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Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?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Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and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

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 9 2013: I applaud you, Morgan, for starting this thread. As an American and a British citizen, i also believe it's time to address an amendment that was made at a time when citizens were forced to defend themselves on a daily basis. I am quite ashamed of the mean spirit with which many commenters here have responded. And it's clear that, although the bigger issue is mental health and the nation's ability to help families and individuals who are experiencing fear that is expressed as rage, there is definitely value in at least consideting whether the Constitution and the Second Amendment are up to task of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Americans, and whether or not the Second Amendment is being sanctified only by NRA members and lobbies. Many I have spoken to agree that it is outdated.
    • thumb
      Jan 9 2013: I'll preface by saying that I don't own a gun. But having the right to do so is such a fundamental part of democracy I am baffled by otherwise intelligent people who argue against it.

      My question to anyone who supports the gun control that is being suggested is this....What would america look like in 10 or 20 years if ordinary citizens were no longer afforded the right to bear arms?
      • Jan 9 2013: Take a look at Wikipedia's list of countries with the right to bear arms, if you educate yourself on what a country looks like that does not afford its citizens the right to bear arms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms
        U.S. is in the weak minority. Most civilized countries tightly control or prohibit the ownership of guns by ordinary citizens without unusual cause. The question remains, why would an ordinary citizen in the States need a gun for protection in the 21st century? And what is not really being addressed is why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: To speak to your first point I found the Switzerland entry to be of particular interest:

          "Rules regarding firearms in Switzerland differ markedly from those in other European countries. Under Swiss law, all adult males who have received training in the Swiss armed forces are reservists who are required under law to keep their official firearms at home. According to the gun law of 1999 (larm99), automatic weapons like the Swiss army assault rifle have to be stocked separately of the bolt, which has to be in a locked place.
          Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world. In recent times political opposition has expressed a desire for tighter gun regulations.[22] However in 2011, Swiss voters overwhelmingly defeated tighter controls that would have required all guns (including privately owned guns) to be kept in government arsenals."

          Also the list of countries given leaves a lot to be desired as far as "model" societies go.

          The question remains, why would an ordinary citizen in the States need a gun for protection in the 21st century?

          The question answers itself....protection

          And what is not really being addressed is why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?

          How many people do you think own multiple guns (including an assault rifle) across the US that do so responsibly and without incident? I would venture a guess that the number is in the hundreds of thousands if not millions.
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: The issue at hand, once again, has nothing to do with the tools used but with the system. From the school teachers (and other child service professionals) who are not trained to recognize the anti-social behavior that precedes tragedies such as what happened in Connecticut, or columbine, or in the movie theater shootings, to the health care system that is ill equipped or flat out unable to provide the mental health services that these people need, To the bureaucrats (and apparently many other Americans) who try to blame the behavior on the availability of firearms.

          What do you think would happen to the crime rate if ordinary citizens were no longer allowed to possess guns? Do you think the guns already in the hands of the criminals would magically disappear? Do you think that a budding criminal wouldn't be able to find a firearm to carry out whatever criminal activities he/she had in mind? This line of questioning could go on and on....

          I'll revisit a point I made before, if the man who went on a shooting spree in Connecticut did not have access to a gun, he would have used a bomb, or a grenade, or poison, or whatever else he could have gotten his hands on to carry out that heinous act. The big picture problem here is not, I repeat not, with the availability of firearms. The sooner our nation as a whole recognizes that fact the sooner we can address the problems that really are the cause of the newtown tragedy (and the many other tragedies that we are all aware of) and prevent them from happening in the future.
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: We live in America, not La La Land.
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: Hi Kate,
          Sorry I could not get this response closer to your question....

          "Kate Lynch
          1 hour ago: Coleen,
          If we've already had a ban on assault weapons, why don't we still have it? What's the inside story on that?"

