both together into the same Amendment for a reason. The implication is there that if you are going to have a gun, you need to have some discipline too.

I think that self discipline and reasonable laws are the key here. The expression, “that’s why we can’t have nice things” comes to mind. Any time someone misuses guns we get the kind of knee jerk reaction that we’re seeing these days, but misusing them even more afterward certainly doesn’t help the situation either. Any time the average American sees a group of private “militia” types ranting about the evil government, they picture David Koresh and his Branch Davidians. You might disagree with the way the Federal Government handled that particular situation but what most people will remember are the kids he raped the FBI agents his people murdered. When people protest background checks, others will think about incidents where criminals have been able to circumvent background checks and obtain guns they later use in crimes. If you ask the average American if they think a convicted felon should be allowed to own a gun or not, most will agree they should not; and yet many people who are pro-gun would like to see those laws rolled back. Put yourself in the shoes of the father who worries about his family living across the street from a group of thugs? Which politician is he going to vote for? The one who promises to keep guns out of those people’s hands or the one who says anyone and everyone should have unlimited access to guns?

jc-penney-man-with-rifle-glock-Via-Cindy-YorgasonSo what am I proposing here? A little common sense is a good start. If you want to be able to own 30 round magazines, don’t claim that the government will have to pry your “cold, dead hands” off the ones you already own. That implies that you not only think that everyone in the government is out to take your weapons (even though most police and military personnel are actually pro-gun) but also that you intend to kill them rather than give up your 30 round magazine in exchange for a 10 or 20 round one. If you don’t think the rhetoric hasn’t gotten that bad, just take a quick tour through Facebook and other social network sites and see how many mentions of violence you see. Teddy Roosevelt’s advice is good here, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick”. He didn’t say scream at the top of your lungs and shake your stick at everyone. Let’s use some common sense, and see how many people in the middle of the aisle we can win over in favor of the 2nd Amendment.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that convicted felons can’t own guns. They’ll still get them on the black market, but police will continue to arrest them for those ones they obtain, hopefully before they can use them. It’s also not unreasonable to run a background check on everyone who wants to buy a gun. If you don’t have any felonies or homicidal intentions to hide then you shouldn’t mind having your background checked.

On the same note, it’s not unreasonable to say that the average, law abiding citizen can own a semi-auto AR-15 and some 30 round magazines. It’s not unreasonable to say that the average, law abiding citizen can take a class, have another quick background check done, and get a license to carry a handgun concealed anywhere in the U.S. I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to say that the current background check process needs to be streamlined and improved, making it quicker for anyone with a clean record (as in no felonies, no convictions for violent crime, no internet rants about wanting to commit mass murder) to purchase a gun.

Does your local militia really need an M240B mounted to the back of their pickup for their weekend illegal alien hunt? Hell no! Does the drug dealer down the street need a new 9mm to protect his stash? Hell no to that as well! But does the average, law abiding citizen need to be able to purchase and reasonably carry a gun to protect himself from the previous mentioned people? Absolutely, and the Constitution states that he or she can. Guns do not kill people but they make it easier for their owner’s to do so, and with that power comes responsibility. The sad fact is, many in the pro-gun lobby have not been acting so responsible. We need to bring that back if we hope to convince people, once again, that guns are a good thing if handled correctly and are an integral part of our society, written into the very document that makes America what it is.




  1. Shoppy

    January 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I’m a Democrat with very similar views on firearms as the ones you so eloquently describe here, and I’ve been appalled by the hate and rhetoric coming out of the extreme-right gun lobby. Thank you for putting these sentiments into text; at the end of the day we all need to remember (on both sides of the charging handle) that we are still one nation, united under God. Solid piece of opinion writing.

    • Stephen Jennings

      January 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      I agree. But you should have also mentioned how appalled you are that the educated people on the anti-gun side remain uneducated on guns. If you want to pass a bunch of legislation to control guns, atleast know the difference between assualt weapons and AR-15’s.

  2. George

    January 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

    The only problem is, you give the government an inch and they will find any and all mean to restrict. Yes if you are a nutter, you should not own a gun. Who decides and what criteria will be used is the real question.

  3. FW Motorsports

    January 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I am more annoyed by politicians attempting to usurp our rights than a few right wing nuts espousing violence towards the usurpers.
    The author has made some great points; unless you’re a Drill Sergeant, yelling at folks isn’t a good way to get your point across.

