Oregon Passes Universal Background Check Law for ALL Gun Sales. That’s a Win.

I just stirred the pot on Twitter with the @NRA regarding Oregon’s new law requiring background checks for ALL gun sales (internet and private sales were previously exempt). I know, I know, probably not the best way to approach NRA types. What can I say? I am human too and don’t always tolerate the stupidity I see in the world. Anyway. Not only do the the NRA trolls apparently like the idea of gun sales to folks without background checks (insane), they also predictably united against me in rabid, gun-nut propaganda and hostility. Rather than taking my chances by further taxing the emotional state of angry and unstable gun-users, I decided to release myself from the insanity and not waste any more time trying to reason with them. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to add a quick blog entry about the encounter. I put a link out there for them to engage on the blog, but I suspect most of them are too busy congratulating themselves on attacking me. But I digress.

The first NRA mantra that surfaced was the faux-point that gun laws of any stripe won’t stop crime. The implicit conclusion they want to force is that we should therefore not have any gun control laws. What a load of garbage. This is like saying that murder should be legal since laws against it won’t stop it. Fail.

I mentioned this to one of the gunnutters, but it didn’t compute for him. I then asked him why he thought we had any laws at all, and his response was to “punish those who break them and deter crime.” His failure to connect the dots was lost on him. I briefly tried to get him to think, but he switched to telling me that criminals fear people with guns more than they fear prison. I asked him to support this, so he referenced a 30-year old study that only considered the input from a select group of inmates in a handful of prisons and merely assumed that it applies to all criminals today. I hope reasonable people can see the problem with this. For just one example, by his reckoning, “60% of criminals avoid crime when they know their intended victims have guns.” Sounds like an impressive case for guns, right? Wrong. The inclusion of all criminals  is like saying that a drug-dealer wouldn’t sell crack cocaine to his usual clientele if he knew they were carrying or that a tax-evader wouldn’t have dodged his taxes if he knew IRS agents carried guns. Once again: fail.

The second and perhaps most mindless dogmatic claim that was made (this time) is that guns are “harmless.” I told the Twitter-er who said this that he should therefore let his children play with a loaded gun. Needless to say, he didn’t like that and then switched to the old adage that “guns don’t kill people; it’s people who something something.” I’ve dealt with the stupidity of that argument here, but it always amazes me that people are so indoctrinated with that logic (and oblivious to its problems). When will it ever die? Never,  I suppose, at least as long as folks are willing to let the NRA do their thinking for them.

But anyway, for the third argument that was made, Bobby B. (isn’t it always a guy?) posted the following meme in reply to my suggestion about regulation and cars:


I love dissecting this sort of thing, so let’s consider it line by line:

1) The first line posits that cars are not regulated for use on private property, therefore guns shouldn’t be regulated either. This begs the question: How are you going to get your car/gun to your private property without crossing not-your-private-property? Fail. And a car isn’t much good if you can’t take it off your property, but whatever. I might not be opposed to enforced laws (and technology) that prevent any guns from leaving one’s private property. I’m pretty sure that the gun-nuts don’t want that, so once again, number 1 fails to make a decent argument.

Line 2) No license required? Hardly. You have to take a test (or series of tests) to drive a car regardless of its transmission. The same should be the case for the regulation of guns and bullets, at least if you want to use them. Number 2 fails.

Line 3) You are required to title and register a car through proper paperwork when you buy it. Period. This is all the more the case (as well as required insurance) if you want to use it on public roads, regardless of private or “public” sales. Number 3 fails. Like cars, guns should be titled, registered and insured.

Line 4) “Full faith and credit?” I don’t even know how that part of our legal code applies to cars, much less concealed carry laws for guns. Number 4 not only fails; it is three notches up on the “Huh?” factor.

Line 5) Unsupervised operation at 16? Yes that’s true for cars, but applying the same standard for guns seems questionable at best. At the very least, I would not oppose raising the driving age to 18. Does number 5 fail? Hmm. I don’t know, but I don’t find it particularly convincing either.

Line 6) Mufflers and Suppressors required? Like number 4, this so vapid and ridiculous that it  totally fails. Mufflers don’t increase the chance of murder like suppressors do. That being said, I think that perhaps my EV should have synthetic Harley pipes broadcast outside so unsuspecting pedestrians don’t step off the curb into my path. In that sense, perhaps guns should be required to be louder or have warning signals broadcast when they are in use. That’s some reasonable #gunsense that I could support.

Line 7) Limits on fuel and magazine size? This is another stupid, apples to envelopes comparison. Gas in the tank doesn’t increase potential death tolls like bullets in a magazine do. Besides, how many bullets do you reaallly need for hunting deer and target practice? If you need a machine gun with a huge magazine to go hunting, you’re probably doing it wrong.

So, nice try, @bobby_b71, but you’re going to have to try again. Your meme is stupid and unconvincing. At best.

For my part, I think I’ll stick with a more realistic comparison between guns and cars:


Unless it is because of the irrational fears and general paranoia fostered by the NRA, or unless they actually want irresponsible types to have guns (and perhaps they do), I don’t understand why any “good person with a gun” would be against any of these sensible regulations. Don’t they want guns to only be in the hands of functionally responsible citizens? Don’t they understand that requiring proper training and licensing would be a good thing and make it more difficult for criminals to attain and keep such weapons (or at least help authorities know an unauthorized gun when they see it)? Don’t gun advocates want people with guns to be physically and mentally capable and in good health before having or using a deadly weapon? Shouldn’t responsible citizens want to know what happens with guns, who has them, when they are sold, traded or given away? Don’t responsible citizens want accountability for people who are irresponsible in who they give, trade or sell guns to?

The NRA and their minions are against each and everyone of these common #gunsense suggestions. It begs the question: “Why?”

If that’s not enough, be sure to look at my other, related blog entries regarding the ridiculousness and insanity of our gun-nut culture:

In Guns We Trust

If You Give A Man an Assault Rifle

Trayvon Martin and the Insanity of Gun Culture

Happy hunting!

As always, thanks for reading me.



About C_Lambeth

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor's of Science and from George Fox Seminary (now Portland Seminary) with a Master's of Divinity. In addition to knowing Christ and helping others know him, I am passionate about peace, the environment, Christian feminism, justice for all (not just the wealthy) and being a lifelong learner. Please feel free to comment on any of the posts here or to suggest new posts altogether. Thank you for reading me! -CL
This entry was posted in Guns, Other Topics, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Oregon Passes Universal Background Check Law for ALL Gun Sales. That’s a Win.

  1. John says:

    All of your arguments should be applied to other “rights” and see if the restrictions would be acceptable. I’m thinking of voting, as a good proxy here.

    [J]ust replace guns with voting. Some verbiage would necessarily need to change as well, but the point should be evident. The whole point to the bill of rights is to prohibit the many from infringing on the individual. Just because you wish gun ownership was a privilege doesn’t diminish the right.

    Guns are dangerous, They wouldn’t be very good for defense if they weren’t. In the wrong hands, they can cause much harm. However, just who gets to judge who can and can’t exercise the right? Having read some of your other posts, you come across as one of those arrogant know it alls that would dictate to others.

    I don’t know if you have served in the military, I’m going under the assumption that you have not. Having served in war zones and going to some of the worst places in the world, I have seen many things. One thing that I became very aware of was that often then only thing holding back the “bad guy” (for lack of a better term) was people like me. Now what gave the opponent pause, was the armaments that we had.

    Back here in the civilian world, we all face varying degrees of danger. Most of that can be controlled by where we go and who we associate with. However, as we have seen, danger, or trouble, can find us. It’s this random out of the blue violence that concerns me and why I have a CCW. I prefer to be able to use my skills in my defense and that of my family. I really don’t want to have to take a life, but I will do what I have too.

    To boil this down, you would have us give up freedom, yes that is what this is, to gain security. The reality is that when freedom or liberty is traded for security, the result is having neither. To compare our country to other first world nations doesn’t really work because there are too many other variables like population size and demographics. The Brits are subjects to a sovereign, we are citizens.

    However, according to the PEW report, crime has come down along with gun deaths. Funny how this correlates with an overall loosening of gun laws and the expansion of CCW. If the rights to keep and bear arms was as dangerous as you would have us believe, then crime and gun deaths should have increased.

