The Oral Report

Standing up in front of the class was never so much fun!

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Location: River City, United States

The rantings and ravings of a mom of three wonderful girls as she finds new love while working like a dog and shaking her fist at the system. You know. Pretty much like everybody else.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

News and Views

Pardon me while I scoot this in front of the microphone.

I'll try to be brief.

No, I will not sign any guarantees.

I read today that the guy currently residing at the White House, in a surprisingly un-republican move, has signed what I'd call a minor victory in gun control law, into effect.

It's difficult for me to believe that, up until yesterday, severe mental health problems were not a hurdle in the purchase of a deadly weapon. Well, given the NRA, I guess it's not a HUGE surprise.

However, since the Virginia Tech shootings last year, we're apparently ready to take the first steps to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who have no business with them, and I say "Right On!".

Yeah, I'm a gun control nut. And, if it makes you feel better, my Dad is a member of the NRA. So, basically, we cancel each other out, politically speaking. He knows I'm always gonna vote for gun control, so he always makes a point of getting to the polls to cancel mine out. It's kinda cute, really.

The point is that, even if you're one of "them", you don't have to worry about me being the one who takes the gun from your cold, dead hands...though typing that makes me kinda tingly...I'm no threat to you. My vote don't count for shit. (Though I'm not gonna get my sphygmomanometer all in a twist about it here or now.)

I gotta wonder, though, do you have to be a card-carrying member of the Looney Club? Or how is that gonna work? Gun dealers are gonna be (pardon me) up in arms over any repercussions that put them in the position of being a psychologist. Though, I suppose it's more likely that there will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist for dealers who don't check. Otherwise, I can't imagine Bush signing it.

In any event, I'm certain that crazy crackers who bought their guns before this historic occasion are "grandfathered in" anyway.

(Whew! Close call for Ted Nugent!)

It's unlikely the feds will be making a sweep to pick up weapons illegally owned by nutjobs. I'm sure Mr. Cheney would put a stop to any such operation before the first bedcheck...


Blogger Nate said...

See, I just don't get it.

Amendment 2 of the US Constitution (the legal document that is the source and touchstone of all our federal laws) specifically forbids Congress from passing any law abridging the right to keep and bear arms.

Any law. Not "a few laws", not "some laws", not even "one or two laws, just in case". No laws. As in none, nada, zilch, zip, rien, diddly and or squat.

I understand that nutbars shouldn't have guns, I truly do. I accept that children under age 12 probably shouldn't have access without adult supervision, yes (thought some probably would, Davey Boone killed hisself a ba'ar when he was only 3). I don't think convicted felons should be allowed to have guns either, and if they're caught with them, they should go back to jail, for at least 15 years.

But not one iota of that means jack when held up to the 2nd Amendment. Let me quote:

"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."

It says the right shall not be infringed. One does not have to completely remove a thing to infringe upon it. Merely regulating it infringes upon it.

The point? No matter how well-intentioned, all Federal gun control laws are illegal, unconstitutional, and a violation of our basic civil liberties.

I used to have the 2nd confused with the 1st, and though it read 'Congress shall make no law...'. Having reviewed it yet again, I see that I am in error, and that not even states possess the right to pass gun control laws.

Short of an amendment to the Constitution, gun control laws of every stripe are illegal and unconstitutional. I agree that there should be some gun control laws, but not until someone amends the Constitution to make them legally binding.

As it stands, there are a bunch of illegal laws on the books, being obeyed and enforced, when they simply should not be, and that is really scary. Our Constitution, the sole guarantor of our liberties, is being ignored by Congress, the Supreme court, the office of the President, and by state and local authorities, and no one seems to care.

And you're worried about guns?

The way things are going, we're gonna need them soon for the revolution...

1/11/2008 6:06 PM  
Blogger SuperWife said...

::scratching the microphone::

Is this thing on? It is? Great.

See, Nate, now YOU won't be able to buy a gun, you nutjob...;)

I suppose, in the strictest sense, I can see where you are going with this argument. (It's certainly one I've heard often enough.)


