TED Conversations

Morgan Barnes

Law Enforcement Officer, government agency

This conversation is closed.

Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?

After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.


Closing Statement from Morgan Barnes

Firstly I would like to say I did not flag or delete anyone's comments I am perfectly capable of speaking for myelf however I did get frustrated and had some comments deleted myself.
As I write this President Obama has signed 23 executive orders inline with Colleen's post from yesterday from New York.

I have to admit I am a little disappointed that we could not of just discussed the issue in a more calm, critical and logical manner and be able to offer solutions as well as recognised the underling causes, as this is a forum for open ideas and thinking, Then again we are dealing with human nature.
To those of you from the International community thank you for your imput and allowing people to see the different views helds in different parts of the world on this subject.
I will not deny that the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights are the backbone of America, but remember it was written by man not given by god and man can take it away or amend it, if he really wants too.
I am a believer that in the 21st Century we should use it to advance humankind to address the problems of the world and improve it for all. It won't be easy but we have to start somewhere or we risk implementing our own destruction.
I hope that this be a positive start and and an even more positive step in which the US can show the way.
Once again I thank you all for your contributions

"In a progressive country change in constant : change is inevitable "Benjamen Disraeli

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    Jan 13 2013: The original premise of the 2nd Amendment is valid and was written to enable citizens to protect themselves from a hostile government. It was also based on the need or desire to have local militia, for which citizens would be able to provide their own weapon - which at the time was a single shot musket. What has gotten completely out of control is the way zealots, especially among those on the pro-gun side of the equation, have corrupted the meaning and intention of the 2nd amendment. I see less of a need to repeal than it is to legislatively update and clarify. It seems clear to me that setting some limitations on what one has the right to own, carry, and use is hardly the same as banning all guns. To hear the NRA, any limitation begins the slippery slope towards taking away the right entirely. If that is truly the case, then what is the legitimacy of any law or regulation? My right to own a car does not also grant me the right to drive it any way I want at any speed. My right to consume alcohol and my right to drive, does not grant me the right to drink and drive. My rights are not being infringed when the greater good of society is protected. Regulating the possession of high-powered weapons and lethal ammunition designed solely to kill other human beings, is not the same as banning all weapons or voiding the second amendment. Given the statistics on gun related deaths here in America, the argument that gun ownership makes us safer rings hollow.
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      Jan 13 2013: What are those statistics, Don?
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        Jan 14 2013: Here are a few links, including one from the University of Utah Medical Medical School. The datablog entry in the Guardian references the FBI and there is also a US Dept of Justice databank that outlines gun-related homicides versus that by other weapons, with gun use far higher than other weapons. The US also ranks 4th in the world for gun related deaths, behind South Africa, Colombia and Thailand (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_wit_fir-crime-murders-with-firearms).

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          Jan 14 2013: Thank you Don,
          These links provide raw data. What is missing if we use only raw data and jump to a conclusion ie: "people are killing people with guns, therefore we need to ban guns" is the context in which these incidents are taking place, Since 75% of gun murders are taking place in inner city gangs, does it make sense to say that guns are the causal agent or that banning guns is the cure? Chicago has stringent gun laws and one of the highest per capita incident of gun homicides in the nation. Why, if those policies fail so miserably on a small scale, is it imagined that they will work on a large scale?
          The other statistic that is missing, since a ban effects all legal gun owners, is the one that demonstrates that legal gun owners are committing a disproportional number of murders.
        • Jan 14 2013: Marianne, I didn't read where Don was mentioning a ban on all guns. Maybe I missed that part. I think all logic shows that banning all guns would not resolve the issue. However, placing restrictions on 'military style' weapons could reduce the mass shootings. Will people in gangs and other criminals still carry those weapons - of course. That is why they are criminals. However, the people who have legal access to weapons who feel the need to go out in a blaze, might not have such a tragic affect if they were not allowed high capacity cartridges or sub uzi's.

          I do not begrudge anyone owning a gun. I support their right. However, I question the sanity of owning an assult weapon.
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      Jan 13 2013: Just who are the zealots who have interpreted the constitution? Those who say the arms in the 2nd Amendment just meant muskets? What about the sabers?
      Aren't all weapons high powered in the sense that they can kill human beings? All ammunition is lethal regardless of design.
      So we limit the rights of the individual for the perceived safety of society? I have not speaking of the rights of an individual that has caused murder or mayhem on society. I am speaking of an individual who has a legal right to possess a firearm. of his choice, except now it can not fire automatically, or be of more then a certain caliber, under go investigations, get licenses, etc., etc. And now you are proposing more etcs.
      Just how safe how safe does society need to feel.
      I under go what used to be considered felonious sexual assault to board an airplane just so society can feel safe?
      Hundreds of posts here have listed statistics of murder and mayhem on society. Gunfire is not on top of the list. Any act of harm is illegal. Lets address those illegal activities instead of addressing a legal activity.

      PS. FYI. You can drink as much as you want and drive as fast as you want on your own property and you don't even need a license. Have a great time!
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      Jan 14 2013: So Don,
      Zealots? Is that all there is in that quiver? Name calling and demonization only plays to your choir.
      Do you want a real answer to your question? "To hear the NRA, any limitation begins the slippery slope towards taking away the right entirely. If that is truly the case, then what is the legitimacy of any law or regulation? "

      The 2nd Amendment was written to reserve the right of armed revolt against the government. The way it is written states that at no time shall that right be diminished. Like it or not, we live under a social contract called the US Constitution. According to any form of contract law, we all must abide by it unless you can overthrow it by either force or mutual agreement. The reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment is not really that unclear whenever it gets to the Supreme Court because they have such vast writings from the people who wrote it that their exegesis supports the premise, that the people have reserved the right to armed revolution. It only follows logically that if the government regulates it, that the government will have a conflict of interest. By the way, it never mentions guns at all.
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        Jan 14 2013: This was a reply to Don's previous tome. I tried to address his points.
        I am aware of the 2nd and the Federalist Papers addressing the tenor of the times. I hold myself to be a strict constitutionalists. I am wary of those who interpret the constitution, like judges who believe they know better then Jefferson and Madison; the elected who know better then the electorate and academics who know better then anybody.
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          Jan 14 2013: Sorry. my reply was to Don, also.

          Today we are looking at a very practical conundrum. It is questionable what portion of the population can recognize giants like Madison, Locke or Jefferson.

          I think we need to find out exactly what per cent of the population consider the Lorax the pinnacle of morality.
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        Jan 14 2013: I entered the conversation to offer an opinion and participate in the discussion. I hoped to join a discussion that allows both sides to think and consider ideas. For example, I am now thinking about the point about the potential conflict of interest. So thank you for raising it. I am not of the opinion that there should be a repeal, which was the overarching conversation starter. In fact, I agree with the basic premise and stated that at the top.
        The overall issue of armed violence is complicated and encompasses many factors beyond weapons and guns and controlling legislation. I joined this conversation because the topic is important and worthy of the wisdom and insight that can come from open dialog. I will leave it at that.
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          Jan 14 2013: Don,
          The issue is most important and well worth the discussion. The frustrating thing for me is that the illegal violence continues albeit, it is supposed to be improving. Yet, The issue of the 2nd repeatedly comes up, restrictions are placed against legal gun owners, and these effects made no appreciable reductions in violent crime. Reductions seemed to have come from more policing efforts and new law enforcement techniques. I am at a loss to understand why some raise this cry for action concerning the 2nd. Over zealous gun holders cry out that certain elements are out to disarm them and take over the country. Repeated attempts at doing something to the 2nd begins to lend credence to cry's of the conspiracy theorists.
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          Jan 14 2013: That's a swell answer, actually, I take back the dinosaur comments.
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        Jan 14 2013: James, History shows us that once power is ceded, those to whom it is ceded never give it back voluntarily. I have not been arguing here for my guns, but for my rights.
        What is really been demonstrated, is that the prohibitionists display an almost complete unawareness that they are the provocateurs in this discussion, and that as such, they needed to answer the questions that they have provoked. They have failed miserably throughout this thread.

        Instead, they seem to assume that since, in their own imagination, they occupy the moral high ground and that their postures always represent moral enlightenment, that those who do not concede are working out their primitive fears.

        They have demonstrated this in that they don't ever have to give a reasoned explanation to the myriad of contradictions to their theory that have been presented to them, simple things like the failure of the exact policies that they are clamoring for, to get them the result they theorize about, such as Chicago gun laws.

        They simply denounce Constitutionalism as backwards and go on to assure us that their conclusions as just so OBVIOUS, that we should all submit to their superior revelations.
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          Jan 14 2013: Rights, like constitutions are just human constructs. I actually agree with most of the values that sit behind most modern human rights. While I agree with self defense, I'm not sure having an ak47, or stingers, or land mines in private hands is the same as freedom of speech, or is necessary or a good thing for society.

          If stingers were widely available I assume you would have fanatics shooting down planes.

          You mentioned Nazi Germany. Part of the problem there was the armed private militias, like the sa. I wonder if us citizens may have more to worry about with freedom fanatics and anti government people than the government.
    • Jan 14 2013: I don't disagree that there needs to be alternative things to try. I have no problems with background checks, and fingerprinting is done in my state for handguns. I would have no problems with mental health screens as well, especially if they put those into place for police officers as well. After that however, after putting a lawful citizen through all that, they should be able to purchase whatever they want. I understand the limit them mentality, I just don't believe it will change things. I would be much more open to menatl health issues, and intitatives to reslove the problems of this nature.
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        Jan 14 2013: There is quite an extensive psych screening for police and law enforcement .
        • Jan 14 2013: Really? In what country? Certainly not here? Are you sure you've got your facts straight? I have several family members in law enforcement, and the only one that had to take anything was federal. Are you really so sure?
        • Jan 14 2013: I called my family members it seems some, and I repeat some police forces require pysch tests, but not all. They also told me if I google it [and i did] you will be amazed at the number of sites showing you how to beat the test. Yeah, REAL extensive.
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          Jan 14 2013: In the US, the arrangement to have the trained psychiatric personnel administer the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test to law enforcement candidates, rapidly deteriorated due to the problem that so many of the LE personnel test results showed they tested the same as criminals, also showed other severe personality disorders. LE Unions argued that they tested that way because they "had to learn to think like the criminals" that they were fighting.
          It is now common to have LE personnel administer the tests to their brothers, and I have even know officers that couldn't pass it until they were "tutored" by other LE personnel.
          Most of what I know about this, came directly from an elected Sheriff and a former Colorado State Trooper who had been involved in the hiring process, also the psychiatrist that did all the testing for one state, that I will not mention.
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          Jan 14 2013: Timothy,
          I was curious, so I googled "How to beat the law enforcement tests".

          I got lots of sites with instructions... "tips on how to deal with testing", "strategies for police applicants", "police quiz preperation", "police prep info", etc. etc. The only thing I could find were sites which appeared to be educational sites to prepare an applicant for the tests.

