Over the July Fourth weekend, I heard an extremely disastrous report, there were incidents where 150 people were shot and either wounded or killed, and over 400 events that involved the use of guns.

These statistics should arouse the ire of all Americans. Many years ago, President Ronald Reagan and his press secretary were shot in the District of Columbia by a man. The president recovered, but Jim Brady, his press secretary, sustained injuries that disabled him for life. The Republicans rallied and passed the Brady Bill, and we, the general public felt that at last we would see legislation that would deter more shootings of innocent people.

Unfortunately, we erred in judgment, and the National Rifle Association won again. It bothers me that this organization has so much clout. After the aforementioned event occurred, we witnessed myriad other tragedies that involved innocent people being shot and killed by deranged individuals with guns acquired either legally or stolen from a cache of firearms that were available. Why is the NRA so powerful that Republicans are fearful of this organization? Several years ago, a group of them were playing baseball, when a man began shooting at the players and severely injured one.

It was an opportunity to act and put a stop to these incidents which seem to be the normal. They dismissed this chance to show that they really cared about the accessibility of firearms to people who would use them indiscriminately.

I do not have a problem with gun owners who are sportsmen and posses guns for recreational purposes and who keep these weapons carefully away from those who would use them to harm or kill. But this is not happening. It seems that if you want to carry a gun, it's a no-brainer, and anyone, including those with unseemly motives, can acquire one.

How often must we read or hear that innocent people in a church, a public gathering, a movie theater, at the workplace are killed or injured? What excuses do the Republicans have to resist passing legislation, once and for all, to put their constituents first instead of the NRA? As we see the statics rise instead of fall, will some brave Republicans take a stand on gun control? Even those who see guns as something they must own, should understand that we are not taking away your "right to bear arms." We are just making it harder to put guns in the hands of those who will harm or kill you or your family.

(54) comments

phydeaux994

The 2nd Amendment was about Militias, not private citizens. Justice Scalia has been roundly criticized by Constitutional Scholars on both sides of the aisle for abandoning his “Originalism” philosophy in D.C. vs. Heller.

gabrielshorn2013

Some legal scholars did, phy. But why would all of the other rights guaranteed by the other nine amendments be individual rights, and the 2A be a collective right? Does only a government sponsored group have freedom of speech, and everyone else must hold their tongue? Are only certain groups protected from self-incrimination by the 5A? Ask yourself that same question for all of the other nine amendments. Do you see how your argument doesn't make sense in context of the Bill of Rights in its entirety?

Hayduke2

Do the other ammendments include wording that implies a "group" rather than an individual? Do you see how your argument doesn't make sense?

gabrielshorn2013

Let's take a look at the wording of the 2A hay:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The prefatory clause A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, gives a reason for the people to keep and bear arms, but not the only reason. People have an inherent right to self protection and preservation. The phrase the peolle connotes an individual right. That is indisputable. People also hunt for food, and participate in shooting sports.. Your critique makes no sense.

Hayduke2

Again, YOUR interpretation.

Hayduke2

People, in and of itself, refers to a group.

Hayduke2

ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right. For seven decades, the Supreme Court's 1939 decision in United States v. Miller was widely understood to have endorsed that view.

gabrielshorn2013

Again, YOUR interpretation.

Yes hay, and that of the SCOTUS, and due to stare decisis will unlikely to be revisited. Article V of the Constitution gives you a remedy.

gabrielshorn2013

@ Hayduke2 Jul 17, 2021 6:04pm

People, in and of itself, refers to a group.

Yes hay, it means a group, as in all the people of the United States, as individual citizens of the United States. Let’s look at the text of a few of the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights to test your interpretation of “the people”.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

So, according to you, unless someone belongs to a certain government-sanctioned group, they may not peaceably assemble, and an individual has no right to complain to the government and expect compensation for government mistreatment or losses due to government actions?

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

According to you, only groups are protected from illegal search and seizure? The government may raid any individual’s home and confiscate their possessions without due cause and a warrant, because they are not a member of a government-sanctioned group? You or I are outta luck?

