Walter,Two points: First you"re going to have a difficult time selling that George Washington argument to Native Americans. How much peace, security, and happiness did they receive at the wrong end of "the pistol and the rifle"? They were living on top of all that coal, oil, uranium, and farmland, etc. and had to be removed at all costs. Thus, the "Indian Wars."
Secondly I said nothing about the homicide rates in Russia, Cuba, or China. I mentioned Germany, Japan, and England; could have mentioned a substantial number of others such as Norway, Denmark, Finland, and so on.
If we wish to visit countries in which its citizens disappear, we may want to get out our travel brochures for Chile (September 11, 1973) armed overthrow of a democratically elected president with the substantial help of Henry Kissinger and tha CIA; or El Salvador, USA supported dictatorship in which civilians disappeared on a regular basis. Civilians in Salvador were armed but to little avail. The military had bigger guns and God on their side (Napoleon said God is on the side of those with the biggest guns).
We can look at several more Latin, and South American countries, but you can see where I'm going with this -- straight to the School of the Americas, of which I'm sure you have at least a passing familiarity.
My final comment is that in the face of any evidence or no matter how compelling that evidence is, there are those that will rationalize gun ownership and its "necessity" for protecting constitutional rights we have not had for a number of years. So, have your guns already. I have never owned one in my 65 years, never felt the need to own one. The biggest threats I have ever faced came from number crunchers, execs, banks, utility companies, and so on. I can't bring myself to shoot them. So my "gun fund" pays for six months of cell phone usage.
February 5, 2013 at 2:31 p.m.
V.,Tools are floor jacks, Crescent wrenches, drywall trowels, etc.Although I will concede that a .44 magnum,or a zip gun, or a B-52, or the Ohio nuclear submarine are also tools of a fashion -- I have serious reservations about any of these solving social issues of any kind.
Per capita crime higher? Maybe. But very little bloodshed occurs when graft or embezzlement is the crime. But our social issues center around a very few people owning and/or controlling vast amounts of wealth and resources. This goes a long way to create a permanent underclass.
This underclass has little or no means to obtain much less maintain a high quality life. They remain little able to "game" the economic system the way a bailed-out New York bank exec can. However, they have a second amendment right to obtain and use a gun. Until they use it to commit a crime, AND get caught and convicted.
In effect our economic systen has all along been creating an economic underclass with marginal lives that sees every day many examples of splendid wealth and conspicuous consumption both in real time and through the various media.
By an underclass I mean that there exists a permanent strata of Americans for whom no meaningful employment will Ever be available. These people understandably will do what they must to maintain their existence. And...they are free to do that with their second amendment rights, so-called.
To advance my argument another step, one must take a week off and read the many hundreds of pages of the USAPATRIOT Act. Through these pages a reader will find that all of our constitutional rights have been suspended. There is no second amendment. Nor is there a first, sixteenth or any other. The constitution has been nullified and voided through collusion by the Republican and Democratic parties. These majority parties played on the fears, ignorance, and paranoia of Americans over the extremely unlikely possibility that Osama binLaden will attack us once more; oh, wait "we" assassinated him without due process, one of our constitutional rights.
Well the Constitution makes a great framed artifact or wallpaper or whatever other paper that may be necessary. But Nobody is or has been for quite a few years, fighting to protect our constitutional rights. The only rights we have are the ones we get at the pleasure of the Federal Government. As long as what I write poses no threat to the established order I can have all the first amendment rights in the candy shop.
Must we arm ourselves like they are doing in the Bitterroots of Idaho? It will be useless! Janet Reno sent a tank and flamethrower to teach the Branch Davidians a lesson on second amendment rights. And that was before our constitution was suspended.
So wake up and smell the coffee, for it may already be too late. Our only hope is an awakening from mass media's hypnosis that we have inalienable rights in the USA, "Homeland" of the Brave New Patriotact World.Welcome Home.
February 5, 2013 at 12:22 p.m.
Spoken like a true provincial, vindyak.We can be sure to have little or no weapons control laws as long as there are people who think like you.So tell me, how many trips to China, Russia, and Cuba have you made? What are their homicide rates?I didn't write my comments in order to be an object of condescention, but to explain that the second amendment was written to provide us with a well-regulated militia. The second amendment was not written to create droves of paranoids who cannot possibly believe that they keep deadly weapons in their homes to "protect" themselves from intruders.Since you bring up the ad hominem argument of foreign countries, let me bring you a bit of relevance to the table. To name three other countries, Japan, Germany, and England; there are many others, but in the three countries I mention, strict enforcement of guns is in effect. That policy keeps the homicide rate to five percent of that in the United States. In other words, for every gun homicide in Japan, twenty similar homicides occur here.Fear of criminals is tantamount to giving criminals power over us to legislate sane use of firearms. A much more effective policy would be to issue titles and registrations for every firearm. All guns have a make and serial number after all. We must responsibly do this for our motor vehicles, which do have a purpose other than killing, unlike guns. While we're at it, liability insurance, the same as for automobiles, should be mandatory for ALL guns to insure the public that firearms owners are indeed responsible citizens. I am sure the insurance industry would appreciate the premiums.Without strict control of deadly guns, you can expect the same or increased absurdly tragic homicide rates to continue. You can't keep doing the same wrong things and expect changes for the better. To do so is insane.
February 5, 2013 at 1:36 a.m.
The previous four letters and the hundreds of comments (I counted 1394) made to them paint a picture of shameful redbaiting, cynicical ignorance that appears to have thrived in the Mahoning Valley since the 1950s.
Since so many are glued to their TV sets, EIB's Rush Limbaugh, senslessly violent movies, and an absolute horror of reading anything to the left of Hannity -- having a cache of weapons in the closet and gunrack seems as ordinary as free speech, voting, or a trip to the Giant Eagle store.
Guns are not the answer to any problem. Guns and attitudes and beliefs about gun ownership IS THE problem. The writers of the second amendment clearly had in mind the right of states to form militias. The eighteenth century politicians and intellectuals could not even have dreamed of the deadly capacity of today's weapons. The founding fathers' nightmare would have been armed bands of survivalists and Wild West gunslingers running amok instead of well organized militias.
The per capita slaughter by firearms in the Youngstown region has been on par with the most violent areas in the United States. We are not going to increase the quality of life here or anywhere else in the world through the use of weapons and advanced weapon technology.
If you want a gun or many guns, I would suggest joining the National Guard. Help protect Ohio in a sensible way. If you don't want the bad guys, so-called, from the middle east to have guns and commit violence, cooperate with rather than attempting to own them and their resources (oil).
While we're at it, dissolve the CIA and the vast number of spy agencies that our tax dollars support. The covert, off the record guns paid for, and used, in all of our names by the government is embedded in our culture of gun violence.
If my notions mentioned here seem naive to some readers; how much more naive and misguided is the notion of pouring ever more weapons into our lives through the entertainment industry, the NRA, and the Pentagon with its covert operatives.
Bob Hagan is absolutely right, and some of us need to stop snivveling about getting our rocket launchers taken away. I further suggest beginning by subscribing to and supporting TomDispatch online. This site explains in plain language, sane approaches to survival for all of us and our children and their children.
Guns will not be a problem once we come to understand their low importance; that they cause infinitely more harm than good. We need to follow the example of enlightened countries that have low homicide rates and very strict gun laws. Which countries? Widen your reading, the info is not available on TV or the movies. It's just Not there.
February 4, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.