  4. Fred

    January 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Overall a good piece. There is one very important mistake. Militia does not equal National Guard.

    The militia encompasses every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 in one of three classes. The three classes are the organized militia, known as the National Guard of the State, Territory and District of Columbia, **the unorganized militia** and the regular army.
    ~The Militia Act of 1903 (32 Stat. 775), also known as the Dick Act

  5. Kenneth L. Bechtel, II

    January 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Hmm You over look many things in this article young grasshopper. The Militia is NOT the National Guard, they weren’t formed till the early part of the 20th Century. If you did your research and your NCO taught you correctly you will find:

    USC › Title 10 › Subtitle A › Part I › Chapter 13 › § 311

    10 USC § 311 – Militia: composition and classes
    (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
    (b) The classes of the militia are—
    (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

    So that means YOU are still part of the militia, and old Farts like me can be, but are not mandated to be.

    Simmialy Open Carry (OC) is not Brandishing Per Marion Webster Dictionary:

    Definition of BRANDISH
    1: to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly
    2: to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner

    So how is walking down the street with a sidarm in a holder meeting the definition above?

    and finally on your comment about full auto, I will refer you to US vs Miller, in which you will find the Gun Control act of 1988 is unconstitutional and contrary to the rulling that validated the NFA of 1934:

    On May 15, 1939 the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice McReynolds, reversed and remanded the District Court decision. The Supreme Court declared no conflict between the NFA and the Second Amendment had been established, writing:

    “In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.”

    Describing the constitutional authority under which Congress could call forth state militia, the Court stated, “With obvious purpose to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of such forces the declaration and guarantee of the Second Amendment were made. It must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.”

    In dicta, the Court also looked to historical sources to explain the meaning of “militia” as set down by the authors of the Constitution:

    “The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”


    So you see since the M240 DOES have militia uses it is MORE protected as declaired by the US Supreme Court as having a military use.

    Unfortunately too many people like yourself have been lied to and misinformed (many times intentially). Oath Keepers like myself who have served and are serving have devoted a lot of personal time and effort to ensure our poitical leaders STOP the decline of personal freedomed enshrined in the contitution to futher their careers in the name of political expendancy while stripping freedoms and security from the very people and Constitution we all served and swore to protect.

    Former Intel SGT, US Army 1984 – 1993

    • Matt

      January 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Kenneth Bechtel – So according to your interpretation, the founding fathers only expected males to be able to carry firearms? Nice try (and failure) on redefining what the term, “well regulated militia” means.

      And you left out the important part of the 1939 Miller case – it outlawed sawed-off shotguns and established that there is room for interpretation as to what is or is not reasonable for the average citizen to carry. The 2nd Amendment did not give you or anyone else the right to assemble your own personal arsenal. You are not being “stripped of freedoms” if you can’t legally own an M240.

      • Gene

        January 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm

        Matt – the question as to whether or not a particular weapon is “reasonable” for the average citizen to carry is not a consideration of the 2nd amendment. That is fairly clear. The issue of who is and isn’t part of the militia is also irrelevant; it is an conflict that has been brought in to muddy the waters by those who would impose their will on others. That part has been shown both grammatically and in the language of the time to have no bearing on the operative statement.

        As to your statement that the 2nd amendment doesn’t give anyone the right to assemble their own personal arsenal, you are correct, but not in the way you think. It recognizes that that right exists and directs the government to protect it, but it doesn’t bestow that right on anyone. By the way, “personal arsenals” are the exact reason for the 2nd amendment; that is the mechanism that provides the citizenry with an equality or superiority of force over the government. That we’ve allowed said government to use force/fraud to mitigate that capability is sad.

      • Joe

        January 23, 2013 at 8:23 pm


        Kenneth’s interpretation is predicated on USC Title 10. Listed in full.
        If you reread his passage you will find the following quote included under paragraph (a) “…and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

        What this may be interpreted to mean is that; females are not OBLIGATED to serve in the militia, organized or otherwise even in times of war if they choose not to but that they ARE ELIGIBLE to do so if they (females) wish to.

        His “interpretation” then clearly does not exclude females.

        The Miller case (1939) which you reference didn’t actually “outlaw” short barreled (sawed-off) shotguns. It simply determined that they could be regulated under the NFA of 1934 and that a tax stamp and registration would be needed to possess on legally.

        In this regard it cannot truly be said that the Miller decision “establishes that there is room for interpretation as to what is or is not reasonable for the average citizen to carry” since the decision itself just adds another barrier to possession, it doesn’t outright criminalize the item or make it impossible to secure one by lawful means.