    So in conclusion, the cost of the 2nd is not what you would claim it to be and regardless of the cost, the 2nd is an individual right that has been, is still, and will always be there.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Replace guns with voting.

      Well said, John. I would love to replace all guns with voting.
      I know that’s not what you meant, but I couldn’t resist. Your argument is lame. How many deaths were a direct result of the 1st Amendment in 2011? The 3rd? The 4th? How about 5-10? Now, how about people exercising their right (singular, not plural) to play with guns? In 2011, it cost 32,163 people their lives.

      I agree with you about the Bill of Rights to a certain extent. I just happen to see the many gunnutters’ right infringing on the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of everyone else. It’s a matter of perspective, that’s true, but yours isn’t the only one that counts. And I never said my pushing for gun privilege instead of a right will make it so, but sooner or later the rest of America will catch on. I wonder how many more school children have to die before we wake up.

      I’m not surprised that you are ex-military. Your attitude and other writings are exactly what I would expect from a man committed to the way of violence. Once again, however, you are confusing the issue. We aren’t talking about nations where the USA has been engaged in military quagmires. Similarly, my stance on guns would likely be different if I lived in Venezuela or El Salvador. But I don’t, and neither do you. You say that you are afraid of the random trouble that can find you, but the fact is that having a gun makes you and your family statistically more likely to be the victim of gun violence (including accidents, suicides, and having your own weapon used against you). The life your gun “takes” may not be the one you had in mind when you purchased your weapon.

      And this engenders questions: How do you keep your gun ready to defend against the perpetrators you imagine while concurrently keeping it out of the hands of children, visitors, thieves, etc? Is it always at your side? Do you sleep wearing it? Make love wearing it? Take it in the shower? To the pool? Where is it if not always on your person? Do you know what will happen with your guns when you die or get too old to keep track? Do you know that no child or criminal will ever do the unspeakable with them?

      For me, I prefer not to live in paranoia. I’ll take my chances living in the USA in freedom, unencumbered by a six-shooter on my hip or by irrational fear. Of course there are too many people with guns. And as we all well know, many of them are willing to use them for their created purpose (to kill), but that is precisely why I do vote rather than joining the mindlessness of gun culture.

      I’ll be brief with a few of your other points.

      It’s not “giving up freedom” to rid our society of things that kill people indiscriminately. That is precisely why you can’t have a nuclear weapon, lawn-dart, or thalidomide, at least not without some reasonable and strict supervision anyway. Guns should be on that list too. The cost is too high for them not to be.

      Gun-deaths between the UK and the USA are measured per capita, so your suggestion that it’s a bad comparison lacks credibility. Would you prefer that we compare our gun-deaths with Canada? Australia? I have to be honest, I don’t think you’ll like the contrast.

      And finally, yes, UK citizens are… well, citizens.

      What can I say? Your post makes false assumptions, confuses some terms, doesn’t support your conclusions, and generally expresses little more than your own pro-gun agenda.

      • John says:

        I’ve read several of your responses and you always seem to think that the other person is wrong, funny how everyone that thinks differently than you is always wrong. I can relate to the frustration of dealing with other people you feel are so wrong. Your as deeply entrenched as I am, just on different sides.

        So let’s deal with the facts as they are.

        1. Gun ownership is a right, an individual right.
        2. Rights are not subject to needs.
        3. Our country has always been a violent place, but it’s getting better. You can point to individual acts, but as has been reported by the objective PEW group, our crime has been going down. The cost as you put it is inflated purposefully to make it seem worse than it is.
        4. Death by gun is no different then a death by other means. Death is death no matter the cause.

        For the purpose of this discussion, the only 2 that really matter are the first 2. You can do all of the verbal gymnastics you want, but those fact remain. It is also true that the 2nd amendment could be repealed, however, the likelihood is quite remote. People like you have been predicting the end of gun ownership for some time. This however is one of those issues that if it really came down to, could cause another civil war. Not really the outcome I would want, but that really depends on how far you all want to push the issue. If you think that the 100,000,000 or so gun owners are just going bend over, then you just may be delusional. Perhaps you missed the whole Cliven Bundy thing. I happen to think that Cliven was the wrong guy to get behind as he seemed to be wrong and not a very good person, but even with that, other’s went to stand up to perceived tyranny. Suffice to say, any real movement towards disarmament would most likely end badly for all.

        You have made some assertions about me. Conversely I have some ideas as to who and what you are. Seeing the world as it is, is not fear. Being prepared to meat violence with violence does not make a person violent per se. Nature abhors weakness. We are all part of the world that God created. In nature, the predators go after the weak. Are we any different? Criminals will case things or people before they act, why? Because they are looking for weakness to exploit. The burglar will avoid the house with a dog and go after they house without because the chance of success is better. However, the world doesn’t always follow rational thought.

        I’m a big guy that most other men would have to think hard about messing with. However, there are those that are spoiling for a fight or are just crazy. Being that I have skills with a gun, why would I rationally choose to not use it if I could should the need arise?

        Pacifists have always intrigued me. So quick to condemn those that deal with the world as it really is, and just as quick to hide behind those same people when danger comes. Our freedom was not won or maintained by pacifists, but by the violent actions of men and weapons. Peace, true peace, comes from having the strength to overcome the actions of others.

        I’m sure that you will dismiss this, as you are an arrogant know it all. You will most likely make insults and wrap yourself up in a deluded belief that you have all the answers.

  2. C_Lambeth says:

    Actually, John, you seem to be the one who prefers insults in this thread. Unfortunately for you, calling me names won’t help your argument. Nevertheless, I am willing to extend some grace to you and assume that the ad hominem attacks are not the best you can do. I am also going to provide you with some direction since you seem to be struggling with your replies.

    Instead of name-calling and arguing against points I have not made (like forecasting the end of guns or that “they” are coming to take your guns), you should respond to the rebuttals and questions I’ve already offered. Changing the subject, denying reality when it suits your purposes, and merely retrenching bad arguments is not a convincing way to defend your position either.

    If you can, I invite you to make a critical reassessment and improvement of your arguments in light of the challenges raised against them. You must speak in terms of facts and reason rather than feelings and emotive political rhetoric and posturing. If you can manage this, then our conversation can proceed.

    In the meantime, here are a few things perhaps you should think about regarding your last post:

    I don’t necessarily disagree with your first two points. No verbal gymnastics required. Yes, arms ownership is presently a right in our nation. It isn’t an inalienable right, but it is presently supported by the Constitution.

    I don’t really understand the relevance of your effort to connect rights to needs in your second point, but I agree with you on a philosophical level in most cases: needs ≠ rights.

    If these first two points of yours are “all that really matter,” then you haven’t said much at all.

    Your point #3 fails to consider what I’ve already said, namely, that as crime generally is going down, gun violence is trending upward year over year. The verifiable costs of gun violence (in terms of both finances and deaths) outweigh the benefits. For example, gun-related deaths are greater than defensive gun uses in our nation by a factor of almost 20. That’s not an exaggeration. That is a fact.

    Your point #4 is merely a truism that ignores the damage and death tolls that can be achieved with a gun (the sole purpose of which is to kill) as opposed to things like cars, paperclips, and ibuprofen, which can be misused to kill, but are created for other ends. Remember that time the kid took a baseball bat and slaughtered all those children and teachers? Me neither.

    There are some other things you’ve mentioned that merit a few sentences:

    On a New Civil War
    You stated a belief that making gun ownership a privilege instead of a right may cause a civil war. If this were the case, then it proves my evolving point that gunnutters value their deadly weapons more than they value the good of society as a whole. I am not surprised in the least, but it is interesting that you made the point for me.

    On Clive Bundy
    I don’t think you have fully grasped what happened with this criminal. The gun-happy crowd, spoiling for a fight, rallied behind a career law-breaker to support him in the face of appropriate law enforcement. This is not a case where arm-bearing citizens united to stop gov’t tyranny. Quite to the contrary, this is a case where the gun-happy crowd defended lawlessness and promoted tyranny by menacing government employees as well as civilian women and children. The Clive Bundy case is a perfect example of irresponsible gun owners and the anarchy they foster.

    On the world that is
    Meeting violence with violence does, in fact, make one violent. As a Christian, I am asked to reject violence and the means by which violence comes. When you as a civilian reject peace, you are rejecting Jesus, and I want no part in that.

