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Joe Conason
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Friday 18 January 2013
To know that’s true particularly when it comes to guns, try paying attention to conservative radio, blogs and email newsletters this week in the aftermath of policy recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden’s commission on firearm violence.

The Second Amendment vs. the First Amendment

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After more than a week of residual buzz from radio host Alex Jones' now-famous meltdown during a CNN discussion of gun control, it is worth taking a deep breath and considering the spectacle's two big lessons, especially now that the White House is pushing Congress to debate firearm legislation.

First and foremost, it was surprising that anyone watching Jones was actually surprised. Yes, his references to Hitler and Stalin and his nationally televised promise of a violent revolution if "you try to take our firearms" was at once offensive and frightening. However, this kind of paranoid lunacy has been the lingua franca of the conservative world since Barry Goldwater first said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice."

To know that's true particularly when it comes to guns, try paying attention to conservative radio, blogs and email newsletters this week in the aftermath of policy recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden's commission on firearm violence. If you do, you will inevitably be exposed to one or another attention-seeking Archie Bunker espousing the same deranged nonsense as Jones. Sure, that's disturbing - but it is no longer surprising, except perhaps to a national media and political elite that have no sense of just how corrosive the day-to-day discourse is in so much of the country.

Just as important, though, is the second lesson to come out of Jones' diatribe - the one about the gun discourse's underlying message.

Whether it is Jones, a firearms training company CEO promising to "start killing people" if gun regulations are tightened or an outgoing GOP congressman saying "we may have to shed blood (to) preserve our freedoms" — the desire to intimidate is clear. Regardless of the particular demagogue, we are being repeatedly told that in a nation with the industrialized world's highest rate of gun homicide, those raising questions about our existing firearms laws risk being targeted as a traitors.

Urgent questions, though, must be asked.

Some of them include:

—How is a U.S. Constitution enshrining a baseline right to bear arms for a "well regulated militia" now seen by many as mandating that firearms be sold in completely unregulated fashion to any lunatic looking to stockpile a military-grade arsenal of assault weapons?

—If, as gun proponents typically assert, the Second Amendment is absolute and we therefore cannot regulate, say, assault rifles, does the government have the right to regulate any other weapons? Should, for instance, citizens be able to own automatic machine guns? What about hand-held rocket launchers - is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia right to suggest that they might be constitutionally protected? What about an individual right to own an armed flying drone?

—Alternately, if we agree that some lines can be drawn, then doesn't today's gun control conversation represent a simple disagreement over where exactly to place those lines rather than a Stalinist assault on the basic right to own a gun?

—If gun proponents are correct in arguing that a particular policy - for example, banning high-capacity bullet magazines - won't on its own solve the problem of mass shootings, does that automatically mean said policy is a bad idea?

Different people will have different answers, of course. A discussion of those differences, in fact, could be constructive, moving the political system to adopt the sensible gun policies that polls show the public supports.

But that exchange cannot occur - much less be productive - under ever-escalating threats of violent backlash. If, as White House spokesman Jay Carney recently warned, America continues watching "arguments over the Constitution's Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First," then consensus will remain elusive - and gun violence will likely continue unabated.


ABOUT Joe Conason

Joe Conason has written his popular political column for The New York Observer since 1992. He served as the Manhattan Weekly’s executive editor from 1992 to 1997. Since 1998, he has also written a column that is among the most widely read features on Conason is also a senior fellow at The Nation Institute.

As for he majority of Pro-Gun

As for he majority of Pro-Gun Violence vitriols being obsese, white, middle-aged impotents, Jones picture speaks for itself.

Passing gun control

Passing gun control legislation would be an easy win for Obama. It would accomplish nothing substantive, but make people think he cared. Meanwhile he can continue to ignore the real causes of violence, well-enumerated in theses comments. Not to mention allowing him to continue his coddling and gift-giving to the real criminals--Wall St execs.
Gun control is a smoke screen.

So basically the Pro-Gun

So basically the Pro-Gun Violence people are saying that if they don't get their way and if anyone says anything to get in their way of gettin their way, they, The Pro-Gun Violence people are going to use their guns to kill anyone who says or does anything to stand in their way of getting their way.
Heavily armed 2 year-olds fighting over toys is a scary thing.

