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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alex Jones on Piers Morgan: Right Message, Wrong Delivery

Alex Jones, the conservative radio host responsible for the White House petition to deport Piers Morgan, had a chance to face Morgan in a "debate" about gun rights versus gun control on Morgan's show last night:

Politico (VIDEO):


Huffington Post:

First, let me be clear: I'm an ardent supporter of the right of Americans to own firearms. I believe, uphold, and as a veteran, defend(ed) the Constitution in its entirety. I think the Second Amendment is necessary to ensure the citizens of this country remain free from any and all forms of government persecution. I know many that oppose this view think the Second Amendment is antiquated, but they have the luxury of saying that because the Second Amendment, in our history, has always existed. It's difficult to imagine an America without it, but without it, I do believe we would be living in an entirely different America. With respect to gun control, I've written about this before, and in spite of all the "feel good" but pragmatically irrational gun control noise that exists after a tragedy, I don't believe that any of the magazine-restricting, "assault" weapon-prohibiting potential legislation being debated will stop evil people from carrying out evil acts. I think more legislation is a waste of time, and given the sheer amount of guns that exist in society, both legally and illegally, I don't think laws of these types will do anything. I think the only thing more laws would do is deter law-abiding citizens who wish to defend themselves from doing so. I'd even beg the question: Do we really have a gun violence problem? I know you probably just gasped and thought, "how could he even ask this question," especially since 26 people just lost their lives in the most heinous way, but when you think about the gun death rate compared to the number of guns that exist in this country (approximately 12,000 deaths versus 350,000,000 - 400,000,000 guns - a rate of 0.00003 deaths per gun), we, as a society, use guns to kill people quite rarely. So yes, I understand that when a tragedy like the Sandy Hook shooting occurs, we want to react and pass more laws to "prevent" this from happening again, but realistically, and again, pragmatically, gun violence is incredibly rare, and sometimes over exaggerated. Regardless, I'm sensitive to the tragedy, and I think we, as a country, can grow from it. I just don't think the government should grow, too.

That being said, I also believe, firmly, in CIVIL debate. There always exists two sides to every story, and the reason for debate isn't always to simply "win" by getting your adversary to agree with you. Debate exists so we can learn something from someone with whom we disagree. Through calm, clear, and concise communication, backed and upheld by facts, this learning can be accomplished. In my opinion, though Alex Jones certainly had many facts on his side, and while I do agree with the position he takes, I strongly disagree with the method in which he communicates it.

As someone who pays attention to political discourse closely, it seems like the left usually tends to be more, for lack of a better phrase, intolerant, uncivil, and obtuse when it comes to political differences and debate. From Occupy Wall Street, to Code Pink, to eco-terrorists, to union thugs, to violent protests, the left seems to employ a tactic of "if you don't agree with us, we will be loud, invasive, violent, and intolerant to get our point across." I don't support these types of behaviors whatsoever, and I believe the right should abstain from these practices altogether. Simply, if we engage in similar behavior, we are no better than they are. To me, Alex Jones crossed that line. I vehemently disagree with Piers Morgan's position on guns, and I think he is way off the map. I think he is being self-promoting in his "look at me and what I support" notions while nothing he believes would truly help anything. I also despise his handling of his opponents on this issue, and I cringe when I see this happening more and more often.

But why stoop to his level? If Piers Morgan is going to act like a petulant child and verbally assault an opponent with whom he doesn't agree, let him! Don't get down in the mud and act the same way. Jones' shouting, demeaning, and boorish behavior does nothing to help his position or the good standing of those who share his beliefs. His interview last night was divisive, violent, counter-productive, sometimes incoherent, and frankly, gives teeth to the phrase "right-wing nut job." I don't believe Jones is, but this behavior is difficult to defend. In all honestly, my blood boils when liberals say, "conservatives are nothing but bible-touting, mullet wearing, uneducated hillbillies from the South who only warship Jesus and guns," (clearly, they have never met me :-) ), and as ignorant as that very statement is, we should not add stock to these types of statements. It's clear that media in this country is strongly one-sided. Why would we do anything to give the left and its media coalition a shot in the arm? Why would we act in a way that emboldens them and allows them to go, "see, look at them - I told you so?"

