Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Some ideas to reform gun laws

Another view?

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I believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our forefathers said we should be able to protect our homes and children. A single gun with five shots is more than sufficient to protect ourselves and our homes. For hunters, a shotgun for hunting is all that is needed. Any weapons with more capacity than that should be banned. One city had the right idea: a metal detector at the door with one armed guard in each school.

More parents should take control of their children. Parents should instill in their children the difference between right and wrong. And, our government should take a much stronger stand to keep weapons of destruction from coming into our borders. Anyone found with an unregistered weapon deserves a stiff fine.

And, if it is proven that such a weapon would be used in crime, their sentence should be a prison term automatically. This all makes common sense.

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Previous Discussion: 9 comments so far…

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  1. Mr. Perchesky,

    Please provide a reference or two where "our forefathers said we should be able to protect our homes and children" as you put it.

    The discussions available to us in the Federalist Papers and private letters seem to refer only to defense of the nation or, more importantly, defense of liberty.

    One thing needs to be absolutely clear: the Second Amendment has *nothing* to do with having weapons for home defense or hunting. No reasonable discussion about gun regulation can be had unless that is understood.

    At the very least one should read (several times) the SCOTUS decision from 1939 in US v Miller that outlawed short-barreled shotguns. (And those nine wise souls were apparently unaware that the US Army issued thousands of short-barreled shotguns in World War I for use in trench warfare.)

  2. Crazy Spangler, 62 years old, in Webster, NY a quiet town on the banks of Ontario was a convicted felon. He plead guilty to manslaughter for killing his 92 year old grandmother in the 80's with a hammer. He had 3 guns. All gotten illegally. One an AR-15 rifle. He set fire to his house and car so he could kill the firemen, volunteers, who responded to save him and the neighborhood. He killed two of the firemen and seriously injured 2 more. Then he killed himself. His sister was also found dead in the house, not certain yet due to her burnt remains, whether shot first or died in the fire. In all, 7 or 8 houses burned down. How and where did he get these guns?

    Rights have two direct powers: The power to do and the power to be. And they also have indirect consequential powers. The rights may be guaranteed by the Constitution but the powers are not. Those are regulated.

    CarmineD

  3. I was with you, Jerry, until you decided just how many and what type of gun a citizen could possess. You have no "right" to take anyone's "Rights" away and owning a weapon for any reason is a Constitutional "Right." There already are plenty of rules and regulations on the books regarding who may and who may not own a firearm. Nuts Like Spangler don't give a rats ass about them or any other impediments put upon an felon banning them from possessing a firearm. They'll latch on to one - one way or another. Impediments only make it more difficult for the honest, hard-working, law-abiding citizen to obtain a defensive weapon if that is his or her desire. Those folks actually obey the law and you'd penalize them for doing do. That's back-assward, Jerry.

  4. "A single gun with five shots is more than sufficient to protect ourselves and our homes."

    Perchesky -- my, aren't you just full of advice on what the rest of us should and should not do. Take the recent home invasion in the news here a few days ago @ http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/dec...

    4 invaders total. Imagine -- with a warning shot gone, one bullet for each one left. Not even the average cop in a tense situation is that good a shot.

    "One thing needs to be absolutely clear: the Second Amendment has *nothing* to do with having weapons for home defense or hunting. No reasonable discussion about gun regulation can be had unless that is understood."

    boftx -- not true. That was explained in the Heller and McDonald decisions. But mainly here it's Nevada's own Constitutional protection on firearms that matters.

    **already used up all my on-topic quotes**

  5. David Gregory, the anti gun zealot NBC TV host possessed and displayed a 30 round clip in his DC program in violation of DC law, and is under investigation. Ironically, Gregory sends his child to the same school ( Sidwell Friends Quaker) as Obama's which is protected by 11 armed guards. Liberals have no problem hiding behind guns when it benefits them personally. What hypocracy!!

  6. Boftx: Miller is perhaps not the best precedent to use in the modern environment. The justices held that:

    "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument."

    It also looked at the meaning of the word "militia" and determined that:

    "The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense."

    The first quote appears to restrict the right to bear arms to those arms that are necessary to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. Today, that pretty much allows the banning of single-shot rifles, small hand-guns, air guns, bows, etc. and requires unrestricted possession of fully automatic firearms, explosive devices like hand grenades, fighter aircraft, tanks, etc. with a limit based only on the individual's ability to pay for a weapon.

    The second quote extends that right to ALL males (and probably females under modern interpretations) with the physical ability to act together in concert for protection. That is far more than current members of the active military services, beyond members of the national guard, beyond military retirees/dischargees, even beyond the right-wing-popular private militias. If you can physically act in a group (type unspecified - a group of paraplegics? A 7th grade PE class??), you are entitled to bear all the various weaponry you want/can afford. And there's no wiggle room for those mentally or emotionally unfit for active military service so long as they are PHYSICALLY CAPABLE of acting within a group. Of course, there is no requirement that anyone can act ONLY within a group.

  7. renorobert,

    You picked up on exactly the point I wanted to make: there is case law from SCOTUS that would imply that assault rifles are *exactly* the kind of weapons that are protected and that the kinds of weapons that some people say are okay are in fact not.

    The Heller and McDonald cases sugarcoat the Second Amendment in their own way.

    Unlike almost any other country (and I am not aware of an exception but I haven't looked) we consider it an inherent right to own weapons that are capable of being used in a military fashion. The entire Bill of Rights is an expression of a deep mistrust of a central government.

    Conversely, the Constitution has indications of a mistrust of the population in general. (Primary case is the Electoral College, as well as our being a republic and not a true democracy.)

    The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights, is an attempt at implementing a government based on the principles laid out in our Declaration of Independence. Again I say, no rational discussion can take place on this (or several other topics for that matter) without using that as a starting point.

  8. "David Gregory, the anti gun zealot NBC TV host possessed and displayed a 30 round clip in his DC program in violation of DC law, and is under investigation."

    Houstonjac -- so much for those clamoring for new laws banning those kinds of clips.

    "The Heller and McDonald cases sugarcoat the Second Amendment in their own way."

    boftx -- no they didn't. They explained it exhaustively (157 + 214 pages) for the first time ever. In Heller the court thoroughly examined your Miller. Distinguished it, didn't overturn it, nor did it consider it controlling on the Amendment.

  9. "Parents should instill in their children the difference between right and wrong."

    What a revelation! Why didn't parents think of that earlier in our civilization?