          The 10 year ban on assault weapons passed Sept. 13, 1994 and expired Sept. 13, 2004 as part of the law's "sunset provision".


          Regarding your other question...
          "...why the mother of the Sandy Hook / Newtown mass murderer owned multiple guns, including an assault rifle?"

          From the reports I've seen, it appears that she wanted the guns to protect herself and her home. That seems to be the most accurate report, although there are also reports which say that she was buying them for her son.
      • thumb
        Jan 9 2013: Paul,
        This is a response to your question...

        "My question to anyone who supports the gun control that is being suggested is this....What would america look like in 10 or 20 years if ordinary citizens were no longer afforded the right to bear arms?"

        I support gun regulations just as our constitution supports gun regulations. As you probably know, the last time we had a ban on assault weapons, the constitution was not repealed or amended, because it apparently provides for "regulation".

        We don't know exactly what america would look like with assault weapons removed from our communities, anything we project is speculation. It seems like a logical move considering all the factual information we have at this time.
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: Good point Colleen.
          Why all the talk about amending the Constitution when the governent has proven itself so very agile in working around the Constitution in so many other areas? 4th Amendment is pretty m;uch shredded and we pay taxes to fly political prisoners outside the states so we can violate the 5th. I am sure the 2nd won't stand in anyone's way, once you all put your heads together.
        • thumb
          Jan 9 2013: I wouldn't argue against your assertion. My point is that un-arming average, normal citizens would be disastrous for our country. My only issue with the assualt weapon argument is that if someone is motivated enough to get their hands on such a weapon, regulation or no regulation, they will be able to do so.
        • Jan 9 2013: Coleen,
          If we've already had a ban on assault weapons, why don't we still have it? What's the inside story on that?
      • thumb
        Jan 9 2013: Paul,
        I don't think anyone is contemplating "un-arming average, normal citizens". I agree to some extent that if someone wants to "get their hands on such a weapon"...they may be able to do so. Getting assault weapons out of our communities, however, could decrease the number of assault weapons available to those who would mis-use them.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: Colleen,

          "I don't think anyone is contemplating "un-arming average, normal citizens"." I think that there are a large number of people who want to do exactly what you said here. They are under the false assumption that firearms are the "evil" that leads to the events we are discussing.

          I agree with you that assault weapons should be ultra regulated if not banned, but my concern is that making concessions on this issue will inevitably be taken advantage of those who I mentioned above to further their own unrealistic and dangerous goals.

          I think the gentleman who wrote a letter to the president had it right when he said that the issue has to be approached on a factual basis. The problem is that people (on both sides) become so emotionally wrapped up in the details that it blinds them to the bigger problems that need to be addressed.
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: Marianne,
        You seem to have misunderstood my "point".

        I do not believe the "government has proven itself so very agile in working around the constitution".
        I understand you have a fear of the US government, and it does not help your argument to produce inaccurate information, or try to twist my comments.

        Let me post my exact comment again, so you can try to understand it.
        "I support gun regulations just as our constitution supports gun regulations. As you probably know, the last time we had a ban on assault weapons, the constitution was not repealed or amended, because it apparently provides for "regulation".
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: Hi again Paul,
        I agree with you that there are extremists on both sides of the argument. I also agree with the idea that it would be much more beneficial to approach the issue based on facts, and that some folks are wrapped up with inaccurate information, which blinds them to the issue being discussed on this thread.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: And some that are extremely docile, to the point where they refuse to acknowledge that government agencies have committed massacres in our recent history..
    • thumb
      Jan 9 2013: Seems a bit contradictory that if you have a populace that has to have all sharp objects removed in order for them to be 'safe' that these people can be entrusted to dismantle and rewrite the Constitution of America or any part of it.
      Such a shallow observation, that the US Constitution is "outdated". Perhaps you can tell us which social contract you propose that is even in the same class as the US Constitution. Which system holds a candle in the advancement in human rights that the US Constitution can hold claim to?

