The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

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Editor
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Listening to the [i]gun control[/i] debate post-VA Tech. By far, most of the debates are about how much government control of guns is appropriate. I hear no one, literally, reminding people of the 2nd Amendment protecting us [i]from[/i] government.

I would hate to see that history lost in the fog of discussing waiting periods, hunting, background checks.

skf

The Distributist
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

International pressure will be as significant as the local liberal pressure. The Financial Times out of London has begun by including daily missives pointing the the irrelevancy of a Constitution that was written in the day and age of muskets, challenging our politicians to have the "courage" to stand up to the 2nd Amendment.

JIMV
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?
Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Waiting Periods Just Make Sense

by Michael Travers

When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold perpetrated the Columbine tragedy, news media everywhere kicked into high gear. Every two minutes, the story unfolded on our TV screens; the horror, the anguish catapulted Klebold and Harris to rock star status, posthumously. What followed was a wave of school shootings, as copycat after copycat emulated what they’d seen on TV and the front pages of the newspapers. The irresponsible, unregulated publicity escalated a single act of insanity into a tragic series of multiple murders of unarmed students and teachers. We’re seeing it again in the wake of the VA Tech shootings. The time has come for reasonable press controls.

I know I’ll get a lot of arguments from the people who believe the Constitution should be interpreted literally, but it’s long past time for some commonsense laws regarding waiting periods. Constitutional zealots just can’t seem to grasp that minor inconveniences, like waiting periods and background checks, are not the same as an actual denial of a Constitutional right. If it takes one day or five days to make sure a Constitutional right is exercised in a safe and sane manner, what reasonable person can find fault with that extra measure of safety? If it saves even one life, it will be worth it.

When the Constitution was written, no one could have foreseen the power of the modern media. At that time the press was painstakingly set by hand, and the news was delivered on foot, on horseback, or by sailing ship, and that was what the Founders intended. They could not possibly have intended for news media to pepper the population with multiple repetitions of incendiary stories, with no controls in place to ensure accuracy or to make certain all possible repercussions have been considered.

How could they have foreseen jet planes carrying newspapers to all corners of the globe in just hours? How could they have foreseen TV broadcasts and satellites? They couldn’t, of course. If the pen was mightier than the sword in their day, then today’s media is mightier than the 50 caliber machine gun, with far more deadly potential.

To begin with, we should limit news repetitions to no more than 10. If you don’t think you can get the story across in 10 repetitions you probably aren’t competent to handle it, and should leave it to the professionals. 10 shots are enough for anyone; anything more is overkill. No reasonable person will disagree that the sensationalism of the coverage of murder and other tragedies encourages copycats. In the case of coverage of other news items, repetition can make news stories seem more important than they really are, as any candidate for office can attest.

An area of great concern is the lack of background checks for reporters, editors or media owners. Any person today who couldn’t be trusted with a firearm has no business shaping the news; the potential for harm is just too great. One false, malicious story could destroy a life, a career. One false rumor could start a panic among our citizens, could even destroy our economy. The disclosure of classified information could enable our enemies to more efficiently wage war against us. This is not a power to leave in the hands of just anyone. A background check and, possibly, licensing is not an unreasonable imposition, and no responsible member of the media should object.

Finally, and most importantly, a waiting period would provide an opportunity for someone in government to check the facts, as well as provide a “cooling off” period to dull the sharp edge of sensationalism. Again, what responsible member of the media would object to having their facts checked? Surely, the goal of every reporter is to report the news accurately? What’s the rush?

Well, the answer isn’t pretty; it’s greed. The rush to get the news out is motivated by the love of money and the desire for personal glory. If they can “scoop” the story, they’ll win awards, command higher salaries. In the case of newspapers and television companies they’ll be able to generate more advertising revenue.

One would be hard pressed to justify the battle against waiting periods in the cold light of profit motive. If we can justify a waiting period for someone trying to buy a firearm to protect their life, how can we justify waiving a waiting period for news media whose only motive is greed? We can’t.

No one’s advocating the denial of Constitutional rights; we’re simply asking for reasonable safeguards to be put in place. Let’s see how these safeguards work before we discuss loosening the restrictions on suing the press for reckless reporting.

