© Josh Sager – June 2014
The United States is suffering an epidemic of gun violence that sets us apart from the rest of the developed world. Put simply, the United States experiences a per capita gun murder rate that is orders of magnitude larger than most European countries, never mind the casualties from accidental discharges and suicides.
Gun laws in our country are weak (ex. TX), easily circumvented (ex. the gun show loophole), or simply not updated to account for the modern age (ex. online gun sales), thus criminals and the mentally ill have an easy time getting guns—these unstable or violent people then use these guns to kill their fellow citizens, and oftentimes, themselves. Unfortunately, any attempts to constrict these inadequate laws are opposed by the NRA, a legion of gun fetishists, and organized money by the gun industry.
Even after tragedies like the Sandy Hook, Aurora, or Santa Barbara massacres, those who fight gun control reform remain unshaken in their desire to make it easy for everybody to access guns: The sad and paranoid gun nuts who cling to their guns out of a crippling fear of their neighbors, the government, and the imagined boogeyman of globalist invaders, are blind to the real carnage that guns are wrecking in their country today; the corrupt and greedy gun lobbyists see money in the gun murder epidemic and seek only to promote the sale of more weapons; finally, the media refuses to call out the gun nuts and lobbyists, because it would be “impolite” or “not fair and balanced” to point out that those who oppose gun control reform are almost always either deranged, greedy, or ignorant.
We must face the reality that there is no tragedy which can sway the gun extremists and lobbyists from their gun anarchist position—no number of murdered children, grieving families, or moments of silence will make them change their minds, because they simply don’t see these things past their own precious weapons.
A look into the Gun Extremist Mind
After the Santa Barbara mass shooting, Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher wrote a letter to the families of victims expressing his opinions on gun control—in this letter he said the following:
“I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But: As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
Disregarding the dismissive tone of this quote and the absolute lack of decency in sending such sentiments to parents who just buried their children, Joe the plumber has actually captured the thought processes of the right wing gun extremists perfectly. They have convinced themselves that the Constitution justifies their obsession with guns, and have lost all consideration for any other Americans’ rights.
In the mind of the gun nut, their ownership of a gun will protect them and their families, and anybody not to own a gun is simply asking to be shot at. This creates an illusion of security that allows them to justify loose gun laws—after all, if somebody attacks their families, they think that they will be the “good guy with a gun” who stops the bad guy with a gun and becomes a hero.
What to do Now?
Currently, gun nuts have an electoral advantage because they are more regular in their voting and tend to have the single overriding issue of “gun rights” (they won’t ever vote for an anti-gun candidate). This allows them to gain disproportionate representation in the legislature and even recall politicians who support gun sanity (recalls are elections where only the most motivated turn up).
Americans who support gun sanity need to emulate the gun nuts by getting just as focused and activated as the gun extremists—we must vote for pro-gun control candidates with as much fervor as the gun nuts do their anti-gun control candidates. If the gun nuts try to primary or recall a pro-gun sanity candidate, we must turn out in force to defend them; if a politician obstructs gun control reform or tries to weaken gun laws, we must make an example of them and send them home during their next election without a job.
Politicians vote in their own electoral interests, and gun control supporters need to make a vote against gun control so costly that even the threat of the NRA’s wrath doesn’t make politicians wary to vote in favor of gun sanity.
In addition to working through the public sector to achieve change, we must put economic pressure on any brand or corporation to support the gun lobby or the open carry movement. This pressure can take many forms, from boycotts to advertising campaigns, but it must by highly organized and publicized.
Eventually, through a combination of public and private pressure, we can eventually turn the tides and restore gun sanity to the United States.
There is no point in trying to convince most gun extremists to support gun control—they are either too paranoid, indoctrinated, or corrupt to even consider changing their minds about the issues. As such, we simply need to overwhelm them with numbers, motivation, and the smart application of political or economic force.
While the American people only support increased gun control by a thin margin (according to a February 2014 CBS/NYTimes Poll, 54% of Americans support increased gun control), this margin dramatically increases in our favor when we talk about individual policies rather than gun control as an abstract concept (ex. over 90% of Americans support a universal background check and banning people on the terrorism watch list from buying guns). If we can tap into this support and bypass the American peoples’ ignorance on this subject, we can simply steamroller over the gun extremists and render them irrelevant in the Democratic process.