        This is a case of “that doesn’t mean what you think it means” that has been used persistently over the last 60+ years.

    • Rotti

      January 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

  6. JT

    January 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I am part of the well-regulated militia, as you describe it. Yes, I’m in the National Guard (go ahead, get your weekend warrior cracks out now). For the most part, I agree with your thoughts above. The part that I don’t agree with is the well regulated militia part. I firmly believe that the 2nd amendment exists to protect the people from a tyranical government. The National Guard is one hand of the government. The main difference between the Guard and the Army Reserve is that the Guard is operated by individual states while the Reserve is a federal entity. As a member of the National Guard, my paycheck still comes from DFAS, just like the rangers behind RU. Likewise, we follow orders from the top down. In peacetime, our “top” is the state governor. In wartime, our “top” is the POTUS. In that sense, I don’t see how the National Guard has any role, whatsoever, in protecting citizens from a tyranical government. If anything, they will be the tyrant’s enforcers.

    Let’s just say that you agree with me. Then it begs the question, “well, who is the militia, then?” Honestly, I don’t know. I do know that there was a time when the National Guard was the militia. But that was a long, loooong time ago. The day of the citizen soldier in long gone. Now that the National Guard is fully assimilated into the United States armed forces, a true citizen based militia doesn’t really exist. That leaves private citizens to defend themselves from their government. They can’t count on the National Guard to do it. What about someone that serves in the Guard, then gets out. So they ETSed? Are they no longer part of the militia? Are they no longer allowed to keep and bear arms? If anything, getting out of the Guard and becoming a completely private citizen again means that a person would NEED their own weapon (since they no longer have one issued) for protection from the government.

    I’m getting way too long winded in my response here. The point is, I don’t think the National Guard is the militia that it was in 1776. I don’t think that militia exists any more, at least not clearly defined. I’m sure that there are hundreds of thousands of citizens who think they are the militia, and I’m not against that, but they are far from well-regulated. Piers Morgan was right about one thing: that the 2nd Amendment was written in very different times than we are living in today. As far as I’m concerned, the only grey area that can possibly be open to interpretation is “well-regulated militia”. And that is where I disagree with this article. Thank you, and good day.

  7. Anna O

    January 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for such a well reasoned and common srnse response. Many years ago I was definitely in the why do you need a gun camp. Thanks to many of my friends who are responsible gun owners and my own survival of a violent attempted robbery I am very much in favor of the kind of responsible gun ownership you just discussed. I wish that NRA had come out with a public awareness campaign on gun safety and responsible gun ownership (like securing your weapons from mentally unstable people and kids) in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. Sadly, they did not. A push for a repeal of a lot or all the Tiardt amendments and more state laws like Virginia Exile are also a few commonsense responses I would like to see.

  8. CoastieGal

    January 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I too, like Shoppy am a Dem…pretty liberal though. HOWEVER, I was raised around guns all my life (thanks dad!). I am a firm believer in the 2nd amendment and this article, which was so awesomely written, said everything I wanted but couldn’t put into words. Bravo Antonio. I think we can work to get more people on the same page. We just need more people like you who can understand both ends of the spectrum.

  9. Gene

    January 23, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I’m having a hard time with this discussion. While I agree that walking around with an AR strapped to your back is a very pushy way of getting your point across, why is it that gun owners have to hide or slink about when exercising their right while others use free speech to spew vitriol laden garbage? Using the argument that “words will never hurt me” shows a profound ignorance of human history (“pen is mightier than the sword” anyone?).

    You talk of reasonable restraints (background checks, classes, etc), but again these are only applied to gun owners. Many have made the analogy to driving where you also must have a license. The fundamental difference is that driving is not a right, but a privilege and as such is subject to regulation and denial. Self-defense isn’t. More importantly, when the state says to the felon or mentally ill, “you are no longer allowed to defend yourself,” they are are, first, treating that person as guilty of crimes they’ve yet to commit without benefit of a trial and second, are now completely responsible for their safety (a responsibility at which they utterly fail).

    There are other issues with your opinion piece, but the most important and fundamental issue is that you look at gun ownership in the microcosm of personal defense during “street crimes.” That isn’t the purpose of the second amendment (at least not directly). The purpose is to allow the people to meet with equal force their government (the macrocosm of personal defense if you will). When the founders revolted against the British, they weren’t just a bunch of guys running around with muskets; they would have been slaughtered quickly. No, those men owned cannon and battleships as well. Yes, we took tons of material from the Brits and we would have lost otherwise, but to say that the people are to be restricted from real weapons of war, is to say ipso facto that they are to be subjugated by those who have them.