          Could you provide links to sites which show a person how to "beat" the tests?
        • Jan 14 2013: When I went back there I found several sites that did everything from telling you what to expect to how to answer the questions, but I may have misspoken as the one site I didn't go to was titled "how to beat the police pysch test" and was a police site that once you started to read it said you couldn't beat it. So I just stole the title, my mistake. but the jist is, not all police, in this country especially, have to take pysch tests, and when they do, lots are thrown out on their ears, and are then upset because theyv'e been police officers for years.
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          Jan 14 2013: Timothy,
          I really respect and appreciate you for clarifying that information.
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    Jan 15 2013: I have been following this conversation from the start and I have come to a couple of conclusions. The point is not about the caliber of a weapon or preventing people from owning weapons, but about the mortality rates in gun crime as opposed to other violent crimes. People get beaten to death too.
    I am from New Zealand a country that has extremely strict regulations around owning weapons (not a country that bans weapons or prevents decent, sane, non-criminal people from having them), and given that I work within the police/Ministry of Justice field, I have a much better understanding of how many murders occur and how they were killed, so I feel that I am in a position to say that guns are more likely to kill than knives or bare hands because of their lethal nature. The damage to human tissue is extreme. The wounds from a gun shot are also a lot more serious and as someone else mentioned in this discussion, lets not forget the survivors who have been shot and left extremely disabled.
    I am not telling people they should not own guns, I am saying that the reality is, that in countries where there are a lot more regulations, guns are less likely to be in the wrong hands. Hands of people who go on killing sprees. If you are law-abiding, have had pyschological testing that shows a respect for life, do not have a history of violence and you and your family have been interviewed to establish that nobody in your life is afraid of the idea of you owning a weapon, and you can prove that this weapon will be locked up securely when not in use and under no circumstances will any children in the household have access to the weapon/s or the codes/lock to get into the weapons, then by all means, get yourself a gun!!! The problem is that in all of your states, there are no set or strict regulations. Some states require criminal checks. some states require nothing. For me the argument is about "Regulation." Is that so unreasonable?? Does this infringe on your rights?
    • Jan 15 2013: While I agree with the general idea behind the regulation, I don't like the idea of asking the family if they're comfortable with you owning guns. That assumes that 1. your family is interested in your well-being, which may not be the case, 2. your family's idea of your well-being is the same as yours, which may not be the case.
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        Jan 15 2013: That's mild John, what if they asked for a psyche assessment by two independents at your own cost?
        • Jan 15 2013: That too. I don't know how effective brief psych evaluations would be. However, if the applicant already has had a psych evaluation, and has been diagnosed as paranoid-delusional, bipolar, etc., I'd consider that grounds for denying a permit.

          Just in case someone brings it up... I don't think blind people should be allowed to own/use guns either.
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        Jan 15 2013: John that's not funny, this could turn into a white paper monster and before you know it some group gets a lot of power and money and people get branded something that they are not. Government departments get created and the monster gets bigger.

        Then something happens and the call goes out for all people by the people to be evaluated.

        You were joking weren't you?
        • Jan 15 2013: Don't worry, nothing I ever say stands a chance of getting implemented. ;-)

          I do see how kids in the US get branded as something they are not, just because the school can make claims for extra funding for each "challenged" kid they host.

          However, a few of my friends are psychologists. Not in the US. I have been told detailed stories of all kinds of strange cases. I also have two friends with bipolar disorder. A relative of another friend thinks that all his neighbors are plotting (some bizarre plot) against him.

          The question remains: how likely is a person to endanger other people out of sheer recklessness. Some mental disorders (or physical ones, like blindness) render a person with a gun a risk to bystanders. Adam Lanza was one such person -- though all the diagnoses that he was bestowed turned out to be incorrect.
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        Jan 15 2013: Hi John,
        What I mean by family being asked is essentially your close loved ones, people you share a home with. The may even be a room mate. My experience of the process of getting a gun licence was when my flatmate just wanted to renew his, as he grew up on a farm and enjoyed hunting. Because I lived with him and would essentially be living in the same house where there was a gun, a policeman came over to interview me and asked me a lot of questions around how I felt about knowing there was a gun in the house, how I felt about my flatmate having a gun, whether I had any concerns etc, whether I was every afraid of him or if he showed any violent tendencies, so they really made sure that everyone in the house was ok with him having a gun. We were, as he was a lovely guy with a very gently nature. I had no problem with him having a gun because I was completely comfortable and safe with him.
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      Jan 13 2013: That's very liberal of you, to determine that whatever side you are on, is right and the ones who don't see it your way are blind? Very good.

      You want rigid? Here: "Don't speak to me of good men, chain them to the Constitution." Thomas Jefferson
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      Jan 13 2013: Why did you change your post Kate?
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      Jan 13 2013: Kate,
      The fear saddens me as well. I cannot imagine how it must feel to live every day with so much fear of their own government!

      I know LOTS of gun owners, and I have NEVER heard this kind of fear expressed. I am aware that there is a very tiny segment of our society living with this fear based belief, and apparently they are all here on this discussion thread?
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        Jan 13 2013: Colleen, Isn't it true that what you are really experiencing is that your opponents are immovable and not receptive to what you imagine are your own 'reasonable pleadings" for them to agree with you?
        People are entitled to their own thoughts and opinions and evaluations of the status of the nation.
        You have not actually refuted any of the facts regarding abuses of power on the government side, you have simply pooh poohed and pretended that there is no connection to the issue.
        Then you have tried to diminish the arguments of anti-prohibitionists with "what are you afraid of".
        We don't want people like you and Morgan Barnes, tinkering with any part of the Constitution.
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          Jan 13 2013: Marianne,
          I am aware that you are immovable because you demonstrate that fact over and over again, and I am not "pleading" with you or anyone else. You have your perspective, and I have mine.

          I support the removal of assault weapons from our communities, and based on the past ban on assault weapons, I believe that will happen without repeal or amendment of the constitution, because that document provides for "regulation" of guns.
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        Jan 13 2013: You might get your way.
      • Jan 16 2013: Perhaps there is justification for "a very tiny segment of our society" to be in fear when something so simple as the size of sugary drink, we can consume, is regulated. Some people rightfully fear losing liberty.

        I remember a nation with less regulation where I could buy a happy meal in San Francisco. Show me a world where more regulation offers more freedom and I'll show you a contradiction.
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    Jan 7 2013: YES!!!!! It should have been repealed years ago! I am a New Zealander. A country that sees very little gun related deaths, because we do not all have the right to bear arms and in fact if we want to purchase or have a gun, we have to be interviewed by the police, have our family and friends interviewed by the police, police checks done etc, and then only for hunting. Even our police force does not as a rule carry guns (we have an armed unit that may be called out if necessary) and because of this our police are incredibly skilled at talking offenders down and calming situations. We have had very few police offices killed in the line of duty and those usually not by guns.
    When your constitution was written, as I understand it. America did not have its own armed forces. Your country was brand new, as a result of no armed forces, the government relied on local militia to fight against the English. This was a time when farmers and landowners and everyday men where required to take up arms. In other words, this amendment was required at the time and fit the circumstances. This is no longer the case. You have the biggest armed forces in the world, you do not require farmers and grocers to pick up arms and fight for your country, so you should do as the rest of the world have done and make it illegal to own or buy a firearm without a firearms licence, which would be very difficult to get. America is so far behind the times it is a joke. Your constitution needs to be updated bigtime. It is 2013 people, not 1787!!!!
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      Jan 7 2013: We also have a government guilty of war crimes and human rights violations. You watched as we slaughtered Iraq, just to show some muscle. We detain countless foreigners at Guantanamo for years without charge, many under 18. We assassinate foreign dissidents (and their families) with no judicial oversight or declaration of war, utilizing remotely controlled UAVs. We recently assassinated one of our own citizens, a 16 year old boy who was the subject of a recently dismissed court case. We drop these bombs in Pakistan and Somalia, and now Turkey as we slaughter Kurdish rebels for the Turkish government. We train our UAV pilots by locking onto domestic targets, cars cruising the highway in Texas, without their knowledge.

      Us Americans watch our government commit these atrocities, under the rule of both major parties. We voted in a man who promised to end them, but who has only continued full throttle. Last year he signed a bill authorizing himself to detain Americans without charge, which is a blunt violation of our Constitution. Other bills currently sitting in Congress are the Expatriation Act, which allows the government to strip us of our citizenship, and HJ Res 15 which repeals the 22 amendment, abolishing term limits for the president. He would've sign SOPA too had Google not killed it.

      We also watch in horror as European economies collapse and our national debt rises above 16 trillion. Our grandparents watched in horror as Hitler ravaged the continent during a similar depression. The United States is by far the most powerful government on the planet. If you'd really like to disarm our people, then I hope you enjoy the New American Century. I don't suspect your country would be able to do anything about it.
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        Jan 9 2013: Wow, it sounds like your country is even more messed up than I thought and it sounds like you feel a need for some kind of revolution that may require guns to fight against your own government, ah la Egypt, Syria, etc. Your first instinct is the need to fight with violence. When my countries government, (New Zealand), decided they wanted to introduce nuclear power and invite nuclear powered ships into New Zealands waters, the people of my country said "Hell No", We All stood up and shouted our wish to be nuclear free. We picketted, we protested, we papered the country with our views and forced the government to have a reforendum where we overwhelmingly voted against any nuclear power or nuclear weapons in our country. Even though our government did not agree, they were forced to do as we wanted because we made it clear that our government was For the people ,and we the people had some thoughts about how it should be run. Then again, very few New Zealanders do not vote, whereas many of your countrymen don't. We paid for our decision because American placed strong embargoes and sanctions against us and it threatened our treaties but We the people stuck to our guns. All without any violence. The only violence came from France, when us New Zealanders protested the nuclear testing that France was carrying out in OUR territorial waters, so they sent their spies to NZ and bombed the Rainbow Warrior. You could call this an act of war. Instead of fighting back with violence, we just caught their spies within hours of the bombing and threw them in prison, thereby humiliating the French who thought our small country, Hick police force would have no hope of catching their top spies. If our government was to do things that our people are unhappy with, we get rowdy. Violence is not the only way to make change happen.
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          Jan 10 2013: I suppose picketing would've stopped Hitler and Stalin too. :/ The second amendment isn't just for the past or the here and now. It's for every century in the future, to insure that citizens are as well armed as their government. The fact that the government's weapons well overpower our own is due to a distortion of the amendment. To trust that the government will always respect the will of the masses is foolish, and ignorant of the past.

          The rights you take away from people today, you take away from people in the future. If you think the rest of time is going to be all well and dandy if the citizens of the world are unarmed and dependent on their rulers, well... I guess I have to respect your opinion.
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    Jan 3 2013: I think the underlying issue here is that many americans are living in a fantasy construct and seem to believe two things.

    1. That the guns are protecting their freedoms, despite all evidence now demonstrating that (because of policies such as the Patriot act, drone surveillance and the TSA) they have considerably less freedoms than pretty much all of the rest of the developed world.

    2. That somehow when 'the time comes' , that they're all suddenly going to become Rambo and the locked up single guage rusty rifle in the garage is suddenly going to appear in their hands with unlimited ammo and they're going to take on a fleet of trained military and special forces personnel.
    People in general do not have such an ability, despite many believing they do.

    More guns = more freedom isn't an accurate representation of reality either.
    More guns for everyone equals more guns for the untrained, paranoid, trigger happy and mentally questionable people who are also carrying them like you..

    It creates an environment where you don't just have to be on guard for the rare nut-case who's shooting up the cinema, but also the 50 terrified people who are shooting wildly in retalliation with their eyes closed and any conflict that takes place anywhere, where everyone now has the capacity to immediately escalate the incident where dozens of people can get killed, a situation made clear by American gun crime statistics.
    That isn't freedom, thats wild-west anarchy and xenophobic paranoia.

    Americans, you're not in a diehard movie. Time to accept that.
    • Jan 3 2013: What is diehard?
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      Jan 3 2013: Xavier, you know how all Americans will react during a shooting !?! .... What can you tell me about me? Are you psychic? That would be to cool!. ... ... Dude. ...Smart and psychic.
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      Jan 3 2013: Wow, great insightful response to Xaviers comment here... I love the way the pro-gunners respond sometimes...

