Comments on: Confronting the political problem of guns Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: iorek Mon, 07 Jan 2013 17:14:30 +0000 Mastafing, you are misquoting Scalia’s opinion. You should take a sedative, and go back to re-read the case when you are in a calmer state of mind. “At the time” does not mean “today,” no mater how desperate you are to construe it that way. It means “at the time.” Scalia is an “original intent” jurist, and you would have a mighty hard time arguing that that James Madison intended to leave machine guns and RPGs uncontrolled on the streets of modern cities.

By: lawgone Sat, 05 Jan 2013 15:57:41 +0000 I wrote an email to my rep in Congress about two weeks ago and put >No more gun control< in the subject line. I’m not going to get into the email I wrote, but their response is below, and, I agree with it…

Thank you for contacting me in the aftermath of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut to express your concern about proposals that would restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans. I share your concerns.

As a father and a grandfather, my heart goes out to the parents and families of these children, and the families of the teachers and school employees whose lives were so tragically cut short. We all grieve as a nation over this senseless tragedy. We are all interested in looking for real solutions that will help prevent such tragedies in the future.

Before jumping to conclusions and possible solutions as some politicians and activists have already done, I believe that we need to develop a more complete understanding of what happened leading up to this tragedy. In particular, we need to understand more about the perpetrator and his background and mental state of mind. Too often Washington is tempted to jump quickly to conclusions and quick fixes without fully understanding the complex issues involved and adopting “solutions” that fail to address the underlying problem.

Clearly, the individual who perpetrated this terrible act (Adam Lanza) was mentally disturbed, and news sources thus far indicated that intervention was seriously lacking. The specifics of any mental or developmental disability from which he suffered must be fully understood and investigated. Understanding more detail on this subject will play a significant role in developing interventions to prevent future Adam Lanzas from carrying out such unthinkable acts.

Also, some media reports have indicated that he was on psychotropic drugs. We need to understand what drug or drugs he was on and what role, if any, these drugs may have played in his mental state and aggression. Some reports indicate that his mother was in the process of having him committed to a mental institution. Is this true? And, if so, what role may this have played? What early warning signs were there? What actions were or were not taken? What barriers to intervention exist and what changes in law might be needed to address such deficiencies?

Additionally, media reports indicated that Lanza spent a considerable amount of time playing violent first-person shooter video games. What role if any did this play particularly when combined with his mental instability, and possibly being on psychotropic prescription drugs? You may recall that serious mental problems and addiction to violent video games were also traits that investigators uncovered when investigating the murders carried out by James Holmes at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

A Washington Post poll following this tragedy reports that a majority of Americans believe that this incident reflects a larger problem in American society. Some have suggested that the culture of violence is poisoning the minds of children and these games are desensitizing children to the reality of violence. The Parents Television Council reports that the average child graduates from elementary school having seen 8,000 murders and more than 100,000 acts of violence on television. By age 18, the number of murders is up to 40,000. Can this level of exposure be a factor in already troubled youths committing aggressive acts, including murders?

The issues at hand here run deep and deserve a broader discussion and investigation. The issues involved also cross federal and state jurisdiction and thus any solutions, once we understand all of the issues at hand, may merit consideration at multiple levels.

Many long time advocates of restricting the Second Amendment began calling for more gun control in the immediate aftermath of the shootings. However, one must first consider that the state in which this took place, Connecticut, already has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country and those laws did not prevent this unthinkable act. Initial reports indicate that the firearms belonged to the shooter’s mother, who herself was a victim of Lanza. We need that part of the investigation to be completed so we know for certain whether the firearms belonged to Ms. Lanza. If they do – and were in compliance with current law – then we need to recognize that broad-base firearms laws are not likely to be effective in preventing gun violence in the future.

A common thread of serious mental imbalance, increased aggression, excessive exposure to violence through various media, and prescription psychotropic drugs, and the failure of early intervention have been a common factor in similar acts of violence.

I look forward to a complete investigation into this tragedy so that any proposed solutions are focused on the specifics of the case to address this growing concern of mentally unstable individuals and firearms crimes.

