“My Parents Open Carry”: A New Teaching Tool in the Gun Control Debate

“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.”

–Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States

HandgunAre handguns unsafe?

Proponents of gun control would want you to believe they are.  The way to increase safety in urban areas, they say, is to reduce the number of guns.

Libertarians take exception to that claim–insisting, instead, that an armed citizenry is the best defense against crime.  If you make guns illegal, they say, the only people who will have guns will be the criminals.

The libertarians cite research which substantiates their claim, for example:

  • A Wall Street Journal state-by-state analysis of crime statistics in 2012 showed that armed citizens had shot an assailant 326 times in 2010, and many others had chased away a would-be assailant by brandishing a weapon.
  • And a 1995 study by Northwestern University School of Law researchers Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz revealed that there are between 2.1 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses each year.

According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 43 percent of Americans have a gun in their home.  Most states have in place licensing requirements, which likely include mandatory education on handgun safety and handgun use.

My Parents Open CarryThis week, a new children’s book has taken the lead in promoting safe, responsible gun use and open carry legislation.

My Parents Open Carry, written by Brian Jeffs and Nathan Nephew and illustrated by Lorna Bergman, surged onto the best-seller list after television hosts Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert made fun of the book on their shows.

Written and illustrated in a style intended for children, My Parents Open Carry tells the story of a typical Saturday for 13-year-old Brenna Strong, who runs errands with her parents while they carry handguns in plain sight, or “open carry.”

The authors are Brian Jeffs, a senior geologist with the state of Michigan, and Nathan Nephew, a software developer.  The two are co-founders of Michigan Open Carry, Inc., a non-profit organization that promotes the open carry of a handgun and works to protect all firearm rights.

Jeffs and Nephew explain that their goal is to provide a wholesome children’s book that reflects the views of the majority of the American people; i.e., that self-defense is a basic natural right and that firearms provide the most efficient means for that defense.

 *     *     *     *     *

Now here’s where I want to hear from my readers:  

Do you support tighter restrictions on gun ownership?  If yes, would you prohibit ownership of handguns by private citizens?

Or if you are an advocate for permitting citizens to possess legal firearms, what limits would you impose?

Please explain and defend your position in the comments below.

 

 

  • Simon D

    I favor exposing kids to guns and teaching them about firearms safety from 1st grade on up, but there’s something terribly creepy about propaganda aimed at kids, and this trips my “propaganda” alarm.

    That said: So the question posed is: “Do you support tighter restrictions on gun
    ownership? If yes, would you prohibit ownership of handguns by private citizens? [If no,] …. what limits would you impose?” It seems to me that any gun policy has to take account of reality; you wouldn’t think that it would be necessary to say so, but neither side of this debate operates on anything close to reality.

    The reality is this: The Second Amendment exists and has profound implications for the situation of guns in America and what we can do about them that make the experience of foreign countries entirely inapposite. It also means that guns are and will continue to be pervasive, and we can’t do anything about that, so the question is how we respond. At the same time, however, the Second Amendment does not forbid all regulations on guns. It doesn’t, for example, prohibit background checks. It may or may not forbid bans on specific kinds of weapons or ownership by specific categories of persons.

    Thus, the question becomes: What regulations would be wise that are consist
    with the second amendment? And the problem is that America isn’t ready to have an adult conversation about that. I am of the view that the next step must be to reenact the Clinton-era AWB, which is probably (but not certainly) constitutional, and small-bore stuff like closing the so-called “gun-show loophole.” And that is not because those things will work, but because every time there is a gun-related tragedy, our brethren on the left INSIST that if we would ONLY do these things, this stuff would stop. So we should cut them a deal: We will reenact the AWB for five years, but if it doesn’t work, it won’t be renewed, and the discussion will move on, once and for all.

    See generally http://simondodd.org/blog/?p=1006.

