Gun Control vs Liberty

https://pilotonline.com/opinion/letters/article_fe3ac862-c072-11e9-bd39-f7ce218d5a5b.html

https://pilotonline.com/opinion/letters/article_7a0fa00a-c075-11e9-986a-93da57d24a01.html

The 2nd Amendment has a dual purpose, first to prohibit government from effectively disarming the people and, just as importantly, it serves as a canary-in-the-coal-mine for the erosion of individual liberty.

8 thoughts on “Gun Control vs Liberty

  1. It is too often overlooked that liberty is a created thing. It is not like freedom, which arguably every person is born with. Instead, liberty is a construction of political arrangements, or a byproduct of them. Our Bill of Rights is the ultimate example of creating liberty.

    An erosion of the 2nd Amendment, no matter how well intentioned, would be an erosion of liberty.

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    1. People too often don’t make the connection between the rights of gun owners and other rights.

      But if hoplophobes can deny me my choice of firearm based on their fears, without bothering to demonstrate an objective good from doing so, then what stops various bigots who are afraid of black people, or gay people, from trampling those people’s rights when they get the power to do so?

      Law must be made on solid, objective evidence and not just on what makes someone feel good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your personal right to certain types of weapons (fully automatic, grenade launchers and other military weaponry are already restricted) is not the real issue. I know you are sane (or were), responsible and competently trained.

        It is the relatively easy access for such weapons for those that are not any of those qualities.

        The background checks we now have are inadequate for a lot of reasons and the blame is well spread.

        There is not even a competency requirement about how to handle, store and maintain the weapon so the public is not at risk. CCP in VA is a literal joke and some states don’t even have that.

        Walmart cannot sell dynamite sticks off the shelf, but they can sell high powered guns to anyone who can fog a mirror and hadn’t been convicted. Or the conviction data never made it out of Twiddlesticks Corners, WY. Or he was only arrested last week for beating his wife.

        Permits and registration are not going to make confiscation possible in this country. Not with the diverse population we have. Our military is not big enough and most of them are our neighbors.

        I think the drive to avoid such stepping stones is costing us a lot of lives and now with terrorism rampant in mass shootings. we are hamstringing ourselves to avoid paperwork.

        None of our freedoms in the bill of rights are carte blanche. Firearms need not have a special exemption.

        I feel the 2nd guarantees the right to possess arms if you are law abiding, sane and can prove competency in the handling of the weapon.

        Right now we have so many loopholes that we are only restricting ownership after others have been shot even when much better background checks, red flag notices and a bit of training could have prevented that.

        IMHO

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We have discussed why our current NICS database system fails to catch every one that it should, and I don’t see much point in repeating that right now. But until the failures to use that system are addressed, I see no justification for adding more laws that burden good people when we prosecute less than 1 in 1000 of those who violate the current law.

          Properly crafted, Red Flag Laws could be beneficial. But they also can violate a number of rights beyond the 2nd Amendment unless due process is built in.

          One thing that I would see as a deal breaker in any Red Flag Law would be the lack of SEVERE penalties for malicious false reports. Swatting people puts citizens and police in great danger, and I see the potential for a great deal of abuse. As it is, divorce attorneys routinely seek protective orders to harass the other party and to deny them access to their property.

          Sending the Swat team to disarm a person who has done no wrong, and thus has no reason to think it is the police who are knocking down his door at oh dark thirty, is an invitation to disaster.

          A malicious false report should be considered attempted murder.

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          1. We agree on the ineffective system and implementation of background checks.

            So we’ve had a Republican president for going on three years and a Republican Congress since 2012. Why no work on the background check problems? Wasn’t Sandy Hook good enough to at least tighten that part? After all, we are talking about both enforcing existing laws vigorously and eliminating loopholes for felons and crazies. I thought the Republicans were all about law and order. Of course we know what happened. That corrupt thief (as we now know) Wayne LaPierre said “jump” and the GOP cried “how high?”

            I think Dan Hodges was correct.

            “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”

            It seems this year’s slaughter may be a tipping point, however. At least red flag laws are in the works and background checks are not a third rail.

            Don, if you cherish your right to bear arms as a law abiding citizen, then isn’t it a good idea to make a very good effort to ensure that only the law abiding and sane have that right?

            I think so.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Are solid background checks, red flag laws and permits truly an erosion for sane and law abiding citizens? Only those with ill intentions would find them inconvenient.

      I think those things would ensure, not erode, the right to bear arms. If we can’t get a handle on the senseless slaughter, whether random terror attacks or street violence, the 2nd may come up for review. Amendments can be overturned by another amendment if enough Americans decide to do so.

      In my opinion, the gun lobby can be part of the solution or a part of the problem. And the big player, the NRA, is mired in infighting and financial scandals.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep in mind that had the existing background check laws, crafted with the cooperation of the NRA, been used as intended, many of the mass shooters would not have been able to legally buy their weapons. I would say the “gun lobby” has been part of the solution for a long time.

        It is hardly the NRA’s fault that local courts plea bargain away disqualifying crimes, or that school leniency programs shield dangerously insane young men from prosecution. Those failures are responsible for VA Tech, Parkland and numerous other failures of the system.

        It is also not the NRA’s fault that prosecutors don’t prosecute more than 1 in 1000 straw purchases. There are upwards of 80,000 such crimes every year, and every one delivers a modern firearm into the hands of someone who has disqualifying crimes on his record.

        There is good reason that we do not trust government with yet more power to harass us. And make no mistake, the BATFE harasses gun owners at every opportunity. It is a systemic attitude with them.

        As an example, I would like to use a suppressor when I shoot targets here on my range to lower the noise pollution for my neighbors. But to do so, I have to first get a Tax Stamp from the BATFE, That includes a background check that is little more than a regular NICS database inquiry plus a call to the local courts to check for pending issues. There is no reason it should take more than a week, but the BATFE will delay processing the Tax Stamp for the entire year the law allows. So what should be a $300 trip to a local gunsmith will cost me $1000 and take a year. And, if I want to place suppressors on more than one firearm, I have to go through the whole thing for each one as though the background check will come out differently. This is nothing but systematic harassment because they can.

        So please do excuse my lack of trust in them for more powers with which to abuse me..

        Yes, a workable Red Flag system is possible, but why would I trust an agency that already goes out of it’s way to abuse my rights with yet another tool?

        If your side would honestly apply the laws already in existence, stop moving the goal posts, and treat citizens as customers instead of criminals, progress could be made, but you don’t negotiate with people who seek your destruction.

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        1. “If your side would honestly apply the laws already in existence, stop moving the goal posts, and treat citizens as customers instead of criminals, progress could be made, but you don’t negotiate with people who seek your destruction”

          Please don’t blame a blanket “ my side”.

          For years the Republicans have controlled Congress, the judiciary, and 3/4’s of the states. And most recently the presidency and its DOJ. The NRA is their biggest supporter and “enforcer” for anyone who didn’t toe the line. Any lack of trust or enforcement can certainly find its roots among the conservatives running our government.

          BTW doesn’t the lack of prosecution of “straw purchasers” include a huge number who lied on the background check and never bought a gun? Yes, they should be prosecuted but it seems to inflate the numbers of actual illegal purchases. And as thinly stretched our courts are due to lack of funding because of incessant refusal to pay for them by tax cuts, a bit more blame there?

          Liked by 1 person

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