The fact is, the left and the right, and from that, democrats and republicans, should be viewed, in a sense, as products. Third parties aside, for the most part, you can either buy in to or "purchase" being a democrat or a republican. Our job on the right is to sell our product. If someone walks into the political party "store," they're going to (most likely) buy into one or the other. In all honesty, we have a wonderful product, but sometimes, we are HORRIBLE salesmen/women. Now granted, sometimes the perception of conservatism and the republican party is over-exaggerated in a negative way by an agenda-based liberal media, and most of the time, we're not as bad as they make us out to be, but when we behave in the manner that Alex Jones did, we, for lack of a better phrase, shoot ourselves in the foot. I believe, as I've written before, we need to be educators and stalwarts of conservatism and our party. As the write-up says, if we ever want to win another election, we need more people to be conservatives/republicans. We need to attract people to our side. We need to show people, through clear, calm, and fact-based teaching and education, that in spite of the media's and the democrat party's caricatures of us as "racist," "misogynistic," "out of touch," "gun-toting," "obstructionist" belligerents that hate the poor and want to shoot everyone that disagrees with us, we are a great party with great ideas. We need to show them that we're highly educated, freedom-loving, free-thinking, limited government espousing individuals. To do this, we just need to stop and think about our message and how it's being broadcast. I know Alex Jones is a passionate man who is passionate about his views, but to him and all like him: Leave the violence, screaming, protests, ranting and chanting up to the left; our case resides in being "right." Those who speak clearer speak louder.

What do you think? Do you support Alex Jones' message? What about his delivery? Please share your thoughts below.

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  1. Hi LME - Great write up.

    Alex Jones DID make some good points - in a TOTALLY inappropriate... style, for lack of a better word.

    WHO in their right mind would/could/should have EXPECTED anything different - from Alex Jones?

    Alex Jones IS the left's epitome of 'right-wing nut-job'...

    HIS is the face and voice THEY seek to display as that of ALL CONSERVATIVES, and it's the SOLE reason the 'LEFT-wing nut-job' Pierce Morgan 'invited' him to appear on his 'show.'

    They KNEW he'd come off EXACTLY as he did.. a bug-eyed, red-faced, flame-spitting, gun-hugging, conspiracy theorizing LOON hell-bent on revolution.

    As a result - anything GOOD he said, will be LOST amongst the WEEDS of his 'performance.'

    Thanks a bunch, Alex...

  2. Hey LME,

    You said:
    I'd even beg the question: Do we really have a gun violence problem? I know you probably just gasped and thought, "how could he even ask this question," especially since 26 people just lost their lives in the most heinous way, but when you think about the gun death rate compared to the number of guns that exist in this country (approximately 12,000 deaths versus 350,000,000 - 400,000,000 guns - a rate of 0.00003 deaths per gun), we, as a society, use guns to kill people quite rarely.

    I don’t believe that statistic fairly represents our situation.

    We may have a very large number of guns in the United States, but they’re not spread out evenly. It’s estimated that about 80m people own guns, which isn’t even close to a majority.

    Further, gun death per capita tends to be the more accepted measure of nearly any statistic across a population of people… and as far as that goes, America is one of the developed worst countries in the world.

    Using the measurement you used, would be like arguing that China is a great place to live because it they have a high GDP. In reality though, their GDP per capita is abysmal, and many people in the country are not doing very well.

    1. RKen, I can completely see where you're coming from, but I totally disagree with the representation. The issue here is to ban the gun itself (or to limit its availability, ownership, ammo clips, etc). Claiming "high murder rate per capita" in my opinion, is very inaccurate. Naturally, with the massive population rate of guns, we're going to have the most gun killings, and the highest murder rate per capita. But again, the issue is the gun. When you look at the amount of guns that exist, we actually use them quite infrequently. Take a look at Japan, for example. They have very few gun deaths (22 in 2011). But they also have virtually NO guns (I think total ownership was less than 1,000). On the issue of gun use, who uses guns more? You can go with the nominal number and say the US, naturally, because again, of the high population of guns, or you can say Japan, which to me, is correct. Out of the few guns they have there, the use of those guns is much more prevalent. Here, a far greater percentage of our guns sit idle. We are safer, more responsible, and less murderous as compared with the abundance of murder tools available (guns) than most other countries given the respective populations. Of course I understand that difference between GDP & GDP per capita. In this instance, I believe with a measure of "is it really the gun" - the answer is no... we don't even use them as often.

