Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Don't Tread On Me

This is a guest post, written by my husband...


                                                                                                            17 December 2012

Family, friends, and fellow Americans, there is no doubt the shootings of the last week in Oregon and Connecticut are horrific and evil.  They are a national tragedy and a wound to our nation that will be slow to heal.  For some, no healing will ever be possible.  I have the most profound sympathy for these who have suffered the greatest loss of all, their husbands, wives, children, and parents.  I pray for them and their families.  Certainly we all would do something to bring them back if we could!

Some of you will not like what I write here.  I mean no disrespect nor do I wish to minimize the events that have occurred for any of the victims involved but we must be thoughtful and deliberate when we start talking about taking rights from all current and future generations of Americans.  Over the last 250 years, many patriots and veterans paid the ultimate price for us, the average citizens, who have done little or nothing to earn our precious freedom.  We must honor those who won those freedoms for us by not just giving them away in an emotional moment.

There is much talk in the media and among the politicians about the weapons involved and the relevance of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.  For those who have not recently read their personal copy of the Constitution, the 2nd Amendment states:

 “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. 

Those commas are in odd places but that is how the amendment was written. 

If you do not have your own copy of the Constitution, please let me know and I will make sure you get one as quickly as I can get it for you.  I am not kidding about this.  All Americans should have their own copy and know what it says.

With all the news hype and political rhetoric going on, it is easy for normally rational people to become emotional.  We feel anger, sorrow, and grief.  We feel that something must be done to right this terrible wrong.  If only it were that easy?

First of all, let’s get one thing out in the open right away.  AUTOMATIC WEAPONS ARE CURRENTLY ILLEGAL and have been since the 1934 National Firearms Act.  No one used an “automatic” weapon in any attack anyone is talking about on TV right now.

We must be aware that we are not getting the whole story on these matters.  There is a longstanding position of the “left” to desire the removal of many if not all firearms from the possession of the people who legally have them.  Today, these tragedies are being used as tools to manipulate us into making that irrational decision.  What! How could I level such an accusation?  Well, simply put, there are two facts that seem to be ignored when all the dramatic reporting is going on about these events.  First, with respect to the mall shooting in Oregon, here is a little reported fact, quoted from: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/13946-china-school-knife-massacre-why-no-media-coverage  (I strongly suggest you read the whole article)

Also largely unreported by the national press was a would-be massacre stopped in a Portland-area mall by an armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit. 22-year-old Nick Meli was carrying his Glock 22 at the Clackamas Town Center, a mall in a town outside of Portland, Oregon, on the same day as the Newtown massacre. The contrast between the unarmed victims in Newtown and the Clackamas shooting was stark. Meli, seeing suspect 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts shooting random shoppers with his AR-15, pulled his gun as Roberts' gun jammed. Meli never even had to fire his gun to stop the shooting spree, which ended in the death of two innocents and the shooter himself. Meli held his fire because of the risk of shooting an innocent person. "As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them," Meli told the local television station. “I know that after he saw me,  I think that the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.” (Thanks Bill for showing me this)

Do you hear NBC or the President talking about this?  Hell no!  We are being manipulated people…wake up!

Secondly, there has been much talk about the assault weapons in the school shooting.  What could have been done?  Well in fact, in 2011/2012, the Obama administration purposefully cut about $1 Billion (with a B) dollars from the federal budget that was targeted toward school safety.

Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren't renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier. http://www.washingtonguardian.com/washingtons-school-security-failure (thanks Matt for pointing this out!)

Uh oh, I bet that little tidbit plays poorly if the mainstream gets ahold of it!

What would Jefferson say about these gun free school zones?  Good news, he actually made a relevant statement:  "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."-Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria.  In other words, by declaring gun free zones, we have simply told the criminals where they will find the easiest targets.

If only there was a law that would prevent the shooter from obtaining the weapons to commit such a crime?  Utopia right?

Well guess what, the young man who did this shooting in Connecticut was in violation of numerous laws.  Let’s review a few of them:
·      He was under 21 and thus not a lawful possessor of a handgun
·      He murdered his own mother in cold blood
·      He took these weapons to a “gun free school zone” in violation of EXISTING federal law
·      He murdered 27 innocent men, women, and children.

