Published DateTo the editor,
Recently Greg Knytych told us, "Barbara Perry of Moultonborough actually said what all liberal progressives think when she wrote "I hate guns and I believe that the person who invented guns should be shot!". While it is very unfortunate that Barbara voiced her warranted anger and contempt towards the gun nuts and enablers that way, Greg reveals how brainwashed he is by the right wing's fake outrage media machine. All liberal progressives? What planet is he on? I am a proud progressive liberal and I certainly don't hate gun nuts nor do I wish them harm. Disdain is a better word for gun nut ideology. I support gay marriage, reproductive rights, and the strict separation of church and state. I also support a public option in health care. But I also support the right to self-protection with firearms, too. That includes concealed carry in warranted circumstances. Its just, like the Supreme Court, I don't see any right as unlimited. The laws that exist already prove that.
Kevin Leandro also has not considered the restrictive laws that exist. He tells us that his right to bear arms "shall not be infringed". Well, they already are for some because felons and those adjudicated as dangerous and mentally ill are denied this right. Your right to carry is also infringed, as it should be, in sensitive places like courthouses. All the rights of the first amendment are limited, too. People are subject to libel and slander laws in speech and press matters. Permits are sometimes denied protesters so the right to assembly is also limited for various reasons regarding public order. "Disturbing the peace" laws also limit people. There is no free pass as the gun nuts think. No right is unlimited.
As to the silly analogy that since cars kill people we could ban cars that reminds me of the TeaPublican logic on gun control laws which translates to "since we can't stop rape, we shouldn't have rape laws". Well, we have banned some cars. If Corvettes had gas tanks like Corvairs, they would have been banned just as the Corvair was. Since the 1960s we have been on a long wise trend of safety regulation, yes that evil of regulating. Everything having to do with how cars are made, who can drive them and how we are to drive them is regulated and this saves thousands of lives a year. As with regulating guns, we can only hope to reduce the death toll. Regulating cars, guns, or booze will not save every life but it does save lives.
Steve Earle makes some good points in the first half of his letter but then reality slips from his grasp when he gets to hammers; yes hammer control! Well, Steve, if hammers need to be regulated, then we should regulate them. Mr. Earle also appears to have bought in to the paranoid delusional extremist point of view that the real intent of gun control is to take away guns. Sure, that is likely to happen! And where did "The experience in other nations which confiscated guns is that there is not a reduction in murders but there is a significant increase in other crimes" come from? Ann Coulter! The fact is that in the latest 2012 OECD report on gun murder rates in these "civilized" nations, excluding the warring nation of Mexico, shows that the USA has 20X the gun murder rate of the average of the OECD nations. Only Chile even comes close.
Mr. Earle's notion that "there is no evidence that the Founding Fathers intended to limit the arms available to citizens" is thoroughly naive. That notion certainly is not as the Supreme Court sees it. Antonin Scalia, Mr. Wackadoodle Wingnut himself doesn't even agree with that. In the most recent important gun rights case — Heller v. District of Columbia, 2008 — the court ruled in favor of Heller and struck down DC's gun law. But in Scalia's holding are precious gems of reason. And since case law and precedent is all-important in deciding cases, I would not bet on much of the new gun laws in Colorado, N.Y., Delaware, Maryland or Connecticut getting overturned at the USSC. The majority of these laws are constitutional no matter how loud the NRA leadership and its mobs scream. Scalia wrote: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those "in common use at the time" finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."