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Gun control and Obama

Gun control and the responsibilities of user and abusers alike

I’ve read the comments submitted on this subject with an open mind, and with an objective intent. There’s no question that there is a definite need for stricter gun control laws than we have at present.

The fact that the US has the highest crime rate in the world and largest prison population proves that. Other countries can easily far surpass us in murder and mayhem of course, but we aren’t going to get into the issues of rampant the free flow of uncontrolled weapons overseas. It’s here at home that we are talking about, the illegal use of firearms and the increasing direction of control imposed on those who possess or wish to possess firearms.

With the onslaught of all the media hype concerning what President Obama may or may not do concerning gun control and prices, over 2 million more citizens have flooded the legal firearm market with requests to purchase and license firearms in the last quarter, over and above the preceding year’s tally for the same three months. The planners and money marketers who built this hype to a crescendo have obtained their scare tactic’s goals. The gun manufacturers and ammo industry have made a mint!

Whether the hype is true or not is yet to be seen. Unfortunately though, the sale of firearms to persons who are gun illiterate and the damages that will increase and ensue remain to also be tallied. The next few years and the statistics may well give good reason to tougher gun control laws compared to the past years where schools are the site of carnage and misuse and abuse of firearms has resulted in ever increasing numbers of fatalities in the US. The purchase of firearms by persons with little to no knowledge of weapons and their safe and legal use may pose a deepened threat to the public and home safety. Let me explain a bit further.

It’s not just the ability of a person to obtain a firearm which represents a threat, but our system’s capability to severely punish the abuse of owning a weapon, whether intentionally or through neglectful usage of those firearms. IMO, first time offenders of firearm violations should be judged just as harshly as repeat offenders. That’s the whole purpose of firearm control and safety classes. A weapon usually doesn’t give the person on the wrong end of the barrel, a second chance. Thus the need for gun safety classes, because it doesn’t take 5 minutes after someone buys a firearm before they start brandishing the “unloaded” weapon “John Wayne style” around the house or bedroom “just to get the feel of it”. I myself have experienced the situation because a person had just purchased a 20 gauge pump shotgun and was showing it off, as they forgot and pointed the barrel of the unloaded weapon around in the direction of someone else. “It’s not loaded” they replied as if in control and having special wisdoms and knowledge over everyone else. They had to be reminded of the purpose of the very gun safety classes they had “just finished recently” and that in those rare cases where someone is shot with an “unloaded weapon”, SORRY DOESN”T CUT IT!!! The old adage “No one ACCIDENTALLY gets shot with a loaded weapon” has drastic truths in its origins.

My point:

Just as gun safety may be taken out of context, so too is the need for stricter gun control laws. I have the personal experience of knowing someone close to me who has what is indisputably referred to as “limited” gun usage and knowledge, who now has gone out and purchased a new $400-$500 handgun, bought several CASES of 9mm ammo (instead of merely a few boxes) and taken a gun safety course in order to be able to obtain a concealed firearm permit…all because of personal acquaintance opinions/acceptance and Rush Limbaugh style Internet addiction to media hype sensation and participation in a personal reach to have a semblance of effectiveness on their political and given environment.

 It is their right yes, and that right shouldn’t be taken from them in constraint to constitutional law. However, going to such extremes merely because of the gun propaganda promoted throughout the media right now over the rumors that the President is going to make things tougher and more expensive, is most likely dangerous enough in itself to promote tougher gun laws and more expensive gun control. IMO, the person I refer to here previously has no more need for a concealed weapons permit than I do in saying I need a mammogram due to the alerts for breast cancer (I am a male BTW). Their intentions and desires may be honest in their own opinion, none the less though, our own individual opinions though we think them valid, aren’t always necessarily truthfully for the good of one and all.

Neglectful possession and usage of firearms is just as serious a problem as criminal possession and usage. When young teenagers can obtain relative’s firearms and guns and wreck lethal havoc upon their own schoolmates and the youth of our nation’s families, then gun control has not only failed, but we must honestly admit that those people out there that take the right to bear arms leniently and with a drastic misconception of ownership are at serious fault.  Our system has become severely limited in not only educating and controlling a person’s  understanding of firearm possession, but also in follow up required gun classes and or evaluations in order to continue to possess personal firearms. Take as an example that we have to re-apply for our drivers licenses according to law as when notified, and avow to the control of the privilege of owning and operating  a vehicle.  No, I am not saying that they should implement similar laws and controls for gun possession. However, can you imagine if they did, and you had to reapply each year or two, or whatever was determined by the authority of the local government? Without gun control that works and funds to appropriate such control, people will eventually have to realize that they have to pay for such freedoms or as in owning a vehicle, resort to taking the bus. In like similar hypothesis, no one who uses tobacco products is going to appreciate the need for the recent tax increase that can be claimed by some to be a wrongly imposed burden.

