How to Understand the 2nd Amendment

On Science Blogs a commenter named Dingo Jack wrote the following wonderful comment.


Those poor Founding Fathers, they'd never have thought that even well-educated Americans wouldn't have a clue what a Nominative Absolute* is and how to use it. Dingo ----- * The Nominative absolute is similar in structure and use to the Latin Ablative Absolute and the Greek Genitive Absolute (the subordinate clause being in the Nominative, Ablative and Genitive cases, respectively).

I'll translate for you: "[When a] ... well regulated Militia... [is] ... necessary... [for] ... the security of a free State, [then] the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed [but if the first clause is false, then the second clause is inactive.]

(The main clause is in bold, the subordinate clause in italics)

(cross posted on Mikeb302000)

Baltimore Awash in Gun Violence - It's Getting Worse

The Baltimore Sun reports


Six people were shot, one of them fatally, after a gunman opened fire Thursday afternoon on a group of people sitting on a porch in Southwest Baltimore.
Police said the victims ranged in age from 28 to 72. Two of the surviving victims were last reported in critical condition, while three suffered wounds that were not deemed life-threatening. The man who died had not been identified.
The fatal shooting continues a trend of recent daytime shootings in the city — two men, ages 40 and 26, were killed in separate shootings at 1:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Tuesday along Greenmount Avenue, and a 23-year-old man was fatally shot about 2 p.m. Sunday in West Baltimore. For the year, 94 people have been slain in the city, compared with 89 at this time in 2010.

It seems we're allowing gun flow to continue unabated. Do the gun-rights folks accept this as the price for freedom? It seems so.

Had the guns which were used in all these recent shootings in Baltimore been properly controlled from the time of their manufacturer to their first transfer to an FFL person and to each transfer thereafter, most of them would never have reached the criminals' hands. Why is that so difficult? Are gun owners really so self-centered that they prefer this, what we could certainly call "blood in the streets," to a safer community?

Proper gun control laws would not interfere with the ability of good people to own guns if they want them. This is the big lie of the gun-rights extremists, that decent gun control laws are tantamount to preventing them from owning guns. It's just not so.

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.



Surrendering Weapons in Domestic Abuse Cases


The Record Journal reports on the issue of removing guns from domestic abusers in Connecticut.

When police are called to a domestic violence complaint or a restraining order is issued, weapons are always a chief concern, local law enforcement officials say.
State law allows police to seize any firearm in plain view at the scene of an incident even if no arrest is made and to seize a weapon from someone suspected of committing a crime, even if no arrest has been made. Protective orders require the surrender of weapons and judges usually order the same of people subject to a restraining order.

Area police said they don't hesitate to use those powers and often work pre-emptively to remove weapons in criminal cases before the courts issue orders the next business day.

While involved parties will usually surrender their guns voluntarily, police said, the system isn't foolproof. People can lie or hide weapons, or there can be filing irregularities in the computer database that tracks pistol permits and registrations. And some weapons, such as hunting rifles, don't have to be registered with the state.

The relationship between weapons and domestic violence is in sharp focus locally after an apparent murder-suicide in Southington Saturday, the second such incident in less than a week. Both involved a man apparently killing his ex-wife, then turning the gun on himself. The other incident was in Wallingford.

I would not want to forego due process.  There has to be legal reasons before confiscating anyone's weapons.  But, once those criteria have been met, the removal of those weapons is imperative and will save lives, usually women's lives.

Common sense gun control demands several improvements in the current mish-mash system we have now. 1. background checks on all gun sales, 2. licensing of all gun owners, 3. registration of all firearms.

With proper gun control like that, one of the first areas to see an improvement would be that of domestic violence.  Many times the offender is a law-abiding gun owner up until the time he crosses the line with his wife. Guys like that could be disarmed quickly and surely if the authorities knew what weapons they possessed.

The problem is many people fear that such controls would lead to ever-stricter ones. Gun owners who might not necessarily object to these proposals, vigorously resist them anyway, for fear that ultimately they too will be required to surrender weapons.  I don't agree with that, I think it's paranoid nonsense.  What do you think?

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)

Please leave a comment.



Lamar Smith on the al-Qaeda Threat

The Hill reports

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said tightening gun laws to address the threat would be to surrender to terrorists at the expense of Americans' rights.



There's more...

Toledo, Ohio Gun Violence - An Experiment in Racism

cross-posted at Mikeb302000

The Toledo Blade reports on the terrible frequency of gun violence in their city. You know how the gun-rights folks will often accuse their opponents of what they know they themselves are guilty of? Well, here's what I thought.

Let's take a wild guess and say that central and North Toledo is where the black people live. Let's combine that fact with what we know about lawful gun ownership. Guns are manufactured by companies owned by white folks (is there even one exception?), they are distributed to Federal Firearms Licensees (not too many blacks there, eh?), then the free-for-all begins.

Lax gun laws in places like Ohio facilitate the gun flow from the predominantly white beginnings of gun ownership out into the world, including all those that end up in central and North Toledo.

The entire system is racist.  Blacks end up paying for the sins of whites. I know the argument that each ghetto shooter is solely responsible for his actions, but I don't buy it.  Most ghetto shooters are suffering from economic and educational disadvantages, many times drug and alcohol addiction is involved. 

The folks who ensure a steady supply of guns are also to blame.

Meanwhile, the gun-rights extremists will go to great lengths to argue that gun control is racist.  It started out that way 150 years ago, after all. 

What's your opinion?


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