this blog post. So here are some of the words of this reader for your perusal:
"We were founded as a Republic and central to that idea was that people have inherent rights that pre-date all government, all laws and that those rights cannot be given away, nor taken away by anyone. For that reason, the founders spent a lot of time detailing not what a person MAY do, liberal freedom was assumed, but what the government may NOT do. Since your side doesn't believe that everyone "needs" a gun" you feel justified in having the government pass laws based on "need", the laws you support tend to codify that into restrictions that require the proof of some sort of need, to allow ownership, sell, transfer, carry concealed or whatever.
If the anti-gun side had been able to pass ALL of the laws they have ever advocated. MY life and the life of millions of citizens would be one of great restrictions, denials and I would have to jump through all sorts of legal hoops to own a hand gun, if it was allowed at all.
The argument for restrictive law is the argument that people cannot be trusted to make the "correct" choice so the legal behavior must be limited to the range of "correct" choices. The permissive argument is that "the people" are fully capable of deciding for THEMSELVES what they need or don't need and acting on that knowledge freely. (and paying the price for being wrong,evil or stupid)
The founding fathers argued some of these points for sure. But if we are to believe in this view of the world, we would just let people do whatever they please with few or no restrictions and let things take care of themselves. No proof necessary. You shouldn't have to prove that you are or are not a felon, a domestic abuser, adjudicated mentally ill, drug abuser or a minor when buying a gun. So we let the felon decide for himself when and if he needs a gun? Let's take that idea further. I think anyone should be able to practice medicine, license or not. Just as anyone should be able to walk into a classroom and teach our kids. No training required. And as to driving a car, why not let just let 13 year old daugher drive, no permit, no license? She can decide for herself if she's ready to drive. That should work out pretty well. Drunk drivers? Who cares? Sight problems- hey, why not? Certainly anyone could come in and wire your house and if it burns down as a result-who needs a fire fighter? Just call your neighbor and tell them to bring over the garden hose. I think everyone should be able to drive as fast or as slowly as they want. Surely we don't need to have seat belts or air bags. So what if a few thousand people die from car accident injuries. Just let people decide for themselves what they need or don't need. Immunizations? Eh! So what if a few kids die or lose their hearing from measles or get polio and suffer from the disease for the rest of their lives. You can take care of all of the needs of your child yourself. Accountants to do your taxes or audit businesses- anyone could do that job. You can represent yourself in court just fine without a lawyer. Some people hate lawyers anyway so who needs them? Want someone to build your house? Just hire your friends. They could design it and then order all the materials and rent the trucks and other equipment. Whatever. I think this is the way to go, for sure.I can't remember who said. "It is the job of the citizen to keep the government in check, not the job of the government to keep the citizen in check." That is actually what my side believes for almost all aspects of government so supporting permissive gun laws is just being consistent with that philosophy and not likely to change."
I would bet that the founding fathers would not agree that people should live and let live with no interference from government. They would have come down on the side of " Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" which leads to some restrictions in order to keep citizens safe. I am betting that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison did not envision this set of statistics showing how often firearms of all sorts are used to kill Americans. And notice, readers, that most of the firearm homicides and deaths in general are committed by people who know the victim. Again, the NRA gun rights extremists would have us believe that everyone needs a gun to protect themselves from an amorphous, unknown attacker somewhere waiting to get them. They are wrong. And because of their hyped up fear about the unknown, more people own guns who shouldn't have them and use them in crimes against people they know and/or love. Also notice that other methods of homicide don't even come close to firearms as a cause of death. No matter. According to NRA Executive VP Wayne LaPierre, "our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules." And that's the world of the gun rights extremists.
Do those same folks think this Florida incident reflects the founding fathers' view of the second amendment?
Gauntlett said when officers arrived, 18-year-old David Alyn Penney, wearing camouflage clothing and armed with two AK-47 assault rifles fired multiple rounds at their patrol car.The two officers then got out of their car and returned fire. Both officers were injured: Officer Clinton Wise: Shot in the foot, taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Officer Spencer Endsley: Hit with shattered glass in the eyes, face and arm, taken to St. Cloud Hospital.After shooting at the officers, Penney then shot himself in the head. He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center's intensive care unit, though Gauntlett said he expects him to survive.