      Since there is nothing extant that is comparable, perhaps you can suggest which of our trustworthy & noble politicians we can call upon to write this "improved" social contract. Who are the Thomas Jeffersons and John Locke's of our time?
    • thumb
      Jan 9 2013: Fatalities of April 19
      In the April 19, 1993 final assault, the Davidian dead included:
      Katherine Andrade, 24, American
      Chanel Andrade, 1, American
      Jennifer Andrade, 19, American
      George Bennett, 35, British
      Susan Benta, 31, British
      Mary Jean Borst, 49, American
      Pablo Cohen, 38, Israeli
      Abedowalo Davies, 30, British
      Shari Doyle, 18, American
      Beverly Elliot, 30, British
      Yvette Fagan, 32, British
      Doris Fagan, 51, British
      Lisa Marie Farris, 24, American
      Raymond Friesen, 76, Canadian
      Sandra Hardial, 27, British
      Zilla Henry, 55, British
      Vanessa Henry, 19, British
      Phillip Henry, 22, British
      Paulina Henry, 24, British
      Stephen Henry, 26, British
      Diana Henry, 28, British
      Novellette Hipsman, 36, Canadian
      Floyd Houtman, 61, American
      Sherri Jewell, 43, American
      David M. Jones, 38, American
      David Koresh, 33, American
      Rachel Koresh, 24, American
      Cyrus Koresh, 8, American
      Star Koresh, 6, American
      Bobbie Lane Koresh, 2, American
      Jeffery Little, 32, American
      Nicole Gent Little, 24, Australian, pregnant
      Dayland Gent, 3, American
      Page Gent, 1, American
      Livingston Malcolm, 26, British
      Diane Martin, 41, British
      Wayne Martin, Sr., 42, American
      Lisa Martin, 13, American
      Sheila Martin, Jr., 15, American
      Anita Martin, 18, American
      Wayne Martin, Jr., 20, American
      Julliete Martinez, 30, American
      Crystal Martinez, 3, American
      Isaiah Martinez, 4, American
      Joseph Martinez, 8, American
      Abigail Martinez, 11, American
      Audrey Martinez, 13, American
      John-Mark McBean, 27, British
      Bernadette Monbelly, 31, British
      Rosemary Morrison, 29, British
      Melissa Morrison, 6, British
      Sonia Murray, 29, American
      Theresa Nobrega, 48, British
      James Riddle, 32, America
      Rebecca Saipaia, 24, Filipino[72]
      Steve Schneider, 43, American
      Judy Schneider, 41, American
      Mayanah Schneider, 2, American
      Clifford Sellors, 33, British
      Scott Kojiro Sonobe, 35, American
      Floracita Sonobe, 34, Filipino
      Gregory Summers, 28, American
      Aisha Gyrfas Summers, 17, Australian, pregnant
      Startle Summers, 1, American
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: David Koresh was a fruitloop he had been caching and modifying weapons for a number of years, he had been involved in drug manufacturing and also been accused of assault all under the supposed protection of "religious freedom" That siege was 51 days if I had been in charge I wouldn't of waited that long and it was Koresh who ultimately started the fire and killed his own followers.

        Okay the Law Enforcement made mistakes gee guess what not everyone is perfect, problem is when Law enforcement get it wrong we are the worst thing since to happen since the black plague.

