EDITORIAL: Second Amendment, Ban on AR 15’s Can Coexist

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apn board photoBy the Atlanta Progressive News Board of Directors.

 

(APN) ATLANTA — From Columbine, Colorado – to Orlando, Florida, the frequency of massacres in the United States is increasing and the death toll is rising.

 

People are beginning to wake up and question the ridiculous and extreme gun policies that allow the purchase of assault weapons that are made for war.

 

You know the country has a gun problem when a U.S. citizen, Omar Mateen, can be investigated by the FBI and yet he still can buy assault weapons.

 

Mateen used a Sig Sauer AR 15 style assault rifle and a Glock handgun when he walked into Pulse–a gay nightclub where people were dancing and having a good time–and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others.

 

The AR 15 is the same type of military style assault weapon used in other mass murders because it can shoot multiple rounds.  It belongs in the hands of the military, not citizens.

 

The Second Amendment provides for the right to keep and bear arms.  The fact that this is the Second Amendment–a freedom only second to speech, religion, assembly–shows how very important this right was to the Framers, who, after all, used guns to win Independence from an oppressive colonial regime.

 

The Supreme Court of the U.S. has upheld the Second Amendment time and time again, strongly protecting citizens’ rights to have a gun in their home.

 

However, these AR 15s are weapons of mass destruction that can pump out rounds of bullets so fast, that Mateen was able to kill and injure a hundred people in just minutes, with devastating mass carnage in only seconds.

 

So, even though the Second Amendment is just as important today as it was 200 years ago, we’re not talking about the same types of weapons.  AR 15’s did not exist then.

 

If we’re gonna let people have AR 15s, why don’t we just let people buy nuclear weapons to have around the house?

 

The reasons given for these recurring public massacres are many  – from feeling of mistreatment, bullying, prejudice, intolerance, hatred, revenge, homophobia, xenophobia, racism – the list is long.

 

Many people in the U.S. have been hoodwinked by the National Rifle Association and pro gun lobbying groups into believing that gun reform around access to AR 15’s and similar weapons would violate their Second Amendment rights.

 

But that’s simply not true, says the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

 

We need to find a middle ground.  We must protect the Second Amendment, while allowing for common sense gun policies will bring an end to these massacres.

 

In the South, you have extremist pro-gun lobby groups screaming hysterically, “They [especially Obama!] are trying to take our guns away,” at the slightest hint of reform.

 

It is reasonable to worry about a slippery slope where one reform leads to another–and we are concerned about that too–however, it is highly unlikely with the Second Amendment in place and the NRA as powerful as ever.

 

Nobody is trying to take away your hunting rifle or grandma’s pistol –  only military assault weapons that you don’t need to kill “Bambi” or protect your home or yourself.

 

There may be a darker and more sinister reason for the lax gun laws in the South.  Georgia is the number one state for illegal gun trafficking to other states and that is a big money maker for the gun runners.

 

http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/19/news/iron-pipeline-gun-control/

 

Over six thousand people have been killed in the U.S. so far in 2016, according to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive.

 

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

 

The U.S. has more weapons and firearms than any country in the world and more gun violence than any other place in the world.

 

The division and violence only gets worse with Presidential candidate Donald Trump demonizing all Muslims when only .01 percent of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world engage in violence.

 

Don’t fall into Trump’s racist pitt of Islamophobia, xenophobia, or any other type of phobia that blames an entire group for the actions of a few.

 

Christians also have their religious extremists, remember Charleston and the Birmingham church bombings in the 60’s.  All religions have their extremist elements that hate anyone or anything that is different from their narrow belief system.

 

Enough of politicians like Trump inciting violence and radical pro-gun politicians in Congress.  Enough of state governments refusing to pass even the most minimal, conservative gun reforms to protect citizens.

 

Last year State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) and other Democrats tried to pass an assault weapons ban, HB 731, but it didn’t get out of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

 

http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2016/01/16/several-house-democrats-seek-assault-weapons-ban-in-georgia/

 

Because the “good old boys” down at the State Capitol only respond to Georgia Carry, not Georgia citizens, instead the Legislature passed the “Guns Everywhere Bills, HB 60 and HB 875, even though citizens turned out in droves to oppose it.

 

When the Legislature reconvenes in 2017, we must make Rep. Oliver’s bill a priority.

 

Our lives are at stake.

 

(END/2016)

7 comments

  • No right, not even our First Amendment right to Free Speech is unlimited. It is nonsense to suggest that banning assault weapons utterly strikes the second amendment from the Constitution.

    I can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater and you cannot use an assault weapon to fire into a crowded theater. It’s simple, fair, and sensible.

    • Incorrect. I CAN indeed yell “fire” in a crowded theater if I so desire. In fact, I have the freedom to set the fire myself. I am RESPONSIBLE for the consequences of my actions in the use of my freedom however.

      “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed.”