So, whose interpretation of “the people” is more plausible. Mine, meaning all of the citizens of the United States, or yours, meaning only certain government-sanctioned groups. I think the choice is obvious.

Hayduke2

No, opinion of 5 SCOTUS members

gabrielshorn2013

Irrelevant. The SCOTUS made their decision, and because of Stare decisis, is unlikely to be revisited. Trying to re-litigate it here is a fruitless endeavor. MacDonald reaffirmed Heller, and there have been many lower court affirmations since then. Your solution lies in Article V of the Constitution.

Hayduke2

Stare decisis, really? Isn't that how the 2nd ammendment was viewed by the courts until the Heller decision ? Things change and likely will at some point. As stated, I know your opinion is the only one that matters and no one can have a valid argument. Peace.

gabrielshorn2013

Oh come on hay, you’re better than that. Of course I will defend my opinion, because it is, well, my opinion that I have formed over many years of analyzing the position, looking at the data and court opinions. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. If you wish to challenge my opinion, fine, but come armed with data that supports your position and undercuts mine. A legal interpretation may stand until it is challenged in the SCOTUS. That is when the interpretation is put to the test. In the case of the 2A being a collective right rather than an individual one, that position was determined to be wrong. Read the rationale for the decision in Heller. Now that that narrow point has been determined by SCOTUS, yes, stare decisis applies. Read the other firearms cases in the SCOTUS archive. It is searchable. Each and every case was very narrow in scope, meant to answer a particular and narrow question. Miller defined that sawed-off shotguns are not covered by the 2A, and are therefore illegal because you cannot use them in a militia. Narrow question, narrow response. Heller determined that not allowing citizens to keep a loaded firearm in the home for protection violated the 2A because it violated the inherent right to self-protection. Same for McDonald. Both plaintiffs wanted their inherent right of self-protection within the home upheld, and it was.

veritas

Tired, wornout, hackneyed, trite, overused and yet inescapably, 100 percent accurate: Guns don't kill people; people kill people.

phydeaux994

You’re wrong again veritas, bullets kill people, lots of people, fired from guns operated by people. 110% accurate. The Countries with effective gun control laws have the least gun violence. In America, Hawaii has the strictest gun control laws including Registration. And Hawaii has the lowest incidents of gun violence. 2+2=4! It’s indisputable.

mcrider

I just wonder, how many of those … “150 people were shot and either wounded or killed, and over 400 events that involved the use of guns”….were criminal black on black crime, or illegal gang related ? And how many were attributable to any law abiding 2nd Amendment to the Constitution understanding and supporting average American gun owner? Just wondering.

shiftless88

Every time a LEO gets shot, I would hope that all the people against gun control would feel bad. They are enabling this. LEOs in other first-world countries do not get shot like they do here. You are making their job more dangerous.

gabrielshorn2013

Ms. Haber, what do you propose to do to get the guns out of the hands of criminals, without affecting the people’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms”? The overwhelming majority of firearm owners are law abiding people with no criminal records (If they had a record, they would be precluded from legally obtaining a firearm). We already have Federal laws for firearms (18 CFR 922 for illegal acts, and 18 CFR for penalties), look them up. Also look at all of the state laws. If you ask the mayors and police chiefs of major cities where shootings are rampant, you will hear the same thing, the violence is caused by repeat offenders and gang members. The police repeatedly arrest them, the prosecutors undercharge to protect their conviction percentages, and the judges under-sentence, allowing repeat offenders back on the street to shoot somebody else. Violence using a firearm, if you add up the penalties that, by Federal law, must be served consecutively (not concurrently), and should result in over a decade behind bars, are tried in State courts, and the offender is given nothing more than a bump up in their street cred. Look up Radee Prince. The other examples of shooters that should have been in jail given below also illustrate the problem. Approximately 330.000 people were denied the purchase of a firearm in 2020 because they failed a background check by lying on the form (Form 4473, NICS) used in the background check. That’s great! However, very few, if any, will be actually prosecuted for committing such a felony (and each lie is a separate, punishable felony). That needs to change immediately, and the minimum penalty for such felonies is five years in Federal prison. If you still want to restrict citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, I suggest you read Article IV of the US Constitution. It lays out the process for doing so.

