2nd Amendment gun love must have limits

We love our guns. Like any love affair our passion for our weapons transcends logic and certainly evades explanation. And like any true love, what feels good is not always good, and our titillation hides the cause of the damage, if not the damage itself.

So it didn’t surprise me to read the passion of a man who should know better, explain away the damage wrought by a passion turned obsession.

Mr. Garlock in his column repeats the NRA ode to joy: that types of weapons don’t matter; that it’s all in the people; that society is sick and that the instruments of destruction are beside the point; that man will find a way to kill, whatever weapon is at his disposal and that we therefore should all arm ourselves with the latest and the greatest and the most efficient way of killing.

Do weapons matter? As a man who went to war, Mr. Garlock must have relished his army issue flintlock, or was it a bolt action ten shot Enfield 303? Was he given a M-1 Garand for his time in Vietnam? Did the army use smoothbore cannonball artillery? I think not.

We equip our armies with the best weapons possible to effect combat efficiency and that efficiency is directly dependent upon overcoming enemy combat forces which usually means killing the most of them the fastest way possible.

I simplify, but you get the point. Yes, we put weapons in the hands of our soldiers but the types of weapons actually do matter.

A weapon made to kill a lot of people very fast might be a rifle, lightweight, with not too long a barrel, a high rate of fire, a lethal but not extremely large or heavy projectile, a large magazine to reduce the frequency of reload, easily reloadable, and which does not easily jam when in either automatic or semi-automatic mode of fire. In other words it would look a lot like the easily obtainable assault rifle.

Mr. Garlock asserts that all weapons were made to kill and that there really is no sense in isolating certain weapons to call them “assault rifles.” I don’t believe that Mr. Garlock, nor legions of starry eyed gun lovers are being disingenuous. I do believe they have become dangerously myopic.

In the end the argument devolves to the perception that the only right in the Bill of Rights which has no restriction to it, is the 2nd Amendment. Curiously as a citizen of the United States you cannot, at this time, freely purchase a fully automatic weapon.

You may purchase one only after a process of background check and licensing and from what I understand it’s both expensive and expansive. You cannot under any circumstance purchase modern artillery like a surplus 155mm howitzer.

In their argument the NRA (and Mr. Garlock) do not lobby for the free ownership of these types of weapons. If in fact the weapon doesn’t matter but only the person who owns the weapon, why shouldn’t citizens be freely allowed to purchase any weapon they prefer?

Some believe they should, but realize the political danger in this argument because the type of weapon and its killing efficiency does in fact matter. A 155mm howitzer can accurately throw a 100-lb. high explosive round more than 15 miles. Lots of fun and great for killing deer but rather dangerous in the wrong hands.

The reason the murderer in Connecticut used a AR-15 type weapon is because it carried a lot of rounds, was light, had a pistol grip for close-in shooting, rapidly fired those lethal rounds and didn’t easily jam.

Each dead child had an average of 11 rounds pumped into him and her. Could the killer have done so with a .40 caliber Glock? Probably not, and again that’s the reason he used the assault rifle.

Mr. Garlock and his fellow gun passionistas tell us that these types of killings will persist no matter the law and that the answer is to arm teachers and place policemen in our schools.

Perhaps they are right at least partially. Our society has a peculiar sickness running through it and limiting assault weapons won’t cure that sickness.

On the other hand doing nothing assures the next atrocity and the one after. Killing efficiency does matter in the scope of these murders and our children and our society deserve our best efforts at limiting and preventing the next massacre.

As a gun owner I support the first step, which is to limit the sale and possession of assault type weapons and large magazines.

I also support the 2nd Amendment as I support the 1st Amendment. I don’t believe anyone has the right to petition the government in the middle of I-85 at rush hour and I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment means we can keep and bear any arms anywhere we like.

A reasonable limitation on modern military style weapons does not weaken the Second Amendment. However, constant resort to outlandish positions in the midst of a spate of massacres where military style weapons are vogue will indeed lead to intolerance on the part of a majority of Americans for any weapons.

