In the Arena

‘Gunclingers': Aurora, Assault Weapons and the Rise of Mass Shootings

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Some surprising words about gun control from Bill Kristol on Sunday’s Fox News panel:

People have a right to handguns and hunting rifles … I don’t think they have a right to semiautomatic, quasi–machine guns that can shoot hundred of bullets at a time. And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they are being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control.

I was on a different panel, on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and the conservatives on that panel — George Will and Jennifer Rubin — offered arguments that seemed less than rigorous.

Rubin argued — correctly — that gun violence had eased over the past 20 years and — incorrectly — that this “empirical evidence” meant that additional gun-control measures, like an assault-weapon ban, weren’t necessary. The problem with this argument is obvious: gun violence has diminished but mass shootings have exploded in frequency since the 1970s. I spoke this morning with James Alan Fox, who said mass killings were not unknown in the U.S. prior to 1966 — when Charles Whitman took to the Texas tower with an arsenal and began picking off civilians — but they were exceedingly infrequent. Ever since 1976, we’ve been averaging more than 20 per yearNow, that has to do with a lot of things. It has to do with industrial-strength violence on TV and the movies, and the obsessive use of violent video games by young men, and the increasing mobility and atomization of society — but, as the Aurora shooting demonstrates, the carnage is greater (and the experience more otherworldly kinetic) when assault weapons are involved.

Then George Will weighed in with this observation:

The killer in Aurora, Colo., was very intelligent and farsighted and meticulous. I defy you to write a gun-control law that would prevent someone like this with a long time horizon and a great planning capability from getting the arms he wants. I just think that this is a mistake.

Again, this has the appearance of accuracy — but it’s a sloppy, defensive argument. Will is undoubtedly correct that the killer was going to go on a rampage no matter the severity of gun-control laws. But what if he’d not been able to purchase a semiautomatic rifle with the capacity to fire 50 to 60 bullets per minute? How many would have been killed and wounded then? Far fewer, no doubt. And if an assault-weapon ban would save lives in situations like these, just what exactly is the argument against? That gun owners’ rights are being violated? Oh, please. No right is absolute. You don’t have the right to own a nuclear weapon. The question is where you draw the line.

Taken to its logical conclusion — that no law can prevent all these attacks — Will’s formulation collapses into silliness. It’s like arguing that there’s no sense in having police departments because they can’t prevent every crime. An assault-weapon ban would, at the very least, make it significantly harder to bring off the Aurora massacre. And if it prevented just one of the 20 mass killings a year, it would be worth it. If it prevented one mass killing a decade, it would be worth it. Actually, if it prevented one person from getting wounded in a rampage these past 30 years, it would have been more than worth it.

We are not talking about characters in Batman movies here. We are talking about the death and maiming of actual people. And our inability to have this conversation now — Kristol is absolutely right about the President’s lack of a spine on this one — says a lot about the paralytic dysfunction of our political system. This should be a no-brainer.

I’ll have more on this issue in the magazine this week.

208 comments
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Scott Hermann
Scott Hermann

How many such tragedies would be averted had an armed citizen been present? How much responsibility should advocates of gun control take for 'gun free zones,' which do nothing for public safety except  give the perception of safety? Indeed except for 1 exception all mass shootings since WWII have happened in 'gun free zones.' They only serve to give some nutjob a place to strike where he knows unarmed people will congregate.

Gun control advocates argue from a position of weakness. You neither have SCOTUS, Congress, or public perception on 'your side.' If you want compromise, you'll need to bring something to the table. What are you willing to give gun right activists in return for say background checks on all used gun purchases (so-called gun show loophole)? National CCW reciprocity? Tax exemption for background checks? Tax exemptions for firearm and ammo purchases? Opening the machine-gun registry? Allowing FFL's the ability to do background checks at the point of sale (so items can be sent via the mail to one's doorstep without the FFL middleman - essentially internet sales)?