      I'll try to answer it for you, excuse me if I'm out of line.

      @Ivory: I think he's referring to a film (or rather four films) with Bruce Willis, but he misspelled it. The correct title is "Die Hard", good movies!

      @Gary: I don't think that Xavier knows how every American would react, I think he's basing his assumption on classical psychology. That does not mean that he's a psychic.
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          Jan 4 2013: Gary,
          What is the "proper" use for an assault weapon to the average person?
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        Jan 4 2013: classical psychology, Jimmy, no ... he is basing his assumptions on imagination. ...
    • specs 2

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      Jan 3 2013: I'm curious about the self defence argument and why a gun is necessary.

      If somebody breaks into your house - Is that burglar also going to kill you? Is that SOP for burglary?

      Because if it is SOP, then I understand the need for the gun at home. But if it isn't, do you really need to shoot the thief over a TV or a PC or the misc whatnots?

      But what if you're not at home when the thief breaks in? Did you bring the gun with you or leave it at home?

      If you left your gun at home, then doesn't the thief now have it? Now you need to go out and get another one because somebody might break into your house because you don't have a gun.

      if you brought it with you then doesn't make you a threat to the non gun carrying person out there who offended you for some unknown reason and who you're now going to put in his place, because .., well..., you have a gun? And heaven help you if you step on somebody's property. He's obviously just as well armed as you and he'll think you;re a thief and you're gonna kill him. You had a gun after all - what was he supposed think when he confronted you and you pulled it out to defend yourself.
      • Jan 6 2013: Please see this article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/my-wife-is-a-hero-georgia-mother-shoots-home-intruder-five-times-after-being-cornered/

        By the way most gun owners are responsible law-abiding citizens. Many are trained and store their guns properly.

        I guess I have to clarify this post for "specs 2." First, he was armed with a crowbar. Second, she saw him, according to the article, and she had to gather her children, a phone, and yes her gun before she retreated into a crawl space. No I applaud her for doing exactly what she did. He broke into her house and tracked her down. I don't fault her for firing all the round either! I would hope you are never put in this volatile situation, adrenaline pumping, fearing for yours, and your children's lives! This could've been much worse. Give me a break!

        Again, he shouldn't have broken in. She didn't have to fire a warning shot. It's too bad he was only wounded, you're right he probably will sue. But she is fully within her rights per castle doctrine.
        • Jan 7 2013: I'm not excusing the robber but don't you think that she could have handled it better instead of shooting an unarmed man.

          He rang the doorbell? Why didn't she answer the door? The whole freaking thing could possibly have been avoided right there.

          Why didn't she call the cops before hiding? She had time.

          Why didn't she answer the door with the gun? Again the whole thing could have ended right there.

          And why shoot him five times? Wouldn't one shot have stopped the guy?

          Why did she unload the gun on him? Her only solution was to try to kill the guy. That's not defense. That's an over reaction. She used more than enough force to defend herself and had he died she could conceivably be charged with manslaughter.

          After all is said and done she shot an unarmed person because she was afraid of her own shadow and relied on her gun instead of common sense?

          And oh yeah - just because many gun owners are trained to store their guns properly, that doesn't mean they do or do more than the required to meet the local requirements.

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      Jan 3 2013: Things are very real here brother. ...
      2 days ago in Louisiana .. an elderly man in his 80s had to shoot a man, a known drug addict and thief, who was breaking into his home. The old man made his presence known by yelling at his would be assailant through the door. He still broke in and was shot as soon as he walked in. What do you think about this?

      Let me add that a few years ago, my bosses dad, who was at least 80, was robbed by 2 men, one kneeled on his chest and held him down while he was looted. ... Any thoughts?
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      Jan 4 2013: Xavier, I'm aware of the loss of freedoms. That is why I champion pro choice freedom.

      As it matters to this discussion, pro choice of each citizen to buy guns, semi-autos too, or not.
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      Jan 4 2013: Tell the people in ghettos across the U.S. about xenophobic paranoia. Tell any of the dead victims of home invasions that were killed or raped first then killed. Explain to the father holding his dying child on this weeks New Orleans newspaper about paranoia. This is not Fantasy Island, these things happen. We may seem safe from everyone but nut-jobs in this country, but you never know what can happen and people want to feel prepared.

      As far as a fantasy construct, people in America have many different realities.

      If you take away guns can you assure me of no black market for criminals, a la drugs. Do you think the police will be one step ahead of the criminals, especially murderers? When have they got there before the crime?
  • Dec 31 2012: I see many sides to this discussion. Some want assault weapons banned and for others all weapons. Some of us say that our mental health institutions need to be changed and perhaps given more funding. Others point to video games and violent movies as the culprit. Some even have gone as far as wanting armed guards in all of our schools.

    We need to stop kidding ourselves that just one of these ideas will fix the problem as a whole. If we really want to see change, to see less of these shootings, then we will need to apply each one of these measures. Assault weapons should be banned or limited to some extent, there is absolutely no reason to have such a weapon unless your getting ready to fight a war. In the US in 2009 for every 100,000 of us, 10 people died from gun related crimes. In the UK, which does not allow private gun ownership, .25 people died for every 100,000 citizens in 2011 and for Japan, that number is down to .07 deaths for every 100,000 people in 2008. And lets face it, our movies and video games glorify violence, our children are growing up in a world where there told killing people is bad, but then proceed to pay a game where killing people is the goal. As for the armed guard in every school, while this is an extreme measure, having at least one armed guard in some of our more major schools may not be such a bad idea.

    Most of us can agree that our Mental Health Institutions need more funding and support, and some new programs should probably be instituted. However the demonizing of the mentally Ill should not be allowed to continue, and while not everyone is doing this certain groups are. It reminds me of the Nazis, using a scapegoat to blame all their problems on. Finally we need to take a good look at our society as a whole, what should be acceptable and what shouldn’t be tolerated. We will only see change if we want change, and we will only see progress if more than just one approach is followed.
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      Dec 31 2012: There is no need to amend the Constitution in order to address these problems.

      All the hard stuff has been largely ignored, I know, I am a street fighter advocate for the mentally ill.

      Each time these events happen, there is an outburst of public furor over guns and the rest of it is largely ignored, people go back to their old habits, their gross ingestion of violent slop.
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      Dec 31 2012: Well said Jarred, and I wholeheartedly agree, that there are many underlying issues that need attention. I believe one of the first things we need to do, and the topic of this discussion, as you insightfully recognize, is to get assault weapons out of circulation.
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        Dec 31 2012: And if you can get the assault weapons ban in place FIRST, then you won't really have to take care of any of the other underlying problems that your generation have allowed to fester in plain sight.
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          Dec 31 2012: Marianne,
          I have been working for over 60 years with abused women and children, with offenders who are incarcerated, facilitating empowering workshops for ALL people, mediating with convicted felons, volunteering in shelters, family centers, guest lecturing at the university on the topic of violence and abuse in relationships....bla.....bla....bla.

          STOP being sarcastic....STOP blaming and START becoming part of the solution!
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        Jan 1 2013: Colleen,

        The reason that many posters here are bringing up the same issues is not as obscure as you pretend.

        It's as if the prohibitionists have taken the 2nd Amendment and equated with the root cause of the shootings in Conneticut. In their minds, they are judge and jury and the posters here are being brought in to help with the sentence. Then like a lynch mob, pose the question to the group "Should we shoot him or just whip him?'
        Well, the non-probitionist side is making their case, that "you have the wrong man", and you are letting the real guy get away.
        So to continue:

        I don't think any of us can remember a time where there hasn't been a bureacracy and a social worker assigned to everyone of our social ills. I hope you did good in your career. It is probably easier to do so in a smaller communtity where there might be more resources.

        However, it has also been long known, since as far back as the Peter Grace audit of the Federal Budget to the GAO reports, that a mere smattering of dollars that are appropriated for these problems, end up as measureable services or in the hands of the people or i who need it, with 80-90% being absorbed by the bureacracies themselves.

        Some rogue thinkers don't ascribe to the idea that Big Daddy government has all the solutions to all the social problems. The Torah model for taking care of people & famliies who fall out of the economy, is to get them back on their feet in one fell swoop while the policies of the government programs have done little but faciitate the poor languishing in the lower social economic conditions for generations, where they become a breeding ground for violence & crime.

        There really was no reason for me to call you a control freak. But how many posters are you currently telling that their input is outside the scope of the subjet?
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          Jan 1 2013: I'm not "pretending" anything Marianne.

          There is no lynch mob or pose here Marianne.....it is a discussion on TED.

          The topic is:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"
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        Jan 1 2013: That is the question asked by Morgan Barnes, but it is not honest to ignore that the question is posed as a reaction to the shootings in Newtown.

        After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

        Without actually making the case, Morgan Barnes has found the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership culpable of the shooting event. That is the same as a lynch mob mentality,because Barnes hasn't made the case, he jumps to a conclusion that he has not established.

        The prohibitionists are demanding a shallow solution to a complex problem, which seems to be "Do Something that Violates the 2nd Amendment"...

        That is a disservice to the people who will be killed in these horrific mass killings of the future.
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          Jan 1 2013: There is no "lynch mob mentality" here Marianne.

          Many folks are respectfully addressing the question:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

          Most responders seem to know that there are other issues to be addressed, and getting the assault weapons out of our communities is only one part of the solution.

          No one suggests "violating the 2nd amendment"

          "A disservice to the people who will be killed in these horrific mass killings of the future"???
          Oh my goodness......think about that statement Marianne!!!
    • Dec 31 2012: Well since no one appears to be even close to it, I'll just offer one that I know to be true, and shouldn't offend your delicate sensibilities. It's fun. Handgun's, rifles, submachineguns, heavymachineguns, assault rifles, explosives, all offer a different experience. Don't know why, not prepared to say, but explosions are REALLY fun. Considering fun and excitement on it's own isn't a big problem with this country, or people in general for that matter, it seems unlikely to me that this isn't a legitimate reason.

      For me, mental health is the only issue here. All answers with people are derived from... you guessed it! People.
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        Dec 31 2012: I suggest Matt, that if you ask the loved ones of those who have been killed, they would not agree that it is "fun"..
        • Jan 2 2013: Of course not, however, not every assault gun carries with it a tag indicating the # of confirmed kills. I can't get behind this kind of thinking, we as a society give these same weapons to 17 year old kids of all backgrounds without worry. Other countries do it as well, without issue. Training is important but there are SEVERAL cases in your local papers across this country that has veterans losing it and killing people with assault rifles while other ones, like me, don't have a problem. Clearly the answer is not so simple, we have a purely reactionary society and it's quite good at overreacting, if this wasn't children it probably wouldn't have had as much attention.

          Mental health is the only issue at stake here.
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        Jan 1 2013: Some may consider anything to be fun, including stealing, raping and killing. The fun argument is invalid.
        • Jan 2 2013: The majority of people would agree that those three are not fun. That's how society works of course, the majority decides whether or not a minority pushes them to.

          I completely understand the people that want them removed on principal alone, they don't go to the range, they've never had to use one, they don't want to, they have no interest in them. All those personal choices doesn't change the fact that it is somewhat fun to fire more and more powerful weapons, particularly for young males.

