Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ironic NRA logic

Wayne LaPierre delivered a very strange speech last night in response to President Obama's Inaugural speech. Why he decided to even speak out is a mystery. I suppose he believes the NRA must have the last word. No one is going to push the NRA leadership around. Don't mess with these folks or else. Or else what? We know what they are inferring and in not so subtle language, are threatening. Just look at the comments on blogs and articles about gun violence prevention. Just look at what is being written "out loud" on the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of gun violence prevention organizations. I referred to some of these in a previous post and have experienced some of them myself on this blog. But look no further than Ted Nugent, NRA Board member, for what these folks are thinking and saying. It's 2013 but these folks are living back in the times of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. In 2012, 20 small children were massacred by a young man with mental illness  who had easy access to an AR-15, something never imagined by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. 

I find it interesting that the folks making these incendiary statements are so free, they think, to say anything that comes to mind with no filtering process. Plus, they use their own names, or at least most of them do, and so are easily called out or even monitored by authorities. I guess they don't think there is anything wrong with their view point. The thing is, they are a minority of folks on the far right who have come to believe their own rhetoric and have been made to believe in the fear perpetrated by the NRA lobbyists and leaders. Maybe that's it. Desperation has set in. Any talk of reasonable gun laws has led to crazy and dangerous assertions. It is unacceptable.

And LaPierre played right into it last night. As I have said before, he should have sat down and kept his mouth shut. He is doing more harm than any good that could possibly come from his stupid remarks. Here are just a few of them from the speech he made last night to the group gathered for the Weatherby International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Las Vegas:
Speaking at the annual Weatherby International Hunting and Conservation Awards in Reno, Nev., LaPierre zeroed in on a line in Obama's inaugural address, delivered Monday, in which the president said "we cannot afford to mistake absolutism for principle." The line was a subtle reference to the gun control debate, and the tendency of gun rights activists to interpret the Second Amendment as giving carte blanche rights to buy and carry any type of firearm anywhere.
"Absolutes do exist, it's the basis of all civilization," said LaPierre. "Without those absolutes, Democracy decays into nothing more than two wolves and one lamb voting on who to eat for lunch."
Surprisingly, LaPierre renewed a widely criticized argument the NRA put forth last week in an attack ad featuring the president's two daughters. "We believe that we deserve and have every right to the same level of freedom that government leaders reserve for themselves -- to defend ourselves and our families with semi-automatic firearms technology," LaPierre said. "We believe that if neither criminals nor the political class -- with their bodyguards and security people -- are limited by magazine capacity, we shouldn't be limited in our capacity, either."
Using terms better suited to a talk radio host than to the leader of the nation's largest gun lobby, LaPierre said Obama's address "makes a mockery" of the Declaration of Independence and the notion of "unalienable rights." LaPierre repeatedly addressed Obama in the speech, delivered to a black-tie crowd at the hunting awards benefit dinner. "Words have meanings, Mr. President, and those meanings are absolute," LaPierre said. "And when absolutes are abandoned for principles, the U.S. Constitution becomes a blank slate for anyone's graffitti."
LaPierre told the crowd the president "doesn't understand you. He doesn't agree with the freedoms you cherish. If the only way he can force you to give 'em up is through scorn and ridicule, he's more than willing to do it -- even as he claims the moral high ground."
Let's talk about this for a minute. Absolutism? The totally cynical and hypocritical comments by LaPierre tell us all we need to know. If President Obama was, indeed, referring to the NRA's absolutism, do we need more proof that he was right than to listen to LaPierre dig in his heels and say that his organization would resist any and all attempts at measures to reduce gun violence? Second, the fact that this extremist and those who believe him, actually think that they need the same fire power as the secret service and the military should be examined for exactly what it is. This is insurrectionism. I believe there are laws against this, if carried to its' illogical conclusion by hysterical armed citizens.

