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I'm not going to comment on the specifics of the most recent tragedy in Connecticut.  I think there are plenty of others who have expressed the appropriate sentiments and outrage, and I can't really think of anything more profound to say about the senseless massacre of innocent people, especially children.  However I strongly agree with those who argue that we it past time to at least have a debate on gun control.

We all know the Republican arguments and and framing on guns.  The right to have a gun is fundamental to protect our liberty.  Guns are an integral part of American culture.

I have personal experience with that last point.

My relatives who live in the rural part of Kentucky are gun enthusiasts.  They regularly go out and hunt just about anything that moves.  One of my cousins has even traveled to other parts of the U.S. to hunt animals that he can't find in Kentucky.  His wife, who is from the Louisville area, once said that he would love it if he could shoot fish instead of using a rod and reel to catch them.

In fact, my Aunt and Uncle gave gun ammo to their grandchildren for Christmas.  The kids were so excited that they went out in the back of the home and began using the ammo that day.  One of the grand kids has already been out turkey hunting at the tender age of seven.  Got his own rifle to use, and my Aunt was very proud that her grandson bagged himself a turkey the first time out.  

Recently, I attended a wedding for my Cousin's son.  It was a great ceremony, but I noticed something a little odd on the table for the wedding gifts.  I wasn't entirely sure, but I turned and asked another one of my Cousin's, "Is that a sniper rifle on the wedding gift table?"  Sure enough, it was a sniper rifle.

Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "Lord, those folks would not be amenable to a gun control debate."  And you would be correct.  In fact, I don't even try to bring the subject up because it would be a huge waste of time and effort.

Why?  Because my relatives also believe that Obama is a communist, the War in Iraq justified, and global warming a hoax.  In other words, my relatives are political extremists.  

Unfortunately, these are the same people that Democrats are petrified of alienating with a debate about gun control.  Democrats think, "If we don't mention subject X , we won't piss off the voters who disagree with us."  Democrats never even got out of the starting gate with my relatives.  I don't think they have ever voted for a Democrat, even by accident.

But I'm part of American culture also, and I don't own a gun.  Nor do I have a burning desire to go out and get a gun or go hunting.  I think that people should be allowed to purchase guns though, but I believe that not everyone is entitled to a gun.  Certain people should never be allowed to purchase guns legally -the mentally ill and criminals for starters.  As for the type of guns that or ammo that can be sold, since when do hunters need assault weapons to hunt deer? Have deer and other wild animals suddenly evolved armor to protect themselves from armor piercing bullets?  

I don't think so.

Yet, sadly, Democrats have run in terror from the mere mention of gun control. When Democrats abandon political debate, you let the most extreme voices from the right dominate and declare victory.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  They get no victory this time. (5+ / 0-)

    Enough is enough with gun lobbyists.

    "If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."--Cheryl Wheeler

    by lyvwyr101 on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:23:52 PM PST

  •  Given the Other Side's Position That Dems Will Con (6+ / 0-)

    fiscate all the arms, I'd say it's time for Dems to realize that they are already paying the full political price for outlawing guns altogether.

    The knob's already pegged at 11, there's no further consequence for bringing up some appropriate restrictions.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:33:40 PM PST

    •  Helluva thing, isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:13:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Several decades ago (4+ / 0-)

    Some extremist voices were heard, attacking hunters and hunting.  This was stupid.  If you believe in preserving the environment and preserving public lands and controlling exurban sprawl, hunters are a natural ally.  Hunting in shopping malls and housing developments and toxic waste dumps sucks.  Besides, some of us city dwellers, who don't own guns and don't hunt and have no desire for either, are getting tired of all the deer eating up our gardens!  The deer population has grown exponentially in recent years.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:34:00 PM PST

    •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SwedishJewfish, cany
      If you believe in preserving the environment and preserving public lands and controlling exurban sprawl, hunters are a natural ally
      That is far from a given.
      •  So where would they hunt? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kestrel9000

        And, kill off the game animals, what will they hunt?  

        Of course, if they spend their time listening to Limbaugh and Fox and the NRA, they won't be asking these questions.  But somehow we have to try to get through.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:41:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  But why do you need a fucking assault rifle (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, cany, poco

      designed to fire 6 rounds per second, with ammunition that is designed to shatter bones, penetrate vital organs, and then expand inside of them to inflict maximum damage? Why is the ammo used in these "hunting rifles" twice the size that it was 50 years ago

      You are tired of deer eating up your gardens? I'm tired of mourning for dead children.

