Embracing the 2nd Amendment while rejecting military-style, mass-causality weapons in civilian hands – Part 2

by faithgibson on November 19, 2017

PART 2 ~ this Tiny URL takes you to Part 1; go to the bottom and click to get to here from there . . . https://tinyurl.com/yb6jl4ec

Back to the Future & its unresolved problems

President Obama target-shooting

Irrespective of one’s political position on the need or constitutionality of gun safety legislation, I believe we all can agree on that our Constitution does not prohibit the ownership or non-criminal use of guns manufactured as tools.

As discussed in Part 1, hunting rifles, shotguns, simple handguns for the protection of self and family, recreation, target practice and the collecting of disarmed guns for display are all constitutional for mentally competent adults and therefore legal in perpetuity, abet with a few commonsense exceptions, such as convicted felons, terrorists and the mentally unstable.

President George W. Bush target-shooting

We also generally agree that private citizens do not have a constitutional right under the 2nd Amendment to purchase and use nuclear bombs, atomic bombs, SKUD missiles, shoulder- launching rockets, grenades, high-explosive delivery devices (i.e. bombs), the Gustav Gun (all 26,000 pounds!) and by comparison, the lowly machine gun that Al Capone made famous with his Valentine’s Day Massacre in the 1930s.

Now I’d talk about what is between these two big and important areas of agreement — from the standpoint of the Constitutional construction already identified, that the presence of guns in society as an everyday tool of normal life is NOT constitutionally prohibited.

Before progressing into that inquiry, I need to establish two technical categories. The first is equipment manufactured as a civilian ‘tool’, in this case as guns and basic ammunition that lets individuals achieve a lawful personal purpose, such as self-protection, hunting, recreation such as skeet-shooting, target practice, and hobbies such as gun collecting (NOTE: these are all areas that also do not include interstate commerce).

Second is the technical distinction between guns, ammunition, armor-piercing bullets, large-capacity magazines and sniper scopes manufactured as military-style weapons specifically developed and designed to maximize human fatalities and cause mass causalities. Assult weapons are loosely categorized as semi-automatic, rapid-fire weapons designed for combat use.

This 2nd category includes “assault” rifles (please notice these guns are NOT referred to as “protection” rifles), semi-automatic guns and rifles of other varieties, bump-stocks, sniper scopes, laser aiming lights, large capacity magazines, armor-piercing ammo, and private ownership of bullet-proof Kevlar vests.

The orphan from the above list is stamping an identifying number on each piece of ammunition during the manufacturing process, which aids law enforcement in solving crimes. Unfortunately, this is considered by some as letting the camel of “gun control” get its nose under the tent of the 2nd Amendment, and those who selling fear claim is the first step on a slippy slide that would eventually result in the mass confiscation of privately owned guns.

I can’t help but note that if one is using one’s guns legally, having the bullets be traceable would not be a problem.

Turning the ‘Shield of Freedom’ into the ‘Sword of Disaster’

Just as Founding Fathers were justifiably afraid of leaving the country vulnerable to hostile takeovers from within or without, unless American citizens had sufficient resources to prevent such a catastrophe, we in the 21st century have to be equally wary of passively allowing a significant portions of our population to arm themselves with military weaponry capable of inflicting mass causalities that can easily be used to take over our own democratic government.

Ponder this for a moment: We all submit to considerable scrutiny and moderate limitations of our freedoms when it comes to the prevention of terrorism. We can’t get on an airplane if the name on our driver’s license is ever-so-slightly different than the name on the plane ticket – ‘Billy’ instead of ‘William’, ‘Peggy’, instead of ‘Margaret’, and god forbid, if we had the bad luck to be recently married or divorced and our ID still has the older name.

Without a whimper, we take off our shoes and surrender all our personal belongings (including wristwatch, cell phones, and laptops) to the airport x-ray machine. Many of us have to patiently tolerate being ‘patted down’ – all in the name of ‘public safety’.

Now ponder these disturbing facts. The US has many hundreds, if not thousands, of unmanned landing strips that any private plane can land on, day or night, without scrutiny. Small private aircraft legally come and go from these usually very remote locations with no flight plan and no oversight relative to where they came from, where they are going, or what they are carrying. These planes can fly over remote areas of our northern and southern borders and land in the US without detection. They can be carrying any kind of cargo, including military-grade weapons that may well have been provided by a hostile foreign power who are helping America dissidents to wreck havoc on our economy and maybe, if lucky, bring down our government.

As for the rest of us, we still think taking off our shoes at the airport is going to keep our country safe!

Under the lasie-fair relationship that our governments currently has with military weapons of mass causalities in the hands of civilians, we have turned the idea of private gun ownership – one specifically identified by the Constitution as a way to protect American democracy and its citizens — into an undeclared war on both.

Innocent citizens, including babies, pregnant women, and small children, teens, elderly grandparents – are gunned down dozens of times every year. These crimes on our civilian population are being perpetrated by individuals who believe they have an ‘inaliable’ right to own and use military-style weapons manufactured to create mass causalities.

This is another example of turning an idea meant to shield us from the abuse of government power into a sword wielded by citizens carrying out extra-judicial executions of innocent children and Americans going about their daily lives, harming no one, but nonetheless dying in a pool of their own blood after an angry, jilted or mentally disturbed person mows them and dozens of others down with thousands of rounds of ammunition in a fit of momentary pique.

