Archive for category NRA
Many adults don’t understand that guns are not toys. They are deadly weapons. Until this week, I was blissfully unaware that the Gun Lobby is peddling .22 caliber rifles for kids as young as 4 and 5. These weapons were prominently featured at the NRA annual convention just after another accidental shooting tragedy.
On Tuesday, a five-year-old Kentucky boy accidentally shot and killed his two-year-old sister with a gun he’d been given as a birthday present. The weapon, a small rifle, was manufactured specifically for children’s use.
In one week alone last month, four people were shot by toddlers.
Tucson shooting survivor Patricia Maisch spoke for 90 percent of Americans today. After the Republicans stopped a weak firearm background check bill with a silent filibuster that required a 60-vote super-majority, she called out “Shame on you!” from the Senate gallery. The bill failed despite the support of 54 senators. Only four Republicans voted to break the filibuster (Utah senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee voted to kill the bill).
President Obama commented on the absurdity of this vote:
I’m going to speak plainly and honestly about what’s happened here because the American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen. We had a Democrat and a Republican -– both gun owners, both fierce defenders of our Second Amendment, with “A” grades from the NRA — come together and worked together to write a common-sense compromise on background checks. And I want to thank Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their courage in doing that. That was not easy given their traditional strong support for Second Amendment rights.
As they said, nobody could honestly claim that the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment rights. All it did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.
Broadcast and cable networks interrupted regular programming to bring viewers Obama’s remarks, except for the Faux News Channel.
Four Democratic senators voted against the baby-step background check bill, but the filibuster was 100 percent Republican – so they get the blame. Must be used to wearing the black hats by now, anyway.
Gabrielle Giffords: A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip
I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear…
UPDATE: Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators. Imagine that, a background check.
There have been 3,364 gun deaths since the Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting last December. That’s a second 9/11 attack. Or put it another way, more Americans die from being shot in our country every year than the total fatalities from ten years of war in Afghanistan.
Jim Wallis tries to reason logically with the Gun Lobby. I wish him luck…
There are many law abiding and responsible gun owners in this country. And I understand that those who play by the rules might feel like they are being punished for the wrongdoing of others. But no legislation being considered would end gun ownership as we know it. What it would do is begin to make owning a gun look a little more like owning a car. In that process we can make it more expensive and more legally punishing for criminals to get guns and make our streets and our schools safer for all. The gun laws on the table are just common sense; they bring us back to the common good.
The vast majority of gun owners understand and support the need for gun safety legislation. But the Gun Lobby is different. They insist on re-opening settled issues (e.g. background checks), and on claiming their constitutional rights would be violated by a ban on continued sales of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.
No ‘Individual Right’ to Bear Arms. State Regulations of Firearms Does Not Violate U.S. Constitution
This is a MUST read for any gun nut who THINKS they understand the Second Amendment and the rest of us who need to shut them the fuck up.
Judge Jeffrey S. Ryan, Breckenridge, CO, wrote the article below in response to a letter to the editor published in his local Summit Daily News, post Columbine and pre-Heller. It details undisputed law confirmed in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) which addressed ONLY the right to own “within federal enclaves.”
The Shootings at Columbine High School have understandably generated strong reactions. Inevitably, the subject of the Second Amendment has come up.
A letter to the editor published in the Summit (Colo.) Daily News by Kevin Bridges misinterprets the amendment, as well as misstating history. In fact, the media, too, are guilty of fostering confusion about the amendment, as journalists routinely refer to the “right” to keep and bear arms without consulting those charged with saying what the amendment actually means: the federal courts.
The following are facts, not opinions, and carry the force of the law.
The Second Amendment acts as a constraint on the federal government, not state or local governments. Initially, the Bill of Rights, of which the amendment is a part, applied only to the federal government. In 1868 after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified by the states. The 14th Amendment caused certain of the amendments in the Bill of Rights to be binding in the states. The Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment was not one of these, and does not apply in the states. And since the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the Job of deciding cases involving the Bill of Rights, the court has the final word.
This means state and local governments are free to regulate possession and use of firearms without violating the federal Constitution. Arguments that a particular state gun laws goes against the Second Amendment are meaningless, because the states are not required to follow it.
What of the Second Amendment in the federal arena? Every single federal court of appeals that has addressed the issue has ruled that the amendment forbids Congress from disarming the “well-regulated” militias of the various states. (The Supreme Court has held that the modern National Guard is the militia referred to by the Constitution.) In other words, the amendment is designed to protect the right of the states to maintain militias. It has never been held to apply to the use of arms against criminals, or, more ludicrously, against the government. Most important, the courts have uniformly held that the amendment does not create or recognize a personal right to “keep and bear arms.”
Let me stress that this is not a matter of dispute in the federal courts or appeals. Each one that has considered the Second Amendment has reached the same conclusion. The Supreme Court has been asked to review many of these decisions, and has declined every time. That leaves the decisions of the courts of appeals as the final, controlling law.
