I have been following the situation in Oregon since the shooting at the Clackamas Town Center a few days ago. I knew there would be calls for “gun control”, and sure enough one of their state legislators is proposing a ban on “high-capacity” magazines – which they are defining as holding more than 10 rounds.
I was also reading the comments section of the Oregonian. Some of the arguments in various letters to the editor are frightening in their lack of understanding of the Constitution, and their lack of common sense.
One such letter at http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2012/12/clackamas_town_center_shooting_1.html#incart_river_opinion has the following comment…
“If gun owners want to practice shooting their semiautomatic rifles, they should be able to go to a legitimate target shooting range, purchase enough ammunition to shoot at appropriate targets, and leave the shooting range with an empty rifle and no ammunition. “
So much for understanding the intent behind the 2nd Amendment. If this person drinks alcohol or smokes, I’d recommend allowing alcohol sales and consumtion ONLY in bars (no alcohol at home, grocery stores, eating establishments, etc) and the same for tobacco sales and use outside of tobacco bars. But, they can take the empty bottles and butts home when they are done.
Another comment I found interesting was this one from http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2012/12/letters_coming_to_terms_with_t.html#incart_river_opinion, which I will answer here…
“I ask someone who is a gun advocate to explain why an average citizen should have the right to own an AR-15 or any assault weapon. Don’t explain it as a Second Amendment right, because I don’t object to you owning a handgun for protection or the typical hunting rifle. And please don’t insult my intelligence by using the worn-out argument that “guns don’t kill people; people do.” Had the shooter walked into the mall without that AR-15 the loved ones of Forsyth and Yuille might not be heartbroken this week.
Please explain it in a way that makes all of us feel that your right to specifically own an assault weapon outweighs the lives of Forsyth and Yuille. “
First, an AR-15 is NOT an “assault weapon”. The term “assault weapon” applies to fully-automatic firearms. AR-15’s, Ruger Mini 14’s, FN FS-2000’s, Ruger 10/22’s, Marlin Model 60’s, and hosts of other semi-automatic firearms all operate the same way. They fire ONE round every time you pull the trigger.
Secondly, it was not HIS. He stole it from another individual that had apparently purchased and used it legally.
Now, the person asking the question above says not to argue on the basis of the 2nd Amendment because ” I don’t object to you owning a handgun for protection or the typical hunting rifle”. That is a flawed argument, as it assumes that the 2nd Amendment is about personal protection with handguns and hunting.
There is a set of documents out there called the Federalist Papers, and another set called the Anti-Federalist Papers. In these are commentaries, written at the time, by the framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – of which the 2nd Amendment is a part.
In these documents, they make it clear that the entirety of the Bill of Rights was assumed to be something that would not be infringed upon. Yet they gave the 2nd Amendment the additional protection of stipulating that it shall not be infringed upon. It is also clear that ALL purposes for owning firearms were protected – up to and including the ability to fight the government if it were ever to be required again, as they were forced to do.
If that’s the case, equally capable arms to those posessed by the government were obviously included. I won’t get into the whole “nuclear and tanks” arguments, but try reading those documents. They will be very enlightening to helping you understand the reasons WHY things were done in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Now, you also attempt to throw out the whole “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” truth.
How do you feel about cars? Are you in favor or banning them too? More people are killed by cars than by guns. Have you also called for a ban on cars? Or perhaps you’d be in favor of everyone having to own a smart car, and prohibiting anything larger that is clearly more dangerous?
How do you feel about swimming pools? Should we limit their depth?
If you don’t want me to insult your intelligence, then please employ it equally in all aspects of life.
Had the shooter walked into the mall without that AR-15 the loved ones of Forsyth and Yuille might not be heartbroken this week.
How many rounds of ammunition did he have? How many shots did he fire? How many people were injured or killed?
Any hunting rifle could have done the same thing. Any Ruger 10/22 could have done the same thing. Any handgun could have done the same thing. What he was carrying DID NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE. He elected to take those actions. He could have done so with ANY firearm. He could have done so with a sword. He could have done a lot more with a car into a group of pedestrians.
But, let’s look at something else along with your last comment…
Please explain it in a way that makes all of us feel that your right to specifically own an assault weapon outweighs the lives of Forsyth and Yuille.
Again, it wasn’t an “assault weapon”. But even so, In Oregon, you do have the ability to obtain a Concealed Firearm Permit. You say that you don’t object to handguns for personal defense. Well, in Oregon you can get a permit to carry a loaded handgun on your person for your defense. Why didn’t Forsyth and Yuille have concealed handguns to defend themselves with? Why didn’t any of the others there?
If THEY had elected to take responsibility for their own safety, they might have had a chance to defend themselves.
You see, in a free society, bad things can and do happen. That’s part of the risk you take living your life in a free society. That’s why the 2nd Amendment (and the law) covers being able to carry a firearm to defend yourself. You are free to take responsibility for your safety and have the ability to defend yourself. No, it’s not a guarantee of safety, but it does give you a fighting chance.
You may elect to buy a smart car and drive it on the freeway next to F350 pickups and 18-wheelers. You trust that the others on the road obey the laws and are responsibile. Yet you know that not everyone obeys the law, and you know that not everyone is responsible. You know that some people drink and drive (against the law), but you take that risk in stepping into your car or even walking on the sidewalk. Even though others have trucks that you won’t survive against in a crash, you still get on the road with them and allow them the freedom to drive what they want, and trust that they will obey the laws.
It’s the same with guns. You can not care about freedom and say “Well, I don’t want others to have guns that scare me”. They did that in England and Australia. Now they are looking at banning swords and putting restrictions on what sizes of kitchen knives you can buy.
You are either for freedom, or against it. You either accept the risks of living life in a free society, or you go where there is less freedom and a greater “feeling” of security. But even in those places, that feeling is just that. A feeling. If someone with ill intent decides to act, it will happen anyway.
James Bell Jr. – iCarryUtah.com