Tag Archives: Second Amendment

Sandy Hook didn't stop anything

Hey, wait a minute. Wasn’t that mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., supposed to be the Mother of All Wakeup Calls to end gun violence in America?

Weren’t we supposed to have been shaken to our core, energized in an unprecedented way to seek an end to this madness?

I thought so, too.

Silly me.

Check out the map here and ask yourself: Why has this violence continued?



That’s the number of school shootings that have occurred since Sandy Hook, where 20 first-graders and six teachers were killed by that single madman, who then shot himself to death.

The latest incident occurred near my hometown of Portland, Ore., where a 15-year-old Reynolds High School student walked into a locker room and killed a 14-year-old freshman instantly with a single bullet. The shooter then took his own life.

We’re outraged yet again. President Obama said after the Portland tragedy that “we’re the only industrialized nation” where this kind of violence occurs with such regularity.

I don’t have the answer. Nor do I know where to find it.

The Second Amendment says we have the right to keep and bear arms. I don’t believe it says everyone in America — regardless of their mental condition — has the same rights to a firearm as most of the rest of us.

There must be a way to prevent them from putting their hands on deadly weapons — and putting our children at such horrifying risk.

So long, Piers Morgan

When you think about, the news that CNN has canceled Piers Morgan’s prime-time talk show should come as no surprise.

His ratings were terrible, almost as terrible as his show.

I tried many times to sit through his hour-long broadcasts. I don’t think I went the distance a single time.


CNN brought in the “Britain’s Got Talent” judge to succeed the venerable Larry King. From the get-go it became clear why Morgan was so different from King: He wouldn’t let his subjects speak their minds without getting into an argument with them.

Yes, King got downright bland late in his lengthy run on CNN. I reckon he grew tired. He’s, what, about 150 years old by now, right?

Morgan, though, distinguished himself — as the link attached to this blog notes — by making a fool of himself while trying to shame his guests.

He got onto an anti-gun kick for several weeks in a row after the Newtown, Conn., massacre of those children and their teachers, prompting some diehard Second Amendment fanatics to call for his deportation back to the UK. I did not buy into that silliness. He is, after all, entitled to speak his mind — even if he is a citizen of another country.

However, he seemingly failed to grasp how so many millions of Americans hold the words written into the Constitution as bordering on the holy.

I won’t miss Morgan. Frankly, I hadn’t watched his show in many months.

Which goes to show you just why CNN canceled his show. It’s the ratings, baby.

Dick Metcalf: gun control poster boy

Dick Metcalf has become a poster boy on two distinct levels.

His dismissal as a columnist for Guns & Ammo magazine tells the nation about the power of hysterical opposition to any form of debate over gun control and about how a respected journalist can be shot in the back — so to speak — by his editors.


Metcalf has dedicated his life to the support of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to “keep and bear arms.” He’s written for Guns & Ammo for many years, becoming arguably the nation’s pre-eminent columnist on gun ownership.

Well, recently he wrote a column in the magazine that suggests that none of the Bill of Rights should be above some form of regulation. That includes the Second Amendment, Metcalf wrote.

“The fact is,” wrote Metcalf, “all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

Did he suggest a watering down of gun owner rights? No. Did he suggest a disarming of Americans? No.
He merely said the Second Amendment should not be placed on another level apart from the other Bill of Rights amendments to the Constitution.

The reaction was ferocious, according to the New York Times. Gun manufacturers threatened to pull advertising; subscriptions were cancelled; editors were harassed, harangued and hassled over the publication of a column — which the editors themselves approved prior to its publication. More on that in a moment.

The power of a gun lobby has been seen in the halls of government power, from statehouses, county courthouses, city halls and to Capitol Hill. Don’t mess with anything that even smacks of regulation, no matter how reasonable or minor it might be, the lobbyists warn. Lawmakers listen to them and back down immediately.

By my reckoning, though, perhaps the greater sin was committed by Metcalf’s editors at Guns & Ammo.

They read his column. I must presume, given that they’re professional journalists who work for a prestigious publication, that they discussed the meaning of the column and its possible impact. If they did, then perhaps they agreed to take the heat they knew would be turned up.

