Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The right to kill indiscriminately

I am reluctant to wade into the 2nd amendment argument while the impact of the latest school shooting tragedy is so fresh. I claimed during the mid terms last years that gun control was the missing policy discussion.

But of course, like faith in biblical texts written for other cultures and other times, the gun lobby will preach that ‘their’ constitution is sacrosanct. What they fail to recognise is that the provision was created at a time when guns were crude, it does not provide for the powerful weapons of today.

You have to ask yourself why the hell anyone should have a powerful assault weapon in a school dormitory? You have to ask why any kid would have access to one at home? What sort of insanity is that?

It is a country with age limits on all sorts of activities, but lets young people of dubious emotional state, wander around with deadly weapons. Then they justify the consequent slaughter with the sanctity of an archaic right.

Australian gun buy back

Back in 1998, following a similar tragedy, the Australian government instituted a gun buy back and destroy policy. $320M to take 643,726 firearms out of the system. How effective the program was in taking guns out of the system no one really knows.

What we do know is that Australia has not had a mass shooting since that time.

On April 28th 1996, a maniac shot 35 people in Port Arthur. The media went ballistic, screaming about the evil of "assault" firearms. Australians were shocked. Nothing like this had ever happened in sleepy, peaceful Australia. - Sen. H. L. Richardson, (Retired)

Bullshit Sen Richardson retired! Australia, sleepy as you might think, had a long and painful record of indiscriminate mass shootings. As a former Tasmanian the port Arthur outrage was especially painful. Because of the people I personally know who were scarred during the cleanup of that massacre I am highly offended by this sort of crap.

But no less offended by the fact that many others who have died in these stupid acts have been wiped aside by the former senator.

The majority of Australians, sleepy, left wing or otherwise, agreed that there was simply no justification for high power firearms to shoot ‘varmints’!

Let me be clear though. I support gun control. I don’t claim it is totally effective, but it does serve to impose some limits. For example, most people in Australia understand how moronic it is to have these weapons in any setting. It is a bit like smoking I guess, guns carry a social condemnation.

By retaining the 2nd amendment the US is actively endorsing the use of the weapons in inappropriate ways. There is no justification and those endorsing gun use should stand as guilty as the actual shooters if these outrages continue.

I went and had a look at the amendment: 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.

I can se defending against tyranny, but not your bloody girlfriend and random others. That has nothing to do with a well regulated militia or defence!

I would add: Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

What about the right to go to school, the mall or anywhere else safely? There are always conflicts in societal rules, but Americans really need to think about what is really important to life and happiness.

This is not just a cute sentimental issue for God’s sake. People are being killed needlessly because of a stupidly held right to possess inappropriate weapons.

20 comments:

romunov said...

More people die in car accidents every year, and no one is bitching about that.

And remember, those people didn't die because of some "crazy evil weapon". They died because the guy was crazy.

Cartledge said...

Rom, I forgot to ask RBE; don’t get me started. Funny thing is I was about to launch into your issue. We don’t need to fight on this one. Recently thee was a midnight incident under the Sydney Harbour bridge. A ferry mowed through a cruiser killing and injuring. It carried headlines for four days. But a road smash similar or worse gets a mention at best.
I’m doing figures on legislation and road deaths. Frankly I can’t find a difference between the draconian and the ‘liberal’ laws. They just keep doing it.

romunov said...

And another point I was thinking about just the other day. There is basically NO reports in the news of cancer patients succumbing to their fatal disease. Big brother and other sex or political scandals are all over the place, however.

It just shows that our society is all shiny and pretty, but rotten on the inside.

Cartledge said...

ROM, should we add Iraq as well. I only have so many tears for stupidity. There are tings we might be able to deal with. Palliative care is one I have to deal with at the moment.
I don't enjoy that part of 'life' and we can't deal with that politically.

romunov said...

Nordic countries can serve us as the example how can a public campaign swing people's minds in a matter of decades. Perhaps that's where we need to start. Are we doomed to handing out xeroxed pamphlets? :)

reality-based educator said...

Thanks for your thoughts, cartledge. I understand shaking with rage on this.

As I have posted around the net on this issue, I have heard that a) more guns help stem gun violence b) if the murder rate of a country is low, it has nothing to do w/ the gun laws, policing techniques, etc., it is because the people in that country are "good," and c) any law to limit guns, bullets, etc. will ultimately end in a total ban on guns.

I dunno, cartledge, this gun issue brings out the real 2nd Amendment types who eat, sleep and breath fucking guns and I just don't know how you fight it (at least here in the US)

I doubt the Dems will take up this issue, so nothing will happen politically here anyway. Maybe a few more of these incidents will make people say, "hmm..."

But I doubt it.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cartledge@gmail.com said...

RBE, I was reluctant to get into this issue because the world is fucked anyway!
But I was more than happy to put shit on that arsehole senator (ret)
It is an emotional issue for me, and I detest guns.

cartledge@gmail.com said...

Jesu, Maria! I'm working on a shered computer and had to set my brother up on gmail. The whole system is rebelling...

abi said...

I love to hear the wackos claim that keeping a gun is all that stands between us and tyranny.

Too late for that, mates.

Cartledge said...

Thanks for that abi. To the point! :)

reality-based educator said...

I also love when they say arming everybody will cut down on shootings.

Given what we know about the nature of humans, how could any rational being think that giving every idiot a gun would cut down on murders?

Lysander Cadwalader said...

Cartledge;

Do you believe that other U.S. Constitutional guarantees should also be interpreted to protect only colonial technologies? If so, I suspect that you would see no constitutional protection on radio or television broadcast content.