    Finally, the “militia” is not the Reserves and National Guard; these are both under federal control no matter how many governors think otherwise. No, as ruled by the Supreme Court, the militia is the people, each and every citizen of these United States.

  10. 2xTap

    January 23, 2013 at 11:52 am

    While this article presents some good advice–namely, keeping a level head, developing self-discipline, and speaking intelligently about gun issues–I believe the author misses on a number of points.

    The first is his stance on the opening clause of the Second Amendment.

    A common myth is that the Second Amendment is only a provision for a “well-regulated militia.” The wording of the Amendment protects “the right of the people” which is an individual right for all citizens. The language of the Bill of Rights is legal in nature and as such, explicit operative clauses are often issued a preamble—or justification clause—which offers a good use of the statement which follows. The “militia clause” does not limit the scope of the Second Amendment, but offers one possible application of an armed citizenry. Additionally, “the Second Amendment does not confer upon the people the right to keep and bear arms; it is one of the provisions of the Constitution which, recognizing the prior existence of a certain right, declares that it shall not be infringed by Congress.” (United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 543; Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 265; Robertson v. Baldwin, 165 U. S. 275, 281)

    The second is the “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of” stance. From an enforcement position, this stance holds that every citizen must prove his/her innocence before purchasing a firearm. Our legal system is built upon the foundation that every citizen is innocent until proven otherwise.

    Additionally, the system of universal background checks would require the assembly of a comprehensive database of firearms owned by private citizens so the governing authority would know who is abiding by the law and who has broken it.

    I believe the author has the best of intentions here, but has not considered the unintended consequences of such positions as public policy.

    • Gene

      January 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Very good points. I particularly like the “nothing to hide” rebuttal. That position requires a person to give up their rights protected by the fourth amendment to ask for permission to exercise those protected by the second! Not really a valid position to take, but sure sounds “reasonable”.

  11. SGT Lynch

    January 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    The author truly understands the power of tact.

  12. Chris

    January 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    What bothers me about the background check is the criteria. Does PTSD disqualify you, because I have been diagnosed as “PTSD in Partial Remission.” I would prefer not to be DQ’d because I followed lawful orders and have problems with some of the things I was forced by necessity to do, even though, in my head, I know it was the right thing to do at the time. Difficulties reconciling the morals and values I was brought up with and have tried to pass to my children with what I have had to do in war should not disqualify me. What if Military Service were a dis-qualifier? 93% or so of the population have not served, and their votes could make that happen…

  13. Vinnie D

    January 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I was with you till you brought up the militia part in the second amendment, and what you think it means. Read what the founding fathers defined as a militia and you’ll find it encompassed the entire citizenry. The first part talking about a well regulated militia means a well out fitted militia, meaning they had the arms necessary to go to war, not regulated as in our modern terms. Also it is stating the militia is necessary to a free state meaning an armed militia, armed citizenry, is necessary to keep tyranny at bay. The following right of the people to keep an bear arms shall not be infringed is exactly what it says, but if you believe infringed means not to be abridged well our right to bear arms has been abridged by the NFA. So throw it all together and it basically says an armed citizenry being necessary to maintain a free state so there fore the right of the citizenry to own guns will not be infringed upon. Sorry long comment but the argument that militia means national gaurd or the reserves is an argument often used by gun control advocates to say regular citizens shouldn’t own guns and hearing it repeated always reminds me of the fallacy of that claim.

  14. Stuff -N- Things

    January 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    First off… To all those that have posted Multi paragraph comments, I have two words for you… “Proof read”. Your arguments are muddled by mistyped words and punctuation errors.

    Secondly, I am pro-gun. I will always claim my 2nd amendment rights as well as the other rights the constitution allows. But I do believe that Guns are designed for one thing and one thing only. That is to destroy. Whether that thing being destroyed is another person, a deer, an elk, a paper target, glass bottle, watermelon, zombie, or whatever… the intent of a firearm is to destroy. That is what is taught to our military. That is what I teach to my family.