Any assault weapon's ban is silly. As a Californian i can speak 1st hand how easy one is to build from unregulated parts kits. Drilling out an 80% lower receiver for an AR takes 3-4 hours. Folding an AK flat and building from there (a day). I have no mechanical skills yet guns are an easy endeavor to manufacture. Now take new technology such as 3D printers which can fabricate (print) an AR lower or pistol frame in just a few hours, and the mere attempt at regulating semi-automatics fall flat on arrival. Tech that is expensive today, but will be widespread in the near future.

Not that you'd be successful at banning arms in common usage. Arms which are clearly protected by the 2nd and reaffirmed by the Heller decision.

Come back when you're ready to compromise.

BOLTFANDAN
BOLTFANDAN

Hey D B Joe. I am picking up my new AR today. I cant wait. Should be able to pick off squirrels at 150yds easily.

CounterMeasures63
CounterMeasures63

My son was murdered in 1993 by a man that bought his hand gun at a Donut Shop in suburban Los Angeles. California and L.A. County had and has some of the strictest gun control laws there are in any state. But they did not prevent his murder. After that I legally purchased a hand gun for personal protection. The Sarah Brady's of the world, the UN and the left can pass all the gun control laws there little bleeding hearts desire but I will fight to my last breath their efforts at destroying the 2nd. Amendment .

Davel6969
Davel6969

And where's  Clinton on Colorado Aint there money to be made by his foundation.Like he did with Haiti using the 501c3 loopholes he uses to skim profits  off the  top.You know that interest they can draw from in that $1.2bil account he has left witch he uses for his buddy's pet projects and are involved in  funneling $ into elections  for the democratic party. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!

Davel6969
Davel6969

The killer in Aurora, Colo., was very intelligent and farsighted and meticulous. I defy you to write a gun-control law that would prevent someone like this with a long time horizon and a great planning capability from getting the arms he wants. I just think that this is a mistake.Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012...

pc1397
pc1397

Hey gun lovers, here's a tidbit about one of your own, cut and pasted from Boston.com (this happened 2 days ago, about 2 miles from my home):

The New Hampshire attorney general's office says 50-year-old Jeffrey Kaznecki (KAZ-neck-ee) fatally shot his 51-year-old wife, Barbara, and his 85-year-old mother, Shirley Leary, on Tuesday before turning the gun on himself at their Salem home. All three died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley told the Eagle-Tribune (http://bit.ly/T4r3WC) if a motive is determined, it might take investigators a while to get there.

Barbara Kaznecki's Facebook page said she and Jeffrey were married for 30 years. On July 25, she shared a Facebook petition about the right to keep and bear arms. The last sentence reads: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

BOLTFANDAN
BOLTFANDAN

Mass Murders will always find a way to carry out their crimes. A ban on law abiding citizens  will never change this. The guy in Aurora had a rifle, people in the Middle East use Bombs. Maybe if there were more private citizens that were Licensed to carry handguns this guy would have been stopped much sooner.

BlueHueTwo
BlueHueTwo

Note to participants (and Time's techies):  the "Reply" button sometimes does not attach your reply to the message you're responding to.

BlueHueTwo
BlueHueTwo

The above got misdirected; it was in response to someone who pointed out that automatic weapons can be owned by civilians with class III licenses.

 

Hugh Jenkins
Hugh Jenkins

 Gee, you mean that licensing and registration have NOT lead to the confiscation of weapons?  Great!  Maybe we can retire that particular silly assertion.

Christian Desrosiers
Christian Desrosiers

Here in Germany, it occasionally happens that you read the paper and there is a little article about how police raided some guy's apartment and they found "an arsenal of weapons", usually automatic or semi-automatic guns and lots of ammo. Those guns and ammo are of course illegal.

At first sight, it could tell you that, if people want to have those guns, they'll get assault-weapons regardless of the law. I would say that is only partially true, because it would certainly make it harder to get those guns. The much more important thing is that, since having those guns is illegal, police can actually investigate those people. Most warrants for searching apartments are due to buying stuff like that on the internet, or because officers found guns in a car and suspect there is more.

The point is, with an assault-weapons ban, you can actually go after people who have them. We have mass shootings in Europe too, but much less frequently. Those two facts are, in my opinion, related.

