Gun control saves lives

  • Follow Letters

In our national gun debate, gun-rights advocates have misrepresented the intentions of President Obama and those who seek tighter restrictions on guns.

The Second Amendment is not absolute. Citizens are not allowed to own chemical weapons, for example, even though they fall under the extremely broad category of “arms.” So our national debate is not over whether Americans may own guns but over what kind of weapons have a justifiable civilian use. Even the First Amendment is not absolute. It does not protect defamatory speech or, famously, yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Why should we consider the Second Amendment absolute?

Assault rifles are designed by the military to effectively wound and kill human beings. After all, they are not called “hunting rifles” or “self-defense rifles.” Self-defense is one thing, but why does any law-abiding gun owner need armor-piercing bullets? One study, reported in the Southern Medical Journal in 2010, found that a gun is 12 times more likely to result in the death of a household member or guest than in the death of an intruder.

President Obama has not advocated the confiscation of assault weapons or even universal registration. Gun-rights proponents who claim otherwise are misrepresenting the president’s position. The president has made the case for limiting only the future sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.

Also, like guns, cars are responsible for a staggering number of deaths each year. That is why cars are subject to strict controls and may only be driven by registered citizens of a certain age. Why, when we have such a sickening number of gun deaths each year, do we not have similar regulations?

Gun-rights advocates are correct in saying these measures will not solve the problem of gun violence in America. But if commonsense legislation is passed simply to reduce gun violence, then we will be saving lives.

Daniel Barden

Martinez

Comments (24) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Common.sense
465
Points
Common.sense 01/26/13 - 02:46 am
9
4
Daniel Barden

Please learn what an assault rifle is. Then after learning what is it tell me how many deaths occurred in the US from a person using an assault rifle.

Armor piercing bullets? Did you know that most rifle rounds with penetrate through body armor?

silversax42
2
Points
silversax42 01/26/13 - 02:48 am
0
0
You need some info

I'm sorry friend, but there are many factual statements in this piece that are just incorrect. For starters, Assault rifles were not designed by the military. The military dictated the parameters of what they wanted in an infantryman's standard arm, specifically weight, an intermediate cartridge, and certain features such as fully automatic fire as well as accuracy requirements, etc. Of course, our AR-15s do not have a select fire capability (ability to fire full auto or burst) and therefore do not fit the military's definition of "assault rifle" - they are being called that now because certain people want you to do what you just did and assume they are more dangerous than they are.

Now Colt, having bought the design of the AR-15 from Armalite previously, had a pattern that seemed to fit the bill after adding a select fire mechanism to the trigger pack. It was a civilian rifle well before it became a military one.

Armor piercing bullets are already banned my friend. Of course, police usually wear type IIIA soft armor which is rated to stop most handgun bullets. ANY center fire rifle round will penetrate this armor, as well as a few rim fire rounds.

Additionally, firearms already do have regulations similar to cars. First off remember that cars only require licensing and registration ONLY to be used on a public road - so a child can operate one on private property all day without breaking the law. You need a permit, requiring training and a background check to carry a concealed firearm in public in most states - though if it were more like cars, all states would have to recognize this permit instead of the patchwork of reciprocity agreements we have now. You cannot buy a firearm unless you are 18 for a long gun or 21 for a pistol.

Additionally, besides the fact that murder and violent crime are at a 37 year low so there is no "epidemic" of violence, the firearms being targeted are the ones LEAST likely to be used in a crime. Of all the gun deaths last year, less than one percent were caused by a rifle of ANY kind, so these "commonsense" laws aren't really that commonsense.

The industry term for these rifles are modern sporting rifles. The AR in particular is a highly versatile platform used for a variety of hunting, competition, target shooting, plinking and defensive roles. You're heart's in the right place, but a ban on these will not save lives.

wribbs
521
Points
wribbs 01/26/13 - 07:21 am
13
3
Its just so obvious the

Its just so obvious the writer has no idea what he's talking about. I wish one of these people would tell me what law could have been in place to prevent the shooting in Connecticut.

farmrdave
2
Points
farmrdave 01/26/13 - 07:59 am
0
0
2nd amendment is absolute.

