Gun Rights and ‘Freedom’s’ Perversities

The concept of personal freedoms is relatively new to human history but has often, ironically, been exploited by people in power to achieve or maintain a sociopolitical goal, posits Lawrence Davidson in this analysis.

By Lawrence Davidson

For much of human history, the idea of freedom had little meaning. This was because life was, as Thomas Hobbes put it, “poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” And while he thought this descriptor applied to life outside of society, for a long time it did not really matter – life within pre-modern societies often had the same limiting character. Religious belief in these same times reflected this depressing fact by asserting that there was no hope of meaningful freedom in this life. To achieve it you would have to die and go to Heaven. So, what set you free was death.

Protest placards at a demonstration on February 19, 2018 organized by Teens For Gun Reform, an organization created by students in the Washington DC area, in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Flickr Lorie Shaull) Image cropped.

Around the end of the 18th century, progress in technology and science suggested an alternative to this “life is a vale of tears” scenario. It was at that point that different types of freedoms started to become viable goals. However, as the use of the plural implies, the idea of freedom manifested itself in discrete categories: political freedom, economic freedom (here defined as freedom from want), religious freedom, freedom of speech and press, and so forth. It really had to be this way. Total freedom produces anarchy and – here is the irony – anarchy will quickly make any particular freedom meaningless.

Thus it was that over time, as constitutions came into vogue, freedoms were written down, usually in the form of rights. Yet, not surprisingly, their translation into practice often ended up reflecting the needs and desires of the powerful and influential. This was the case whether we are considering democracies or more authoritarian forms of government. This customizing of freedoms by select groups inevitably led to less than satisfactory, and sometimes quite perverse, results.

Let’s take a look at an example of such a conceptual deformity taken from the practice in the United States, “the land of the free.”

Gun Rights – A Perversion of Freedom

Perhaps the most perverse American definition of freedom is the one that promotes largely unrestricted gun rights. The champion of this definition is the National Rifle Association (NRA). We are not just talking about guns used to shoot at targets or for hunting game. One can actually make an argument for ownership of the latter weapons along the same line as bows and arrows, slingshots and fishing rods. However, according to Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, freedom demands more. His stand is that citizens have a fundamental right to own almost any firearm, including military-style assault weapons. His position is that this right is the sine qua non of American freedom. And only by exercising it can you really ensure individual freedom.

LaPierre insists that gun ownership is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the NRA has taken an out-of-context fragment of that amendment as its motto – “The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.” The fact that this phrase is part of a a comprehensive statement that ties gun ownership to the government’s need to maintain “a well regulated militia” is disregarded by the NRA leadership. In truth, if we are to take the Second Amendment in its entirely as describing a discrete “freedom,” Mr. LaPierre and his buddies would have to join the National Guard in order to play with guns.

So here is a case where a definition of a freedom or a right has been customized to meet the demands of a politically powerful subgroup of society, and it has had predictably disastrous results. The largely open-ended access of U.S. citizens to military-style weapons has resulted in a prolonged bloodbath. It is estimated that between 2011 and 2014, there was a mass shooting (defined as the killing or wounding of 4 or more people) in the United States every 64 days. This rate has not slowed down in the last four years. As the world now knows, the latest of these massacres came on 14 February 2018, when 17 high school students were shot dead in Parkland, Florida.

Soon after this massacre, Wayne LaPierre gave the NRA’s response to those surviving students and their supporters who were demanding greater gun regulation laws. He accused them of being “socialists” who want to make “law abiding” citizens “less free.” If these “leftists” manage to “seize power … our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.”

LaPierre’s answer to the bloodbaths caused by guns is to have more guns. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” In the case of the Parkland high school shooting, where, in fact, there was an armed guard present at the school, as well as with previous school shootings, LaPierre’s formula translates into arming teachers as a way of “hardening the schools.”

By the way, President Trump initially agreed with LaPierre. He too called for arming teachers, suggesting that if 20 percent of teachers were armed and “adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.” Assuming Trump meant giving teachers a sidearm while the usual assailants continue to use military-style automatic weapons, one can only call such a suggestion naive. He also praised the NRA leadership and specifically LaPierre, saying that “they are great people and great American patriots who will do the right thing.”

Subsequently, Trump suggested that the country may well need to toughen its gun laws, much to the dismay of all those “patriots” at the NRA. Twenty-four hours later he was back on track with the NRA. Perhaps his flip-flopping was a tactical maneuver. Throw out some reforms and then do nothing. Later he can then say to the general public, perhaps during a reelection campaign, that he proved more willing to sign off on gun control reform than any president in history. Trump is famous for such mendacious hyperboles.

In the end LaPierre and all the the other gun fanatics who whittle their definition of freedom down to the nearly unrestricted right to own weapons are archaic primitives whose idea of freedom harkens back to those pre-civilized times so well described by Thomas Hobbes. In a perpetually dangerous world, one that is “poor, nasty, brutish and short,” the armed man is the only one with any chance of being “free.” And so, he is the “real man,” the man who can protect himself, his family and his country.

But that is not the way the world is, at least in the West. It is a relatively settled and safe place where the major threat is not so much crime, and certainly not socialists, but rather LaPierre’s own demand – the proliferation of guns. What we are all threatened by is the perversion of this discrete freedom.

The gun rights issue is not the only perversion of freedom one can come up with. The whole issue of economic freedom (as defined as freedom from want) is another. One can argue that, in an era of sufficient resources, this should be an undeniable right. Yet, in the United States, economic freedom is defined in such a way as to satisfy the desires and needs of a particular powerful group. Economic freedom is the freedom of the capitalist to operate within a “free market.” Unfortunately, such a definition, applied in practice, has left many people economically disadvantaged.

As is the case with the issue of gun rights, those who want to alter the definition of economic freedom so as to minimize such conditions as indebtedness and poverty are accused of being socialists and wanting to take away “our freedoms.”

So, really, just what does freedom mean? Well, it means what the powerful and the influential say it means. And, having it manifested in discrete categories makes it easy to customize. Nonetheless, part of civilizational progress is assuring that freedoms are sane and beneficial to larger and larger groups – but, obviously, progress in this sense is a real struggle.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism. He blogs at


104 comments for “Gun Rights and ‘Freedom’s’ Perversities

  1. porker
    March 20, 2018 at 06:29

    You want, ONLY the government to have guns?
    History has shown, that is not gonna work out well for the dis or unarmed.

  2. Sergey
    March 13, 2018 at 00:58

    I am NRA Endowment member and US citizen. I was born in USSR and would consider my political views as a left-leaning. I found it quite interesting, that natives of this country know so little about it basic principles and laws that someone who arrived here late in the life should educate them. For example:
    Daniel called for:
    5. Severe penalties for permitting those banned from gun ownership to acquire one. – There are already laws in the federal books which allow to lock felon in possession of the single round of ammunition for up to 10 years. A felon is defined as anyone convicted for more than one year in prison even if she or he did not serve actual time. There are laws which allow for the same penalty for illegal transfer of the firearms across state lines. There are laws with the same penalty for anyone who purchases firearm for a felon or otherwise not a suitable person so the background check is circumvented. Interesting enough, there is very little prosecution of these laws. And the longstanding position of the NRA is that existing laws should be used, rather than new ones created. This country already has more than 20 000 (twenty thousand) gun laws on all levels of the government and new ones only will increase confusion. The perfect example is the recent case in Virginia:
    Ignorance of the law set this woman for the possibility of 100 000 dollars fine and long jail term.

    Well regulated militia means – well trained militia. The town next to mine was the place were well-trained Minutemen’s routed regular British army. Lexington, Concord, sure it should ring a bell? And militia in modern day US law defined as:

    10 U.S. Code § 246 – 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.
    (Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 14, §?311; Pub. L. 85–861, §?1(7), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1439; Pub. L. 103–160, div. A, title V, §?524(a), Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1656; renumbered §?246, Pub. L. 114–328, div. A, title XII, §?1241(a)(2), Dec. 23, 2016, 130 Stat. 2497.)

    This means each male with two hands and legs, twenty fingers and two eyes age between 17 and 45 is the member of US militia by default. And if the said male did not train well with modern weapons – he is shrinking his duty.

    There is another often made point – that at the time of Bill of Rights nobody was thinking about possibilities and capabilities of nowadays firearms. Therefore the Second Amendment does not protect those AR15 and AK rifles. Well, if this is true then only things written with feather pen or printed with lead letters arranged in the wooden frame are protected by the First Amendment. Radio? Linotypes, offset printing, TV, internet – who heard about and used those things in 18 century?

    I work as a scientist and do a lot of statistics every day. This primed my mind to detect paradox people often overlook – in last twenty or so years amount of the firearms in people hands in this country grow two-three times, but the number of the firearm deaths fell about two times. So, looks like more guns equal leas firearm deaths? Or how this phenomenon could be explained otherwise? How other observation described in this Boston Globe (sic!) piece could be explained:

    And yet there is another point I would like to offer for discussion – if there are no firearms in the hands of ordinary folks, how this country safety net would look like? Will our taxes still go to the programs for the poor? Will we have Clean Air and Water Act? How about Civil Rights Act (BTW check for the NRA role in the training of black civil rights activists in armed self defence)? How aftermatch of 2008 financial crisis would look like? I believe that civil possesion of the firearms is not a perfect but a very important tool in the preservation of democracy in this country. Think Mexica or Brazil, were firearms outlawed for the most of population – they suffered quite a few oligarchic coups in past hundred years.

  3. Leo Smith
    March 11, 2018 at 13:27

    Considering the recent discovery of the Politicized Federal institutions being weaponized and used against American Citizens, The 2nd Amendment is a Safeguard against just such Treasonous Democrats trying to overthrow the Law of Rule and Constitution.

  4. Kim
    March 8, 2018 at 06:58

    First the ar15 is not an assault rifle. Second, nor is it used in the military.
    Let’s not mention the use of it in sporting events and ompetitions. While we’re at it ban fishing poles, the ole pigskin football, the hockey puck, baseballs, baseball bats, golf balls and clubs.
    I’m sure someone’s favorite sport is in there somewhere that we can ban.
    I come from a family that can proverbially “live off the land” fishing, hunting, and gun sports like skeet shooting is a past time.
    No one ever mentions these things. But they call the rifle an assault weapon or military style. What makes it “assault” or “military style”? Nothing! Those are scare tactice. Nothing more, nothing less.

