I agree with all of my dad's points, save one. Restrictions on nuclear weapons are, in my opinion, not infringements. For one thing, nukes are not weapons individuals can bear, so they are arguably not "arms" within the meaning of the Second Amendment. For another, the notion that anything burdening a right to the slightest degree "infringes" it depends on an anachronistic definition of "infringe." Today, we often use the word "infringe," usually together with the particle "on," to include anything and everything that steps on anyone's toes to the slightest degree. But the preferred 18th Century definition of "infringe" was much stronger than that, basically a synonym for "break" or "destroy" (cf. Latin infringere). By that definition, outright bans in Washington, D.C. and Chicago clearly infringed the right to keep arms; if a total ban doesn't "infringe," what does? Similarly, the Seventh Circuit ruled last week that Illinois's total ban on open or concealed carry infringes the right to bear them. But anything short of that is, at least, debatable. And the focus on that debate should be about whether a given restriction does or does not infringe - not whether it's OK to infringe a little bit.
You might start by recognizing that this country is a constitutional representative democracy that actually with respect to its constitution instead of changing it to meet popular demands of the moment or ignored with impunity as is common in some countries. Amending it is possible but designed to be difficult. Our Bill of Rights constitutes the first 10 amendments that, by contrast, were approved very quickly because they were part of a gentleman's agreement in order to persuade some reluctant states to adopt the much stronger federal Constitution to compensate for the failures of the original Articles of Confederacy. One of the earliest, the 2nd in fact, guarantees that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. "
Because of a preliminary clause, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state," there were decades of discussion as to whether or not that preamble negated the clear statement. In other words, there were decades of calls for the Supreme Court to rule the Constitution to be unconstitutional, for some of us conservatives, a bit of overreach. For decades, the Supreme Court avoided taking up the issue but it finally did and ruled that the Constitution means what it says. In spite of that constitutional mandate, there long have been infringements, private ownership of nuclear weapons perhaps, but they are ignored and few of us object. Fully automatic machine guns and sawed-off shotguns do fall into that category although far less clear-cut. I assume they have been challenged and allowed but I am no source of such detail. What is clear is that small arms, including scary looking look-alikes of military weapons are legal. There is precedent for amendments that repeal earlier amendments so feel free to initiate such an effort. My guess is that your success will be equally likely as your system-less system for revising public education in the US but feel free to try.
Given the availability of firearms in our society, how different might have been the reduction of level of this tragedy had that unfortunate principal had in her possession and been trained to use one of her own? Although seldom reported, the factor of crimes that are commenced but not consummated because the presence of firearms but never reported over gun related crimes is huge. As recommended reading you might try More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott for a data-based perspective on the issue.
Paul Tanner's model country is Norway with total population less than half that of my LA Basin,. Try a little arithmetic extrapolating from the 76 deaths from the dual tragedies last year where none of the citizens - especially a few people in charge on that island - to the population of the US and see if a gun-free society is inherently more secure even in a country without our large and, in some portions of it, violence prone inner-city ghettos.
At 09:21 AM 12/16/2012, GS Chandy wrote:
Further my post dated Dec 16, 2012 7:12 AM:
"Authorities have released the names of the victims in the Connecticut school shootings". Here's a link to a news story proving a link to the names of both children and teachers:
It may be worth highlighting the names of two of the victims:
- -- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)
Victoria Soto, a teacher for Grade I at the school, died (according to the newsreports I've seen) because she put herself in the way of the gunman's bullets to protect the children in her charge.
- -- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)
Dawn Hochsprung was the Principal of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. She was, according to the newsreports I've seen, an outstandingly good teacher and administrator, truly beloved by her wards and thejr parents.
I wonder if they also happened to be members of those infamous social engineers, the 'Education Mafia'?
("Still Shoveling Away!")