Town Manager
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

The 2nd ammendment, ratified in 1791 gives Americans the right to bear arms. Now on another thread here, many AMGers said allowing college students in Maine the right to vote was against the Maine constitution since the word Seminary meant college back in the day when Maine's constitution was adopted. Well in my opinion, guns have changed a lot since 1791 and we now need more gun control to protect us from crazy people, not the government.

Editor
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

TM -

The voting rights for college students hinges on the Maine residency requirements - which are all over the place. I wrote about it in some detail here: http://www.asmainegoes.com/node/12700

re: The 2nd Amendment. The tendency of government to strip citizen liberties hasn't changed since the Constitution was written and ratified. And that's what the 2nd Amendment is all about.

skf

The Distributist
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Q: Are those citizens who are so up in arms about the erosion of civil liberties allegedly engendered by the Patriot Act the same ones who are now going to march in lockstep demanding door-to-door searches for the confiscation of firearms ala Britain and Australia?

Could there be an illogical contradiction of emotions here?

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Town Manager"]The 2nd ammendment, ratified in 1791 gives Americans the right to bear arms. Now on another thread here, many AMGers said allowing college students in Maine the right to vote was against the Maine constitution since the word Seminary meant college back in the day when Maine's constitution was adopted. Well in my opinion, guns have changed a lot since 1791 and we now need more gun control to protect us from crazy people, not the government.[/quote]

Do you want to just trash the whole thing and start over? The people who wrote the Constitution weren't fearful of guns in private hands; they were fearful of guns in [b]government[/b] hands. In my opinion, their fears were wellfounded, and have yet to be found out-of-date. I don't need gun control to protect me from crazy people; I need a gun. There's no shortage of police who would lay down their lives to protect yours or mine but they have to [b]be[/b] there to do it. Because of that inconvenient fact they're more likely to be there to trace your body with chalk, than to engage in a shootout with the crazy person.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Is there any evidence that gun control works to protect people?

Editor
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Dan -

It seems to protect criminals. Is that what you mean?

skf

Pat
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote]Q: Are those citizens who are so up in arms about the erosion of civil liberties allegedly engendered by the Patriot Act the same ones who are now going to march in lockstep demanding door-to-door searches for the confiscation of firearms ala Britain and Australia?

Could there be an illogical contradiction of emotions here?[/quote]

Seems to me the poster is making the illogical connection that advocating waiting periods and background checks translates into confiscation of firearms. Distributist, do you have a talk radio show? Your illogical connection sounds very much like the mindless rantings of Savage, Ingram, Limbaugh, etc.

The Distributist
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

I'm flattered Ms./Mr. Pat. Thank you. I'll take logic over emotions to afford solid footing any day.

Acceptable "Waiting Period" = "I'll be right with you, sir."

Acceptable "Background Check" = "Are you an American Citizen?"

Thank you for sharing your expertise on mindless rantings.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Town Manager"]The 2nd ammendment, ratified in 1791 gives Americans the right to bear arms. [/quote]

Wrong. The Second Amendment [b]gives[/b] Americans [b]nothing[/b]. That's like picking up one of my children and saying you [b]gave[/b] me a child. The people already had the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution didn't give the government the power to disarm people even [b]without[/b] the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment is simply a reiteration of the fact that the powers of government were "few and defined".
The entire Bill of Rights is just a bunch of "For instances". For instance, you don't have the right to take away my free speech; you don't have a right to search me or my property whenever you feel like it, etc., etc. They then go on to reiterate that if the government wasn't specifically granted a power, they didn't [b]have[/b] that power, and that the fact that they'd listed some of the rights the people refused to give up, didn't mean that those were the only ones they were keeping [Ninth and Tenth Amendment].
Read it. I have.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Pat"][quote]Q: Are those citizens who are so up in arms about the erosion of civil liberties allegedly engendered by the Patriot Act the same ones who are now going to march in lockstep demanding door-to-door searches for the confiscation of firearms ala Britain and Australia?

Could there be an illogical contradiction of emotions here?[/quote]

Seems to me the poster is making the illogical connection that advocating waiting periods and background checks translates into confiscation of firearms. Distributist, do you have a talk radio show? Your illogical connection sounds very much like the mindless rantings of Savage, Ingram, Limbaugh, etc.[/quote]

So you have no problem with waiting periods and background checks for the press?