And the assertion that the NRA made in its' ad regarding security for President Obama's children has been debunked by many. The fact that LaPierre stubbornly refers again to the ad leads us to believe that this is, indeed, the absolutism to which President Obama referred in his Inaugural address on Monday. The NRA needs to move on from its' mistaken and "diabolical" view of America as Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of Republican President Dwight Eisenhower writes here:
I repeat: We had Secret Service protection because we were seen as potential targets.
That’s why any thinking person has to be disgusted by the National Rifle Association ad released Wednesday, suggesting that the president is an “elitist hypocrite” because his children have the benefit of armed protection at school and the nation’s children as a whole do not. This is absurd. The nation’s children are not individually at risk the way the Obama children are.
And the Obama girls are not exactly lucky to have a protection detail. How lucky is it to grow up with a loss of privacy and freedom, along with the psychological effects of a childhood shadowed by armed bodyguards? As sensitive, respectful and kind as these agents are, having Secret Service protection is part of the sacrifice that presidential families make in the name of public service. Those who have had armed protection can suffer lifelong feelings of physical vulnerability, a sense that he or she is always being watched, or a longing for the feeling of continued dependency and security. I am fortunate to have gotten over these issues. But it is no surprise when someone falls for her security guard. Of my generation, the most famous of these was Patty Hearst, the kidnapped newspaper heiress who eventually married her bodyguard.
Having armed guards at school, even for part of the day, is not the environment we should wish for America’s children, nor does it foster a tension-free educational experience. So let’s turn the national conversation back to how we can make our schools safer without creating fear and anxiety.
The NRA’s attack ad should be condemned for exacerbating the dangers faced by the president and his family. Regrettably, it is emblematic of a new trend in public policy and communications strategy. Instead of arguing the merits of an issue, broader public questions are spun into personal attacks. In this case, the NRA has tried to assure the public that the argument is not about guns anymore but about some negative personal image it has concocted for the president. At the end of the ad, a voice intones, “President Obama demands that Americans pay their fair share of taxes, but he’s just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security.”
This brilliantly diabolical non sequitur hurts more than the president and his family. It hurts our democracy by twisting the nature of the public debate.
Even a longtime Washingtonian such as I thought these ads couldn’t get worse. So I have a question for the NRA and others who use such tactics: Have you no sense of decency, sirs?
LaPierre's doubling down unnecessarily last night answers the question asked by Susan Eisenhower. Where is the sense of decency and common sense? Where is any mention of compromise in the face of a national crisis? Where is protecting our children and our communities from massacres and daily shootings? Where is a mature discussion, void of hysteria and rigidity, that can lead us to a solution to a problem? Where is the idea that we are in this together to do the right thing?  Every day, the words of the NRA lobbyists come back to haunt them. What about the shooting yesterday at the Lone Star College in Houston, Texas? It turns out it was different than other school shootings. This one was a fight between two people who happened to have been armed ( though the college states guns cannot be carried on campus) and got into a fight. So much for the idea that guns on campus will be handy to stop an armed intruder bent on a massacre. How could just one more armed person have stopped these two from having a shoot-out on the grounds of the campus? Who would be shot? Who started it? And, of course, what happens in these situations is that the bullets shot during the argument went astray and injured other innocent people. This is the perfect storm of NRA extremist policy proposals- arm more people to protect others from harm. Then watch them shoot at each other in an argument and injure others with stray bullets. Meanwhile, panic ensues and everyone runs or gets out their own guns. Simple. What could possibly go wrong? I will anxiously await more information about whether both men were armed and whether either was a law abiding gun permit holder.

The irony of these two examples should not be lost on the public and our elected leaders and even those reasonable NRA members who believe in common sense gun policy. It was lost on the Texas gun rights extremists who tried to make this all about them and their rights when it actually shows how wrong they all are. Their first knee-jerk reaction was to propose a bill to arm more students and teachers on college campuses:
With yet another school shooting, this time in Texas, legislators in that state are sensibly calling for more guns - specifically, swift passage of a bill that would allow college students and staff to carry licensed concealed handguns on campus. Because, college students and guns: What could possibly go wrong? Gov. Rick Perry supports the bill, though also wants more prayer just to cover all his bases. Others are suggesting helpful NRA-style tips for observers of campus shoot-outs, like secret hand-signs or white hats for good guys and thin dark mustaches for bad guys. Similarly, in the wake of another gorilla attack at a local mall and subsequent skyrocketing gorilla sales, The Onion persuasively quotes responsible gorilla owners who argue that the tragedy would never have happened if everyone at the mall had a gorilla, because "you never know when you’ll need to use a gorilla to save your life.”
“Listen, it’s my God-given right as an American to have the freedom to own a gorilla to protect myself and my family,” said James Harrington, who said he personally owns 12 different gorillas of various sizes but keeps them “safely locked away in (my) home."
In the face of such ludicrous and irresponsible reactions to shootings, nothing works better than satire to get a point across. The trouble is, Governor Perry and others in Texas who believe in totally unrestricted gun rights actually believe what they are saying. Their own version of the second amendment is now on full display for Americans to see. And Americans aren't buying it. Most Americans, including gun owners and NRA members believe that the second amendment is consistent with reasonable gun laws. So when Wayne LaPierre gets hysterical or defensive, remember he is not representing the majority of his own members. He is representing the gun industry. When he ramps up the fear and paranoia, he is getting this small group of already extremist folks who have arsenals in place to fight against their own government to go out and buy more guns. Profits are soaring. So are lives lost from bullets. About 100,000 Americans a year are shot and about 30,000 of them die from their gunshot injuries. And the reasonable response to this public health and safety problem should logically be to seek ways to reduce and prevent the likelihood that more people will be shot. Arming more people is illogical given reality. We are better than this as a country and we've had enough of the illogical arguments from the NRA extremists.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for a wonderful post. I agree with you about Wayne and Ted. I think recent events have won some people over to our side but not to theirs. The gun rights fanatics have become even more entrenched, but I think the momentum is swinging in our favor, hence the increased insanity on their part.