In like similar reasoning, from the wrongly enthused deer hunters that merely enjoy shooting something rather than the actual purpose and need for hunting, to the falsely inspired gun enthusiast that merely wishes to own one because everyone else does, we will always have the grey area between the dark side of criminal gun possession versus the purposeful, correct reasons for having the right to bear arms. The last thing the latter enthusiast needed was for NRA and gun manufactures along with the right wing, to falsely inspire with all the media hype, the question as to whether President Obama is going to impact the arena with stricter gun control laws and higher taxs. Given the speed of the current market, and well knowing that “legal” gun purchases by uneducated ( “dense” gun owners), there undoubtedly will be an alarming increase also in domestics shootings, accidental deaths and improper usage shootings by the “legal gun owner”. This isn’t 18th century Texas and no, you cannot just go outside and shoot a trespasser or burglar.  Education of legal gun usage is often ignored by gun owners, experienced and newbie alike. Most would readily state that if a criminal were to break into their home while they were there, they would shoot the perpetrator in a ‘heart beat” (unaware that the same legal system which gives them the right to have a firearm will also throw their butt in jail).  

Get educated is the “smart” reply. Becoming educated doesn’t mean reading through a bunch of articles and throwing out the junk you don’t wish to agree with. It’s an objective view and understanding that defines truer research. You didn’t go into the classroom when you were younger and learn anything by tossing the book over into the corner and ignoring the teacher because you didn’t agree with math principles and axioms.

First, let’s take on the weight of the battle in trying to understand just what the Government and Law Makers have to comprehend when evaluating and analyzing such criteria. Understand first, these questionable grey areas being referred to here, that make the issue of gun control and the use of lethal force to protect oneself a major issue.

Take the time to read the lengthy article freely provided via Internet : http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/LawProbPolsby.htm

Now, let’s merely view a “condensed” version of what federal laws state as pertaining to concerning the use of lethal force with a firearm by one and all alike, the common citizen:

 

In general, Federal law provides that you have the legal right to use force if you are ‘justified’ in doing so.  Justification is a fairly complex concept however, that looks at the circumstances when a threat of force or use of force has occurred and applies a test of whether or not the response to that threat or use of force was ‘reasonable and appropriate’.  

 

First, you must understand that words alone are never justification for use of force.  Someone can stand right in front of you and scream obscenities in your face and you are not ever justified in using force to stop them.  On the other hand, if they take a swing at you with a fist, you may be justified in using some level of force ( not to be mistaken for ‘use of lethal force’ ) against them to ‘stop the threat’.  Since the force you are being threatened with is not “lethal force” , you can only use enough force to stop the threat and can only do so if you believe that you are in danger of being injured.

 

However if the threat against you involves a “deadly weapon”, which by legal definition would be something like a knife or a firearm, then you are justified in using force, including lethal force to stop the threat against you.  When someone illegally uses lethal force against you, lethal force would be define as in a situation where you are most likely in fear of , quoting: “serious injury, permanently disabling injury or death”.  This almost always would justify the use of lethal force to defend yourself.

 

It is the gray areas in between, that causes so much confusion.  

 

What happens when someone threatens you with a baseball bat or a stick?  Since neither of these are “deadly weapons” but simply “dangerous instruments” you “may” not be justified in using lethal force, but would be justified in using some physical force in self defense. It simply depends on the circumstances.  For example, if you were elderly or infirm, you might be justified in using lethal force if you believed you might be seriously injured or killed by your attacker. If you were about the same size and the same sex as your attacker and had some impact weapon available, you might not be justified in using lethal force, but you would be justified in using physical force to stop an attack.

  

These issues are broadly referred to as “disparity of force” issues.  They involve things like the number of attackers, disparity in the physical size, age or sex between the victim and attacker.  All these things can affect whether or not justification can be used as a defense against use of force in a self defense situation.

 

A rule of thumb is this…if you can remove yourself from the situation, then that of course is the best choice.  If you are forced to defend yourself from the threat of injury, you may then and ONLY then, be allowed by law to use force, yet only the amount of force necessary to STOP the threat or attack (stop, being the magic word).  However, if you are being illegally threatened with lethal force, you may then and only then, be justified in using lethal force in return and must remember you are allowed to use it only if necessary to STOP the attack (NOT hypothetically as in gunning down the perpetrator who is trying to flee the threat of the scenario in order to survive. In such a case, you then by law, have become the attacker).