I disagree that regulating the distribution of guns in a way that is (1) to the benefit of the majority, (2) is enacted as a federal measure (and is, therefore, the standard for all Americans equally and fairly), and (3) is enacted by the a vote of our elected representatives whose job it is to speak for the constituents they represent is Unconstitutional.

Most importantly, I think it's worth mentioning that the amendment gives the right to a militia, and not to an individual. Does that mean the individual has to prove they are included in any militia to be able to purchase a gun? No. That's not the broad interpretation we've adopted. (And it'd be pretty scary if the only folks who could buy a gun were folks like those Michigan militants...::shiver::)

Therefore, I tend to believe that establishing guidelines that do not completely strip this amendment (or even the intent of this amendment), in any way conflict with the Constitution.

Mostly, I believe this because, like you, I know that the Constitution is a document that was written at a time when many of the realities we all face today could not have been imagined. And while I will agree ONE HUNDRED PERCENT, that a Constitutional amendment would be the cleanest way to address this situation, I also happen to realize the impossibility of that action, based on the deep bi-partisanship that now rules this country, and the bottomless coffers of the NRA.

The Constitution was intended to create a government that could be changed by the people, through peaceful means, without the necessity for overthrowing it. At least if it worked the way we'd set it up to work.

Procedures and policies and checks and balances were put in place in the Constitution itself to allow for modifications, as needed/desired by the people of this country, without the need for violence.

Access to guns to prevent the tyranny that was a reality 200+ years ago, was a failsafe measure. If the rest didn't work, there was a "Plan B". I happen to believe the necessity for "Plan B" (now that we've addressed some of the glitches over the past couple centuries), is less important, but I also realize that not everyone feels that way. And that's why those who agree with the necessity for guns in this country have an equal voice with those of who do not.

So, I'll take the babysteps, Nate. Because, I truly believe that in doing so, we are using the Constitution as it was meant to be used, and with the provisions put in place by our very wise forefathers.

And I'll hope that Congress and the Courts will continue to adopt measures necessary to enact ownership regulations of deadly weapons that are reasonable and realistic for the world in which we live...whether those regulations are federal laws or Constitutional amendments...or both.

And I won't feel, for an instant, that we are violating the sacred nature of the Constitution while we are making our world a more likely place for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Not for one nanosecond.

Because I happen to believe that we are doing EXACTLY what they intended us to do with this document. In pretty much EXACTLY the way they intended us to do it.

I'm definitely not blind to the problems in this country. MOUNTAINS of problems. Some of them quite frightening. But I still believe, naive though I may be, that Americans have the want, and the means, to solve these issues peacefully.

And I'm movin' on now...

1/15/2008 10:09 AM  
Blogger The Bunnyman said...

For what it's worth --

I agree with Nate, and I agree with SuperWife. A modern society dealing with modern weapons requires some kind of central armaments oversight. And, our Constitution absolutely forbids it.

I myself have proposed a form of 'gun insurance' that I think addresses this, on various of my own blogs. I will also note that the real problem is not guns, but easily concealed deadly weapons. If one could easily own a rifle, even a semi automatic one, then one could hunt, or defend one's home. I suppose one could even carry it on the street, although, certainly, the cops could note the guy carrying the AR-15 down the street and would know right where to go if someone got shot with compatible bullets.

Whatever the case may be, this is certainly a controversy that inspires passionate responses across the spectrum, and that brings out the libertarian in most everyone -- i.e., well, that sonofabitch over THERE shouldn't have any guns, but, hey, I should be able to have as many as I want (libertarianism in a nutshell, really, no matter what the philosophy's actual adherents will screech otherwise).

Here's what I know:

There is no magic wand. You cannot make guns go away. Bad people will always find ways to get them. Keeping bad people from getting guns is a good idea, but, when faced with a bad person who is pointing a gun at you, it would be nice to have one to point back.

And that's all I have to say on this issue at the moment.

But lovely post and excellent response, baby.

1/16/2008 7:51 AM  

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