AOC

[thumbup]

On April 4, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly approved legislation imposing significant new restrictions on gun ownership. The bills ban the sale of certain semi-automatic firearms that they define as assault weapons, limit magazine capacity to ten rounds, require that handgun purchasers be fingerprinted and pass a training class in order to obtain a handgun license, and bar persons who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution from possessing firearms.

MD1756

Why not fingerprint and collect DNA from everyone? As a former federal employee (US EPA), the federal government already has my fingerprints. It would help solve more crimes, not just those involving firearms.

Awteam2021

Gabe, I get what you are saying but most gun deaths in the USA are suicides with guns bought legally by law abiding citizens somewhere around 23,000 out of 39,000 total homicides. Another 3% are unintentional. That leaves a balance of around 15,000 criminal homicides. Not all were acquired illegally. A logical case can be made for greater gun controls while maintaining 2nd amendment rights. At least reducing suicides which is a greater danger and accidents to a smaller degree. No one should disagree with illegal access or convicted criminals having guns.

I don’t want to step on your second amendment right. But there’s technology available today to make it harder for unauthorized users to use your weapons (touch acknowledge, facial recognition, gps tracking, disabling mechanisms if your weapon is stolen, to name a few). Sure bad guys might figure ways around it. I’m sure they’ll try. But doing nothing isn’t a solution.

We’re not talking about one shot muskets.

MD1756

One shot muskets (and they had weapons with more than one shot in fact the British had a breech loader (the Ferguson rifle) during the American revolution, and it's use could have been the death of Washington at Brandywine) was the advanced technology of the time. The number of suicides by guns might be reduced with 1) better mental health resources and 2) legalized assisted suicide for those with terminal ailments.

Awteam2021

MD1756, gun technology has come a long way since then . No way they were thinking a well regulated militia couldn’t be how we armed today. I doubt you could have Imagine 15 years ago that Apple has the capability to produce a gun that only you can fire and track your enemy by gps and schedule a time to fire the weapon. That was inconceivable 15. 10, 5 years ago not even thought of or potentially imagine in 1783.

You are right, mental healthcare is an important part o the solution. But you are wrong, there’s no legalized assistance with terminal illness by gunfire in the United States. That’s not a humane ending of life? And how many assisted suicide happen in America a year? 100? 150?

MD1756

Aweteam, if you read my comment again, you'd see I'm saying if assisted suicide were made legal, there would be a lower number of suicides by guns (how much lower I don't know). I'm not advocating suicide by firearms. I also agree with a good number of "gun control" measures as common sense. I think you're wrong on the technology example. For example, during the Iran-Contra scandal, I wondered why we didn't insert gps into the arms we were supplying (put them in the stock and maybe tie it into a sensor so that it gave off its position when fired. To my knowledge that technology doesn't exist but it doesn't mean it can't be developed and used). The second amendment isn't focused on what weapon(s) someone may keep and bear, it is focused on the right of the people (not the state or federal governments) to keep and bear arms (so it doesn't even have to be a firearm which is a subset of "arms"). Other amendments use the term "the people" to mean individuals or the people collectively. Look at the 4th amendment or the 10th amendment. The term "the people" means individuals or people collectively and certainly does not mean the state or federal government.

Now having said that, I believe the correct way to address the issue of gun control is to amend the 2nd amendment and put qualifiers on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. That would take some of this out of the courts. It could also potentially allow state or local governments to have more strict requirements. Personally I'm all for collecting the fingerprints and DNA of everyone (not just those who legally purchase any guns) to help fight crime and to help reduce the conviction of innocent people (whether or not a firearm was used in the crime).