Daniel Barden, It is absolute in this way. The constitution is a list of absolute limits on government. It is a contract between "We the People" and government. The government is not allowed to infringe on "the right of the people to keep and bear arms". No one is advocating this to include missile launchers or fighter jets, (accept you). To allow the government to subvert the intent of our constitution would set a precedent that could be, would be used to further bend our constitution in the future. How can you say assault rifles are not defensive weapons? In chess a strong offense is the best defense. Military "style" weapons have a few traits in common. They are built to operate reliably. The have handles and handholds that are easy to grasp with gloves such as in freezing weather. The require a minimum amount of maintenance. Can be loaded easily with gloves on, in the dark, in the mud, in a hurricane. This is exactly what is intended by our constitution. The biggest danger to our country is the slow rot from within our government. I do not intend to wake up some morning to a mandate for my farm stating, "You will now raise sheep", or "you will now grow grain". When will the reach of our government find it's limits?
Right here right now. The second amendment is absolute.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/26/13 - 08:03 am
10
5
" Self-defense is one thing,
Unpublished

" Self-defense is one thing, but why does any law-abiding gun owner need armor-piercing bullets?"

Duh....to pierce armor. What if the person you are defending yourself against is your own government?

Jon Lester
2480
Points
Jon Lester 01/26/13 - 08:24 am
12
3
The right of the people to keep and bear arms
Unpublished

shall not be infringed. That's pretty plain to me. I think most people would agree that "arms" refers to defensive weapons and firearms, in which the explosion happens in the chamber and pushes a projectile. If your weapon of choice is a gas, germ or explosive warhead, then you're well into the domain of other, existing law, which should be obvious to most laymen.

This is the same government that has expanded the drone war and authorized itself to indefinitely detain and even assassinate American citizens, in clear violation of the Constitution. If the legislative and executive branches don't trust you enough to honor their oaths of office, why would you trust them to determine your security needs?

Gary Ross
3347
Points
Gary Ross 01/26/13 - 08:24 am
13
3
Fight fire with fire

If we are restricted to owning only guns with a caliber of .38 or less, for example, and the assailants who are threatening the lives of your children are using machine guns, what good will it do? Criminals will always be able to get their evil hands on assault weapons. Just ask obama about Fast and Furious! Besides, once strict gun control laws are passed, there goes our freedoms forever! They will never be returned.

Gun control is not the problem. Idiot control is. Disarming America is one small part of the obama agenda to cripple this country, and they are just using the recent massacres as an excuse to further that agenda. Open your eyes and see the big picture. Please!

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/26/13 - 08:34 am
12
3
Gun control saves lives?
Unpublished

Gun control saves lives? Really....ask the citizens of Chicago how well it's worked out for them.

As for the Obama agenda.....Federal court just found him guilty of violating the very constitution that he JUST reaffirmed his oath to defend........come on liberals.....how will you defend this most recent violation? I know you will....probably with the usual liberal answer of "well.....other people have done it before, so it's ok."

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/26/13 - 08:56 am
11
2
Hey Mr Barden.....why on
Unpublished

Hey Mr Barden.....why on Earth does any law abiding citizen need a car that can go 100 MPH? We must ban them!

americafirst
1001
Points
americafirst 01/26/13 - 08:56 am
8
2
Are not self defense weapons

Are not self defense weapons designed to effectively wound and kill human beings?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/26/13 - 09:01 am
8
2
Americafirst
Unpublished

YES!!

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 01/26/13 - 09:48 am
10
2
Sheesh. Weird. This has

Sheesh. Weird. This has absolutely no logic to it as it contradicts itself into ambiguity. Perhaps I should give a lecture on how to organize an argument with merit. Course, I don't bother with it myself here because of all the rambling, ad hominems, non sequiturs, strawmen, and the like. But it is a hoot. I find some hypocrisy at all the folks complaining about a loss of freedom because of the Patriotic act and even demonized Bush for it but now Obama who has truly abused the act spying on Americans and even infringed on more freedoms and the news media and Dems are silent.

