2nd Amendment

This post was inspired by the number of instances I have responded to questions and posts advocating gun control. I have organized this article so that the reader may use an index of sorts to refer to for comments and questions. I encourage all readers to post corrections to facts in the article and their arguments.

Expect this article to be updated as this writer is aware that he can make mistakes and in some unlikely cases :) change his opinion.

1.0 The 2nd Amendment

1.1 What Founders Say

1.1.1 George Washington

”If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

”A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies.”

”Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master.”

”However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

”A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

To that I would add that they should be educated completely, not to the prevailing socialist leanings of our educational system, who apparent leave out study of the Federalist Papers and in some cases campaign for the removal of the second amendment.

1.1.2 Federalist Papers - James Madison

James Madison was in his 20s when he contributed articles to what is now called the Federalist Papers.:

One paper, No 46, by James Madison discusses the rights of citizens to possess arms. The discussion starts in the final quarter of the paper.

“This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens.”

1.1.3 Benjamin Franklin

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” From “Memoirs of the life & writings of Benjamin Franklin.”

1.2 My Opinion

The current gun laws in view of the founders view and the 2nd Amendment IMHO are not Constitutional. That the laws either have not been challenged, or the SCOTUS has ruled them constitutional, permit them to be in force is OK with me. I am opposed to new more restrictive laws on arms like what many are calling “Assault Weapons”. Knowledgeable self defense proponents say that the AR-15 is one of the best home defense weapons because of its accuracy and reliability. I am not opposed to background checks except I am concerned that the government may deny possession of a firearm unreasonably, like prior military service. As we have found with the no-fly list, it could deny ownership with little or mistaken reason.

I am convinced the ownership of firearms prevent more crimes than they cause. Many cite Australia’s experience with gun laws as a reason to extend our own. What they don’t mention is the increase in all the other crime statistics. Personally, I credit the absence of a crime that could seriously injured or killed three people (two relatives) to the presence of a weapon and a person that could use it.

2.0 Positive Use of Arms

I am a Smith & Wesson 357. Before I retired to GA I was owned by a physician in Detroit. I was called on three times to perform my function. The first time I was removed from the physician's purse to confront a rather large man approaching the physician. On recognizing me, the large man left. The second time, several thugs approached the physician. It was dark and the thugs either did not recognize me or did not believe the physician would pull the trigger. The physician did. The muzzle flash was so bright the thugs were blinded and the physician and I were able to get in her car and leave. The third incident occurred when a thug approached the physician. It was daylight so my muzzle flash was not so bright. The thug continued. I think the second shot hit the assailant, but he left, and so did we."

The Smith & Wesson now belongs to a family where arms are kept, loaded and unlocked. Another two crimes were prevented when an intruder entered the house. Two girls heard the intruder break into a basement door. One went to the phone and dialed 911. The other took a bolt action shotgun from its place and proceeded to meet the intruder coming up the steps. As she approached the stairs, she chambered a shell. The intruder apparently recognized the sound and left the same way he had come. It was over 25 minutes before the police reached the house.

After the incident with the girls, alone in the house, the owners posted a sign on the basement door with a picture of the business end of the 357 saying "We don't call 911 first!" There were no incidents after that sign was posted even though there were reports that there were other break-ins.

Certainly, five crimes were prevented by these weapons, any one of which could have caused injury or death of the physician or the girls. How many lives were affected? How many lives were saved (the physician is still working)?

The media seldom reports on like incidents or cases where an armed officer in a school prevents mass murders like the one in Maryland, or the armed teacher that took down an shooter before he had time to do any damage. And there is no way to count the times a perpetrator avoid a house or business because he knows or suspects there are arms on the premises.

3.0 Information vs Misinformation

3.1 “Assault Rifle” vs “Assault Weapon”

3.1.1 An automatic weapon is one that fires continuously until the trigger is released or it runs out of ammunition.

3.1.2 A semi automatic weapon requires the trigger to be depressed for each cartridge to be fired. The automatic function refers to the characteristic of the weapon that after a shot is fired the mechanism re-chambers a new round to be fired.

3.1.3 “selective fire” means that a weapon can be used as an automatic or semiautomatic weapon.

3.1.4 “bump stock” is a device that can be used that makes a semi automatic act like an automatic.

3.1.5 The definition of an Assault Rifle used here and all my posts is from the US Army definition:

  1. It must be capable of selective fire
  2. It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle, such as the 7.92×33mm Kurz, the 7.62x39mm and the 5.56x45mm NATO.
  3. Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable box magazine.[5]
  4. It must have an effective range of at least 300 metres (330 yards).
  5. And it must have all of the above characteristics.

3.1.6 The definition of an Assault Weapon varies depends on the state. For our purposes we will use the following criteria.:

  • Semi-automatic firearm capable of accepting a detachable magazine
  • Folding or telescoping (collapsible) stock, which reduces the overall length of the firearm
  • A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon
  • Bayonet lug, which allows the mounting of a bayonet
  • Threaded barrel, which can accept devices such as a flash suppressor, Suppressor, compensator or muzzle brake Grenade launcher
  • Barrel shroud, which prevents burning of shooter's arm or hand as a safety device.
  • Must have one or more of above characteristics.