Was this a justified incident of self defense? No. It was just plain senseless and crazy. It's lucky for the guy that he didn't kill those officers. What was the young man doing wearing camouflage clothing walking around outside with an assault rifle? "That's just how it goes around here"? Is this, then, acceptable behavior? Have we come to thinking that it's just normal for guys with camouflage clothing to be walking around on our streets with assault rifles? What kind of country is that? Is this what our founding fathers envisioned when they wrote the second amendment. The answer is a resounding NO.(...) “Another crazy day in St. Cloud man,” Murray said. "This town is turning corrupt man. Everyone is losing their marbles man cause of the economy. I don't know. Everyone is just turning against each other. That's just how it goes around here."
And while we're at it, let's take a look at a new report which has been released about trends in homicides in our country. Is this the America our founding fathers envisioned? This article adds to the one above and provides evidence that firearms are responsible for more homicides than any other kind of weapon or method- as if we didn't already know this. There is so much here to comment about that I will let readers read it for themselves. But one thing that interested me was the relationship between victims and their killers. In cases where the relationship is known, most homicides are committed by an acquaintance or family member and firearms are most often used in these cases.
I will end with this article about the intersection of guns with domestic homicides and domestic abuse.Across the 28-year period, the percentage of homicides committed by intimate partners that involved a gun declined from 69% of all intimate homicides in 1980 to 51% in 2008, a26% decline.Compared to homicides committed by intimates, friends/acquaintances, or strangers, homicides committed by a non-intimate family member were more likely to involve weapons other than guns (such as knives, blunt objects, or personal weapons).Among homicides for which the victim/oﬀender relationships were unknown, the percentage of homicides involving a gun increased 33%, from 59% in 1980 to 78% in 2008
The US’ founding fathers explicitly chose to include an amendment in our constitution allowing citizens to own firearms. Over the last century this has become a contentious part of a national debate around gun laws. Pro-NRA folks will always maintain a right to possess weapons, to “defend ourselves” and argue that “it’s the person, not the gun, who kills.” Indeed it is the person, yet it is also the availability and access to guns that significantly increases the likelihood of being killed. We in the US have easy access whether legitimate (going through the background check) or illegitimate (purchasing from the black market) to guns. They are around and accessible to anyone with the intent to get one.Guns do not make us safer. Guns frequently do not defend us. Due to the nature of domestic violence, a person’s sense-of-self shrinks, as she is repeatedly hammered with insults, threats and abuse all tactics that induce fear, therefore, even if a survivor had access to a gun, I’m not sure she would choose to use it in self-defense. Those who do are often unjustly placed in prison. Nearly 80% of women in prison are survivors of domestic violence.
One of the tidbits I learned from the driver of the horse drawn carriage in Philadelphia is that the leading cause of death for women in the days of the founding fathers was childbirth followed by burns due to fires. In those days, the kitchens were separate from the homes with only one door to the outside. Women wore their petticoats and other long dresses and bulky clothing while cooking. Often their clothing caught on fire and they had only way out of the small kitchen. Dying due to bullet wounds from guns of spouses was not a major cause of death. It didn't happen in those days though guns were available. They were, of course, very different guns and not the small, sometimes semi-automatic, easily held guns of today. Guns were then used mostly for hunting or for being ready to serve the state militia before the National Guard was established for such purpose. It was a different culture and a different time.(...) Former President and humanitarian Jimmy Carter stated an axiom in 1976 still pertinent today, “We can’t have it both ways. We can’t be both the world’s leading champion of peace and the world’s leading supplier of arms.” We certainly cannot expect guns to stop playing a role in domestic violence either here in the US or abroad as long as they remain so very available. We can expect a slow shift in the culture as it pertains to violence, more progressive ways to safety plan and an increased awareness about the numerous intersections of small arms and domestic violence but how many women will have to die during this shift? That we do not know. My hope is none. But that may be wishful thinking.
Did the founding fathers anticipate that their writing of the second amendment and the now individual right to own guns for self defense, as determined by the Supreme Court in the Heller case, would lead to women being killed by their domestic partners with those very same guns? Did they anticipate that the big money made by the gun industry selling arms to citizens all over the world would lead to the murders of so many innocent people ( many of them women and children) world-wide? The second amendment and the adherence to it by the gun rights extremists who are uncompromising about passing sensible laws that don't violate their rights, is adding to the perpetuation of violence all over the world. That is not, I am sure, what the founding fathers meant when they included the second amendment in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights. Common sense would have told them that Americans in future years would be reasonable about what it meant in their own time. Common sense tells us that over time, the country and the world has changed and gun laws need to be passed to deal with the current culture, not the past.