So, they published the writer’s work. Then the crap hit the fan. The editors’ response? It was to turn tail and run.

They dismissed the columnist because of their own journalistic cowardice.

Metcalf became their scapegoat.

I guess I could have predicted that anything smacking of reasonable discourse relating to gun regulation would fall on deaf ears among that segment of the population that adheres to the no-compromise notion of gun ownership.

What one could not predict would be that a respected columnist’s editors would commit an act of journalistic betrayal.

Obama takes necessary step on weapons checks

President Obama knows that Congress will tie itself up in knots arguing over taking an action supported by most Americans.

So he’s taking executive action to do the right thing by tightening background check requirements on individuals seeking to purchase a firearm.

Wait for it. The shills on the right are going to start yammering any day now that the president is seeking to “disarm law-abiding Americans” by denying them their “constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”

What utter horse dookey.


One change clarifies the definition of someone who has been “involuntary” committed to outpatient or inpatient treatment for mental disease. Another change allows the submission of information about individuals seeking to purchase a firearm, but doesn’t prohibit someone from buying a firearm if he or she has undergone treatment.

None of this is ham-handed. Nor does it do a single thing to prohibit any reasonable individual from buying a firearm. It seeks to clarify some confusing language in existing federal law.

However, these kinds of actions usually produce a firestorm of criticism from those who believe any reasonable restriction or effort to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who shouldn’t own them as an infringement on everyone’s rights.

Those folks are in the minority in this country. Most Americans support stricter background checks that would not inhibit their rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

If our elected representatives won’t do the right thing, then it falls on our elected head of state and government — the president of the United States — to step up.

Go for it, Mr. President.

Second Amendment becomes state issue

I don’t know Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson well, although I have interviewed him. I like what I’ve seen so far in person. He is an earnest and amiable fellow with a nice touch of self-deprecation. He once “boasted” of how he finished in the “top 75 percent of my class at Texas A&M.”

He’s now running for the Republican nomination for Texas lieutenant governor and has just released a minute-plus-long TV ad that touts his support for the Second Amendment, the provision that allows Americans to “keep and bear arms.”


Patterson is known as “The Gun Guy.” In 1995, as a state senator from Pasadena, Patterson authored and sponsored the state’s concealed handgun carry law. That is the crux of his TV ad.

I get that he is proud of the concealed carry law. I was one of those skeptics he talks about in the ad. I feared the kind of bloodbath he says opponents feared. They didn’t happen. I was wrong about the concealed carry law. Do I possess a permit? No. Thus, I don’t carry a gun.

I cannot help but wonder whether support for the Second Amendment is critical to the lieutenant governor’s race. Is this the kind of issue that will surface when the 2015 Legislature convenes? I doubt it. The Texas Senate is heavily Republican — just like Patterson — and won’t entertain seriously any effort to repeal the gun law of which the land commissioner is so proud.

So, what’s the point of the ad?

Stand Your Ground equals 2nd Amendment?

To borrow the often-quoted phrase from the late Ronald Reagan: There you go again, Sen. Cruz.

Ted Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas, said this weekend that President Obama’s call for review of states’ “Stand Your Ground” laws represents yet another assault on the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, the one guaranteeing people’s right to “keep and bear arms.”


That’s not how I see it.

I believe Barack Obama is concerned that these laws, such as the one that became part of the discussion in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, need to be studied to ensure that they don’t result in the kind of tragedy that has torn at the nation’s soul. Zimmerman, of course, was acquitted of any criminal act after a lengthy trial in Florida. And the debate is continuing.

Cruz, though, along with many others on the right, have taken the argument a bit beyond what I consider to be reasonable. I haven’t heard anyone suggest we should disarm Americans; nor have I heard anyone say we need to water down the Constitution to prevent people from protecting themselves against threats.

I listened to the president’s remarks and I took away a reasonable plea to look carefully at state laws designed ostensibly to give citizens adequate protection against those who would do them harm.

Sometimes, however, even the best intentions can produce unnecessary tragedy.