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 01/26/13 - 09:50 am
9
2
I have never had an interest

I have never had an interest in owning an assault rifle, but now I do. Just to enjoy freedom in this country before it is gone. I must be attacted to the "taboo" nature of it. Ah human nature.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/26/13 - 10:33 am
9
2
Biz....they scream about the
Unpublished

Biz....they scream about the Patriot Act....but are silent about Obama killing Citizens without due process.....or the fact that Federal Court found him guilty of violating the Constitution by having "recess" appointments when congress wasn't in recess.

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 01/26/13 - 10:36 am
5
2
The Gun Genie is Outta da

The Gun Genie is Outta da bottle. Best thing to do is modify or deter human behavior rather than trying to remove one item from a long list of potential means for bad behavior. Harsh penalties for any crime with a gun-I mean major jail or death. Need to end a failed penal system which seems to be a revolving door of making better criminals. Education, education, education, service, service, service. Service is great for socialization which aids in treatment of numerous mental issues too-and give them a work ethic. Humans are made for work-don't do it and see how fast you will physically decline in health and mentally. Keeping busy keeps one from internal stress. I have to preoccupy my mind least I drive myself crazy scenario. Oh almost forgot. Humans are problem solvers-we love it-puzzle, jeopardy, etc. That intelligent and intuitive ability has served us well and really gives all a sense of satisfaction. However I worry it appears to be a trait becoming extinct in the population.

dichotomy
37418
Points
dichotomy 01/26/13 - 10:39 am
9
2
Mr. Barden is obviously of

Mr. Barden is obviously of the "let's do something even if it is wrong" school of thought. They had 10 years of "assault" weapons ban. It did NOTHING but inconvenience law abiding citizens. Heck, they could not even define what an assault weapon was because they are the funtional equivalent of many 'acceptable" hunting rifles. You could have two identical rifles and paint one black and the Democrats want to call that one an "assault" weapon.

As for the Constitution, I think "shall not be infringed" speaks for itself. I personally feel that even the extraordinary fees, paperwork, and permitting proces to own a fully automatic weapon is technically unconstitutional and discriminatory. Citizens CAN own fully automatic weapons today.....but only the very wealthy citizens.

And the Constutution does not say anything about "need". Yes, citizens have a need for high capacity weapons. Look at the films from the Los Angeles riots. Looting, burning, assaults, murders.....but those Korean merchants who took to the roofs of their businesses and were visible with "assault" weapons never had their businesses touched by the thugs and punks. They did not have to shoot anyone. Just seeing that they had the capability to drop 30 people at a time was enough deterent to keep the heathens and bay. Yes, there IS a need for these kinds of weapons. And when you NEED this kind of weapon, it's too late to go get one. They police and National Guard did not show up for days in Los Angeles, or in New Orleans after Katrina. Riots happen and rioters are just as dangerous as terrorists, murders, or an invading force. And rioters ALWAYS come in herds. You cannot stop rioters with a 3 shot shotgun or a 6 shot revolver. And the cops or the National Guard is NEVER there when they come. And what did the authorities do when they finally did show up? Did they arrest the looters and murderers. No!!! They confiscated the legal weapons from law abiding citizens whe were attempting to protect themselves while the police were hiding in fear. Yes we NEED high capacity weapons and the Constitution says we can have them......"shall not be infringed".

I am NOT willing to give up that constitutional right for some "do something even if it's wrong" knee jerk policy that has ALREADY BEEN PROVEN will not work. I will not give up the right to defend myself, my family, and my property because some nutcase in Connecticut, who should have been institutionalized as a teenager, stole a weapon from his mother, killed her, and then killed some kids. It was tragic but gun bans won't stop nutcases. He could just have easily blugeoned his mother to death, stole her car, and rammed it into a classroom wall and killed 20 kids. Only mental institutions can stop nutcases. Take your frustration out on them, not me and my family.

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 01/26/13 - 10:48 am
7
2
Humble Angela I agree. I

Humble Angela I agree. I don't get it how anyone can ignore the murder of an american citizen without due process which is just plain criminal like Stalin assassinating jews in Russia. Sure the guy was suppose to be a bad guy but this is from the people who told us about stock piles of WMD in Iraq too. So that alone makes that questionable. To be so blinded by ideology is just the reason Hitler came to power-he came in loved because he truly made Germany a modern state much the model of the present world. The man was a genius-just insane and incredibly evil too. The sheeple follow their glorius leader. Frightening. If Bush had done the same and have an assasination list he would have been impeached by the Dems-I can hear Harry Reid talking about the infringement. The Reps are pathetic. Dropped the ball on that, economy, Hillary, Mitt, etc. Good riddance to the pary of losers. I don't give a hoot about party but I do care having a "rule of law". Next break the back of the Dem party. Good riddance to both who have served no one but themselves. I like history and reading about the corruption of govt of the past like Tammany Hall. Sad thing is now it is worse.