A Revolutionary Idea: STOP fighting ownership of ordinary guns used as tools & outlaw private ownership of military-style guns manufactured to cause mass causalities

The good news is that over 80% of Americans support gun safety, including laws that would outlaw military-style weapons designed to fatally wound humans and create cause mass causalities.

So let me return to a plain fact already mentioned but I’m repeating because so many Americans don’t know that the US Supreme Court has upheld as constitutional the concept of the federal, state and municipal laws that regulate specific aspects of private gun ownership – the who, where, what and when.

For example, we all know that its illegal to personally own a machine gun, carry any kind of gun on a plane, into a courthouse or into many other public buildings (White House, Congress, US Supreme Count). We know convicted felons are not permitted to own or carry guns.

These well-crafted laws go to great lengths to not trample our basic and commonsense right to own guns as tools of for self-protection, hunting, recreation and private gun collections, etc. and thus, are not in conflict with our Constitution.

In regard to federal legislation that would make the private ownership of handguns and military-style assault rifles manufactured for the express purpose of creating mass causalities, the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution does NOT, on its face, prevent passage of such laws.

This type of law could and should allow groups licensed by the state or federal government to maintain private and propriety facilities with a firing range that would permit active and reserve military, law enforcement and citizens who have passed a background check and proven a working knowledge of gun safety to practice safely with these military-style weapons that would remain the property of the facility.

Political Marriage Made in Hell ~ profits of gun manufacturers and propaganda of the NRA

Since the 1970s, the organized opposition to gun safety legislation has originated with American gun manufacturers. They joined forces with the NRA to politize (weaponized!) the issue by promoting propaganda specifically designed to sow fear in the minds of gun owners with a constant drumbeat of “be afraid, be VERY afraid, they are coming for your guns!”

Nothing is better for gun sales in the US than a mass causality shooting, followed a public outcry for the government to ‘do something’ to stop the carnage.

The government is NOT coming after anyone’s guns, but this climate of fear invented and perpetuated by the NRA as part of a business strategy for gun manufactures has been very effective at organizing widespread opposition to gun safety laws. If anyone wants to know more about the motives behind the relationship between gun manufacturers and the NRA, just Google the topic. You can find many informative (and disturbing) articles on the Internet.

But as mentioned before, 80% of us already see great value in re-evaluating our country’s relationship the private ownership of military-style guns manufactured specifically to be fatal to humans and to create mass causalities. We have to know the facts, talk about them, spread the word, personally work and organize into groups that can help move us toward a “more perfect union”.

This begins with the Declaration of Independence’s promise of un-infringed “pursuit of life, liberty and happiness” and ends with the ability to preserve one’s life (i.e. avoid being killed) while pursuing a constitutional right to liberty and happiness at our local schools, colleges, places of employment, movie theaters, night clubs, outdoor concerts, indoor concerts, county music festivals, restaurants, malls, churches and other places of worship, and just walking down the street or driving by when someone discharges of weapon that is accidently pointed in your direction.

Americans have always had and used guns as tools of ordinary life. As a country, we have always lived with the fact that some of these tools were accidentally, or on purpose, used as weapons that resulted in great bodily harm or death.

That is unlikely to ever change, but it may be somewhat useful to remember that people have also been purposefully or accidentally injured or killed by knives, broken bottles, ropes, baseball bats, bricks, arson, being pushed off a window, shoved into a swiftly moving river, poisoned or overdosed on prescriptions drugs. We’ll never to able to legislate 100% safety, but we can use common sense; we can wear our seatbelts, not use drugs or drive drunk, we look both ways before we cross the street and teach our kids to do the same.

However, we have never before in our history had a significant number of civilians armed with military-style guns that so frequently and wantonly are used as weapons of mass destructions on the American people. Remember the ‘good old days’ when the word “mass” referred to a church service instead of gun carnage?

So we won’t be finished until this problem is reduced to as small as we can possibly make it.

Suit up, show up, speak up, do your part, no matter how small or how big, no matter how infrequently you are able to participate.

Somewhere out there, a solution is looking for you to give it wings, and perhaps keep a family somewhere from having to attend the mass funeral of 8 members of their intergenerational family.

The Revolution Starts today at 3pm ~ Be there or be square!

 

 

 


The Math of Mass Shootings

The following numbers refer to 132 events in which four or more people were killed by one of two shooters (only three cases of two shooters).

  • 974 victims from nearly every race, religion and socioeconomic background, and 153 were children or teenagers.
  • A total of 274 guns

The oldest victim ~ Louise De Kler, 98, still took her pool cue and boombox to the rec room at Pinelake Health and Rehab and shot pool with the “young guys,” her daughter told the Associated Press. She was shot to death on March 29, 2009, along with seven other residents and a nurse, by a man who had come to the Carthage, N.C., nursing home looking for his estranged wife.

The youngest victim ~ Eight-month-old Carlos Reyes was buried in a casket with his mother, Jackie, who had tried to shield him, as an unemployed father of two killed 21 and injured 19 in a busy McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Calif., on July 18, 1984. The man told his wife he was going out “hunting humans” and opened fire with an Uzi, a shotgun and a semiautomatic pistol.


SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/mass-shootings-in-america/ to see the names and a short story of all 974 victims

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