1st and 2nd Amendment - It's All a Matter of Perspective

Today on Fox News Sunday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was on to talk about the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT.

What Sen. Durbin, who always sounds sincere and grandfatherly when he speaks, said was this:
But gun control is part of it. We need to sit down and have a quiet, calm reflection on the Second Amendment. Are there guns that really shouldn’t be sold across America? Military assault weapons such as the one involved in this horrific incident in Connecticut?
Are there high ammunition clips, high capacity ammunition clips that have no value, whatsoever when it comes to sporting and hunting and even self-defense? The person could buy body armor, take that body armor and use it to protect themselves as they kill innocent people.
Can we have a thoughtful, calm, reflection on these things? And do it in the context of our Second Amendment? I think we need to.
David Muir, on ABC News Sunday Night, said on several occasions that they will be fostering a "national conversation" throughout the week about guns and how to stop people from doing violent things with them. 

But listen closely. What will remain missing from this conversation? That's right, the discussion of what makes someone go from being a law abiding citizen, like 99.99% of all gun owners, to become a psychopathic mass murderer. That is a conversation that would hit too close to home for anyone in television, in Hollywood or on the left to be comfortable with.

Are we going to discuss the hyper-violent content of many Hollywood movies? Will we talk about the raw and crude nature of what passes for entertainment these days? Entertainment crud that filters rather quickly down to kids in the single-digit age group and settles in their mind like layers of toxins on the bed of a polluted river. Will we have a chat about the tendency to excuse bad behavior from our, shall we say, lesser educated groups of young people? Can any meaningful dialog be complete without looking at our culture of drug use and how ugly and base the criminal element is that provides this poison to our citizens? Citizens who are, after all, just looking for a little fun, a little release?

When we sit down for a quiet debate on the merits of controlling gun violence it would be sooooo refreshing to hear Sen. Durbin say something like this take on his Fox News statement:
But speech and media control is part of it. We need to sit down and have a quiet, calm reflection on the First Amendment. Are there words that really shouldn’t be broadcast across America? Computer games involving military assault weapons such as the one involved in this horrific incident in Connecticut?
Are there highly violent videos and music, high intensity videos that have no value, whatsoever when it comes to entertainment, liberty and even self-expression? The person could buy a microphone, take that microphone and use it to enrich themselves as they incite others to harm or kill innocent people.
Can we have a thoughtful, calm, reflection on these things? And do it in the context of our First Amendment? I think we need to.
I am sitting down and I am waiting to hear this kind of mea-culpa from the hard left. I am sitting down, waiting for some voice in the liberal wilderness to shout "Enough!". I keep hearing the number 300,000,000 being thrown about to describe the number of guns believed to be owned by Americans. But, what is the number of violent acts that passes through the eyes and ears of an average American child every, single day of their impressionable life from rap music, MTV videos, video games, schoolyard banter and YouTube (they don't even watch the news channels anymore, do they?)

Yeah, I will be sitting down and waiting for that conversation for a long, long, long time...


Craig Hollins said…
As we have many times discussed (argued?) there appears to be no middle ground in this debate. The right stick to the 2nd amendment as if it were the word of God and the left think the only weapons allowed in the hands of Joe Public are bananas. I think we agree that I'm a little left of you.
In order to solve this problem - and it will take about a century from the moment you start - you have to decide if having guns is more important than the deaths caused by them. Don't obfuscate the debate by talking about other products that cause deaths. No other product has killing as it's primary purpose - every other product serves a practical good with the occasional death as a side "cost".
As you know Australia had a mass shooting in 1990 where a nutter went thru a tourist town with military assault rifles and killed 38 people. We decided, as a nation, that the price of gun ownership was too high and we legislated to get rid of them out of the hands of all but a few.
You have to have a good reason to own a gun. Hunters are permitted - but that's not a very big sport in Australia. Police, obviously. Security guards transporting cash and valuables. People registered as sporting shooters. Farmers as they have to protect and occasionally put down livestock.
Self defence is not a reason to own a gun in Australia. If you do own a gun you are required to store it in a gun safe with the ammunition locked away in a separate room.
Do criminals have guns? Sure they do. Very very occasionally someone will be held up or even murdered by a criminal with a gun. In 2008 (latest figures I could find) there were 225 gun deaths in Australia, of which 170 were suicides. 19 were gun homicides, 5 were accidental and 31 "undetermined" (a surprisingly large and disturbing number I might add).
This started from a base where most states allowed free ownership of high powered military weapons. The number of gun suicides has dropped to about 1/3 of it's 1988 level and the total number of suicides remains the same at about 2,000 per year. There is a clear trend that removing guns has taken away the easiest method of suicide and others are replacing it.
It is very clear that removing guns from the streets in Australia hasn't caused an explosion in criminal gun violence - indeed the reverse. A lot more people are alive today because we chose to do it.
I've heard lots of excuses from Americans as to why it's too hard to even try. Frankly, it's a cop out. If you can fly a man to the moon you can restrict gun ownership. Americans need to want to have a safer country. Having devices that are designed to kill in such numbers freely available is repeatedly producing a death toll in larger numbers than any war since WW2. Gun deaths among civilians in seven weeks is more than the total number of deaths in the "war on terror" in more than 10 years.
If a poorly written paragraph from 200 years ago is the basis of your argument against gun control then Americans deserve what they get.
The biggest problem with open gun ownership is you have no way of reliably identifying the problem gun owners until it is too late.

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