    2. Well, that's 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

      Good afternoon RKen and LME... LME - You were being kind to call Alex's rant "sometimes incoherent"... what was that about monkeys standing on a pin head???

      One question, why does this article have such an us (R's) versus them (D's) slant to it?

      I have to disagree with you that more legislation would help. I think it's what is needed. Not legislation to ban or restrict gun ownership but to make those who own guns accountable for those guns. Right now, I'm not sure that any such laws exist. Also, how about making gun ownership rules uniform? Wouldn't that be a huge help? Perhaps even require gun owners to report their guns as stolen. The fact is that the laws governing gun owners are generally of no consequence and that is a HUGE part of the problem as I see it. People who will be held accountable will be much more diligent in ensuring that their weapons are secure or they will risk long term incarceration. Obviously, with my plan there are alot of details to work out but the framework is sound.

      Also, although it's irrelevant, I don't think the GOP has a good brand as you've stated (and, apparently, neither do they). I do think they have good fiscal policy sometimes but that their social agenda is so vile I could never vote for today's R. However, I've a feeling that'll change in 4 years when Christie re-brands the party to be more moderate.

    3. Whatsamattausa - Thank you for sharing your opinions and Happy New Year!

      Much of Jones' rant, to me, was incoherent. I do understand the pressure on him, however. I am one who harps on the slant in the media, and in the case of gun control and gun rights, in my opinion, the slant is the biggest I've ever seen. While I would never condone Jones' behavior, I can certainly see why he probably feels up against a wall. From Piers to Gregory to just about anyone on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, et. al. the coverage is no where close to "down the middle."

      That also leads to why it has an "us versus them" position. I don't want it to be that way, but this is the way the left is framing it. In fact, I feel the left does this with most things. With the issue of gun control, however, it appears to be strongest in this regard.

      As far as more legislation, I respectfully disagree. All of the things you cited sound good, but how would they have stopped Aurora or Newtown? When I propose pragmatic approaches, this is what I mean. For example, I hear a lot of, "well, let's make it more difficult to obtain 'high capacity' clips and magazines." If I was hell bent on causing maximum damage, and I wanted to go on a shooting rampage, would this stop me? Most certainly now. The evil intent that pushes me to do what I would do would cause me to seek ways to do maximum damage. If a 'high capacity' magazine or clip was my vehicle, I'd simply take to the black market to get it. People then say, "well, what about more mental health checks." To this, again, I disagree. I would use me as an example. I can pass any mental health exam out there. If I decide to legally purchase multiple pistols and/or rifles, and in a year I snap (maybe, maybe not - I could be totally sane), what would this legislation do? I would take my weaponry and still go on my rampage.

      As far as uniform gun ownership, what are you referring to? To me, this seems like a states' rights issue, with the Second Amendment being the framework (a state can't ban guns, but specific gun laws should be left to the states).

    4. I know (as I've had to deal with this personally), that in Maryland, a gun owner is required to report a gun as stolen when it happens. I do think, as well, that most states do carry this rule.

      One thing that I do agree on is stricter gun laws for those who do commit a crime with a gun. For example, if a gun is used in any kind of crime (other than murder, obviously), the criminal should receive a much more severe punishment had it not been used. Additionally, I don't want to see citizens using guns they've obtained legally as means of control. I don't want to see them in road rage incidents, pistol whip incidents, or any other kind of threatening crimes, and I do agree with stricter punishments overall.

      But there is a difference here. One set of legislation restricts the rights of the innocent; one set punishes the guilty AND is used as a deterrent to prevent the innocent from becoming the guilty. In the name of freedom, I do not support legislation that further restricts the freedom and liberty of Americans (especially, as I've done in brief here, and could do on a larger scale, if they would do virtually nothing to curb gun violence and mass shootings) who have done nothing wrong. It seems that this is what is being proposed: A set of rules that are meant to regulate further the free though a criminal committed an act. I am for making those who should pay being held accountable for their actions. One thing to be noted, above all, is that none of these things discussed here, or by lawmakers for that matter, could have stopped Aurora or Sandy Hook, sadly.

