By B John Burns
December 15, 2012

It’s Saturday, December 15, and I’ve been on and off Facebook since I woke up this morning.  We’ve had two TVs on CNN since noon yesterday.  Everybody has an opinion and, as seems to be the case on every front these days, the opinions seem to gather at two distant poles.  Emotions are stirred.

Is it time to do something once and for all about the pestilence of handgun violence?  Or is this an excuse for the left-wing tyrants in Washington to trample on my Second Amendment rights?

I’m not entirely sure I know where I fall in this spectrum.

I imagine the situation might arise that the United States is occupied by some invading army, and it would fall upon an armed individual citizenry to offer resistance. This in my mind was the motivation behind original adoption of the Second Amendment, although literally it is written more broadly, and interpreted more broadly after District of Columbia v. Heller.

I don't own any guns. I don't want to. I understand the argument that circumstances might arise in which I would find myself in a position to protect myself and my home with a gun. I'm sure this has happened, though I can't recall hearing even anecdotal stories where it did. You hear many more accounts involving people who possess guns legally for their protection, and something goes awfully wrong. In a nutshell, that's probably what happened in Newtown yesterday.

Honestly, I don't know that I'm on either side of this debate. The argument that gun violence is not at least a partial product of the availability of firearms in our society is simple-minded and wrong.

On the other hand, to say that our culture of violence exists solely because of the proliferation of guns is equally simplistic, as is the belief that tightening restrictions on gun ownership is going to cure gun violence. If this was true, we could go directly to the heart of the issue by simply making it a crime to kill other people. That's been tried before, and it hasn't seemed to work.

Other countries permit private ownership of guns. But no country on Earth has experienced a fraction of a fraction of the amount of gun violence that we have seen in the United States. Why is THAT??

I've got no idea.   
Comments (2)Add Comment
written by darren, April 02, 2013
Regarding gun violence. There is no answer to your question. I get tired of people saying "Well, there is almost no violence in...(insert county here) and they aren't allowed to own guns." That type of argument is just plain stupid. What I am surprised about is that the government does not track the purchase of bullets like they track the purchase of certain items to make meth. Imagine what would happen if the government could go to a database and see who is buying what types of bullets and how many? I don't think we are very far from that type of government intrusion. Try to imagine how far reaching this could get if the legislature thought outside of the box for just a moment.
Costs of Freedom
written by Edward Crowell, April 03, 2013
I've been doing a LOT of gun rights debating, online and off, and summarize the guns and violence connection like this:

Freedom is not free. Liberty is not safe.

Where we have the freedom to chose and act, some people will chose poorly and act badly. We enjoy great freedom, guaranteed by our laws. We have responsibility for how we enjoy that. Some people...well, just aren't going to make good choices. Whatever freedom you want to consider, there are ways others are going to be hurt and that's just the price of freedom. My freedom of speech also lets others say nasty hateful things. My freedom of speech and religion also protects the Westborough Church. My right to keep and bear arms also lets potentially violent wingnuts keep and bear arms.

I do disagree with the perceived level of violence (and especially gun violence) versus what statistics say, but that's a whole other debate. Even if true that we have more gun violence (and even if true that gun violence is in some important way different than other violence), this is, to me, simply the effect of our overall high level of freedom and liberty.

You can trade freedom for safety. I can't say as I think it's a good trade.

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This reference offers a comprehensive analysis of Iowa criminal procedure. It analyzes criminal procedure, including pre-trial, trial, sentencing, and post-conviction procedure. Provides a comprehensive manual covering all procedural aspects of an Iowa criminal case, from the time you are first engaged to represent a suspected or charged individual, through the final steps of a criminal appeal or state or federal post conviction relief proceeding. Separate divisions review evidentiary issues in criminal trials, constitutional provisions affecting criminal cases, and the representation of inmates in prison litigation.

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