          I've heard it echoed over and over here that there is no reason to "need" the weapons in question (I hate that wording by the way, to need weapons, you could say the same thing in varying factors about just about anything else. Instead ask, why do people want them), but people want them for reasons we've discussed or at least introduced here and this one which is wholly ignored, probably because people aren't interested in shooting. Now, is that an invalid reason to own weapons?
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          Jan 2 2013: Matt,
          I don't see people arguing for "removal" of guns "on principal alone". You don't really know what the reasons are, unless you genuinely read and try to understand the comments, which it appears you are not doing.

          Your argument... "somewhat fun to fire more and more powerful weapons", feels kind of frightening and not a very good argument.
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        Jan 2 2013: I agree Matt..."not every assault gun carries with it a tag indicating the # of confirmed kills."

        How is that related to the topic question?

        You say..."we as a society give these same weapons to 17 year old kids of all backgrounds without worry."

        What 17 year old kids are you refering to?

        I agree that some people "overreact".

        Is that what you are doing because you think guns are "fun", as you stated in a previous comment?
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    Jan 16 2013: You say: "The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years."

    As a former gun owner, US Navy Marksman, and student of the US Constitution, I agree with the words quoted above...just not the direction that you are trying to take that sentiment.
    The consideration from the Constitutional point of view is that the FIRST act of every single dictator in history has been to attempt to dis arm the citizens of the nation they are trying to take over.
    I've done a lot of research over the years and two very interesting facts stand out:
    1) Our gun laws (about purchasing weapons) as they exist today, WORK. The have prevented felons and psychos from being able to buy a weapon. They worked in this case and they have worked with VERY few exceptions in the cases of other school shootings.
    2) Virtually every single case of a psycho (yes, I KNOW it's not politically correct but if you shoot up a school or a mall, you are by definition a psycho!) shooting up a school was made possible by some legal gun owner NOT securing their weapons and said weapons were STOLEN by the psycho because they were prevented from buying them.
    Here's my suggestion: 1) REQUIRE legal gun owners to SECURE their weapons whenever the weapons are not on their person with a shrouded trigger lock and or gun SAFE (NOT a display cabinet)
    2) REQUIRE gun owners to take a use and safety class every 2 (two) years that is at least 40 hours.
    3)Require gun owners to have liability insurance.
    Every one of these school shootings, IMHO, has been a direct result of legal gun owners displaying gross negligence...
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      Jan 16 2013: Its a start agreeded but even crims have legally obtained firearms would you agree that by regulating the kind of firearm available would also be an option does anyone really need a 50cal desert Eagle in an urban situation????
      just as an example??
    • Jan 16 2013: I stopped at....(....WORK!) Tell that to the families of those killed at Sandy Hook, who were killed by, not a Criminal, but by one of their own citizens.
  • Jan 13 2013: Excellent topic!
    The issue is the USA has a disproportionate number of killings using firearms than other any developed country. There must be correlation between the ease of access of high powered weapons and the killing statistics. Surely it can't be "cultural" can it??

    Violent movies and so on are available everywhere!

    Many countries have gun laws that restrict and control the types of guns people can own and how those guns are stored and the users trained. Surely it would do no harm for the US to take a look at what happens elsewhere. If this means that the precious 2nd amendment needs to be amended or abolished and or replaced by some sort of stricter control over firearm ownership then good! The outcome that any civilised country should seek is the safety of its people and it's laws should be aligned accordingly.

    The days when cowboys roamed the range shooting at everyone else have passed, time to move on America!
    • Jan 13 2013: There is no correlation between the use of assault style weapons (aka "high powered weapons") and killing statistics. Few gun crimes are committed with high powered weapons. Most are committed with handguns. So that is an incorrect correlation.

      However, the increase in requirement for firearm training is a valuable one and should be pursued.
      • Jan 13 2013: Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't just thinking of assault style weapons.... there are some pretty powerful hand guns out there too.
        • Jan 13 2013: David, it is true that there are some high power handguns out there. I would hazard a guess that most of the crimes committed with handguns are lower caliber, easily accessible guns.

          Most of the high caliber, high powered handguns are expensive or not interesting to those who would commit a crime. Mainly due to cost and difficulty accessing them.

          That being said, it is important to truly look at what weapons are being used, where they are coming from, and who is using them. The issue runs much deeper than just the weapons themselves. There are significant cultural issues tied into this that are not being addressed and probably should be.
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          Jan 13 2013: David, you are right....there are some powerful hand guns out there too, and they are available at gun shows and on line with very little, if any, regulation.

          I agree with you Everett, that there are other issues that need to be addressed, and we need to address ALL the issues.

          This topic question is:
          "Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?"

          This is one issue we can start addressing, to hopefully contribute to the overall challenge.
          I do not believe the second amendment needs to be repealed or amended, because the document allows for regulation. The last time we had a ban on assault weapons, nothing was repealed or amended to the best of my knowledge.
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    Jan 10 2013: Was the meaning of the second amendment meant to change with time? If not, issue a musket, ramrod, powder horn and balls to every American, and ban modern weapons. If so, put a patriot missile in every front yard.
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      Jan 10 2013: I don't know, this is a popular theory, that the Constitution should 'change with time. But we all know that "time' can not change the Constitution so let us lay the question out in real terms..isn't the question more rightly put as "Shouldn't we allow men to change the Constitution as they choose?"

      Of course, that creates a dilemma when elected officials who have sworn to uphold the Constitution see fit to diminish the provisions of that same document.

      What do you think Thomas Jefferson meant when he said "Don't talk to me of GOOD MEN, chain them to the Constitution."?

      We give Morgan Barnes the benefit of taking him as a "GOOD MAN" and yet he has openly defended the slaughter of innocent people at WACO by law enforcement, who just "made some mistakes" (sic) while the horse he rode in on is the Sandy Hook massacre and the attending public angst.

      The most ardent 2nd Amendment advocate has not suggested that Adam Lanza's mother
      just made an unfortunate mistake that we should overlook. If that were the case , we would offer an asinine suggestion that all we should do in reaction to Sandy Hook is to insist that all guns be labeled "DO NOT ALLOW MENTALLY UNSTABLE PERSONS TO COME INTO POSSESSION OF THIS GUN. AND BY NO MEANS, USE THIS GUN TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE"...this would be equal to Morgan Barnes assertion that we overlook recent law enforcement atrocities in the US and chalk it up to a learning curve.

      I think that if we ever entertained the idea of revising the Constitution, we would have to be able to produce statesmen of the same caliber as the original authors.
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      Jan 11 2013: Was the meaning of speech meant to change with the passing of time? Should 'speech' in the Constitution legally be limited to a set of things one might have said 300 years ago?
  • Jan 8 2013: I saw a movie once where only the police and military had guns....

    It was called Schindler's List.
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    Jan 1 2013: Not the moral high ground necessarily, Britain has flaws and has caused many problems in the past but we can teach young countries, Britain also has much to learn from older countries like Japan and Norway but we will not due to ignorance. The only way we will all learn is from experience, we all have failings but we tend to point the finger towards the Usa when it comes to guns. We have a duty to educate and assist people in learning about peace and understanding.
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    Dec 25 2012: I find it is easy to criticise the American government for what Lanza did but the fact is lots of scapegoats are being targeted, namely computer games and parents as well as the gun laws, the fact is Lanza was a fan of the military more than anything. Violence exists in the world whether you like it or not and we can search for all the excuses we wish to, banning firearms worked in Britain because we are an ancient country who has learned over centuries to evolve, the United States of America is still young and requires support to handle their gun situation not finger pointing, half the country want to own guns, the government cannot win without upsetting half of the country, namely the half of the country which already has the say. People will not be safe with or without guns, individuals who wish to kill will kill. Instead of blaming from your pedestal put money into mental health research and community youth and homeless programs. Offer guidance to a young country.
    • Dec 27 2012: While I agree with the young country argument-in most cases-I'm confused how that relates to gun control. Is Switzerland a young nation? Have you evaluated that? In my experience, this much snobbishness was always limited to the Swedes' so I'm surprised to see so many Brits staking their claim upon the moral high ground and talking about how much moral clarity they've obtained (how's your ethnic track record recently?) through just 300 years of unity (1700s). Clearly the very tip of the spear on social issues.

      Young nation, yes, in need of guidance, yes. How that relates to gun control? Not seeing it.
  • Jan 15 2013: I will leave this conversation, with some thoughts about our future. And I guess I must ask the question: Where are we going as a Society, as a Nation, as a Species? Where are we going if, as a collective people we believe that something we created, not our Creator (something that has the power to take away life so fast, and with great numbers) be the Answer to us growing as a responsible Species living on a planet that none of knows how much time we have? While I can say that I have no Fears that the US Government is on the path of taking away all of our rights as many in this Country do, I do have the fear that having so many arms in circulation will be the Crux of an upcomming Civil War. There are many other assault weapons being sold on the black market in this country including Bombs, Chemicals and other mass destructive devices. At what point do we protect ourselves, from...OURSELVES? While I can disagree with so many of you out there on this issue, I still believe that our Government is the answer. We the people have got to become more involved and hold Politicians more accountable! But we the People have to be dedicated to not perpetuate a Violent Society. Many fight for the rights of the unborn, but still believe taking a gun away from a potential threat is not as good an answer as putting a gun in the other persons hands. With those odds, you can bet that death is almost certain. But the real growth in our society will be when MONEY is not the determining factor in our lives, as it is now. Again, something we created that has become (much more than a cliche') "the root of all evil!" When will human beings be worth more than Money itself. It is the Crux of this thread when all is said and done. A homeless family can be arrested for trespassing for squatting in a vacant house, just because they are trying to stay warm. But where is the common sense? Where are we going? Do we have the strength of Faith to lay down our guns, open our hands and help each other?
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      Jan 15 2013: I like your ideas for a better future, but people can not be forced through legislation to follow a certain path to achieve your idea of a better future. People have their own ideas for reaching their goal of a better tomorrow.

      I appreciate the potrait you have painted of decadence and salvation, but I can not help but wonder with a statement like "arms in circulation are the crux of a civil war", who is really paranoid?
    • Jan 16 2013: Unfortunately, Craig, I do not share your optimistic view of mankind. I try to walk in the New Testament, but much of the world operates as if they are still in the pre-Old Testament. There are a lot of people who want to kill us and our wives and our children, and are doing so to thier greatest abilities, for what we believe in-freedom of speech, religion, etc., people who stone women and kill gay men and beat women for exposing an ankle. So the byword is to be prepared and stand ready, and then go about our lives to the extent that we can treating our fellow man with decency. If we lay down our guns and open our hands as you say, we'll just get our throats slit like so many sheep. That doesn't mean we don't help each other. As for money, it is a medium of exchange and a convenient store of value, not evil. We are free to choose how to live, at least in the US so far. Civil war comes from oppression, not from too many weapons. However, Amen to getting involved and holding politicians accountable. Although you and I disagree in a fundatmental way, we still could break bread together without fear, and probably find some common ground.
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    Jan 13 2013: Heres the major issue that everyone seems to be overlooking whilst being infavor of mass gun-ownership (and an increase, according to some comments).

    Any Professional firearms trainer will immediately say something to the tune of:
    'A gun is never more dangerous when its in the hands of someone who is untrained/emotional. Not necessarily to the criminal, but to themselves, thier family and anyone else around them'..

    Here are some facts:
    -More people are starting to carry loaded guns
    -More people are aware that other people are carrying loaded guns
    -More people are untrained to use them, have never used one, are going to freak out in danger
    -More people are not Rambo
    -More people who shouldn't have guns have them aswell
    -More people are carrying them in the possible case of an incident
    -More people carrying guns are going to find themselves in relatively crowded locations

    To me that sounds like a horrifying outcome because it creates a situation where all it takes is for 1 crazed basketcase to fire a shot before an untold number of frantic, horrified individuals are firing a gun they can't control and/or not have sniper-precision to shoot the right person in a crowd of people running for their lives.