        At least when we do get it wrong we learn from our mistakes and try to make sure it never happens again.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: Since when is being a fruit loop a capital offense? Since when does it carry a death penalty? We saw his "arsenal" after the fire, not very impressive really. You have repeated lies in your comment, regarding the drug manufacturing and the assault charges. You forgot that he was also investigated for child molestation.
          Law enforcement "made mistakes" but "oh well' better luck next time.
          Let's apply your standard to the shooting in Newtown. I guess Mrs Lanza made a mistake. She should never have left those guns where her son could get them. Oh well, better luck next time.
          Isn't that what you just said? In Mrs Lanza's case, we only know that she allowed her son to murder on one occasion. In the case of the Lon Horiuchi, the FBI sniper, he murdered Vicky Weaver in Idaho, was given Federal immunity after he was indicted in Idaho, and he went on to murder again in WACO..and lie about it in the Senate Hearings.
          What a hypocritical stance. You wouldn't have waited 51 days? Well, it turns out that you are a pretty bloodthirsty package yourself.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: And Morgan,
          Law Enforcement doesn't learn from their mistakes. They lie, a lot. And they lied to the United States Senate on national television. And they destroyed the evidence from at least 7 cameras that were trained on their initial assault at Mount Carmel..and they learned that nothing will happen to them when they act like this.

          And they lied that Delta forces were deployed on the ground at WACO in violation of the Posse Comitatus.
          And at this time, all the Law Enforcement officers that are loyal to their oaths to support the Constitution are now an openly stated entity to be "watched" according to Homeland Security memos along with ex-military who also served this country.
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: Until you have been in Law enforcement and have to work within the parameters we have to I advise you to get off your high horse.

        All that time given to allow Koresh or Howell or whatever he called himself to come and have a meaningful dialogue and sort out what the problem were.
        But he shot at the officers who were trying to serve a search warrant.
        As for the sniper I didn't know about him but if you are recruiting from the military you will get those who slip through the cracks even the military have wack jobs.

        There's an old saying in the Commonwealth Special Forces "Society can't use psychopaths but we can" problem is they have to go somewhere after.

        In my years in Law Enforcement I have watched the rights of the victim dwindle to the point that the Criminal has more rights and better looked after and supported than the victim.

        I have worked my butt off collecting evidence to make sure a perpetrator will be put away, but with overcrowding and more lenient sentencing these pricks are allowed back on the street to reoffend and usually do so or spend a minimum amount of time behind bars to be paroled far too early.

        Saying we don't learn and that we lie is massive insult to those of us who try to do the right thing and uphold values we believe in and to help the community.

        So slag us off all you want because you know what, when that crim or wack job breaks into your house or threatens your kids at their school. Who you gonna call cause it sure in hell won't be Ghost Busters,

        it will be 911 .
        • Jan 10 2013: "Who you gonna call cause it sure in hell won't be Ghost Busters, it will be 911 ."

          ... as if we have a choice in which security agency gets funded from our taxes.

          "Saying we don't learn and that we lie is massive insult to those of us who try to do the right thing"
          Yeah... you're so sensitive when the finger is pointed at you! Would you like me to show you evidence of cops getting away with excessive force? Their victims, usually the ones you call "perpetrator", don't live to talk about it.

          You readily take offense on behalf of the entire police force, all over the world. Do you apologize on behalf of the entire police force, just as readily? http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865569894/Drug-search-shattered-tender-moment-with-deceased-wife-Vernal-man-says.html

          If not, I advise you to get off your high horse.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: I have personally disassembled 3 entirely rotten police departments. Rotten to the core, from having the Justice Department seize drug evidence that was kept, prepared in a desk to "drop" on their victims, to presenting lying witness accounts that could have put a completely innocent man behind bars for the rest of his life, camera footage of a police cars picking up meth for sale, shaking down kids that they knew had good weed, filming a cop jumping up and down repeatedly on a man's back with his knees saying "get on the ground". I was also present at some of the indictments and convictions.

          And you know who my main support was? good cops who were hemmed in by these scumbags. Some of the people I respect most are good cops. The same type that are now on HOMELAND SECURITY's list of people who should be watched.