    You go on to speak in general platitudes concerning strong and weak and criminal behavior, etc. Once again, it seems that you are dominated by fear and imagine thugs in your neighborhood just waiting to case your house and pounce on you. I don’t share your fear, but I also wonder how it is that you believe your concealed weapon will somehow be a deterrent to them. It seems to me that your beliefs would require wearing it on your hip, maybe even with a neon sign on your house. Or are you hoping to surprise a would-be invader so you can blast them?

    We don’t live in the jungle. I’ve never needed a gun, and I wonder how many times you have actually used yours in defense. The reality in the USA is that gun-violence and gun-related deaths outweigh defensive guns use, once again, by a factor just shy of 20. It’s not worth the price tag.


    PS: Everyone thinks their position is right. If they didn’t, they would trade them for better ones. You aren’t any different than I am at that point, but I think if you could come to terms with the facts, you might just be open to reconsidering your position.

  3. C_Lambeth says:

    John, I see that you’ve tried to leave a great many replies on the blog, most of which are littered with insults. I’d like to remind you once again that insults do not help your argument, and they say far more about you than they do about me.

    I’ve taken the liberty of compiling your posts into one while editing out your immature and petty remarks just to show you that you can communicate without them. For future reference, posts from you that take a sour turn may be truncated or not read or posted at all.

    You may refuse to be educated about the ridiculousness of our gun culture, but you will learn how to be civil on this blog if you want your future posts to be read. Thank you for understanding.

  4. John says:

    On Defensive Gun use:
    There is credible studies that put defensive gun use into the millions. As has been acknowledged by Wolfgang. As we have seen from Wolfgang, defensive gun use far exceeds gun deaths, even the inflated ones you would use. That’s the real fact.

    So far I’ve never had to use any of my many guns defensively, however, just because I haven’t needed it yet doesn’t mean that I never will.

    On Christianity:
    Just how arrogant does one have to be to actually think they are speaking for Jesus or God.

    On My Decision to Conceal Carry:
    Criminals are not imaginary. However, why don’t you place that neon sign in front of your house proclaiming you rejection of both guns and violence. Leave it there for a year and see if your right.

    On Clive Bundy:
    I never held him or those actions up as good, but merely an example of just how bad things could get. I’m entirely clear that there are some gun owners that shouldn’t have them. However, that is true of many things I’m afraid. There are many parents that shouldn’t be, but in a free society, people are free to make their own decisions. Just because their decisions might adversely affect you, does not give you license to stop them without due process.

    Gun control is the disfranchisement of a right without due process. Replacing a right with a “privilege” does nothing to enhance safety but diminishes who we are. Isn’t strange that after the first amendment, they chose to enshrine the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The well regulated militia is only possible if the people are armed. It was always understood to be an individual right in practice. However, unfortunately too many people like you forced the issue to a head and now we have court precedent to support that. Yes Scalia said it has limits, but, they haven’t given us a definitive answer as to what that really means. So more court fights. Aside from some small state and local victories, it has been lopsided in the favor of gun rights. Fail on your part.

    On Civil War:
    There are over 300,000,000 guns in the hands of over 100,000,000 gun owners. Add the fact that a majority of law enforcement and the military are gun friendly, just what do you think the outcome would be if conflict broke out? It would be bloody hell for everyone. However, that in no way supports your position because we have always had individual gun ownership. Mexico severely restricts gun ownership and look how well that is working. The UK and Australia had a much lower gun death rate before the ban, so what exactly was gained?

    Death caused by guns is no different then a death by other means:
    [Your point about baseball bats] would suggest that a kid killed by a baseball bat is not as tragic as one killed by a gun. Both wrong and sad, for you.

    On Rights not being Connected to Needs:
    Glad you agree, however you missed the point. This is an issue, because some folks argue that a glock or AR-15 is not needed. My point is that my right is not limited by your definition of what I need.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      On Defensive Gun Use:
      The Kleck study you claim to be “credible” is anything but. His own estimate was that defensive gun use happens between 1 and 2.5 million times annually. That’s a margin of error of 1,500,000 within the own researcher’s estimate. Not exactly a reliable or precise study, is it?

      Furthermore, when peer reviewed, Kleck’s methodology and inductive reasoning were revealed to have significant problems, not least pf which was his pathetically small sample set (less than 5000 households). Similarly, when compared to defensive gun use for 2014 as reported by the non-partisan Gun Violence Archive, it was revealed that less than 1600 instances were reported. Even if we take Kleck’s lowest number of one million annual defensive gun uses, he over estimated by a factor of 625 when compared with the actual number of defensive gun uses. That’s a major fail.

      You can see a brief review of the problems with Kleck’s study here:
      Debunking the Defensive Gun Myth
      And here:
      Gary Kleck Misfires Again

      That you have never needed any of your guns for defensive action militates against your claim that you “need” them for defense. How many guns do you need for that anyway? Clearly you have more than one, but it begs the question. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that the past and present absence of need for your guns does not guaranty that you won’t need them in the future, but again this casts doubt on your previous claims about “need.”

      On Christianity:
      I don’t think you’ve understood me properly. I don’t claim to speak for God, but there are prophets who have, and this in itself did not make them “arrogant.” Nevertheless, my point is that Jesus was a pacifist, and one of his greatest commands was that his followers love their neighbors and enemies. I don’t imagine that this “love” included shooting them.

      On Concealed Carry:
      I never said that criminals were imaginary. What I said is that you seem to imagine that they are conspiring against you and that the only thing keeping them at bay is your concealed carrying. I missed your explanation of how your hidden weapons serve as a deterrent. Your retort that I should place a neon sign above my apartment door proclaiming a gun-free zone seems like an effort to dodge the question.

      On Clive Bundy and the Constitution:
      I agree with you that the Bundy incident shows how bad things can get with gunnutters itching for a fight. Clearly none of those folks are stable or reasonable enough to possess guns, and yet the outmoded 2nd amendment gurantees that these nutters get to threaten and menace again in the future. This should change for the betterment of individuals and society as a whole, which is the whole point of the constitution (to create a more perfect Union). Surely “ensuring domestic tranquility” can mean that dangerous items and weapons of tyranny and mass destruction can be limited if not banned outright. You already instinctively know that I am right at this point. That is precisely why you can’t go buy a nuclear weapon, lawn-darts or thalidomide.

      Contrary to your claim, we don’t live in a completely free society. That would be anarchy or at least self-destructive. We have (some) reasonable laws and enforcement powers designed to protect and promote domestic tranquility. As I said, you don’t even disagree with me on the big picture. Where we part ways regards the usefulness of the 2nd amendment and which deadly items should be heavily regulated, controlled or banned.

      If we were to repeal the 2nd amendment, then your due process argument regarding gun sense would evaporate. Similarly, your comments about a well regulated militia only reinforce my conclusion that the 2nd amendment is a relic that has outlived its usefulness. We no longer need a well regulated citizen militia to throw off our non-existent colonial overlords. The nearly ubiquitous gunnutter paranoia about our present government turning to tyranny is laughable, as is the idea that a few groups of gunnutters here or there could defeat our nation’s military. Had Bundy’s idiot band of anarchist gunnutters opened fire, they would have been marched on just like the folks at Waco and at the Whiskey Rebellion et al.

      I agree with you that some small and state local victories are all that have been achieved since the national assault-weapon ban expired, but momentum is building, especially as more and more people are educated on the actual facts. Yes, there is presently a lopsided advantage for gun rights, but that is not my personal fail, that is the failure of our society as a whole. I hope it will change. It may be a vain hope. I admit that folks like you seem to love their guns more than what is good for society (the same goes for criminals), but doing what is right has never been contingent upon the behaviors and beliefs of others. The insanity of gunnutters and hopelessness of gun culture is not sufficient to change my mind.

      On Civil War:
      You still are making my point for me: Gunnutters love their guns more than they love America and would (by your own assertion) rise up to create a bloodbath at the notion that they not be allowed to buy more guns and ammo. This does not speak well for the gun-nut culture. All I can say is that I think you are wrong about the vast majority of the 100 million gun owners you speak of. I don’t think all gun owners are nut-jobs, and unlike the gunnutter contingent, most of these folks are of the law-abiding, USA loving, reasonable, friendly and fair type who can see that society is not better off with our addiction to guns and insane defense of gun rights. It is too slow, but our culture is changing away from its fixation with guns. We presently lack the political and moral will to change things, but there is hope for the future.