It is not that the Founders didn’t consider an individual right to posses arms: Samuel Adams proposed that the Constitution contain such a right, but even he wound up voting against it. The New Hampshire delegation also offered such a proposal. It was defeated. Robert Whitehall of the Pennsylvania delegation proposed a guarantee of an individual right to bear arms. It was likewise defeated. So it is clear that the Founders could have provided for such right, but chose not to.
The Second Amendment originally contained a provision, in a final phrase, that exempted conscientious objectors from having to perform militia services. This was removed because Eldridge Gerry, a delegate from Massachusetts, feared that the government might unilaterally declare certain classes of people, e. g. Catholics, to be “scrupulous of bearing arms,” and discriminate against otherwise eligible militiamen. But such a provision further makes clear that the amendment concerned state militias, and not an individual right to possess firearms.
Bridges’ letter to the editor also states that “Hitler first required firearms registration and … authorized confiscation of all privately owned firearms.” This is not true.
The German Weapons Law of March 18, 1938, enacted by Hitler’s National Socialist government, liberalized gun ownership, as opposed to restricting it. It lowered the legal age for gun ownership from 20 to 18; extended the period a weapons permit was valid; eliminated a previous limit on the number of guns a person could own; and did away with a previous requirement of permits for long guns. While the law forbade Jews from manufacturing or selling firearms, it did not forbid them from owning firearms, contrary to popular thought. When American GIs occupied Germany, they were shocked at the number of guns that private citizens owned. Notably, all this gun ownership did not prevent the rise of Nazism or the extermination of the Jews. (An oft-cited Hitler “quote” about gun registration has been proved to be a hoax, though that has not stopped many from repeating it.)
Without providing any proof that gun ownership was forbidden in the former Communist bloc (it certainly wasn’t in Russia), Bridges invokes those nations as proof of the perils of gun control. He fails to mention that countries such as Japan and Great Britain also have extremely strict gun control. Perhaps he considers these to be totalitarian, oppressive governments as well, but, if so, he is in a distinct minority.
The Second Amendment was primarily authorized by James Madison. It was created to satisfy the anti-Federalists, who feared dilution of states’ rights, not individual rights. Concern from the state militias was a result of fear of a federal standing army. But the Constitution not only created the mechanism for such a standing army, the newly created federal government had in fact won the argument by gaining true control over them.
Many organizations with agendas have spread inaccurate interpretations of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, despite the very clear decisions of the courts, the press and the public have parroted these misinterpretations with no critical analysis.
If people are misinformed about the law, they will be quite disappointed when the courts rule as they inevitably must.
Most of the public is, unfortunately, ill-informed about the law and the Constitution as it is. Mindlessly parroting the phrase “the right to keep and bear arms,” with no explanation of the phrase’s true history and meaning, to say nothing of its militia context, doesn’t help.
Last, some words from people far wiser than I:
“The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the ‘state armies’ – ‘the militia’ – would be maintained for the defense of the state. … The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.” – Warren E. Burger, former chief justice of the United States.
“A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment was designed to keep alive the militia.” – William O. Douglas, former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
If people intend to invoke the Second Amendment, which is a matter of constitutional law, they should at least know what that law is.
Thom Hartmann explains to Larry the caller why the 2nd Amendment was written to allow citizens to defend their country, not defend AGAINST tyranny.
What would it take for you to stand out in front of your house with weapons and defend yourself against the federal government?
Second Amendment Primer: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,…”
One of the reasons it seems so difficult to take the “facts” of the gun debate seriously is that one side has been obscuring the facts so well. As business insider (and several other places) pointed out in January,
The CDC isn’t allowed to pursue many kinds of gun research due to the lobbying strength of the National Rifle Association.
As a result of the National Rifle Association’s lobbying efforts, governmental research into gun mortality has shrunk by 96 percent since the mid-1990s, according to Reuters.
That seems odd. Would we let the cigarette companies tell doctors they can’t study the health effects of smoking? Why would the NRA be able to do that?
Prior to 1996, the Center for Disease Control funded research into the causes of firearm-related deaths. After a series of articles finding that increased prevalence of guns lead to increased incidents of gun violence, Republicans sought to remove all federal funding for research into gun deaths.
So, after a study that (to the surprise of only complete idiots) found that it isn’t so much that people kill people, but yeah, guns actually make killing people a whole lot easier, the GOP killed research into gun deaths? I find that hard to believe. I mean what are they, anti-science? Next you will tell me the GOP is against climate change studies…
Because of the NRA’s successful campaign to eliminate the scientific research into the public health effect of firearms, very few researchers specialize in the field anymore, University of California, Davis, professor Garen Wintemute told Reuters. He said there isn’t enough money to sustain research.