    I believe that “rights” are not given, they are exchanged. For example, I cannot be given the right to punch you in the face without your right to not be punched in the face being infringed. I feel the same way when I see a complete stranger walking around the grocery store with his AR-15/AK-47 or whatever slung across his back. In my mind I am thinking, “I do not know this man. I do not know his intentions”. That is when my “rights” to feel safe are being infringed. So the question now is who is the one who is right? The man walking around wearing boxing gloves prepared to punch someone, maybe me, in the face or those not wanting to get punched in the face? That is where the author suggests we use more common sense.

    I feel the author is illustrating to us that the gun control lobbies are using emotion (FEAR being the primary weapon) to convince those sitting on the fence to accept their point of view. On the other hand, there are those on the pro-gun side that are trying to use emotion in the same fashion. We must remember, people will always fear what they don’t yet comprehend. This is a situation where we cannot fight “fire with fire”.

    • Gene

      January 23, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      It is interesting that you decided to be a “grammer nazi” via a sentence with multiple improper uses of punctuation, capitalization and phrasing. Maybe “ironic” is a better description.

      Your argument about rights being exchanged is not entirely accurate. To begin with, you do not have the right to punch me in the face. There is no exchange happening there. I may allow you the privilege of doing so (if I were a moron), but what you describe is an exercise in might trying to make right. More accurately (and cliched) is that your right to swing your arm ends at the point my nose begins. In other words, your exercising of your rights cannot infringe upon my exercising of mine unless we’ve reached an agreement (contract) to that effect.

      As to your right to feel safe, no such thing exists. You may wish to feel safe, but the guaranteed access to a feeling is in no way part of being a human (the fundamental requirement of a right). The person you describe carrying a rifle or wearing boxing gloves has infringed upon no one else’s rights. The moment they do, justice demands they be punished. Until they do, justice demands their rights be respected/protected.

      Spell checked and I’m pretty sure the grammer is correct.


    January 23, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Sorry but I respectfully disagree. Anti-Gunners (mostly left wing Democrats) want all your guns. They do not want people to compete, hunt, or own a gun. I lived in San Francisco for 11 years and they are “liberal loons”. I met folks that would outlaw SUVs to protect “Gaia” so do you think they supported Hunters Rights? They saw no reason for a person to own a firearm what-so-ever. Note how Californian (and now New York) continue to restrict firearms. What will happen when they do this at the National Level? Well we all will suffer. The Left never protests civilly, (think Union Thugs and Occupy Wall Street) or ever “plays” fair. So why should we? We need to make it very clear that we will fight to own our property that we have owned for years legally, in my case 30 years. What is this Author prepared to do to protect my rights, probably nothing? The tyranny of the majority is not a myth. Unless we stand up very vocally for our rights they will be lost!

  16. Bethany

    January 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Thank you for this well thought out, reasonable post. I am generally for gun control but can see the argument against an assault weapon ban as they aren’t really different than hunting rifles. I firmly agree that scaring people (and in some instances acting like lunatics) is not helping their cause. This was very obvious on gun appreciation day. I do not want to take away law abiding citizens guns, just do more to keep those guns out of criminals hands. Many private citizens have proven themselves willing to attack civilians, while there’s no real (don’t give me conspiracy theories) evidence the US government plans on attacking its people. The second amendment was written in a very different time when people had ver different weapons.

    • Gene

      January 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Bethany, the argument about the 2nd amendment applying to a more primitive class of weapons has been disproven historically (cannons capable of firing balls and grapeshot which could kill dozens of men at a time were owned by private individuals as well as governments), logically (the purpose is an equalization of force) and legally (the US Supreme Court has ruled this argument invalid prima facie).

      More to the point though, I would ask you a question. Even if our current administration had no desire to enslave and abuse the citizenry (and I’m not saying it does), are you sure unknown future administrations will be so compliant? Whether you wish to believe it or not, we almost daily lose more of our liberties to governmental action (*big* example is the Patriot Act, but many small bureaucratic decisions occur as well). Ask yourself how much quicker the process would be with unscrupulous leaders and a disarmed population.

  17. MrPro2A

    January 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    “Speak softly, and carry a big stick”.

    The idea here as that the big stick is visible. I don’t think Teddy meant to carry a big stick but carry it concealed.

    I agree with most of what you said however, there are many American citizens as well as politicians that would happily repeal the 2A. One way to do this is a little at a time just like is being done. I draw the line here and now. I suggest that we don’t give another inch and make that known in a civil manner. And keep a big stick within arms length at all times.

