Right to life over liberty to own guns

By Linda Principe 02/14/2013

“We the people . . ..” For those of us who listened carefully to President Barack Obama’s second inaugural speech last month, we, the people, comprehend that, as a nation, we individually and collectively can accomplish liberty, freedom, equality and justice for all Americans . . . if we, the people dedicate ourselves to the principles of democracy. For those who voted again for President Obama (me) and those who did not, one thing was made perfectly clear, and that is, finally we have a constitutional attorney dedicated to actually defending our Constitution for each of us, regardless of color, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Wow. How completely refreshing for anyone who comprehends the concept of . . . “we, the people.”

So it is with genuine happiness that I somehow missed January 19 as it was “observed” by the National Rifle Association, the Republican Tea Party and Political Media as “Gun Appreciation Day.” Seriously? Your timing was truly “remarkable” and so truly transparent to celebrate your beliefs just two days prior to President Obama’s second inauguration. Amazing that Larry Ward (president and CEO of Political Media in Washington, D.C., a Republican consulting firm) urged “people to go to gun stores, shoot a few bullets, buy a few bullets, buy a gun if you don’t have one and . . . hold up your sign, ‘hands off my guns.’  “Question: Where were you, Larry Ward, on 12/14 when 20 innocent children and six heroines were gunned down by a man with an assault rifle? I hope you were scheduling your urgently needed brain surgery . . . maybe a heart transplant also, much like a “two-fer” for damaged and non-functional body parts. To the NRA . . . my new mantra is No Rifles Assaulting Americans. Did some of you gun enthusiasts and Tea Party pals somehow miss your Civics 101 class way back when school violence was really nonexistent? Except for the military and law enforcement, carrying or owning an assault rifle is not a Second Amendment right. See . . . that “47 percent” of Americans comprehend safety and sanity. Also, David Atkins of the Ventura County Democratic Party (you remember . . . a party of . . .we, the people) stated, “Preventing the sale of tactical assault rifles with high-capacity magazines and creating a registry of firearms is not an illegal restriction of the Second Amendment. It’s common sense.” Did I hear someone say Brady Campaign against gun violence? To presume that anyone can assume (make an Ass of U, not Me) that he or she can interpret what, exactly, our Founding Fathers “had in mind” is reaffirming that those same enthusiasts are operating (?) with a 200-plus-year-old brain. I doubt our forefathers even could predict what assault rifles would be utilized for in the 21st century. Common sense equals sensibility, accountability and responsibility, a trifecta of liberty, equality and justice for . . . we, the people.

President Obama proposed 23 executive orders last month, based on his research and that of Vice President Joe Biden and those involved directly or indirectly with the gun lobby. Thankfully, executive orders don’t need congressional approval. Finally, we now have a beginning to dialogue and decisions made to protect all Americans, not just gun owners.

So to all those who observed 1/19, I now ask all Americans (most especially those with hearts and brains) to observe every Dec. 14 by enacting a Children’s and Teachers’ Right to Life Appreciation Day to honor and remember the 20 innocent children and six heroines massacred inhumanely and without conscience or compassion as to their constitutional rights. Oh . . . NRA, I’m prepared for your usual monologue, “Gun’s don’t kill people. People kill people.” To me, that’s like telling MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers), “Drunks don’t kill people. Cars kill people.” Whether it is an assault rifle or a car, however, it is the weapon of choice. It is a weapon. Fact: Weapons kill.

On that fateful Dec. 14 day, where, exactly, were the inherent rights of 26 human beings to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”? Twenty-six families whose lives are forever changed by yet another act of gun violence. This Gun Appreciation Day is yet another lame excuse for not listening to or hearing the real voice of America. Fortunately, on the right side of safety and sanity there remain . . . we, the people.

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Early documents--Henry, Madison, Jefferson, et al. show the 2nd Amendment was ratified in order to appease Southern states concerned about whether state militias would have arms available in order to catch runaway slaves and police their actions. They were concerned that without arms to safeguard this human property, the slaves would find refuge in the north where many disapproved of slavery and that the runaways would be able to earn their freedom through military service, as some did in Washington's army. There were concerns about funding for the militia being a federal obligation and that the states would not be able therefore to pay for such arms.

There is no evidence that the Second Amendment was ever intended as an individual right rather than a state right.

posted by cassandra2 on 2/14/13 @ 04:39 p.m.

Actually, Cassandra, The US Supreme Court already decided this. From DC v. Heller:

1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Pp. 2–53.

The language of the Second Amendment is plain. People means individuals, e.g. the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, etc.

I'll go with the Supreme Court, or if you prefer... Patrick Henry:
"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"

posted by blinkyblinky on 2/19/13 @ 12:53 a.m.
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