I understand the anger and

I understand the anger and emotion coming from specific gun owners. First, their guns give them a sense (a false sense in my estimation, but nevertheless, a sense) of control over their lives that seemingly get worse over time.

I also understand that one lunatic shooting people, when you do a statistical average, is no reason to ban anything. If that were the case, then we'd ban cars in favor of mass transit, and enforce random police stops on roads and highways to prevent transportation of lethal items, trying to stop those miniscule percent who toss a load of ammo and guns in a backpack on their way to a schizophrenic shooting spree.

The problem is probably less guns than social constructs, such as taking care of people who aren't functioning correctly, which includes more human one on one interaction in order to find help for those before it's too late. (We're all too busy trying to survive the jungle for that nonsense!)

A good example is a friend of mine who finally hit rock bottom. She was living in her car, broke, and schizophrenic, with no way to pay for her medicine. She received a DUI and was incarcerated, and while in the system, was identified as paranoid schizophrenic (and I mean like seeing shit and talking to people who are not there) and mandated a sobriety house and medical attention. She's doing better after a month, but gets only one counseling meeting with a psychiatrist per month, and after she finishes her 3 months, the system kicks her back on the street--with 600.00 disability per month, and that's it. What do you think will happen?

We're creating our own hell by ignoring the screams of those in need. We can take all of our freedoms away, and unless we address the disease, the symptoms are forever coming.

But, conservatives don't want to spend any money on the these types of problems, since that's 'socialism' [sic], but at the same time, they want freedoms that only rational people can responsibly enjoy. Thus, we have a contradiction.

My proposal to whomever is concerned about rights, and not just gun rights, is to put your anger and efforts into fixing a problem that is not gun oriented, but social in nature. You'll get more traction from all corners of society than you do threatening a government takeover, which is a pipe-dream, and, thus, a sickness in itself.

(Is it fun to look down on

(Is it fun to look down on others?)

What about all the documented tragic incidents of psycho-tropic drugs causing people to commit heinous acts of violence towards others and themselves?! All this "concern" about stopping mass-shootings but no mention of the drugs involved?!! I'm not impressed.

Worse, how can we disregard the now commonplace reports, of police and govt corruption and brutality towards peaceful citizens, throughout the world?! The FBI now officially refers to Occupy activists as "terrorists," while criminal bankers are allowed roam free even though they are directly responsible for the destruction of the world's economy, as well as the murderous drug-cartels in Mexico!!?

Look at all the crazy psychotics we currently have in our police and military forces and govt? Look at them!! And you want only them to have access to weapons?! That's what would make you feel safe? Who are you calling a fool?

History is littered with examples of sicko governments perpetrating heinous injustices on their own people. And now we have Obama is fighting in court, to keep the NDAA law which allows indefinite detention of citizens without charge or trial, endless wars, secret kill list, and drones, TSA, ...etc, which he justifies as "protecting us from terrorism" all based on "9/11" -even though architects and engineers throughout the world have proven with conclusive scientific evidence that the 3 buildings that fell on 9/11/2001 were controlled demolitions!!?

No matter what angle you look at it from, science is not a conspiracy theory, and a top-secret government is not a democracy.

So without first resolving these problems, if this emotional gun-control bandwagon is successful, it is only going to invite more state violence and lawlessness, and the resulting bloodshed from that will be catastrophic!

The timing of this gun-control thing is really bad. And the catalyst for it, Sandy Hook, has been rife with contradictions and odd inconsistencies from the start-

[like initial reports of 3 or 4 shooters, the gun used initially reported "found" in the trunk, Robbie Parker's laughter and smiles second before making his emotional statement to the press -not to mention a picture of his supposedly "dead" daughter with Obama days after -with people inventing excuses that it is the 4 yr old sister instead?, several videotapes of a facebook memorial put up for Soto on the 10th! and other similar early postings of Sandy Hook-winked memorials- ...etc.]

This anti-gun hysteria fueled by the recent, highly suspicious "lone-gunman" incidents WHERE WITNESSES IN EVERY CASE ARE SAYING THERE WAS MORE THAN ONE GUNMAN, is only playing into the hands of the 1%, making it easier to round us up and kill us when the time comes (FEMA concentration camps, anyone?) just like they are already doing to the rest of the world. "First they came for all the Arabic peoples and I did not speak out because I was not Arabic,... then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak out." This is the reality we are faced with, whether we like it or not.