    • Simon D

      Just because I’m in a preemptive kind of mood: A couple of examples where measures that could be called “gun control” would not infringe the Second Amendment would be background checks and registration requirements. To take a first amendment analogy, the government may not abridge the right to a press by throttling ink,the instrumentality without which the press is useless (so holds Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue), but that doesn’t mean that they can’t require registration of the presses. The amendments prohibit suppression of the right, not the taking of steps that might be helpful should the government later decide to violate the right.

      Another thing: In the seminal case Heller v. District of Columbia, written by Justice Scalia, whom no one would describe as a liberal gun-grabber, the court was careful to say that “nothing in [this] opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms,” all of which could be described as “gun control” measures.

      More abstractly, just as the First Amendment’s protection of “the right”—note the definite article—”to free speech” presupposes an understood content to that right, one that never included obscenity which is therefore not protected by the First Amendment, so also the Second Amendment’s protection is cabined by both the original understanding of “the right”—note the definite article—”to keep and bear arms” and by the language of the amendment. Thus, for example, there is room to debate whether it protects access to a weapon that cannot be “borne”: Does the literal language of the text “and bear” prevail, or do you treat the text “keep and bear arms” as a unit reference to that preexisting right? Those are up for debate. I have my own opinion, and so does everyone else, but it’s a debatable point. Does the amendment protect weapons that are qualitatively-different from those that the framers anticipated? Again, I have my own opinion, and so does everyone else, but it’s a debatable point.

      So there are several measures that fall under the broad rubric of “gun control” that might be constitutionally-valid. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good ideas, doesn’t necessarily mean that we can do them, but they are permissible responses.

      • John Barba

        Keep in mind that the framers weapons of the time were state of the art. Assault weapons – used to protect themselves against an equally armed ……… I do agree in this modern time that there should be some common sense applied. Such as personal weapons not being able to take out a town.

  • oregon nurse

    I want to see all guns registered and private, unregistered sales/swaps banned. Much the same way we treat motor vehicles. Licenses and background checks for all owners, again just like a car to show mandatory knowledge and safe handling. Gun licenses can be used by law enforcement just like driver’s licenses with criminal history tied to them and the ability to confiscate them if arrested. Perhaps insured as well, but absolutely insured if one carries. Once a gun is registered in your name, you bear all the responsibility for it unless you report it stolen or it’s scrapped (also like a car). Gun crimes or injuries due to an unsecured gun are punished much more harshly than they are now. We have a lot of work to do regarding mental health criteria and reporting.

    We will never get guns out of the hands of criminals or register all guns but we have to start somewhere. And like the herd immunity from vaccines, these measures will increase the safety of the population, force owners to be more responsible, and decrease the number of guns per owner. All of which will make it harder for criminals to get guns.

    I think owning a gun, especially a handgun, increases the chance you or a loved one will be a victim of gun violence far more than it increases your protection. But you can quote statistics showing that and never convince someone who will ignore 100 in-home gun deaths to focus on one time a homeowner stopped a burglar. It’s a kind of paranoid, tunnel-vision some people get that is totally irrational and likely incurable.

    • BTP

      2 million defensive uses of a firearm each year – and you think you have the data on your side?

      • oregon nurse

        Yes, I do. “Defensive uses” is poorly defined and often just self report. Deaths and injuries from guns are objective and trackable. If you have a gun in the home, the persons in the home, including visitors, are far more likely to die or be injured by a gun than those who don’t have one.

        • BTP

          Northwestern Law School being the sort of place where idealogical hacks go to chum the right-wing waters.

          Well, any rational examination would require a realistic understanding of both costs and benefits, I think. So until there are some numbers on benefits you would believe, I’m not sure you should make any conclusions.