          You can decide who you are, but if you want to defend the lying ATF & FBI agents involved in RUBY RIDGE and WACO, you have defined yourself for me
          Maybe you believe the old "thin blue line" myth, that if you were not there, we would all start beating each other over the head.
          Here is the real statistics:
          Most crimes go
          1 UNDETECTED
          2 UNREPORTED
          3 UNSOLVED

          I appreciate what law enforcement does. But the belief that you are "keeping us in tow" or that you are our moral teachers... that dog won't hunt. You certainly have a place in our current social structure, but don't imagine it is more than it really is.
    • thumb
      Jan 9 2013: Rachel Sylvia, 12, American
      Hollywood Sylvia, 1, American
      Michelle Jones Thibodeau, 18, American
      Serenity Jones, 4, American
      Chica Jones, 2, American
      Little One Jones, 2, American
      Neal Vaega, 38, New Zealander
      Margarida Vaega, 47, New Zealander
      Mark H. Wendell, 40, American

      When the perpetrators of these murders went unprosecuted, this became the reality of where the bar is set in atrocities that will be tolerated by the people of the United States. This became the standard of what the the American Federal government can get away with.

      What is being proposed is that the people at the bottom of the power heirarchy are disarmed..unilaterally. Nobody is proposing a disarmament across the board. In fact, local law enforcement is beefing up it's arsenals and training for urban warfare.

      Only a complete fool would take that deal.
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: http://usgovinfo.about.com/blwacoguns.htm

        Looks like someone else was beefing up their arsenals and training for urban warfare as well
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: You can read into the rather pathetic arsenal at WACO, whatever is expedient to you. What you can not demonstrate is Koresh's guilt in the things you stated he was..either guilty of assault or manufacturer of drugs. You just threw it in, like you all do, to up the ante and justify the massacre at the hands of Federal Agents, many innocent children.

          By the way, the Federal agencies involved in the massacre at WACO are not considered a trustworthy authority on anything that transpired either before or after. You may not be aware that in the Senate hearings, it was determined that the film from 7 LE cameras all disappeared, the film of the original assault on the front door of the compound. Since the right or wrong of any of the actions depend upon the LEGALITY of the initial assault, and since the assaulting party "disappeared" the camera footage of the action, those agencies are generally considered lacking any credibility regarding the same.

          What I mean is that nobody wants to hear any more of their lying mouths, they got away with it. That should be enough.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: Oh, I see, this is a list of weapons, not an account of these weapons being used in a massacre.
          I think that is the main difference. Not that someone had some weapons, but that a FEDERAL AGENCY used ordinance against innocent people because they had no respect for either life or due process.
    • Jan 9 2013: Kate,
      You seem to have a distorted view of the 2nd amendment in regards to what it represents.

      you stated: " there is definitely value in at least consideting whether the Constitution and the Second Amendment are up to task of ensuring the safety and well-being of all Americans"

      The Second Amendment does not ensure safety and well-being as that was not its intent… The Second Amendment GUARANTEES the inalienable, human right of self defense. It could be a bad guy with a gun, it could even be a tyrannical government with lots of guns; Regardless, as a human being, you have the right to defend your existence from those who wish to do you physical harm. No guarantees of safety and well-being stated or implied.
      • Jan 10 2013: Hi John
        Sorry you don't agree with my view, but that is your right as a human being. In any case, I don't accept yout patronizing tone. The Constitution and its various Amendments have both explicit and implicit meaning. You are interpreting explicit; I am interpreting implicit. And, to your "coreective" point, no written document can guarantee anything, particularly not anyone's "right" to defend themselves. If that were even remotely possible, there would be no murder in the U.S. And there would have been no 9/11.
        • thumb
          Jan 10 2013: Kate, when you interpret something that says a "right shall not be infringed " as "you can infringe upon this right" it is actually called "anathema" or "180 degrees away" or "a complete contradiction"...
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2013: The SECOND AMENDMENT is a right reserved to the electorate, the people, to an armed revolt. Make no mistake about it.

        You can not penetrate the psyche of those who take the flyspeck in history that American freedom occupies against the backdrop of enslavement that human history demonstrates. They seem to be intent on proving that those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.