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Morgan Barnes

Law Enforcement Officer, government agency

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Has the time come for the U.S Second Amendment to be repealed or amended?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Should it be repealed on the grounds that when originally written it was for a smaller population to defend the "State" and meant for Muskets and flintlocks not semi automatics and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

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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).

        http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state
        http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/09/guns-traffic-deaths-rates/1784595/
        http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/tables/weaponstab.cfm
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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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