Without first ending the blatant corruption and outright lawlessness in our government, gun-control laws are only going to increase the bloodshed!

If all you have to offer is ridicule towards those, like Alex Jones, who dare to point these things out, then you don't have much of an argument, do you?

Right on!

Right on!

Kathleen, You make a lot of

Kathleen, You make a lot of cogent points and I'm not here to argue them. I "would" say however that people have been slaughtering one another since they figured out how to do it. And for the overwhelming majority of that time span they "weren't" using "psycho-tropic" drugs. BTW, I heartily agree with your 9/11 comments!

Alex Jones and his

Alex Jones and his well-publicized comments are merely the echoing vocal eruption of spoiled, antagonistic, bullying type individuals across the spectrum of humanity. Yet, by the nature of our laws, he is within his right to do so. The acquisition of firearms that the Founding Fathers could "never" have envisioned, nor would have sanctioned if they could, has been taken to its most illogical extreme. The "true" problem, which is almost certainly irreversible, is the "freedom" that was granted decades ago in private citizens obtaining assault type weapons in the first place. A "nation of laws" implies that citizens do not have the freedom to do, say, or possess "anything" they desire. It implies they have "certain" freedoms decided by law. If we deviate from this basic premise, laid down thousands of years ago, then we will begin an irrevocable descent into anarchy. Is possession of a AR-15 worth the civil disruptions and violence we have been witnessing in the Middle East? There should be some middle ground for hunters and sportsmen to keep the weapons they "need" to achieve the desired results and for homeowner protection to be addressed without weapons clearly designed for police and military applications. I'd sit in a bar, "any bar," and tell Jones he was full of shit, "if", he wasn't carrying a gun. After his comments, I suspect he'd like to have that right in all 50 states. With far too many..."its the gun talking."

@Woetopoe Hmm... so they're

@Woetopoe Hmm... so they're the bullies are they? Then why is it you and your kind are the ones suggesting force be used? Because that's what government is, force. The idea that the founding fathers wouldn't have approved the pip rivalry ownership of "assault weapons" makes no sense. They openly said the militia should exist and to be effective it would have to have weapons suitable for warfare I private hands. That's what a militia is. A nation of laws means that when a law like the 2nd amendment is passed it is obeyed by the government. The Middle East doesn't have this and you don't want it. So you seem to want what the Middle East has.

LIVEMIKE, O.K., let's

LIVEMIKE, O.K., let's just absolve the government. On the other hand your expounding on the thoughts of the founding fathers, who "established" government, not having the slightest idea of the deep thoughts of these men. "My kind" is not suggesting force. How about peace and reasonable solutions?
I never said to "abolish" the 2nd Amendment. I said, "how about some middle ground." And if I "wanted what the Middle East has" I wouldn't have held them up as an example of "lawlessness." Understand?

No let's not absolve the

No let's not absolve the government. As I said the foundes openly said that the militia should exist and what functions it should have. One of those functions was waging defensive war, so clearly they would want them to have the standard weapon of war,which these days is an assault rifle. There is no reason to think the founders would not want you to have them.

You claim your kind doesn't want to use force, you're lying. You are not asking for gun control suggestions but for gun control LAWS. If people do not do what you want you want them taken by force and shoved into cages. This is not peace or a reasonable suggestion.

Whether you want to "abolish" the 2nd amendment is irrevelant, you want it to be disobeyed which is the exact opposite of the rule of law, i.e. lawlessness Hence you want what the ME has. That you are unaware this is true doesn't mean you don't want what the ME has it just means you don't know it.

LIVEMIKE: It's really

It's really helpful, according to your logic, to insult your ideological opponents and speak of "your kind."

You make it sound as if the Second Amendment was adopted in 1791 to enable Americans to resist the "tyranny" of their own government. You can't just ignore the first clause of the Second Amendment which says, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..."

Consider what " Militia" meant in those days. There was no standing army or national arsenal. In Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution, Congress was given the power to "provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions."