End of email…

Anyone that thinks Feinstein, Boxer, Schumer and other gun grabbers are going to waltz into DC and pass bans are sorely mistaken. There is going to be a fight.

By: Mastafing Sat, 05 Jan 2013 13:53:51 +0000 From the article:The “right to bear arms,” Scalia wrote, only applies to “the sorts of weapons … in common use at the time” of the Second Amendment – which was 1791. What was “in common use” then?—That is NOT what Scalia said! Scalia said “the sorts of weapons…in common use at the time.” Not “at the time of the Constitution.” With that finding as anchor, the Court ruled a total ban on operative handguns in the home is unconstitutional, as the ban runs afoul of both the self-defense purpose of the Second Amendment – a purpose not previously articulated by the Court – and the “in common use at the time” prong of the Miller decision: since handguns are in common use, their ownership is protected. AR15’s are in common use TODAY. Get it?? Scalia himself owns a large collection of firearms and is an avid shooter, they aren’t all muskets and flintlocks. This entire article is garbage, and is intentionally lying to the public. Disgraceful….

By: OneOfTheSheep Sat, 05 Jan 2013 09:01:08 +0000 The problem isn’t gun politics. It’s unidentified, unregulated sociopaths. It’s a PEOPLE problem. We need to identify and lock up the nuts(politicians excepted, of course).

Anyone got an idea how to do that, now’s the time!

By: borisjimbo Sat, 05 Jan 2013 06:15:12 +0000 NAGR, what an appropriate abbreviation.

By: AlkalineState Fri, 04 Jan 2013 20:34:42 +0000 The automobile analogies are kind of played out. Are the gun owners really asking to have point-of-sale tracking, taxing and registering of all guns, the way we do with vehicles? On every sale and re-sale? Titles filed with the county, and annual registration fees so we can track who the hit-and-run guy was?

I didn’t think so. We don’t ban cars, but we regulate the hell out of them. And we use them for a public revenue stream. Is that what you want to do with guns? Then enough on how similar they are.

By: rikfre Fri, 04 Jan 2013 18:24:13 +0000 I was wondering if the author was going to cover a ban on automobiles. It seems they cause the tragic deaths of many as well.

By: AlkalineState Fri, 04 Jan 2013 17:40:08 +0000 Since the Constitution does not mention guns or firearms, and since ‘arms’ is a much broader term than just guns (as noted above), it appears we need to go back to the drawing board regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment. Couple that with its very poor wording (‘well-regulated’ and ‘shall not be infringed…. found in the same sentence), and it’s time for some legal clarity on the matter. And I’m not talking random case law here and there. We need national legislation laying it all out. What is legal, what is not. What constitutes infringement, what is are ‘arms,’ what is a well-regulated militia. Other federal laws include definitions. The Second Amendment should also.

For the record, gun control works. We know this because the countries that have gun control have far fewer gun deaths (tens of thousands fewer each year). Also for the record, gun control when you already have 300 million guns in the population…. does not work. It can’t work. The weapons are already out there. Any effort to confiscate or ban further would be bogus. But we need a clear path going forward, and it starts with legal clarity.

By: tmc Fri, 04 Jan 2013 17:01:02 +0000 Yes, I see your point. Taking that into account, I hope we learn to understand what our forefathers intended, not what some modern sophist can twist the almost ancient written word into. The theme of the article I guess.

By: AlkalineState Fri, 04 Jan 2013 16:42:25 +0000 tmc, I’m suggesting people should debate what the Constitution actually says, not what they want it to say. The Constitution makes no mention of guns or firearms. The Second Amendment says ‘Arms.’ When we do an arms sale to Saudi Arabia, do you think those are shipments of handguns and rifles? Are you naive?

Those are F-16’s, anti-aircraft rockets, RPG’s, munitions, guidance systems, the works. Arms. It’s not a walmart truck full of pistols and varmint guns. So why does the government sell this stuff to other people (people who would do harm to us, and have)…. but not allow its own citizens to have real arms. RPG’s don’t kill people. People kill people. No?