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We Have A Common Sense Check On The 2nd Amendment

Category: Guns
Posted: 06/27/16 17:59

by Dave Mindeman

There is no question that the SCOTUS ruling on the Texas abortion restrictions case is the biggest and most consequential news of the day. But the other major ruling, the one on gun rights, was very welcome as well.

This ruling "concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession".

This decision can take guns out of the hands of potentially violent people.

But there is a more important application as well. This ruling solidifies the notion that common sense gun laws are Constitutional. The Court backs the idea that the 2nd Amendment isn't an absolute guarantee. Public safety can outstrip the right to own a gun.

The majority opinion ideas of the American people have a basis to be the law of the land. Universal background checks. Restrictions on automatic weapons sales. Gun locks. Stand your ground. All of these can become law or be modified in law.

The expansion of 2nd Amendment rights has reached its peak. Only Justice Thomas argued that the right to bear arms takes precedence over gun restrictions. (Sotomayor dissented on other grounds)

There is also something odd about the Thomas dissent...

Section 922(g)(9) is already very broad. It imposes a lifetime ban on gun ownership for a single intentional nonconsensual touching of a family member. A mother who slaps her 18-year-old son for talking back to her--an intentional use of force--could lose her right to bear arms forever if she is cited by the police under a local ordinance. The majority seeks to expand that already broad rule to any reckless physical injury or nonconsensual touch. I would not extend the statute into that constitutionally problematic territory.

Thomas seems to worry a little too much about 2nd amendment rights for potential abusers. I say odd, because it sends us back to the Anita Hill hearings and the accusations that Clarence Thomas pushed unwanted advances onto his employee. His words seem almost defensive.

But beyond that, this ruling gives law enforcement another tool to combat domestic abuse. I think this ruling will save lives.

And the 2nd Amendment will still be OK....trust me.
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To the NRA

Category: Guns
Posted: 06/19/16 18:36

by Dave Mindeman

Dear NRA:

What is your purpose? Why do you exist? Is what you are doing really protecting the 2nd Amendment?

NRA members, you can keep your guns. I don't care. But you have to explain to me why you need so many. Why you need guns that have incredible capacity clips. Why they need to fire at such a rapid pace.

Why is it so much "fun" to go out to the range and waste a ton of money firing hundreds of rounds at targets. If accuracy is your goal, it would seem that single shot weapons would be more appropriate.

If you are a hunter, how do you consider an AR-15 to be a "sporting" weapon? Blasting a deer to shreds doesn't seem very sporting.

I don't own a gun. Don't ever want to own a gun. I get nervous when I know a neighbor owns a gun. They are not a hobby. The are death instruments.

Having a gun in a house with small children makes even less sense to me. A child cannot discern a gun from a toy. A responsible gun owner will keep a gun locked away, yet, nearly every day some child finds a gun and does something lethal with it.

And guns as self-defense is another troubling assertion. It would seem that gun owners fancy themselves as modern day John Waynes or Elliot Ness'. It is delusional. The atrocity of being threatened by a gun is only exceeded by resisting that threat with another gun. The vast majority of people are not trained to handle such a situation. Your home is not the Alamo. Your response does not make you a law enforcement officer. Your large arsenal is not a guarantee of success.

So, NRA, you want us to believe that the answer to any question or problem is more guns. That is not true - and what is worse - you know it is not true. But it is what your sponsors, the gun manufacturers, want you to say, because it sells more weapons. It makes more money. It is a fool's errand.

If you had the best interest of the American people in mind, you would be working to modify our nation's laws with common sense. That reducing gun deaths would be your goal, rather than simply increasing gun sales. You can turn yourself into an ally of all of us who prefer gun safety to gun proliferation.

And in doing so, we can all accomplish something real and necessary.

Think about it NRA - think about it.
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Due Process

Category: Guns
Posted: 06/16/16 12:10

by Dave Mindeman

As we continue this gun conversation I am struck by the Republican defense of "due process". They are worried about the due process rights of people on the FBI watch list. Of those on the "no fly" list.

Due process.

I am glad they are concerned about this. There is something to be said for making sure that rights are protected if mistakes are made.

But I wish this concern extended beyond guns.

It seems that when other rights are threatened, Republicans are not as concerned about due process. For instance, voting rights. They do not seem to worry about a person's right to vote being compromised by arcane requirements. Whatever obstacle can be dreamed up seems to be allowed to be put in place. Where is the respect for that right?

And how about a woman's right to choose? Where is the respect for due process in that case. As abortion clinics are shuttered and more and more hoops are created to put a shroud over a woman's decision about her own body, where is the due process protection?

With all the restrictions placed on reproductive rights and the right to vote, why do Republicans feel that any restriction on gun purchases is the bridge too far? Why does this right take precedence?

And let's remember....reproductive rights and voting rights are more personal than public. Contrast that to gun purchases which can potentially affect any number of other people. Shouldn't that be taken into account?

The Democratic filibuster in the Senate has drawn attention to our lack of action on guns. The NRA muddies the waters with arcane arguments about what constitutes an automatic weapon. It's about definitions and loopholes and fighting restrictions....and due process.

Well there are 49 people in Orlando that had all of their due process rights wiped out in the course of a few seconds. All of their rights were taken away at the point of a gun.

I am not naive enough to believe that a few laws are going to stop these actions. I know that hate is the real culprit. I accept that.

But as a family member of one of the Charleston nine put it - "We need to disarm hate."

We can't guarantee we can end anything in this regard, but we can try.

Yes, due process is important. But due process can still be protected while making common sense gun restrictions the law of the land.

Law abiding gun owners should want to make sure that the legal right to own a gun does not result in the violent deaths of others.

The Senate is going to look at some basic common sense ideas. No fly - No buy is common sense. Universal background checks is common sense. These are things we can do. They are a start.

And we will still protect and expand those due process rights.
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