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View Diary: What you may not know about gun violence in Chicago (335 comments)

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  •  It's tough (5+ / 0-)

    While I am a gun owner, I believe in all of the commonsense solutions that are currently being discussed. But the issue does indeed get cloudy when an anti-gun region is bordered by areas where it is very easy to purchase a gun.

    Where gun control works is when it is universally applied and, ideally, before the area is awash in guns.

    Chicago fails on both counts.

    One of the things that I struggle with is the guaranteed fact that law abiding citizens in Chicago do not have access to handguns while criminals have a short drive out of town. That's insanity to me.

    I live in DC. Gun control here is a joke. PA, MD, and VA (especially PA) have very open gun laws. Nothing DC can do will lower the crime rate in regards to gun laws. Crime is down due to abortion and gentrification.

    Violence is a symptom of poverty. Stakeholders don't commit crime. I just wish the focus of our national conversation was on mental health and poverty rather than arguing over 9 or 10 or 11 rounds in a magazine being the magical evil number.

    •  I wish the nat'l conversation was also about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Churchill, ChurchofBruce

      how poorly regulated our "militia" are these days.

      •  I understand that, but... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, noway2, AaronInSanDiego

        While I agree that the 2A was largely protecting a state's right to not rely on a federalized army, it's also absurd to think that the FF were against open gun ownership. As such, I find discussions based on 1780s legalese to be unproductive.

        What is productive is identifying the initial conditions that lead to violent impulses (whether the end result is a handgun or a hammer.) I'd rather live in a moral society rather than an ersatz moral society where the criminals are merely impotent.

        Gun control loses traction when the shock of a tragedy wears off and people realize that the vast majority of gun violence is either black on black crime or part of the larger "war on drugs".

        Create a pathway from poverty to prosperity and end draconian drug laws an

        •  The NRA would have given the Founders (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ItsSimpleSimon, cocinero

          an F rating!

          We’ve also always had gun control. The Founding Fathers instituted gun laws so intrusive that, were they running for office today, the NRA would not endorse them. While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution.

          For those men who were allowed to own guns, the Founders had their own version of the “individual mandate” that has proved so controversial in President Obama’s health-care-reform law: they required the purchase of guns. A 1792 federal law mandated every eligible man to purchase a military-style gun and ammunition for his service in the citizen militia. Such men had to report for frequent musters—where their guns would be inspected and, yes, registered on public rolls.  (From The Secret History of Guns in the Atlantic.  I don't know how to do links!)

          From the book "Gunfight": Early Americans denied the right to gun ownership even to law-abiding people if they failed a political test of loyalty to the Revolution. The founders also declared that free white men were members of the militia and, as such, were forced to appear with their guns at public ‘musters’ where government officials would inspect the weapons and register them on public rolls. When pressing public necessity demanded it, the founding fathers were also willing to impress guns from law abiding citizens, even if those citizens were left without guns to defend themselves from a criminal attack."

        •  I always find amusing responses that boil down to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce

          saying "there is only one aspect of this issue I'm willing to talk about."

          Such exclusionary argumentation is, you might agree, unproductive.

          It is, in truth exactly the same tactic the NRA wants to use to distract us from having a real and comprehensive debate.

          Part of that broad discussion should be to determine what, today, we really take "well regulated" and "militia" to mean. Otherwise, if that language is to be taken out of the realm of discussion (because it is archaic?) then it is time to amend the second amendment itself.

          •  The Second Amendment is not a major problem. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharon Wraight

            Given the limitations the court wrote in the Heller and McDonald decisions, it seems likely that all of the President's proposals to reduce gun violence would be likely to be found constitutional, even with the current conservative court.

            Of course, it would be better if one or two of the conservative activist justices were replaced and Heller and McDonald were overturned. The four dissenters said that the 2nd was all about state militia, not restrictions on civilian gun ownership which have been found constitutional for decades.

      •  A Well Regulated Militia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hangpilot

        In terms of the language when the 2nd Amendment was penned, "well regulated" meant "properly functioning", not "regulated by laws" as the term might mean today.

        Even today, the militia is not the National Guard or any other state controlled body. It is the body of the people of an age and capability to fight, defined in the US Code as all able-bodied men between the ages of 17-45. In light of the fact that the Defense Department is opening combat arms to women, that should likely be updated.

        I am from Missouri, neighbor to Illinois in which Chicago is located (for the geographically challenged). In our state, as in many others, we have by state statute, an "unorganized militia", which codifies this fact at a state level. Private individuals are encouraged to train in small, local units and the state provides opportunities for more formal training as well.