Rick Blatchford

The larger problems are 1) enforcement of existing laws, and 2) the lack of proper application of the law. i.e. punishment. It is not the oft-slandered Republicans who continue to release offenders and put them back into the general population - among us.

wran

So correct. The thug who killed the Naval Academy Midshipman's mom when she was dropping her son at the Naval Academy had been arrested for gun crimes. He was merely given an ankle location recorder and set free. The thug who killed the Brunswick teen in April had been arrested and charged with armed robbery in 2018. He was put on probation and allowed back into the community. Then, he was charged with murder in April.

People think the NRA has a lot more power and influence than it actually does.

Hayduke2

Wran - you cite two extreme and unfortunate examples. What about acknowledging both sides of the coin, all those accidental shootings in the law abiding homes that impact families, a lot with children. Like it or not, we have a gun problem in America and both sides need to figure it out.

gabrielshorn2013

Extreme, hay? No, quite common anymore. Violence with a firearm should result in severe penalties, not a few months to a year in jail, then out with better street cred. Look up anyone arrested for firearm violations. Look up the guy that killed the Brunswick teen and see for yourself. It happens time and again. Go to the CFR and read the consecutive penalties these folks should have received, versus what they actually got. Do you see a problem there?

Hayduke2

Well, yeah, they are extreme cases...

Hayduke2

Some statistics for you to digest - https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/backgrounders/RG-gun-mm.PDF OR https://www.justice.gov/archives/jm/criminal-resource-manual-112-firearms-charges

gabrielshorn2013

No hay, they are not extreme cases. If you go back to the stories about Kai Hagen and his alleged interference, you will see a list of 13 stories from the FNP alone for traffic stops netting arrests for illegal firearm possession and drug running, and that is just in Frederick County! Many of those arrested had prior felonies for weapons used in violent crimes, yet they found illegal weapons on them during the traffic stop. It is more common than you believe.

gabrielshorn2013

BTW hay, I am already aware of your references, and they didn't tell me anything that I didn't know. Now compare this information with sentences in State courts for the same crimes. See the differences? Also, someone may be found guilty in a State court, sentenced to 25 years, and have all but 5 suspended. It happens a lot.

Awteam2021

You don’t think the easy access to guns held by irresponsible people doesn’t lead to the death of the Naval cadet’s mom?

gabrielshorn2013

@ aw Jul 16, 2021 2:51pm

Look up who that guy was, and his prior criminal record. Whoever gave him that gun faces Federal prosecution under 18 CFR 922.

olefool

Yeah Rick, maybe it's us who release them after they done their time, but it's you that gives them their guns. Go figure...

Rick Blatchford

It's easy to pop off a few wise cracks, ain't it. Now, provide evidence to support your specious, erroneous claim. Waiting....

Awteam2021

Rick, I doubt your opinion will be part of the solution in preventing gun deaths in this country. It’s harder to access your smart phone to make an unauthorized phone call then for me to steal your firearm and use it on you. In today world, tell me what sense does that make?

dtuwiner

It seems that there are already stringent gun control laws. I often wonder if the priority should be focused on mental health or catching troubled individuals early on. Each time a tragic incident occurs involving guns, people ask why this happened. A deranged individual will utilize any weapon of their choice. A case in point is the Boston Marathon bombing where a simple pressure cooker, something that could be acquired at Wal-Mart, was used to cause the maximum amount of terror and harm to innocent people.

pdl603

I don’t understand why this LTE writer assumes gun control will stop the shooting in Chicago, NYC, Baltimore, etc.. My bet is the guns used in these shootings are illegal and unregistered. Xiden and the democrat’s have condoned the summer crime spree by defunding police. Thank them for this current mess.

Hayduke2

condoned the summer crime spree by defunding police --- Educate yourself pdl. One good source of debunking the "myths" of your statement can be found at https://www.brookings.edu/blog/how-we-rise/2021/05/19/7-myths-about-defunding-the-police-debunked/

pdl603

I just have to read the newspapers and watch the news. Quoting some progressive/leftist think tank ain’t gonna cut it.

olefool

Maybe you should move to one of those cities piddle, it might clear your cluttered mind a little. Here's an idea, no guns, no shootings.... it's not complicated.

pdl603

You can’t be that stupid can you? Oh wait, you are Dull Tool, so yes you can. Geez.