      On Death, baseball bats, and guns:
      Nice try, but my point was not that some deaths are more tragic than others, but rather that putting a gun into the hand of an angry, unstable, or irrational person yields far more damage and body counts than does any other readily available item. No reasonable person doubts this, so it would be nice if NRA and gunnutter types could come to terms with it too.

      And finally, Rights and Needs:
      I did miss your point because it is apropos of nothing in our conversation. I never suggested that rights are limited by what I think is needed. That being said, rights are not written in stone. They are written in the U.S. Constitution, an inherently alterable document. As our society changes, so too must our laws, rights, courts, executive and judicial bodies. Prohibition was a complete failure, so it was repealed. The 2nd amendment may be headed that way too, not because it was a failure as quickly as prohibition, but because it has become (and is becoming) a failure of massive proportions, no longer serves the purpose for which it was created, and is a general handicap for our nation. It is past time we were freed from it, and if enough people were ever to think this, it would be repealed indeed.

      • John says:

        If you have read Carl Bakal, then you would realize that you’re just parroting most of his arguments against the second amendment. He wrote those books I think in the early to mid sixties. Some 60 odd years later and just what has changed? You think that momentum is building to repeal or replace the second amendment, based on what? The latest poll shows that there is now more people valuing gun rights over gun control. You can object to the questions that were asked, but it’s the same questions that have always been asked on that poll. Not really a ground swell in your favor.

        As far as conceald carry, it’s not the advertisement of a gun that is the deterrent, however, that is a factor in open carry. In conceald carry, it’s the vigilant way you conduct yourself. Basically, being aware of what is going on around you. Now you can do this with or without a gun. However, having legal CCW and castle doctrine, the “bad guy” has to guess if you are packing or not. When you combine CCW with a person who has a high sense of awareness, then most criminals will look to other victims. This has been reinforced by interviews with convicts.

        Of course for most criminals, they want to go after something of value. If they do not assume that you are worth the trouble, then perhaps most if not all will leave you alone. However, there are a good many people out there that will kill for the change in your pocket. Then there are those that do evil for no good reason at all. If you or your loved ones have never experienced the dark side of life, then you all are very lucky.

        The challenge to put a sign on your house is not a dodge. Put your beliefs to the test. In fact why not just wear a shirt that proclaims your rejection of both guns and violence. Then go to East LA or the Bronx and see what happens. If I was a betting man, I would wager that if both of us were walking down the street, you would be the victim 9 times out on 10. If that is your choice, so be it.

        I’m reminded of a joke I once heard. An old lady was pulled over for speeding. The officer asked for her license and noticed that she had a CCW. When asked if she was armed, she said yes. The officer asked what she was carrying. The old lady said that she had .38 in her purse. A glock in the glove box. A shotgun in the back seat and a AR-15 in the trunk. The officer was taken aback and ask the old lady what she was afraid of. She looked him in the eye and said nothing.

        Having and carrying a gun doesn’t mean someone is living in fear. Responding to the violence of others doesn’t make you a violent person. You disagree, however it is true wether you accept it or not.

        As far as Christian faith, however God speaks to you is between you. God made me with a strong sense to protect my family and country. I don’t look for trouble and really try to avoid it when I can. However, like the gorilla, should troubled find me or mine, then I will do what I must. Evil wins when good people do nothing. When my time comes to answer to God, then I pray for his grace and mercy. Protecting the innocent is not a sin, but I will have to let God decide.

        Guns are tools, no more no less. It’s the evil in the hearts of men that is the problem. When you take away the tool from the good person, you are not helping society. You can’t just make people be good by taking something away. In another post you stated that prohibition didn’t work, yet that’s exactly what you would do with guns. Surely you can see the folly that there is no way to completely get rid of guns. There would be a black market and the bad guys would still have them. You would not gain your peace and tranquility but you would sacrifice my ability to deal with it on an equal footing.

        My wife doesn’t like guns and this has been a delicate issue. However, when I was gone on a business trip and she was frightened by knocking on the door late at night. She didn’t even think about calling the police, however, she opened the lockbox and took out my glock. She called me to ask what to do. When the chips were down she did as I had taught her. Get the kids to the back bedroom and locked the door. I told her that she should call 911. She still doesn’t like guns, but she asked for more range training. We will never know if there was real threat, but if there was, then thank goodness that she had the tool and some training to use it.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          So let me get this straight. When a person knocks on your door after dark, your wife runs to get a gun, locks herself in a backroom with the kids and calls 911? If that isn’t living in fear, I don’t know what is.

          The “old lady” of your joke, however, should be afraid, namely, of the recoil of her guns, especially that shotgun. She should also be aware/ afraid of the fact that having a gun actually increases the chances of a woman falling victim to gun violence. The statistics are horribly lopsided against the myth of women’s safety being connected to their access to firearms.

          The fact is that responding to violence with violence makes you a violent person by definition. You don’t have to accept it, but that is the truth.

          What you claim is God speaking to me is not some personal revelation or interpretive square dance; the command that we love our neighbors and enemies is straight from the mouth of Jesus. If you choose to ignore Jesus, that is your prerogative, but when you, as a civilian, shoot another person, you are working against God, not with him. I will never put myself in that situation.

          As for concealed carry, you keep making my point for me: It’s not a deterrent. Unless you advertise your weapon, you have the same “deterrent” factor as I do in not advertising my not packing heat. You basically admit this when you say it’s about how a person carries themselves. I must be doing well since I’ve been to some of the most violent cities in the most violent nations, as a civilian, at night, in sketchy parts of town, and never had a gun, concealed or otherwise, and never had any trouble beyond being offered drugs and hookers (which I declined, thank you). East LA? The Bronx? No problem. You act like they’d “get” me for no other reason than that I had a peacenik shirt on. This suggests you don’t know much about criminal motivation. I suppose that’s a good thing, but it makes your challenge a bit silly.

          It’s not just the evil in people’s hearts that is the problem; it is the “tools” they pick up to express that evil. Guns are weapons designed for killing. They make the problem (and the death toll) far worse than any other legal item. You are right when you say that you can’t make people good by taking an item away from them. However, you absolutely can limit the damage they inflict by doing the same. That is why I am for keeping guns and people as separated as possible, especially when it comes to the nutters. This is also why gun ownership should be a privilege, not a right. The legal system (and hopefully you too) already agree with me in principle. This is why convicts, even parolees are not legally allowed to possess guns and why known penalties (deterrents) are much worse for ex-cons who re-offend with guns. They gave up that right/ privilege, and we are better for it. I am merely for expanding who else doesn’t have the right to have these deadly weapons: no one.

          I don’t expect you to agree with me, but for the sake of your own understanding and future replies, you should know that I’m not for taking guns away from non-criminals who already possess them. Not having a “right” to possess guns is not the same thing has making it illegal to have gun. In the same way that driving a car is not enshrined in the constitution, most people still have the privilege. And just like with the assault weapon ban of the 1990’s, among other things, I’m for limiting the types and accessories of current and future gun sales. Folks who bought their assault weapons before the ban got to keep them, and there was no civil war scenario for the gunnutters to foment.

          Gun control can be reasonable and fair just like it is in other, Western, 1st world nations. And it works, the USA is #13 on the list of nations with highest gun-related deaths per capita, and the only other nation that has even a modicum of cultural similarity with the USA, and is worse off in the rankings, is South Africa. All other nations comparable to the U.S. are way, waay down on the list. If the number of guns per capita had a direct relationship to citizen safety, the USA would be the safest nation in the world. It isn’t, and we aren’t. The problem is the combination of guns and people. We need to keep them apart to the greatest extent we are able.

          Prohibition didn’t work, just like the 2nd amendment no longer works. We no longer need a well-regulated militia or their guns. We no longer need the same to resist government tyranny. These are what the Founding Fathers had in mind with the 2nd Amendment, and now it has surpassed its usefulness. Guns have caused more USAmerican citizen deaths than all of our wars combined, and I’m reasonably sure that is not what the framers had in mind. They also had in mind muzzle loading, single-shot guns. I have no problem with those whatsoever.

          I’ve not read Mr. Bakal, so it’s not technically possible for me to be “parroting” him, but I do find it interesting that, if it is as you say, that he and I have come to the same conclusions, even as he wrote before the public shootings had spiked to the truly insane proportions of more recent decades.