    There will come a point where someone will go on a 50 man killing spree and it will turn out that 30 of the deaths didn't come from the maniac.
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      Jan 13 2013: People who would act as you say with a gun probably would not own one and almost definitely would not conceal carry them. We can have concealed carry where I am from and I do not know anybody that constantly is armed. The people that do carry are usually working in a bad section of the city. No one I know goes to the mall, or movies , ... anything like that, carrying.
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      Jan 13 2013: Uh, Xavier, From your list of "facts"...can you also produce numbers showing that those "facts" are resulting in crimes or any justification for proposing that the nation amends it's Constitution? You have to understand that what is being proposed here is an amendment to the US Constitution. It's absurd to think that an amendment to the Constitution is the solution to your "Scary things' list.
    • Jan 13 2013: Xavier, your scenario is a nightmare. The fact is that in order to obtain a concealed cary permit, you must first go through a training class. The guns are not the problem, people are the problem, a well practiced individual can cause as much or more havoc with any weapon and size magazine. If we start eliminating our "Constitutional Rights" where will it end? Will you want to also eliminate our right to "VOTE"!!!! I say that there is a greater need for 'GUN EDUCATION" than "GUN CONTROL". The "2nd. Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, I wont let them take that right away from me. More people (including children) die every year from "Medical Malpractice" than from "gun violence", but I don't hear anyone saying that we should change the "medical malpractice laws".
  • Jan 12 2013: I will apologize if I repeat previous comments, as I have not read the entire thread.

    First, discussing the repeal of the 2nd amendment following a tragic shooting is always a poor choice. Feelings run high and the tragedy is fresh in our minds. We do not think clearly.

    Second, there are many laws in place that monitor, regulate, and state what is legal and not with firearms. The recent shooting simply shows us that even those laws fail. For example, the shooter stole the guns, could not have owned them legally, had a mental disability which might have kept him from owning firearms at all. None of those laws did anything to stop him.

    Third, the issue that is most frustrating, is that we often find that people suspected the person who did the shooting was going to do it, and did nothing. That is a failure of humans, not the firearms. Often, there are mental issues that are left without help and the person reaches a tipping point where violence seems appropriate.

    Finally, for the 2nd amendment to be repealed is a significant process. If the country is going to do it, they need to stand up as a large portion and state that. For the president to use executive power to alter the 2nd amendment would be a poor choice on their part. It would turn very ugly very quickly and polarize the nation against him or her. And probably is not constitutional to boot.

    Instead, I would like to see a focus on improving the mental health care of our nation and address the issues that would lead someone to consider this action. Also, enforce the laws on the books. And recognize that a large number of crimes are prevented by the possession of a firearm. Then consider the facts, not the fallacies of the arguments in a clear, non-emotional light.
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    Jan 10 2013: WOW Morgan!
    Have you read a single reason against your viewpoint, it sure seems like you did not.
    You know all the reasons given here for amending and calming no interest in taking all guns, may sound better if we had not heard them all before.
    We are just going to ban tanks,
    We are just going to ban cannons,
    We are just going to ban grenade launchers,
    We are just going to ban grenades,
    We are just going to ban automatic weapons,
    We are just going to ban high-capacity semi-automatic weapons,
    And if we give in, how soon will we hear?
    We are just going to ban semi-automatic weapons,
    We are just going to ban guns,
    We are just going to ban sharp long knives,
    We are just going to ban long knives,
    We are just going to ban sharp knives,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech on TV,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech online,
    We are just going to ban freedom of speech in public places,
  • Jan 9 2013: This whole ban the guns thing is pure scare tactic and smoke screen. More children die of hunger, drowning, vehicle accidents, not getting access to doctors, and other things than die of gun vilolence. There are things that can be done about those things, but they are not being done, ,why? Are our guns scaring you? Are our guns going to jump up and kill you? No, you are being driven by lobbyists that want to see our citizens disarmed,. That is the real question, why do they want to see us disarmed? It is definately not about the lives of children, or we would see them pass legislature to make sure every kid is fed, and has access to health care, and we saw how they cared about that. This has to do with making us into good serfs that can no longer bargain for our rights, or defend ourselves from those in power. Wake up!
    • Jan 10 2013: Can anyone tell me the last time that citizens of the US, legally armed under the amendment, used these said arms to "defend (y)ourselves from those in power. " ? The whole point, whilst containing some worthwhile distractions, is worthy of a Monty Python sketch. The right to bear arms..against a despotic government:; do you honestly think that if you ever suffered under a totalitarian regime, that they would respect those rights ? On the other hand, even without the right, all over the world ( think Libya and Egypt recently ) citizens who had had enough of a regime were still able to obtain arms and overthrow the despot. Do you think that Oliver Cromwell and his parliamentarian army that overthrew King Charles the 1st needed to go to Charlie boy and ask for permission to raise arms against him ? It's a nonsensical argument.
      On the other hand, if you are claiming that it is the "right to defend oneself and one's property", that is another issue. I can see some logic there, but surely then, you don't need a bazooka or a tank to defend yourself on the way home from the pub or your 2 acre smallholding ?
      So let's sort out what you need the arms for and then limit them to a sensible calibre, fire rate or whatever and please make sure that applicants have a stable background and an IQ. above their age !

      By the way, it was stated that the US has the highest gun ownership in the world. I believe both Canada and Swizterland have higher per capita levels without anything like the level of crime/fatalities. So there may be some credence to the population densities..or is it just that they make sure that you have to show a sane personality and some proficiency/self control with a firearm before owning one rather than the fact that you've just opened a new bank account !
      • Jan 11 2013: You sound an awful lot like a brit, and I don't appreciate your implying that IQ has anything to do with the crazies that use firearms to kill innocents. Just because it's been a while since anyone defended themselves from overeaching governments, doesn't mean it won't happen. As far as being able to resist an out of control government without arms, tell that to the Chinese man that stared down the tank.As for per capita gun ownership, the chart I am looking at per 100 people The U.S. has 88.8 canada 30.8 Switzerland 45.7 So I guess you are mistaken.
        • Jan 11 2013: To suggest I'm British is a typical US stereotyping. I'm Irish and we know something about raising and arming a militia to overthrow a despotic government ! And guess what, we did it without an amendment, hell, we did it without a constitution ( well, an in force one anyway ).
          Mistaken - no. The figures that you read putting the US top of the gun ownersdepends on how you read the figures. That figure is based on the total number of private guns sold divided by the population. So when you start removing the people with more than one gun, and figures suggest that 50 of the people who legally hold a gun licence have more than one ( many more than one ! ), the figure drops dramatically.
      • Jan 11 2013: Lets see your figures because it sounds goofy to me. You are saying an awful lot that I should take on what your say so? Everybody I know, and grew up with, owns at least one gun, and usualy many. And lets face it, the argument was number of guns per population no matter how you split them up in your mind. By the way, should we all use bombs as the IRA did? Isn't that how you armed against a despotic governmment?
      • Jan 11 2013: After rereading your post, I have some points to make. If my country removes my constitutional right to own guns, then it has become despotic and no longer is the country I served in the military. Second, it is not my problem that your ancestors and others didn't win in their struggle to liberate themselves from despotic monarchies, and fight to get gun ownership rights for themselves. Third, I do not see how someone from Europe can sit there and tell me that my continued ownership is likened to Monty Python, when it has been the U.S. and it's gun toting citizens that have helped make the world safer. Fourth, while I accept your posting as a right, no one in Europe really has any stake in this debate, at all, no skin in the game so to speak. And last, oh my, I called you a Brit, in my world that is not sterotyping, the Irish are considered British over here, and I meant nothing by it, My grandmother and grandfather were Irish, and they considered themselves Americans.
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          Jan 12 2013: Timothy I think you need to brush up on your geography because you will find part of Ireland is British and the other is Independent and Australia is not in Europe.

          Actually as this is an International forum we have the right to voice our opinions which is why I bought up the question in the first place. What you seem to of forgotten is that ,what happens in the US does impact on the rest of the world even it is a domestic issue.

          You are making a great case as to why the US Government should amend its firearms legislation.
      • Jan 12 2013: I know where Ireland is, and the fact that they want to call one side British and the other independant t means nothing. As for Australia, lets face it, you are all still colonies.
        You are acting as if we are at the whim of the rest of the world, that is not the case.This country tends to follow it's people's wishes, and as such, I am not really afraid of any change to the second amendment, because it will not happen. This fear mongering of those out there, that are anti-gun, is equally cancelled by the fear-mongering that is pro gun.You, the rest of the world, act as if you can bully us into your wishes, good luck with that!
  • Jan 8 2013: We (Americans) do not owe a single solitary explanation for the laws & policies that we have created to govern ourselves.
    • Jan 8 2013: You're free to not participate in this discussion. No one is holding a gun to your head, and making you participate. ;-)

      And... unlike the US, none of us is sending an army to your country, to to force a change in your laws.

      This is how freedom of speech works.
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    Jan 8 2013: Frankly I believe this question can only be addressed by citizens of the United States, and no others. Comment all you will about your views on this topic but the US Constitution can only be changed by Americans! Fred Lanisake's comment below is very much on point. It requires a Constitutional amendment to change or remove the amendment and politicians who attempt to undermine it do so at their peril. Most Americans consider the Constitution to be the heart and soul of this country and while some of you non-Americans are critical of many aspects of the USA, all of you would not pass up an opportunity to move here!
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      Jan 8 2013: @ Ian , Unfortunately these incidents end up on the front pages of the news services all over the world which in a way allows the rest of us to comment because if we did want move there you really need to know what you are getting yourself into. Also as you are a "superpower" do you not think you need to show the rest of the world a sense responsibility that comes with that title.

      I agree though it is up to the citizens to change the culture and lobby the Poli's to change and it is going to be an uphill battle.

      There are some wonderful things about the US don't get me wrong I love the scenery the New England turning of the leaves, Monument Valley, Bryce canyon, California Coast Road, Mid West Plains, Utah/Idaho/Vermont Snow fields.
      Nothing like being on the road and coming across a fantastic little diner in the middle of nowhere where everyone is friendly and wants to hear you talk because of the strange accent. I am there fairly regularly and I have also lived there for a short period, but every time another of these incidents happens I feel a little less secure than did before and I find I am more alert than even I usually am ( occupational hazard aside). In my travels in the States I have been fortunate enough to meet a wide variety of her citizens some I've had great times with some have scared the hell out of me and completely miles out of my comprehension but it is an experience.