The United States is suffering an epidemic of gun violence that sets us apart from the rest of the developed world.
I love how anti-rights cultists have to twist the facts in order to get the results they need. The graph shows Chile — is it a developed country?
Because it doesn’t show Honduras, Belize, Brazil, Mexico or a dozen other countries with homicide rates many times that of America. — Honduras’ firearm related homicide rate is nearly 20 times that of America. Mexico with its ultra strict gun control laws is 3 times higher.
never mind the casualties from accidental discharges and suicides.
32 other countries have suicide rates higher than America — many of them, like Japan, have ultra restrictive gun control laws. How do you explain that ?
They have convinced themselves that the Constitution justifies their obsession with guns, and have lost all consideration for any other Americans’ rights.
Actually the Right to Keep and Bear Arms precedes the Constitution; as stated in the Heller decision. The Constitution simply protects an already existing right.
Next, the right to swing your fist stops at the end of my nose as Will Rogers once stated. My right to keep and bear arms is not based on the criminal actions of others. Many people are pedophiles who use computers and cameras (equipment I am sure you have) — does that mean we can register your equipment, make you get a background check, mental health exams, have the local law enforcement agency approve your use of a computer?
Of course not, because you probably aren’t a pedophile and shouldn’t be subjected to laws like you are one.
If we can tap into this support and bypass the American peoples’ ignorance on this subject, we can simply steamroller over the gun extremists and render them irrelevant in the Democratic process
Two problems with that. First as people find out what ‘individual policies’ really mean, the support goes away. Isn’t it amazing that with such a super majority of popular support no laws get passed?
That’s because once the details get out; people don’t vote for those ideas.
Second and more importantly; we are not a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic; that means the majority vote only goes so far. The power of the government is limited so the rights of the people don’t get trampled by popular vote.
Is the gun control movement still counting Tamerlan Tsarnaev as a “victim of gun violence”?
A robbery in Houston stopped and one would be robber in custody thanks to the “weak” gun laws in Texas.
A registered sex offender who forcibly entered a woman’s home whom he had raped only one week before stopped forever thanks to the Second Amendment.
As harsh as Mr. Wurzelbacher’s words are, they are true as the truth often is. Second Amendment supporters win because we are the majority of voters. To be a legal gun owner, you must pass a federal background check. To be a registered voter, you cannot be a convicted felon or an ex felon who has not had their voting rights restored or a non-US citizen.
I am going to be polite because this is someone else’s blog. The 2nd does not give you the right to own private arms, it gives you the right to belong to ‘a well-regulated militia’ and within that context to bear arms in support of said militia. Up until 2008 when the flawed and paid for SCOTUS changed the reading of the 2nd, every single prior SCOTUS agreed the first phrase of the 2nd, ‘a well regulated militia’ existed and prefaced the right to bear arms.
Even Scalia, the most conservative of those on the bench today agrees there are limits and should be.
Learn to read, I would suggest starting with the Federalist Papers which provide the reasoning behind the 2nd and all the other original Amendments. It would be good to note though, when the Constitution and its original Amendments were written the framers had no idea the types of guns that would be available or the types of damage they would be capable of.
They also had no idea of the types of decadence, debauchery and stupidity that short sighted, treasonous liberals would be capable of and the damage they could inflict to this great nation. You learn to read. The wording of the Second Amendment (call it by its full and proper name please) has not changed in the 222 years since it was written and neither has its meaning. It was written centuries before you were conceived and will be here after you are only a memory.
“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”.
A militia is comprised of all able bodied citizens and is charged with defending the country from all enemies foreign AND domestic.
Again, I will be polite and suggest to you the following. You are neither a Constitutional Lawyer nor a Seated Judge. You have no training in Constitutional law and are simply spouting off what someone has told you. It was not until 2008, less than ten years ago these weak laws were put in place. Up to this point, the Constitution and the 2nd were interpreted differently. I would suggest you do some investigation of your own.