          I’m not suggesting that my side is winning. Quite to the contrary, the American public is horribly losing its battle with guns, and the gunnutter insanity rages with increasing loudness and vitriol. As I have said time and again, we, as a nation, lack the political and moral will to relegate the 2nd amendment to the dustbin of uselessness where it belongs. I hope that will change, but I am afraid that the only way it will change is by focused public consideration of more gun-related bloodbaths. In that sense, I hope I never get my way because there will be no more such bloodbaths. Sadly, this scenario is not up to me, but those with guns, and if past performance is any indication of future results, they will fail us all (again).

  5. John says:

    It’s amazing, you can be sexist and disparaging against the aged. There are many women of all ages that can handle a firearm.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      It really is too bad that you can only manage to think critically when it comes to perspectives you feel threatened by. Your entire joke capitalizes on the perceived weakness of a diminutive, aged, female who couldn’t possibly “carry” herself or defend herself with physical estimations of strength. As usual, I merely pointed out the problems with your thinking here: If said woman really is so weak, then the recoil from her killing “tools” would surely pose a significant risk to her safety, especially when we consider the fact that guns, de facto, do not make women safer when it comes to violence perpetrated against them. If someone is being sexist, ageist and size-ist here, it’s you.

      • John says:

        I never said that she was weak, you added that. I also was not being sexist or ageist, you were.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          Um. No. I am not the one who made a joke about an old lady. That would be you. I merely pointed out its problems. It still turns on the idea of an “old lady” not being able to defend herself with regular means. Her physical weakness is implicit to the functioning of the joke. If it wasn’t, then any gender and age would suffice. Yet it features an aged woman.

          You don’t have to like it that your joke is sexist and capitalizes on the assumed weakness of womanhood and age, but I can’t change the fact for you. Now that you are aware of the joke’s problems, however, I hope you think twice before you repeat it to someone else.

  6. John says:

    Well let’s see, the bible as we know it is the result of the council of Nicaea some 300 years after the death of Christ. And yes, you strike me as the interpretive square dance type with a little bit of new age hippie thrown in.

    I fully believe that you would never put yourself in that situation, you’ll just hide behind others.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      As far as Christianity goes, if you have faith that Jesus isn’t God and that the Bible is not reliable, then that’s your business. That being said, your understanding about what the Council at Nicaea did represents a common confusion among atheists. That council didn’t write anything. They merely codified the texts and letters that Christian communities had already been using as authoritative documents for hundreds of years. The council’s actions must also be understood in light of the new wave of gnostic traditions that were trying to make inroads into orthodox Christianity. Nicaea said “yes” to the oldest and best documents, and “no” to the odd balls that were late to the party.

      As for interpretive parlance, it is your nutty argument to make that “loving one’s neighbor” sometimes means killing them. That particular command (loving, not killing) is the linchpin of Christianity and is found in all three synoptic gospels. Once again, if you reject Jesus’ command that we love our enemies and neighbors, then that is your business, but it hardly renders me as doing anything other than being true to the biblical text. Nice try, though.

      “New age hippie”? If that’s what it means to take Jesus at his word, then ok, but I think it best indicates that you don’t know what those names even mean.

      But pray tell, which gunnutter, exactly, is it that you imagine I’ll be “hiding behind”? I am trying to imagine a scenario where this would be applicable, and I am striking out.

      • John says:

        That would be the military and the police. They take out the trash, so to speak, so you don’t have to. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve done my bit for my country. If you and I are somehow in the same place when an active shooter situation happens, I’m getting my family to safety and you can fend for yourself. However, if the bad guy is between my family and that safety, I’ll engage. If you happen to be spared by this action then you will have been protected by someone else.

        I love how you think that this is far fetched. Not you and I being in the same place, but that there being an active shooter situation. If you think that this unlikely, then why do you think that gun violence is a problem?

        • C_Lambeth says:

          Law enforcement officers and military personnel are not gunnutters (at least not when acting in professional capacities). Allowing them to do their jobs does not require my “hiding” behind them any more than it requires I become one of them. And I have never suggested that we take guns away from the police or armed services. Your intended prod doesn’t add up. At all.

          As for your imagined scenario where you save the day by gunning down your enemies, please, leave me out of it. I don’t want any civilian brandishing a gun anywhere near me, even the self-proclaimed, so-called, “good guys.”

          I don’t think murderous gunnutters on a rampage are “far fetched.” That’s just your effort at moving the goalposts when I challenge your false beliefs that I’ll “hide” behind a different gunnutter when the bullets start flying. To the contrary, I recognize that all people have the capacity to lose their temper and act irrationally (and that no one is immune), and that adding guns to that mix results in body counts and enormous economic losses for our nation. That is precisely why civilians and guns should be kept apart to the greatest extent possible.

          Gun violence IS a problem. Your choice to carry a gun is itself a nod to the problem. You and I both know that gun violence is a problem. You just seem to think that adding more guns to the equation will make it better. I disagree, and the number of gun related deaths in our nation proves my point. If having more guns (300M by your accounting) made a nation safer, then the USA would be the safest nation on the planet. We aren’t. Not by a mile. We’re number 13 in the world for gun-related deaths.

      • John says:

        I have never claimed to be well versed in the bible. I’ve always felt that God was more than pages in a book. However, there seems to be some other views on this.



        • C_Lambeth says:

          I never said that God was merely “pages in a book.” The issue is that Jesus told his followers to love their neighbors and enemies, and I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t have killing people in mind with this “love.”

          I read the links you provided. They incorporate more than a few problems, not least of which is taking verses out of context, interpreting them in a just-so fashion, and confusing God’s perfect judgments and death-sentencing with that of imperfect humans. Honest biblical exegetes don’t do this, or at least acknowledge the problems when they do. If your remaining point is that some people do all they can to reinterpret Jesus to make him dance to their violent agenda, then I agree with you. That’s been happening for more than 1000 years.

          I am nevertheless glad you’ve given up on the failed attempt to make the Council of Nicaea support your agenda, but it reveals that your strategy is to throw garbage at the wall and see what sticks. This does not help your credibility or your arguments. In fact, it makes me question what you say even more.

        • John says:

          Look, not you or anyone else living today has any real idea what Christ said or did. All we have are the stories that were passed down by people. That is my point. The council of Nicaea was made up of people that were not there and only had the words of others.

          You can try and dress it however you like, but the fact remains that the bible as we know it was the product of a committee that may or may not have had ulterior motives. Religion has been one of the primary means to control people through out time.

          This is something that can not be proved or disproved, but taken on faith. Mine tells me that love thy neighbor does not require being killed while turning the other cheek. That’s the beauty of a free society that provides the right not only to choose what if any religion but also the right to defense along with the tools to do so.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          Of course we have a good idea about what Jesus said and did. The extant texts and fragments we possess are remarkably close to their originals, especially when compared and contrasted with ancient works like those from Herodotus, Cesar, Ovid, and Homer, etc. (which most reasonable people do not doubt). That is somewhat peripheral to the topic at hand, but my point remains that your claims about the Council of Nicaea were wrong. You can shift the goalposts, but you can’t save that argument.

          As I already said, you are free to have faith in whatever you like about Jesus and the Bible, but I suspect your notions about human testimony (about Jesus in this case) are not held consistently and merely indicate your resistance to the implications of Jesus’ teachings for your kill ‘em convictions. If you deny Christ, then you aren’t obligated to read or follow what he said or what was written about him, but your position rests on faith nonetheless.

          For my part, I choose to believe differently than you, namely, that when it comes to Jesus’ command that we love our neighbors, it doesn’t mean that sometimes we kill them. And at that point, you are more closely aligned with militant Islamic extremists and the murdering gunnutter in South Carolina than with Jesus.

  7. John says:

    1. It is a right and will never be just a privilege, you just need to come to grips with that.
    2. I use to think that ex cons shouldn’t have access, but if we are to believe that our criminal justice system is meant to rehabilitate offenders, then perhaps there should be reinstated rights upon completion of the sentence. If they are too dangerous, then we should kill them or keep them in prison for life.
    3. No matter what law you make, the bad guys will have guns.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      1. Yes, gun ownership is presently a right (at least for some), but it could become a privilege or even experience a ban in the future. Unless you believe you have some sort of crystal ball that shows you the future, you must come to terms with that fact.