And I believe if Mr. Garlock could for a second snap out of his love trance, as a reasonable and intelligent man he might recognize the damage his love affair wreaks on society and the 2nd Amendment.

Timothy J. Parker

Peachtree City, Ga.

AirForceDude
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Timothy Parker is right on

Timothy Parker is right on his assessment. Mr. Garlock reminds me of "Chicken Little" who ran around yelling "The sky is falling". I certainly believe there should be more stringent requirements to buy a gun. You gun proponents don't get it. Nobody is trying to take away your guns. They are only making sure those buying them meet the requirements for ownership. I don't own a hand gun and don't want to carry a loaded gun around with me. I have a shotgun in my house if it is needed to ward off intruders. You people carrying guns frighten me.

PTC Observer
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Airforcedude - frightening you

That's the whole point, isn't AFD?

Not that you will rob me on the street but there's a whole lot of people out there that will.

Let's keep'em guessing on whether you are packing heat, that protects you and your family.

Now about your personal choice of weapons, well you're out gunned. However, they don't know that do they AFD?

PTC Observer
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Mr. Parker - Our resident

socialist uses hyperbole and absurd comparisons to "prove" specific arguments for gun control. While suggesting that he supports the 2nd Amendment, he lets slip his real motives along with a veiled threat, "I support the first step," and "outlandish positions....will indeed lead to intolerance on the part of a majority of Americans for any weapons." Naturally, readers should be interested in the end game in the process of "the first step". Could it be that democracy "the majority" has the "right" to limit individual rights? Certainly, if you read Mr. Parker's arguments, he certainly believes so.

Notwithstanding Mr. Parker's not so hidden agenda, he overlooks the concept of MAD (mutually assured destruction) and the historical context of the 2nd Amendment.

It is certainly within the scope of government authority to limit the ownership of certain types of weapons. It is not within its scope to put individuals at a disadvantage against those that would deprive them of their life, liberty or property. You may correctly assert that weapons with high capacity magazines are senseless if all weapons available to all were limited. You cannot correctly argue that they should be limited if they are not limited to all. Call it an individual "arms race" if you will but it is a fact of our modern life that these weapons are currently available widely. Legally limiting them whether by cartridges, magazines, or weapon style will not limit their use by criminal elements. Nor will it cause a mass surrender of these weapons by anyone. Therefore, the assertion that we can somehow limit these weapons is a false argument, they will not be limited in their availability or use in criminal activities. Government has no right to limit their use in these circumstances. Socialist arguments suggesting that flame throwers, nuclear devices and tanks are also not legal are valid, they aren't, but these devices are not designed for self-defense, unless of course they become widely available to criminal elements. Then we will have a lot more to worry about than individual self-defense.

Historically, the right to bear arms has it roots in English law manifested in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, and it deals almost exclusively with the right to self defense for Protestants. In 1716, Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown, rightly observed that "Here every private person is authorized to arm himself" for his own self defense. Every American colony enacted laws that defined specifically the need and right to bear arms. For example, the Virginia legislature in 1751, granted, "all persons to carry their arms wheresoever they go." Indeed the American Revolution itself could have never happened without the industry and innovation of the American gunsmith. I could go on and on with historical content proving that the 2nd Amendment had is roots in the need for protecting Life, Liberty and Property, including the entire Constitutional ratification process documented in the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers. To expose private citizens to a better armed criminal element does not serve the 2nd Amendment's purpose.