It is not Liberals who are the ‘domestic’ enemy. This nation was formed so all people within the Republic would have a voice, would be protected, would be free to conduct their affairs without interference. Remember the Constitution protects all of us, not just those you like and agree with. It protects our right to worship, whether we are Christian or not. It protects our right to speech, whether you like that speech or not. It protects our right to marry whether you approve our choice in partner, or not. It protects all of us, Black, White, Brown, Man and Woman, every last one of us; whether you like it or agree. It protects also our right to vote and make our voices heard, whether you like it or not and despite your side of the aisle is doing everything in its power to prevent it.
When the NRA formed it did so to teach gun safety. Up until the 1980’s it supported gun regulation. Check your history, it is easy to do. Guns have been regulated since 1934, every regulation going forward from 1934 – 1998 (full enactment of Brady Law) further controls sale, transport of guns and ammunition. Until 1994 the NRA fully supports all of them. Until 1997 (Printz v. US) there was never a challenge to regulation, ever. Until 2008 (Heller) there was never a reinterpretation of the 2nd by any SCOTUS.
Let me suggest to you, do not come to a GUN fight unless you know the facts.
From a victim of GUN VIOLENCE.
Sorry Valentine but you are wrong.
United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 108 L.Ed.2d 222, 110 S.Ct. 1056 (1990) makes clear that the Second Amendment protects the rights of all law-abiding persons. The Court stated:
“The people” seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution…. The Second Amendment protects “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,” and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to “the people.” See also U.S. Const., Amdt. 1, (“Congress shall make no law … abridging … the right of the people peaceably to assemble”); Art. I, § 2, cl. 1 (“The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second year by the People of the several States”)(emphasis added). While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that “the people” protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community. 108 L.Ed.2d at 232-33 (emphasis added in part.)
Concurring, Justice Stevens added that “aliens who are lawfully present in the United States are among those ‘people’ who are entitled to the protection of the Bill of Rights …. ” Id. at 241. In his dissent, Justice Brennan noted that “the term ‘the people’ is better understood as a rhetorical counterpoint ‘to the government,’ such that rights that were reserved to ‘the people’ were to protect all those subject to ‘the government’
In the United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) decision — the Court didn’t say the individual had to be a member or eligible to be a member of a militia; just that the firearm had to have some reasonable use in a militia.
The Dred Scott decision in 1857 listed the right to keep and bear arms among the individual rights that would be granted if Scott was determined to be a free man.
It would be good to note though, when the Constitution and its original Amendments
And that brings up another point; Congress is given power to arm the militia in the body of the Constitution, the Presidency power to call up the Militia, etc. The 2nd Amendment — AMENDS the Constitution; so why would the Founders point out in the Amendment that it was about the militia? Doesn’t make sense.
From the Preamble to the Bill of Rights
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
Sorry but your reading of the 2nd Amendment misses the mark.
And again I will say, unless you are an Attorney or a Seated Judge, you are incorrect and parsing the language and the history to suit yourself. Better and more learned people than you or I have traced the roots of this issue all the way back. Including retired Justices.
My reading, isn’t mine it is the reading that is based on the Federalist Papers and includes the original supported reading starting with the original restrictions of the 1930’s and leading up to the Brady Bill. It was not until 2008 these restrictions loosened and we have what we have today, a free for all. With Open Carry, Stand Your Ground and children dying in the streets. With shooting sprees and mass murders in schools and shopping malls and people like you and Joe Citizen attempting to justify 30,000 deaths by guns every year.
The Constitution has changed over time because our society has changed. Were this not true we would live in a very different world than the one we live in. I can only be thankful for this. The fact there are people today who believe their right to carry and threaten the lives, even take the lives of their fellow citizen without concern, is greater than the safety and harmony of the entire society simply shows how far we have fallen and why we do not deserve a place at the table of civilized societies worldwide. We are frankly far from civilized.
So please feel free to continue to protect those who would threaten our future with their demand to Open Carry, threaten and even murder their fellow citizen for no reason other than they damned well want to. The truth is, they aren’t going to start a war with the government, certainly they wouldn’t win one. They only thing they are going to do is kill more children, women and men who don’t deserve to die and they are going to do this because of their own ignorance and selfish self-serving fear.