      As for the way the GOP is branded, I again, respectfully disagree. As I said, and I firmly believe this, that in spite of the media's and the democrat party's caricatures of us as "racist," "misogynistic," "out of touch," "gun-toting," "obstructionist" belligerents that hate the poor and want to shoot everyone that disagrees with us, we are a great party with great ideas." I would ask that isn't it entirely plausible, when the passers of information are so disgustingly one sided, that it is a caricature that the country has been presented? I think it is, and I think this is what we've been seeing.

    5. *** Most certainly now in the third paragraph, should say "most certainly not."

    6. Whatsa - I think you went a little further than this article's intent. It seems that here the point was to call out Jones and his ridiculous way of getting a point across when he could have made Morgan look silly. He had the opportunity, he failed.

      I also agree that your perception of the GOP is the result of the biased information you're being sent. I don't think they're perfect, I just think it's not as bad as you think. Also, LME didn't point this out, but you said the GOP should basically become more moderate, but do you want the democrats to be more moderate, too? Or is it okay for them to be extreme (many calling for a full on ban on our Second Amendment, even leaving the Constitution, more and more taxation on the rich, and so forth).

      BUt I really came here for one quick comment:

      "On cross-examination, ATF Special Agent Steven Beggs said the weaponry was legally purchased because Holmes had cleared all background checks."

      As it has been said many a times, bad things will happen. Holmes passed ALL background checks. Mentally ill? Who knows. But bad things will happen. The way to account for these isn't to limit the liberty of those who have done nothing wrong. I've seen you on here for some time. As a fellow Paul supporter, I'm surprised you would support anything that destroys liberty in the name of security.

    7. LME - I've stopped watching politics on tv for that exact reason. I now read ALL of my news to avoid the slant (it's much harder to do in writing). We will never be able to stop all crimes, there is no doubt about that. However, mental health checks could be used to determine who is and is not eligible to buy guns (additionally, and outside of the gun argument, it could also be used to help children get the meds that they need (if they need them)). Holding the gun owners more accountable would also certainly help. In Sandy Hook, as an example, lets say he didn't shoot his mother. She should have been held as an accessory to murder (or a new crime) and prosecuted. Actions like that will deter the gun owning population from leaving their guns around where anyone can access them. Would it have saved anyone at Sandy Hook? Probably not but it could/would serve as the catalyst to save the kids in the next Sandy Hook Elementary. I'm not sure how you could disagree with that logic. Nobody would want to take the chance on someone obtaining their guns and committing a crime that they (the gun owner) would be help to account for. Again, their are details in that system that would need to be worked out but the overall logic and presumed efficacy should be sound.

      I'm for not restricting the ability to own a gun (including assault weapons and extended clips) but rather for holding gun owners severely accountable for what occurs with their weapons.

      As for standardizing gun ownership... The right to bear arms is a federal mandate from the US Constitution and should thus be regulated at the federal level, in my opinion. It would allow everyone to understand what their obligations are no matter where in the country they are. Perhaps states, counties, and local jurisdictions should be able to add to that but the base regulations (reporting stolen guns, etc.) should come from the federal government. PA does not require guns to be reported stolen which is flat out criminal in my opinion. I could but a gun and have it stolen every day of the week and have ZERO accountability in this commonwealth.

    8. Whatsamattausa - Very fair debate here.

      I'm all for compromise, and, as with the Fiscal Cliff article, perhaps a compromise would be a good solution. You do make a good point on gun ownership rules. I do think, however, I have gone along with many of these. I'm for deterrence. I believe in incentive/disincentive. If I were a Senator/Rep, I would favor a rule that dictated that stolen guns must be reported stolen (debate is great - you learned something about my state, I learned something about yours, and a compromise can be made). As with laws regulating the use of a car, I'm okay with those regulating the ownership of a gun - in the manner you have named. Very fair.

      As far as federal laws, to me, I'm up in the air. You present good points here, and I'd be happy to read further. Just know that, for me, when it comes to where I fall with gun laws, I default to liberty before I want to restrict it.