        I recommend folks step out of the echo chamber from time to time and research whether those with opposing views might have the law, SCOTUS decisions, and history on their side.

        •  Echo chamber or not (5+ / 0-)

          The current conservative SCOTUS has undone 100 years of precedent in many areas, not the least of which is the 2nd Amendment, expanding individual rights to 'bear arms' to a point that it is endangering the rest of the population rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Before the 1970s, The courts had found that the first part, the “militia clause,” trumped the second part, the “bear arms” clause. In other words, according to the Supreme Court, and the lower courts as well, the amendment conferred on state militias a right to bear arms—but did not give individuals a right to own or carry a weapon.  (Jeffrey Toobin did a good article on this in the NYer.  I don't know how to add links on daily/kos or I'd do it.)

          So called "Originalists" mock the idea of a living Constitution (until they want to change the law to suit their corporate agendas)  Toobin demonstrates that there is no better example of the living Constitution than the conservative re-casting of the Second Amendment since the NRA took a hard right turn in the late 1970s, dragging politicians and jurists with them.

          And nearly every state now has a constitution that clearly protects an individual's right to own stacks of assault weapons unattached to militia service.

        •  That is simply incorrect. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ItsSimpleSimon, emelyn, wsexson, louisev

          When the Constitution was written, there were a host of militia laws in the states that most certainly did regulate firearms. These laws go all the way back to the earliest colonial period and did not change significantly until well into the 19th century. Even in as old a set of regulation as the ones issued by the United Colonies of New England in 1643 (and adopted by the member colonies) specified the acceptable types of arms militia soldiers could use and regulated their upkeep and transfer. It is completely a-historical to insist that "a well-regulated militia" does not include regulations (and restrictions) on firearms.

          This has been a topic I've researched for many years, mostly because my specialty as an historian is colonial military and strategic policy. What you've parroted is a standard canard of the right-wing "militia" movement, but it is counter to what militias actually were in our history.

          Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

          by Stwriley on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:34:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What "well regulated militia" meant in 1789 (0+ / 0-)

          should instruct us today about as completely as their contemporaneous definition of a person.

          Things change, and you may be living through a watershed moment - the beginning of the modernization of the 2nd amendment.

        •  indiana constitution (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          louisev

          article 12. militia. all persons over 17 are part of the militia. active or inactive. cos don't have to carry guns. i'm 68 and legally still in the militia. people should  read their state constitutions, surprising what they will find in there.

          WELCOME to kos. i'm am what kos himself called "a libertarian democrat". billy

    •  Funny thing is, here in PA... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChurchofBruce, cocinero

      city dwellers like me often see ourselves at the wrong end of the same problem. It is certainly much easier to buy a gun in PA, but even here it's not so easy to get a concealed carry permit, for instance. Yet we have plenty of people running around the state who have such permits from other states, including a fair number who were denied permits here (and PA is a "shall issue" state, meaning it's not exactly difficult to get one.) Florida is notorious for this, since a PA resident can get one there without even the background checking we do and then enjoy full reciprocity that allows them to concealed carry back in PA.

      It's not just gun sales that cause problems across city and state borders, it's all manner of gun laws, even the most reasonable and practical ones that are designed simply to keep guns out of the hands of people who are demonstrably a public danger if they get one.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:10:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on the county (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stwriley

        Where in PA do you live? In Berks County is takes about 20 minutes to get a CC permit. Walk up, fill out the form, pay the money, wait for the background check, get your photo taken, and be on your way.

        Other counties require more paperwork but it isn't like Berks is out in the boondocks.

        In much of PA a person can go from being a non-gun owner to purchasing a gun and getting a concealed carry permit in 2-3 hours.

        PA, for a northeastern state, as very open gun laws.

        •  Philadelphia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BornAgainPagan

          Which helps explain my own attitude in regards to the easy access to guns; we have a gun problem too, just not quite as bad as Chicago. My point was that, easy as it is in PA, even we have problems with the cross-border transfer of guns and the attempt to regulate even something as serious as concealed carry permits. I'm not saying we're a bastion of strict gun control (far from it), just that these problems are even more widespread than what residents of Chicago or NYC might think.

          Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

          by Stwriley on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:40:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stwriley

            But PA is where people go to buy guns and not be bothered. Far easier than neighboring states. With Philly, people drive out to Cabela's on 78/61. People from Jersey, as well.

            It certainly is an issue but I think it's one that will be around for a long time. If residents of other areas are staunchly pro-gun then I think we need to focus on things that we can change.

            That's not to say I'm against legislation that would make it harder for someone to become a defacto gun runner.

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