Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gun Worship

This past Friday Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in her home in Newtown, Connecticut.  He then proceeded to the Sandy Hook Elementary School where he massacred twenty children as well as six adults before shooting himself.  Adam Lanza brought multiple semi-automatic weapons with him and reportedly used a military type assault rifle to commit the murders in the school – the weapons are reported to have been  legally registered in his mother’s name.

It is also reported that Adam’s brother Ryan Lanza told police that Adam suffered from a personality disorder and was somewhat autistic.  Apparently Adam Lanza did not have a prior criminal record.  As of now we do not know if there was a specific motive for the attack – nor does it really matter, Adam was undoubtedly either mentally ill or extremely unstable.

Sandy Hook Elementary School joins a long list of sites where gun massacres have occurred in the United States. To mention just a few: 1999 Columbine High School, 2007 Virginia Tech, 2009 Fort Hood, 2011 Tucson Supermarket, 2012 Oak Creek Sikh temple, and 2012 Aurora Colorado movie theatre.  As the graphic indicates the number of individuals killed by handguns in the US dwarfs the number of individuals killed by handguns in other developed countries.



As horrible as the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was, statistically it is only a blip – every single day in the United States 30 people die of gun shot wounds.

After each of the above incidents there is a wringing of hands and offering of prayers, but no effective action by our leaders to prevent future tragedies. 

The gun advocates who worship at the altar of gun ownership chant that the solution to gun violence is for more citizens to be armed with guns. Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America said, “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands.” Does Mr. Pratt think that untrained frightened armed citizens in a confused crisis situation will likely do anything except mistakenly identify each other as the original shooter and thus compound the bloodshed?

Delusional politicians like Mike Huckabee opine, “We ask why there’s violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place of carnage?”

As I previously have discussed, the factual evidence collected by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center is unambiguous.  The number of gun fatalities is closely associated with the level of gun availability and ownership. This relationship holds even after one adjusts for a myriad of other factors such as rates of aggravated assault, robbery, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption, and poverty. The close relationship between gun availability and gun violence holds within the US as well as across the rest of the world.  The more guns and the more individuals who are armed with guns, the more gun deaths that will result.

Thus, to reduce gun fatalities we need to dramatically reduce the availability of guns.  Certainly there is no reason for civilians to have guns that fire rapidly and hold large magazines.  To the extent that gun ownership is allowed, extensive background checks and training should be required. No individual should be allowed to amass an arsenal of weapons. One of the requirements should be that the weapons must be locked and secured when not being used with severe penalties being applied when this requirement is violated.

The US Supreme Court, in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, overturned the District of Columbia ban on handguns.  In this case, the Supreme Court held for the first time in the history of the Republic that the Second Amendment to the US Constitution provides an individual right to keep and bear arms. The text of the Second Amendment is: 

“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.”

This amendment had always been interpreted as the right of states to maintain armed militias (i.e., National Guards).  Indeed, in their dissent Justices Stephens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer stated simply the plain meaning of the amendment, “The right to keep and bear arms protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia.” 

However, Justice Scalia writing for the majority held that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right.  He further held that even though the District did not ban all arms (e.g. rifles, swords) that the District could not ban a specific class of arms – handguns – which are particularly dangerous because they can be concealed.   One wonders whether he would similarly rule that the District could not ban other weapons such as machine guns or chemical weapons.  Further, Scalia ruled that even safety requirements such as trigger-locks are also unconstitutional.

The most basic civil right is the right to one’s own life.  Apparently, Justices Scalia, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito believed that the right of the citizens of the District of Columbia to not be murdered was subservient to the Justices' brand new interpretation of the Second Amendment which they in their brilliance were the first to discover a mere 230 years after the US Constitution was adopted.  To be consistent with their view, these Justices certainly should allow guns to be brought within the chambers of the Supreme Court.  Perhaps the gun-loving members of Congress should also vote to allow guns to be brought into their chambers.  No, the self-righteous defense of the right of the people to bear arms is to be over-ridden when the safety of the Justices and the politicians is at stake.  Apparently these officials do not really think that they would be safer if more armed citizens were sitting in their chambers.  These public officials should only have the same concern for the safety of mere citizens as they do for their own safety.

US politicians are afraid to support gun control – afraid of the retribution of the National Rifle Association.  Better that children should be massacred than gun owners should at all be inconvenienced in pursuing their recreational activities.  We sacrifice the lives of our children and fellow citizens at the altar of our devotion to instruments of death.

26 comments:

  1. no comment for this case. gun kills people more than i think

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so we ban cars they killed moire people than guns did so just sayin don't be silly R J think beforew you write

      Delete
  2. No, common sense says these are instruments of PROTECTION.
    Cite statistics on deaths per capita compared to the number of guns that exist in the country. For example, Great Britain has 1.8 million guns in the country. America has more than 310 MILLION guns. Deaths by gun have in fact DECREASED over the past 20 years as ownership has increased.