Thomas_Sumter
Thomas_Sumter

Unfortunately, the 2nd Amendment isn't fool proof. There will be people foolish enough to use these weapons in mass killings.  To your point, it would save lives if AR-15s weren't used in situations like a lone wolf going into a theater, mall, bistro, or dance club and going loco. AR-15s are also used by a vast majority of owners as a defense against the improbable. The improbable seems to become more and more probable with every passing day.

Four hundred years ago, the colonies had less than 2000 people. Two hundred years ago, the colonies had 2,500,000 people and we armed ourselves with muskets. With militias armed by muskets, there were close to 25,000 American's killed in the American Revolution. Estimates suggest we killed about the same amount of Redcoats.

Now, there are 300 million people inside our borders. You say we average 20 "mass shootings" per year since 1976, interestingly enough 2 centuries after the formal Declaration of Independence. 

Those mass shooting events are defined as incidents with 4+ victims, committed by 937 criminals that claimed a total of 2949 victims in 645 incidents. That is less than 3000 victims over a 34 year period in a population of 300 million people as compared to the 25,000 victims over an 8 year period in a population of 2.5 million people in the American Revolution.

Looks like far more people were killed with musket balls defending our Constitution than there are people killed by bullets in mass shootings committed by criminals over the last 30 years. The average number of mass shooting victims per incident from 1976 - 2010 is 4.5 people (2949/645). There are more bullets in a revolver than there are people dead in those incidents.

Let's try not to make this about the number of bullets and the rate of fire held in a semi-automatic rifle. The number of bullets in a revolver built in 1838 by Samuel Colt is still enough to kill more people than the average "mass shooting" incident in America over the last 34 years.

The people of Colorado have responded in their own way to James Holmes. Gun sales are up 40% in the week following versus the week before his alleged crime.

You say your dream gun control plan is if it:

Prevented just one of the 20 mass killings a year, it would be

worth it. If it prevented one mass killing a decade, it would be worth

it. Actually, if it prevented one person from getting wounded in a

rampage these past 30 years, it would have been more than worth it.

The only way that can happen is if everything right down to a Revolver holding 6 bullets is off the streets. That's almost 2 century old technology. It's not about the technological advancement of small arms weaponry. So, lets just do this ... How about you STFU and let the American people respond in a way fitting to defend ourselves? How does that land on you, Joe?

You are clearly not concerned about our well being. No, you sir are but a fear monger trying to dictate to others that are 2nd Amendment is too lenient. In your dreams that full proof gun control plan includes any weapon that holds more than 4.5 bullets. Sounds like you want us to have musket balls again and we established our feelings here around two hundred fifty years prior.

Yours truly,

Thomas Sumter

James
James

my roomate's

step-aunt makes $87/hour on the laptop. She has been fired for 6 months

but last month her pay check was $13427 just working on the laptop for a

few hours. Read more on this site

http://www.LazyCash49.com

John Hermann
John Hermann

you bring up an excellent point:  All the "anti-gun" people on this page (including the author of this article) love to bring up "what if" scenarios yet anytime someone with a dissenting opinion brings up a "what if", they are laughed at and/or disparaged.

Funny how it works out that way...

Kelub
Kelub

All of this talk of "assault weapons" this and that misses the point that the shooter's weapon jammed very early and he had to resort to the smaller caliber weapons amp; shotgun. So even if he hadn't had the rifle with him, he still could have / would have inflicted as much damage as he actually did. 

I'm not taking sides one way or another, just pointing out the fact that saying "if he hadn't had access to the AR-15 things would have been different" is moot, since it jammed on him early (thank God) and he wasn't able to use it in the way he intended. 

