Haven’t we learned?

Notice the curled and brown edges of my column this week? That’s because it’s a week or so old and newspapers and newspapermen age quickly. Just a short time ago, I had dark brown hair, a bounce in my step and wasn’t staring 60 square in the face.

Just as I age, so does the news. I fear by the time you are reading this that the Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary School tragedy, which words can hardly define, may have fallen victim to the 21-minute news cycle. Any thought of the children and their teachers may have melted away like a popsicle dropped to the sidewalk on a July afternoon.

Hurricane Sandy was supplanted by Sandy Hook.

But even if the pundits and politicians have forgotten, the issue still remains – violence. Violence perpetrated by cowards or the mentally ill who wouldn’t even face off with an old man like me, but need to take out their sick compulsions on those much weaker and, of course, unarmed.

This one, like that of so many other senseless acts of violence, 28 mass killings since 2000, is especially egregious because it targeted children. But people will only be frightened for their own children until the memory begins to fade; schools will kick up security until it becomes too expensive and gun lobbyists will go all in on convincing lawmakers that assault weapons, automatic weapons or large clip magazines are OK because of the Second Amendment.

The “right of the people to keep and to bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I join Supreme Court Justice Stephen Beyer when he said historians would side with him… because they have concluded that Founding Father James Madison was more worried that the Constitution may not be ratified than he was about granting individuals the right to bear arms.

When the Framers of the Constitution put pen to paper, how could they possibly have imagined automatic weapons when the arms they wrote of where muzzle loaders. Could they have predicted that your neighbor may have just purchased an AR-15 assault rifle (the gun used at Sandy Hook and the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado) to protect their home? Assault is defined as imminent harmful or offensive contact. By strict definition, assault and protect are contradictory, and fire arms enthusiasts consider assault weapons as a description used by many people in many ways.

But an assault weapon is not meant to be something your wife carries in her purse or used to hunt squirrels. It has a magazine  that carries as much as 32 rounds of ammunition. I think you realize that a Bushmaster, AR-15, AK-57 or similar guns are made to hurt people.

Need a gun to protect your home? A pistol with a half-dozen cartridges will work. Do you think your home will be attacked by a Taliban militia? When is the last time you heard of someone using their machine gun to fight off someone robbing or attacking their home? Oh, it’s the President turned dictator whose goons will knock down your door and take you guns, right.

Hunting? Great pastime and the fruits of the hunt can taste good and help feed a family or many families as in the case of “Hunters for the Hungry.”

According to breitbart.com “Colorado thought the previous record of 4,028 background checks [to buy guns] set on Black Friday [last] year would stand for a while, but it was broken by the 4,200 requests on Saturday [the day after Sandy Hook].”

Let’s be realistic, the violence is increasing. Who would have thought that the once quiet suburb of Chesterfield would ever experience the violence it has over the last couple of years. Is it movies, video games or TV or could it be stress, lack of nurturing or the lack of treatment of a mentally ill person? Of the mass shootings since 2000, a majority were mentally ill, and displayed signs of it before setting out to kill.

My fingers search the keyboard to find any logic in these horrible events, the weapons used or those who protect the use of them. “The right to keep and bear AR-15s, Bushmasters or any other mass killing devices.” Is that what  Amendment II says?

Oddly, Governor Bob McDonnell, along with the NRA, was endorsing the idea that school officials and teachers carry guns into schools to protect students. If the guns were kept safely away from children, what good would they be to fend off a crazy that was attacking students and teachers in a school. OK, take the lock off, oh, too late. People get some nutty ideas when unspeakable things happen. I don’t have a solution but I will say that more guns is not it, especially guns meant to kill people, and a lot of them.

Some say that Al Qaeda, China or some other hostile country is coming to get us. I think we should be more afraid of ourselves.


Framers & History

The framers could not have imagined the internet or the 24 hour news media entertainment yet I do not hear calls to restrain the media. Media outlets just like this have danced in the blood of the victims sensationalizing the tragic event. We all hear the cry proclaiming the time is now we must act now, ban all guns now.

I will make you a gentleman's deal Mr. Fausz. Give up your internet media and 24 hour news outlets. You will be relegated to the printing press in your back room and you may only print two pages daily.

You see sir everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it is wrong. Welcome to America where the bill of rights is indeed protected by the second amendment.

"Violence perpetrated by

"Violence perpetrated by cowards or the mentally ill who wouldn’t even face off with an old man like me, but need to take out their sick compulsions on those much weaker and, of course, unarmed."
So he realizes that being unarmed is a vital part of the victim selection process.
Why does he want to help the criminals?

"schools will kick up security until it becomes too expensive"
It costs nothing to allow staff to decide whether or not to be armed for their own protection & that of the students. We trust them with our kids' minds. Are people trying to say school staff can't be trusted with their lives??

"assault weapons, automatic weapons or large clip magazines are OK because of the Second Amendment"
They are, but that's beside the point he's accidently made: the anti's don't know what they're talking about.
Automatic firearms are heavily regulated, so very difficult & expensive for the average citizen to get. They're practically never used in crimes.
There's no such thing as a "large clip magazine".
There's no such thing as an "assault weapon", except for those few states which have their own laws with a made-up definition (usually a list of scary-looking features that are for improved safety or functionality).