    "The number of guns in the U.S. surged from 192 million in 1994 to 310 million in 2009. That includes 114 million handguns, 110 million rifles and 86 million shotguns. There are now about as many firearms in the U.S. as people. These stats have been widely reported. What has not been so widely reported is that the number of firearm-related homicides fell from 17,073 in 1993 to 9,903 in 2011 (up slightly from 9,812 in 2010). Per capita, the gun-related murder rate has dropped by more than 50 percent over the past two decades." Scientific American Blog

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2012/12/21/more-guns-have-not-produced-more-killings-but-we-still-need-gun-control/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As always Lynn, Mr Cohen and the rest of his friends who go through life with their blinders on, facts do not matter. Cohen's "instruments of death" comment is the way they try to rationalize their way through an arguement that they cannot win using facts. The liberal media that backs them will take these comments as truth, and publish them in an attempt to make you and I, and the people in this country who will use truth instead of hysteria to make an arguement, feel embarassed and foolish about our opinions. Fortunately, their are people such as yourself, who will sustain their opinions with facts, in an attempt to reach out and teach the opposition the reality of this situation instead of depending on the hysteria of the moment. Thank you for your reasoning, we have to fight this madness.

      Delete
  3. For us living outside the States , this whole moronic gun culture just doesn't make sense .Here we have a country that whenever they are abroad try to paint themselves as a rightious and Christian people . If we see what comes out of the States as violence in movies , games and mass shootings , no wonder the rest of the world just doesn't like Americans and everything they stand for . Maybe they should wake up and see there is a bigger world out there beyond their borders and try to see things from some-ones elses point of view and not try to make the whole world like them .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should I worry about what the rest of the world thinks of me. The USA has saved Europe twice from destruction. This is the most charitable country IN THE WORLD. Anytime there is a disaster in the world the US leads the way in sending help. And, interestingly enough, more people who live outside the US, want to come here to establish a new and exciting life for themselves. Not many Americans choose to emigrate to the country where you live. Live in your Socialisitic society and cry about your opinions of my country. We could not care less.

      Delete
  4. 3,300 "lives" are taken everyday by abortion in the US vs. 30 people per day due to gun violence?

    Guns sound much safer than the womb.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Of course we will not publish the statistics on how many of the "every single day in the United States 30 people die of gun shot wounds.", were from weapons that were illegally aquired. There are bad people who do not care about your or my life. They will ALWAYS have weapons. I do not want to be a victim. I own, carry, have been trained, and am licensed to protect myself with a firearm. And I, like the mother in GA, will protect myself and my family. Take away my right to own a firearm, and we take that fear away from the criminals in this country.

    ReplyDelete
  6. People kill, not guns firing themselves. People kill, not knives jumping out and slashing. People kill, not explosives setting up for the kill. People kill, not cars driven by alcohol. Totally misses the point! Wake up America and start going after the criminals instead of inanimate objects.

    ReplyDelete
  7. People kill, not guns firing themselves. People kill, not knives jumping out and slashing. People kill, not explosives setting up for the kill. People kill, not cars driven by alcohol. Totally misses the point! Wake up America and start going after the criminals instead of inanimate objects.

    ReplyDelete
  8. People kill, not guns firing themselves. People kill, not knives jumping out and slashing. People kill, not explosives setting up for the kill. People kill, not cars driven by alcohol. Totally misses the point! Wake up America and start going after the criminals instead of inanimate objects.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People without access to guns do not shoot other people. Your comment is not intelligent enough to be repeated three times.

      Delete
    2. Yes but they stab them, and beat them with clubs more times than they shoot them with rifles.
      Quit looking at the "gun" homicide rate and just look at the homicide rate and the violent crime rate in those countrys without guns and the picture is much different.

      How does a 90 lbs woman protect herself from a 230 lbs man that wants to rape her?

      Guns are tools for good and evil the people decide which way to use them.

      I have had a gun with me every day for almost 15 years. Funny it has not been shown to anyone, nor has it shot anyone.

      We have a people problem that won't be solved by gun control.

      Delete
  9. Gun ownership rates in Switzerland are close to those of the US ... hmm what could be the difference? If you take out the top 20 high crime urban areas in the US, the US murder rate is actually quite similar to Belgium

    ReplyDelete
  10. Vitamin C, being necessary for a healthy body, the right or people to keep and grow oranges shall not be infringed. Whether of not the first part of the sentence about vitamin c is true the second part stands alone. The second amendment does not require that the gun owner be a state militia member, it means that in order the even have a state militia the people must be allowed th have guns.

    ReplyDelete
  11. the shooter at sandy hook shooting was a known to be problem. his mom and dad, judge and laywers knew he should be locked up.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Americans have a love affair with our cars as well and vehicular accidents account for about 40,000 deaths per year. Based on the "logic" coming from the anti-gun crowd, we should outlaw automobiles. As half of those deaths are caused by drunk drivers, maybe we should outlaw alcohol as well?