Pat
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Members of the press who want to purchase a handgun should be subject to the same guidelines as everyone else.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

"Pat

Joined: 06 Apr 2007
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Members of the press who want to purchase a handgun should be subject to the same guidelines as everyone else. Oh I'm sorry, were you talking about apples and oranges again?"

So some rights are more equal than others?

Pat
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

No Mike. I'm saying apples aren't oranges.

Pat
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

If you want to muzzle the press, then start with the endless parade of morons on WLOB.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[b]"Oh I'm sorry, were you talking about apples and oranges again?"

I was talking about government not having Constitutional authority to deny, infringe, abridge, etc. the people's Constitutional rights. You did know that the Second Amendment was part of the Constitution, didn't you?[/b]

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

I don't agree with waiting periods.

That said -- it should be noted that there are limits on First Amendment rights. Free speech is subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, for example.

Does the right to bear arms have to mean any place, any time?

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

It is a reasonable restriction to not allow me to discharge a firearm while it's pointed at your house. Like slander, libel, or yelling fire in a crowded theater, it's an action with a reasonable expectation of causing you harm. The simple act of carrying a firearm does not place you in jeopardy, any more than carrying a bullhorn does. Once I raise the bullhorn and start publicly announcing "Dan Billings is a closet hockey fan!" that's a different story.

Anonymous
The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[b]reasonable safeguards [/b] ~ Isn't that what Jeff Weinstien was hung for?

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

There are many more restrictions on speech than just libel and slander.

Mike Travers
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

I was just using them as "for instances", Dan.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Paul Mattson"][b]reasonable safeguards [/b] ~ Isn't that what Jeff Weinstien was hung for?[/quote]

No, he was hung for self serving legislation that would help his business.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Mike Travers"]I was just using them as "for instances", Dan.[/quote]

I understand. But nobody suggests that other rights included in the Bill of Rights are absolute.

I think it is reasonable to debate whether a ban on the possession of firearms is good policy. But I don't think the right to bear arms means you have that right anywhere, any time.

woodcanoe
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

The Second Ammendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be "infringed".....

The Maine Constitution says it "shall never be questioned"....

What part of either of those would lead one to think that the meaning could be construed as to mean just "sometimes"?

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

What does infringe mean? Does saying one can't take a gun on plane infringe on that right? What about not selling guns to felons? Or those under 18?

We have not taken an absolute approach to other rights. Should "Congress" shall make no law" abridging the freedom of speech mean that a law saying I can't be outside of your home at 2 AM with a bullhorn is unconstituional?

As for the Maine Constitution, we had a number of guns laws on the books in the 80's when that language was adopted and the sponsor of the amendment, John Martin, said that the amendment was not intended to impact any existing laws, such as concealed carry laws and limits on felons having guns.

Joe Redneck
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Didn't we have this discussion previously?? Fact, prior to the first gun control, concealed carry law, men and women carried small pistols concealled. Prior to the Bill of Rights pistols could be carried concealled. Politicians and voters started putting restrictions on carrying concealled weapons. My point has and always will be this [b]just because laws prohibitting cocealed carry,were passed, doesn't mean they could.[/b] You cannot VOTE to take away a Constitutional right without changing the entire Constitution. They (voters and politicians) knowingly or unknowingly violated the Bill of Rights when they infringed on a persons right to carry in any way, shape or form that person chose to carry, whether open or concealed.
Self preservation is a basic human right. I hate that particular phrase but in this case it actually is true. Self preservation is not just basic, it's instinctive.

Dan Billings
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

[quote="Joe Redneck"]Did'nt we have this discussion previously?? [/quote]

Yes. JIMV, who is a big Second Amendment supporter, has researched this extensively and concluded that the Second Amendment does not prevent regulation of concealed carry.

Joe Redneck
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The 2nd Amendment: Getting Lost in the Fog?

Who says so?? No one has jurisdiction over this issue other than we the people, INDIVDUALLY. I have read JimV's arguments and I find them lacking. No disrespect meant JimV.His arguments are they passed laws, therefore they can limit concealled carry. My argument is they passed laws when they had no right to. Concealled carry laws are somewhat like seat belt laws. A minority infringes on the rights of a majority, and driving a car, unlike bearing a weapon, isn't even a Constitutional Right. Voters pass many laws they really have no right voting on in the first place.

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