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Gun Control: Where are Optometrists on National Issues?

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by Mike Cohen, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. #1 Apr 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2007
    Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    The Right to Guns vs Gun Control: An important article from the SLC newspaper:

    "Memo to gun-rights crowd: Read the Second Amendment

    Don Vance

    Article Last Updated: 04/14/2007 01:37:03 PM MDT

    I am tired of celebrities (pick one), a national correspondent on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" (March 18), Tom Wharton (Salt Lake Tribune, March 22), and legions of private citizens trampling on the Constitution of my country in defense of their "right" to own a gun.
    The problem is . . . they're wrong. It's a myth, folklore. The Second Amendment allows states to have their own armies (militias), U.S. military forces notwithstanding. It confers no rights to an individual. Please consider the following arguments:

    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. No law may be passed which overturns, supersedes or otherwise contradicts the Constitution, except by the manner as described within the Constitution.

    States have passed laws forbidding some people from owning a gun. How can this be possible if the Constitution, the "supreme law of the land," guarantees you the right to own one?

    The Second Amendment is exactly one sentence long. In its entirety it says, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    In those days "the people" was taken, in proper context, to mean a polity. It doesn't say, and it doesn't mean, a person.
    I am unaware of a single decision ever handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court that even addresses the Second amendment. Why? Is it possible that it is not a constitutional question? That your right may be derived from some place other than the Second Amendment?
    Why would Utah deem it necessary to specifically endorse it in its Constitution, if it was already guaranteed by the supreme law of the land?
    It would help if you knew something about the Ninth and 10th Amendments. I encourage you to read them, but they basically say that you can do whatever you are not prohibited from doing.

    Yes. You have the right to own a gun. But you didn't get it from the Second Amendment. That's hogwash. You got it because nobody has said you can't. You have the right to own a bathtub, but that's only because no one has said you can't. You have the right to own property, because no law has been passed saying you can't.

    Your desire to own a gun does not make you a militia, regulated or otherwise. Neither does belonging to a gun club, or even (dare I say it?), being a member of the National Rifle Association. Only being a member of the National Guard (i.e., the state militia) allows you that status. And that's the only thing the Second Amendment speaks to. Go on, read it yourself. It's only one sentence.

    Quit feeding me nonsense wrapped in the American flag. It annoys me, and it puts your ignorance on public display. Quit believing what you've heard someone else say, and read the document.

    There are plenty of copies of the Constitution available in any public library."
     
  2. Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    What Con Law class did you take?

    Stephen - Spoken like a true Texan. However, every Con Law course in the country teaches that, "The People," means the populous and not the individual.

    Close...but no banana.
     
  3. Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    We the People

    The document starts off with "We the People....," not "Me the Person."
     
  4. Tom Stickel

    Tom Stickel ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Stephen,

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    The only time "the people" are mentioned is speaking of them in aggregrate as assembling. Mike seems right on that one.

    But I do want to hear Mike respond to why the fourth amendment uses the phrase "the people" also, instead of something more general like the first amendment did.

    Mike, you're not trolling here, are you? You say you want to hear from people but post something you know will stir up trouble.

    Not saying where I stand, but the horrible incident at Virginia Tech casts an interesting light on this debate, both pro- and anti-gun control
     
  5. #5 Apr 17, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
    Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    4th Amendment

    Tom - you wrote: "But I do want to hear Mike respond to why the fourth amendment uses the phrase "the people" also, instead of something more general like the first amendment did."

    As required content for my master's studies in Forensic Science, understanding the Fourth Amendment was critical for purposes of evidence collecting and chain of custody. The 4th addresses search and seizure. The specific language used, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons." addresses both the whole (the people) and the individual (in their persons). The intent was to maintain the people's rights and too also insure that the rights granted to the populous were not changed or diminished for the individual.

    You also asked: "Mike, you're not trolling here, are you? You say you want to hear from people but post something you know will stir up trouble."

    Yes, Tom, I am if trolling means causing people to think and react, then that is exactly what I am doing. But, my intent is not to stir up trouble - my intent is to stir up thoughtful discourse. I would hope that you and our colleagues would not judge that introspection and thinking are synonymous with trouble.

    Mike
     
  6. Tom Stickel

    Tom Stickel ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Stephen,

    Other way around. From what Mike says, the group rights are denoted by the phrase "the people". So it makes sense that the right to assemble and petition the government use the phrase "the people" since assembling and signing petitions take more than one person.

    If you read the first amendment closely, the first three rights don't say anything about "the people". It just says Congress can't touch those rights with respect to anyone, so they are individual rights. Since the first amendment includes group rights, the phrase "the people" does pop up when those group rights are listed.

    Mike,

    Reading more closely, I see your point on the 4th amendment.

    What do you think (if any) the practical impact of that editorial is? If you look at other rights like the "right to privacy", there seem to some rights that aren't delineated in the Constitution but have become somewhat embedded, if not enshrined, in our laws. I would say private gun ownership, like the "right to privacy", is one of those.
     
  7. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Thanks for posting this important discussion...

    It's time to have this national debate again. It becomes front page material when there is wholesale slaughter using a firearm. It then somehow placed on the back burner thanks to spineless politicians.

    A word of caution. This topic is on a public forum. Your comments will be picked up by search engines. If you wish your opinions to remain private, choose your words very carefully.

    An important topic such as this, you should stand up and be counted. The National Rifle Association has it's headquartersa in Virginia. I'm certain they will be coming out with statements shortly.
     
  8. Tom Stickel

    Tom Stickel ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Mike,

    Even a cursory reading of this Wikipedia article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    shows that since the writing of the Constitution there has been a heated debate about gun ownership in America. The editorial above is one side of the debate. I recommend the above article for what appears to me to be a pretty balanced perspective on the issue.
     