A Gun Violence Victim who got lucky and survived.
10 U.S. Code § 311 (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age…
The founders did I fact have an idea about the type of firearms we have today. During thier era they had:
Sorry again Valentine But you are wrong
c. Meaning of the Operative Clause. Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment . We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment , like the First and Fourth Amendment s, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed.” As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876) , “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed … .”16
As far back as 1876, it was recognized to be an individual right….and that is a seated Justice saying it — 5 actually. And the Court in 1876.
It was not until 2008 these restrictions loosened
Again, you are wrong. In 1987, 21 years before Heller, States started loosening restrictions with Florida legalizing Shall Issue Concealed Carry. Heller just codified a long history of changes in law which allowed more individual liberty.
Stand Your Ground and children dying in the streets. With shooting sprees and mass murders in schools and shopping malls and people like you and Joe Citizen attempting to justify 30,000 deaths by guns every year.
Love how you lump suicides nearly 60% of all firearm related deaths into the same number when you are talking about shooting sprees and mass murders in schools and shopping malls. Ever notice that most of those mass shootings happen in places that prohibit possession of firearms?
Yeah, most of the are in ‘gun free zones’. How’s that working out?
Take away the demographic groups that represent a small percentage of our population, but commit well over half of the violent crime, and I’ll bet that our rates are the same as other countries, if not lower. A great majority of the difference is due to gang violence, but the media doesn’t get upset when dozens people die every week in Chicago. They do, however, get upset when a kook kills people in Isla Vista. They get so upset that they call it a mass shooting, even though technically doesn’t qualify such (only 3 killed by firearms, including the shooter; so really only 2.)
So they want us to emulate other countries? Fine. I’ll pick, and to make sure I’m being fair, I’ll choose from the top 5. I pick Israel. They armed the people in their schools, and guess what? No school shootings since then. They also have a great number of people that openly carry firearms, including real assault rifles (fully automatic, not the hysterically mislabeled AR-15s that make them wet their pants here.) To those that always worry about concealed carry leading the “wild west,” I say look to Israel. Those people are always proven wrong when the crime rate drops with the introduction concealed carry, and their predictions of daily shootouts over parking lot confrontations never come to pass. It must be tough always being wrong, but somehow it doesn’t affect them. Their misguided principles are somehow immune to facts, data, and logic.
So sorry to hear that you are a victim of gun related violence, but happy to hear that you survived. Could you please provide details of your ordeal? It may lend some credibility to your position since right now all that the rest of us have is just your word. Here is actual testimony from an actual survivor of a gun related crime (the 1991 Killeen, TX massacre).
I’m not sure what the details of your alleged incident may be. However, they do not trump the constitutional rights of the rest of the United States. You are obviously not an attorney or a seated judge either so stop trying to pretend that you are. You sound quite dissatisfied with the United States. This country isn’t for everyone. I would suggest that you consider a change of address. You must feel very alone.
Happy for you all. You keep your guns and your justifications. Whatever. I give up, I would bet you are also Christian. Good luck when you try to justify your actions when you get to heaven.
No Marie, I don’t owe you a damn thing, nothing. I am born and bred in the US. I am dissatisfied with people like you, not with the US.
Don’t you love how these gun nuts just line up to prove the central premise of this article correct, all the while thinking that they are winning the debate.
“There is no point in trying to convince most gun extremists to support gun control—they are either too paranoid, indoctrinated, or corrupt to even consider changing their minds about the issues. As such, we simply need to overwhelm them with numbers, motivation, and the smart application of political or economic force.”
I find them frightening and pathetic. As a victim of violence I am not at all interested in their justifications. As soon as they tell me their rights are greater than mine, or they suggest I should leave the country I stop talking.
You are right, we do simply need to overwhelm them with numbers and motivation. Eventually their ignorance will not stand.