Note that the above definition includes semi-automatic handguns because they have detachable magazines, leaving only revolvers, double barrel shotguns, and long guns with internal magazines as weapons not classified as assault weapons.

3.2 An AR-15 is NOT an “assault rifle” as many allege. Under the above definition it can be classified as an “assault weapon”.

3.3 “Laws are needed to restrict ownership of assault rifles”. The National Firearms Act of 1938 regulates the sale of assault rifles.

3.4 I tend to agree with Mark Twain,

“Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics. There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

Statistics too often are used to prove a point by the person rather than used as pure research. Regarding gun control you need to look at the source. You can certainly expect charts produced by the liberal media to support their objectives for more gun control. Data is not readily available for me to produce my own charts. If the reader has access to this data I would be glad to produce statics that are more complete. The data required for 2007-2017 are:

  • Gun Deaths by Year by State,
  • Gun Purchases by Year by State,
  • Population by Year by State,
  • Gun Deaths by by Year by cause (suicide, accident, mass, violence) by Youth Age Bracket (0-15, 16-24, over 24 any brackets are acceptable including those listed here)
  • Gun Deaths by Year by cause.
I will continue gathering the data but will accept the any help. I can accept data in .csv format. The best source is CDC.

4.0 Limited Resources

Conservatives recognize that our government, in fact our culture of freedom, has limited resources. Acting on that knowledge, they automatically think of problems whose seriousness and magnitude require some of those limited resources. A good corporate manager, including the president, considers those limits in every decision.

All families face the same issue. However there are many, including the recipients of welfare, some of very rich, and many educators who either believe resources are unlimited or that the resources can be managed better by the government than by individuals.

By either knowingly or accidentally using techniques described by Saul Alinsky to further their objectives of gaining more and more control over the citizens, they use emotionally charged issues like “gun control” and fund activities like “March for Our Lives”. YES, I AM AS CONCERNED ABOUT CHILDREN BEING MURDERED AS THE WELL MEANING YOUNG ADULTS. However, it must be considered along with other problems we face as a free culture with limited resources. Here are some of those issues:

  1. Atomic armed North Korea with ability to bomb cities in the United States, the top responsibility of the Federal Government is to protect the citizens of the United States from foreign invasion. Atomic armed Iran.
  2. Illegal Immigration which demands expenditures in education, permits criminals to injure U.S. Citizens and formits the drug trade.
  3. Russian expansion activities. Automobile deaths of about 3300 a day.
  4. The opioid crisis, and other drug problems that are taking 1000 lives a day.
  5. Care of our veterans.
  6. Government funding of murder of 300000+ unborn babies. Even though the Supreme Court has ruled, Roe vs Wade, that abortions are legal, it is contrary to the First Amendment to force taxpayers to fund them.
  7. School shootings. Even though one student death is too many, we must recognize that the trend of such incidents is down even though one, based on media coverage, might reasonably conclude it was up. Prevention of those attacks can best be handled by the states, as Florida did.

The order is my opinion of the order of importance. Even so, considering our limited resources, it is difficult for me to justify placing “School Shootings” and the associated push for limiting the right of self protection high in the list, and, on a personal level, sacrificing the lives of the three people I know on the altar of well meaning gun control advocates.

5.0 Young Adult Participation

I am encouraged that our youth are taking an interest in solving problems. I am concerned that, because of the increasing influence of progressives in our education system they are being used.

All who support demonstrations and particularly those who support legislation to restrict freedoms regardless of your good intentions, need to remember the words posted below and their source. You also need to review “Rules for Radicals”, a review of which is at http://www.politico-cat.com/node/113, if you at all concerned with the direction our country is taking. ??

Whether you are a member of Black Lives Matter or March for Our Lives, understand that you are restricting someone else’s freedom when you leave trash in your wake and block their ability to travel. Hopefully you will not impede a person or persons ability to get essential healthcare by your actions. Is your organization prepared to pay the cost incurred because of extra police and garbage pickup required by your demonstration? Are you? If not, then you are stealing from your fellow taxpayer.

8.0 How would I reduce gun related crime?

Thanks to the reader that put my foot to the fire and asked that question.

Glad you asked.??

Given that criminals:

  • don’t follow the law
  • That the majority of gun deaths are from commission of related crimes
  • That mass shootings are by mentally deranged perpetrators.

I would:?

  1. Increase penalties for crimes by a factor of 10 for crimes in which a firearm is used by the perpetrator with no opportunity for parole.
  2. Mandatory life sentence if someone is injured.
  3. ?
  4. Require purchaser to attend a class in gun safety.
  5. Voluntarily remove “gun free” zones. Campaign for locations where more than a few people gather to remove signs that they are gun free. Recommend that if they are concerned about guns on the premises, they provide ways to check people attending for arms.
  6. Establish a privately run gun owner list publicly accessible to advise weapons sellers as to restrictions of persons to own a weapon. Such a list can be funded by its users. Such a list would include whether the person listed has successfully completed a gun handling and safety course. HIPAA regulations specify that medical records of a person may not be released without that person's permission. That the managers cannot get the records would be a red flag to the seller as to the buyer’s fitness to have a weapon.