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Thread: Misinterpretation of right to bear armsThe Daily Orange Sports 'blog

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    http://www.dailyorange.com/media/storage/paper522/news/2008/03/05/Opinion/

    Misinterpretation of right to bear arms Kevin Eggleston

    Danish journalist Terkel Svensson was covering a meeting at President Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch earlier this week when he crossed the street to get better cell phone reception. As he stepped onto a neighbor's lawn, he encountered an elderly lady with a pistol yelling at him to get off her property. Before an international incident could develop, Svensson made it back across the street and looked at photos bystanders had taken of the geriatric Annie Oakley. "I will show the photos to my wife and children," he told CNN's Ed Henry. "They thought I was on a safe trip."

    Welcome to America, Terkel, the land of the free and the home of 18-year-old assault rifle owners who can't legally buy a beer and 90-year-old women who are legally blind and armed with purse-pistols. Here, the brave are the ones that venture outside, or dare to go hunting with the vice president.

    It is a land where even a family fast-food outing can end in a bullet-fueled massacre. It is a place where whole families are discovered shot and killed in their homes. It is a country where innocent bystanders at a bus stop find themselves gun victims of gang wars. And these are examples from just the past three days.

    In America, there is no place to run because it seems everyone has a gun.

    And yet, the remaining democratic candidates for president seem to have no problem running from the issue. At a time when the NRA-beholden republicans have successfully achieved the 2004 expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, Sens. Obama and Clinton have failed to provide a voice for gun control advocates.

    Both have backed away from previous support of tightened licensing and registration laws. When asked about gun control at public forums, they reply by emphasizing their shared belief in the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

    Which would be fine, if there was any agreement reached as to what rights the Second Amendment actually guarantees.

    According to Steven Tronovitch, chief of the Binghamton Police Department, after examining the structure of the amendment it seems likely the framers intended the right to extend only to citizens fulfilling military obligations. He notes that at the time of the enactment of the Bill of Rights, "this nation still had that 'wild west' mentality and guns were a necessity for survival, for food, and protection."

    Nowadays, the newly re-legalized assault weapons are obviously not necessary for survival. Instead, as Tronovitch notes, they have "no logical justification other than as killing machines."

    But the Republicans and the NRA have faced little recent opposition to their arguments. Al Gore was the last democratic presidential candidate to adequately argue the necessity of stricter gun licensing and registration laws. At present these are woefully behind the standards set by several nations in the now less-violent industrialized world. In 2000, then NRA head Charlton Heston responded to Gore with "from my cold dead hands," and since then democrats have gone lifeless on the issue.

    In effect, the NRA and the Republican Party have been able to take the Second Amendment - originally intended to allow militia-forming citizens to legally own their muskets - and radicalize its interpretation to again allow for the private ownership of assault weapons.

    Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, America is not. More than half of households report owning a gun. More than 12,000 murders a year are committed using firearms, according to an article published by The Associated Press on Feb. 26. Many gun-rights supporters argue that assault weapons are necessary for self defense - a sort of 'fighting firearms with firearms' mentality.

    That's what Syracuse sophomore Aaron Katchen's friend believes. Katchen claims that his friend keeps an AK-47 in the trunk of his car. Allowing for assault rifles to pepper people's trunks is not likely to bring about peace or safety, but it could very well redefine the term "road rage."

    But the issue here is not whether the assault weapons ban is extended. The bill itself is essentially symbolism due to gun manufacturers' clever ability to work around it. The issue is the recent evolution of a decidedly one-sided debate when it comes to gun control.

    The sound of gunfire on our campuses and in our homes and workplaces has been met with the sound of silence from Capitol Hill. All that remains in American political discourse are the echoes of Charlton Heston, reverberated by Republicans and Democrats alike.

    Simon Neville, a student from Edinburgh, Scotland, watches America and wonders, "How many more students have to be shot before a meaningful and constructive debate can take place?"

    Enlightening indeed is the fresh perspective of foreign eyes, from a place where sensible gun control laws have helped to keep annual gun deaths to less than a dozen.

    At a time when the Supreme Court is finally going to re-visit the Second Amendment, there needs to be more to the public debate than whatever is approved by the checkbook of the National Rifle Association. The left needs to start leading on the issue instead of following misguided public opinion, and that will take acts of political courage from the democratic candidates.

    "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men," Abraham Lincoln said. He's almost right. In this culture, in this country, in this violent age, when it comes to combating the sound of gunfire, silence isn't just sinful. It's deadly.

    Kevin Eggleston is a sophomore political science and television, radio and film major. His columns appear every week. He can be reached at kmeggles@syr.edu.


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    What a hoot! First he solicits an OPINION of the Second Amendment from the local police chief, then he states it as a matter of legal fact just a few paragraphs later.

    Oh my. Guess that's the typical approach ofsuch ranters.

    Jeff

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    Wow, an op-ed piece from an honest to goodness Oprahfied bed-wetter. What a treat. The sad part is that he obviously believes his own drivel.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    In America, there is no place to run because it seems everyone has a gun.
    Unless you have a gun. Then you don't have to run.

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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    expvideo wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    In America, there is no place to run because it seems everyone has a gun.
    Unless you have a gun. Then you don't have to run.
    He misspoke due to being misinformed for years by coddling parents and indoctrination in government schools. What he meant to say being the liberal that he is, "In America, there is no place for me to cower because it seems everyone has a gun and they'll hear us watching Oprah."
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I don't know about him, but I always got the feeling that Mr. Rogers had a 12-gauge in his closet...

    And what's this about having an AK-47 in one's trunk? Hell, I have one there too. At least when I don't have the little folding carbine in there...

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    Looks like WowBB crashed hard...

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    Does this guy really think that anti-gunners are silent in this country? Does he really believe that they do not have a loud voice in our governments and our society as a whole?

    I guess it's easier to vilify gun owners as people who'd shoot you if you voice opposition as opposed to... I dunno... rational argument.

    After all these years of reading this drivel, why am I still surprised at the level of paranoia expressed in this article?

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    Don't you get rather sick of hearing about how Europe handles crime and gun control, or maybe Japan, or even Australia? And then there is the even-occurring comparison between the price of gasoline here in the states and Europe.

    Frankly, I don't give a damn what they do in Europe or Japan or any other place for that matter. This is America and we do as WE want when and how WE want to do it.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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