          • oregon nurse

            Since I mentioned no studies or sources, one has to assume you bring a bias to the discussion rather than a reliance on data. Additionally, dueling studies rarely answer questions because methodologies are too variable. One has to look at the totality of all similar data and attempt a meta-analysis. Living life with open eyes and an open mind helps too.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I completely support the second ammendment and gun ownership. There should only be restrictions based on mental issues and criminal record. I don’t know the specifics of the laws, but they seem about right in most of the country. Big cities seem to have this theory of doing away with guns makes things safer, and yet they have the most gun crime. They’re just making it harder for law abiding citizens to get one while the criminals don’t seem to have a problem. I can’t say I’m comfortable about open carry, not because it’s dangerous. If anything it’s safer. But I don’t like the visual of a gun in every context of life.

  • ahermit

    More guns = more death.

    http://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/AmericaUnderTheGun-4.pdf

    Any study into the causes of gun violence is necessarily
    complicated, however, as there are innumerable factors that contribute
    to the nature and prevalence of gun-related violence in any community.

    Despite this complex web of factors that influence the rate of gun
    violence, this report finds a clear link between high levels of gun
    violence and weak state gun laws. Across the key indicators of gun
    violence that we analyzed, the 10 states with the weakest gun laws
    collectively have an aggregate level of gun violence that is more than
    twice as high—104 percent higher, in fact—than the 10 states with the
    strongest gun laws.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      Center for American Progress? Ha. That’s a left wing journal. Pick an objective source like the Northwestern Study and you’ll find that where guns are legally allowed there is less gun violence. That bias journal picked states. Look at cities with the toughest gun laws, cities that practically ban legal guns, and you’ll find the highest gun violence. That jounal you quoted isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

      • ahermit

        Show me where the numbers are wrong instead of attacking the messenger.

        here are some more:numbers, from that notorious left wing socialist news outlet, FOX News…

        http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/09/20/more-guns-equal-more-deaths-study-finds/

        Places with higher gun ownership rates also have higher firearms-related deaths, a new study finds.

        In the study, published Sept. 20 in the American Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed gun ownership rates, crime rates and deaths from firearms across 27 developed countries around the world.

        “The U.S. has the highest gun ownership rates and also has the highest rate of firearm-related deaths,” said study co-author Dr. Sripal Bangalore, a cardiologist at the New York University School of Medicine

        Boston University:

        http://www.bu.edu/news/2013/09/13/new-research-shows-link-between-rates-of-gun-ownership-and-homicides/

        The
        study, covering 30 years (1981-2010) in all 50 states, found a “robust correlation” between estimated levels of gun ownership and actual gun homicides at the state level, even when controlling for factors typically associated with homicides. For each 1 percentage point increase in the prevalence of gun ownership, the state firearm homicide rate increases by 0.9 percent, the authors found.

        and the AMA:

        http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1661390

        A higher number of firearm laws in a state are
        associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually.

        All the best evidence would appear to confirm the frankly common sense idea that more guns = more death.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          You said the weakest laws has the highest gun violence, trying to imply that having guns increases crime. Sure, the highest gun related deaths are where guns exist, (as the highest sword deaths is where people have swords, i.e. a corrolation by existence) through accidents and suicides. But it is clear that guns reduce crime. Period. Here from the most objective place I could find:

          Although there are nearly 30,000 gun deaths per year in America, more than 60% of those are suicides

          The firearm murder rate has dropped by 40% in the past 15 years (murder, 45 percent; rape, 31 percent; robbery, 47 percent; and aggravated assault, 37

          States with Right-to-Carry laws have lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country: total violent crime by 31 percent, murder, 39 percent; robbery, 55 percent; and aggravated assault, 19 percent.

          More than 80,000 Americans a year used guns in an effort to protect themselves or their property against crime

          More than 2 million crimes prevented each year by the presence of privately-owned firearms.

          In 2008, our nation had it’s lowest violent crime rate since 1973 and its lowest murder rate since 1965
          http://gun.laws.com/gun-statistics

          • ahermit

            Sucides are still dead, aren’t they? More guns = more death. The numbers don’t lie.

