Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Whine, whine, whine

I was in a meeting this morning, and when I returned, there was an angry message on my phone. It was from a 25-year subscriber who said he was quitting the paper after reading this morning's editorial about the gun-control debate.
The caller advised me to take my newspaper and put it in a place I can't mention, but I'm sure it would hurt.

The caller's point was that "guns aren't the problem in this country. It's the U.S government that's the problem."

For the record, our editorial never implied that "guns are the problem in this country." Our editorial was about how old is the debate over guns, citing an editorial that appeared in this newspaper in 1878 that decried the bearing of concealed weapons in this community.

I have to say, this is one for the books: a subscriber quitting over something we printed 130 years ago.


Anonymous said...

Actually your editorial was not just about the age of the debate, but it took a stance on concealed weapons. The older article was used to lend credence to the stance. Of course, many freedom loving individuals prefer not to stand by any longer and watch rights dissolved.

Brant said...

I have no problem with people obtaining licenses to carry concealed weapons, though I'm sure in some cases the need for it is questionable. There also will always be a small percentage of people who will obtain such a license and later use the weapon unwisely or illegally. And this country has a really big problem, particularly in the inner cities, of way too many people having guns – most of them illegally obtained – and shooting the hell out of one another with an alarming regularity. Sometimes they even shoot innocent bystanders or police officers. But some people still believe that it's wrong to impose any controls whatsoever on guns, and that's stupid. It's also stupid to suggest that all guns should be rounded up by the government. As the editorial stated, there are lunatic fringes on both sides of the issue, and the rational people who would like to find a middle ground are rarely heard over the din of the nincompoops.

Anonymous said...

I kinda like the Middle Ages--hard to conceal a longbow or broadsword. But oh, those nasty daggers.

Ellipses said...

Let me start by saying that I own a couple of hunting rifles and a shotgun (also for hunting). I don't carry a concealed weapon for two reasons.

1) I don't feel a need to.
2) If I felt a need to, I would rather everyone see that I was armed... so I would probably carry the shot gun.

That all being said... This whole argument hinges on the 2nd amendment and what intent was of that amendment.

The second amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It also has nothing to do with protecting yourself from muggers, burglars, etc... those two things are bi-products of the original intent.
The right of the citizenry to bear arms is so that the citizenry can forcefully overthrow their government, if need be.

This sounds very Timothy McVeigh... I understand that. But when it was written, we had just forcefully overthrown OUR government. The British monarch was OUR government regardless of distance or representation.

That being said, if the amendment were to hold any water, the citizenry would have to be able to obtain the firepower necessary to overthrow one's government. If you consider the power of the US military, that would imply that NO restrictions could be in place.

Granted, I think it is a crazy idea, but I understand its genesis. Our founding fathers could not have foreseen the advances in weaponry over the next 2 centuries. If we are to address this issue legitimately, we have to agree on the original intent and then agree that we don't want to have the ability (in theory) to go to war on our own government. That's fine by me... I don't think I will have cause to spark a revolution in my lifetime... but the possibility exists. The pro-gun guys who talk about protecting their family from criminals and their right to hunt, etc... they are doing a disservice by ignoring the fundamentals. The anti-gun people who say you don't need an AK-47 to hunt... you're right... but that's not the issue. The founders put their lives on the line... went to war with their own sovereign government and rewrote history... and they wrote into the documentation the right for future generations to do the same.

The choice does seem easy when based on the truth of the argument... We certainly cannot have ordinary citizens stocking nuclear weapons. Philosophically, however, you would, technically, be ceding any chance of waging a last-ditch, violent offensive to reinvent the country, presumably after all civilized methods had been exhausted.