      Hope to keep this going! Good stuff. I'm also glad to see more people come to this, and I'm surprised (I've seen it in more places than here), how many conservatives are NOT on board with the means in which Jones made his argument. Many, like me, are gun rights advocates, but I am still surprised about how many have called out Jones for this behavior.

    9. Oben - Where exactly am i supporting anything that destroys liberty?

      As for the bias I am being sent... No, I just don't like the GOP social program which is generally divisive and full of ill-intent. I prefer a liberal social agenda as I believe that is a basis under which this country was founded on (the Constitution is a liberal document). As a small example, has there been a single D or I governed state that has sought to amend their states constitution to exclude gay people from their ability to legally unite? Perhaps there is but I can't think of one. The GOP likes to regulate morality moreso than D's or I's and I don't think morality should be regulated at all.

      And to answer your question, I do think the D's should be more moderate... Not all of them but at least enough of them (same as I believe for the R's). What I said is that a Christie administration will be more moderate than that which the GOP has become under since the Bush administration (not blaming anything on Bush but it seems to me that is where the R's took a hard right turn).

      Lastly, in a bit of irony, unabridged gun ownership is a liberal idea. I am a liberal... I support gun ownership. So, again Oben, where is it that I support the destruction of liberty?

    10. LME -

      Good stuff. I think the compromise of base federal requirements (that which should be a no brainer - reporting stolen guns as stolen, etc.) with supplementation from states, counties, etc. is fair and should make everyone happy. I do feel strongly though that gun owners should be held to an enormously high standard of account. If I owned a gun - I don't but I'd like to for home protection - I certainly wouldn't leave it in such a way that my 5 or 7 year old sons could get to it. Some people don't have that common sense or delude themselves with 'it can't happen to me' type thoughts. However, if that owner knew they'd be held accountable if their son or one of his friends came in and took it and used it in a crime, I can almost guarantee that more people would secure their guns better. Imagine if, in the Sandy Hook example, the mother (again, if she wasn't killed) was cuffed and being brought up on charges because she left her guns on a shelf in her closet. That would certainly have an affect on the masses.

      As always LME, I enjoy the debate!

    11. We already have thousands of STATE firearms laws and regulations on the books, but it appears you're talking about FEDERAL registration and there's the snag.

      The 2nd Amendment is specifically DESIGNED to allow the CITIZENS the MEANS to THWART a tyrannical FEDERAL government.

      Kinda defeats the 'original intent' to tell the Dude who's 'out to get ya' - WHERE to LOOK - don'cha think?

      As usual - you on the 'liberal left' focus ENTIRELY on restriction and/or punishment of LAW ABIDING CITIZENS - COMPLETELY IGNORING the FACT these CRIMES are committed BY CRIMINALS - who do NOT give a rat's hind leg about LAWS.

    12. Aw shucks, missed out on a bunch of debate. :(

      A couple points I'd like to hit in the aftermath:
      LME: “All of the things you cited sound good, but how would they have stopped Aurora or Newtown? When I propose pragmatic approaches, this is what I mean. For example, I hear a lot of, "well, let's make it more difficult to obtain 'high capacity' clips and magazines." If I was hell bent on causing maximum damage, and I wanted to go on a shooting rampage, would this stop me? Most certainly now.”

      This is where, as an economics guy, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term opportunity cost, right? The higher the cost (which can be difficult/impossible to quantify on a specific level and involve any one of a million different factors) the less likely you will go through on a decision.

      Statistically, this means that the more difficult it is to do something, the less likely it will be done.

      There will always, always be outliers. They just about never cease to exist. However, statistically, as the opportunity cost (or difficulty) increases the number of people willing to go through the trouble will also decrease. Something as simple as a lock being on the gun cabinet that Adam stole the guns from, could’ve been all it took to tip the scale in his mind to the ‘not worth it’ category. It doesn’t for everyone, and may not even for the majority, but if it does for every 1/10 people that look at that lock and think “shit…”, then guess what? That’s lives saved for what ultimately is an incredibly minor inconvenience.