            And that 2 million crimes prevented number?It’s based on self-reporting anecdotal evidence from anyone who felt threatened and waved a gun around, regardless of whether there was a real threat or not…

            https://stat.duke.edu/~dalene/chance/chanceweb/103.myth0.pdf

            Crime rates are dropping generelly becasue the populationis aging, not because of gun ownership (which is actually declining also…) But th eplaces with the most guns and the weakest gun laws still have the most gun murders, suicides and accidental shootings.

          • AnneG

            A hermit, the death rate is 100% regardless. Remember, lies, damn lies and statistics.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            I didn’t see Robin Williams use a gun to commit
            suicide. Do you realize in your medicine
            cabinet is enough lethality to commit suicides many times over? What are you going to do ban Tylenol? Sleeping pills? Give me a break. If a person didn’t use a gun to commit
            suicide they would do some other way.

            That article proves nothing.
            It hypothesizes. My link clearly
            shows guns reduce crime, and not because of aging population. Check out the crime statistics in Chicago
            where some of the toughest gun laws exist.
            Chicago should liberalize their gun laws now!

          • ahermit

            Suicide attempts with guns are more often fatal; people often survive overdoses. A bullet in the brain…not so much. Where gun ownership is high death by suicide is higher.

            http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/guns-and-suicide/

            HSPH Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management Matthew Miller, Research Associate Deborah Azrael, and colleagues at the School’s Injury Control Research Center (ICRC),found that in states where guns were prevalent—as in Wyoming, where 63
            percent of households reported owning guns—rates of suicide were higher.The inverse was also true: where gun ownership was less common, suicide
            rates were also lower.

            The lesson? Many lives would likely be saved if people disposed of their firearms, kept them locked away, or stored them outside the home. Says HSPH Professor of Health Policy David Hemenway, the ICRC’s director: “Studies show that most attempters act on impulse,
            in moments of panic or despair. Once the acute feelings ease, 90 percent do not go on to die by suicide.”

            Pretty hard to change your mind after pulling that trigger…

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            People will find ways to commit suicide. If they fail they’ll try again. And that doesn’t offset the reduction in crime. Basic self defense is a human right. We’re just going back and forth. Crime statistics are down where gun control is weak, and you can’t get out of that statistic. This is my last reply on the issue.

          • ahermit

            Crime rates are down everywhere for reasons that have nothing to do with people owning guns.

            And suicides are much higher where gun ownership is high. So are accidental shootings and homicides. Those are the statistics you can’t run away from.

          • oregon nurse

            Guns are immediate, highly lethal, and I believe people perceive the death from a gunshot to be less ‘painful’ due to the immediacy and lethality. Contrast that with just about every other form of suicide and you can see why guns, if available are favored. If many suicides are impulsive, the gun also plays into that. Contrast walking to a closet, and pulling a trigger with finding a bridge to jump off of, hanging/suffocating yourself, stabbing yourself, collecting and taking poison/drugs, gassing yourself, finding a river to drown yourself in, etc. All those things take planning and time and any planning means time to change your mind or have another person intervene. That’s why the simple presence of a gun in the home increases the likelihood of a completed suicide.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            So what? That doesn’t offset the reduction in crime and a person’s right to self defense. Unless you can promise me a policeman outside my door every night, I expect to have the ability to protect my family.

          • oregon nurse

            So what? Guns create more problems than they solve, that’s what. Guns are a vehicle for the taking of life more often than they are for the preservation of life. You can do whatever you want inside your home, even bury your head in the sand of it makes you feel safer. People can and will legitimately disagree with your conclusions about safety both inside and outside the home and the impact it has on society. We even have cold, hard facts to back us up.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            No you’re wrong. You didn’t look at the link with the statistics I posted above. Here:

            http://gun.laws.com/gun-statistics

            Do you honestly believe that Chicago with all its illegal guns and crime is safer because of its gun restriction laws? Pulease. I’d rather live down south where guns are in eveyone’s home and little crime. The cold hard facts back me up.