"When the Framers of the Constitution put pen to paper, how could they possibly have imagined automatic weapons when the arms they wrote of where muzzle loaders"
So by his own 'reasoning' (and I use that term loosely), anything he writes by any method other than quill pen & oak gall ink on parchment or vellum, or printed by a hand-operated printing press, doesn't have the protection of the 1A.

"AR-15 assault rifle (the gun used at Sandy Hook)"
The rifle & shotgun were shown on news video in the trunk of the car he drove to the school, being handled & unloaded by police (tampering with evidence). He used 2 pistols to murder the people in the school.

"If the guns were kept safely away from children, what good would they be to fend off a crazy that was attacking students and teachers in a school. OK, take the lock off, oh, too late."
What sensible person would keep a self-defense tool locked away unusable?
Keeping a self-defense pistol safely away from children means keeping it in a holster on your person, under your direct control.

"People get some nutty ideas when unspeakable things happen. I don’t have a solution but I will say that more guns is not it, especially guns meant to kill people, and a lot of them."
The only person a self-defense pistol will be used to harm or kill is the next nutter who wants to commit mass murder in a school. (Or theater, as in TX. Or church, as in CO.)
Or perhaps the flash mob attacking people at the mall... or after fireworks... or at the fair... all of which have happened in the last few years in my city. They're racist hate crimes that don't get labelled as such & don't get the press given to one 17yo killed in the middle of a home invasion or personal attack.

Havent We learned

This time I agree with you ,Mark.Assault rifles and extended clips should be immediately banned.All gun shows where weapons are sold without a background check should be banned.However I support the 2nd amendment right to bear arms! Mental health is the main culprit that most everyone overlooks in these recent mass shootings.You pointed that out.Somehow those with severe mental health issues should be prevented from buying guns,OR placed in group supervised homes! Regards,Phil

gun control works, when you control the guns.....

was told it was too long for commentary so here is my rebuttal

“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” There I said it, quoted the second amendment and no one was hurt. Surprising enough there is a huge divide among “We the people” over it. Does it mention primitive muskets, fully automatic AK-47s or high capacity magazines? No, I didn’t see any firearms specifically mentioned, and I have a hunch why. Our founding fathers were nonstop learners, studying past and present (in their time) governments to see what worked and what hadn’t while trying to pave the United States road to peace and prosperity and out of tyranny. It was left vague to evolve with the times future generations of Americans could potentially face. Also of note is the words “hunting” or “target shooting” or “home or personal defense” for that matter aren’t mentioned anywhere in the second amendment. No our forefathers were not giving us the means to only defend ourselves from wild animals, targets or boogie men, but instead were (or they thought) guaranteeing the American people the right to decide their own fate, if you will when faced with any threats foreign or domestic as they had just seen their government cause them. This nation is under two hundred years old and to think it will never happen to us, is so cocky it’s astounding.

There is no magic wand that will rid the United States or the world of firearms, you cannot uninvent something. If this is hard to believe I suggest we look no further than Chicago or New York City where bans on Handguns and “defensive rifles” exist. Violence involving these types of firearms is running rampant with Chicago topping 500 homicides in 2012 and New York City residents not even so much as raising an eyebrow at the sound of gun fire daily. As if that was not enough look at where all of these senseless mass shootings are occurring, that’s right the coveted “gun free zone”. The common formula seems to be some disgruntled over/under medicated, troubled soul acquires their weapons, almost always illegally and seeks out somewhere that they do not expect anyone else to be shooting back at them as their target. A lot of people like to bring up the Fort Hood massacre at this point as a rebuttal saying things like “but that guy went into an army base and began killing soldiers who are highly trained in firearm use and combat scenarios.” That is absolutely true but what is never mentioned is on every United States military complex all firearms and ammunition are held under lock and key and so much as carrying a handgun is a serious offense. Nobody mentions that the movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado where James Holmes opened fire was the only theatre in Aurora with a “No Guns Allowed” sign, the magical shield from all evil that close to half of this nation’s citizens demand. They see “No Guns Allowed” I see “Fish in a Barrel”, but I seem to be in the minority who still doesn’t believe evil, deranged criminals follow laws like the rest of us.

The other half I speak of (in my best attempt to sound nothing like another gun grabber Mitt Romney) instead huddle around their televisions desperate to see everyone involved in a tragedy afterwards dying to see their faces in a time and place where the affected just want to be left alone. The cameras and microphones are crammed in the distraught’s faces with no effect of how it makes them feel only how it makes the “victims” sitting on the couch feel. Now comes the gun control talk just like clockwork once the camera’s run out of victims to exploit. All of a sudden every gun in everyone’s home has become a wanted dead or alive bounty target. The truth is the people who want gun control, have always wanted it and guess what, they either own or employ others who own and carry firearms for their own as well as their family’s protection. Look no further than the President, where ever he decides to go becomes a “gun free zone” but still has heavily armed security protecting him. Another example is Illinois State Senator who is a huge gun control advocate, being arrested December 6th 2012 after Transportation Security Agents discovered a .25 caliber Beretta handgun inside of his luggage while being screened before boarding a plane. What about all the actors in Hollywood demanding gun control now? Matt Damon has made millions upon millions with the “Bourne” series of movies where he’s always the armed good guy defeating the armed bad guys who wish him harm. As soon as Mr. Damon is done filming for the day he’s accompanied by his armed security guards that he pays for his own protection. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are also among the loudest voices crying “gun control now” Yet both are protected by armed security and Jay-Z still makes millions off his rap songs about selling illegal drugs, the hypocrisy is beyond laughable there. Yet here they are, trying to tell us what we should or shouldn’t do to protect ourselves and families.