      2. Unless you believe that all cons and ex-cons should be given guns, you are still in agreement with me that some people should be denied the right. And if that is not your position, then it seems, like most NRA advocates, you actually want the “bad guys” to have guns. After all, how else could you try to justify having your own killing tools?

      3. When carried to its logical conclusion, your 3rd point suggests that we shouldn’t outlaw anything at all because lawbreakers will just do it anyway. That’s a recipe for anarchy and chaos, not civilization. The argument is ridiculous. Nevertheless, I agree in principle that laws without enforcement are pretty useless. Even so, the solution is to enforce. Banning all bullet and gun sales and trades etc. would be a way to make procuring these killing tools more difficult and expensive, even if not impossible.

      • John says:

        I don’t need a crystal ball to see that the right to keep and bear arms has not only endured but has even been strengthened.

        Non-violent ex-cons don’t pose a threat to you or me, so why not allow them to have all the rights of a citizen? You really shouldn’t paint with such a broad brush.

        The last point is not a argument for anarchy. I do however feel that we have far too many laws on the books as it is. The point here is that this being a enumerated right that was felt to be endowed by the creator, then there should be a really high bar for making a law that places an encumbrance on the exercise of that right. If the net effect is that it creates a hurdle for me without any real effect on the outcome, then no we shouldn’t have that law.

        If you apply every restriction we currently put on guns on the right to vote, would you not argue that we have infringed the right to vote? So if it would be an infringement on voting, then how is not an infringement on the 2nd? It’s funny how something that is reasonable for guns suddenly becomes arduous for voting, IDs anyone.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          You don’t need a crystal ball to know that one of the best things about our constitution is that it can be changed. Yes, gun ownership is presently a right (at least for some), but it could become a privilege or even experience a ban in the future. You must come to terms with that fact.

          Since you don’t believe that all cons and ex-cons should be given guns, you are still in agreement with me that some people should not be allowed to keep the right to bear arms.

          As for anarchy, it seems that you believe laws can be successful, enforced, and promote stability. On that we agree, but you apparently refuse to allow gun control to be part of that belief. I think that is pretty interesting, don’t you?

          I confess that I am not tracking with you when you start talking about inalienable rights. Do you mean that you believe the right to have a gun is “endowed by the creator”? I’m pretty sure that’s not in the USC or the Bible, but I am open to your showing me.

          I also don’t understand your votes comment. I addressed this early on with you (June 1), but you dropped the argument. Just for the record, I would be glad to be tracked as a voter (including giving up the right to a secret ballot), if it meant that all guns and their respective owners were tracked too.

        • John says:

          Do you mean that you believe the right to have a gun is “endowed by the creator”? I’m pretty sure that’s not in the USC or the Bible, but I am open to your showing me.

          The framers believed that our rights came from the creator as stated in the Declaration of Independence. There were those that didn’t want to have a bill of rights because they felt that this would limit them to just what was listed. The bill of rights was eventually put in thankfully.

          So you concede that voter IDENTIFICATION is ok? That people can be compelled to prove citizenship and ID before voting? That is the point. We hear that this is disenfranching to some as it creates a barrier to voting. How about performing a background check as well? The fact that you would so cavalierly give up the secret ballot is a little disconcerting. Maybe you just don’t understand privacy or you’re being disingenuous. What I own is my business and not yours. How I vote is none of your business.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          If this is all the evidence you’ve got, then you are overstating the case. The Declaration of Independence is not the same thing as the USC. I can’t claim to know if the Framers believed that the right to bear arms was a God-ordained thing, but it certainly is not what the Constitution says. Similarly, we should consider that if they believed gun-ownership was a human right, there wouldn’t have been much debate about it, and it surely would have been part of the original document (not a later addendum). Since you reject Christianity, I’m not even sure what god you are talking about when you express belief that a deity ordained the 2nd amendment in the first place.

          As far as voter identification goes, I’ve always been asked to show my driver’s license. Nevertheless, I don’t concede that voter identification in the way you apparently mean it is ok, but this is primarily because your intended analogy is half-baked at best. Honest accountings of alleged voter fraud are the best case against the types of restrictive voter ID laws that Conservatives bandy about, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume that voter fraud is as rampant as the number of gun related deaths and injuries in the USA. It’s still a broken analogy because a person casting a vote twice is not the same thing as killing someone with a gun. The analogy you are trying to make is lame.

          I understand privacy. I am merely telling you that I am willing to negotiate regarding reasonable gun sense.

  8. John says:

    They had in mind the same weapons that the military used, so fail. Prohibition didn’t work because people just went underground for booze, just as they would with guns. And just why do you think that we have no need to resist tyranny? The framers knew full well what the 2nd was about.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      I will grant you that the authors of the US Constitution (USC) may have had weapon parity (between the citizenry and the army) in mind at the time. Then again, perhaps they didn’t. In either case, the notion that we should presently allow citizens to have access to the same types of weapons as the military is a failed argument. Folks aren’t allowed chemical weapons, howitzers, or M60s, etc. much less fighter jets, tanks and nuclear weapons, thank God. Weapon parity is simply not protected by the USC. Even if that is the way our nation started out, it was de facto, not de jure.

      I find your next comment about prohibition disappointing even if not surprising. You claim that (allegedly good) gun owners will simply choose to become criminals and smugglers. I have often heard the gunnutter mantra that’ “If you outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have them,” but I didn’t realize that this could double as the rallying cry to promote gunnutter lawlessness. So much for the “good guy with a gun” slogan, eh? Fortunately, not all gun owners are of the insane, civil-war, let’s-be-criminals mindset that you like to bandy about.

      As far as resisting tyranny goes, I think we presently have many reasons and opportunities to resist it, but none of these are accomplished with gun violence. Despite the best efforts of people like you, criminals, gun manufacturers, the NRA and other gunnutters, we are a civilized society that settles our differences best via votes, regulations, courts, laws and law enforcement, but not guns.

      • John says:

        Folks aren’t allowed chemical weapons, howitzers, or M60s, etc. much less fighter jets, tanks and nuclear weapons, thank God. Weapon parity is simply not protected by the USC.

        Those are crew served weapons and not arms that an individual would carry. However, my AR15 is as close to individual parity that I can legally do because we already have gun control to a certain extent. However, you can own a howitzer and a jet fighter if you can afford it.

        As far as tyranny, let Mr. Madison field that one:

        James Madison, for one, responded that such fears of federal oppression were overblown, in part because the new federal government was to be structured differently from European governments. But he also pointed out another decisive difference between Europe’s situation and ours: The American people were armed and would therefore be almost impossible to subdue through military force, even if one assumed that the federal government would try to use an army to do so. In Federalist No. 46, he wrote: Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes.”

        • C_Lambeth says:

          My point remains that parity between U.S. citizens and their armed services is not protected by the USC. Unlike you, the USC does not make distinctions between crew and individual weapons either. But yes, we do have a modicum of gun control. We simply disagree to what level that should be elevated or reduced.

          As for fighter jets and howitzers, your protest is a little disingenuous since you well know that civilian packages for such items (think navigation, targeting and comms) are not the same as the present features available to the military. Furthermore, you also know that civilians cannot get the relevant ordinance for such hardwear. That you are trying to misrepresent the situation undercuts your credibility. Do you think it helps your case?

          Now, let’s consider the Federalist Papers.
          I find it interesting that you’re trying to draft Madison to your side. If you’re looking for an advocate of small government and limited regulations and interventions, Madison isn’t your guy.

          I also find it ironic that your cut and pasted quote from the Heritage Foundation affirms part of what I have been saying all along: “…fears of federal oppression were overblown.

          I also think it’s fair to point out one of the other chaps who co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Madison, Alexander Hamilton. He was eager to show the power and authority of a centralized, federal government. And he got his chance in 1793-94 with the so-called Whiskey Rebellion. In case you don’t remember, armed thugs who didn’t like the federal liquor tax started destroying property along the frontier. Hamilton and Washington didn’t hesitate or fret about these armed rabble rousers. No, they assembled the army and marched, and the gunnutters never materialized or offered any resistance. Two folks were sentenced but later pardoned by Washington for mental incompetence. And this was in the day when there was complete weapon parity between the citizenry and the military.

          The point is that despite what Madison ostensibly said in the paper you referenced, (“American people were armed and would therefore be almost impossible to subdue through military force, even if one assumed that the federal government would try to use an army to do so.”), it didn’t deter a co-author of those papers from doing exactly that. Actions, meet words. Which speaks more loudly?