  5. Michael Pethybridge
    March 7, 2018 at 17:12

    Mr. Davidson’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment has become so common in the discussion of democracy and the role of weapons possession that it has become conventional wisdom for gun control advocates and an issue to be avoided by 2nd Amendment and firesarms advocates.

    This is astounding from either perspective. The intellectual foundation of democracy was laid out by Aristotle almost 2400 years ago in his classic “Politics”. He posited that achieving and maintaining democracy required that able-bodied citizens retain miltary weapons and (by regular attendance at the gymnasium) the physical capacity to weild them effectively! The concept of the “militia” was essentially formalized in western civilization by the thoughts passed down by his writting.

    His call for universal participation in the defense of the state became established tradition in Anglo-Saxon culture. The requirement through the middle ages that english males from the age of 16 years maintain a long bow and a supply of arrows was a predominent factor in European geo-political reality. This tradition was reflected in the establishment of the militias in the english colonies. All able-bodied males were required to arm themselves and to participate in periodic training.

    Thus, the “well regulated militia” embodied in the language of the 2nd Amendment, established universal participation in the defense of the community and the universal availability of military weapons with which such defense would be accomplished.

    And the “well regulated militia” as a reference to the national guard? The Militia Acts of 1791 required all able bodied males participate in defending the state and that they maintain either a musket or rifle for that purpose. In addition the Militia Acts required that all able bodied males (ages 16 to 40) participate in training as those selected as sergants and officers deemed necessary. Each able bodied male was also required to maintain extra flints, 1/4 pound of powder, 20 bullets if their weapon was a rifle, 24 musket balls if that was their weapon of choice. Essential enough ammunition for a full day of battle. And all of this was subject to verification by spot inspection by superior officers.

    The basic premise, the maintenance of a democracy depends on a civilian population willing to take up arms to deter and resist tyranny.

    If we allow ourselves to be disarmed in the misguided hope that we will be safer if we agree to be defenseless, we will relearn the bloody lesson that history has administered repetitively over the ages.

    • mike k
      March 7, 2018 at 18:28

      I’m not really holding my breath for the armed citizenry of the US to throw off the tyranny which is getting more suffocating by the day. It won’t happen, and if it could it would represent a greater disaster than the one it overthrew. That this “overthrow”could happen is the most absurd pipe dream imaginable. I guess when you really have no good arguments to support your contention, anything at all will do.

  6. March 7, 2018 at 11:25

    Granted I do not need or should be allowed to have a 50 Cal machine gun mounted on my front porch. I should not be allowed to have any gun if my acts or mindset demonstrate I could be a nut. I am for more stringent screening of potential gun buyers. However, the folks that raise the most hell when the words ‘gun control’ are spoken are well aware of history and know 2 things for sure.
    1. The very first thing tyrants must do to take over a nation is to take away defensive weapons from the citizens. The short list:. A….Hitler…..B….the Japanese took away swords……C…..and one closer to Americans..King George did Not take away guns first and paid the price of losing the chance to wring the blood out of the very people he had run off to begin with.
    2. And this may be the most important ….it is by degrees a government sometimes strangles it’s citizens. The talk and actions on limiting magazine capacity raises the ire of some gun owners. They have history to back them on this as well. They are afraid to give an inch because they are afraid like so many other acts of government the inch is taken then very soon the next inch is clamored for by the powerful. Cases in point:
    A…..income tax
    B…..imminent domain cases
    C…freedom of speech issues(jailing journalists)
    D….energy production on one’s own property
    E….the color of your damn house!
    They are afraid to give an inch because they see themselves eventually limited to a cap and ball single shot gun. You might say …’Well, that’s just silly to think that.’ I refer you to A, B, C, D, and E above.
    The simple fact is that the bulk of current American gun owners will never relinquish their guns…..defensive or hunting or whatever. There are just too many and not near enough government personnel …military….police….or whatever to go rounding up these guns. It won’t happen. It would be better to focus on those issues that impact daily lives that are fixable. ……
    Just my take.

    • mike k
      March 7, 2018 at 13:08

      When a person loves their gun more than anything, it’s time to try to understand that. The desperate clinging to guns is a symptom of the age of anxiety. But like mind altering drugs, the “safety” gained from owning guns is largely illusory. Not owning a gun actually makes you less likely to be harmed than owning one. On an international scale, have guns made the world safer? The answer is obvious. War as a way to peace? Is there any more outrageous Orwellian idea than that?
      War is peace. Meditate on that one for a while.

      • mike k
        March 7, 2018 at 13:12

        BTW I used to love guns long ago. I know what it’s like to sleep holding a gun under the covers…….

        • mike k
          March 7, 2018 at 13:12

          Cold comfort.

        • Daniel
          March 7, 2018 at 17:10

          Congratulations on overcoming whatever emotional problems led you to “love guns” and even sleep holding one.

          May you never find yourself in a position where you wished you’d kept one.

    • Daniel
      March 7, 2018 at 17:07

      Do you know what a shillelagh is?

      It’s the traditional Irish walking stick. It has a handle formed by offshoots in the branch from which it’s carved.

      Well, one end of the handle is blunt, and the other comes to a point.

      You see, after the English conquest of Ireland, all steel weapons were banned. Not just guns, but spears and swords. Even knives were not permitted to be carried. So, the Irish came up with the shillelagh – which could be used for defensive, or rarely offensive – purposes in ways I don’t need to describe graphically.

      But, even a well-designed, stealth weapon was no match for the ever-evolving firepower of the expanding British Empire. And so, the Irish were held in subjugation – imprisoned,starved to death, “hung, drawn and quartered” and shipped off to colonies as servants and even slaves for the best part of 900 years.

  7. mike k
    March 7, 2018 at 11:18

    Will our militarist culture be complete when every citizen is armed to the teeth, and every lighter armed “enemy” has been destroyed or enslaved? Will the God of brute force we serve be placated and pleased with us then? And who will be the last man standing then, the King of Violence?

  8. Ol' Hippy
    March 7, 2018 at 11:04

    I’m as ‘left’ as anyone but to disarm me takes power completely away and places it in complete control of the state. I’m an NRA member and at times think their lobbying arm,the ILA, does seem a bit heavy handed. Then you look at the energy corporations lobbying to continue to undermine a transfer to clean energy production and the absolute damage they do to Earth’s environment and tell me who’s more destructive. Or look at the military weapons contractors lobbying to continue the arms industry ensuring nonstop warring and the deaths associated with those industries and tell me who’s more destructive. The USA has a violence problem; using violence to settle disputes and guns to win arguments, etc. It’s celebrated in many ways. Now tell me why a young man throws away his life in a blaze of death and destruction. There is an illness in America’s nonstop exploitative overt capitalist nature and it’s not the arms industry. It’s the entire structure of the Empire’s system and the use of weaponry industry to run the economic structure, or at least 50% of it and that’s the root of the problem. That and the death throes of late stage capitalist industrial collapse. Sure seeing children murdered in school rips our hearts out but it’s a symptom of a sick Empire and not the sale of small arms to law abiding citizenry. If one could wave the proverbial magic wand and make all weaponry go poof I’d gladly see my guns go poof too. But until then…Peace, The Ol’ Hippy

  9. Skip Scott
    March 7, 2018 at 10:01

    Since I think achieving “gun control”, a la Australia or Japan, is a non-starter here in the US of A, I think trained armed guards in our schools is the only rational solution. Giving guns to teachers would be ludicrous, and would probably lead to an increase in gun violence. It is an unfortunate “sign of the times” that we need guards, but it is the only doable solution.

    I also take issue with this: “Assuming Trump meant giving teachers a sidearm while the usual assailants continue to use military-style automatic weapons, one can only call such a suggestion naive.” Actually in a “close quarters” situation such as a school, a semi-automatic pistol is just as effective as an assault rifle, unless it’s been converted to full auto. The advantage for the assault rifle is accuracy at a distance. For close quarters, the real advantage would be to have a shotgun, but there you have to worry about killing more than your intended target.

    I also agree with all of commenter Daniel’s five points, and would probably add age restriction, since kids are usually less in control of their emotions. Backwardsevolution also has a very valid point about how far we’ve gone astray in raising mentally healthy children.

  10. Chad
    March 7, 2018 at 08:41

    A militia member is expected to provide his own firearm and keep it at the ready. Regardless, whichever interpretation of the amendment you prefer, the result is the same. The modern militia arm is the semi-auto rifle. Disarming oneself and delegating personal defence to the state seems to work well only in a wealthy, white, U.S. neighborhood.

  11. Harpo Kondriak
    March 7, 2018 at 03:44

    I dont think any person on this site gets this issue. This isn’t about “only outlaws will drive 100mph in a school zone” or “good guys with 200mph cars” to catch em. Or about the 2nd amendment. The only thing working here is somebody is making money selling this crap. Period. And somebody can afford to pay some PR firm millions to come up with nonsense like “if going 100mph in a school zone is outlawed, only outlaws will go 100mph in a school zone”. Get real you morons. This is what our society has come to. PR firms telling you any stupid thing they want and you believe it. What should happen is teachers, parents, and students should boycott schools until our useless Congress bans this nonsense. And if you have to go door to door to confiscate the crap from the morons, so be it. Oh, but clever (and expensive) PR has demonized suggesting such laws as “gun grabbers” so you better not suggest that or you will be a “gun grabber”. Well, somebody else could come along and make “gun grabbing” a high calling with a little PR. Think about this and quit playing into these gun salesmen hands by trying to engage them in dialogue. They are NOT capable of intelligent dialogue, and dont care to have any anyway.

    • Daniel
      March 7, 2018 at 16:30

      Thank you for being honest in your goal to disarm all USAmericans – excepting, I assume the police and contractors who provide armed security for the wealthy and privileged.

  12. Yahweh
    March 6, 2018 at 23:13

    The framers of the second amendment had first hand knowledge of the power and hidden influence of the 1% aka tyrannical government. Those who govern behind the curtain for personal power, profit and expanded market share. The second amendment was then and is now about the defense for the common citizen against tyranny. The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting, type of arms used or any other heavy handed method to keep freedom from the regular citizen.