      I want to enjoy coming the States, maybe even move back for a little while ,but I don't want to fear her or her people but it is starting to get to that point which is shame.
      • Jan 9 2013: I think we have been "showing" the rest of the world responsibility by continually bailing other countries out. We have come to the aid of just about the rest of the world for this or that threat. Gun ownership isn't about just protecting ones home, it's about protecting ones country, and sometimes from ones own government.If they ever allow the dissolution of the second amendment, I hope I'm either in the grave, or have found a country with even more fortitude than this one. I understand that kids have died, and that is tragic, but what about the kids that have died from collateral damage from airstrikes that all the major countries have launched? Are we trying for perfection?Are we trying to reach some stage where life is precious? If we are, we need to change the human genome, because humans are terrible when it comes to the rights of other people. If we are serious about saving lives, we need to get really serious about our numbers, which need to be reduced, and our usage of resources, which need to be reduced, and our destroying of the enviroment, which will end us all.
    • Jan 8 2013: Ian- well said. While we cannot avoid being scrutinized, we owe nobody an explanation, or defense, of the policies or laws in our country. There are many many wonderful things and scary things about every country.
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      Jan 9 2013: "all of you would not pass up an opportunity to move here!" Are you kidding me!!!! You could not PAY me to live in America!!! Americans are very good at convincing themselves and each other (propoganda) that your country is the best, that you have the most freedoms and opportunities blah blah. That is so completely wrong. I could never live in your country, and it is madness for you to make such a gross presumption that All of us would.
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        Jan 9 2013: Lee-Anna,
        I agree with you that it is arrogant for anybody to presume that everyone would jump at the opportunity to live in America. I believe some American's arrogance at times, is one of the main factors regarding dislike for Americans around the world. I would like you to know that we all do not think that way!
  • Jan 4 2013: Colleen, You seem to be good at topic policing and wanting to control what others say but apply different rules to yourself. I find this to be the case with many of the bleeding hearts in my life. It is annoying and I respectfully ask you to allow others to draw meaningful analogies without you correcting them. Below are but a few examples of your own OFF TOPIC statements.

    "We probably would not ban hammers"
    Is this Topic about HAMMERS?

    "I agree that many mass murderers may be triggered by mental instability."
    Is this Topic about MENTAL ILLNESS?

    " Yes, I am a woman..."
    Is this Topic about WOMAN'S RIGHTS?

    "I agree that fear, anger, hate and antagonism can be expressed emotionally."
    Is this Topic about EMOTIONS?

    " I have been working for over 60 years with abused women and children,"
    Is this Topic about YOUR WORK?

    " I'm generally pleased with our legislation, environmental laws"
    Is this Topic about the ENVIRONMENT or VERMONT?

    " Vermont is "predominantly female"? 50.8% female, 49.2% male....looks pretty close to me!"
    Is this topic about GENDER?
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      Jan 4 2013: Ivory Babble,
      The ONLY thing I control is what I choose to address, and I follow the TED conversation rules, which means I try my best to stay on topic. I have not, in any way "corrected" anyone. I have, however, shared my perspectives regarding the topic question, and stated that I will stay on topic. If you feel annoyed by what I write, my only suggestion is to discontinue writing comments to me.

      No, the topic is not about hammers, mental illness, women's rights, my work, the environment, gender, and you know that. I responded to commenters who brought those issues into the discussion, and my intent, which seems clear, was to let them know that I will do my best to stay on topic.
      Again Ivory Babble, I respectfully suggest that if you are annoyed with my comments, you discontinue directing statements to me. I cannot do anything about YOUR feeling of being annoyed. It appears that you are annoyed when people do not agree with you.
      • Jan 4 2013: The only thing that annoys me is illogical, irrational discussion where bleeding hearts talk about their feelings about issues and provide few facts. By definition logic is void of emotion.
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      Jan 5 2013: Colleen is trying to insist that we consider the issue in a vacuum, we even have to ignore the context that Morgan Barnes presented it in.

      So, Ivory, can you please ignore the man behind the curtain and try to conform yourself to a yes or no answer?

      But Colleen, let's be honest, the ONLY reason we are being asked to consider pulling down the 2nd Amendment is to diminish our rights. It's prohibitionists against the Constitutionalists. We are not being asked to consider the 2nd in order to expand or protect our existing rights.
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        Jan 5 2013: Marianne,
        I am honest, and have been very clear right along that I am trying to stay on topic....NOT trying to "consider the issue in a vaccum". Your insistance that I and some others are considering this issue in a "vaccum", is simply an expression of your disagreement with our perspectives.

        My perception is that we are addressing this issue for the purpose of making our world a safer place. I'm not "against" anyone Marianne because I believe we can all have different perspectives, perceptions and preferences. Nor do I feel that anyone is discussing "pulling down the 2nd amendment". I respect your belief and fear of your rights being diminished. I do not agree.
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          Jan 5 2013: Here Colleen,
          I have cut & pasted question that Morgan Barnes posted. It is called "Context".
          He didn't post the question about the 2nd Amendment because he was doing an exhaustive update of the Constitution.

          Morgan has taken the liberty of going a step forward and asking how to "enforce" said law and ended in "time has come" edicts. He left the door open for any and all of the comment that he has received.

          We are talking about 2nd Amendment gun issues in the light of the CT shootings. If you want to start a thread on abolishing the 1st Amendment, that is your perogative.

          BARNES: After yesterdays tragic shooting in Newtown CT and the worst year ever for firearm related deaths and mass killings , has the time for the US Government to tell the Gun Lobby it is over and repeal or amend "the right of the people to bear arms".

          Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and military hardware, which makes it no longer viable on account of relevance to this day and age.

          That Militia should be held to Law Enforcement agencies, Military and government controlled Para military agencies, with a show need, clause for people such as certain Primary producers etc.

          Is it time to tell the NRA and the Gun Lobby there will be no more "collateral" damage no matter how much you donate to the "Party"

          What would be the best way for the government to enforce such a law???

          And please no Guns do not kill people, people kill people debates it was people who invented firearms in the first place.

          The time has come to realise it is mainly our children who pay the ultimate price for lack of diligence in monitoring a problem that has been there for far too many years.
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        Jan 5 2013: Marianne,
        What is your purpose in suggesting that I start a thread on abolishing the 1st amendment? What is the point of this recent comment of yours?
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        Jan 5 2013: I got the same thing out of it Marianne, and the way Morgan Barnes presents the question, I feel as though he only wants a dialogue with people who see it from his perspective.
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          Jan 5 2013: Nothing happens in a vacuum, and the rhetoric about the Constitution being outdated, (when what they really mean is that abiding by the Constitution is no longer expedient for their agendas) has spurred a renewed interest in understanding the Constitution.
          The nuances and the brilliance that negotiated the laws of this land, can not be understood by a minds dulled by the their immersion in the popular culture and status quo.

          It is hard for them to imagine being young enough not to be scared into giving up our freedoms so that they can go to their graves imagining that they have done as much as they could to "control" everyone else's lives.
          There is an awakening in all the free world from those who understand in real time, what the rule of law means to them. The powers that be, need to understand that we realize that our rights are significant even when they keep getting in the way they imagine is "best for everyone."
  • Jan 3 2013: Realistically, I highly doubt we would be able to repeal one of the original 10 Amendments at this point in time. Amending the 2nd Amendment may be more likely, but I think it would still be almost impossible at this point in time. I think the real problem is that such a large proportion of Americans practically worship the 2nd Amendment. So the real question right now is not 'Should we appeal the 2nd Amendment?' but 'How do we change the minds and attitudes of this proportion of Americans so that we can actually take some action towards amending the 2nd Amendment or creating new gun control laws?'. If we can't do that, then there's no way we can even realistically consider amending the 2nd Amendment.

    It is my opinion that tighter gun control laws need to be created. If you look at the statistics, most other developed countries have substantially lower gun fatalities every year because it's just a lot more difficult to gain access to a gun legally. And even illegally.
    • Jan 3 2013: Just why do you feel it is your mission...your right...to change other peoples minds? Emotions aside...I'm am going to keep asking the same question over and over til somebody can provide me a reasonable answer. Just what is the logic behind wanting to change peoples minds about something that has a very, very, very low probability of occurring? How many people have died from "Mass shootings" ? I realize math and stats is about about as scarce as logic in these discussions.
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        Jan 3 2013: 'Just what is the logic behind wanting to change peoples minds about something that has a very, very, very low probability of occurring?'

        It has a 'very low probability' of occuring because you only factor in one single scenario and not the totality of the scenarios that hinges on the problem that everyone has access to firearms and the ability to carry them fully loaded to any place.
        Your argument is like claiming there aren't many household accidents because only 8 people trapped their tongues in an electric whisk last year.

        The FBI statistics database concludes that each year in America an average of
        -120,000 robberies take place specially related to firearms each year
        -130,000 aggravated assaults specifically related to firearms each year
        -10,000 homicides because of firearms each year
        and a firearm related death rate per 100,000 people that rivals the entire 50-country European block combined.

        120,000 murders, 1,560,000 assaults and 1,440,000 robberies specifically related to a gun since George Bush got into office. Thats almost equal to 1/100 having a direct crime committed against them with a firearm, or 1 person per street.

        This doesn't even include non-fatal gun shot wounds, accidents or threats using a gun, which could quite easily add an extra 30% to that number, of not more.

        England has a low probability
        Canada has a low probability
        India has a low probability
        America does not have a low probability.
        • Jan 3 2013: Otherwise stated:
          -120,000 robberies take place, related to PEOPLE each year
          -130,000 aggravated assaults, related to PEOPLE each year
          -10,000 homicides related to PEOPLE each year

          With an estimated ~300,000,000 guns in the US the probability is very low.
          And if we are talking about "Mass Shootings" and "Assault Weapons" the probability is miniscule.
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          Jan 3 2013: 1 hour ago: Ivory Babble,
          You say "emotions aside"? That is interesting coming from you, because you seem caught up in the emotion of this question!

          The logic behind changing the law, which will probably NOT require repeal or amendment of anything, is because there are too many "mass shootings"....too many people killed with assault weapons, that should not be the hands of the general public.

          Regarding your question below Ivory Babble...
          Too many people have been killed in mass shootings with assault weapons.

          I cannot speak for anyone other than myself. I would like to see our world more safe, and less frightening.

          2nd EDIT:
          I am using logic AND emotion together Ivory Babble. You can do that too if you wish:>)
          The figures are already posted on this thread several times, and you can certainly get the numbers on line. I do not have to repeat something that has been posted several times.
      • Comment deleted

        • Jan 3 2013: OK Colleen...Just how many people have been killed in Mass Shootings? And with Assault Weapons?

          EDIT: In Response to Colleen.
          This is where logic meets emotion Colleen. I am asking you to quantify and put forth some logic behind your statement "too many people..."
          Is this just a feeling or can it be explained. We will likely never see eye to eye on this. I can tell though you are a kind and caring person and I appreciate that.

          Also, please explain why some in this discussion feel enlightened to the point of deciding what should be in the hands of the general public?
      • Jan 3 2013: I don't feel it is my right to change people's minds. All I was saying was that the opening poster was asking the wrong question. Before we could even consider amending the 2nd Amendment, we probably would have to get a lot of the people who staunchly oppose anyone messing with the 2nd Amendment to change their stand on the 2nd Amendment. That doesn't mean that they would internally have to agree with the action, but we would need more people to outwardly support changing the Amendment.

        And just because something may have a low probability of occurring in the present doesn't mean we should just give up on trying to effect change, whoever 'we' happens to be. Everyone lives their lives everyday directly or indirectly trying to persuade people around them. I happen to believe that limiting access to guns in this country would reduce gun homicides and mass shootings, but I'm not going to shove that down people's throats. However, that does not mean I will not live my life trying to convince the people around me when the time comes that this change will probably be for the better for our country. If you believe doing something is the right thing to do and will help your community, then you will work towards that. It's the same thing that those who support limiting gun control laws believe.

        And you're right. There should be more statistics in this discussion. I am not sure how many people die from mass shootings in each country every year, but this resource does explain total number of gun homicides per year per country: http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/homicide.html.