Another person mentioned, and it's true, that all of the weapons he obtained weren't "easily" obtained - the ammo, firearms, and armor he purchased was extremely expensive, so his commitment level was high enough that had his weapons of choice not been available, he would/could have simply resorted to cruder, potentially MORE lethal options. It's all speculation, I know, but that's also my point. No one can say "if only this or that was different" and claim that the outcome would have been better. 

iansamry
iansamry

Just to keep things in perspective... The Virginia Tech shooter killed 32 people with 2 small caliber handguns. Assault rifles are not very effective weapons in close quarters especially with standard fmj rounds, they're designed for medium-long range engagements.  Submachine guns, shotguns and handguns are all more dangerous at close range. I don't see what an assault weapon ban would accomplish as far as deterring mass shootings. Magazine capacity is the real issue and limiting it to 15 rounds for handguns and 30 for rifles would still give people enough to defend themselves (the military uses 30 round clips for its rifles) but would slow someone down who is trying to perpetrate a mass shooting.

ben_b
ben_b

If it saves just one life, damn the unseen costs of government action.  

I'm fine with the ban so long as you apply it to the government as well.  If history shows us one thing it is that governments are the last place you want the power to kill large numbers of people.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

MORE FROM THE NRA PROPAGANDA OFFICE:  

 

The “Defeat Obama Fact Sheet” as published in the NRA’s 1st Freedom magazine.  

 

3. Obama will expand gun registration to include you. 

 

And the proof for this is... ?

Absolutely nonexistent. But when have the NRA GunNutPsychos ever relied on proof, or facts?

Obama and the Democrats are not going to commit political suicide, by suddenly cramming gun registration down the entire country's throat. Even if they tried, they'd never get enough votes in the Senate to move such a law to the floor. The political bloodshed would make the fight over Obamacare look

like a square dance....

BUT the day will come when Americans have had enough of the mass murders that have been facilitated by guns.  And when they've had enough, the laws will be changed.  It follows, as does the day follow the night.

derek22
derek22

Outlawing guns in this country will never happen.  True Americans are too smart.  There would be an uprising if that ever happend.  True americans look at history.  Every dictator in the past that has outlawed guns has killed millions of people.  Hitler, Mao Tse Tung etc.  If the jews had weapons they could have defended themselves.  GUN CONTROL IS NOT ABOUT GUNS.  ITS ABOUT CONTROL. 

Hugh Jenkins
Hugh Jenkins

"If the jews had weapons they could have defended themselves."

Please, please, please never use the Holocaust as grist for this argument.  It's not your bloody shirt to wave.

If the those trapped in the Warsaw ghetto had more guns they could have killed more Nazi's - nothing I'd cry about - but it would have made no difference in the end.   The Nazi's resorted to artillery against pockets of resistance.  They could have given it the Guernica treatment, if necessary.

Yeah, the Nazi's restricted civilian gun ownership.  The Nazi's also supported breast feeding - which does not make La Leche League a Nazi front group.  There are reasons to restrict modern weaponry (which we already do) other than paving the way for dictatorships.

 

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

MORE FROM THE NRA PROPAGANDA OFFICE: 

 

The “Defeat Obama Fact Sheet” as published in the NRA’s 1st Freedom  magazine. 

 

2. If reelected to a second term, Obama will effectively turn our court

system into a revolving door for anti-gun lawsuits aimed at destroying

our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Obama's judges will obliterate your

freedom without a single vote in Congress... one anti-gun ruling at a

time. 

 

Hmmm... you mean like his appointees have been doing for the last four years? Anyone who believes that piece of claptrap has no idea how our government and our legal system work. Despite all the hysteria about judicial activism, most judges are professionals who try to conscientiously administer the law as they understand it -- and they're bound by over two hundred years of precedents. Those who step outside the system to invent their own laws generally get slapped down in a hurry.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

From the NRA PROPAGANDA OFFICE:  

I'm looking at a 'Defeat Obama Fact Sheet' that came in the NRA's 1st

Freedom magazine. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little that's

actually factual in it. I don't appreciate professional lobbyists

trying to stampede us with hysterical nonsense, so they can dig more

money out of those who share their paranoia.  I think this

particular 'fact sheet' is so completely bogus that I may post it here,

item by item... This first claim is as divorced from reality as the

entire document, and is an example of NRA distortions and fear-tactics:  

1.If Obama is reelected, he will have the opportunity to appoint as many as three more anti-Second Amendment justices and destroy the 2nd Amendment.  