Do those words mean nothing to you?" Execute the Laws of the Union" is one of the purposes for calling forth the Militia. But gun hobbyists who threaten armed resistance to the laws are fomenting an "Insurrection," any way you look at it. President Washington, in 1794, called up the militias from 3 states and formed an army to go to Pennsylvania to put down the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

I would like to see assault rifles banned for private ownership in America, just as they presently do in Israel, which faces a lot more threats to its existence than we do. We are largely an urban nation today, and having widespread private arsenals that include assault rifles is not something that will make any sensible American feel safer. Our economy is ailing, our citizens are stressed, and they largely live in close proximity to each other. And anyone can flip out because of personal tragedies or just plain drunkenness. Although I don't hunt, I have no desire to take hunting rifles from sportsmen, but what kind of sportsman needs an assault rifle to bring down a defenseless elk or deer? Could it be they're so drunk they can't aim straight?

Assault weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and that's why they're used in warfare. I see no justification for "hobbyists" or "collectors" to stock their private arsenals with assault rifles, just to calm their delicate nerves and allow them to polish and fondle cold steel.

What good did it do Nancy Lanza, after all? She was a "law-abiding" gun-lover who was trained in their use, yet she indirectly enabled her idiot son to shoot her in the head with one of her weapons, then load up a car and rush to an elementary school, where he pumped multiple shots into the tender bodies of 20 first-graders, after disposing of the 5 adults who tried to defend them.

No gun collector can guarantee that the weapons they stock cannot be accessed by criminals or family members who freak out, and that's what worries those of us who don't own guns. And, of course, there's no guarantee that the gun owner won't flip out or in a drunken rage, decide to start killing to show how macho he is. (The gun-killers are always male, aren't they? I wonder how Freud would interpret that.)

In fact, many privately-owned guns are used to kill family members or commit suicide in America.

Let's get rid of the assault rifles. They shouldn't be in private possession in America. The Second Amendment is badly in need of revision, if that's what it takes. We have local police, county sheriffs, state police, the National Guard, and the FBI, not to mention the best-equipped military force in the entire world. There's no longer any need for a "well-regulated Militia" in this crowded urban society with no bears or cougars or misplaced aborigines attacking us. Yes, the criminals have weapons, but where have they come from?

We have to start somewhere, and banning assault rifles is a logical move. It's the least we can do.

Before you comment, you

Before you comment, you should have a clue as to what you are arguing.

Assault Rifles are already banned in United States.

What do you define as an Assault Rifle? Military-type firearms or firearms that look like they're military? An AR-15 does not have the capacity of automatic fire and is a civilian version that is made to LOOK like an M-16. All those civilian "assault weapons" are nothing more than "cool" looking rifles that do the same thing as hunting rifles. If you think an AR or any of the AR look-a-likes are what you see in the movies or video games, you don't know anything about firearms. AR-15's shoot one bullet at a time. Military M-16's fire three shot bursts or continuously depending on the selector you choose on the firearm.

The problem is that many in the public are as clueless as you and believe fully automatic weapons are being sold to the general public. Your politicians are fueling your fear by holding up those MILITARY-LOOKING firearms in front of cameras to fuel your ignorance. The military look is a marketing ploy by gun manufacturers. Inside, the guns function just like hunting rifles.

And, btw, it is because we have those things plus "the best equipped" government controlled "military force in the entire world" that our citizens feel the need to be well equipped to balance the power. You're obviously as naive as the average German citizen prior to WWII. I'm sure they were oblivious to what gun control measures would mean to them in the future. It only takes an economic collapse somewhat worse than the one we just experienced for the government to take away your freedoms. I'm sure you'll just scoff that off as paranoia and say it will never happen again since we always learn from history. And besides, that was a long time ago, right? In reality, it is the second amendment freedom that guarantees you and all readers the freedoms of all other amendments.

It's a shame that 26 people

It's a shame that 26 people had to die to get folks attention. We need to reconsider all of our violent tendancies, and work dilligently to consider all the perogatives before making rash decisions on all subjects.

Just take a little time to think about all the loss of infrastructure, natural resources, and life that have been lost to the quick judgment to violent attitude. that many have in circumstances that, beg for thoughtfull consideration. Think about all good and nobel things that could have been done with the money spent on weapons, military might, and rebuilding lives, buildings and NTSB damaged lives. I know we humans are quick to anger, and adverse to thoughtful consideration, but we should always remember the damage done with those quick draw attitudes.