        In 2009, according to this study, the United States had about 10,300 gun-related homicides. Canada had 173, the United Kingdom 46, Germany 188, Australia 30, etc.
        • Jan 3 2013: We can probably all agree Canada, UK, Germany, Australia etc. don't have a whole lot of things we have here in the US. :-).
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      Jan 3 2013: Hi Holly,
      When we had a law regulating assault weapons before, I do not believe anything was repealed or amended. It appears that the document provides for "regulation" of guns. We don't necessarily need to change the minds of people, and based on some of the comments on this thread, we're not going to do that. We can, however, change the laws to get some of the assault weapons out of circulation in the general public.
      • Jan 3 2013: True. Some minds may need to be changed though if changes are to be made considering how much lobbying power the NRA has over Congress and how much influence the NRA gains from the many Americans who support it. Unless of course, Congress decides to resist that lobbying pressure or some other big push comes through.

        And Ivory, yes, Canada, the UK, Germany, and Australia have much stricter gun control laws.
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    Dec 23 2012: No, we should not repeal the second amendment.

    Has anyone read the article written for the Harvard Law Review entitled, "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" Their short and clear answer: No. The Cato Institute, a highly respected research organization wrote an article entitled, "Gun Control: Myths and Realities" also came to the same conclusion, and there is quite a bit of independently researched information on this. [Counterpoint: I suspect one can find opposing studies - I just haven't found them in my limited searching prior to writing this response.]

    Just to state: I have not ever owned a gun, nor do I plan to own one, and I don't have an agenda in this debate.

    I believe a government effort to ban guns in this country would follow in the same steps as our failed "war on drugs". Just as with drugs, the bad guys can always purchase what they need and outlawing guns would spawn a black market where things will get much worse.

    With the advent of 3-D printers, it will soon become almost trivial and cost effective for anyone to manufacture working guns out of their own home and out of raw materials. A bit like growing pot in your backyard. It will be impossible to prevent the bad guys from making their own guns.

    I think we tend to get blown and bent out of shape around these shooting disasters due to their spectacular nature, the way our media carries this, and the way we as a nation respond to this. I think that just exacerbates the problem. There are far worse tragedies affecting children and adults alike every day, but they are not so news worthy. Daily, I think of the tragedy of thousands of children who die in this country every year from breathing second hand smoke (part of the nearly half a million who die in the U.S. every year from smoking). Those are horrible, prolonged, preventable deaths. That won't be all over the news even though 1,100 die every day in this country from smoking.
  • Dec 17 2012: No it should not be amended or repealed.

    Take a look at police in America today.
    They are outfitted and look like Storm Troopers. Nazi Stormtroopers.
    They are armed to the teeth, as the saying goes, and they want nothing more than to have complete control, dominance, power and terrorizing freedom, not to protect the citizens from outside terrorism or terrorists, but to be used against the citizens themselves.

    Never!! One would have to be insane to consider allowing those who consider the populace to be "the enemy" to have all the weapons for killing, terror and dehumanizing people.

    The first report I read said this person was, "as clean as a whistle." A saying which means they were as normal as could be. Well, I haven't read more lately, but that kind of thing is, well hell, it already is being used to try and get the weapons people WILL NEED to defend themselves, away from them for good.

    Keep in mind, that the liberties of Americans are almost all gone.
    They have told them, "see those people over there? Terrorists, people who use firearms to kill people like you? Well, they want to take away your freedoms. They want to kill you. So to protect you, we will take away your freedoms!!
    We will take away your arms!!! We will take away your rights and abilities to protect yourself!"

    If you believe that BS, then you are crazy, brainwashed to death.
    The freedom of info act in America, revealed that the CIA killed children, teachers, parents and burned or destroyed schools in South America, with the sole intention of getting the populace to give them all their rights for their protection. It was all lies.
    Benjamin Franklin said, "Any man (woman) who would give up a little bit of liberty for a safer society, deserves neither liberty nor safety."

    I trust his political acumen far more than I trust anyone in the offices of power in America.
    We know they lie to us and have been lying for decades.

    No!!! Absolutely not. You don't suspend gravity for those who fall off a roof
    • Jan 14 2013: you wouldn't think that Benjamin Franklin would lie? Don't be confused with the 'times' and the ability to lie.
  • Jan 16 2013: What if everyone was missing the forest for the trees? What if the debate surrounding guns in the USA was stuck in the 20th century? What if, instead of gun control, a dated concept, we thought in a novel and 21st century like manner about gun architecture?

    We should have in mind the peculiar regulatory mix that has come to be with the advent of the digital world, one where Law is not the only Law, where, as Lawrence Lessig brilliantly put it more than 10 years ago, Code is Law. In such a world – and such is the world we now live in – the rights we have as citizens or consumers may be enforced through the blueprints of goods and services. When you download a song with DRM (digital rights management) features, such as one from iTunes, what you can do with it is strictly delimited and at the same time enforced by the technical architecture thereof.

    What if every gun and rifle sold in the US (or in the world for that matter) came equipped with DRMs that would limit who could use them, where and when they could be used? Imagine that guns were all connected with an ID database stored in the cloud (easily feasible) where the rights different profiles of users had on different guns were recorded, this could for instance lead to different scenarios - for instance only law enforcement officers could be allowed to “turn on” firearms near or inside schools...

    I don’t know if such a gun architecture scheme could be easily implemented; I certainly don’t know if it would be upheld by courts in the face of a 2nd amendment to the US Constitution that was drafted to ensure the Government had some legitimate fear of its sovereign, the citizens, and that its foreign enemies were kept at bay; but I’m thinking this would be worth a try…

    Thoughts initially published here: http://www.148.io/2013/01/gun-architecture/
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      Jan 16 2013: Interesting concept Anthony!

      We have serial numbers, registration, and interstate tracking systems now, which are not always effectively used. Do you think technology can advance to the level you suggest? Who knows...anything is possible, and perhaps as we evolve as human beings, this too is possible:>)
      • Jan 16 2013: Actually technology has already advanced to such a level ... in other fields. Take the smartphones out there today, they can be disabled from a distance thanks to central ("cloud") servers. It would not be without additional costs to the manufacturers, but one could argue this would be like imposing the installation of seat belts or other security devices to cars, something that one has to obey in order to protect broader public interests...
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    Jan 13 2013: .
    The NRA's position on guns is as follows...

    Higher gun violence rate = Buy more guns to protect yourself
    Lower violence rate = You could still become a statistic so buy more guns
    No change in violence rate = Lets fix that, buy more guns

    Certain guns may be made illegal = Buy as many as you can now to stock up
    Illegal sale of a gun is overturned = They're back! Buy guns to celebrate!
    The subject of guns comes up in politics = Be worried, buy more guns!

    Buy guns for your collection
    Buy guns for defence
    Buy guns for hunting
    Buy guns for training
    Buy guns and be a patriot
    Buy guns and be an American..
    Everyone buy as many guns as you can for no matter what reason
    Everyone buy guns no matter who you are
    Everyone buy guns and allow no limitations

    It seems to me that the Americans are being duped into thinking that endless-gun-freedom equates to liberty, when in actuality it appears to be nothing more than a scam by people who work for the gun manufacturing industry..

    We all know that the Teaparty are unknowingly doing large corporations biddings with their
    'zero tax+zero regulation = liberty' chants,
    so how does no one see this situation with the
    'more guns for all = more liberty'
    situation we have here?..
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      Jan 13 2013: Xavier, "It may seem to you Americans are being duped", but you are wrong. No one thinks endless guns is the equivalent of liberty. The right to bear arms is a part of the foundation that ensures our liberty.
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          Jan 13 2013: freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.

          freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.

          freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
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        Jan 13 2013: 'It may seem to you Americans are being duped, but you are wrong'

        A group who originally focused almost entirely on adequate gun control start receiving large amounts of money from Gun manufacturers and now want as many guns to be sold as possible for any reason and to absolutely anyone who wants them without restriction..
        Odds are on my favor here..
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          Jan 13 2013: The gun owners I know all have brains of their own and do not wait for the NRA to tell them what to do next.
      • Comment deleted

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          Jan 13 2013: What Kate? Where have I been quite defensive and what are you talking about? Do what in your own head?

          Full of fear? Where is this coming from?
        • Jan 14 2013: @Kate Blake:
          I too have stayed in India for a while. These are my thoughts and observations:

          Indians don't understand the idea of freedom. The police are pretty much lawless too. Most of the cities have a daily curfew at 23:30. The police make rounds to make sure shops are closed. Indians in northern parts of India have made living with dangerous people a part of their lives. Most girls don't venture out on their own after dark ~ 18:30. So, no, most Indians don't own guns, but then they don't expect to live their days like we, in the west, do.
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    Jan 13 2013: The more I read the posts coming out of America, the more I am concluding the following:
    A - Americans are constantly attacking each other, to the point that everyone lives in paranoia of the 'next' life threatening incident, that can only be addressed through the use of violent retaliation.
    B - Americans are Just plain Paranoid,
    and or
    C - You are all so patriotically stubborn that you refuse even to listen to any views from people who are not American. I am starting to wonder if all the Americans (who from these posts seem to be overwelmingly FOR guns, and are even encouraging more gun ownership) are being so stubbornly "gun happy" just because of patriotic, "must show solidarity" viewpoints. It just blows my mind that a large population of a large country are so fiercely gun crazy! I must admit, my views of Americans are sliding further into the negative the more I read. I am going to keep away from this chat from now on before I end up having no respect whatsoever for your entire country and population. Having said that, Great Chat Morgan!
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      Jan 13 2013: All three. But consider this. American culture is based on being at a war standing for most of its history. In the twenty odd decades of it's existence one would be hard pressed to find one where in some away in some area of America was not engaged in combat. The "free world" became that way because of American skills with combat and combat weapons, is an internationally accepted factor. Let us consider this scenario. the world is the same as it is today. Tomorrow, there is no 2nd amendment, no "gun" culture in American. Of course, there is no American culture to be a world military power. There are no alliances for mutual defense, forward projection forces or even interest within the USA. But, Americans are now a peaceful peoples, if a trading partner is invaded and our friends are devastated, there is the loss in our economy, a threat to our well being. I mean if it happens to your country will ours be far behind? Well, know that America will plead your case to the United Nations and demand that something be done. Under that scenario, all these discussions on American gun culture and 2nd amendment would not be a bone of contention. There could be discussions on best survival in a gulag or concentration/retraining camp.

      Now does this comment stretch credulity? Anymore then the other 1000 or so comments?
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        Jan 13 2013: good comment! How soon they forget, what it appears they never knew.
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      Jan 13 2013: Lee-Anna, you read opinions from 20, maybe 30, Americans on this forum and you judge 315,000,000 by that.

      Do you know enough of the people you judge, to tell them they are not responsible enough to own a gun? Are you sure you know enough about people who believe guns are necessary to tell them they are paranoid and/or stubbornly gun happy? Do you equate gun happy with murderer?

      ... You are teetering on the edge of having no respect for the entire population? ... I could write pages on the great people I know personally and pages more on the excellent people I've met just passing through.
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    Jan 11 2013: The whole anti-gun position is that of a Statist who not only believes the government should, but wants it to have the sole responsibility of keeping the peace. Such an expectation justifies and often requires complete and total oversight into our lives- cameras at every corner, logs of every event and an infrastructure capable of intelligently analyzing all this data.

    With this we move farther away from a self-ruled society and establish an even more privileged higher class, one that has the right and duty to micromanage our safety. It's the child and parent mentality, superimposed over a class of unlikable bureaucrats and the rights of every day citizens. If you'd like to see the utopia you're aiming for check out Cuba. No guns, no homeless, everyone has a job and the State does a dandy one at that.
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      Jan 11 2013: We can not be sure if the populace all still agrees that a system that is required to kill some of it's own people to achieve one of their utopian schemes, is wrong.
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        Jan 11 2013: I big reason a lot of people here don't agree is because they live in a country that's already like this. Maybe their country has always been this way. America was born from rowdy colonists breaking away from the King. We established our country in such a way to be free of one- our federal government is set up with a system of checks and balances that has become the model for a lot of other nations. Not only do we have powers working against each other within our government, but we have State governments ruling sometimes in complete defiance. In our recent election where Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in defiance of federal law, such a thing would never happen in many European nations.