      I’m sure you’re familiar with how it works and could apply here.
      Dara: “As usual - you on the 'liberal left' focus ENTIRELY on restriction and/or punishment of LAW ABIDING CITIZENS - COMPLETELY IGNORING the FACT these CRIMES are committed BY CRIMINALS - who do NOT give a rat's hind leg about LAWS.”
      You must also not forget here that a criminal is a law abiding citizen all the way up until the point they are found guilty of a crime by a jury.

      I don’t like how in these arguments, many seem to act like criminals are all a different type of people that have been labeled as such from birth. It’s not so simple.

      I mean, I understand how it’s natural to think that, because after all… who sympathizes for criminals? I don’t. But we have to remember the reality here that there is no difference between a criminal and a law abiding citizen up until a guilty verdict (or at least, a crime is committed).

    13. And lastly, per our conversation earlier LME:

      I still can’t agree with guns per capita being a more important statistic than gun death per capita. Particularly when we’re only talking about ~1/3rd of the country owning guns. Again, just because a country has a lot of something (like China has GDP), does not mean or imply that it is evenly distributed or properly used. Too many assumptions for me on that.

      I did have more I wanted to say on that, but honestly, after finding this source I don’t think there’s much more I can add:

      A chart of gun deaths per 100,000 people graphed against gun ownership per 100 people shows an incredibly clear increasing trend of relation between the two, with very few outliers. More guns, more gun death, and it is NOT proportionally reduced to comparably levels of other countries when ranked by the number of guns owned.

      Analyzing the individual statistics seems to support this as well. IE: Switzerland and France are among the highest guns per capita countries, still roughly at about half the rate as us. But their gun related death rate is still less than 1/4th of us. Again, not proportionally related at all.

      If anything, statistically, we’re actually less responsible with the guns we have, despite having so many. Especially since the majority of the guns in our country are in 1/3rd of population’s hands, which skews the per capita statistics of your argument immensely in their favor.


    ENOUGH! Right! Not just from gabby but all the liberals out there. ENOUGH!

    Sure, wonderful. Sounds great. Stand up and "demand a plan" LOL

    Just roll into Atlanta, Chicago, Compton, and along the border and see if our friends the gangsters, the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings and everyone of the like will simply lay down their arms because of "enough." I'm sure they'll comply. They always follow rules and laws and trends.

    And then for me, since all the bad guys out there will simply follow "enough" I'll turn in my gun too. I don't need to defend my home any more, right? Because the bad guys have had "enough" and won't own any guns.

    Get real, Giffords. Your tragedy was sad, and I'd never wish that upon anyone, but get F***ING real. Stop with the "enough"- like bull. All you libs out there who want to have the attention drawn to you because it looks like you care about something: JUST STOP. Your efforts are just plain stupid. They're self serving, and like this post says, they're not pragmatic.

  4. Morgan is a far better debater than Jones: the former being analytical and the later being intuitive. Jones never stood a chance.

    I agree with Whatsamaterusa, reporting stolen weapons and laws mandating that guns be stored in a locked room or safe should be implemented.

    But first, Dara is right in that the 2nd amendment was geared towards prohibiting the federal government from taking guns, not the states. The 2nd amendment was actually a guarantee for slaveholders that the federal government could not take away guns that were necessary for maintaining the institution of slavery. It was never about fighting against the federal government because Congress has the power to quell insurrections via calling forth the militia into federal service and by suspending the writ of habeas corpus. Also, President Washington personally lead the army to suppress the whiskey rebellion demonstrating that insurrection was prohibited. However, as of the passing of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Second Amendment's guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms (to protect life and property) was imbued to upon the states and incorporated federal territories. Note Puerto Rico has not been incorporated and the 2nd amendment is not applicable there.

    So in all, Dara you are right but as of the 2010 Scotus decision entitled, "Mcdonald v. Chicago" the court has confirmed that the second amendment's prohibition on government action applies to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment.

    The text of the amendment reads:

    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.