    The present governing posture in the USA is heavily influenced by rogue agencies. Like wolves waiting for the guard to sleep.

    • backwardsevolution
      March 6, 2018 at 23:54

      Yahweh – yep. Every single day we see free speech slipping away. We see monopolies controlling what is acceptable to say and what isn’t. We see lies from elected officials and the media about WMD, the Ukraine coup, MH-17, the spying on citizens, shutting down alternative sites, Syria, Libya, etc.

      And now you want to be a sitting duck by giving up your guns? To a government like that? That would be crazy foolish.

      • mike k
        March 7, 2018 at 08:43

        Thank God the private gun owners will save us from big government. I’m sure they will rule us when they are in charge with wisdom and compassion.

        • mike k
          March 7, 2018 at 08:46

          If only everyone had the most lethal weapons, then no one could tell anyone what to do. We would be free to make our own law – the law of the gun. Do as I say or else!

  13. backwardsevolution
    March 6, 2018 at 21:36

    “In fact all violent crime, including homicide, has fallen precipitously in the United States — by about half — since 1991. I know, you don’t believe Mises — so go look it up for yourself using the FBI Data, which I assume you do trust, right?

    At the same time the number of privately-owned firearms has gone up dramatically in the United States. Obviously more guns do not mean more crime (much less more murders) or the murder rate wouldn’t have fallen by half over the period of time that the number of guns has skyrocketed.

    But it has.

    These are facts folks. Never mind that the specific weapons in question with regard to Parkland — so-called “assault rifles” (which are nothing of the sort; an assault rifle is capable of select-fire, and these are not) are really just defined as guns that someone thinks look scary. Well, I assure you that if you’re staring down the business end of a gun, all guns look damn scary.

    The facts on those rifles are even more-clear – – there are several million – – estimates are about 3 million, in fact – – AR-pattern rifles in the United States in law-abiding civilian hands. I also note, for the record, that “AR” does not mean “assault rifle” — it means Armalite Rifle, as it’s a brand — that is, the company Armalite was the one that came up with the civilian, legal, auto-loading rifle fitting this description and pattern.

    About 1,000 people, out of 13,000 gun homicides a year, are killed with rifles of all descriptions. Roughly 100, more or less, are murdered with Armalite Rifle style weapons.

    The NY Times and others are arguing for banning something because fewer than 0.0033% of them are criminally misused; all of the rest are owned and used for perfectly-legal purposes by law-abiding Americans. This is equivalent to arguing for the banning of ownership of pick-up trucks because a religious nut used one to murder people in New York, which I remind you did happen just last year.”

    • backwardsevolution
      March 6, 2018 at 21:58

      “Or shall we talk about the number of illegal invaders that murder Americans every year — also far more than 100. May I remind you that the Democrats — and the “David Hogg” crowd — are all for those illegal invaders being here, even though they’re here illegally, and even though they are responsible for about 22% of all homicides. Were we to send all of them home, every one of those homicides would not happen.

      To put numbers on this, that amounts to about 4,000 murders a year or some 40 times the number of people killed in mass-shootings. David Hogg supports the policies that cause every one of those 4,000 murders. He’s a liar and a fraud — period.”

      Obviously another perspective. I’m torn on this debate. Guns, knives, bombs, cars, hammers, wire, bare hands – we’re blaming the weapon when maybe we should be looking deeper, at the breakdown of society, our values and morals.

      Let’s look at the causes and not the effects.

  14. March 6, 2018 at 21:28

    Also, too much reliance on technology and loss of our connections to nature. How many people today even witness sunrise or sunset, they’re too busy on the internet? Thanks, b-e, that article from Lew Rockwell made me remember an anecdote from a fellow in North Carolina who picked up something a student dropped by a school bus. He tapped on the door, the driver opened, and he stepped up to give the item to the driver. He noted the bus was quiet, students were on their cellphones. He remembered when he rode the bus as a kid, they were rowdy, laughing and talking!

    • backwardsevolution
      March 6, 2018 at 22:23

      Jessika – good post. Yes, I spent more time in the bush than in my house. Home was just a place to get something to eat, and then back out we’d go on our bikes, playing with our friends. I noticed quite a difference when I had my own kids. Nobody played outside, nobody was at the park, and getting somebody to come over to play had to be fit in between the skating, swimming, violin, choir, and karate lessons. And only then if the “nanny” said it was okay.

      Everything is managed today, with an adult presence. I would have hated having an adult hover over my play. We had a ton of fights, but we always managed to work things out between us. In fact, I’d argue that our neighborhood of approximately 40 kids became like a little nation. We all protected each other and watched out for each other, even though we were little savages half the time.

      It’s a solitary life for a lot of kids these days. A kid like the Parkland shooter might have been socialized in a neighborhood such as the one I grew up in. He would have had an outlet, kids who would put him in his place. He might have gained a sense of belonging, which is so important.

      I don’t see a lot of “progress” in this society. Not everything was good in the past, but there are some things we could get back to.

  15. godenich
    March 6, 2018 at 20:46

    “Exclusive Gun Rights for the State – A monopoly of violence funded by the taxpayer”

    During the heyday of imperialism[1,2], considerable war profits were to be had during empire expansion. Around the turn of the century, Barings[3] and Rothschild[4] of Great Britain had interests, amongst others, in Vickers, Sons & Maxim[X] and the Warburgs[5] of Germany had interests in IG Farben[6]. Alfred Milner of the British War Cabinet (previously associated with South Africa, the Orange Free States and the Transvaal) aspired to link up Capetown, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt via railway, thus establishing control of land and sea shipping routes from Great Britain to the rest of the empire via the Suez Canal and Silk Road. Germany’s overland Berlin-Baghdad railway and naval expansion was of economic and strategic concern to Great Britain for secure access to eastern markets, as well as oil reserves in the Arabian peninsula to fuel Britain’s new, coal to oil, dreadnought naval fleet upgrades and manufacturing industries. Petrol-burning airplanes were just taking off, albeit as “flying coffins”, like the 1913 Vickers E.F.B.1 ‘Destroyer’ equipped with maxim gun.

    Around this time in the United States, Colt, Remington and other American arms dealers were, no doubt, looking for foreign markets to sell their armaments after the Civil War and Mexican-American War. As a useful example, during Civil War financing[7], the Seligmans made their initial fortune supplying war materiel to Union troops and selling war bonds for Abraham Lincoln[8] , while the temporary ‘income tax’ and inflated Lincoln greenbacks (holders of Confederate currency suffered an even worse fate) bankrolled the effort without the backing of a gold standard. After the war, repeal of the war tax and return to the gold standard, the Seligmans went into banking on Wall Street. Later, Teddy Roosevelt would push the US down the road to empire in Hawaii, Cuba, Phillipines and Haiti[9].

    Prior to WWI, ERA Seligman, surely having memory of family war-time profits, writes a book promoting a permanent income tax[10] and encouraging Paul Warburg (while brother Max ran the business in Germany) on writing a draft for the Federal Reserve, modeled after the German and English central banks[11]. The backdrop in history is the tapestry of the gilded age[12-16].

    Like in the glory days of Great Britain and Basil Zaharoff, the United States now lives in a time of the CIA, David Petraeus & associates, where propaganda, gun-running and atrocities are being fueled again from the Balkans[17] and elsewhere. So you may see the difference, the tradition of family gun ownership and use is far removed from the tradition of State gun ownership and use, as numerically reflected in our national security budget[18]. Efforts in tax reform, like Edgar Feige[19], may need to be rekindled for curbing the welfare-warfare state to forestall George Orwell’s vision of the future[20] being spurred on by our current tax reform that increases our debt outstanding and policies of tariffs & sanctions that increase the likelihood of trade wars, that have led in the past to real wars.

    Gun control for law-abiding taxpaying civilians, on the contrary, is an open invitation for criminals who have access to guns through the underground economy, makes peace-keeping harder for the police, infringes on the rights of the family to protect themselves and creates an atmosphere of servile dependence on the State[21]. I submit that a primary suspect of crime and violence is the lackluster performance of the economy and increase in militarism over the past century due to abuse of taxpayer dollars from the income tax, our unapportioned tax, our war tax, the great wealth extractor of our labor. This is nutured further by a growing lack of accountability in our over-centralized government and politically influential, but amoral, SIFI banks, corporations, the Federal Reserve, supra-national institutions and beneficiaries, i.e. a moral hazard and threat to peace and prosperity in our republic.

    [1] Ancient and modern imperialism | Cromer, Evelyn Baring, Earl of | 1910
    [2] End of Empire | Youtube
    [3] Baring Brothers: a London Merchant Bank in historical and comparative perspective
    Youssef Cassis | Baring Archive Symposium, 7 January 2013
    (still looking for a good book on Baring Brothers)
    [4] Rothschild banking family book collection | Internet Archives
    [5] The Warburgs | Ron Chernow | 2016
    [6] Vickers, Sons & Maxim
    [7] Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler | Anthony Sutton | 1976,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch (to be acquired)
    [8] Jay Cooke, Vols 1&2 | Oberholtzer | 1907
    [9] Overthrow | Stephen Kinzer | Downpour | 2006
    [10] The income tax : a study of the history, theory and practice of income taxation at home and broad | ERA Seligman | 1911 | Internet Archives
    [11] The federal reserve system and the banks | Paul Warburg | Internet Archives | 1916
    [12] The History of Tammany Hall by Gustavus Myers | 1917
    [13] Hidden Treasures: Or, Why Some Succeed While Others Fail | HA Lewis |1887
    [14] History of Great American Fortunes | Gustavus Myers|
    [15] The Lords of Creation | Frederick Lewis Allen | Amazon,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
    [16] The Book of Daniel Drew | Bouck White | 1910
    [17] Billions of Dollars’ Worth of Weapons Brought into Syria, “Arms Traffic Organized by CIA and Pentagon” | Global Research | 2017
    [18] America’s $1.1 Trillion National Security Budget | Pogo | 2017
    [19] Alternative Proposals Reform, May 11 2005 | Video | C-SPAN (second 5-minute speaker)
    [20] 1984 | George Orwell | 1949
    [21] The Servile State | Hilaire Belloc | 1913

    • godenich
      March 6, 2018 at 21:39

      Correction: Reference [7] should be deleted and the contents appended to [5] in my above comment.