        Our mentality as Americans is different. In our eyes we're a free people, and our government is something to keep in check. We insist on our liberties, Europeans ask why!? They don't see themselves and their government in the same way.
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          Jan 11 2013: I don't want to state the obvious, but many of the responses here are nothing more than "It can't happen here.". An ironic phrase that was coined as the precursor to it "happening here".
          However, maintaining a position that "it can't happen here" when it has "happened here", defies explanation except for the shopworn comparison to the ostrich.
        • Jan 12 2013: Huzzah! Fred, I agree 100%. I do not believe this talk can go any farther as the ones initiateing it are for the U.S. giving up our rights to please them, and put us in the same barrel. To use the language they expect, "us por mericans aint got any cents"
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          Jan 12 2013: Read the statement Repealed or amended?// There is a choice
      • Jan 11 2013: Marianne, do you feel that as an american you are part of the governmental process? Your posts constantly refer to "them" and the "government" as if you have no say or ability to effect change. But then you refer to court cases that adjudicated some of your issues in your favor, how you support current law, etc. so you must have some faith (a little?) in our system? I am not so sure. You bring so much anger and dire predictions of the awful hypothetical future we face, and you make them with such a broad brush and such certainty when predicting the future, a future nobody can be certain of. This topic is about making changes in public policy from the status quo in one specific area, but you have broadened your responses to such a level that it makes me wonder if your posts are about the topic at hand, or if you would be against any changes that involve governing or government. Try to keep it realistic in your response if you could-we aren't Cuba, or Hitler's Germany, Cambodia, or any of the other scare countries that have been brought up. We are a representative democracy, one that is attempting to fix a problem through thoughtful discussion by the people and their representatives. So do you think any changes to gun laws that could be interpreted as more restrictive to the general US population should not even be considered?
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          Jan 11 2013: Characterize it any way that serves you, the fact is that the only reason to bring up the 2nd Amendment is to diminish the rights of citizens to be armed.

          It is a demonstrable fact that local law enforcement agencies are on the receiving end of military ordinance, training and vehicles from the Federal Government at a time when violence is at an all time low in the United States.

          It is also a demonstrable fact that innocent American Citizens were killed at both Ruby Ridge and Waco by United States Government agencies who acted illegally and later destroyed evidence and lied en mass at the Senate hearings.( In the case of Waco the government did pay off on a wrongful death suit. However there was no redress of grievances for WACO to restore the rule of law.)

          Whether or not we are a nation where the rule of law is upheld, depends upon whether or not the people hold that to be a non-negotiable principle. In my experience, there are entire sectors of our society that can not differentiate between the rule of law and the rule of men. Foremost, it is important that our President believes in the rule of law. I find him unconvincing in that arena.

          In a conversation of thoughtful discussion, some of the facts that have to be considered, in this case, are very ugly. They are as ugly as the list of dead at Waco. They are brought to this discussion in this progression:

          Q Why do you think you need guns?

          A The people reserved the right to themselves to armed revolt against the government.

          Q How can you think that the US Government would do such a thing? We are not Cambodia.

          A They did it at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

          And your response is what? That those events didn't happen?
          We shape our own future.
          Nobody here has suggested a bilateral disarmament, only a disarming of the people at the bottom of the power structure.
          So, it's a completely different conversation that what is wrong with the Adam Lanzas and what we need to do to stop this from happening again.
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          Jan 11 2013: And Sean, I am not big on how people "feel" about important issues as much as what they intend to "do".
          However, if you feel that you, as part of the electorate, still occupy the top rung of the social contact that we live under..please take me up on my invitation to invite the Federal an local LE agencies to stand down and begin this Messianic disarmament which will spring forth from their inner desire to tone down the violence and fear that they disseminate on a daily basis. Let them openly repudiate their "secret" Homeland Security memos that were issued against the advice of their own Civil Rights Division. See if you can get them to stack up their military ordinance that they purchased for Urban Warfare, into a big pile in the middle of the street and burn it. Oh, and while you are at it, make some regulations that require Big Phama to only administer their dangerous potions to people who are safely locked in institutions..and reinstate the funding for those institutions, whose funds were diverted elsewhere from 1960 to 1980. Can you also ask Hollywood to stop filling the cultural cesspool that children drink from? Make all parents responsible and make sure that all public schools require the children to practice the golden rule?
          Sure the most advanced nation in the history of the world can accomplish some of these tasks.
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    Jan 10 2013: http://factcheck.org/2012/12/gun-rhetoric-vs-gun-facts/

    This article is a great neutral representation of current data that is available. I found it extremely interesting that both sides of this argument have little factual causation in terms of guns and how they effect crime or murder rates. A great read.
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      Jan 10 2013: Learned a lot. It is a good site.
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      Jan 10 2013: Those are based on reported stats what about the unreported thing is you will never get an accurate number and stats as we well know can be manipulated to show anything you want.
      I like the more gun ownership but in less households hate to think of the arms cache some owners have then.
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        Jan 10 2013: Morgan,
        I apologize but I do not understand your response. The article addresses how incomplete or "bad" the data is and states more than a few times that any conclusion is impossible with the current data.
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          Jan 10 2013: Maybe I was getting who's data is mixed up will read it a bit more closely, sorry about that

          but I had noticed with a lot of stats and articles that have been posted they have been very specific about the year of choice where the stats show the highest rate within for example a 10 year period.
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        Jan 10 2013: The article addresses various different statements from both sides of the arguments and how they are either exaggerated on fabricated to suit the needs of whoever makes them.

        The consensus among those who study the statistics is that the data cannot support a conclusion either way and until better data is acquired there is nothing in the numbers that can be used to further the agenda of either side of the argument.
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        Jan 10 2013: We know how many innocent children were slaughtered at Waco..and that can be condoned by MB because it was law enforcement.
        If that massacre can be passed off as part of the learning curve, I guess MB would be happy if we put stickers on guns saying "DO NOT USE THIS TO KILL AN INNOCENT PERSON"...all things being equal.
    • Jan 10 2013: Thank you for the post....it goes to our earlier discussion on reasonable evaluation of our laws in light of current facts. Near the end of the article it concludes that the US is average in violence, but extremely high in deaths. (paraphrasing) It also concludes that concealed carry laws seem to be a wash....so what could explain the difference between the US and other developed countries that leads to more than 7000 extra deaths per year in the US? I maintain that people in other countires may be just as violent, but the US population is just much more effective at killing at the time of violence because we in the US have unfettered access to better weapons with which to kill. Every country has a violent population, we just let ours have the deadliest weapons, so the impact of the US violence is multiplied and deadlier. I'm no rocket scientist, but that is the one thing that sticks out as unquestionably different from other countries and in high coorrelation with the high gun homicide rate. Sure, mental health, TV, poverty rates, etc can all be considered contributing factors to differing degrees, but every country struggles to deal with those too. The 2 differences are our high homicide by gun rate, and our unfettered access to hi speed shooting weapons. Hmmmmm, draw your own conclusions.
      If you feel that unfettered access to all weapons is a neccessity to protect yourself from something, then that is fine. We just have to come to terms with the knowledge that (y)our national fear causes 19 unneeded deaths a day, and then decide if it is worth it.
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        Jan 11 2013: We let ours have 'the deadliest weapons'? What, a rile that shoots without a lever action?

        I wonder how many homicides there are in North Korea.
  • Jan 9 2013: Letter to the President 29 Dec 2012 - Part Three Please read above 1st (Sorry):

    As an intelligence analyst I always found it interesting that the general public made decisions with little in the way of facts. Emotions move people in one direction or another and I believe it is your administration’s responsibility to keep the conversation grounded in facts. Figures from the FBI, CDC and other agencies indicate the issue of gun violence is more complex than what is being reported via the news or on the web. There are so many different ways to interpret the data that I believe an outside, non-governmental or political, organization needs to look at the information; specifically, the organization that has been utilized extensively by SOF Commands in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I recommend utilizing the people from Palantir, as your administration did when investigating stimulus fraud in 2010. I firmly believe the people at Palantir can give you the most comprehensive look into the reality of gun violence.

    As a father I find myself searching for the reasons why anyone would want to take the lives of innocent people in such a horrific manner and I want to contribute, somehow. At this time it seems that some are more focused on their political agenda vice determining how to prevent these types of attacks from occurring in the future. I would like to think that we as Americans would be able to set aside the hyperbole and truly focus on the issue at hand, taking care of our children. I consider myself a very pragmatic individual (I believe you are as well) and will let the facts guide my decision making process.

    Thank you for your time and looking forward to your response.

    Very Respectfully,
    Charles Clingensmith CPO USN (RET)
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      Jan 9 2013: Is this part of the problem?
      Todays news, after, much of the nation cried out against the violence at Sandy Hook, the public moves along having their children drink from this cultural cesspool

      “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” carved out the top spot at the box office with $23 million,

      Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/texas-chainsaw-massacre-3d-carves-top-spot-box-office-article-1.1234295#ixzz2HVTJTEdf
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      Jan 9 2013: Well said and thank you for your service. I couldn't agree more with the sentiments you express here. Regulation is necessary but the knee jerk, emotional reaction that tragedies such as sandy hook elicit is so illogical at both extremes it shakes my faith in the american public to approach any issue from a factually based, logical perspective.
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    Jan 9 2013: There is one aspect of the 2nd Amendment that I want to succintly state: The right to bear arms is the right to armed revolution against the government. The 2nd Amendment reserved that right to the electorate.

    The most powerful entity in a government of the people, is the people, the electorate.

    The people reserve the right to revolt against a government that is no longer considered a true representation of the electorate; and that they can not reclaim it by other legal process.

    This provision was based on the certain knowledge that like cream floating to the top of milk, that those who seek power for power's sake, would eventually, effectively defeat the mechanisms that were put in place to keep the government of the people in force' and that the pure practice of Constitutional law would be eroded, one bit at at time until the aggregate affect would again be "might makes right".
    I know many people who feel that in large part, the people who now occupy the Federal government are not a true reflection of the people themselves. There are dozens of speakers on TED who talk about this configuration. Personally, I haven't given up on the Representative government. I am proud to say that I live in a state where both our Senators voted against the NDAA bill. Both are left-wing Democrats. Unhappily, they are 2 among only 17 that stood against the NDAA. To me, there is no clear indication that we are heading towards an enhanced civil society that respects the rule of law. To me, the indications are that the electorate no longer understands the importance of the rule of law as it pertains to the government, that there is a generation of people who only understand top down governance.
    The more that people clamor for more top down, authoritarian constructs such as the gun bans, the more convinced I am that nobody should willing cede one iota of a right to anyone of them.
    • Jan 9 2013: I agree with you, we need to retain the right to argue with our government. Sometimes you must be armed to do so. I truly believe our government is no longer of the people, but of the corporation. If the corporate giants can remove the threat of an armed citizenry, they reduce us to serfdom.
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        Jan 9 2013: Ultimately that is what can not be ceded. We are sorry that people kill people, with or without guns. However, taking arms away from lawful owners carries too many sinister results. Mao took away the guns from the people, Stalin did the same...it puts a new spin on the idea that "only criminals will have guns"