  5. A significant portion of the gun problems in America can be reduced by mandating reporting and locking of guns. The 2nd amendment says that the people have the right to keep arms, and at the time, the word keep referred to a safe storage place like the keep of a castle. This was distinct from having to Keep your weapons at the government armory like the ones at Lexington and Concord. Thus that prohibition mandates that the government cant take away the guns from the home. It does not say that the government can't tell you to Keep your weapons safe in a locked room. Indeed, the practice of Keeping weapons safe on a plantation was vehemently practiced because of the fear that the slaves may have access. The 2nd amendment allows for laws mandating safe Keeping of the weapons so long as the right to bear arms is not infringed by some safety mechanism that renders the weapon ineffective or impractical when needed. (Think combination lock requiring 20 entries).

    Stolen or lost gun reporting also does not infringe on the right to bear arms because the person cannot bear a weapon they no longer have. Since the weapon is no longer in the persons possession, the right to bear that arm cannot be infringed by mere reporting. Although some may want to keep the fact that they ever bought a gun from the government, they can do so at their own risk. True, there will be some victims of theft who could not have prevented their guns from being stolen and I will focus on them because if reasonable care was not used in storing the weapon - I believe you have fore-fitted any claim to keep your gun ownership secret.

    Victims of theft should report stolen guns because that gun is valuable and reporting increases the chance of getting your property back. Also, the want to keep your ownership from the government will be destroyed if that gun is used in a crime and traced back to you. You will likely be called defendant by the prosecutor at that time and have to sit through a trial even if the government doesnt end up proving that you were involved in the crime. Also, by reporting - the police can identify stolen weapons and that information will likely lead to convicting real bad guys. Lastly, if they hypothetically come for peoples guns, they have so many registered owners that even if they assume you have guns because of a theft report and want to come to your house, you will likely be near the end of the line and will have a heads up.

    Although the plain text allows for reporting of stolen weapons, there are benefits and no real disadvantages to reporting theft or lost guns. Either way, the whole idea that gun ownership is to fight the government must be debunked because it the idea was to protect master and the plantation from slave rebellions and should be viewed in that light.

    1. "A significant portion of the gun problems in America can be reduced by mandating reporting and locking of guns."

      How? It MIGHT have stopped Sandy Hook, it might not have. The common point you hear on the right is, "an evil person will do an evil dead regardless of the law."

      While the "locked guns" LAW - (how do you enforce this, btw? Have the police do check ups? Hello 4th amendment - or is this a "well, we know who breaks the law when the gun ends up somewhere case?) might or might not have stopped Sandy Hook, it absolutely would NOT have stopped Virginia Tech or Aurora. So while we can talk about locked guns now after Sandy Hook, they are tough to enforce, liberty impinging measures that step on our liberties further while, as you can see with VT and CT, yes, evil doers will STILL do evil things. Lastly, I own a gun for home protection. It's under my bed. If i had to have it locked away, I might as well not even have it at all. Mr. Criminal will come in to my house and pop me while I'm barely waking up and fiddling with a lock. Come on. Let's be sensible.

    2. And what if he popped you from your window. Or what if you didn't hear him/her. C'mon, let's be real. Why not unlock your gun while you're home so you can get to it? If you;re not home, why not have you gun(s) locked up? Let's be sensible.

    3. Publius - How does what you wrote jive with the militia aspect of the 2nd Amendment? It has been my interpretation (not saying it's right or wrong) that that was meant to allow the people to stand up to rogue governments both foreign and domestic. Just as the colonials stood up to the French and British.

    4. Let me clarify and further develop a couple of things.

      Firstly, locking of guns cannot effect their usability. That is a must. But if you want to keep a gun under your pillow, you should at least have to lock your bedroom door. I think that simple, not overburdensome, security laws could have helped in the case of the stolen weapons in Portland or Newtown as well as cases of child -related accidents.

      Secondly, the Militia clause of the Second Amendment is not the operative clause rather it is merely preparatory. It just states the obvious, that a well regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state and nothing more. But the second part, the right of the people ... language clearly states that the right to bear arms is for the people at-large not merely the militia.

      So have a preparatory clause? To signal to the slave states, mainly Virginia, that Congress does have the power to regulate the militia under Article I of the Constitution but that abolitionists in the north cannot use that Congressional power to dismantle slavery via gun laws. It was a back-door slave clause to get slave states to join the union. This amendment met the fear that Congress would call all white men into the militia and mandate that they keep their guns at the armory thereby leaving them defenseless against rightfully ticked off slaves. Since direct references to slavery are absent from the entire original Constitution, it follows that such coded language would also be used in addressing slavery. The preface merely tells the audience that the Federal Government is aware of your fears and the operative clause is the solution.