  9. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    Time to ask our Canadian neighbors

    Canada has very strict gun control. How is the organized crime market selling illegal firearms doing?:rolleyes:
     
  10. Michael I. Davis

    Michael I. Davis ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Gun control/ personal rights, etc.

    You can't legislate against crazy.
     
  11. Tom Stickel

    Tom Stickel ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    I was thinking the same thing about following the dollars...

    So Stephen, is that a free .22 with complete purchase of eyewear? Buy two pair, get a year of ammo?:p

    I'm not sure anyone is interested in outlawing firearms. One question I have is whether you should be able to demonstrate some competence in firearms in order to own one. I'm thinking along the lines of a state-granted 'driver's' license for a gun. We all recognize that a car can be a 2000 lb. weapon and cars kill a lot of people when used improperly. Why not a gun license? Why not at least a vision test a la the driver's license vision test?

    Also, talking about our fractured state-by-state problems, it might be helpful to have a de facto national standard for what it takes to get a gun (standardized waiting periods, rules on felons buying, etc.).

    It's been ruled consistently that state, and sometimes local, governments can regulate who gets a gun and what kind of gun (so sorry, Stephen, you can't put that fully functional howitzer in the back yard).

    Comments?
     
  12. Mike Cohen

    Mike Cohen Well-Known Member

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    AK-47s in Provo

     
  13. Jeff Guthrie

    Jeff Guthrie Well-Known Member

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    Naturally, with handguns so easily and readily available within a few hours of every major Canadian city, and the impossibility of searching every person crossing the border, the sale of illegal weapons is a huge business for organized crime in Canada. Invaribly, almost all criminal acts involving handguns are traced to weapons smuggled from the USA.
     
  14. Brad Kardatzke

    Brad Kardatzke ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    The scariest thing I that heard today was an interview with a FBI agent concerning the VT incident. Remember, that this statement comes from an individual that is sworn to up hold the US Constitution.

    He stated, "if we could change the law and the Constitution, giving the FBI more power, we could catch these things before they happen."
     
  15. Paul Farkas

    Paul Farkas Administrator

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    You want even scarier?

    In a debate yesterday on CNN, a gun lobby spokesperson advocated all college students be allowed to carry concealed weapons to class.

    We could re name the New Optometry College "Wild Western University".:eek:
     
  16. Ken Elder

    Ken Elder ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Not true. Many people in Canada have guns, though most people don't feel the need to carry their guns around in most parts of Canada. Just standard background checks etc. etc. just as is here. Technically you're not supposed to carry them concealed but people do anyways.

    I do think however that there is much less of a "gun culture" in Canada than here. Walk into Barnes and Noble and look at the magazine rack. The section on "guns and ammo" is HUGE and is FILLED with not just guns for personal protection, but what essentially amounts to heavy artilery.

    For some reason, the so called "gun nuts" (no offense meant, but you know who they are) aren't really looking for the right to bear arms for personal protection, or for hunting. They want to carry heavy artilery. Like its really sporting to shoot a dear with a high powered scope and laser equiped elephant gun. :rolleyes:
     
  17. Brad Kardatzke

    Brad Kardatzke ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Forgive my selfishness, but it seems that when something goes bad, there are too many people in powerful positions that quickly stand up and say, "let me protect you, and oh, by the way, you have to give up some rights for me to do my job." At some point, there won't be any rights to give up because they will all be gone. We will then be the "Land of the Protected" and not the "Land of the Free."

    I believe it was Ben Franklin said, "individuals that sacrifice freedom for safety, deserve neither one."
     
  18. Ken Elder

    Ken Elder ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    NOt only that, but I think the biggest problem is that we act too hastily. Peoples sensibilities get outraged at the horror of something like VT, 9/11, Katrina, Columbine etc. etc. and the (understandable) gut reaction is to "just do something quickly." Rarely does this ever work out well. Laws need to be carefully considered and thought out and not generated in a quick emotional response because even the best planned law has uninteneded consequences and an ill conceived one will have a whole lot of them.

    One of my favorites was that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, they banned virtually everything on airplanes. They were confiscating baby spoons and forks for God's sake. But of course, as the trash bins at the metal detectors in the airport filled up with hundreds of non-lethal items, once you passed through security you could dine at any one of a number of restaurants in the airport that served REAL cutlery which could then be easily smuggled onto a plane.

    That's a funny example and we can roll our eyes at the absurdity of it now but it just goes to show that as outraged as we are, this is not the time to make snap decisions about anything.
     
  19. Tory Moore

    Tory Moore Member

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    Would there had been a Holocaust if Hitler had not outlawed guns in the 1930's?

    Where were the police to protect store owners and individuals in the LA riots?

    There will always be a dictator or group of people that want to control you or worse yet kill you. History has proven that. It also has proven that governments who start with some gun control lead to total confiscation, ie Pre-WWII Germany and more recently Britain, Canada, Australia, Washington DC. And yet their crime rates steadily rise.

    The 2nd amendment is the first Amendment. If you lose the 2nd, there is no way to keep the 1st, 4th, etc..
     
  20. Tom Stickel

    Tom Stickel ODwire.org Supporting Member

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    Tory,

    Welcome to the debate.

    I do have to say that yours is the kind of post that doesn't add much substantive to the debate. I think you'd have a hard time finding anyone on this board who wants to repeal the second amendment. OTOH, you'd have a hard time finding anyone on this board who thinks that the right to bear arms includes privately owned Specter gunships. I'm not saying your post is pointless, it just doesn't add anything substantive. Of course, I make some dumb posts sometimes because I've always been too lazy to find the "subscribe to thread" button.:confused:

    The debate is what kind of arms people can bear, and which people can bear them, and how long people have to wait before they can bear them.