As I said first the people

As I said first the people dysfunctional in the first Ammendment wish to terminate the debate with the second

Trying to conduct reasoned

Trying to conduct reasoned discourse with the far right reminds me of going on a blind date with a redneck. On the way to the local pool hall--or shooting gallery--he regales you with all the reasons why someone with a college education--you--is stupid: no street smarts, etc. If the subject turns to anything that compels you to explain your point of view, he becomes enraged--you are capable of reasoned thought, and of translating it into cogent language--and he is not. He takes your use of reasoned rhetoric as an attack on him, and suddenly you become the target of his rage. THERE IS NO REASONING WITH THESE PEOPLE. We have to learn how to deal with them in other ways. But how?

Actually it's the leftist a

Actually it's the leftist a that are incapable of reasoned thought. Every time there is a gun debate you see the same thing, gun-grabbers using ad Homs and emotions, gun protectors using reason and logic, and leftists not being able to tell the difference. Not once has a gun law passed or suggested in the wake of a shooting been capable of stopping the shooting if it had been passed earlier, yet leftist will claim it's to prevent similar occurrences. Yet you call the gun lobby stupid.

Ask yourself sometime, when I hear a suggestion from the NRA do I actually listen to it, or use a sneer as my argument.

I still remember the poor

I still remember the poor Russians in the movie enemy at the gates of a sniper pitted against a german sniper. I n the beginning of the movie the people were set to fight against the germans and each soldier was given three bullets and one in three soldiers were given a gun. What we are dealing with in todays society is terrorist anxiety. If a dirty bomb goes off
in New york and terrorist set the thing off and also start shooting people how long do you think it will take for police to arrive if the area is radio active? I personnaly dont want to be in that position and I expect that no one else does either. A armed population can be good in that their can be a response to a catastrophe. Not all rednecks are ignorant and at least they wont try to reaSON WITH A TERRORIST OR FOREIGN INVADER OR DOMESTIC Thats the second amendment and semi auto is the closest thing to a military weapon

LIBLADY4EVER: Sounds like


Sounds like you've dated some real winners in the past. A bit scorned? Do not lump all of us on the "right" in with the neanderthals you've dated in the past. I assure you, there are many of us capable of reasonable debate and discourse.

However, our 2nd ammendment will not be infringed upon, that much I can guarantee you.

And what of the liberal radio

And what of the liberal radio talk show host who suggested that listeners kill all NRA members and their families with AR-15 rifles? And the Twitterheads who said the same? There's crazy and extremism on both sides of this issue, kids! And if we remain focused on it, we'll never get anywhere.

Whatever - 1st / 2nd. . . .

Whatever - 1st / 2nd. . . . these recent incidents all have been mental healthcare incidents. Congress has been cutting the mental healthcare budgets and mandating the closure of the "in-patient" programs and facalities....for decades.
It is now coming home to roost
ALL THIS HOGWASH....New York is banning ten round clips in favor of seven round clips....all this talk of assault style rifles......but the police carry 9mm automatic pistols that have 12 in the clip and one in the chamber PLUS are concealable- - - put it in your pocket and walk away. THE MURDER IN MIDTOWN MANHATTEN - he walks up behind the man puts the gun to his head - pulled the trigger and calmly walked away . . . NO ASSAULT RIFLE - NO NUMBER OF ROUNDS IN THE CLIP - NOTHING - CALMLY GET INTO A CAR AND THEY DROVE AWAY.......STILL NOT FOUND.....
. . . mental healthcare nust be addressed . . not maybe - MUST BE ADDRESSED
setting a fire and shooting first responders ??? NOT CRAZY ??
Pushing men in front of the Subways ??? NOT CRAZY ???
the killings in the movie theatre??? NOT CRAZY ??
New Town connecticut - Sandy Hill Elementary School ?? NOT CRAZY ????
Jump up and down SCREAM -holler.....I don't care who you are: ...
President Obama - -
Governor Cuomo - -
Mayor Bloomberg >>>>>>>>>>>>

aminahyaquin's picture

Gun ownership does not cause

Gun ownership does not cause violence. Gun ownership is protected by our nation's precious Constitution because weapons will ALWAYS be a necessary corollary to protecting freedom and ensuring that we do not lose our participatory democracy to plutocracy and oligarchy.