What do you think?

Cartledge said...

Lysander Any constitution should be interpreted, as a base philosophy to serve the needs of a society. They are not guarantees, but rather the basis of law. Even so, your concern with hand presses is quaint, but I can guarantee that you do not have freedom of speech. Your administration has seen that many of your so called rights have been stripped in the name of patriotism. That is the same issue that spawned the 2nd amendment.

Lysander Cadwalader said...

I am not doubting restrictions surrounding constitutional rights as much as I am contesting your notion that the founders only intended to safeguard colonial technologies.

Are you suggesting that the U.S. Constitution should be viewed simply as a "guide-line" whose path can be moved about simply by the allowance of interpretation? Or do you believe as I that the founders meant what they said?

As a side note, with your permission, I would like to link you to my blog. Its status is pre-fledgling at this point, but should be up soon. What do you say?

no_slappz said...

cartledge, you wrote:

"...the Australian government instituted a gun buy back and destroy policy. $320M to take 643,726 firearms out of the system."

That's $500 per weapon. I'd say it caused a swift importation of weapons purchased for less. Meanwhile, the effort probably netted an assortment of barely functional throw-aways.

How effective the program was in taking guns out of the system no one really knows.

no_slappz said...

cartledge, you wrote:

"The majority of Australians, sleepy, left wing or otherwise, agreed that there was simply no justification for high power firearms to shoot ‘varmints’!"

I think the sales figures of such weapons would tell the story. That aside, how often are such weapons employed in criminal acts?

In the US, rifles are not the weapon of choice. Criminals depend on handguns. The licensing and ownership laws reflect this fact. Only a few gun-sellers intentionally market handguns to the criminal market. The mayor of New York City asked NYPD detectives to find the offending gun-sellers. They did.

Should we enact laws that charge these gun-sellers as accessories to crimes committed with guns obtained from their shops if the sales did not conform to regulations? Yes.

You wrote:

"Let me be clear though. I support gun control."

Yes. Be clear. What is the definition of "gun control."?

You wrote:

"I don’t claim it is totally effective, but it does serve to impose some limits."

How?

You wrote:

"For example, most people in Australia understand how moronic it is to have these weapons in any setting. It is a bit like smoking I guess, guns carry a social condemnation."

Most people in the US agree. They show their agreement by not purchasing them or any other guns. Meanwhile, there are an estimated 40-50 million smokers in the US, out of a population of 300 million.

You wrote:

"By retaining the 2nd amendment the US is actively endorsing the use of the weapons in inappropriate ways."

Between a third and a half of all murders in the US are committed by blacks. But blacks account for about 11% of the US population. Handguns are the weapon of choice. Thus, the inclination to murder is much higher among blacks than others in American society.

Of course mentioning this fact is enough for others to plan an intervention and send the heretic to rehab.

Anyway, it's not the 2nd Amendment at the base of the US homicide situation. More than anything, it is the poor psychological state of the shooter that is to blame. But people in a bad way -- intent on criminal acts such as armed robbery -- are easily thwarted by regulated gun sales.

It has been estimated that there are 2 million guns in New York City (population 8 million). But there are only about 5,000 people licensed to carry concealed weapons in public in NYC. I am not aware of any murders committed by the 5,000 with concealed-carry permits.

You wrote:

"There is no justification and those endorsing gun use should stand as guilty as the actual shooters if these outrages continue."

Endorsing? Guilty? That sounds like an attempt to put the Republican Party behind bars in the US.

Lock up the criminals: Those who sell guns illegally and those who fire them illegally.

The US could create a national database of people who have been hospitalized for psychiatric problems and prohibit them from owning guns. But I don't think liberals would accept this solution.

They'd rather prevent 99.9% of all gun owners from having weapons if the ban will protect us from the 0.1% of gun owners who will use a gun in the commission of a crime.

I don't see any similar hysteria over cigarette smoking and tobacco companies. That seems remarkable considering the death toll from cigarettes.

Cartledge said...

“I am not doubting restrictions surrounding constitutional rights as much as I am contesting your notion that the founders only intended to safeguard colonial technologies.”
Well there you go, I might have addressed that argument sooner, except you did not spell the idiot argument out clearly enough.
Oddly, I don’t really see how your founding fathers would have perceived anything other than colonial technology.
Give me a bloody break, that has to rank as one of the lamest comments I’ve ever seen

no slappz In answer to your various comments, if you read carefully you will find my argument re guns, cards and other killing machines, social vilification is the most effective control. If the greater part of society sees behaviour as wrong then that behaviour is generally curtailed. Not stopped, but certainly controlled.
It was the action of the buy back which sent the signal to the wider community. It is readily conceded that the buy back itself would not have been effective.
In fact cigarette smoking is a good example of a behaviour facing social vilification.

Perhaps I need to visit these issues again.

Lysander Cadwalader said...

In my defense, was it not you who said: "What they fail to recognize is that the provision was created at a time when guns were crude, it does not provide for the powerful weapons of today" in defense of the notion that the Founders might not have intended for the 2nd Amendment to apply to today’s weapons? Or have I misunderstood the original intent of your statement? Please clarify.

Cartledge said...

Lysander "Or have I misunderstood the original intent of your statement?"
Mate, you have me stumped. I can't follow your argument so I don't really know just what you understand.
But if you think the founding fathers had the ability to see into the future then we obviously come from different planets.
Their intention was formed by the world they inhabited. Perhaps those intentions are no longer relevant.
Sorry about the polysyllabic language.