What numbers? What is it going to take for you people to finally admit that you have always been on the losing side? Trying to stand in the way of the Second Amendment is like standing on a beach believing that you can halt an approaching tsunami with just a sponge. There may be a few individual states with lower percentages of gun owners that may be able to pass some restrictions on their own citizens. However, major victories for gun rights will undoubtedly continue. After the Sandy Hook shooting, gun control fanatics were just so absolutely sure that Americans would stop buying guns, that gun owners all across the US would just destroy their guns out of grief and gun stores and the firearms industry would quickly go bankrupt. Didn’t happen. Instead, gun owners united and overwhelmed gun control fanatics, the industry is flourishing like never before, the amount of new gun owners has sky rocketed and politicians have learned (some, the hard way) that interfering with the Second Amendment is political suicide. On behalf of all Second Amendment supporters, I wish to say thank you.
You still didn’t provide any useful information. I am going to have to assume that you are not an actual victim of anything except your own ignorance and fear. If you are a survivor of a gun related crime, then you have allowed your experience to overwhelm you and prevent you from moving forward with your life. It would appear that you blame the crime on the gun and not the criminal who wielded it. Based on your comments, it is highly unlikely that it would have made a difference had you been armed as you would have probably lacked the will to pull the trigger to defend your own life. Truly sad. If your problem is with people like me, then your problem is with the US because we are the true voice of the people.
SOO… No one has yet explained to me WHY I cannot protect myself from a crimminally minded “gun bully” who has ill intent toward me and is going to injure,kill or rob me or my friends /loved ones.
They are called criminals because they don’t give a HOOT about you,me or any so called LAWS that (for the most part) enable us to function in a CIVILIZED society.
The smarter criminals work using social engineering scams and/or computers,the lower class ones use brunt physical force with or without ……(wait for it)…….GUNS……..What a concept!
If the bad guys dont care about gun laws NOW ….What makes you even think they will follow any NEW ones??????????? Please explain!
Human nature being what it is,the concept of a utopia has never really worked out. They either fade away or end up like Waco,Texas…
From a “gun bully” who dosn’t own one …….yet……..
I stand by you.
I applaud your reasoned approach.
The others who are trying to demean you with childish and unqualified questions are doing the best they can with their limited intelligence. Guns for brains, mouths shooting off –
It’s good to know you are out there telling the real story. Thank you. So glad you survived, and can tell your truth.
Deb, Valentine didn’t tell anything. He or she only claimed to have been a victim and then tucked their tail between their legs and retreated from the debate when their truthfulness was called into question as it should have been.
I would not have graced your rude and unnecessary questions with details of my life ether. You expect your words to be taken as truth, but but can’t afford that to others?
Laying one’s life out in detail, to enable you to dissect and denigrate it, is an astonishing request. It’s akin to the Salem Witch trial tests, wherein if the woman on the drowning board survives – she’s a witch and will be summarily killed , but if she drowns she was innocent, and too bad she had to die.
Deb says that “Could you please provide details of your ordeal?” is the same as “Laying one’s life out in detail, to enable you to dissect and denigrate it, is an astonishing request. It’s akin to the Salem Witch trial tests, wherein if the woman on the drowning board survives – she’s a witch and will be summarily killed , but if she drowns she was innocent, and too bad she had to die.”
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I believe that Ms.Logar said, ” The truth is, they aren’t going to start a war with the government, certainly they wouldn’t win one.” I kind of think that the same thing was said around, oh, 1776. The truth is that, although an already established and better armed government undoubtedly would have the advantage in any kind of uprising, an armed force of normal citizens is still a threat to an oppressive government. What other explanation would there be for the disarmament that people have experienced under, say, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Pol-Pot, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, Kim Il-sung, Ho Chi Minh, Gaddafi, Joseph Tito, and many, many others? Any evil regime’s first goal is to make sure they have utter and total control.
P.S.- I am neither a “gun nut” as Mr. Sager (who could be rightly called just a nut) said, nor one who would ever attempt to overthrow the government of this beautiful United States. I believe that this country will always have hope for returning to its original values as long as it retains its democratic foundation.
P.P.S.- I wonder what would have happened had Ms. Logar been a victim of butchering knife or baseball bat violence.
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