      There is NOTHING in the “restrictive clause” of that amendment that even hints that ANY “ban” or ‘control’ is permissible.

  • How is it that so many cannot understand the simple words “the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms shall NOT be infringed”?

    How is it that so many people cannot understand that unconstitutional ‘gun control’ is the REAL problem in this country?

    We didn’t used to have these problems when more people were armed, as is Constitutionally intended. Because criminals, (both in and out of our governments). Knew that they would face immediate retribution fro any criminal activity. Don’t believe it? Look at what happened when the cities of Chicago and New York passed stringent ‘gun control’ laws back in the early 1900’s. The regular people were disarmed, which enabled the rise of gangsters. This Chief Justice makes the case very plain:

    “Jackson, Miss., Nov. 28, 1895.
    “Editor of The Times-Democrat;

    “Reading your editorial on car[r]ying concealed weapons leads me to write that, after an experience of nearly a half century, in active connection with the enforcement of laws, my judgment is that all laws against carrying weapons are wrong and should be repealed. They cannot be enforced, and for that reason should not exist. They operate unequally and harmfully, by being a restraint on those in whose hands the weapons would be harmless and often useful, and imposing no restraint on those in whose hands they are dangerous and often destructive.

    “My view is that all should be free to carry arms, as they please, and that every girl especially should be taught to use them expertly. We would then hear less of rapes, and burglaries, and such crimes as so often occur, and there would not be a crime more by reason of the unrestrained right to carry arms.

    “It would prevent rather than promote crime. The man disposed to commit crime is never restrained by the law against carrying concealed weapons, while the good citizen ofted is, and is thus placed at a disadvantage, being at the mercy of the villain who assails him and is emboldened to do it by the confidence that his victim is unarmed.

    “J.A.P. CAMPBELL.”*

    [The St. Tammany Farmer, Covington, St. Tammany Parish, LA., Saturday, December 7, 1895. Vol. XX.–No. 50. Pg. 2]

    * – Supreme Court of Mississippi Chief Justice J.A.P., (Josiah Arthur Patterson), Campbell. Chief Justice Campbell served 18 years on the Mississippi Supreme Court – 1876 to 1894. He wrote the Mississippi Code of Law which established legal and official White Supremacy. Chief Justice Campbell had both a white and black family, and spent most of the last 27 years of his life with his Black family teaching them how to break the system of White Supremacy. [See: The Father of White Supremacy by James Meredith, whom is the African American great grandson of Justice Campbell]

    An armed people are a FREE and SAFE people. A disarmed people are nothing more than SLAVES.

    There is no “middle-ground”. That is the whole intended purpose of a written Constitution. To make things crystal clear as to what “shall” and “shall NOT” be done. Only the LIE-berals don’t pay attention to our Constitution.

    Look at what the LIE-beral agenda has done to this country. We used to be the most envied nation on earth. Now we are among the most despised….

  • When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce the American People under absolute Despotism, it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off such Government. The AR-15 would be the same platform as the standard battle rifle of any such Government. We’ll keep and bear them as well, thank you.

  • When you have somebody who does not respect the Second Amendment, you can rest assured they do not hold the rest of the Bill of Rights in great regard either.

    And right bow you can say “Oh that is bullshit. ” but this happened today:

    Senator John Manchin in MSNBC

    “The problem we have—and really, the firewall we have right now, is due process. It’s all due process. So we can all say, ‘yeah, we want the same thing,’ but how do we get there. If a person is on a terrorist watch list like the gentleman—the shooter—in Orlando, he was, twice by the FBI, we were briefed yesterday about what happened. But that man was brought in twice. They did everything they could. The FBI did everything they were supposed to do. But there was no way for them to keep him on the nix list or keep him off the gun buy list. There was no way to do that. So can’t we say that if a person is under suspicion, there should be a five year period of time that we have to see if good behavior, if this person continues the same traits? Maybe we can come to that type of an agreement. But due process is what’s killing us right now.”

    Due Process… the Fifth Amendment. It is in the way…. How convenient.

    I wonder what other parts of the Bill of Rights him and his kind find annoying and hope they can get rid of.

    PS: Sen Manchin is from West Virginia. The South.

    • Mr. Gonzales,
      Thank you for this comment. You’ll notice the Editorial only spoke to the issue of AR-15’s.
      I do have a concern about using the No Fly list as a proxy, given the many people who have ended up on the list for no apparent reason (maybe having a similar name as someone else) and never know why.
      I also have a concern about using unfounded suspicion as a proxy. As you note, there’s a due process issue.

  • Gun ban equals dead man….the vast majority of the mass shootings have taken place in gun free zones…..by banning AR’s or any other gun, rise is given to those who would usurp more power than they do now….those who seek to disarm everyone should first: tell their Secret Service and body guards to hand over their weapons, then the cops and military should lay down their arms, finally citizens would surely follow suit……NOT…..

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