  18. leftoftheboom

    January 23, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Substitute “Gun Control” for “Freedom of Speech” and if someone has the right to say something antagonistic and asinine, then someone in a legal open carry state has the right to carry their legal firearm in public even if it others consider it antagonistic and asinine.

    We are in a declining age where common discourse is clouded in vitriol and no one is willing to compromise. In the 20’s and 30’s you could purchase a Thompson .45 sub-machinegun legally from Sears and Roebuck. The Organized crime syndicates of the day, who got their money and power from supplying illegal alcohol, used them to great effect against each other and the law.

    Then the guns were outlawed, alcohol was legalized again, and Organized crime continued on using different weapons without a hitch. Crime involving guns will continue unabated regardless of what laws are passed. That is after all why they are called criminals. Laws in reference to guns only affect those who are willing to abide by them. Those who are willing to break them will not be stopped by paper. They are not stopped now and nothing passed by Congress will change that.

    I don’t want my rights infringed upon. This is my simple declarative statement to the world. I also do not believe that the needs of the many should be infringed upon by the actions of a few. This nation enacts laws because very small minority groups or individuals do something against the common good. There were already laws in place to make what happened at Sandy Hook a crime. They did not stop the act. Now we have a massive debate about guns when the issue was one individual who committed a crime.

    The issue is not guns but the moral failures of a nation to accept all the behaviors that make such crimes possible. Lack of respect, lack of moral fiber, and lack of conscience is at the heart of the problems we face. We allow atheists to protest the word “God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. There are more Christians in this country but the entire country must change for a minority group because they object to what the rest of us want. We cannot pray in schools but we will teach children about sex. We scream about morals but we watch shows like “Teen Mother” and other shows that glorify a lack of morals. Everyone claims to have character but porn is a thriving industry with no lack of customers or women and men willing to bare it all for the dollar. We cannot find an honest politician who will represent the people that elect them instead of the lobbyists that pay them. I could go on but I am getting mad.

    Even people posting here cannot stick to the issue without sniping at each other.

    I believe that Freedom is the right to respect the rights of others before myself. Freedom as expressed today is nothing but anarchy.

    And one final note. That poor lamented clearing barrel that died so others might live.

  19. Shiftee

    January 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    You know you’re reading the perspective of an 11 bravo when he(now possibly she damnit) opens with a story about an ND(of some type) and continues his more than adequate thoughts in a continuum of run on sentences. I have the same problem brother.

    Couldn’t agree more. When you’re trying to separate firearms from culpability, it’s not incredibly smart to wave them around after a tragedy. It’s no wonder gun control advocates cant stop blaming the firearms when we make them most visible AFTER something negative happens.

    As for the true root issue of these tragedies, I agree with the above post for the most part. Morality is on the decline, community is nonexistent, and Americans, largely, have zero accountability. How many mass shootings happened 50 years ago, yet you could buy a firearm at Roses for next to nothing and with even less regulation. What’s changed? Well let’s see. Among the plethora of faith based removals, prayer has been removed from our schools, the pledge of allegiance to this COUNTRY has been barred….you could go on for hours. What’s been the result? Our sense of community doesn’t go past our own yard…people don’t even know who their neighbors are. Kids live in their bedrooms…alone. Parents take zero responsibility for their children’s behavior…if they even notice in the first place. We live in a society that embraces the ideology of weakness; where it’s OK to not give your best, where we don’t spank our children, where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Then we wonder why our children have zero respect, implode with their problems, lack values in life and then when something happens we want to blame the video games, the guns, the movies, the music…HELLO, how about the parents? Whether you believe in God or not it’s undeniable that the scriptures paint a pathway for healthy and moral living. I have an agnostic friend who has told me multiple times that regardless of his belief or lack thereof in God the Bible is an excellent guide to life. I’m not a Bible thumper and not a man of significant spiritual beliefs but I definitely think we’ve removed every positive structure in our society. I mean at the minimum an element of religious morality in society gives people like me a basis rebel against. Add it all up and what do you have? Life with no winners, no losers, no right, no wrong…evil is what we make it

    (However, I must add that the NFA tax is what reduced mob use of certain weapons. In the 30’s the $200 tax had a little more bite to it and it gave law enforcement a way to work around the 4th amendment to search and seize.)

    my .02

  20. Gunship Load

    January 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I have thought about this issue for quite some time, and I think someone else summed up my feelings pretty well.

    Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I read it at, so I can’t give the credit where it is due…

    “If gun rights activists are all crazies, then why are there still people who oppose guns?”

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