    ReplyDelete
  13. God bless the 2nd amendment .... or so americans believe

    so stand up for your beliefs and just say the parallel truth which is 10 000 annual deaths by guns, massacres like newtown ARE the price we are willing to pay

    there you go

    bang ... there goes someone's mother
    bang ... there goes someone's sister
    bang ...
    bang ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the most simplistic and nonsensical answer I have seen on this blog. But, I will play along. What price are YOU willing to pay. There are substantially more deaths due to automobile accidents. Should the government control who drives and who does not? When does the liberty this country was based upon not matter? How much are you willing to allow the Left to control your life. They all know more than you do and are just drooling to take anything away from personal freedoms. Of course, it is for YOUR benefit. The "massacres" you speak of are committed by individuals with mental health issues. How about we solve those issues and not react simply to make headlines and hurt individual freedom.

      Delete
    2. At least all cars are registered and drivers are licensed. They have to pass a driving test. Drivers are not allowed a license for various reasons or have to relinquish them for a variety of reasons. When will gun worshipers realize that no one, hear me? no one will take your precious guns so stop already trying to use that as an excuse, the second amendment will stand, you will have your guns, we just need people to accept all the responsibilities that should go along with their gun rights.

      Delete
    3. This is a typical approach by the left. Take one statement in an argument and attempt to turn the discussion in another direction. No problem. The government control of Licensing and registration on vehicles is VERY well controlled? Hundreds of thousands of unregistered vehicles and unlicensed drivers in this country. Fact, not opinion. Post Office near bankruptcy? Fact, not opinion. Social Security near bankruptcy? Fact, not opinion. So, with your argument, let's give the government MORE power, and MORE regulatory oversight, and everything will be controlled. Wrong. There will always be illegal and "unregistered" weapons and the people who will have the ability to obtain and use them. What you and all the rest of the short sighted liberals want to accomplish is the end of private ownership of ANY concealable firearms. Joe Biden, who I am sure is your hero, has said, quote "this is just the beginning" of his fight to eliminate private ownership of handguns. I am not simply pro firearm ownership, a "gun worshiper", to use your phrase, I am pro constitution. I "worship" freedom. I would like to remain a free person to fend for myself without the help or interference from an intrusive government. Unfortunately, that is precisely where we are headed with this administration.

      Delete
  14. The question as to what civilians "need" is entirely beside the point.

    I am a free man, not a subject. *I* decide what I need, not the government.

    But as a citizen, if I don't have the right to keep and bear arms, then neither does any other citizen, including governmental employees.

    Want to eliminate a large number of guns, taking them off of your streets? Simple: disarm all police and Federal employees.

    If you support gun control, but object to disarming governmental employees, ask yourself why.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to add to what you said in your comment, this "politically correct" country has decided that there should not be any weapons carried by Military personell on military property. So, we have the Fort Hood shooting where the Major had NO FEAR of anyone shooting back, and more recently we had the Naval Yard shooting where the shooter had NO FEAR of anyone shooting back at him. This is what hapens when the criminals knows there will not be an immediate threat of retribution. If we take away the right of law abiding citizens to have the opportunity to defend themselves, the criminals will have NO FEAR and, as a direct result, there will be more violence in this country. I will defend myself, my family, and if necessary, my neighbors from these people who do not think that anyone's life or property is precious and should be respected.

      Delete
  15. "The number of gun fatalities is closely associated with the level of gun availability and ownership."

    Tautology. This statement is equally true about automobiles, hammers and swimming pools. Is THIS what passes for reasoned argument with the fascist leftists?

    Then this:

    "Does Mr. Pratt think that untrained frightened armed citizens in a confused crisis situation will likely do anything except mistakenly identify each other as the original shooter and thus compound the bloodshed?"

    Straw man argument, spun to try to win a point through emotional manipulation. Reword it thus:

    "Does Mr. Pratt think that highly trained, experienced, armed citizens in a confused crisis situation will likely mistakenly identify each other as the original shooter?"

    No, of course they won't. The are THERE, seeing the situation develop, and they likely have loved ones present, as well as being moral, upright citizens who would be horrified if they accidentally shot the wrong person! This can be demonstrated by reading ANY of the interviews of people who were armed and moved to act in such situations. The brave citizen who responded to the Clackamass Mall shooting hesitated because he didn't have a clear shot!

    The average concealed carry permit holder practices often, is careful and conscientious, and often times as good a shot as any police officer, and at times better.

    Furthermore, most police officers have very little training in live fire situations, and none in surprise attacks, thus are just as likely to be confused and frightened as anybody else.

    Police almost always arrive in force long after the attack has been initiated, often times not arriving until the incident is nearly over. Your average police officer is just another citizen, hopefully a good person, but just another citizen. This insistence that they are some kind of "super human" flies in the face of the evidence: Police accidentally shoot innocents every year . . . something almost never reported by the mass media unless there is the chance of inflaming racial animus.

    The most important point: The Police are not responsible for your safety. They are not tasked with protecting you, and they cannot be sued by your survivors for their failure to prevent your murder. The courts recognize that your personal safety is your responsibility, and would throw out any such suit were it filed.

    The simple fact is that in the USA, if citizens do not have the right to keep and bear arms, then their government (of, by and for THEM) has even less right to do so.

    This entire gun-control argument is based in the premise that we are subjects, and that the government is our master.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So the fanaticism for abortion means a love of death? Just wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I read that Post and got it fine and instructive. www.vigilanceelite.com

    ReplyDelete