      • godenich
        March 7, 2018 at 01:16

        … and [6] moved to [X],… forgive my bad proofreading.

  16. backwardsevolution
    March 6, 2018 at 20:28

    We’ve come a long way, baby! Or have we?

    This fellow wrote an interesting article comparing the 50’s and 60’s to today. It’s entitled “Kids: Then and Now”. It’s just a comparison, folks. Don’t go ape sh*t on it.

    “OK, so why is the country falling apart? Specifically, why are kids blowing each other away? America has become a source of wonder the world over with its Columbines and hundreds and hundreds of dead in Chicago and Baltimore and its burning cities and riots. Other advanced countries don’t do these things.

    America didn’t either until recently. Why now? Something has changed, or some things. What? People under forty have never seen the country when it was sane. Let me point out things that have changed, at risk of sounding like a boilerplate cadger: “By cracky, wen I was a boy, we could amuse ourselves for hours with just a piece of string and a couple of sticks.” Let’s compare today with the Fifties and Sixties. I mean this as sociology, not nostalgisizing.”

    • backwardsevolution
      March 6, 2018 at 20:30

      A loss of community, a loss of family, a loss of fathers, a loss of culture, a loss of identity, a loss of responsibility, a loss of a future.

      I would argue that the Left has had a good deal to do with this loss.

      • mike k
        March 7, 2018 at 08:03

        A society which does not hold unconditional Love as it’s highest value, and practice it, is doomed to failure and eventual extinction. The highest value of our present society is money and power. To state this today is to open oneself to ridicule, and experience the blank incomprehension of one’s fellows.

        Guns are the basis of our present materialistic society. Money, property, and power are enforced and protected by guns and violence or the threat of violence. Prisons are instruments of group violence against individuals. Wars are instruments of group violence against other groups. Human history is largely the history of violence. The highest values in a culture determine it’s history.

        There have been paths to create a Loving society indicated to us by the wise throughout history, but we have failed to give them the priority they demand. This failure looks to be one that will end the human story on this planet. On our collective tombstone may be written, “They failed to deeply Love their world and each other.”

  17. Zachary Smith
    March 6, 2018 at 20:14

    “Extreme Risk Protection Order”

    First I’ve heard of this one. From the Christian Science Monitor:

    ‘Protection orders’ get a closer look in fight against gun deaths

    Five states, including Washington, have laws allowing the orders. Research indicates they can be effective at preventing deaths, and they pass the Second Amendment test. But jurisdictions say they need funding and personnel for the laws to work.

    The gun nuts are freaking out about this, and I can’t half blame them. This is a “backdoor” method of gun confiscation which allows the courts and police enormous latitude. In theory the idea isn’t bad – kind of like how in theory arming teachers is a great idea – but in practice the potential for abuse is enormous. It appears that the police decide about a situation by the numbers of complaining calls they get about an individual. In this organized Facebook/social media age it’s easy to conjure up a lot of complaints. In my early days on the internet I found myself banned from forums when rightwingnuts would bombard forum moderators with such complaints. Same basic situation – disarming a guy or gal could put them at risk in many ways, especially since the incident would probably count against them in renting an apartment, or getting a job, or even credit scores. After getting his firearms taken, why not discreetly put out the word the man or woman had piles of dope money hidden at his place?

    Do this right. In Washington State the law allowing these confiscations was passed directly by voters with 71% in favor. Would voter nullification of another Constitutional feature be ok?

  18. March 6, 2018 at 20:11

    We do have a culture of violence as Mike k says, constant messages by the biggest mind conditioners, TV and movies. Then there’s magazines, and walk into any bookstore to see the number of books with a title about violence. Plus our own government claims its own violence is to bring “democracy”. The USA itself is a serial killer, as one writer stated recently on a website.

  19. Mike M
    March 6, 2018 at 18:30

    I totally agree. Additionally, IMO the “right to kill” others is a narcissistic belief based upon the belief of the individual over all others. From that perspective Mr. Lapierre is correct, since the opposite to his belief is altruism, and it religious recognition by Jesus and Budda, ‘communism’, or community where the tribe or clan is more important than the individual, and was the basis of much of pre-historic tribal culture.

    Mr. Lapierre does exploit tribal beliefs and subsequently created racism to promote his lucrative exploits to create fear of the other and hence the need for protection. It should also be pointed out that supporting this paradigm is American cinema, which since its inception has looked for the spectacular, as opposed to the European, “examination of the everyday”. This need for ‘spectacular’ has morphed into a militarized Hollywood where violence is the primary ingredient in most mass entertainment. This element is important, as it feeds the fear of the other, and a violent response to normal everyday conflict.

    Thusly the self reinforcing culture of the narcissism of Hollywood and capitalism (ie fame, stardom, the individual, and riches), reinforces the narcissistic right to kill, residing in an atomized society of the individual or small similar tribes, who are fearful of everyone else, creates a culture of narcissistic violence, where mass murders are just expressions of individual free speech.

  20. Scooch
    March 6, 2018 at 18:17

    Sorry. ” blowing smoke”

  21. Scooch
    March 6, 2018 at 18:16

    Larry. You can make the same argument about the abortion issue. There have been more lives snuffed out in abortion clinics in the name of convience than lives taken by the misuse of guns. Not counting in times of war. So stop bliwing smoke up everyone’s nose.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 6, 2018 at 19:29

      Oh, brother. This fine argument can be extended to the Holocaust, Nuclear War, or Invasion by Aliens from Arcturus. Don’t bother with THEM until we protect the blessed “unborn”. I’d bet a pretty penny you don’t give a solitary damn about them after they get born.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 6, 2018 at 20:39

      It’s worth asking: What would a world look like where “pro-life” activists were as rabidly committed to protecting schoolchildren as they are to defending blastocysts?

      President Donald Trump’s speech after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting called for a “culture of life,” a known shibboleth for anti-choice groups looking to “end abortion in our time.” In turn, Fox News commentators (and even MSNBC ones) have repeatedly linked the mass shooting epidemic to abortion. Right-wing social media followed suit, calling for exchanging the recently defeated 20-week abortion ban for a ban on AR-15s. Abortion, this argument would have you believe, is a greater moral evil than a society that allows teenagers to buy semi-automatic weapons.

      It is vital to remember that abortion restrictions in this country are rooted in the desire to impose extremist Christian ideology on others, violating a pregnant person’s access to vital medical care and constitutional right to privacy in the process. Unlike common-sense regulations on guns, these restrictions are not evidence-based and do not advance public safety. In fact, to rationalize many of them, the anti-choice movement uses a relatively new, certainly fundamentalist ontology of personhood: “Human life,” they insist, begins at fertilization. Yet, it’s worth asking: What would a world look like where “pro-life” activists were as rabidly committed to protecting schoolchildren as they are to defending blastocysts? In other words, what would buying a firearm in, say, Kansas, look like, if you could suddenly transpose the cultural and legal restrictions on abortion to gun ownership?

      To buy your firearm, you try to Google a store. But the first three stores you try aren’t gun stores at all; they’re staffed by radical pacifists. One state over, in Oklahoma, they’re even funded by government money. Such “gun crisis centers” hand you a stuffed animal, a yoga mat, and a pamphlet on the risks of suicide and grave bodily harm to law-abiding gun owners.

      After you sift through the gun crisis centers, you are left with four legitimate options. None of them will sell you an AR-15 or any other firearm deemed to cause extraordinary damage to the human body. There used to be one joint that would. But after the owner was murdered at church by a domestic terrorist bent on ending gun ownership in the United States, the state decided to go ahead and ban all assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The remaining stores were then required to relocate to at least five miles from a school, daycare, or playground, and to widen their hallways to accommodate a SWAT team in the event of a terrorist attack.

      Now that you’ve found your options, you have to get to them. Ninety percent of U.S. counties in Kansas have no legal gun stores. (Private sales are totally illegal: Anyone selling a weapon must have completed four years of paramilitary training in order to obtain their Federal Firearms License.) But you feel this is necessary, so you arrange transportation, pay for a hotel, and take off work for two days: Kansas has a mandatory 24-hour waiting and counseling period after your first (in-person) appointment to purchase a firearm. You lie to your mother about where you’re going; because of how politicized gun ownership has become, you know she’d just cry and say you’re going to hell.

      When you get to the store, though, thousands of people surround the entrance. They were inspired by the record turnout at a store selling legal firearms in Charlotte last year and decided to organize in Wichita this year, during the 40 Days Free From Firearms. It’s pure bad luck that you’ve come on the day they chose to picket.

      The protesters wave posters with photos of victims from the latest school shooting, obtained without consent from victims’ families. They scream at you that you are a child killer, a murderer waiting to happen, a gun nut, a “sicko” with a fetish for a metal phallus. At last, with help from a volunteer escort the shop uses to help people make their way through the crowds, you make it inside and sit down to wait. But, it’s a Swords Into Ploughshares protest today, and activists push their way into the clinic to offer you a tiny metal dove, melted down from a bullet. “Choose peace,” they tell you intently. “Choose peace.”

      That’s the first half of the piece. I was tempted to cut/paste it all, but that wouldn’t do the author or site any particular good. Besides, the original has quite a few links.

  22. JMS
    March 6, 2018 at 17:44

    Professor Davidson – thanks for “hooking” your article to Hobbes’ “state of nature.” We were just studying Hobbes in my Western Civ. class when the Parkland, FL shooting occurred. You are absolutely correct: the NRA’s vision of “freedom” is Hobbesian – a “war of every one against every one” where “life [is], solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Someone’s virtually unrestricted property privilege to a military-grade weapon trumps the rest of our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    • mike k
      March 6, 2018 at 18:04

      Hobbes had a dark view of “human nature.” He felt we were by nature very bad and violent, and only severe restraints would prevent us from doing our worst. In truth, it is our culture which inclines us to be either violent or peaceful. World culture has inclined to violence, and unless we can change that, then we will continue to sow the seeds of war in each generation. Other ways to do culture have been suggested, but the violent have won the day so far, and they are driving us over the edge into extinction. Hobbes was very influenced by the negative, punitive religion of his day – a false version of Christ’s teachings, which taught that this world is an evil place, and it were best to get out of it and go to heaven.