      Fighting against the government was never allowed by the Constitution as seen in Article I. Congress has the power to:

      To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions


      The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

      The framers of the Constitution loathed the thought of being in constant rebellion and tried to make checks and balances and other structural release valves so that rebellion would never occur. The only person who loved the thought of constant rebellion was Thomas Jefferson and he did not participate in making the Constitution since he was our ambassador to France during that time.

      Lastly, as for Fourth Amendment concerns in the home, a warrant based on probable cause is required for a search except for hot pursuit, imminent death of another, or the destruction of evidence. These types of laws will not be enforced until something happens, no police will be knocking on peoples doors at night. But if someone was so careless to leave a deadly weapon unsecured and that weapon is acquired by another who uses it in a crime, I don't see why the gun owner should not be punished. After all, people are sued for this sort of negligence and you can bet that the Sandy Hook parents will be suing the Lanza estate on this exact or similar theory.

      Again, I agree with Whatsamattausa in that it is ridiculous to think that all gun violence will be magically gone but Constitutional laws that are sensible could help. No one is going to stop organized crime violence or even that of the individual. The Sandy Hook shooter could have driven a car down around times square in Manhattan hitting tens if not hundreds of people. However if guns are harder to steal then it just might allow for the would-be killer to cool off and abandon their plans. I know I have wanted to hit people before but when the adrenaline wears off, sometimes I change my mind. (Although I still may want to say nasty things about them, I don't want to physically hurt them).

  6. Can we all agree on one thing: President Obama should NOT employ an executive order to "do something" about gun control? Liberal or conservative, democrat or republican, if he did, this would be a complete perversion of the principles of our country. To me, there would no greater contempt for our Constitution than this move.

    I will say this, and it's not jumping to any conclusions. Obviously, I know the GOP would be outraged. I'm sure many independents would be outraged, too. IF, and I say IF, democrats praise Obama for this move, it shows that they're nothing but sheep, and they'll love Obama no matter what. I pray he doesn't do this, because the damage to our country, the Constitution-destroying precedent being set, would be irreparable.

    1. I second that Amen! As I vomit at the thought of an ex order being used to do this. I mean, what the f*** do we have checks and balances for>?

    2. Interestingly enough, the 2nd amendment exists to prevent someone from doing exactly what Obama is thinking about doing. But as Texas said, many in this country will clap like walruses and praise him. "Oh joy, look at what wonderful Obama did!"

    3. I actually agree as well. If this should be handled in any fashion, it's through Congress and the courts. It's too controversial, complex, and big of an issue to not involve our entire legislative system.

      That said, I don't quite think it’s a matter of Constitution-destroying precedents being set, as that's just a bit extreme.

      Executive orders are and always have been a bit on the controversial side, but they're far from unique to Obama (Bush signed just short of 300 orders, Obama is up to 198 so far), even involving the rights protected in the Constitution (ex: executive order expanding the Patriot Act).

      None of that would excuse Obama from his actions if he chose to handle the gun issue in its entirety through exploitation of this, but I just can't honestly agree that he’s the only president to use and abuse it. Though, depending on what he chooses to do here, it certainly could be one of the worst. I'll agree on that.

      I doubt we'll see something that extreme. Regardless, I still believe it should be left wholly to the legislative system first.

  7. Goosebumps:

    Things to note:

    "He's in the bedroom? Shh, shh, relax. Just remember everything that I showed you, everything that I taught you, all right?" Donnie Herman told his wife, explaining later to the dispatcher that he had recently taken her to a gun range.

    GREAT husband and father!

    Melinda Herman told police she started shooting the man when he opened the door to the crawl space. The man pleaded with her to stop, but she kept firing until she had emptied her rounds, she told police. She then fled to a neighbor's house with her children.

    YES, empty that gun on this piece of shit. He had NO respect for your house, don't show any respect for him.

    This woman is a hero. She did what she needed to do, and she kept her family safe.