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  2. I find it mildly ironic that you call for a mature discussion void of hysteria and at the same time accuse those who don’t agree with you of insurrectionism ;).

    The Second Amendment was put in place to protect the individual right to bear arms for the purposes of self-defense and as a check on government tyranny.

    "If these rights are well defined and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." - James Monroe on the right to bear arms

    "(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation where the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." - Thomas Jefferson

    Citizens of the US do not need to justify their “need” for an AR-15. It is their right to have one. The AR-15 with 30 round magazines is a firearm in common usage by nearly all law enforcement agencies for one simple reason: it is effective way for them to assure the safety of their officers. Since I am the first responder and have accountability for my own self-defense, I choose to have the same capability. You can choose not to, and that is your right. My rights end where yours begin. My decision to own an AR-15 does not impact your rights in any way; therefore you have no argument to infringe on my liberty.

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    1. Well now, Cory, you are so wrong. It's not people who disagree with me who are insurrectionists. It's people who act like they are and say the things that indicated that they are. There is no right to own whatever kind of gun you want in the Constitution. Jefferson may have had his opinions but what we are going by is the actual wording of the Second Amendment. You may have forgotten that we have now a standing army and a national guard who serve the purpose of fighting against invading armies from other countries. Since common citizens do not go through the same training and background checks that L.E. does, they don't deserve to be treated exactly the same. L.E. does not routinely carry AR-15s but often have them in their vehicles. And that is mostly because they are outgunned by the citizens on the streets. Your rights do not supercede my right or anyone else's to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your perceived right to own AR 15s does actually infringe on my liberties. Besides, no one is going to take whatever you have away. Didn't y0u listen to General McCrystal who said the AR 15s are weapons used in war time and have no place on our streets nor should they be used by citizens.

      You just like to play soldier. You don't need an AR 15 for self defense and hunting. You just want one. Your interpretation of the second amendment is not supported by the Supreme Court by the way. You are wrong.

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    2. japete writes: "Your rights do not supercede my right or anyone else's to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your perceived right to own AR 15s does actually infringe on my liberties. Besides, no one is going to take whatever you have away."

      Your rights are in no way infringed by firearms that I own. Inanimate objects do not infringe upon the rights of another.

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    3. Bryan, that "inanimate" object called a gun infringed on the rights of 20 small children to grow into adults and contribute to our country. It infringed on the rights of their parents to expect to outlive their children. It ( and many others) have infringed on the rights of many who have lost loved ones suddenly and violently. You have no rights to any kind of weapon you decide you want or need. That is not in the second amendment nor did the Supreme Court say so. You have a right to bear arms in your home for self defense. An AR 15 is not needed for that purpose.

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    4. "You have no rights to any kind of weapon you decide you want or need."

      But we do have the right to arms in common use. And that is confirmed by the Heller decision.

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    5. Heller also confirmed that reasonable restrictions on guns and who can have them are perfectly within the Constitution.

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  3. A few things to clarify. I don't like to play soldier, I used to be one. Now I enjoy shooting one of my several my AR-15s at the gun range, and I take comfort in knowing that I have the capability of competently defending my family if the need should arise.

    You may enjoy reading some books on the genesis of the Second Amendment. The founders were concerned that a standing army or national guard would be employed as a coercive force by a tyrannical government. A militia made up of able bodied citizens armed commensurately to the standing army (or police) is intended to be a check on government power. Why would the police need to be armed more heavily than the general populace unless their intent is to control them?

    Please help me understand how banning "assault weapons" will reduce criminal activity. By definition, criminals do not obey the law. Why would they comply with an "assault weapons" ban?

    Also, you are going to have to do a better job of convincing me that my ownership of an AR-15 has any impact on other people. You and other gun control advocates will never even see my AR. How does it affect you?