      • Daniel
        March 6, 2018 at 21:28

        I had a professor who explained Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke.

        Hobbes saw humans left to “our natural selves” as “Lord of The Rings.”

        Locke saw “Gilligan’s Island.”

        I’ve been in a number of “disaster” scenarios, and almost all I saw was Gilligan’s Island. If that part of “human nature” wasn’t the greater part, we’d be extinct already.

  23. mike k
    March 6, 2018 at 17:25

    Guns are a symptom and an artifact of a culture of violence. In a culture based on Love and Peace there are no guns, period. If you say we can’t get there, then you are resigned to the final apocalypse, which will not be too long in coming now. What will be the instruments of our final self-extinction? Weapons.

    • mike k
      March 6, 2018 at 17:27

      I got rid of all my guns – and I had a bunch – over fifty years ago. And I have felt much safer ever since.

    • Annie
      March 6, 2018 at 18:33

      Mike k, Perhaps because I grew up in NY I always perceived having a gun as something bad, whether you were male, or female. Thieves and murderers had guns, not “normal” people. Even as a child I recognized my country lies to me in those cowboy and Indian movies where the perpetrator who steals another’s land becomes the hero, a lie that we now push as bringing democracy to the world. We are a violent nation and always have been, but now we are more overtly aggressive as we seek world wide domination. Unlike previous empires whose hubris and militaristic adventures brought them down, our’s will bring the world with us. I might add that my mother also had an apocalyptic world view. She was an anti-Zionist, and I remember her talking about Israel bringing us into multiple wars in the ME which would bring about a confrontation with Russia and that would be the end of us. She was also a socialist, and boy did she take flack for her political views.

      • irina
        March 7, 2018 at 00:21

        “Having a gun” is not always bad. My husband is a bow hunter now,
        but he cherishes the hunting rifle he inherited from his father, it has
        a lot of sentimental meaning to him. He grew up in a ‘homestead
        family’, raising potatoes and cabbage and eating moose meat.
        There are still plenty of moose around, we need an 8-ft fence to
        keep them out of the garden ! Once in every few years he will take
        a moose with a bow, we share with other bow hunters and when
        they take a moose they share with us. It’s not an urban life but
        it is a valid one. I don’t think he would like being asked to surrender
        that rifle, for any reason. Our son doesn’t hunt but does target shoot
        and will in his turn inherit what is becoming an heirloom firearm.

        • geeyp
          March 7, 2018 at 03:48

          Good for you and yours, irina. I think it is wonderful when you can keep something like that in the family! Cheers!

    • Lisa
      March 6, 2018 at 18:35

      The NRA philosophy – that the more guns there are in citizens’ hands, the safer everyone is, – is fundamentally wrong. What’s the point in that case for nations to engage in any disarmament goals? Every nation, big and small, should be fully armed with weapons of mass destruction, then the whole world will be safe, right? And every citizen is entitled to carry out a death sentence to any imagined intruder, passing his front lawn. Good comment by Annie about the car thief.

      Mike mentioned the word “culture of violence”. Let me tell you a story, from real life, which a member of an American family told me long ago. The man in the house was annoyed about a strong spotlight at a nearby construction site. The light shone in his bedroom window at night, and he did not wish to cover the window with thick curtains. Instead, he took a gun, went out at night and shot the spotlight into a thousand pieces. So, case closed. Typical? Maybe not.

      It is deeply rooted in the American mind that all problems can be solved with a gun, justice can be restored by shooting the bad guy. Histories of Indian wars, American Revolution, Civil War, Wild West films, criminal stories all push this narrative – the good guy shoots the bad guy – happy end. How to change the mentality? Suggestion: whoever is caught pulling out a gun in a public place to shoot, will be hanged on government order on the nearest lamp post. Soon there will be no volunteers to shoot. Impractical, unlawful, dictatorial and cruel – yes. Re-educating the whole population to change their mentality is even more impractical.

      And the famous 2nd Amendment, when only the latter part is used, is clearly misrepresenting the intentions of the writers of the Constitution, as explained in the article. It is the organized Militia, not every single citizen, who should carry arms, as I see it. When every private person has the right to stand up against tyrannical government, they might get the idea that they have the sacred right to kill any elected president or public figure whose ideas they do not agree with.

      Most “civilized” countries have a violent past, but they have somehow grown out of it. Why not US?

      • Anon
        March 6, 2018 at 21:42

        The “well-regulated Militia” of the Second Amendment was once a community affair, but has been nationalized into the National Guard, so it no longer represents a safeguard against the abuses of central government. My concern would be that the future may again force citizens to rebel, and I would not wish to prohibit that. It may be insufficient, but it may be a restraint upon increasingly systematic abuses.

    • Lucius Patrick
      March 6, 2018 at 22:01

      Bet you dollars to donuts you are on medications. The world does not work that way–never has, never will. Animal kingdom facts of life…

  24. Annie
    March 6, 2018 at 17:02

    Although the NRA is heavily funded by the gun manufacturers the total criticism falls on them, but the gun manufacturers should also be held accountable, maybe more so, since the NRA has become their paid mouthpiece. I saw a post that referenced a car hijack by an armed perpetrator, but the owner of the car was also toting a gun, and made waste of the thief. For many who posted comments this example justified the public baring arms. My comment was that if the carjacker had been caught and tried in a court of law the penalty would not be a death sentence. 
    Every time people try to initiate  change for the benefit of society as a whole you’ll get that Wayne LaPierre response that cries socialism which to many translates into communism. Another piece of propaganda the US has used for decades to devastate countries world wide in the name of democracy which correctly translated from our perspective is capitalism. The more capitalistic we become the less we care about society as a whole, and that will be our downfall.

    • Annie
      March 6, 2018 at 17:13

      I would like to add as a teacher I would never tote a gun, nor would I want to, not to mention I’d probably shoot my self, or a student. It’s nothing but sheer lunacy to suggest that teachers bear arms.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 7, 2018 at 00:10

        Annie you being a teacher you may recognize the problem I’m about to describe.

        Once I had an acquaintance who was a physiatrist at a state penitentiary. I ask him what was the one common thing the inmates had in common. The jailhouse shrink thought a little bit then said, ‘no respect for authority’. As he went on to say, these inmates grew up in terrible environments, many with no father figure, and not the kind of swell dad’s who take you to the amusement park, but the kind of father who when he deliberately tells you to go to bed and you obey by simply going to bed. What happens with these youth, according to my friend, is they don’t respect the teacher, the clergy, the store clerk, the nextdoor adult neighbor, and the police and the judge, until one day these loss youth as adults meet him the jailhouse nut guard (his words not mine).

        But who let who down here, Annie?

        I think the youth seeing our institutional establishments plagued with scandal, and decorated with corrupted politicos doesn’t help inspire a restless unsupervised for the most part youth, either. I’m not making excuses for anyone, especially juvenile delinquents, but Annie we need to spread all these pieces of the concern out on the table top and identify each issue for what it is, in order to dissect our society’s problem properly, and then deal with each segment of concern where we can. What does a embattled young juvenile see when they see before them an establishment flaunt it’s double standard treatment in front of the masses, with their two America’s one for the poor and one for the ultra rich…this doesn’t encourage wayward youths too much to want to join this cast of hypocritical adults, so they go the other way.

        Setting good examples will help.

        Guns, drugs, institutional accountability, all these things need remedied in order to cure our nation’s illness. This whole thing with mass gun shootings needs the truth exposed to reveal to us the shooters mental and drug history to be analyzed, plus we need to quit cutting back on beds for the mentality tasked. Our country’s love for war, and all things Hoorah Jingoese is getting the better of us. You are what you surround yourself with, and in our beloved nation it shows. We have become the enemy of ourselves.

        So Annie as a teacher what do you think? Joe

        • Annie
          March 7, 2018 at 06:24

          Joe, I believe the culprit that has created the biggest prison population in the world is poverty. Growing up I had a friend, Valerie, and when I would go to her home, which was a six family dwelling, the father was there in the middle of the day drinking beer at the kitchen table while his wife cooked food in a pot of oil. There were more kids then that apartment could stand, and all talking and no one listening, and I would think there’s no tomorrow here. If a child can’t see tomorrow then he, or she doesn’t plan for a future, so school becomes something you have to go to, get through, and if not, drop out. They live in the moment. I see children like that at school, so you talk to them about the importance of education and a future, and some see it and some don’t. Those that don’t may wind up in prison for various crimes, big or small. Two of Valerie’s brothers did.
          The richest country in the world and there are over 40 million who live in poverty. The legal system plays on this poverty where 95% of federal crimes are plea bargained, no trial, just a guilty plea. No money for lawyers, so they estimate that some 60 to 70 thousand of those that are imprisoned on Federal offenses are innocent. The corporate world has a lot of cheap labor at their disposal, even from the innocent.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 7, 2018 at 10:39

            Thanks for the education I will be sure to add poverty to my list of table top concerns. Joe

    • Zachary Smith
      March 6, 2018 at 19:26

      Although the NRA is heavily funded by the gun manufacturers the total criticism falls on them, but the gun manufacturers should also be held accountable, maybe more so, since the NRA has become their paid mouthpiece.

      I don’t believe this is practical.

      • Annie
        March 7, 2018 at 06:32

        Why Zachary, since the gun industry are big financial contributors to the NRA more so then their constituency. The NRA lobbies for the industry as well. People should know they are joined at the hip, so to speak. Remember Charlton Heston back in the 90’s saying our fight is your fight. I don’t remember what that was about, but I remember that statement.

  25. andy--s
    March 6, 2018 at 16:47

    Interesting that there wasn’t one mention of suprememe court cases or other US court cases. The opinions that have a bearing on bearing arms :D

  26. Annie
    March 6, 2018 at 16:39

    Although the NRA is heavily funded by the gun manufacturers the total criticism falls on them, but the gun manufacturers should also be held accountable, maybe more so, since the NRA has become their paid mouthpiece. I saw a post that referenced a car hijack by an armed perpetrator, but the owner of the car was also toting a gun, and made waste of the thief. For many who posted  comments this example justified the public baring arms. My comment was that if the carjacker had been caught and tried in a court of law the penalty would not be a death sentence. 