    • John Barba

      Using statistics to argue against the constitution? don’t think so

      • ahermit

        The constitution once allowed for slavery too (and the militias mentioned in the second amendment were there at least in part to keep the slaves in their place… http://www.carltbogus.com/edmund-a-blog/72-the-hidden-history-of-the-second-amendment-redux ). So yeah I think teh prospect of saving thousands of lives every year warrants a little constitutional review. or at least a stricter application of the words “well regulated…”

        • John Barba

          oh the race card, nice. Maybe you should call CNBC

          • ahermit

            Actually that’s called “history.” You should study some…

          • John Barba

            LOL History shows Government run amok, subjugates not serves the people. Here ya go,
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2724528/A-city-ripped-apart-Heavily-armed-SWAT-teams-fire-tear-gas-demonstrators-arrest-two-journalists-FOURTH-night-clashes-shooting-unarmed-18-year-old-Michael-Brown.html
            two fold question – is this violence? and how is the Government behaving?

          • ahermit

            Deplorable behaviour; just what you get from the right wing “law and order” mentality helped along with the leftover hardware from the Iraq war… http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/13/ferguson-police-michael-brown-militarization-column/14006383/

            This actually supports my point of view. More guns = more violence.

            And I’m curious now… what would your reaction be if the people in that community started shooting police officers?

          • John Barba

            It may come to that, but I don’t agree with the right wing comment – unless you think the current admin is right wing – what ever that really means. Utopian societies are usually sought after by utilitarian regimes and personal liberties are usually the price paid. Who is in power? Not you and not me, we live in a police state. Who controls that state? More guns, more ammunition not held by the militia but by the powers that be. Why do the police need military equipment? Why do the powers that be feel it necessary?

          • ahermit

            Oh please, this didn’t start with the current administration (which is actually pretty conservative, truth be told. I remember Reagan, when taxes were higher and gun laws were stricter….)

            But you’re avoiding my question; how would you feel if the people in Ferguson started shooting back?

            How do you feel about these guys: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/23/authorities-in-las-vegas-arrest-2-in-sovereign-citizen-plot-to-kidnap-torture/

            Are they dangerous criminals or brave resistors? I don’t want the cops being militarized, but I sure as hell don;t trust a pack of terrorists to do a better job,

            You see, the problem isn’t that the cops have too many guns or that the public have too many guns, It’s that everyone has too many guns. Everyone is a threat and every threat must be met with superior force…which is a threat which must be met….

            It’s a vicious circle, and the only way to end it is to de-escalate. To put away the guns and beat the swords on to plowshares.

            Remember that the greatest civil rights victories have been won by civil disobedience and peaceful, non-violent resistance. Martin Luther King defeated a tyrannical regime without firing a shot. If he and his followers had taken up arms there would have been a slaughter and they would have lost.

          • Jim Belino

            Yeah. Ummm. About
            that civil unrest. So maybe had the Jews
            simply protested their eradication during WWII maybe they’d still be alive today? Is that what you’re trying to
            say? Maybe we should just sit back and wait for the Islamic State (IS) to come to America and protest them peacefully like the Kurds wish they could have done
            in Iraq. That ought to work. Didn’t Malcom Little find out the hard way of what being a Muslim is really about. Even a make believe one? I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near you when any type of civil disobedience broke out. You would make easy prey. But yet I have to believe that even you wouldn’t post one of those ‘Gun Free Zone’ signs on the windows of your home if you lived in a predominately black neighborhood or a white neighborhood for that matter. That would be like leaving your front door wide open and inviting the brothers inside? Wouldn’t it now? Just saying. We’re all brothers…aren’t we? You seem to be intelligent enough however you also have the usual case of Tunnel-Vision-Eye-tiss. So many of the inexperienced are like that, you know in the true nature of the
            world. Your’re stuck in your self made box and only have one little hole to look out and what do you see but a poster of a Unicorn. Well, go right on ahead and hop on your little pink Unicorn and try riding around Detroit, try Gratiot Ave./ Rosemary or Mack Ave. / Helen St. or W. Chicago Livernois Ave. You be sure and carry that ‘gun-free’ sign with you so everybody knows you is a peacefully protesting citizen who wants the violence amongst the unruly of wanna-be-gangsta’s to end. Oh, and bring a handful of daisies with you to stick in the barrels of your muggers guns. Instead of bringing their guns, your perfect vision of a police force will bring their donut slingers to ward off the bad guys. Remember, behind every peaceful non-violent resistance march was a bunch of cops armed to the teeth keeping the predators
            at bay. Peace out.