So, in short Mr. Parker's shallow analysis of gun control simply doesn't hold water. However, take note of Mr. Parker's warning. In a democracy, majority rules and sometimes with an iron fist.

renault314
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timothy - why you're so off target

Sir - your arguments are predicated on a lot of false choices and bad info. The biggest one being that a person anybody with an assault rifle (a terrible misnomer but thats for later) will inevitably use it to kill and any one without an assault rifle will not kill. Talk about being disingenuous. If assault weapons are the prodigious killing instruments you claim them to be, why are they used, according to FBI crime statistics, in less than 1% of gun crime? Rifles of any sort only add up to 4-5%. Are all criminals universally that dumb? That they choose handguns and shotguns, the least efficient way to kill (according to you), 95% of the time? They aren't harder to get than pistols. they are easily cut down, so concealability isn't the issue. Ammo is plentiful so its not that. Hmm. Weird. People can of course buy fully auto guns, and there is a long wait for the paperwork. But guns are easily modified (illegally) to be full auto, and yet that doesn't seem to be happening very much, else Im sure it would be trumpeted all over CNN. You know what else is NOT being trumpeted on CNN? statistics from any study, anywhere, from any nation, that shows that gun laws of any kind had a demonstrable effect on crime. Im sure you know the world just like I do, and we both know, that if such a study existed, Obama and Feinstein would be shouting it from the rooftops. How telling that they do not.

Quote:

In their argument the NRA (and Mr. Garlock) do not lobby for the free ownership of these types of weapons. If in fact the weapon doesn't matter but only the person who owns the weapon, why shouldn't citizens be freely allowed to purchase any weapon they prefer?

We don't need to lobby for something that's already legal. your suggestion that people don't want to bring back full auto ownership due to the political cost is ridiculous. Its already here. Killing efficiency has nothing to do with it. Since the requirement started in the 30's to register full auto guns, silencers, short barreled rifles, sawed off shotguns and the like, only twice has one of those legally registered guns been used in a crime. And one of those was by a LEO. Weird.

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A 155mm howitzer can accurately throw a 100-lb. high explosive round more than 15 miles. Lots of fun and great for killing deer but rather dangerous in the wrong hands.

So is an airliner. you know, the thing that caused the greatest mass murder in American history? and that was done by criminals with box cutters. No assault rifles in sight. Weird.

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The reason the murderer in Connecticut used a AR-15 type weapon is because it carried a lot of rounds, was light, had a pistol grip for close-in shooting, rapidly fired those lethal rounds and didn't easily jam.

no, the reason he used it is because it was the one his mother owned, you know, the lady he shot in the face with a pistol so he could steal her lawfully obtained weapons. are you really trying to convince people that if the AR didn't have a pistol grip all those kids would be alive today? Don't you understand the trap you're falling into by defining inanimate objects as evil and not the behavior?

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Each dead child had an average of 11 rounds pumped into him and her. Could the killer have done so with a .40 caliber Glock? Probably not, and again that’s the reason he used the assault rifle.

Sorry dude, wrong again. the victims were shot "up to" 11 times, not an "average" of 11 times. its a big difference in the amount of ammo he would have had to carry. But your premise that he couldnt have pulled it off with glock is completely wrong. he could have done that with a six shot revolver. He was only facing unarmed women and children after all. Your assertion of "thats why he used an assault rifle" is completely the wrong conclusion and completely the wrong question. The real conclusion, is "that's why he chose a school" because he knew everyone there would be helpless victims. The school wasnt next door to his house. he drove there, passing other highly occupied places in order to bet to it. did you ever ask why that is? Holmes in Aurora drove past several other movie theaters to get to the one he shot up. why? becasue it was the closest one that was a "gun-free" zone.

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Perhaps they are right at least partially. Our society has a peculiar sickness running through it and limiting assault weapons won’t cure that sickness. On the other hand doing nothing assures the next atrocity and the one after.

doing nothing, and limiting other peoples right in an effort that you freely admit will not solve the problem are not the same thing.

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Killing efficiency does matter in the scope of these murders and our children and our society deserve our best efforts at limiting and preventing the next massacre.

agreed, but please tell me that passing a law you already know will not be effective and historically has not reduced crime constitutes your best efforts.