    Every time people try to initiate  change for the benefit of society as a whole you’ll get that Wayne LaPierre response that cries socialism which to many translates into communism. Another piece of propaganda the US has used for many decades to devastate countries world wide in the name of democracy which correctly translated from our perspective is capitalism. The more capitalistic we become the more violent we become, and the less caring about the society as a whole will bring about our demise.

  27. Guest
    March 6, 2018 at 16:10

    Shouldn’t your invective be directed at the shooter himself, the local authorities who ignored dozens of warnings, the cops who did not engage the shooter? And if the shooter was on psychiatric meds, the physician who prescribed them and the drug compaies that profit from them?

    • Zachary Smith
      March 6, 2018 at 16:12

      Short answer: no.

      Those are valid issues, but quite separate ones

    • backwardsevolution
      March 6, 2018 at 18:24

      Guest – I agree with you. This Parkland shooter should have been flagged years ago.

      The police made over 20 to 30 (I’ve lost count) visits to his house over the years for assaulting his mother, causing problems, but they never charged him. Had they, he would not have been able to purchase a gun.

      The FBI was warned twice about this guy (because of what he posted on Facebook and what he said to a neighborhood friend). Apparently the FBI can find Russian collusion where there isn’t any, but can’t find a kid using his actual name, a name with an unusual spelling (Nikolas Cruz), of which there are only 12 such people in the whole of the U.S. with that spelling.

      The armed cop, whose job it was to police the school, did not enter the school when he heard shots. Why?

      The responding officers waited outside for minutes before entering the school.

      The drug companies are making a fortune off these psychotropic drugs, and yet the literature (if anyone wants it, I can dig it up) suggests that these drugs can have an adverse effect, especially on young males whose brains are not fully developed.

      The shooter had serious mental problems. A criminal record AND a psychiatric record should prevent people from purchasing guns.

      The authorities failed all along the way.

      But the biggest culprit is society.

      • irina
        March 7, 2018 at 00:13

        Nikolas was born to a drug-addicted mother. Biological father completely unknown
        and out of the picture. Was he possibly conceived as a result of a drugs for sex trade?
        His half-brother (different father) was born a year later while his biological mother
        was in prison. At age five, he witnessed his father’s sudden death in the den of their
        home. Did anyone try to help him past that hurdle ? Other cultures would have held
        cleansing rituals, etc. but we’re too ‘enlightened’ to think that there might be earth-
        bound spirits associated with sudden death, spirits that might linger in the home.
        For Nikolas, things seemed to have devolved from that point on. That’s on society.

      • geeyp
        March 7, 2018 at 03:39

        Yes sir, the psychotropic drugs are the no.1 drug issue running rampant in our society and no other drug comes even close. They can make a person change into a completely different personality, and aren’t safe.

    • Lucius Patrick
      March 6, 2018 at 21:59

      I absolutely agree with you.

  28. Zachary Smith
    March 6, 2018 at 16:10

    LaPierre’s answer to the bloodbaths caused by guns is to have more guns. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” In the case of the Parkland high school shooting, where, in fact, there was an armed guard present at the school, as well as with previous school shootings, LaPierre’s formula translates into arming teachers as a way of “hardening the schools.”

    By the way, President Trump initially agreed with LaPierre. He too called for arming teachers, suggesting that if 20 percent of teachers were armed and “adept with the firearm, they could end the attack very quickly.” Assuming Trump meant giving teachers a sidearm while the usual assailants continue to use military-style automatic weapons, one can only call such a suggestion naive. He also praised the NRA leadership and specifically LaPierre, saying that “they are great people and great American patriots who will do the right thing.”

    LaPierre is a lunatic, and Trump is a functional moron. Neither one is grounded in reality. Let’s suppose every teacher in the school is given a handgun. Teachers are like everybody else – they represent the fat and the slim, the good sighted and the half-blind, panicky and sober, brave and cowardly, intelligent and not-so-much-so. Some of them are going to react badly in a crisis. ALL OF THEM are at risk when some non-timid police arrive. How on earth can lawmen distinguish between villains and victims? Even the best of them aren’t supermen. In a crisis situation you’ve got to assume a person with a firearm is an evil-doer. From Feb. 14 Texas:

    The shooting happened shortly after 9 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Faith City Mission, a faith-based outreach organization. Police said Joshua Len Jones, 35, of Amarillo, barged into a church building at Faith City Mission, pulled out a gun and was holding about 100 congregants and church staff hostage.

    In the time between when police were dispatched and when officers arrived, a handful of churchgoers wrestled Jones to the ground. One of the congregants was able to grab Jones’ gun.

    Officers entered the building and saw the churchgoer holding the gun and opened fire, according to the Amarillo Police Department. The churchgoer was hospitalized in stable condition.

    I’ve got a jaundiced view of police misbehavior, but in a case like this the police were absolutely blameless. How much worse would it be in a school where there might be dozens of firearms on display?

    It gets worse. The criminal who entered the school with thoughts of mass murder is well prepared. He has the element of planning and surprise. These punks usually have body armor which will be impervious to the handguns carried by the teachers and janitors and secretaries and administrators. He will absolutely outgun all of them! But thinking isn’t what lunatics and functional morons do.

    The gun nuts are fanatics in what has become a quasi-religion. On this account they are beyond reason.

    A gun-loving Alaska congressman suggested that Jews might not have perished in the Holocaust if they had been armed, according to reports.

    “How many millions of people were shot and killed because they were unarmed? Fifty million in Russia,” Rep. Don Young said during a meeting in Juneau on Thursday, according to KTOO.

    “How many Jews were put in the ovens because they were unarmed?” added the 84-year-old Republican, who has represented the state in Congress since 1973.

    How can a man this stupid have been re-elected every election since 1973? I suppose the answer is related to the same state making Sarah Palin governor.

    They’re crazy as hell. Unfortunately they’re given assistance by phrases like this:

    His stand is that citizens have a fundamental right to own almost any firearm, including military-style assault weapons.

    This sort of description drives the gun-nuts up the wall, and it does me as well. What the devil does it matter what a firearm looks like? One which is shaped like an abstract sculpture and painted bright pink would be every bit as dangerous as a “military-style” one.

    Firearms have their uses. It is unreasonable to speak of blanket bans. Even AK-47s and AR-15s ought to be available to those who can demonstrate they need such firepower. Heavily regulated and closely monitored of course, but not banned. Only people who can make a case for such firepower ought to be able to own it. In general, rapid-fire firearms ought to be banned – both in future sales and for present owners. Forget about the singles and doubles and revolvers – except of course to try to prevent their ownership by unstable people.

    • Daniel
      March 6, 2018 at 20:09

      When a dangerous, deranged man began shooting people in an Arizona shopping mall, the scene immediately became horrendous pandemonium. Many people ran away. 17 people were shot, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. 6 were murdered, including a 9 year old girl who was there to meet a role model to learn more about politics.

      The murderer (I do NOT write the names of these mass murderers because FBI profilers have been telling the MSM for decades that fame is one of the motivations these twisted individuals have, and making them famous leads to “copy cat” mass murdering) was carrying a pistol with a magazine that held over 30 rounds.

      When he paused to reload, a woman (who was likely next in line for a gunshot) grabbed at the gun, then a couple men also standing there joined in and together disarmed the murderer, ending the carnage.

      But the news told us that it almost got worse. A “good guy with a gun” almost shot the wrong guy! Shocking. It would be even more shocking if it were true.

      You see, Joe Zamudio was in a drug store when the shooting started. Joe had a concealed handgun. Joe ran TOWARDS the shooting. Who runs TOWARDS the scene of an ongoing mass murder?

      But by the time that Joe made it across the parking lot, the woman had knocked the murderer’s gun free, and a man had picked it up. Joe saw that man and yelled, “Drop It!” The man with the gun and bystanders informed Joe that the murderer was already being pinned to the ground. That’s it.

      Joe never even pulled his gun out, let alone “nearly killed the wrong man” as the MSM insisted. Joe demonstrated both far more bravery than most of us would be likely to muster, but also demonstrated the clear thinking that prevented him from pulling out his gun… EVEN AFTER seeing a man at a mass shooting who was holding a gun!

      That is, Joe did a better job to “protect and serve” human life than the cops Zachery is letting of the hook for being trigger happy.

      But the rabid anti-gun ownership PR of the MSM made Joe a dangerous person who nearly became a murderer instead of celebrating the incredible bravery and composure he showed at the worst of possible times.

      This is not a unique or even really uncommon situation.

      Remember when President Obama ordered a study of gun violence after the Sandy Hook tragedy?

      Well, it was released a decade ago, and yet we never heard much about it. I suggest the reason for the “radio silence” on his report is that it was too critical of gun ownership for the “2nd Amendment” crowd, but far too lenient on gun ownership for the anti-gun ownership crowd.

      The President’s commission found there were between 100,000 and 3 million defensive use of guns by crime victims every year.

      Here’s a Department of Justice study that found “only” 108,000 defensive use of guns in one year.

      The President’s study also found that:

      “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies (Kleck, 1988; Kleck and DeLone, 1993; Southwick, 2000; Tark and Kleck, 2004).”

      Gun ownership is not something to take lightly or sum up with a pithy anecdote… regardless of what one’s emotional impulse might be.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 6, 2018 at 23:17

      Zachary often I find you not only interesting and informative with your comments, but your kind of funny with your remarks as well.

      I agree, that the gun owners I know are very qualified and responsible, as matter of fact they may advise certain people, like school teachers, not to carry a gun. These people I know are a mix between a Navy Seal, a Army Black Beret, a Coast Guard Diver, and a couple others who grew up with qualified gun owner dads with guns. Maybe if gun control gets strick new rules there could be a Militia Association where the very responsible get to keep their guns…I have no idea.

      Good comment Zachary. Joe

    • irina
      March 7, 2018 at 00:04

      Please don’t blame all of us up here in Alaska for Don Young.
      It’s a mystery to me as well, how he keeps getting re-elected.
      I don’t know anyone who will own up to voting for him. Ever.

      And yes our Half-Governor was a complete embarrassment.
      But why exactly did she win over our popular Democratic candi-
      date Tony Knowles, who was polling 15 points ahead shortly
      before the election ? We mostly use Opti-Scan ballots but there
      were some very suspicious results (as in mathematically unreal).
      That was my introduction to how easily ‘voting machines’ can be
      hacked. Miss Sarah’s candidacy was backed by the Murdoch Bros.