          • ahermit

            America is not Nazi Germany or Iraq.

            More guns aren’t the answer. The problem in places like Iraq and Afghanistan isn’t that there aren’t enough weapons there…it’s that there are too many.

            More guns = more dead people. It’s simple.

            Oh, and the ISIS guys in Iraq? They see themselves as brave patriots resisting the evil government forces. They are what happens when you let everyone have guns.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I just came across a joke on this very subject. Instantly thought of this post and wanted to share.

    You may have heard on the news about a Southern California man who was put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and allegedly had 100,000 rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also featured a secret escape tunnel.
    By Southern California standards, someone owning 100,000 rounds is
    Considered “mentally unstable.”
    In Michigan, he’d be called “The last white guy still living in Detroit.”
    In Arizona, he’d be called “an avid gun collector.”
    In Arkansas, he’d be called “a novice gun collector.”
    In Utah, he’d be called “moderately well prepared,” but they’d probably reserve judgment until they made sure that he had a corresponding quantity of stored food.”
    In Kansas, he’d be “A guy down the road you would want to have for a friend.”
    In Montana, he’d be called “The neighborhood ‘Go-To’ guy.”
    In Alabama, he’d be called “a likely gubernatorial candidate.”
    In Georgia, he’d be called “an eligible bachelor.”
    In North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina he would be called “a deer hunting buddy.”
    And in Texas he’d just be “Bubba, who’s a little short on ammo.”

  • JohnE_o

    Open carry doesn’t make you safer from the bad guys, it makes you a target.

    The person open carrying will be the first person the bad guy shoots. I don’t have any objection to the law abiding citizen who chooses to open carry, but I do question his tactics.

    • http://www.stanwilliams.com DrStanWilliams

      JohnE_o: What you say is an opinion, not evidence. But let me ask you this. If a bad guy wants to pick on someone, who’s he going to go after, someone unarmed and vulnerable, or someone with a gun strapped to their belt and clearly able to defend themselves with lethal force? Your opinion doesn’t pass the “on the face test”. I dare say that when you see a pistol strapped to my waist you’re going to think twice about picking a fight with me, or even taking a shot.

      • oregon nurse

        If I see your pistol, I’m likely to get as far away from you as I can. In general, I don’t tend to think good thoughts about non-law enforcement folks who think they need to strap on a gun to be safe in society and want everyone else to see it besides. Since I don’t know you from Adam, your motivations, or whether you are mentally/emotionally unstable, I tend to see you as a trouble magnet or someone who might get me killed if you pull out your gun and try to be a hero or misread a threat.

    • AnneG

      There is a post incident study that, in cases of mass shootings, average number of casualties before arrival of law enforcement in areas of prohibited carry was 12. In cases where open or concealed carry was allowed, the casualty number before police arrive was 2. Kind of encourages carry. Again, this is not opinion, but looking at incidents after they happened.

      • oregon nurse

        And yet, I can only think of one shooting (the one at a Portland, OR mall) where a bystander’s gun may have made a difference. He reported that the sight of his gun made the shooter break off, and go into a bathroom where he killed himself.

        Can you post a link to the study?