      You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:46:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't, so they should be banned n/t (3+ / 0-)

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:57:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't GET (0+ / 0-)
        a fucking assault rifle (1+ / 0-)
        designed to fire 6 rounds per second,
        without  avery-difficult-to-obtain Class III license.
        •  Well apparently this psychopath's mother did (0+ / 0-)

          because that is what is reported to have been used. And it worked with brutal efficiency.

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:04:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I have been tired for some time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SwedishJewfish

            Of all the children murdered, day in and day out, in the city in which I live.  My God, a few weeks ago a teenage girl was shot and killed standing in front of our neighborhood libary.  I am tired of the drug gangs, mostly our children who have already been lost, shooting it out and controlling whole neighborhoods.  So often it's not just these teens, perhaps already lost, that dies, but a young child hit by a stray bullet.  But if you are a black child growing up in certain parts of our cities, no one gives a damn whether you live or die, outside your immediate family.  

            "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

            by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:12:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My response was flip (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Navy Vet Terp

              I apologize for that. Of course you are tired of it too. Too many innocent children have died, and they are not confined to Sandy Hook. I'm frustrated that they are not part of this discussion.

              I DO think people give a damn about those children...or they would, if they knew about them. Unfortunately when the story is local and doesn't involve high numbers like this, most of the world never hears about it.

              You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

              by SwedishJewfish on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:27:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            it was a semiautomatic Bushmaster AR copy.
            It is not "designed to fire 6 rounds per second."

    •  But you don't bear arms against a deer (0+ / 0-)

      It doesn't change anything you are saying, but it is something to think about in general in the discussion.

      Bear arms is a very militaristic term. It is not a hunting term and really not a self defense term.

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 12:55:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The clear historical evidence (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        se portland, cany, poco

        Which Scalia and company chose to ignore, is that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the right of the states to form state militias, to counterbalance the danger that a standing national army posed to the new republic.  On two occasions during the Articles of Confederation elements in the army had threatened a coup, because Congress had failed to pay the army.  The NRA and politicians that do their bidding have spread this lie for too long, and too many people believe it.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 01:00:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  we have our own extremists (0+ / 0-)

    I think that if we shut both sides' extremists out, we can pass reasonable regulations: assault weapons bans, bans on big clips, and maybe even decent prohibitions on semiauto weaponry.  

  •  This writer makes a vital point... (0+ / 0-)

    ...about taking charge of the vital debate and not letting "the most extreme voices from the right dominate and declare victory."

    Gun control is something we need to do for the long term and we may have to realize that along with mental health services and turning our entertainment culture from gratuitous violence that a generation may be needed to begin to see progress. In that time we are going to need to ban some types of weapons, control ammo, register guns, and bear down on manufacturers along with engaging in both buy back and seizure of some weapons. This process will criminalize the possession and distribution of devices devised for maximum human killing by some of the very people that we are arguing with now. We will not win unless we go beyond their terms of debate engagement and set a new direction with the wider population which I believe is not only open to but primed to sensibly, responsibly, and constitutionally control guns.  

  •  Require the purchase of insurance per gun (0+ / 0-)

    each gun you own, costs you for annual liability insurance coverage in the event anyone is harmed, by accident or not, by a weapon you own that you have not reported stolen or sold.  

    There are fewer and fewer Americans who own guns.  The NRA special interest group is representing a declining population of Americans.  

    We require auto insurance coverage for each automobile, because they can kill or injure people by accident or on purpose.  

    We have a right to free speech, but if we wish to broadcast over the airwaves our Constitutionally protected First Amendment right, we have to apply for a FCC license and pay a fee, and then spend money and buy the station.  

    Frankly, I think requiring liability insurance coverage is the American way, it's also the NRA way since they shill for private insurance companies to provide "Excess Liability Insurance" to its members on their own website.   If you believe the cost would be an un-Constitutional deterrent, then why is the NRA providing a link and "endorsement" for this product?

    You or I have a right to own a gun but we have to add the annual cost of liability insurance to protect the right of any other American to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" or pay for any harm (accidental or not) inflicted by those firearms.

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sun Dec 16, 2012 at 05:30:55 PM PST

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