Social darwinism as our world is degraded into plutocracy is the reason that global violence is obscenely escalating. Violence comes as a result of the social state in which one is devalued by one's society and marginalized out of virtually any social goods, by an extremely rich and comfortable elitist upper 25% of our society (not 1%) which exerts a stranglehold on all the nation's social goods.

These social goods, once available to virtually every citizen are now out of reach, for far too many working poor, include adequate access to legal representation and fair courts, a living wage and quality education, not to mention affordable access to technology, recreation, and shelter...and did i say healthy food?

The ivory tower elitists who have not been overwhelmed by the explosion in vice crime that our nation is experiencing, seem to think that self defense and gun ownership by good citizens is no longer necessary. Gated communities and a wealthy insulated lifestyle with helicopter parents is not the reality for the majority of our nation's citizens, who live in quite a different and much more violent world. And our Second Amendment rights support as a base the freedom that allows us to protect our home our family our community our person and at worst, and becasue of the burgeoning vice crime economy that is corrosive to human dignity and functioning,our democracy.

I say if you do not wake up to the marauding nature of a criminal lifestyle, and stop blaming guns which have been an integral part of our nation's freedom and history since its insemination , you do not know what the problem of violence stems from nor how to stop it, and all you will achieve is to make a nightmare totalitarian state in which there are powerless peons and a privileged uber-classs, the direction in which we are headlong rushing.

The majority of the guns in this nation are in the hands of people who will never ever use them on any human being or to do harm. The guns which are used to murder are in most cases used by criminals to commit crimes. Because criminals start at an ever earlier age to choose thuggery and injury to others, we need to address the ENCULTURATIVE reasons people are choosing to hurt each other. And these reasons are social, from violence learned at home, and are predicated upon addicting others for profit. This is the new slavery and Big Pharma is a whiz at it.

The very foolish among us would use a mass murder, to abridge our rights to bear arms . But arms ownership by citizens is a critical preventative to living in a police state in which only the military and police have arms.

Mass murder can be achieved by many means , but can be be prevented in almost every instance by a complete black-out of the perpetrator's name, just as we black out an alleged rape victims name, for at least a period of fifty years.

If we are to do something effective to end violence let us stop the callous and ugly dehumanization of epople with whom we disagree putatively and actually discuss and debate , not politicize and propagandize using phony research skewed to an end, and dogmatic theorems that are based upon politically corrrect group think.

Let us stop trying to solve problems by legislature, and begin to exercise our humanity by reespecting each other enough to make the sacrifices needed to sublimate our appetites and develop a society in which we actually limit crime and bullies and thugs and encourage responsible behavior, love in action, and an open free, socially just and shared society.

Soon we will need citizens' militias to help the police combat the criminals, including the corrupted police , and you will have to give us our guns back anyway.

PS i prefer a gunshot to acid or a knife wound, if i am to be a CRIME victim, because darn tooting no member of my gunclub will ever shoot me. And even though the media does not cover these all these great saves, i have a much better chanceas an elder female of not being a forced victim of an attack on the street or a home invasion, so long as i have my own strong guns. i feel terribly sorry for those who wait in fear , defenseless, in their apartments or homes for the brutal creeps and bullies to break in.



The 1st Amendment guarantees

The 1st Amendment guarantees the rights of the likes of Alex Jones, up to the point at which someone "yells 'fire!' in a crowded theater". Unfortunately in his case and others, I fear that ship has sailed.

We should note that while the 2nd Amendment was written when state of the art personal firearms were flintlock rifles, the 1st was written when printing was done by hand, and radio and television did not exist. One can hardly argue that it does not apply to modern printing presses, radio, television, and the Internet.

Please do remember: the Bill of Rights was not written to limit the rights of American citizens. It was written to place and maintain restrictions on the government. We forget that at our peril.