 

Note:

 

Simply put:

 

The use of lethal force is not to be considered a “right” as in having the ‘right to bear arms’ given by our Constitution. It is a “last resort” option that will later be considered by law in a court scenario, explained  with the thought as when someone has the “legal avenue” by owning a firearm to use it “if necessary” to protect themselves against lethal attack.

 

Bear in mind that any use of force, justified or not, lethal or not, can result in criminal charges.  Law Enforcement Officers more often than not, arrest all involved and allow the courts to sort out the guilt and innocence of the situation. Bonding out on such charges pertaining to protecting yourself with a firearm (especially if it results in the death of the assailant) is expensive and therefore sometimes impossible due to the amount set by the court. Bonds are usually set impermissibly high depending on the person’s known verifiable reputation, police record and local residency (how long you have lived in the area), whether a home owner or not, and longevity at a single place of employment. Even at that it requires another reputable person to represent the bond, sometimes using a “bonds representative” (bondsman) and is still unbelievably expensive even if found innocent (usually $5,000 on a $50,000 cash bond-$50,000 on a $500,000 etc). However, no one should ever weigh the situation of using lethal force with their ability to ‘getting away with it’.

 

In a nutshell, the main point we are considering is that it is because of the attitude of the gun owner (in reality - whether a legal owner/user or not) that these Laws are strained and strenuous, in order to define the grey areas and still supervise and monitor the legal ownership and usage of firearms in the United States. If everyone, and we mean everyone, used guns properly as they should without abusing their right to bear arms, we would have little need for gun control other than registering the firearm with local or federal government, would we? But because those rights are not executed justly by one and all, and gun usage has become more frequently either not only criminalized but also abused, we find ourselves burdened by the weight of the laws that govern gun ownership.

 

 

Points:

Remember now that Congress has implemented the last huge tax bill upon the backs and burdens of those who wish to retain and maintain their right to smoke. I wish to make note now, that even though I am a habitual tobacco user, I realize and admit the financial impact and burden it imposes on the health care system and society. Even though I personally feel that Congress failed us again by not making the Tobacco Industry and Companies pick up at least 2/3rds of those taxes while prohibiting them from relaying the cost to consumers, (since it is the industry that is getting rich off of it, not the consumer), I also realize it’s a legal judgment by Congress that is not totally without merit.

 In like manner and the same way though, gun owners must realize at the same time that although it is their right to bear arms and own firearms, with that right and freedom of course there comes costs.  The burden and cost upon the government, legal system and society to maintain that right and freedom for citizens to bear arms without totally illegalizing those firearms, should be shared by those who are fortunate enough to be able to buy and afford firearms. If laws and taxes and costs need to become more strict in order to maintain any form of chaotic control on an already chaotic situation, then so be it.

Of course gun control enthusiasts and owners will be the first to protest and revolt against any form of increased gun control and taxes. No pot smoker is going to accept any comments or opinions concerning the continued illegalization of pot. No cigarette smoker is going to appreciate increased taxes on tobacco products. That still doesn’t totally justify their opinions or nullify the need for actions and taxes imposed to control the scenarios. You don’t have to agree with it, but you WILL have to obey those laws to be legal. Don’t and you can quickly find yourself on the other side of the fence.

 

The scramble by normal household/family citizens to “bear up and arm” has the potential to merely add additional threats to the gun problems of this nation, by over enthusiastic, over emphasized non-pro gun owners.  The hype and media and right wingers, along with NRA and gun manufacturers have promoted this gun control issue just the same as the Millennium 2K threat had all the idiots scrambling to the supermarket for bottled water and bread. It was designed merely to encourage people to go buy a gun, or upgrade their old one or buy an extra one or two. It was deliberately calculated to get people to go by “cases” of ammo instead of boxes. Again the Government passed the buck by not taxing the entity that is making a fortune off all of this, while still limiting the end cost to the consumer.

The government can take steps to limit how much the financial industry can profit off of the bank bailouts, by limiting or controlling corporate bonuses and pay during the bail-out state of affairs.  Why can’t they limit the impact on the cost to consumers as a result from the changes they deem necessary to implement, by requiring the money makers to share the shock.