        • AnneG

          http://pjmedia.com/blog/both-sides-of-sun-tzu-a-navy-seal-and-teacher-on-school-security/
          They reference the incidents and statistics. There are three reasons for a mass shooting: ideology, a grievance and a deranged individual.
          In Sandy Hook, if the principal, custodian or teacher had had a gun they probably could have cut the massacre short.

          • oregon nurse

            Focusing on schools as “Prohibited carry” zones makes assumptions about school shootings that I don’t think have been proven. Schools have been the site of multiple shootings but there are good reasons to believe it wasn’t due to lack of guns. Shooters were students themselves often with targets at the school and easy access; they provide large numbers of ‘sitting ducks’ in one place, the impact of students as victims is worse than adults as victims, Lanza at Sandy Hook apparently went after kids specifically because of his mother’s ‘attention’ to students and not to him, etc.

            There have been too many mass shootings in areas where guns have not been prohibited for me to give weight to the prohibited vs personal carry argument. In fact, I see it more as an indictment of the opinion that personal carry would stop these mass shootings. Shooters know they have the element of surprise which let’s them get off enough rounds to kill a lot of people before anyone can pull a gun and stop them. The vast majority plan to die so guns don’t really worry them, only getting access to the targets does. Metal detection is far more effective at stopping them than personal guns.

          • oregon nurse

            “In Sandy Hook, if the principal, custodian or teacher had had a gun they probably could have cut the massacre short.”

            Statistically speaking, which scenario do you think is more likely to happen.
            A principal uses a gun to stop a shooter (remember how rare these shootings are)
            The principal’s gun ends up being taken by a student who harms others with it (remember how often guns in the home end up killing/wounding occupants by comparison).

  • BTP

    Self defense is one of those rights, like speech, that pre-dates the state. Thus, the state does not have the right to take it away. No more limits.

    • ahermit

      So anyone should be able to own any weapon?

      You’d let William Krar go free? http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2004/spring/terror-american-style

      • BTP

        So, your view is self-defense does not precede the state? Does William Carr prove your claim?

        • ahermit

          My view is that one of the roles of the state is to defend citizens against criminals and terrorists and stupid people with guns.

          It’s William KRAR by the way, not Carr. Is it your view that his right to self defence entitled him to own hand grenades, rocket launchers and a cyanide bomb? Or might there actually be reasonable limits?

          • BTP

            I see you haven’t answered my question; I suspect you won’t, for obvious reasons.

            In any case, the right to have the state to defend me is simply an implication of the individual right to self defense. If I have no right to self defense , neither do I have the right to appoint the state to defend me.

          • ahermit

            I wasn’t responding to that part of your comment but OK; Yes the right to self defence precedes the state.

            Now it’s your turn; are there really, as you claimed in your first comment, no reasonable limits on the ownership of weapons? Should William Krar be allowed to keep his cyanide bomb?

          • BTP

            This right, then, like other rights and institutions that precede the state, are not necessarily unlimited. However, any limits must only be in service to these rights. Thus, for example, defamation laws must be narrowly defined so as to protect speech and not protect from speech.

            Speech, like self defense, is one of those prior rights that the government routinely will attempt to remove as it pursues its own interests against citizens — witness Wilson’s WWI activities or the Alien and Sedition Acts. For that matter, consider the US terror group known as the Ku Klux Klan, which was aligned with or tolerated by several governments and had aims against many citizens.

            It is quite simple to see what purpose registering weapons would serve in such an environment. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how my safety is improved by requiring me to register my own weapon.

          • ahermit

            The safety of your neighbours is improved by requiring you to register your weapon. I would go so far as to say requiring you to show you actually have a need for a deadly weapon is a reasonable limit.

            We require registration, training and licensing to drive a car, surely the same kinds of requirements are reasonably applied to something which is designed for no other purpose than to kill human beings.

            And you still haven’t directly answered my question; do you think William Krar should be entitled to keep his arsenal? Is the cyanide bomb a legitimate self defence tool? What about the rocket launcher? The hand grenades?