But excuse me? Presidents have been appointing Justices for over two hundred years, and no SCOTUS has 'destroyed' a single Amendment yet. What makes Obama the exception? Does he have some sort of magic wand to force Republicans in the Senate to blindly OK any pick he makes? I don't think so. And if Obama wanted more justices on the court to 'do his bidding', he does not need to wait for vacancies to occur. A president can appoint justices as he feels the need. There is no constitutional requirement setting the number of justices at 9 -- and, in fact, in the past there have been both fewer and more than 9.  

See how they do it? Obfuscation, paranoia, fear tactics -- and flat-out lies.  

These NRA gun-nut people are dangerous to American liberties, not defenders of them.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

John Hermann: " Sure...Guns kill...but the don't kill by themselves.  It takes the

conscious act of a human picking it up and using it for it's intended

purpose in order for it to kill.THAT is a fact."

You make my case for me.  Thank you.  Guns also do not make themselves available to mass murderers who use them to kill.  Guns are made available to mass murderers by law, and by the attitudes of people like you.  GUNS ARE DESIGNED FOR KILLING. GUNS KILL.  THAT is a fact.

However, my question, which you again have refused to answer, is: "Was Holmes, or was Holmes not, able to commit his mass murder by virtue of his unrestricted access to firearms?  Yes or no."

I'll amplify: he had made a lot of explosive devices and chose to leave them behind and use guns instead.  Why?

John Hermann
John Hermann

Seriously...You are asking me why a person made the choices that he made wihout the opportunity or access to review any of the evidence or interview the perp?

 don't know about you but I don't read minds...

John Hermann
John Hermann

You are asking a question that neither you nor I can answer accurately.  We can speculate but that is all we can do.

I did answer your question.  Just because you don't feel I answered it to your satisfaction does not equate to "refusing" to answer your question...  Again,  Holmes was able to commit mass murder for several reasons.  I said that before but apparently that answer wasn't good enough for you. 

You are trying to oversimplify an issue in an effort to "prove" your argument.  Sorry...Ain't gonna work.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 You did not answer my question. You improvised a response to a question that was not asked.  You are deflecting and obfuscating.  You are as phony as any other gun-nut.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 Interesting report in today's LA Times: crime rate is down.  And so is gun ownership.

Another NRA gun-nut argument bites the dust.

mkelter2011
mkelter2011

By my estimates, Bozo Holmes had well over $12,000 in guns, ammunition, body armor, protective mask, and detonators that he accumulated in four months. 

Where do you get that kind of money when you're a grad student working on an NIH Government Grant?

Chasing after guns is going down the wrong rabbit hole.   FOLLOW THE MONEY.

superlogi
superlogi

A semi-automatic handgun or rifle is not a machine gun, quasi or otherwise.  Enough said.  

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

In point of fact, this tragedy in Colorado will not bring about gun restrictions and control.  But it will help.  Just as the other murders made possible by unrestricted guns, in Colorado, will help.

What will it help?  It will help the American people realize the truth: guns kill.

Eventually, perhaps decades from now, there will simply be one mass murder, made possible by guns, too many.  The American people will have had enough.  And when they have reached that saturation point, there will be careful control of guns specifically to end easy murder-by-firearms. 

The NRA will not have enough money to buy off Congress when that happens.

The only question is "how many more mass murders made possible by easy access to guns...?"

Eventually, there WILL be one too many.

superlogi
superlogi

There is neither truth nor logic to what you said.  Screwdrivers, knives, wrenches, chainsaws, gas chambers, guns and automobiles are inanimate tools.  They do not kill.  People kill.  That being the case, unless and until you can get rid of people, you will have killers who will be more or less efficient at it, using a multitude of different tools to get the killing done. Furthermore, getting rid of the tools is no solution but will put people who would use those tools prudently at even greater risk against people who wouldn't.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 Guns kill.  People make it easier to get guns into the hands of people who USE the guns to kill.

End of story.

superlogi
superlogi

What's the point in any kind of discourse when the other side doesn't think humanity or the lack thereof is the problem.  Oh well, you are a prime example of the problem.  In fact, you are the problem.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

Your ever-evident lack of logic or critical thinking allows you to overlook the fact that CARS, WRENCHES, SCREWDRIVERS, BEER are not DESIGNED to kill.  Guns are DESIGNED to kill.  Period.

