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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guns, liberty, and the constitution

Our country has suffered through the tragedy of Columbine, the University of Texas (twice), Virginia Tech, and just recently the Tucson massacre where it might be appropriate to pause and ask ourselves “why is it that the mentally ill can easily acquire a weapon?” I’m not talking about a .22 Pistol; it's the fully automatic assault weapons with ammunition to boot. The politicians of both political parties are afraid of taking on the NRA to change the law to make it more difficult for the  unstable to purchase a gun...It's  a no-brainer but if you disagree ,I would certainly love to know why not.

I'm 65 years old and live in a state where owning a gun is second nature, while I do not own one myself, but I certainly don't mind if law abiding, mentally stable people own as many guns and ammunition as the law allows. I am fully aware of the need to protect our homes and our loved ones but just because I choose an alarm system and calling 9/11 doesn't mean I look down on those who buy guns for that extra protection.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, our federal legislators are quick to want to protect themselves against the crazies but are reluctant to have a passionate debate without fear of alienating the NRA, when it comes to protecting innocent bystanders. One legislator, Congressman Dan Burton, is going to introduce legislation to erect a glass bulletproof petition to separate the spectators from the legislators making a speech on the house floor. Another legislator, Peter King, of New York plans to introduce legislation making it illegal to carry a firearm within 1,000 feet of lawmakers and some other government officials. I agree with both pieces of legislation but shouldn’t we extend it,to prevent mentally unstable people from owning guns? I can’t remember the congressman name, who suggested streamlining concealed handgun permits for all congressmen. I can picture the democratic congressman from New York; Anthony Wiener crouched behind a desk taking fire from Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.

A poster in our local form named “Zero” asked “The problem comes in defining what a “right.” is Do morons have the right to get on my airplane flight with a gun? I say they do not. Do morons have a right to bring guns into my kids' elementary schools? I say they do not. The morons say they have a right to carry guns in order to defend the constitution and their rights to LL&PH. But it infringes with my right to be free of morons. Are you going to tell me that my rights are inferior to the morons? I thought Zero asked reasonable questions and stated their case pretty well....The answer from a right wing partisan, Observer was “Anyone who refuses to drink the liberal/progressive/socialist/communist KoolAid MUST be a moron, since the liberals and their ilk are all our intellectual superiors. If you do not believe that, just ask them and they will tell you. That's where we are on the home front, so how do we expect our politicians to have a civil debate. I don't think the left or the right want the mentally ill owning a gun, but they won't sit down and figure out a way to do that without alienating the NRA, the far left or far right.

The second amendment has been interpreted, misinterpreted, and debated more than any other constitutional amendment, so it's not necessary to reopen old wounds just to prevent the mentally unstable individual from opening fire on innocent civilians How many more legislators, judges, students, and innocent civilians have to be critically wounded or killed before we address this issue? I know the ATF is underfunded and undermanned, and it’s darn near impossible to check all those applying under the Brady bill but don't we need to take the initial steps?


Mike said...

I glad to see I'm not alone on the need to address treating the mentally ill;now we need to go a step further.

"WASHINGTON -- In the past year, Pima County, Ariz., where Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot Saturday, has seen more than 45 percent of its mental health services recipients forced off the public rolls, a service advocate told The Huffington Post.

The deep cuts in treatment were protested strongly at the time, with opponents warning that they would result in a spike in suicide attempts, public disturbances, hospitalizations and brushes with the police. But according to Clarke Romans, executive director for southern Arizona's branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the state government ignored requests for relief, citing the need to implement strict budget controls.

Now, in the wake of this weekend's horrific shootings, reports on the seemingly crazed mental state of the alleged shooter -- who was not, apparently, enrolled in any public treatment program -- is leading politicians, reporters and activists to take a fresh look at the funding of mental health care.

Edith Ann said...

Let me start by mentioning something that I have only heard mentioned once since Saturday—in the State of Arizona, ANYONE can call law enforcement and tell them that any other individual is mentally unstable, and they will be held for a 72 hour observation. Does not matter if they are or are not mentally unstable, they go. Where were the folks, who now are so quick to be interviewed about his history, then, before this happened?
As to the guns themselves—again do I need 32 bullets to stop an intruder?

My republican child argues that if all those folks at the event on Saturday had been carrying concealed weapons, this wouldn’t have happened to this extent. He claims the shooter would have been stopped. A bunch of folks with guns could have stopped the lone shooter with an automatic weapon WITHOUT adding to the carnage? I doubt it!

In Arizona, one can strap on their holster and guns and go anywhere. I fear that if everyone would have been armed, other ‘easily excitable’ folks may have joined in, and Lord only knows how many lives may have been lost! For those who are allowed to carry a weapon, there are rules, and they are there for a reason. You see, when someone messes up, the rest of us have to pay sometimes.