I ask you, what additional law would have prevented this massacre?  How about a gun ban you say?  Ok maybe, but then my memories revert to the April 1995 and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City where Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh used a rented moving truck and a bunch of fertilizer to blow up the Federal building killing 168 including 19 children.  Was there any action taken outlawing moving trucks or fertilizer?  Would such action have been prudent?

For those of you who know me, I am a data driven person.  I like to look at facts and figures to help me make decisions with some sense of certainty and wisdom.  Lets look at some data.  Starting with the Columbine High School tragedy of April 20, 1999, there have been 31 “mass shootings”.  Certainly 1 is too many but we must look at them to understand what we are talking about here.

1.    April 20, 1999 – Columbine High School – 13 Killed, 21 Injured
2.    July 19, 1999 – Atlanta Day Trading Firm – 12 Killed
3.    September 15, 1999 – Wedgewood Baptist Church – 7 Killed, 7 Injured
4.    December 26, 2000 – Edgewater Technologies – 7 Killed
5.    July 8, 2003 – Lockheed Martin Plant in Meridian MS – 7 Killed, 7 Injured
6.    March 12, 2005 – Living Church of God Shooting – 9 Killed, 4 Injured
7.    March 21, 2005 – Red Lake Senior School – 11 Killed, 5 Injured
8.    March 25, 2006 – Capitol Hill – Seattle WA – 7 Killed, 2 Injured
9.    October 2, 2006 – Amish Schoolhouse – Lancaster, PA – 5 Killed, 6 Injured
10. February 12, 2007 – Salt Lake City Trolley Square Mall – 5 Killed, 4 Injured
11. April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech Massacre – 32 Killed, 24 Injured
12. December 5, 2007 – Westroads Mall – Omaha, NE – 9 Killed, 4 Injured
13. February 7, 2008 – Kirkwood MO City Hall – 6 Killed, 2 Injured
14. February 14, 2008 – Northern Illinois University – 6 Killed, 21 Injured
15. March 29, 2009 – Pinelake Health and Rehab, Carthage, NC – 8 Killed
16. April 3, 2009 – Binghampton, NY Immigration Center – 13 Killed, 4 Injured
17. November 5, 2009 – Fort Hood Army Base Shooting – 13 Killed, 29 Injured
18. August 3, 2010 – Hartford Beer Distributor – Manchester,CT – 9 Killed, 2 Injured
19. January 8, 2011 – Gabriel Giffords Shot in Tucson, AZ – 6 Killed, 13 Injured
20. July 7, 2011 – Grand Rapids, MI – 7 Killed
21. September 6, 2011 – IHOP – Carson City, NV – 5 Killed, 7 Injured
22. October 14, 2011 – Salon Meritage - Seal Beach, CA – 8 Killed, 1 Injured
23. February 27, 2012 – Chadron High School - Chadron, OH – 3 Killed, 3 Injured
24. April 2, 2012 – Oikos University – Oakland, CA – 7 Killed
25. April 6 2012 – Tulsa Oklahoma – 5 blacks shot by 2 whites – 3 Killed, 2 Injured
26. May 29, 2012 – Café Racer Espresso – Seatle, WA – 5 Killed
27. July 20, 2012 – Aurora, CO Movie Theatre – 12 Killed, 58 Wounded
28. August 5, 2012 – Sikh Temple - Oak Creek, WI – 6 Killed, 4 Injured
29. September 27, 2012 – Signage Systems, Minneapolis, MN – 5 Killed
30. December 11, 2012 – Clackamas Town Center, Oregon – 2 Killed
31. December 14, 2012 – Sandy Hook School Shooting – 27 Killed

Each of these events is a tragedy for sure.  For the individuals involved no doubt these were final life events that will forever change the survivors and the towns they happened in.  I feel bad even saying it but I am going to have to for the greater good.  All total, if I added them correctly, these add up to 275 deaths and 249 wounded.  Again, each of these individuals is forever impacted by what has occurred and I do not mean any disrespect for their loss.  However, is the loss of 275 lives a reason to sacrifice one of our most basic freedoms?  Does the injury of another 249 and the potentially hundreds more who morn these victims?  If we estimated that each of these had a family that loved them, I would offer a total sacrifice made by about 3000 people.  Again, there were 275 deaths, each significant in their own right for sure.