Since there is a lack of funding for independent research, the gun debate has been lacking in unimpeachable statistics that could effect a change in the status quo.
A more suspicious person would think that they are hiding something. Hell a really suspicious person would think the NRA gets a kickback for every gun sold.
Several observations after spending the afternoon in the Utah House Judiciary Committee hearings on 2 gun bills. Rep. Brian King and Rep. Patrice Arent are such a credit to their constituents and the Utah Democratic party. Both so smart and asked such relevant questions. Nineveh Dinha of Channel 13 is drop dead gorgeous. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jean Welch Hill, who spoke eloquently on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of SLC on the need for reasonable gun control. I sure wish she was our Attorney General right now! The room was packed., complete with the guy with an assault rifle on his back, and the guy who was out of order so security came in and took him aside. I saw some of my favorite people and legislators, and it really is amazing to watch democracy in action.
Utah can be a very embarrassing place sometimes.
Obama should exercise his presidential authority to effect sensible gun control nationally for two reasons:
1. It bring a badly needed Supreme Court challenge that will likely involve the “Militia” part of the second amendment.
2. It will turn up the volume for historians and constitutional experts in a broad national debate in which second-amendment-extremist will learn a more reasonable interpretation of the second amendment; one that is supported by fact and history instead of the version Justice Scalia smeared like skid marks into our national undies.
We are finally beginning to have an honest discussion about the true meaning of the Second Amendment. Until Sandy Hook, gun rights extremist managed to dominate the conversation. They were allowed to ignore the “A well regulated Militia, being necessary” part.
Here is a PERFECT EXAMPLE from an interview by Nashville’s WSMV-TV on Friday.
It is a fact that the average James Yeager and other Second Amendment Advocates cannot actually recite the whole sentence:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Obama should use his executive power if it will mean Wayne LaPierre, the average 2nd amendment “advocate” and crooked snake oil salesmen like David Hardy will be FORCED to read and memorize THE WHOLE SENTENCE and address the HISTORICAL FACTS surrounding the writing of the Bill of Rights.
Biden’s press conference on gun control interrupted by news of school shooting.
And who is that? James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a company that specializes in selling exactly the types of weapons we don’t need, and then training you to use them. Apparently to overthrow your government.
Sadly that is not his original channel video. Why? Because he is a total coward, and already took the original down. But on the internet, things have a tendency to pop back up again.
I eagerly await all the true patriot tea bagger supporters of freedom and haters of treasonous people who I am sure are already formulating a response to remove this man who just explained that he is planning on committing treason. I am sure they are shutting him done as I type this.
You know how people sometimes say “if only we had warning before he went crazy and flew off the handle” after a shooting? This video is a red flag. A giant screaming red flag. With fireworks.
Increasingly the first red flag that you are the type of mentally unstable person who shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun is that you own a gun.
643: The number of people in the US who have been killed by guns since the Newtown shooting.
At least. Could be more.
If this was a mid-east nation or some political group we would have nuked them by now. Since it is Americans and large companies making money and buying politicians, we are ramping up gun sales and outlawing video games. Go America! Number one! With a bullet.
Since OneUtah enjoys an audience of the most vocal proponents of arming American to the teeth ( I call you Bubbas), it seems appropriate to provide this EXCELLENT legal, historical analysis of the Second Amendment for ongoing reference.
Cheat Sheet for Bubbas:
The word ‘militia’ appears 5 times in the constitution.
Nineteenth Century state courts construed “bear arms” as having a purely military function
If you are semi-conscious today, you probably think your Second Amendment rights all but require every citizen carry a grenade launcher to defend himself, family, property, dog and pretty much anyone who happens to be within range of his choice of ammunition. And you probably think the ‘right to bear arms’ was intended as an individual right and has always been interpreted as such.
AND, you would be wrong…DEAD WRONG.
The Gun Lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained for the defense of the state. The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires. – Chief Justice Warren Burger, “The Right to Bear Arms,” Parade Magazine, January 14, 1990
Ever notice self-proclaimed Second Amendment experts (Bubbas) VIRTUALLY IGNORE the word “MILITIA?” Of course you have. No self-respecting NRA member, nor the average, spineless gun toting coward would DARE read the actual text of the Second Amendment even if they could.
So, it is up to the rest of us to get real clear on the Original Intent of the Second Amendment. A slow, careful read of the the article (below) is sufficient to arm yourself to the gills to pound any gun freak into the ground.
“Six of the original 13 states, when ratifying the Constitution, proposed amendments which would become the Bill of Rights. Four of these six ratifying conventions – those of New York, Virginia, Rhode Island and North Carolina – proposed amendments whose language closely mirrored what would become the Second Amendment. But the debates at the ratifying conventions in these four states make it clear that the delegates wanted to guarantee the right of the states to have militias, despite the constitutional empowerment to the Congress to arm the militias.”