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    1. You missed my point. The country has changed dramatically since the second amendment was written. The citizen militia is now the national guard. Police are armed for good reasons- not to control the populace but to protect it and themselves from citizens who are heavily armed and intend harm to their fellow citizens and to the officers themselves. I am not going to convince you of anything apparently. We differ in our philosophy. I may not see your AR but we are seeing plenty of them in regular massacres in America. That could affect me, God forbid. It could affect you, God forbid. But then you believe you would be able to defend yourself against a surprise attack in a public place where you wouldn't have your AR but someone else might. Certainly restricting the sale and import of assault weapons will slow down the sale of them and keep some of them out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. To do nothing in the face of the recent massacres is an abrogation of responsibility by our nation's leaders. The public is in favor of renewing a ban that we had for 10 years that wasn't allowed enough time to work. How did that affect you? You kept your guns. No one took them from you. But it may have prevented a felon or a dangerously mentally ill person from getting access to one of these guns.What's the problem with that?

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  4. Forgot one point. In DC v. Heller the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a right to bear arms that are in common usage. Given the millions of ARs in circulation, I would argue that the common usage criterion is satisfied (notwithstanding General McCrystal's opinion).

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  5. My firearms have not infringed on the rights of anyone. They didn't kill any children, or impact their parents, or others. It's not at all helpful for you to tar all law abiding gun owners with such a massive stereotype as an individual who would be so heartless as to kill children in an elementary school.

    "You have no rights to any kind of weapon you decide you want or need. That is not in the second amendment nor did the Supreme Court say so. You have a right to bear arms in your home for self defense. An AR 15 is not needed for that purpose."

    I have a right to keep and bear arms for self defense and for other lawful purposes. An AR-15 is a firearm in common use in this country - and given that it's far less powerful than other firearms that are also in common use, I have serious doubts about a restriction on them being upheld under existing case law.

    In any event, they're legal to possess in Minnesota and elsewhere, therefore rendering your arguments moot.

    I'm looking forward to the debates in the Minnesota legislature and Congress over this issue. I predict common sense, logic, and facts will prevail and no new restrictions will be passed at a federal or state level that would impact law abiding Minnesota residents.

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  6. Bryan and Cory- I don't believe you are right about "common usage". Here is a great editorial about the Heller decision- http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55533551-82/firearms-rifles-amendment-gun.html.csp

    " The issue, therefore, is not whether assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols and large-capacity magazines can be banned (I think they can be). Rather, the questions which all of us — not just gun owners — must decide are these: "Should society interfere with the rights of those who want to own firearms?" If so, "To what extent should those rights be restricted?"

    The answer to the first question must be "yes."

    As demonstrated by the Sandy Hook massacre, we are all impacted by the kinds and the availability of firearms in America. Gun control largely is limited by the legislative process, not constitutional law, and all citizens — not just gun owners — are entitled to be heard on this vital issue.

    The answer to the second question depends on the acceptable uses of firearms. If we say that the appropriate use of guns is home protection, hunting and target shooting, assault rifles — although they could be used for such purposes — are unreasonably dangerous when measured against less lethal alternatives; for example, bolt-action hunting rifles, rifles or shotguns.

    By contrast, if it is assumed that guns are needed to protect us from a tyrannical government or to engage in insurrection, then all military weaponry, including assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles should be available to all citizens.

    No one seriously contends that private ownership of all guns should be banned. Indeed, the Heller decision makes it clear that such a ban would be unconstitutional.

    But what an increasing number of Americans are saying is that homeowners can protect their property, hunters can hunt and target shooters can shoot without using semi-automatic firearms capable of carrying enough bullets to kill a roomful of people."

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZS.html " Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. Pp. 54–56."

    The "common usage" phrase can be interpreted in different ways. It is not settled, as you seem to think it is. http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202581822870&PostNewtown_gun_legislation_will_hinge_on_Heller&slreturn=20130024082235

    We will continue to disagree and I will continue to support measures to keep these weapons typically used by the military but pushed by the NRA lobbyists to have become commonly used guns, out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. They were not meant to be in "common use" by citizens. They were meant to kill as many people as possible in a short time span and do as much damage to a human body as one would inflict in war time. They were not meant to riddle the bodies of little children with so many bullets that their bodies were almost unrecognizable to their parents.

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  7. Wow, it's really amazing how people who probably have never read these decisions go off and make comments about them.

    Exact language from Heller:

    "We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition
    of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” See 4 Blackstone 148–149 (1769);"


    First off, this demonstrates the Heller Court's misinterpretation of the Miller decision. which is explained by Justice William O. Douglas, who was on the SCOTUS at the time of Miller, in his dissent to Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972):

    The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

    “The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.