            You are now agreeing that there are reasonable limits; the real question is, where is the reasonable line?

          • BTP

            It isn’t obvious how other people are made safer if the government knows whether I have a weapon. Indeed, as I have pointed out, we have very recent experience in this country where the government itself is part of the threat against the safety of its citizens. Frankly, until that gets addressed, you have my reason for my complete disagreement with registration of weapons.

            As for your point about registration of automobiles; I simply point out that driving is not a right that precedes the state. So these are not comparable. A better example is whether it is proper for the government to require a permit to publish a blog.

            WRT your other example: a cyanide bomb is not a weapon used for defense. That’s a different conversation.

          • ahermit

            It’s not so much knowing who has weapons as knowing that those who have weapons have 1) a real need to have them 2) are responsible citizens 3) have no history of serious mental illness or criminal behaviour 4) have the training and knowledge to safely and responsibly store, transport and use weapons.

            Driving is not a right, but travel is. Automobiles are a means of travel which have some serious safety concerns and therefore require limits and regulation.

            The same principle applies to guns. The right here is the right to self defence. Guns are a means of self defence which carry with them serious safety concerns and therefor require limits and regulation.

            Just for example; there are restrictions on travel for people suspected of terrorist affiliation…the “no-fly” list. But anyone on that list can still legally purchase any number of guns and as much ammunition as they can. If it was up to me the first right, the one to travel, would be less restricted for those people. and the latter, the “right’ to own an arsenal of deadly weapons would more severely limited.

            So we can eliminate the cyanide bomb. That’s good.

            What about the rocket launchers and hand grenades?

  • AnneG

    My experience is a little different from most people, I guess. I’ve lived in places where both open and concealed carry were common and heavily armed bodyguards and security guards were necessary in some cases. I don’t have a problem with guns and kind of prefer open to concealed carry. Restrictions as to preparation for safe use and prohibition from possession of mentally disturbed and felons is fine.
    I do know that some of the recent mass shootings would have been prevented by possession of arms by just one person in a school or theater.
    That said, nobody needs to possess a grenade launcher, RPGs or SAM in their house, nor should they possess pipe bombs or randomly possess c4.

  • John Morrisey

    The second amendment right?! was constructed in a time when firearms were black powder single shot muscats, not semi-automatic or fully automatic assault weaponry capable of discharging up to 900 rounds per minute (Uzi, H&K etc). the Second amendment is irrelevant and downright dangerous in the 21st century. I live in a country where once you could purchase what you wanted over the counter at Kmart, now you need a licence and semi auto’s are specifically restricted except in the most extenuating circumstances, and magazines are restricted to 10 rounds or less. The country I am talking about is Australia, where as a result of the then worst active shooter masacre (circa 1996 – Port Arthur Tasmania) where 36 innocents were gunned down and another 20 were seriously wounded, free and unfetted gun ownership was reined in and strictly regulated. The US would be well served to look at what we have down under. Strict gun regulation and licencing is essential for the safety of the community and only those that can demonstrate a legitimate need for a firearm should be licenced to own and possess weapons. It works well here, and there are a large number of weapons in the community. Sure, criminals will always get their hands on weapons – but at least in my country, I am one of the trained few that “open carry” handguns… I am a police officer, trained in the proper handling and use of weapons. I also speak from authority – I have been through an OIS (Officer involved shooting). I live daily with the imagery and the knowledge of what I and my colleagues were forced to do. None of us went to work that day in 2003 with the intent of taking a life, but we were forced to defend ourselves so that our families had their dear one return safe.

    I carry so you don’t have to, our patron is the Arch-Angel Michael, and we bear the modern human equivalent of Saint Michael’s flaming sword in defence of the righteous.

    As a civilised society it is time we find other less than lethal use of force options for personal self defence. Leave firearms to law enforcement and the armed defence forces.


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