          The Bill of Rights (the 2nd Amendment in particular) was a concession to the Anti-Federalists to win their support for the proposed constitution, but when the chips were down, an armed citizenry didn’t stop the federal gov’t from imposing its authority. An armed citizenry also did not prevent England from invading in the War of 1812. In fact, I am having a difficult time thinking of any invasion of the United States or governmental tyranny that was thwarted by a well-regulated militia since the formation of the Union. Can you suggest one?

          This is also why the Cliven Bundy incident is so troubling. I wouldn’t call them “well regulated,” but like the Whiskey Rebels, unstable people with guns were not preventing gov’t tyranny, but causing tyranny. That’s a pretty strong case for repealing the 2nd Amendment, and it was brought to us not by liberals, but by gunnutters.

          Finally the same Heritage Foundation document you quoted above refers to a well regulated militia, complete with officers. This is the type of army under the command of Washington during the revolution, and it was needed mostly because the official army was a ragtag and woefully inadequate for the cause of throwing off England. None of that is the case today.

          When we consider that no well-regulated militia (with or without officers) exists and combine that with the fact of a large and more than sufficient standing U.S. armed services for national defense, it renders my original point about the obsoleteness of the 2nd Amendment all the more valid. Do you really think that some gunnutters with their AR-15s and sawed-offs are going to take on whatever national invaders you imagine? Can you offer any examples where this has been the case?

        • John says:

          If you truly think that we gun owners pose no real threat, then why are you worried about it? I merely used the above link to the federalist papers to show that it was the people as individuals bearing arms that they had in mind.

          “As for fighter jets and howitzers, your protest is a little disingenuous since you well know that civilian packages for such items (think navigation, targeting and comms) are not the same as the present features available to the military. Furthermore, you also know that civilians cannot get the relevant ordinance for such hardwear. That you are trying to misrepresent the situation undercuts your credibility. Do you think it helps your case?”

          You stated that a person cannot own these, there may be some qualifiers, but a person can. If I wanted to, I can buy a fully automatic m60 provided I pay the $200 tax stamp. It’s the prohibitive cost of the weapon itself that is the hurdle. As far as the ordinance, you can’t buy the shells anywhere, but you can make your own.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          I didn’t say gun owners posed “no real threat.” It’s bewildering that you could even come up with that given our conversation. As per my custom, I merely pointed out the problems with your argument. Citing the Federalist Papers doesn’t help your case because the assessment you provided doesn’t even say what you want it to say. Furthermore, the Fed Papers certainly don’t prove that the Framer’s were unwilling to enforce laws amongst an armed citizenry.

          Does your silence on the subject of an armed citizenry thwarting foreign invasions and gov’t tyranny mean that you have no examples to support your notions about the success of the 2nd amendment?

          You are still misrepresenting the situation when it comes to weapon parity between citizens and our military. Just because there is a modicum of overlap between weapons available to citizens and those found within the armed forces, it does not indicate that complete weapon parity exists. You cannot salvage this argument. You are mistaken. Complete weapon parity does not presently exist. Some arms are rightfully regulated and limited for the betterment and safety of our society, and parity is not included or defended in the constitution.

  9. John says:

    The gays and pro choice crowd taught us that the only way to fight this debate is to be loud, aggressive, and take no prisoners, so be it. But take heart, gun violence is not as bad as you think it is, that why the public is not on your side.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Just like women’s right to vote and the end of slavery, LGBT folks and pro-choice advocacy won their hard-fought rights not by being loud and aggressive, (or “taking prisoners” -huh?-), but by persistent legal challenges, advocacy, law, and court decisions, not to mention justice, fairness, and moral and political superiority. In my dealings with gunnutters (and you), your side is the one that seems to think you will win by shouting the loudest, marshaling garbage studies, and trying to bully anyone who dares to point out the problems with your arguments.

      As I have said multiple times now, I agree that the public is not yet awake on the need to repeal the 2nd amendment, but the more insane the gunnutters get and the more that insanity is combined with public bloodbaths, the sooner the public will wake up and do something about it. If gunnutters are so afraid of this scenario, then maybe they should be better advocates of universal background checks, enforcement efforts and limitations on types of guns and sizes of magazines.

  10. John says:

    We tried the restrictions on weapons and magazines, it didn’t do anything and was allowed to expire.

    The current report from the CDC echoed findings the CDC published back in 2003 that showed that suicides were responsible for 58 percent of all firearms-related deaths in 2000. Also noted is that back in 2003 Americans owned an estimated 192 million firearms, while today that number is estimated to be closer to 300 million, an increase of more than 55 percent.

    Said the CDC back in 2003, “Evidence was insufficient to determine the effectiveness of any of these laws” (Emphasis added.):
    Bans on specified firearms or ammunition,
    Restrictions on firearm acquisition,
    Waiting periods for firearm acquisition,
    Firearm registration and licensing of owners, and
    Zero tolerance for firearms in schools.

    If the president was looking to the CDC report for support on how to reduce the threat of firearm-related violence through legislation restricting the rights of American citizens, he was sorely disappointed. Perhaps that’s why so few of the media have publicized the report. In fact, the only establishment media even to mention the report was the Washington Post, which criticized it for not answering questions that it wasn’t asked to answer!

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Not sure what CDC report or Washington Post article you have in mind. Could you please provide links?

      As for your comments, suicide by gun is a gun-related death and part of the evidence I consider in my conclusion that guns make the USA a worse and more dangerous place, the costs of which are not worth the benefits and fulfill none of the intent of the antiquated 2nd amendment.

      Furthermore, showing that the number of guns has increased AFTER bans have expired or never been implemented to the level that they should have been hardly demonstrates an argument against bans or stringent gun control. It is also nonsense to say that increased gun ownership AFTER a ban has expired indicates that bans are not successful. Does not compute.

      Regarding the claim that restrictions’ effectiveness was insufficient at the time of the restrictions, I suppose it comes down to what is meant by “insufficient.” There are more than a few accountings that show efforts at limiting, reducing and banning weapons were successful. For example, this Washington Post article indicates that “Gun Killings Fell by 40 Percent after Connecticut Passed this Law.” 40 percent isn’t “statistically insignificant.” The study that the Washington Post article is based on came after the alleged CDC report you mention, so I can’t blame them for not incorporating it. Nevertheless, it should give anyone pause before they place full faith in the mentioned CDC report.

      But even if all the facts and conclusions were as you claim, there are still some things to consider. For example, “insufficient evidence” for the effectiveness of a law (or laws) is not evidence for the ineffectiveness of the legislation. Stated another way, insufficient evidence is merely admitting a lack of knowledge one way or the other. Like overinflated numbers of alleged defensive gun uses, it is notoriously difficult to prove the existence of negatives or non-events. After all, what “sufficient” evidence could there be for a violent gun incident that did not occur?

      The most tempting comparison would be to compare gun-related deaths for time periods were respective bans were and were not in place, and perhaps that’s what the claimed CDC report does (this is what the link I provided does regarding Connecticut). But even that can be deceptive, since, as I already pointed out, there were no legal nor practical efforts to collect all banned items that were sold, traded, etc. prior to limits and bans. People were grandfathered in and got to keep their now-banned killing instruments, and undoubtedly these were involved in some subsequent crimes. For a true comparison, said guns and bullets and accessories would need to be surrendered and bans enforced for lengthy periods of time. If there really are 300M guns and accessories out there, then of course short-term bans’ results are going to be skewed.

      At any rate, the “insufficient evidence” for banned items (in relation to gun-deaths) argument hardly constitutes an argument against any regulations or for the safety and goodness of guns. If anything, it suggests that these items should never have been available in the first place and that subsequent bans and efforts to cull guns and related accessories from the public need to be even more heavy-handed. The Newtown murderer, who will not be named here, would not have had access to the AR-15 had it never been available for purchase. He was not a criminal until that day, nor a black-market mastermind, and the same could be said of his parent who did procure the weapon. No, he was an idiot gunnutter with a lazy, non-criminal gun-owner for a parent who bought a legal gun and failed to keep it secure. Pretty sure the murderer’s mother didn’t envision getting killed by her own gun when she purchased it (for defense?). Oops.