How could this even make sense? I’ve been racking my brain trying to determine that one and here is my best conclusion. It seems “We the people” have become terminally “star struck” with the famous. This could explain why reality television is number one, the more invasive the cameras the better! We worship our “stars” and leaders and they know it. We’re always hearing about the star with some deranged stalker who was planning on inflicting them harm, are they going to get rid of the security guards that prevented harm upon them by an evil, deranged fan. Now I’m sure no one in D.C. or Hollywood is happy when they see the victims of atrocious firearm crimes but I highly doubt they cry when they read the numbers of causalities caused by tobacco, alcohol or automobiles in comparison. No I believe, these aristocrats have become accustomed to being Idolized and they begin to look at themselves differently. There’s no way Matt Damon is going to protest to have every copy of his films containing gun violence be banned or regulated. I don’t see Jay-Z giving back all the money he made selling the youth of America his violent, gang banging, style of music he’s so highly regarded for. Nor will President Obama tell us that he has disarmed the Secret Service. I’m sure you say “but, but he’s the President” or “he’s Matt Damon and famous and it makes him a higher value target” you see where I get the theory of over idolization? Since when was it okay to put higher values on some citizens over others who haven’t hurt anyone? Could these types of Americans really feel how I think they feel about guns? “They’re Okay for me to own because I’m not planning on shooting anyone and they’re for my own protection” Have we finally went over the “US vs. THEM cliff”, where our elites want to own weapons for their protection but do not want the average Joe owning them because he may or may not snap and cause them to look at common citizens of their own nation in despair, killing their buzz when they’d much rather be vacationing or administering their humanitarian efforts abroad while surrounded by armed guards to protect them from the “common folk”.

Twenty four, seven, three hundred and sixty five days a year your neighbors are concealing deadly weapons but chances are you will never know unless they are coming to your aid. Remember when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Many a home invasion has been foiled by the mere presence of a “defensive rifle” as I alluded to earlier, criminals despise fair fights. Yet these feel good stories are ignored by the media for unknown reasons. No one mentions the man in the Oregon mall who drew his concealed pistol on the young man opening fire on the masses causing him to flee to a stair well and turn the gun on himself after only killing two unfortunate souls. No one mentions the off-duty police officer in the movie theatre in Texas that stopped a would be gunman from murdering an easy dozen of unsuspecting citizens. Nor have we heard of the man who prevented four armed men from entering his home in broad daylight with his AR-15. Could this be because the media preys on this us VS them paradigm. Could we have been trained through hard hours of studying our television sets? Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, the Haves and the Have nots. Most of us are none of those so we just sit on the sidelines and observe like good little kids and let the “pros” handle it. Could this be how we entrust random Law Enforcement Officers to carry guns around us as well as into our homes but not the same staff that has the reigns to your child’s education and a huge part of who they become? I mean not even a principal could be trusted with a firearm?

For all of time evil has existed, there were no good ole days, people have been raping, stealing from and killing people since there were people to rape, steal from and kill. The real question here is how vulnerable we are to make us “feel safe” as those parents who loaded their children onto the buses that morning knowing they were sending them to a “Gun Free Zone”. Safe as the patrons of the Movie Theatre in Colorado felt seeing the words on the glass door that read “No Guns Allowed”. The beauty of this nation is the rights, feelings and opinions of every one of its residents are protected by the Constitution. This means everyone, Pro Gun or Pro Gun Control. The issue we face is, are we really going to let the “haves” dictate how the “have nots” should feel about their own means of protection. I whole heartedly agree with background checks in states that do not require them, although the weapons used for evil are rarely obtained legally anywhere. Virginia has some of the loosest gun control laws, one of the highest number of registered gun owners yet somehow stay in a very desirable gun violence category. I plead to those of you who are demanding gun control now to do some more research before disarming “us” to cater to “them”.



:slow clap: You, sir, should

:slow clap:
You, sir, should be given your own column / editorial.

BTW, what states don't require background checks, and for what?
(And if you want all sales, even between citizens, to go through background checks, how are you going to get the criminals to comply? They're the ones causing problems, & they ignore laws.)

liberal logic

The ar-15's the public has access to aren't assault rifles, they are semi-auto rifles. Assault rifles are fully automatic. People use ar-15's for hunting. The gunman at sandy hook used handguns, not an ar-15. So I don't see why people are freaking out about them right now. Making guns harder to get, and taking them away from law abiding citizens is going to help how? Guns aren't the problem, the people are.

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