      We have a much better governor now, Independent Bill Walker.

      • Zachary Smith
        March 7, 2018 at 12:25

        We mostly use Opti-Scan ballots but there were some very suspicious results (as in mathematically unreal). That was my introduction to how easily ‘voting machines’ can be hacked. Miss Sarah’s candidacy was backed by the Murdoch Bros.

        You may have also provided a credible explanation for why Representative Young has remained in office well past his “expiration” date. Excellent point about the wretched electronic voting machines! Something I didn’t know.

    • Al Pinto
      March 7, 2018 at 09:29


      “Firearms have their uses.”

      Yes, they do… In my view for military and hunting purposes. The latter one should be limited to bolt action rifles and single/double barrel shotguns. Owning these would require yearly license renewal in addition to hunting permits. No other firearms should be licensed to the general public.

      “It is unreasonable to speak of blanket bans.”

      I disagree… Most of the mass shooting in the US are committed by licensed and not by illegal firearms. In another word, the ownership of such firearm complied with the current gun laws/regulations and did nothing to prevent mass shootings. Passing new legislation that will grandfather/exempt current gun owners and restrict new purchases of certain type of firearm will not result in addressing this issue. People had been entrusted with firearms for a long time, and times and times again they proved, that they cannot be trusted with firearms. Enough is enough, take away their firearm. Yes, there should be a grace period for turning them in and beyond that, there should be stiff penalties for having a firearm without license. It is unacceptable that the future generation is growing up in an environment, where mass shooting is becoming frequent and only the the ones that break record casualty numbers are reported widely in the MSM.

      PS: I am a gun owner, member of a gun club that requires NRA membership and have a carrying permit, but never carry nowadays. I for one would gladly give them up…

      • Zachary Smith
        March 7, 2018 at 12:18

        There are areas in the US where bears still exist. Probably some of the large cats. Feral dogs and pigs are a growing problem. Rabid animals of all sizes still exist. Killing a giant boar or a frothing German Shepard with a spear isn’t something I’d care to tackle. Ditto for pythons in Florida. People in isolated houses need protection from two-legged predators.

        It’s still legal in some places to produce your own steaks and pork chops. Humane slaughter of a steer or pig requires a bullet to the brain.

        • Al Pinto
          March 7, 2018 at 14:16


          “There are areas in the US where bears still exist……”

          Yes, they do, but there’s no reason that people in need for protection against animals could not be addressed with a special hunting permit with the same licensing requirements.

          There’s no reason for for people building up an arsenal in metropolitan areas, And yes, that would include myself as well…

  29. Daniel
    March 6, 2018 at 16:03

    Even the widely hated Heller Supreme Court decision (which clarified the right of people to own firearms for defensive purposes) specified that restrictions on gun ownership and use are Constitutional. Extremists on both sides use inflammatory language which results in no one trusting anyone else, and nothing being done to address the core issue that USAmericans are killing one another at unconscionable levels.

    Yes, there are “gun nuts” who claim citizens should have the right to own and carry any small arms (or even heavy armaments). But they are a tiny minority even amongst gun owners, and their voices would be nearly muted if this “gun control debate” were resolved.

    There are also those who want to ban all firearms, or at least limit their ownership as extremely as was done in Australia. And yes “Sensible gun control like in Australia” is a non-starter for most gun owners and others who cherish individual rights.

    Because that means confiscation of most guns built for private ownership for the past century. It also means banning ownership of guns for defense. But “gun control” extremists have made the “Australia-style gun laws” phrase a norm, and so are doing more to prevent truly reasonable “gun control than the 2nd Amendment Extremists.

    So, I recommend that we argue only for specific restrictions, rather than vague phrases that only serve to divide us. This is my list for additional regulations, which I have sent to every Congressional Representative I’ve had for many years.

    1. Truly universal background checks for ALL firearms transfers.
    2. Registration of all firearms so guns used in crimes can be traced.
    3. Required training and licensing for gun owners.
    4. A maximum capacity for all firearms (here in CA, that limit is 10, and I’m fine with that nationally).
    5. Severe penalties for permitting those banned from gun ownership to acquire one.

    But more deeply, we need to address the causes for the high rates of violence in the US. We can reduce how deadly and easily acquired are the weapons dangerous people have access to, but violence is damaging to both direct victims and society, and dead is dead.

    • Deb
      March 6, 2018 at 18:50

      What is so extreme about my county’s gun laws? The majority are happy with those laws so please explain why you think they are extreme.

      • Daniel
        March 6, 2018 at 19:24

        Most people don’t know or care much about gun ownership. Australia banned and confiscated the types of firearms that have been the majority built for and sold to the public for the past century. Yes, they offered a “buy back” program to offset some of the financial loss, but I assure you such an “offer” is a deal-breaker for gun owners here.

        They restrict ownership to those who qualify to use them for only sporting purposes unless they can prove that they need them to protect livestock, etc. In fact, even sports shooters are often forbidden from keeping their firearms, and must leave them at the range.

        In the US, the Supreme Court has affirmed the centuries’ old common law that citizens have the right to own firearms for defense of self and others. In Australia, if one lists defense on a request for a permit, that person is banned from owning any firearm.

        So, for we in the US who seek to reduce the carnage, the question should be what laws could we actually pass, not how can we prevent 97% of citizens from owning most of the guns already in private hands as is the case in Australia.

        So I ask, what’s wrong with the restrictions I suggested?

        BTW: how do you feel about CIA and MI6 carrying out a coup in Australia in 1975?

        One may watch the documentary Australian investigative journalist, John Pilger made about that on his website.

        • Deb
          March 7, 2018 at 23:08

          What carnage do you need to protect yourself from, other people armed with military grade weapons? The framers of your constitution and 2nd ammendment we’re talking about muskets not AKs, but I don’t want argue with you about interpretation, I really don’t want to get in the way of American’s right to carry military grade weapons and their right to carry out mass shootings of school children or people out for a night of music, it would be denying you your freedom. On Gough Whitlam and interference by CIA and M16 I am well aware of all the details and also of how your Christopher Boyce let us know about it. I saw him interviewed a few years ago on our Dateline program on SBS TV, and like him I think the same, why do Australians accept it. I also have read John Pilger’s work on the subject, he writes occasionally for this website and like the late Robert Parry RIP, a principled journalist. Last information I read was Gough Whitlam’s son has applied via FOI for papers on Queenie’s correspondence/ papers on his father’s dismissal, what she said and knew because it has been suppessed, so both his son and biographer are waiting on the outcome of that request and so far that is all I know. I look forward to finding out and reading Gough’s biography so far it’s 2 volumes. The Whitlam years to quote a song about Gough “the days of wine and roses”. The song is on YouTube by group called The Whitlams the song is called Cough, the actual video the band put out is best to watch. He was a human being Gough like us with all his flaws but there was never any corruption or enriching himself, he had a vision for Australia, independent of US foreign policy but sadly didn’t end that way. One clarification needed Liberal in Australia is not the same as small l liberal in US.

          • Daniel
            March 8, 2018 at 03:45

            Thanks, Deb. First, the “carnage” I referenced is the reason for this article and discussion on gun ownership. 10,000+ murders by gunfire each year. I find that appalling, and would like to radically reduce it.

            I appreciate your views on the (likely) CIA/MI6 coup in Australia. It sounds like y’all are responding much like we USAmericans to our (likely) CIA-assisted coup in 1963. At this point, even “smoking gun” (tsk) evidence that our official story is BS doesn’t seem enough to motivate us to demand an independent investigation and justice.

            And I wouldn’t expect any release of evidence to provide proof anymore than the alleged release of all Warren Commission documents did.

            I don’t think the political term, “Liberal” means what most “liberals” in the US think it does.. ;-)

      • Lucius Patrick
        March 6, 2018 at 21:57

        I agree. This liberal city-dweller perspective is understandable and common, but does not reflect the views of many of us.

      • padre
        March 7, 2018 at 08:52

        If everybody has “the right to defend himself” means, that there you have no law to protect your people from each other, like other normal countries have!

      • Evangelista
        March 7, 2018 at 21:21


        There is nothing at all extreme about your ‘country’s gun laws, your ‘country’ being Australia: Australia was/is a prison colony. In the U.S. guns are not allowed in prisons either… I imagine you can see what it will mean the going to become if those who would be guards to all should manage to confiscate all U.S. guns…

        And, of course, restricting gun possession in Australia is just common sense, too: Remember, Australia is the ‘nation’ that has principal politicians who have no better self-control than to puff up like mad ganders and threaten to “shirtfront” other nations’ leaders who have done nothing but be different. Can you imagine i that Donald Trump on Sterno and Stearoids had had a pistol on his hip?

        In the U.S. the politicians are idiots, but not quite that immediately violent… Well, OK., I mean at least not so long as they don’t have two thirty-shot banana-clips of Minuteman missiles on hand to blow off as a ‘diplomatic gesture’ during dessert…

        P.S. I am in favor of banning politicians from having immediate access to missiles.

        • Deb
          March 8, 2018 at 03:27

          LOL, I kind of agree with you that Australia is still a lot like a penal colony, especially with the current lot we have in government and their born to rule mentality. Australians do need to grow up and ignore the monarchists in our country and vote for a republic with a bill of rights, but preferably with no weakening of those gun laws. Sick of paying for royalty when they visit.

          I gather you’re talking about ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott threatening to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin when he was here. It’s a rugby term, but still, a stupid thing for him to say. They ended up cuddling Koalas so much for the shirtfronting. One point I want to make is Liberal with a large L in Australia is in no way what liberal, with a small l, is supposed to mean in the US, however even what you call left/liberal in the US confuses me. I do not want to be associated in any way with Liberal in Australia, their policies or their leaders past, as in Tony Abbott a joke and an embarrassment, or the present leader Malcolm Turnbull, Trumbell to some in the US, an ex Goldman Sachs banker. Nuff said there.

          PS I agree with you about politicians being banned from having immediate access to missiles, and I’ll add nuclear weapons to that as well.

    • Deb
      March 6, 2018 at 18:51

      Should read country’s gun laws.