Criminals will always have guns illegally unless that percentile is deterred with stiff no-nonsense law enforcement.  Throwing violent criminals who use firearms to perpetrate their acts of violence into a prison system that reduces sentences and allows early release when ordered due to prison overcrowding will not deter street criminals who already accept prison sentences as a way of life. Early release from prison should never result in the release of a hardened murderer who returns to society and kills more citizens the system was designed to protect! We see ever more often, TV documentaries on gang violence and gang rule in our city streets and in prisons. Allowing the existence of gangs in our nation is one of the major faults in our combat against widespread crime organizations. Our nation has merely allowed the roles of the previous generation’s Mafia into widespread “anyone can be a gangster” stereotype…with deadly consequences. Those gangs should be eradicated by default, whether our constitution allows the right and freedom to assemble by law or not. Membership, tattoos and hand signs should not only profile members but also give law enforcement the right to arrest and imprison anyone promoting or giving allegiance to criminal, violent or hate groups. If those are your beliefs and anti-social commitments, then you should not be able to parasite the Constitutional rights of this given society. You should not be allowed to live in this society and should be marked an undesirable. You might say that this would be and lead to government control of everything, and possible loss of our own Constitutional rights?

I say, lets control our lives and then deal with possible Gestapo SS and KGB stereotyped government actions if they get to be a problem.  We can protest such illegal government control then as it occurs.

I personally feel a need for two sets of laws. Those for members and actual citizens of the US who possess a heart-felt degree of actually being Americans, and another set of laws and controls for those who wish no part of an orderly, civilized American society. Constitutional rights are a hard battled for gift, for and of the American people towards others who wish to also be Americans, not for criminally minded vermin who thrive off the ill-fated victimized actions they incur upon others. I think chain-gangs and hard-labor should be implemented not merely as punishment but as an optional way of life for any member of our country who wishes to feloniously disregard the laws, protocols and guidelines our country has developed for a social civilization (the habitual offender). There is a difference between protecting a person’s Civil Rights and “tying the hands” of a legal system that was designed to protect us. There is a difference between a person making a felonious mistake in life and ending up having to serve a sentence, and the case portrayed by gang members and career criminals who take advantage of our society and bleed us dry. To me, they are no different than terrorists, whether from within our own borders and boundaries or from without.

I also personally think our prison problem would be greatly improved if we took the commercialized private sector out of the prison system and reduced half of our prisons to tent cities behind electric fences in arid, hot climate states. When I say that I feel hard labor should be returned, I like to use the sentence “chain gangs for gangs” as a driving belief. It is because I firmly believe it would give those who wish not to be a part of our society the opportunity to find out how hard the old prairie farmers and pioneers had it as they strove to do their own personal part in life as our nation struggled to become a nation of civilized members. I also feel that an inmate’s prison sentence should be increased if they merely insisted on maintaining their willingness to promote their anti-social beliefs, thus disallowing them the right of returning to ordered peaceful society and infecting it again. Repeat insistent offenders would be allowed a life of “enlightened solitude” unable to affect others with their violence and chaos. Other participants in the prison tenant system would enjoy productive work/commerce control that enables the system to operate primarily under its own costs and containment. After prison life, parolees should then have the opportunity to live and prosper in self-supporting and productive “Half-Way” towns or cities, separate and bordered from our world, employed by and living within only the boundaries of that monitored, controlled society enjoying additional freedoms and life pleasures not offered the convicted in the full prison environment. After their term of parole was successfully completed, then and only then, should they be allowed to return to the liberty and freedom of the American way of life during a probationary period that could be revoked if they returned to their addiction of criminalist behavior.  Compared to the inadequate prison system present today as a means of curbing crime and punishing it at the same time, a worthy Utopia for those who sought to bring about a dystopian existence, wouldn’t you say?

We must also realize that prisons are always going to be a necessity, and that we have to accept their cost in order to have a controlled social environment. Our way of life, and as we have all heard, our freedom is not free. However, criminals should have to pay thrice-fold over during their “vacation” from society, rather than merely being at our expense. Remember, the government doesn’t pay for it, we do.  Anyone who says such a scenario of prison control would be financially prohibitive should weigh the balances. Should they state the we must accept the holds the world those penal private corporations and those criminal inmates create, and believe they hold and respect the delusion of the life and ideals promoted within our constitution?

It may never realistically ever happen, such a drastic change inspired by citizen opinion. It usually doesn’t and US history lays truth to the statement. But without the freedom of speech and the right to voice your opinion, change would never have a birthplace anymore than our Constitution would have been given a land and a people to protect.

 

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