Right to Bear arms #2

I recently wrote a blog article on the right to bear arms on this blog site (see below).  I forwarded a shortened version of that blog article to the Idaho Statesman news paper as an opinion piece (http://www.idahostatesman.com/readersopinion/story/808821.html.  Living in Idaho, my piece was not the most popular or well received in a state that has more licensed gun dealers that it does gas stations.  You can read some of the “knee jerk” responses that my opinion received on the newspaper web site.

I was just surfing a bit on the NBC news website and found an interesting new article that relates to the previous legal cases mentioned in my articles.  It seems that not only do some folks have no appreciation for any kind of gun control, but now some think advocating for gun control, or in this case ruling in favor of it, is an offense that should be worthy of death.  It seems that a white supremacist (whom we already know are not the most stable kind of people or the brightest) living in Maryland has called for the killing of the three federal judges who ruled in favor of the handgun ban in Chicago: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31532924/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/.  

Not the brightest fellow to encourage readers of his blog “to ‘take up arms” against the lawmakers and that government officials should “obey the Constitution or die.'”   While it is disturbing but  no surprise that people with such extreme views live in our nation and that many of them dream of overthrowing the government, replacing it with one of their invention, at least, if these types intend an insurrection, we can expect plenty of advanced notice.

Advertisements

Review: Yes Man

My wife and I just watched the movie “Yess Man” tonight.  And I have to say that I really liked it.  It is an existential test case of sorts.  Do we find meaning through existence…in this story its life that happens through adventure, exploration, risk with totally new experiences and people.  I found it fun and I found myself remembering days in my past where I might have operated in a similar fashion, mind you much more recklessly and in unhealthy ways, but nonetheless lived.  

In this movie Carey’s character who is closed off to the world, people and himself finds life and others and a bunch of fun through saying yes to everything.  He even finds love.  While saying yes to everything is probably a little over the top, I think finding ways to extend past our comfort zones, embrace life, others. new thoughts and experiences is probably a healthy activity to work into our living.  Ultimately there is meaning in existence, pain too (even thought that is minimal in this movie), but in all those things there is life, breath, color and, yes, meaning to be had.

I would recommend this movie…it is a kick.

Racism

Just when I hope we would finally begin to heal a little as a nation from our racist history by electing an African-American man president (by a pretty large margin) comes another cowardly and senseless act violence from someone whose whole world view is dimmed by its narcissism.  

Racism in particular is ugly and shortsited in every form of it I have ever seen.  It stems from a small intellect and generally ignorant people; he is not only sick but weak.  It is a weak man who resorts to violence.  The idiocy of his beliefs and hate prevent his statements from accomplishing what his sick mind wants to see, he then engages his rage and acts out in this sick and weak way.  I have no tolerance for these types of people, none whatsoever!  My hope is that he dies from his wounds and that he is not remembered in any way by anybody!

This holocaust shooting, the murder of the abortion doctor and the killing of the Army Private in the south all point to the same narrowness and sickness; weak, ignorant cowards who choose to do this type of thing.

The “Right to Bear Arms”

Now, I should start this entry with a few facts about me.  First, I am a citizen of the United States, native born.  Secondly, I hunt and I own firearms.  Thirdly, I am not now, nor to I intend to ever, be a member of the NRA.  I am writing this entry about the recent appeal by the NRA to the United States Supreme Court to have them rule on a case that is from Illinois where there are “ordinances barring the ownership of handguns in most cases in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, Ill.”  

Now I am, obviously, not in favor of law prohibiting the ownership of any firearms, which I also feel there is no threat of in our country, especially considering the last 2nd Amendment decision from the Supreme Court declaring that the 2nd Amendment gives American’s the right to personally own firearms for personal protection.  This article is about a recent filing by the NRA, on the heals of the previous decision, attempting to strike down any state or local laws of limitation in owning firearms, in this case hand guns.  

Does the right to bear arms mean any and all firearms or is there room for gun control and 2nd Amendment rights?  Now the NRA and those who follow their line of thinking will immediately say that limitation and freedom are antithetical, like water and oil.  But I am not so sure that is the case, at least in my opinion.  As I said previously that I never have been, am not and will not be a member of the NRA.  One of the major reason is because I do not follow nor respond to the rhetoric that issues forth from their ranks.  The gist of the thought is give an inch, lose a mile.  First of all, that idea is based out of fear and I don’t like to live my life responding to fear.  Secondly, it indicates that there is only all or nothing, which is also a flawed idea to me.  I have learned that there is very little that is truly black or white, if for no other reason than the fact that in human culture objectivity is not completely possible and our dependence upon it is greatly over-estimated.  

Why can’t there be reasonable gun control laws that fit the context of a particular place?  Are the people of the above cities legally prohibited from owning any kind of firearm?  I don’t think so.  So really they are all still able to bear arms in defense of their own homes (i.e. shotguns, which are truly the best home defense weapon of which I am aware or small caliber rifles if one prefers).  Maybe crime, gangs and other local issues makes this a reasonable law, giving the local law enforcement the opportunity to arrest and detain these criminal elements, whose activities make this law necessary and reasonable.  If these people want to protect themselves against these concerns (crime, gangs) then they are free to purchase a different type of firearm and thereby fulfilling their constitutional rights yet supporting reasonable gun control.  

I myself would have no difficulty in supporting laws of  reasonable gun control like the previous assault rifle weapons ban that president Clinton signed into law.  As I said, I hunt every year and I would prefer to not have AK-47’s and AR-15’s in the field.  I personally feel that they are not hunting weapons.  I know the logic of some that assert most of our hunting weapons started out as military weapons therefore logically these weapons should or could be seen as hunting weapons. While I see the line of reasoning, these rifles are not designed for longer range shots, but close range fighting so I don’t buy it.  

I for one do not believe that universal maxims (or in this case national) are the best way to govern in all circumstances.  I think that there needs to be flexibility in how we view the extent of our rights, what room there is for diversity of application and appropriate allowance given to our local, state and federal governments to limit these rights while still allowing for appropriate expression of those same rights.

I hope the Supreme court upholds the appeals court decision.  The right to bear arms doesn’t necessarily mean all firearms!

Another World

I have just been watching “Lord of the Rings.”  I do this because I do not have another book in the inheritance cycle of books (Eragon, Eldest, Brisngr) to read as of yet.  I do so love the middle world, middle ages stories.  I find it fascinating and wonder what things were a part of that time that have been forgotten today.  I know that there was a lot of fantasy…a lot of superstition.  Yet something inside of me is fascinated by all that.  I wish I had another book like the above mentioned series to read and in which to get lost.  Have any suggestions?