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As a gun owner I support the first step, which is to limit the sale and possession of assault type weapons and large magazines.

sorry to sound like a broken record here, but so do you. Those laws have been passed here before, and in other countries and have no demonstrable effect on gun crime or mass shootings. Klebold had a pistol at columbine that was limited to 10 round mags. Except he had 13 of them. yeah, that really fixed the problem.

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I also support the 2nd Amendment as I support the 1st Amendment. I don’t believe anyone has the right to petition the government in the middle of I-85 at rush hour and I don’t believe the 2nd Amendment means we can keep and bear any arms anywhere we like.

that analogy makes no sense, since you petition the government in a courthouse. You also need to understand that it doesn't matter what you believe. A lot of people didn't believe that Rosa Parks needed to sit down on that bus, or that those kids in Little Rock needed to go to that school. What makes a "right" a "right" is that is doesn't require other people to agree with you in order for you to exercise it. Clearly this distinction has been lost on you.

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A reasonable limitation on modern military style weapons does not weaken the Second Amendment.

That reasonable restriction already exists. Background checks, semi-auto only, criminals cant have a gun and so forth.

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However, constant resort to outlandish positions in the midst of a spate of massacres where military style weapons are vogue will indeed lead to intolerance on the part of a majority of Americans for any weapons.

Oh what a slippery slope! I love it how your positions are reasonable, but anyone who disagrees with you is "outlandish." Tens of millions of these firearms already exist. Do you propose confiscation? THAT would be outlandish. If not, how will changing cosmetic features of guns produced in the future do anything? The destructive power of a weapon comes from the fact that it is pointed at someone by an operator and the trigger is pulled. not that it has a "flash hider" or a "pistol grip." You might get some laws passed, but you aren't going to keep anyone safer by making "things" evil but not worrying about behavior. Not once in your essay did you ask about mental health, screening or looking at links between suicides, mass shootings and the massive over prescription of psychopharmacuticals in this country. I wish you had been the principal of my elementary school when i was growing up. In second grade I nailed a kid named John with a rock when I heaved it across the playground. With you in charge, you would have banned rocks and I would have gone back to class with what I'm sure would have been a "very stern talking too." Instead I had to apologize in front of the class, AFTER I got paddled. And that was the appetizer. Dad had the entree waiting for me when I got home. Still, I never did that again. Weird.

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And I believe if Mr. Garlock could for a second snap out of his love trance, as a reasonable and intelligent man he might recognize the damage his love affair wreaks on society and the 2nd Amendment.

I fail to see how wanting to preserve rights we are currently afforded damages society. I also fail to see how a reasonable and intelligent man cant see what is right in front of him. Guns have always been commonly available to citizens, even children. Guns prevalence hasnt changed. full auto has been around for 100 years. gangsters in the 20's had them. assault rifles have been around for 70 years since wwii. Yet mass shootings are a relatively recent phenomenon. but you wont even consider that it might be something else besides guns. Other modern, western nations, england, germany, autrailia, to name a few, have outlawed most or all guns in their countries. yes mass shootings, and per capita murder, robbery, assault and home invasions are all higher than they are here. A reasonable and intelligent man might ask why, instead of blaming guns. I urge you to do the same.

tgarlock
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Renault & PTCO, good points

I didn't respond to Mr. Parker because I already said my piece and didn't want to repeat it in back-and-forth that will solve nothing, and because I know that if Tim Parker disagrees with me that is confirmation I must be on the right track. He's a good guy and smart, just wrong.

Well done.

Terry Garlock

S. Lindsey
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Terry... agreed

I too said what's the use... Some people are just plain wrong and no amount of fact and reason will change it.

Sometimes it is better to say nothing and thought a fool then speak and remove all doubt... I have no doubts about Mr. Parker.

G35 Dude
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Renault-Parker is so off target

Renault, he's so off target that you're the only one that cared enough to respond to his drivel for 5 days!!!! LOL I guess that horse is out of the barn now!

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