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Thread: 'Gun control should be a hot topic among U.S. presidential aspirants,' Albert R. Hunt Bloomberg News

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    This Tuesday is a rare one in the United States, without a presidential primary. The political fireworks instead will be at the Supreme Court, which will hear a case on whether the government can limit firearms.

    In a country racked by gun violence, this should be a hot topic among presidential aspirants. It isn't.

    The Democratic candidates, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, and, less surprisingly, the likely Republican nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, are ducking the issue. There is minimal attention to guns on any of their Web sites.

    Every reputable poll shows most Americans believe in limits on gun use
    [My emphasis and the end of my reading of this drivel].

    Most of the passion on the issue, however, is with the powerful gun lobby and its adherents.

    Clinton and Obama believe that taking a dive on guns will make it easier to cut into Republican strength in Southern, Western and rural areas.
    The case that will be argued Tuesday is over the meaning of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "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."
    Courts have long interpreted that to protect the state's right to form a militia rather than a citizen's unfettered right to own firearms. Last year, a conservative appellate court, however, overturned a ban on ownership of handguns in Washington, arguing that it violated the Second Amendment.
    Walter Dellinger, the former U.S. solicitor general who is arguing the case on behalf of Washington, says the gun lobby is trying "to hijack" the Second Amendment.
    "This is not an amendment designed to give every individual freestanding gun rights," he says. "The Supreme Court got it right as far back as 1939," when it unanimously ruled that a federal gun law didn't violate the Constitution.
    Today, much more than 70 years ago, the gun-violence culture is deeply ingrained in America:
    The firearms-homicide rate of about 3.42 per 100,000 citizens is the highest of any industrialized country. It is about 100-fold the gun-homicide rate in Britain or Japan; only violence-prone developing nations like Colombia have a higher rate.
    Last year, more children died from gunfire than from cancer and HIV/AIDS combined; the firearms death rate for kids under 15 is 12 times more than the 25 other largest industrialized countries combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The United States has the highest concentration of gun ownership in the world, 283 million guns - a third of them handguns - owned by about a third of the citizenry.
    Less than a year ago, the nation was shocked when 32 students and professors were gunned down by a deranged student armed with two pistols at Virginia Tech university. Last month, five more were killed in a similar incident at Northern Illinois University. If Congress in 2004 hadn't allowed a 10-year-old federal ban on the individual use of assault weapons to expire, both of these shooters would have had less ammunition, and lives would probably have been spared.
    In Washington in 2006, more than 1,400 robberies were committed with guns; 125 people were killed. By contrast, Canada, with a population 59 times larger than Washington's, had 190 deaths related to firearms.
    In 2006, Washington law-enforcement officials recovered 2,656 firearms, many of which had been used in crimes and a number of which undoubtedly would have been in the future.
    The rationale for focusing on handguns is simple. In an urban area, these easily concealed weapons have posed lethal threats in schools, office buildings and public transportation.
    While the law hasn't worked perfectly, it has reduced crimes and deaths.
    Mayors of many cities, led by Michael Bloomberg of New York (the principal owner of the company that runs Bloomberg News), are pushing for a crackdown on the lax enforcement of gun laws, on the inability to trace illicit firearms use and the activities of unscrupulous dealers.
    The gun lobby and its political allies have fought back ferociously.
    State legislatures like Virginia's have passed measures prohibiting sting operations by law-enforcement officers in shady gun stores. Sting operations for illicit sex are fine, but not to stop deadly weapons.
    Few matters better illustrate the gun culture's hold on Americans than the case before the Supreme Court now. The Bush administration took a middle ground, arguing that individuals have a right to bear arms but that the state, in this case the government of Washington, has the right to reasonably regulate guns.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA

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    Most of our "gun violence" is concentrated in a few large cities. Because of PC nobody wants to talk about who really is predominately responsible for gun violence and where it really occurs. There are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of rural American towns that go year after year with 0-1 acts of gun violence. There are several large cities that have daily gun violence.

    Guns are not the problem. Urban gangs are most of the problem. An insecure southern border is another large part of the problem as millions of illegals, raised in the blood-letting of central and south American civil and gang wars over the last several decades, who place little value on human life, cross the border at will and feed already dangerous gang conditions in major cities.

    In the 70s, Castro emptied his jails of the worst Cuban offenders and then for good measure, emptied his insane asylums as well, encouraged them to find any floating device available, and make for the US shores (see Mariel Boat Lift). Juhmmy Cahtah used US naval and Coast Guard resources to "rescue" some 125,000 people and offered them amnesty and sanctuary in the US, mainly in FL. It was not until the crime rates soared, and murder rates mimicked those of Chicago in the roaring 20's and 30's that he realized the error of his ways and stuck a cork into the bursting dam.

    In many US cities, it is not much different than it is in Iraq or Somalia. We have roving gangs of young men, loyal to a "tribe" to the extent that they will die or kill for it above anything else. They are often well armed as smuggling arms is just as easy as smuggling drugs and people, and, with the introduction of hyper-violent central and south American gangs such as MS-13, increasingly violent. We cannot, by law, use our military to disband and eliminate these threats. We cannot, because of PC, discuss these threats. And much of the burgeoning violence really is traceable to a southern border immigrant problem. Another now growing source of problems is coming from African refugees to whom we offer asylum from war ravaged nations there. Yet another group of immigrants who's past is little but violence and taking what they need for survival. Such groups rarely integrate well into a modern, industrialized society, no matter how heart wrenching their predicament or good intentioned the asylum.

    So, it is not giong to be a hot topic. If it is a hot topic, at some point some politician is going to have to commit political suicide and point out the huge gulf in crime rates between certain identifiable groups in this nation. At some point some politician would have to explain to the American people the difference between crime rates and total number of acts. At some point some politician would have to propose a solution that would be built upon the realities of who is really committing the most violent of crimes in this nation. Certainly those of all races, creeds and religions commit unconsciounable acts, and violent crimes. Any national dialogue on the issue is going to bring out the demagogues in force claiming that quoting certain realities of violent crime is equivalent to racial slurs and prejudice because "everyone does it".

    So those of us who believe in our constitutional rights; and those of us who believe in forcing the government to fulfill it's consitutional obligations to provide for the common defense by shutting down the invasion over our southern border; and those of us who recognize a man by the content of his character and not the color of his skin, and do so to an extent where conversations about subjects that do have a strong racial, religious or heritage component are simply factual without animus or guilt, will not have an opportunity to discuss the actual reasons the bodies are piling up, and will instead watch inanimate tools be blamed and see our individual rights trampled to supposedly protect the rights of others with no sense of community, morality or nation. Our culture, our heritage, our rights will be maligned the world over. And then, either none of us has rights any longer and we resemble a third world dictatorship or, with the disarming of the population, the the true slaughter on American streets will begin.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Goochland, Virginia, USA

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    Every time one of my wife's lib friends tell me about kids being killed by guns, I point out that many if most of the youths shot by guns are involved in crime themselves.

    Meanwhile, more kids die every year from drowning. Does that mean that swimming pools should be limited to being owned by government offcials with special training?

    The libs then try to say guns don't have a real purpose. But firearms have many purposes, including self defense.

    Meanwhile, what purpose does a swimming pool serve, who really needs one?

  4. #4
    Regular Member
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    Jun 2007
    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

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    Skeptic wrote:
    The libs then try to say guns don't have a real purpose.* But firearms have many purposes, including self defense.

    Meanwhile, what purpose does a swimming pool serve, who really needs one? *
    *steals that for later use*
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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