Awteam2021

Like all tools it doesn’t just drop from the market but become out dated. Especially if no-one longer supports it . Technology enforced can win out. The old tool disappears, become relics. It will take time, but today if all weapon manufacturers were required to have personal recognition, tracking and remote disablement and at a point if your vintage gun wasn’t brought up to grade or couldn’t be transitioned, it would be retired. That would dramatically reduce homicides in this country while protecting the 2nd Amendment.

jsklinelga

Ms. Haber,

Any person no matter what age or of what background can walk into anyone of the countless local stores and buy any gun they want and walk out within minutes.

Correct? Not by a long shot. (No pun intended). We have gun control. The areas you read so much about have the strictest gun laws.

Be truthful in what you really want. Guns out of the hands of private citizens.

Hayduke2

Jsk - this reasoning has been used for a long time. However, if you look at the issue openly, compare the stats from the US to other developed countries, and not react emotionally, it is hard to say America doesn't have a gun problem. Are the solutions easy, no. However, it is time to start a non=partisan, non -gun folk vs others, etc. to look long term and arrive at sensible solutions.

olefool

No guns, no shootings.... Simple solution...

gabrielshorn2013

Well, that's the "Captain Obvious" statement of the day, olefool. Just like no knives, no stabbings. No cars, no car crashes. No airplanes, no airplane crashes. Simple, yes...simple minded. And exactly how to you intend to confiscate the over 400 MILLION firearms in this country? Go door-to-door and ask the residents if they have any firearms in their home? The overwhelming response will be "why no officer, why do you ask?" You'll see a precipitous drop in ownership from over 400 million, to a few thousand, not by confiscation, but by non-compliance with an unconstitutional act. Look for a real and viable idea.

Hayduke2

Gabe - just curious. Do we have a gun problem in this country?

gabrielshorn2013

Yes hay, we do, and I describe it in my Jul 16, 2021 10:01am post above.

Hayduke2

Thanks Gab... However, you address a very small part of the issue that involves influence on laws by monied interests, what is a reasonable amount of arms for an individual to own, under the radar sales, education, poverty and opportunity with those "gangs", etc. To blame the court system alone is not accurate. And no, I don't have the answer to this but it is something that needs to be addressed and acted upon nationally.

gabrielshorn2013

Monied interest, hay? Yes, absolutely! Crime seems to pay, and there is little downside to continued violent behavior, as evidenced by the references above. Should there be a limit on an item that is legal to own? I have three full golf bags, two of which I haven’t used in years. Limit the number of cars one can own? Jay Leno is in for a heap of trouble! My firearms are all used in different applications, just like the clubs in my golf bag. You can’t hunt for elk with a 22, and it is ridiculous to hunt small game with a .338 Lapua or .300 Win Mag (pink mist syndrome). Do shotguns also count? I also compete, and go to the range often, and buy my ammunition in bulk, for a significant savings. Should I be limited to a 20 cartridge box at any one time? But then, for which firearm? You will never prevent private sales unless you have mandatory registration of every last firearm. Good luck with that. Check out New York’s success when they tried to require “mandatory registration” for every “assault weapon” in the state. It was an estimated 3% registration rate, and that was in bright blue New York. Yes poverty and a lack of education is a problem, and as a teacher you should know how to get through to the kids and help them learn to learn, thus raising them out of poverty, right? You also cannot deny that there is a serious gang problem in the US that causes serious violent crime, do you? Just look at Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her chief of police begged on TV for the gangs to stop their violence.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chicago-police-chief-pleads-end-to-violence-shooting-outside-funeral/

https://abc7chicago.com/chicago-shootings-gangs-gang-peace-treaty-mass-shooting/10844994/

Hayduke2

Wish I could always be right and have the only defensible position too

gabrielshorn2013

Just addressing your points hay.

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