Weatherman's picture

Did I miss something? Even if

Did I miss something? Even if some agreement is reached on regulating or limiting combat weapons...( which seems highly unlikely)... People with mildly psychotic episodes like Alec Jones will continue to have weapons in their hands... Threatening behavior... irrational, considering nothing has really changed...

First, the authors comment

First, the authors comment "was at once offensive and frightening" was offensive and frightening to me. Jones' "promise" of violence was obviously intended as a prediction that people will not give up their guns voluntarily as well they shouldn't. The constitution was enumerating god given rights that we have by virtue of the fact that we exist that cannot be taken away by government. Are we sovereigns with inalienable rights or are we subjects with rights give to us? None of this rush to strengthen gun control laws makes any sense if you look at the evidence.

what about people that have

what about people that have had guns for decades and have not gone crazy by age or indifference should they have their guns taken from them? You really dont know who will go crazy look at Mel Gibson and his temporary rage with his ex wife and the drunken statements about the jews. Some groups should be left alone because they have proven they are average citizens with guns and are
responsible. I could see increased backround checks but who and what constitutes a psycholical examination and what triggers that a domestic dispute or a frisk in public or jay walking what powers are you releasing on the general public exactly and who will you exclude from gun ownership. Perhaps remote cameras in schools with anestising darts to put the perp to sleep or a sleeping gas bomb to put the perp down long enough to take his weapon seems more approiate a mission. Just stop selling semiautos with large clips and leave the
ownership alone and we probally wont need to discuss this any further.

I think that we should honor

I think that we should honor the spirit and original intent of the Constitution, and therefore the 2nd Amendment should only apply to flintlock guns. After all, it's what the Founders would've done, right?

And Tai, you would have a point, if what you are saying had any basis in fact. There is not now nor has there ever been any policy by the current administration to 'disarm' anybody, other than felons and the mentally unstable. You are, in effect, proving the basic premise of this article, that there are people who twist any attempt to regulate firearms, regardless of how logical or rational it may be, is automatically an attempt to eliminate the right to bear arms in its entirety, for some sinister purpose of government tyranny.

Wow, the irony of replying to

Wow, the irony of replying to this post directly after one that claimed RIGHTISTS were stupid. If the founders had wanted to limit "arms"to mean flintlocks they would have said so. There were many of the smartest menu the country there at the time and it was a period where technology was advancing including gun technology. To conclude that they assume flintlocks would be the best weapons forever is moronic. I any case don't commenting the Internet anymore, only by letter since the Founding Fathers couldn't possibly have approved of first amendment right in such a powerful medium.

The claim that the government is not trying to disarm people is just that, a claim. It directly contradicts what many legislators, Democratic and Republican have said. Do you really think we don't get it? Do you really think we don't know salami tactics when we see them? Or are you so deluded you honestly don't think there are people using this trade by to take away all gun rights slice by slice?

Sometimes I am convinced that

Sometimes I am convinced that certain so-called columnists write their columns from a closed off room with no windows. There is ton...yes a ton of data about the facts of gun ownership and crime stats. Maybe a lesson in history would be helpful to you, Joe. Why don't you focus on that! And the pharma being pushed on young kids. My neighbor having firearms of all types doesn't frighten me. What frightens me is a very obvious staging event like Obama using kids to disarm the American population and why they are doing it....Yeah, like I said Joe a history lesson would be helpful.
Tai Aguirre

Whenever you listen to the

Whenever you listen to the CONservative media figures/politicians, think about the arm manufactures, oil/coal/chemical companies and other interest groups whose livelihood is derived from promoting death/toxicity in society. Whenever something that help the lives of 99% comes up for action in Congress, the 1% media gets mobilized like rabid dogs. Some are just glad to get the attention. Others get money from those interest groups. The 99% is on the side of the administration. Mr. O. has to mobilize his progressive media and the NPR/PBS needs to discuss all issues in detail for the general public awareness. The 1% dumbed down given attention during the Bush administration is highly ignorant and cut down their own roots by siding with those who are killing them. NPR/PBS must concentrate on educating those about the real issues if we are expecting to turn the wave of stupidity to wave of intelligent decision makers/processes.

Scalia said in his opinion

Scalia said in his opinion that the kinds of weapons including military COULD be regulated without violating the 2nd Amendment.

Scalia also equates money and

Scalia also equates money and free speech.

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