When James Madison wrote "well-ordered militia" and "arms" in the Second Amendment, he was speaking of the need of the NATION, not of individuals, to be able to defend itself, and "arms" pretty much were limited to swords, muskets and cannons. 

 

In modern times, "well-ordered militia" has become army/navy/airforce. And these military branches supply arms to their inductees. Soldiers no longer supply their own. 

 

Yet the Second Amendment remains unchanged,

as though we continue to live in 1776. The "arms" part is most troubling. If that word described a limited arsenal 255 years ago, today it is greatly expanded: "arms" includes assault weapons, machine guns, grenades, dynamite, bazookas, stealth bombers, tanks, bombs -- the array is nearly endless. 

 

Does the constitutional "right" to bear "arms" extend to private ownership of these more modern "arms" as well? 

 

The Second Amendment needs to be completely rewritten and reshaped. It offers gun=nuts and other potential mass murderers all they need to do

all they do.  

 

Now, it needs to protect us from them.   It needs to be protected from gun-nuts.

Davel6969
Davel6969

I am beginning to like you (lugi) a true free market guy

Davel6969
Davel6969

smartest thing you have ever said your making my point for me legalize drugs guns and prostitution then we will really have a free market. sounds good to me

Davel6969
Davel6969

just like drugs to huh?? (lugi) folks are going to due what they want any way huh?? just like Prohibition did nothing but drive up crime and make bad folks rich.

John Hermann
John Hermann

Thank you for once again proving that Passion rules reason...Did you even read the article and look at the facts or are you jus responding based off how you feel?

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 Was Holmes, or was Holmes not, able to commit his mass murder by virtue of his unrestricted access to firearms?  Yes or no.

I think the blind devotion to passion, and to paranoia, are in your camp buddy.

Guns kill.  Easy access to guns makes killing easier.

THOSE are the facts.

John Hermann
John Hermann

His access to firearms is justone factor that contributedto his ability to commit mass murder.  the fact that you focus on the inanimate object shows where the passion lies.The fact that the FedGov and SCOTUS disagree with you in the regard of what constitutes a "militia" further ilusrates where the passion lies in this discussion.Final support of my assertion that you are the one suffering from passion?  The SCOTUS has also re-affirmed that the 2nd amendment does indeed guarantee the individual's right to keep and bear arms.  The fact that you, disagree (vehemently) doesn't lend anymore credibility or legitimacy to your argument.Sure...Guns kill...but the don't kill by themselves.  It takes the conscious act of a human picking it up and using it for it's intended purpose in order for it to kill.THAT is a fact.

grape_crush
grape_crush

We're not having a good discussion about this.

Probably the most salient point in this entire comment thread. There's a whole lot of hyperventilation and hot air and not enough common sense.

a) We do have a Constitutionally-provided right to keep and bear arms.  Reductio ad absurdium arguments involving cars, kitchenware, or booze need to be excluded from the debate.

b) We do have a Constitutionally-provided right to keep and bear arms. Said rights granted in the Constitution are not absolute and can be constrained when necessary.

c)  There are violent nutjobs out there. We can't wish them away, but we can do things like having both personal weapon ownership, self-carry laws and reasonable restrictions on magazine capacity, armor-piercing ammunition and mass purchases of firearms.

d) Events such as those in Colorado are tragic and generate a lot of emotional responses. This does not make for a good, honest discussion, even if it's important to have one.

IMHO, the more important aspects of the intra-American arms discussion are the very liberal gun purchasing laws that facilitate gun smuggling or resale:

Houston is the single largest source of weapons shipped to the cartels. J Dewey Webb, the ATF special agent in charge of pursuing gun trafficking in southern Texas, said the cartels are attracted by the sheer number of gun outlets in the city, which run in to the many hundreds.

"They can come to the fourth largest city in the country and buy these guns and it's a lot harder for us to see what's going on because they can go to a different gun dealer every day of the month and do that for months and not hit the same gun dealer," said.

