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Thread: Chuck Carlson Editor's View: Wish we could fire questions about guns at forefathers.

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

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    By Chuck Carlson • June 28, 2008

    Guess I'm going to buy a gun.

    Guess I'll buy several, and the larger caliber ones too that can tear holes in everybody and everything and really send the message that my Constitutional rights are worth preserving.

    Maybe an semi-automatic too, just so the deer can't get away.

    Lots of guns. And big ones. All the time and everywhere.

    That's because the Supreme Court says I can, with another of its landmark 5-4 decisions.

    Soon concealed weapons will be all the rage throughout the country because, you know, you're not really free unless you're packing.

    We will, indeed, be the Wild West, and that's OK, because interpreting what guys in powdered wigs meant to say 230 years ago is what the Supreme Court does.
    But don't you wish sometimes we could step back in time and ask James Madison and all those other larger-than-life figures what they really meant when they crafted this document?

    Wouldn't it be great to sit down with some brats and a few cold ones and ask them whether privacy is really guaranteed in the Constitution?

    We could ask, "Did you guys think about abortion and gay rights and civil rights and the Internet and the fact that 10-year-old kids can get access to handguns?"
    And we could ask them if any of that would have even mattered when they sat down to put pen to paper to create this remarkable document.

    What they did finally come up with was this: "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."

    But what does it mean? What has it ever meant?

    Constitutional scholars and lawyers and politicians and bureaucrats and Supreme Court justices have wrangled over it for years but, really, no one knows for sure.
    Does it mean Americans can only have guns as part of a militia? And, for that matter, what is even the definition of militia these days?

    Does it mean every American everywhere has a right to own firearms even though we know what they can do?

    Does it mean every American should own a weapon to protect themselves from invading British soldiers?

    Is it a case of a bunch of smart guys, living in an age when it took two weeks to ride a horse from Philadelphia to Boston, assumed it was something we could all figure out for ourselves two centuries later?

    The Constitution isn't perfect. It was never meant to be.

    There are cracks and holes and anachronisms galore but it's the best we can do, and it's the best around, and it was written by men who knew better than any of us what liberty really costs.

    Maybe that's why it's so unfortunate they included an amendment about guns.
    And maybe the framers of the Constitution are having a little laugh at our expense.
    After all, those who question the real meaning of the amendment focus on the first part of what is written.

    Those who back every American's right to carry a gun focus on the second part.
    There's something there for everyone, and nothing there to get a definitive handle on.

    It is open to the kind of interpretation that so often ties this country in knots.
    And so with the Supreme Court's latest decision earlier this week to strike down a gun ban law in Washington, D.C., the backers of gun ownership have declared victory.

    It is our right and our privilege, I guess, to own guns and to argue that point, apparently, is to argue the very nature of what makes us free.

    But the argument isn't over. With every ruling on one side, the other mobilizes its forces and comes back even stronger.

    The debate continues, the Constitution lives on and, somewhere, the guys in the powdered wigs are laughing their heads off.

    Chuck Carlson is editor of the Door County Advocate. Contact him at or (920) 743-3321.

  2. #2
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    Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA

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    Chuck, you are a fool. Simple as that. No doubt he supports 'reasonable restrictions' imposed by the Brady Campaign. These 'reasonable restrictions' includes outlawing everything you can do with a gun except own one.

  3. #3
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    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    He does seem a bit adolescent. But this is what we in Door County must deal with... wrote:
    Guess I'll buy several, and the larger caliber ones too that can tear holes in everybody and everything

  4. #4
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    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    By Chuck Carlson Advocate editor 9 Dec 2007

    We refer you to one of the great Americans in history, Archie Bunker, during the TV classic “All in the Family.”

    Archie goes on the local news to talk about the evils of gun control and, along the way, he makes his suggestion for how to deal with the rash of airline hijackings.

    Hand out weapons to all the passengers before they get on the plane and collect them again when it lands.

    “Case closed,” he says.

    That was the pure black-and-white logic in Archie’ Bunker’s world.

    Now that was in the 1970s and that was a razor-sharp sitcom that poked fun at everyone and everything.

    Archie Bunker embodied an America that was changing and often in ways he detested.

    Whether the topic was abortion or civil rights or war or gun control, Archie always had his opinion. And, of course, it was always correct.

    But that was also 30-some years ago. The 2007 version of Archie Bunker appears to be one Larry Pratt and it isn’t quite so funny.

    Pratt is the executive director of something called the Gun Owners of America, an organization that thinks anyone who doesn’t own a gun is either crazy or just plain stupid.

    Pratt said the tragedy this week in Omaha that saw eight people gunned down by a screwed up 19-year-old kid with a semi-automatic weapon could have been easily prevented.

    “If just a single person was packing (a gun), they could have stopped (the alleged killer) Robert Hawkins dead in his tracks,” he said in his press release.

    “When will we learn that being defenseless is no defense?” he concluded.

    Case closed.

    This is an issue that has reared its demented head more than a few times in this country and was even debated in the Wisconsin Legislature several years ago.

    Let me see if I understand this. The best way to stop gun violence in America is to make sure every American is armed.

    You know, I have mine, you have yours. It could be a great Christmas gift. Buy your wife a semi-automatic and make sure to add the ammunition as a clever stocking stuffer.

    Your son is heading off to college? Stick an AK-47 in his suitcase just to show how much he means to you.

    It’s time to head out to the supermarket. Got your keys? Your cell phone? Your .38? Swell.

    Proponents can couch this any way they like, but arming the general population to cut down on crime is just flat-out nuts.

    Imagine if everyone had indeed been packing in the Omaha mall and the Hawkins kid opened fire.

    It would be the OK Corral and Omaha Beach all at once.

    Does this really make sense to anyone?

    Again, this is another of those issues in which opinions have been cemented years ago.

    No one will budge on the subject of gun control and we can debate what the Second Amendment of the Constitution really means until the cows come home.

    Arming everyone is not the answer and it will never be the answer.

    Even police departments are opposed to any such a ridiculous idea.

    What’s truly scary is how many people believe Pratt is correct and that any attempt in limiting handguns and assault weapons is somehow an infringement on our rights as Americans.

    So maybe we should let everyone carried concealed w
    eapons just to see what happens.

    If nothing else, it will fulfill the vision of Archie Bunker and every other real American.

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