However, when I contrast this to other issues in our society, I have to ask myself why we have all the “concern” about this one issue?  For example, consider the following facts:

·      As of 2001, about 550 people have died visiting the Grand Canyon
·      According to data from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, 51 States reported a total of 1,537 fatalities. Based on these data, a nationally estimated 1,560 children died from abuse and neglect in 2010. (I have no idea where the 51st state is but I assume the US territories are included in that number?)
·      In 2009, there were 33,808 total traffic fatalities in the US.  Of those, 10,591 were related to speeding
·      In 2003, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that approximately 4,700 pedestrians were killed and another 70,000 injured due to pedestrian-vehicle crashes
·      In 2008 there were still 13,846 fatal alcohol related crashes

So I ask you, Are Guns really the most serious problem we need to solve today?  Do they really represent the grave danger to society that all the Liberals were on TV talking about this past weekend?

Maybe we could be facetious here just a moment….

Based on the logic of the left with respect to banning “Assault Style Weapons” we should also be banning trips to the Grand Canyon, Poor Parenting, Driving, Crossing the Street, and Alcohol, all of which are far greater threats to the population than these “Assault Style Weapons” 

In 2011, 368 people died crossing the border illegally from Mexico into the United States.  That is more than all of the mass shootings cited above.  Furthermore, the government is legally authorized and obligated to protect that border.  Doing so would not violate anyone’s constitutional rights.  Yet the administration appears to be going soft on illegal immigration, a problem approximately 10 times more deadly than mass shootings with “Assault Style Weapons”.

Also, please note that each of my counterpoint statistics is for individual years, not a sum total of years for 1999 to present.  By contrast the shooting related numbers are totaled over a 13-year period.

So again I ask you to be rational and ask yourself the question, do these events justify removing weapons of any kind from about 88 million law-abiding citizens?

These law-abiding citizens do not pose any threat to society but rather they simply provide a counterbalance to a potential future tyrannical government.  We must not be too quick to give away our freedom. 

What did I just say?  Tyrannical Government?  Not Here!  No way! 

Why do you think that is?  Could it be that the 2nd Amendment is the major contributing factor to us not having an overly oppressive government in this country?  I am certain our founding fathers planned it this way.

To quote Thomas Jefferson: "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson, Bill for the More General diffusion of Knowledge (1778). 

Benjamin Franklin rightly stated: "They that can give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania. 

It is my opinion that these statements reflect that the true purpose of the 2nd amendment is allow the people to be properly armed so as to protect themselves from a future tyrannical central government.  After all, was this not what the American Revolution was all about?  When Paul Revere rode proclaiming, “The British are coming!” he was warning the colonials that the British were coming TO CONFISCATE THEIR GUNS!

I am disgusted that our President and his socialist cronies are using this terrible tragedy to advance their political purposes.  This is a tragedy and we should not use it to grossly manipulate public opinion to convince people to give up any portion of their right to bear arms based on the emotions of the moment.  What will be next?  Possibly Mayor Bloomberg’s “proactive police work”, which essentially amounts to illegal searches of “suspicious” looking African American males in New York City will catch on in all 50 states.  I can’t see how this doesn’t violate the 4th amendment but somehow they keep doing it. 

For those of you with no constitution handy, the 4th amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

The second amendment is in part about self-defense but our founding fathers also wanted to be sure that citizens could protect themselves against a tyrannical government.  Should a ban be passed, all the pieces are then in place to subjugate the rights of the American Citizen and our Constitution.  Consider an assault weapons ban coupled with the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act.  (You can read about them at bordc.org).   Essentially, these laws allow the President to declare anyone a terrorist and suspend their constitutional rights.  Who knows, he may do it to me if this paper spreads far enough.  I sure hope not.  After all, there is another amendment, specifically, the 1st Amendment, that addresses this issue.  I have the right to speak out, to dissent, and to attempt to convince others to join me!

You know I can’t resist!  For those of you who don’t have your own copy of the constitution yet, the first amendment states:

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

Will we become the next Weimar Republic?  Not if I can help it!

"To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them..." -Richard Henry Lee writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic (1787-1788).