No, we're not having a good discussion about this whole gun thing. At all.

mkelter2011
mkelter2011

Our Constitutional rights, in the hands of responsible informed Citizens, are wonderful things.

In the hands of deranged maniacs or uninformed citizens, the abuse of rights can have awful results.

For example,  look at what happens when Americans get conned into voting for incompetent politicians.

Yoshi_1
Yoshi_1

 The rights of which you speak are NOT "provided" us by our U.S. Constitution. Those rights already existed BEFORE the Constitution. The Bill of rights (first ten ammendments) is a specific list of limitations on the the government. It's a set of limitations placed on the government regarding "inalienable rights of (we) the people". Too many people seem to have the wrong idea of our rights. We have a "limited government" designed to serve the people, not the other way around.

Please understand this. Perhaps a reading of the document would help?

grape_crush
grape_crush

Yoshi, you're nitpicking a word and ignoring the rest of the post. I'm guessing that you don't have an effective rebuttal, do you?

Sad. You'd think that preventing gun smuggling would be something we could agree on.

Anyway, to your somewhat pedantic point:

The rights of which you speak are NOT "provided" us by our U.S. Constitution

We have given ourselves certain rights that we see each other fit to have.

Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the concept of a social contract, a concept which really does predate the Constitution.

Those rights already existed BEFORE the Constitution.

You have no rights that you cannot provide for yourself or mutually agree to provide each other with. Someone can walk up to you and deprive you of your right to free speech by blowing your head off. Your rights to anything have just been alienated.

Because we - as a civilized society - agree that walking around killing each other is not very civilized (as in we don't want to be on the non-surviving side of that particular social interaction), we provide each other with certain rights. Those certain rights are documented in the Constitution.

Simple concept, that.

We have a "limited government" designed to serve the people, not the other way around.

Too many people forgotten that We The People are the government and not separate from each other. Our government's authority is derived from our collective desire for order, security, and well-being. Saying things like "government is designed to serve the people" means that we serve ourselves and each other. Saying things like 'government is the problem' really says that we are the problem.

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 Perhaps a reexamination of reality would help you.

"Rights" do not exist until they are defined, codified, legislated, and declared -- as in the Constitution.  At any time prior to the definition and codification of "rights", those so-called rights are nothing more than liberties taken by individuals who imagine that they are entitled to take liberties.

Indeed, we do have a limited government.  I hope that one day you will come to understand how it was formed and how it functions..

derek22
derek22

The constitution was written for individuals who wanted to live in a free society.  So they could have freedom of speech, religion, and from a tyrranical government.  That is why the constitution was written.  If it was not for that sacred document our nation would be like every other nation out there.  a socialist/marxist/liberal/communist etc.  There is no difference between 1776 and today.  People kill people and its up to the people to defend themselves every way possible. 

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

My guess is you are one of those people who think the USA is a democracy. That would be consistent with your utterly absurd belief that the constitution was "written for individuals." The only problem is that democracies do not have constitutions.

derek22
derek22

you are wrong again.  our country is not a democracy.  Our forefathers founded this country as a republic.  Thats how our government is supposed to be run.  If you dont believe me or just want to argue because thats the only thing you know how to do then go back to original writings from our forefathers, original writtings from men who started this government they will say  that it is supposed to ran as a republic. 

grape_crush
grape_crush

That is why the constitution was written.  If it was not for that sacred document our nation would be like every other nation out there.  a socialist/marxist/liberal/communist etc.

Funny and ignorant. You do realize that the Soviets had a constitution that identified the same or similar rights?

People kill people and its up to the people to defend themselves every way possible.

So would you consider restricting the purchase of armor-piercing bullets to be part of that 'every way possible' or is 'every way possible' limited to shooting holes in people?

derek22
derek22

you missed the point as well.  guns dont kill people.  people kill people.  If you outlaw all guns criminals will still have them.  you will never be able to stop murder with a firearm.  If you took guns out of the hands of the people, and made gun free zones everywhere a criminal would be in heaven because he could kill so many people. it would make the shooting at the movies look like a cake walk.