      • John says:



        The first one deals with the Connecticut issue. The second should be the CDC priorities for research. At any rate, we tried your gun ban from 1994-2004. I’m sure you’ll spin some reason how it wasn’t a true ban, but the fact remains that we had it and it really didn’t do anything and it was allowed to sunset.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          I see you’ve not responded to a majority of the points I raised (again). Very well, I’ll deal with the areas you actually tried to defend:

          The gun ban in question wasn’t “my” act, but as I already explained, it was not a true ban since it was short-lived and made no efforts at all to collect the already-out-there guns. Even you can’t deny this. It is a known, undisputed fact. So you are still trying to spin a logical miscue here. Your argument does not work.

          As for the Hotair article you linked, it simply denies the effectiveness of a gun ban and relies on little more than opinion and name calling. Hardly surprising.

          What is surprising, however, is the article’s complete failure. It does not even deny that gun violence in Connecticut decreased. It merely claims that gun violence across the USA was falling too, starting about 1994. Well, gee, what went into effect in 1994 that coincided with Connecticut’s gun legislation? That’s right, the assault weapon ban. Hot air, indeed.

          As far as the 2003 CDC report that you claimed to have been quoting goes, the link you provided above is not that, so you’ll need to try again.

          However, the opening summary of the link you did provide says the following:

          Individuals use firearms legally for a variety of activities, including recreation, self-protection, and work. However, firearms can also be used to intimidate, coerce, or carry out threats of violence. Fatal and nonfatal firearm violence poses a serious threat to the safety and welfare of the American public. Although violent crime rates have declined in recent years, the U.S. rate of firearm-related deaths is the highest among industrialized countries. In 2010, incidents in the United States involving firearms injured or killed more than 105,000 individuals; there were twice as many nonfatal firearm-related injuries (73,505) than deaths. Nonfatal violence often has significant physical and psychological impacts, including psychological outcomes for those in proximity to individuals who are injured or die from gun violence. The recent, highly publicized, tragic mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; and Tucson, Arizona, have sharpened the public’s interest in protecting our children and communities from the effects of firearm violence.

          Thank you for providing me with another resource to show that the 2nd amendment’s costs are greater than its benefits.

  11. John says:

    There are over 100,000,000 gun owners in this country with over 300,000,000 guns, so the actual % of violence attributed to lawful gun owners is small. You add suicide and intentional crime to make the problem seem worse. I will agree that we have a crime problem, but as pew has reported, it has been on a downward trend.

    I will concede that there are people that shouldn’t have a gun, but that is no different than anything else. Not everyone should be parents or drive cars, yet in a free society, a person has due process before they lose rights. What you would have is me losing my right in exchange for whatever privilege you would approve of. That simply is not acceptable. Who gets to decide? The whole point to a bill of rights is that the individual is protected. So your position is a fail from a constitutional rights perspective. There really is no credible movement to change that.

    Now from a practical perspective, the odds of your house burning down are small, all things equal. So why buy home insurance? Because the statistics tell us that someone is going to experience that loss, we just don’t know who or when. The fire department can’t be right by your house, so you have to take certain precautions. Just as the fire department can’t be all places all the time, the police are limited.

    Now, I live where the police work. I tried to find as safe a place as possible, but there has still been some trouble locally. So it would follow that if the police cannot provide around the clock protection, then I will have to provide for my own. I spend a lot of time away from home, so it follows that I would have the same defensive need when out. Just because you feel differently really only applies to you. My carrying a gun has not effected you in the slightest. Yet you have this fear of the crazy gun nut. The last figure I saw for gun accidents was somewhere around 500-550 per year. Out of over 100,000,000 gun owners that works out to about .0000055. So unless you are going to the bad side of town, you’re pretty safe. At this point, you would turn this around. Just like buying home insurance, it’s that worst case situation that I carry for. I would rather not need it, than to need it and not have it.

    Now if you can show me a way to target the bad actors without infringing, hampering, or interfering with my free exercising of my rights, then we can have a discussion about how to keep guns out of the wrong hands. I’ve been around the world 3 times and have seen just what is out there. Just because some other country does something doesn’t mean we should follow.

  12. C_Lambeth says:

    Thus far, my position has been based on the number of gun related deaths in the USA as compared with defensive gun uses. I have even given a pass on the monetary costs and pain associated with gun injuries, but when we add those in, the cost of our right to bear arms is even more disconcerting. As per your latest comments, however, you desperately want to ignore suicides and apparently “intentional crime” too, so you can merely focus on gun related accidents. What can I say? If you categorically rule out the evidence, your conclusions will be detached from reality.

    But thank you for finally conceding that there are certain people that should not have a gun. You agree with me at that point.

    As for due process, the problem for your argument is that it focuses on an individual or case by case basis. It is not a violation of due process to change laws or rights that everyone is subjected to. Your due process claim does not work.

    Who gets to decide who has guns and what qualifies a person for privileges? In a representative democracy, it is our elected officials and the rule of law. So, counter your assertion, my position is not a fail from a constitutional perspective. It is a position that recognizes that the USC can be changed, and should be with regard to the 2nd amendment. My position also allows for the same sorts of regulations that presently limit citizens from having certain weapons.

    As for your fire insurance analogy, it is a misrepresentation of the situation. Guns aren’t like a fire insurance policy (which won’t kill anyone). To make your analogy more applicable, it would have to feature using something inherently deadly and often misused, like the practice of setting a back-fire to squelch a more threatening fire. Like guns, setting a fire to stop a fire has proven to be problematic. It can get out of hand and kill and destroy just as easily as the target it intended to stop. That is a much closer approximation of the situation regarding gun ownership as means of defense.

    Your argument about your carrying a gun and it not affecting me is also a misrepresentation of the situation. Gun violence and the failure of the 2nd amendment is not limited to case by case considerations, but rather a look at the entire forest (fire). A step back reveals that protected gun ownership is a direct threat to the greater good (domestic tranquility) of our entire nation and should be dealt with in significant and lasting ways. Of course you are free to disagree, and I acknowledge that current policy is not on the side of gun privilege, but the evidence continues to pile up against unrestricted access to guns.

    But to answer your question, yes, I am very concerned about gunnutters. You could even say that I would be afraid of them, especially in close proximity, and that is precisely because the facts prove that they do far more damage than good. I don’t trust nut-jobs with guns, and we never know who they are until the bodies start dropping. The recent church shooting in South Carolina is a perfect example. Nobody knew what kind of person this nut would be until he started murdering people with his legally obtained guns. And if you were to ask him, I’m sure he could make a fine case as to why he is a “good guy.”

    So I don’t care about defending the ridiculous “right” to bear arms. Eliminating it will be the first step (but not the only) to keep guns out of people’s hands. If other, remarkably similar nations implement laws that work to reduce gun-death tolls and related costs, then we would be fools not to follow their lead, and that is exactly what we are proving to be.

  13. Marcus M. says:

    Wow. Nice discussion. I never thought about the rebuttal to the due process argument you mentioned. But I think my favorite part of this thread is not just that you routed all John’s arguments (which was awesome by the way), but that he tried to insult your manhood all while he hid behind an anonymous screen name. So brave.

  14. C_Lambeth says:

    Thanks, MM. If you had not thought of my due process rebuttal and were encouraged by it, then know that I was encouraged by your pointing out the hypocrisy in John’s attempts at denigrating my masculinity while cowering behind an anonymous handle. It also seems that John has some unfortunate ideas about masculinity in general, but alas.

    Thanks for wading through the lengthy discussions!


  15. @bobby_b71 says:

    The fact that you don’t know what “Full faith and Credit” means shows your sophomoric understanding of the constitution.


    • C_Lambeth says:

      Speaking of “sophomoric,” Bobby, it’s interesting to me that out of all the problems I pointed out with your meme, the most substantive retort you can manage is to try to insult me for not understanding what I already said that I don’t understand, namely, your effort to connect “the full faith and credit” clause with an alleged parallel between guns and vehicles. But instead of rallying what surely must be a low amount of brain power for you to explain what you meant when questioned, you’ve chosen to laugh it away. It is funny, but not in the way you imagine. The irony is that your efforts at insults and condescension say more about you and your position than they do about me and mine. I wonder if you can do better.

Leave a reply. Respondents who do not honor the spirit of legitimate and reasonably courteous dialogue may find their posts unapproved, edited or removed at any time. You are free to disagree passionately, but not inappropriately.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s