    • Anon
      March 6, 2018 at 21:23

      This article is typical of fashionable one-sided essays. It completely ignores the major problems of (1) keeping military power in the hands of the people and (2) providing for self-defense in dangerous areas, as well as the real causes of mass shooting incidents, which are (3) the US has an utterly exploitative economic system that causes anger and desperation among many, and (4) the US has an irresponsible and sensationalist mass media that celebrates killing as masculinity.

      Gun controls can be consistent with self-defense. Capacity limits are sufficient. Training does nothing to reduce crime, and registration does little to trace guns used in crime. The problem with licensing and background checks is that these are ineffective against dedicated criminals, and will be politicized to disarm dissidents.

      The most serious problem is that the 2nd Amendment was intended to keep military power in the hands of the people. It has been weakened by the development of far more powerful weapons which most people cannot afford, and which have no private value. This certainly does not mean that such a provision should be dispensed with. The sad fact of our times is that the people no longer control government, and will probably have to revolt within the next century to restore democracy. That problem will remain: the people must retain military power.

      These are not at all extreme or insensitive views, and in no way underestimate the tragedy of mass murders. But we must address the underlying problems, and we must not deny ourselves the means to correct plutocracy,

      • Daniel
        March 7, 2018 at 03:14

        Nothing will keep all guns out of the hands of everyone who shouldn’t have one. The point of truly universal background checks is that it makes it much harder for those “dedicated criminals” to get one. And making it harder makes it more expensive.

        But I agree that there are fundamental causes of violence – including “gun violence” – that need to be dealt with.

      • Silly Me
        March 7, 2018 at 06:13

        Who is “we”?

        Please, do not pretend that the vast majority that has always been deprived of power still possesses it.

        • Anon
          March 7, 2018 at 07:20

          I do not pretend that, but those deprived of power must not advocate further deprivation.

          • Silly Me
            March 8, 2018 at 08:01


    • BobS
      March 6, 2018 at 23:29

      The only thing I would add to your list of regulations is changing #2 to yearly registration and proof of insurance.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 7, 2018 at 02:36

        Smart do like the DMV.

      • Silly Me
        March 7, 2018 at 06:15

        That would ensure that only those with money and those who don’t care about the law will possess firearms. Also, many guns would vanish from the radar, assuming they have ever been there.

    • KiwiAntz
      March 6, 2018 at 23:30

      Australia, our closest neighbor, recognised the utter lunacy of allowing citizens the right to bear arms! Guns are designed for one purpose only & that is to kill! After the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, the Australian Prime Minister & his Federal Govt decided enough was enough? They courageously ordered the complete ban on gun ownership & gave their citizens a specific amnesty’ period to hand them over for destruction? Aussies acted immediately & without mindless debates as is the situation in America? The Australian PM who was John Howard I think decided the time for wishy washy arguments by those who wanted to preserve their gun rights was contrary & superceded by the human rights of their non-gun owning citizens, & their right of not to being killed or maimed by some nutcase with a gun? Since Australia implemented this, they have not had one mass shooting since Port Arthur, so the facts speak for themselves! The second amendment, right to bear arms is a man made law not a biblical one & should be removed from your constitution, it’s not a law that’s written in stone? And for those wanting to preserve their gun rights, I suggest that you be armed with the single shot musket guns, when that right to bear arms right was drafted? Meanwhile, better get used to more mass killings & massacre ‘s, it’s never going to end unless you take proactive action, like Aussie did?

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 7, 2018 at 02:35

        I’m not making fun of what you wrote, but after reading and comparing our two nations and your country’s eager acceptance for strick gun control, why I think we Americans should start by checking our water supply next to yours in New Zealand….I’m not kidding. Joe

        • KiwiAntz
          March 8, 2018 at 02:50

          You know, if you think it’s fun that thousands of your citizens are dying in totally preventable mass shootings & endless gun violence, then there’s no hope for you or your Country? My comments may sound simplistic & naive to you, but sometimes the simplest solution is the most obvious? Australia & NZ decided the simplest solution was to implement a blanket gun ban although there are exceptions for permitted gun owners in both Countries for game Hunters, but this is strictly regulated by our police with no automatic military style weapons allowed & our citizens are banned from owning guns? Would a gun ban work in America? Who knows & you’d never know for sure unless you tried it? But what I do know is that Australia or NZ doesn’t have some lunatic running around with military grade, AR15 automatic assault rifles, shooting the hell out of innocent kids & schoolchildren! I think what’s needed is to take a leaf out of the Australians book & take the simplest option? But that’s just my opinion? And I don’t know what your trying to imply with comparing water quality between our Countries, it’s a bizarre analogy & don’t take offence, but I can tell you that our water isn’t flammable or tastes like crap & our water table isn’t being poisoned by oil fracking companies running roughshod over every US state, as they are doing in your union?

          • Deb
            March 8, 2018 at 03:48

            Shout out to my NZ neighbour, let’s not forget what lead in the drinking water does to the brain too.

    • Evangelista
      March 7, 2018 at 21:39


      How would your list of draconian regulations, or any of them, have prevented the Parkland, Florida school shoot-up?

      Even with all of them emplaced the shooter would have legally owned and had right to possession and use of his firearm.

      He was, after all, enrolled in, and trained by a military prep program, and deemed by them competent to possess and use military style firearms.

      The failure was of official action, not of guns or gun law: The guy started showing erratic behavior and talking crazy and making direct threats. Those around him notified authorities. Authorities did nothing.

      It cannot be said with any certainty that if there had been someone at the school with a gun that that person would have averted the tragedy, because there are too many variables in such situations, but such a person would have been a last-ditch stop-gap in the case that all authorities who everyday people, including the killed students and their parents, everyday depend on to protect against such crimes had failed. …As they did all fail.

      The seventeen in Parkland died not because of gin law, the died because existing controls on hand and in place in Parkland and Broward County failed.

      All of you jumping on the gun and climbing up on the pile of the dead bodies to preach sermons against devil-guns, instead of, and maybe to obscure the fact that, the failure was of the system, are helping to cover up the failure and divert attention and scrutiny from the failure.

      You are helping prevent the real problems from being addressed.

    • Tannenhouser
      March 8, 2018 at 09:38

      1. Nope just the scary ones:) Say full auto and easily concealed to start.
      2. Not sure how you could even begin to accomplish this considering the ocean of firearms not registered.
      3. Yep, this one is good. I would carry it further and insist on fire arms training for ALL citizens as mandatory, regardless as to desire
      to own one.
      4. Naw capacity is the most important aspect in my op, in regards to defending against oppression. It will take approximately 32secnd to ‘dump’ a thirty round mag at semi auto , and approximately 36 seconds to ‘dump’ 3 ten round mag. Six seconds isn’t worth infringing upon another right’s for the illusion of safety.
      5. Yep, as long as those banned were banned for appropriate reasons, not because they had a misdemeanor law violation not related to firearms.

      There are numerous actions that can be taken without infringing on other’s right’s. I would, will and do support them. Problem is the most rabid anti firearmers got bubkiss and emotional plea’s to strip rights for illusions.

      • Daniel
        March 9, 2018 at 22:20

        Thanks Tannerhouser for a reasoned and reasonable response.

        1. Fully automatic firearms are already so heavily regulated as to be essentially banned for almost everyone. It’s true that “long guns” are only used in a tiny fraction of homicides. But I see no reason to get into regulating what constitutes “easy to conceal” since all small arms can be concealed to some degree. Relating to your remark on 5, yes, the parameters for what constitutes “banned” on a background check must be carefully considered and universally adopted.

        Right now, one of the feel-good phrases being tossed about is “mentally ill.” But statistically, people suffering from mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. One could argue they need firearms more than most people.;-) Also, if we included everyone diagnosed at any point with any of the conditions listed in the DSM, that would amount to almost 1/2 of all US citizens.

        I think we’d almost all agree that the point is to try to prevent dangerous people from getting firearms. So, that’s all that I think should matter on a background check.

        2. Being able to trace firearms used in crimes is the only way to stem supplies to those we agree shouldn’t get guns. And requiring registration on all transfers is the only way to start. All firearms are eventually transferred or destroyed. In a generation, all firearms would either be registered or illegally held.

        3. Not a bad idea at all for all USAmericans to have some basic education on firearms. Same with First Aid.

        4. Large capacity magazines are the main reason most of the highly-publicized, fear-producing mass murders can occur. The moments it takes to reload are often the opportunities for potential victims to escape or attack and disarm the murderer.

        For defensive purposes, if I need more than 10 rounds before reloading…

        WW II was fought mostly with firearms with capacities lower than 10 rounds. But frankly, an AR15 with a drum magazine is not going to deter an army platoon (or even local cops in a MRAP wearing Category IV body armor and carrying fully automatic rifles, grenade launchers and poison gas).

        And if a tyrannical government is concerned that a local “militia” group could deter an armed offensive, they’ll just order some nice young person in an air-conditioned trailer in Nevada to click a mouse button and drop an aptly-named hellfire missile or two into your bunker.

        The only hope we have against the militarized police, let alone the most powerful military in world history, is to convince enough of those enforcers not to fire on us.

    • Tannenhouser
      March 8, 2018 at 10:21

      1. Sure, what may I ask are the criteria for denial? Does a drunk and disorderly 10 years ago deny my access? Did I send a non threatening angry letter to my congresscritter about the quality of water in my state?

      2. Given the number of unregistered guns this seems unrealistic. I spose if u started NOW in a hundred or so years all those unregistered guns would be….. gone?

      3. This one is good, I would go even further and suggest that in a country where firearms ownership is a constitutional right this training should be mandatory for ALL citizens regardless as to ‘ownership’ or not.

      4. It will take approximately 32-33 seconds to ‘dump a 30 found magazine. It will take approximately 36-38 seconds to ‘dump’ 3-ten round mags. I see no justification of stripping rights for a six second illusion of safety.

      5. Sure, again why have I been denied is important.

      I support anything in regards to firearms safety, and oppose illusionary safety. The big problem is the most rabid anti firearmers got nothing except stripping rights for the illusion of safety and hollow emotional rhetoric. Just check out mike k’s responses in any ‘firearm’ related thread here. There are numerous things that could be done to provide a greater measure of safety for citizens without stripping other’s constitutional rights.

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