    Miller was not interested in the weapon, as the "Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense" comment points out. And the reference to Aymette v. State, 2 Humphreys (Tenn.) 154, 158. further bears out.

    Anyway, back to Heller.

    The next paragraph makes it clear that their intent is to remove the prefatory clause from the Second Amendment.

    In fact, that is the whole point of DC v. Heller is that it removed the Second Amendment right from the Concept of a "well-regulated militia".

    "It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

    The problem is that Heller-McDonald have not overturned Miller, they couldn't get away with overturning an Unanimous decision. They had to "harmonise" their new interpretation of the Second Amendment with the one the legal community had used for well over 70 years.

    But, that meant turning a right specifically meant for Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 militia into one for private citizens. They can't make ownership of weapons used for warfare a protected right if it is harmful to society.

    As for Bryan's comment: "My firearms have not infringed on the rights of anyone."--is he aware that most crime guns are stolen? What guarantee can he give that his AR-15 will not be used to public detriment?

    After all, Adam Lanza stole his mother's AR.

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  8. I should also add that the discussion of "common use" is found in the same section of the Heller decision quoted by japete:

    "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333."

    is followed up by this a few paragraphs later:

    "We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons.'"

    Not likely that weapons of war would be covered.

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  9. One other bit of legal method for you--the important part of a decision is the holding. The rest of the decision is called "dicta".

    That said, the court's holding in Heller specifically allowed for background checks and registration:

    In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

    Note: the word register is highlighted.

    Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights,=there had to be some form of background check to determine this.

    Thus, owners of assault rifles may be subjected to registration requirements without offending the Heller-McDonald decision. There is no reason that these items could not be placed under NFA regulation.

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  10. japete wrote: "By contrast, if it is assumed that guns are needed to protect us from a tyrannical government or to engage in insurrection, then all military weaponry, including assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and surface-to-air missiles should be available to all citizens."

    Not my point at all. I use the common usage language called out in Heller as a way to frame the debate around the types of arms that should be available to citizens. Even more specifically, I use it to frame the debate around semi-automatic rifles and handgun magazine capacities. In my view, this debate has two components: one around the right to self-defense, and one around a check on government tyranny.

    Self Defense:
    There is a reason the police provide officers with Glock 17s with 17 round magazines and AR-15s with 30 round magazines. Given the threats of the world we live in, these firearms provide officers with the firepower necessary to ensure their safety. Why should civilians have anything different?

    Check on Government Tyranny:
    I am not advocating that every citizen install an anti-aircraft platform in their back-yard. However, there are many examples throughout history of governments using force to oppress their people. Having an armed citizenry gives pause to those who would impose their will on others. The capability of the arms that the citizens have available to them is an important part of this calculus. My view is that arms in common usage is the standard that should be used. The idea of registering certain classes of firearms with the federal government defeats the intent of a check on tyranny guaranteed in the Second Amendment.

    On another topic, I still don’t understand the line of reasoning that my ownership of an AR-15 or a handgun with a 15 round magazine somehow infringes on the rights of others. We already have laws in place to deal with the hypothetical situation where a gun is stolen. If a crime is committed with the stolen gun, the criminal can be held to account. It is unreasonable for you to infringe on my rights based on something that might happen in the future.

    Cheers!

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    1. 1. Private citizens don't need AR 15s for self defense. Police officers use them in defense of themselves against citizens who use them on officers- i.e. Pittsburgh officer shootings and Tacoma, WA officer shootings. Even then, the officers couldn't defend themselves as you would not be able to either. There is no need for citizens to have these guns. Please do not continue to argue with me about this point. We differ on it. My view is supported by the majority.

      2. Government Tyranny has happened in other parts of the world. We happen to live in a Democracy where elections decide on who will serve. This is a view held by a very small group of people in our country. I totally disagree with it as do a vast majority of Americans. Please do not keep arguing that point either. We differ. I don't believe you have support for it from the public, from our leaders or the second amendment.

      I don't understand your line of reasoning that believes that your AR 15s are more important than the innocent lives of children and adult who are massacred with these type of weapons- many at a time in just seconds.

      Cheers.

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    2. You all know that your hero, President Reagan, was in favor of an assault weapons ban. As is Colin Powell and a number of other Republicans. It's only the Republicans in Congress who run away from this because either they believe in this nonsense or they are too afraid to stand up and represent the majority. In either case, it's hypocrisy and an abrogation of their responsibilities.

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