Tag Archives: 2nd Amendment

‘We are not anti-gun!’

Of all the public pronouncements I heard today at the start of the March For Our Lives, one of them stands out foursquare in front of the rest of them.

“We are not anti-gun!” came the proclamation from an elevated stage calling the crowd to order as the march was about to commence.

It came from one of the student organizers who had rallied hundreds of Texas Panhandle residents, summoned them to Ellwood Park, where they would take their march through downtown Amarillo, Texas, to the Potter County Courthouse grounds.

The March For Our Lives took places in communities throughout the United States. It was spawned by the Parkland, Fla., high school slaughter of 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The “We are not anti-gun!” proclamation reveals a certain sophistication among the students who organized this march. The Texas Panhandle students clearly know the audience to whom they are preaching. They want an end to gun violence. They do not intend to argue for the confiscation of firearms. They know better than that.

They know they live in a community that supports the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It’s always fascinated me that the nation’s founders sought to codify certain civil liberties; they started with guaranteeing the right to worship, protest the government and a free press in the First Amendment; then came the Second Amendment, which establishes the right to “keep and bear arms.”

Texas Panhandle residents take their Second Amendment rights seriously. Well, at least a lot of them do.

Thus, the March For Our Lives organizers sought to tell the marchers — and some onlookers who had come to Ellwood Park — about their intentions in staging this march.

They want “common sense” legislative remedies that assure that the Second Amendment remains viable. They say they have no intention of lobbying for repeal of the amendment. They want to assure the right to own firearms remains written in our nation’s government framework.

I haven’t yet heard of any proposed solutions that deny Americans the right to possess firearms. I also applaud the organizers of our local event for making clear that they intend to retain that right.

They simply have seen too many young people — just like themselves — gunned down while they are studying in school, a place where one can presume they would be safe.

They aren’t. The students who marched today want our politicians to do what they to ensure safety and to end the national scourge of gun violence.

Motor City Madman doesn’t belong in ‘our house’

Donald J. Trump’s recent guests at the White House have drawn some chatter around the country.

Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent came calling on the president.

I won’t discuss the former half-term Alaska governor (and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee) or Kid Rock in this post. Nugent’s presence in the White House, though, is worthy of a brief — and unkind — comment from yours truly.

The Motor City Madman disgusts me at many levels. The idea that he would darken the White House door — the house that belongs to you and me — is revolting.

Robert Reich, the former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, noted this on a social media post:

“Nugent once referred to former President Barack Obama as a ‘mongrel.’ He has said he wanted to shoot former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and called for Obama and Hillary Clinton to be assassinated. In 2012, after making a threatening remark about Obama, Nugent was the subject of a Secret Service investigation.

“As Trump’s dinner guest, Nugent was asked if he regretted his comments about Obama and Clinton. He responded, ‘No! I will never apologize for calling out evil people.’”

It’s not Nugent’s politics that should disqualify him from entering the White House. I get that he’s a political conservative; he’s an avid Second Amendment activist. That’s all fine as far as it goes. We’re all entitled to our points of view and political opinion.

However, this washed-up rock guitarist has a lengthy record of uttering profoundly hideous diatribes against people with whom he disagrees. The “mongrel” comment about the former president is just one of them.

The notion that the current president of the United States would welcome someone who has spoken so disgracefully about a former president demonstrates why so many millions of Americans believe he is unfit for the office he occupies.

How many more instances of Trump ignorance are there?

2d-amendment

This graphic showed up on my Facebook news feed, so I thought I’d share it here … and offer a quick comment.

The item here illustrates a fundamental failure of the Republican Party nominee for president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

He has said at various times that Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. What that blanket comment made on the campaign stump reveals is the candidate’s utter ignorance of the power invested in the presidency.

The president cannot abolish a constitutional amendment.

Congress has to have a say. So do the states. As the graphic illustrates, it takes a super-majority in both cases for an amendment to be added — or rescinded.

None of that stops Trump from fomenting fear.

The man has no clue about the limits of presidential power.

Shooting shatters 'profile'

When news broke of the shooting at the Marysville, Wash., high school, and it was known that the shooter was a student, one of my first thoughts became: What kind of loner/outcast would do such a horrible thing?

Then the second shock arrived. The shooter was a freshman at Pilchuck High School who was popular with his peers, an athlete and a young man who’d just been named homecoming prince.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/washington-school-gunman-was-homecoming-prince/ar-BBaYo33

Then I watched a former FBI profiler, Clint Van Zandt, tell MSNBC that this case arguably is the most “baffling” he had seen, given that Jaylen Fryberg was the quintessential non-stereotype we’ve attached to individuals who do these kinds of horrifying deeds. Van Zandt essentially said you could throw the profile book out the window.

Fryberg killed himself after shooting another student to death and injuring four others, three of them critically.

The argument will rage once again over how this young man obtain possession of the weapon he used to bring such destruction to the school just north of Seattle.

***

We’re going to hear from gun-owner advocates that no laws could have prevented this from happening. Gun-safety advocates will argue the opposite.

And look and listen for the National Rifle Association — among others — to proclaim that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment is so sacrosanct that to touch any part of it would render it utterly meaningless.

Interestingly, Washington state voters are going to decide a referendum on the state’s ballot that expands background checks to include all gun purchases.

It’s fair to ask: Would such a provision have kept the weapon out of Jaylen Fryberg’s hands? Probably not.

It also is fair to ask: Do such laws make it just a little harder for nuts to obtain guns … and do they infringe on legitimate gun ownership?

“Yes” to the first part. Absolutely “no!” to the second.

Yes, guns do kill people

A 9-year-old Arizona girl has become the poster child for gun-safety reform.

This isn’t a pretty story and it speaks to adult stupidity and carelessness as much as it does to anything else.

The girl was firing an Uzi automatic assault rifle on a firing range when it the instructor told her to pull the trigger  to fire a several-round burst. The recoil of the Uzi pulled the weapon upward and the instructor was shot in the head. He later died.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/27/opinion/robbins-why-was-child-firing-uzi/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

And so here we are debating whether the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so damn sacred that it prevents government from enacting laws that keep these weapons out of the hands of little children.

What on God’s planet Earth have we come to?

The debate is going rage on. Should we make such laws? Absolutely, we should.

Mel Robbins, a firearms expert, writes for CNN.com about the tragedy. She notes that the incident isn’t really the little girl’s fault. The instructor was standing in the wrong place. What’s more, the instructor told the girl to put the weapon in fully automatic mode.

What happened to the man is tragic beyond measure.

But what in the world are we doing allowing little children to handle these kinds of deadly weapons in the first place, even in what’s supposed to be a “controlled environment”?

As Robbins notes in her CNN.com essay: “Kids can’t drive until they’re 16, vote, chew tobacco or smoke until they’re 18, or drink until they’re 21. No child should have access to firing a fully automatic weapon until the age of 18. And gun ranges should know better than to hand one to a novice shooter passing through on vacation, let alone one as young as 9.”

The National Rifle Association so far has been quiet on this incident. Don’t expect the nation’s premier gun-owner rights group to remain silent. The NRA brass can be expected to come up with some kind of rationale for preventing the enactment of laws that keep guns out of little children’s hands.

In the process, the NRA very well could demonstrate — yet again — how out of touch with American public opinion it has become.

 

 

No booze at gun shows

Texas is known as a place that loves gun ownership.

It shouldn’t be known as a place that allows gun buyers to get sauced up on booze before purchasing a firearm at a gun show.

Yet that’s an idea the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is considering.

Say it ain’t so, TABC.

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/opinions/editorials/article/EDITORIAL-Alcohol-at-gun-shows-is-simply-a-bad-5682196.php

The newspaper where I used to work has it exactly right. Say “no” to this nutty idea.

It comes from a Dallas-Fort Worth gun club that wants the TABC to end its ban on alcohol at gun shows. The request is for the club to sell alcoholic beverages to those attending gun shows.

There’s something just inherently wrong with this idea. I cannot quite put my finger on the precise reason why it’s so wrong. It must have something to do with the idea of allowing someone who perhaps has had too much to drink to purchase a firearm, then buy ammunition, then load the ammo into the firearm and then, well …

You get the idea, yes?

I have no problem with gun ownership. I own a couple of firearms myself. They’re hidden. I rarely ever touch them. I honor and support the constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

I do not, however, believe the Constitution prohibits reasonable rules that guard against foolish or tragic behavior involving firearms.

That’s why the TABC should nix the gun club’s request to allow the uncomfortable mixing of alcohol and gun shows.

The idea should give all Texans the creeps.

George Zimmerman should have gone away quietly

I’ve been thinking for the past little while about George Zimmerman, the guy who was acquitted of murdering Florida teenager Trayvon Martin in that terrible case, which drew international attention.

My thoughts have been this: If I had been found not guilty of a crime that had drawn such intense scrutiny, I just might find a way to go quietly into the night, never to be heard from again.

Zimmerman has chosen quite a different path since his acquittal.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/26/21627985-george-zimmerman-had-five-guns-when-arrested-police?lite

He and his wife have separated and are headed for divorce.

And now we have this case involving his alleged threatening of his girlfriend with some kind of firearm, a shotgun, a high-powered rifle, a pistol … something.

The latest involving Zimmerman reveals that he possesses a number of weapons, including an AR-15 assault rifle. If you’ve never seen an AR-15, they look and operate very much like an M-16 — the kind of rifle soldiers were issued when they went to Vietnam way back when.

AR-15s, as well as M-16s, are extremely deadly weapons. They fire a bullet that is barely bigger than a .22-caliber round, but they inflict maximum damage with these high-velocity projectiles.

I guess it’s not illegal to own these kinds of weapons in Florida. A judge ordered him to surrender them after Zimmerman pleaded not guilty to the charges of endangerment leveled against him.

This matters to me only because of Zimmerman’s standing as someone who was in the news — a lot — because he was accused of killing that teenager in a confrontation that occurred on a dark street one night in Sanford, Fla. He became the poster boy for — depending on your point of view — for vigilante justice or for citizens’ rights to self-protection.

I would have thought Zimmerman had gone through enough public scrutiny. He avoided punishment for a high-profile crime. He should have left town, sneaking away without being detected.

Oh, but no. He’s back in the news once again.

And he’s still packing heat.

Hasn’t this guy had enough of the limelight? Apparently not.