Little Lamb
48969
Points
Little Lamb 01/26/13 - 11:12 am
6
2
Militia

Mr. Barden wrote:

So our national debate is not over whether Americans may own guns but over what kind of weapons have a justifiable civilian use.

Excuse me, Mr. Barden, but the 2nd Amendment opens with these words: “A well regulated militia being necessary . . . .”

Your assertion that the right to keep and bear arms has no revolutionary content is off the mark. Civilians may well find it necessary to form militias and to revolt against a despotic government, and they need to have assault weapons in their homes to have any possibility of success. Since your premise is wrong, therefore your conclusion is equally wrong.

deestafford
31782
Points
deestafford 01/26/13 - 10:56 am
4
2
Two points: First, the so

Two points:
First, the so called, "armor piercing" bullets really are illegal. The teflon coated bullets were made for the law enforcement officials and cannot be bought legally. They are teflon coated to prevent damage to the barrel. Second, driving a car is a priviledge and not a right as enumarated in the Constitution for own weapons.

Bizkit
35500
Points
Bizkit 01/26/13 - 10:58 am
7
2
Hold on there dichotomy. That

Hold on there dichotomy. That is a coherent logical argument and I thought from the tone of the editorial it is Bizarro day and everythin' is backwards. Perhaps you should have written the editorial today to set the tone back to reality.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 01/26/13 - 12:28 pm
5
2
Op-Ed, Listen Up...................

I agree with Bizkit! dichotomy, you would make one great editorial writer! Actually, we have quite a number of folks that make very good points and have very good ideas!!

Darby
29216
Points
Darby 01/26/13 - 01:10 pm
4
2
Yawn.....

Another boring missive written by someone who didn't do his homework and has no concept of the subject matter. Emotion is no substitute for facts.

"Assault rifles are designed by the military to effectively wound and kill human beings." Wrong, the military doesn't design guns, they buy them just as they do fighter jets.

For that matter there is NO SUCH THING AS AN ASSAULT RIFLE. Congress has proven that when they struggled last time around to define that elusive device. They failed then and they will fail again. For example, if rifle had a bayonet stud, it it suddenly became an "assault rifle". Find any logic in that?

"The Second Amendment is not absolute. Citizens are not allowed to own chemical weapons, for example, even though they fall under the extremely broad category of “arms.”".

As far as that goes, I don't remember the Second Amendment mentioning ANY specific weapon, allowed or disallowed. What's the writer's point?

Weapons of any kind, in the hands of the wrong person represent a threat. Weapons of any kind, in the hand of the right person represent security.

More important today is the threat to freedom and liberty from an unprincipled government overreach.

ultrarnr
944
Points
ultrarnr 01/26/13 - 02:06 pm
0
0
Love the conservative mind set
Unpublished

In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff department, here’s what the Republican Party of Texas wrote into its 2012 platform as part of the section on education:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

Yes, you read that right. The party opposes the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” because it believes the purpose is to challenge a student’s “fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.”

KSL
143582
Points
KSL 01/26/13 - 02:07 pm
1
2
You have all said it

You know who you are. Love y'all!

Darby
29216
Points
Darby 01/26/13 - 05:00 pm
5
1
Just one more word on....

...the thoughtless comment that the under the second amendment, "Citizens are not allowed to own chemical weapons".

The writer should try buying all sorts of insecticides. Also, rat poisons, many of which contain arsenic. All are chemical weapons. You DON'T NEED A PERMIT to buy or own them. Same with the ingredients to make many other poisons right in your own kitchen.

On the other hand, if you use these chemical weapons against another human being, then you are breaking the law. If you use your AR-15 or your little Ruger .22 calibre handgun to shoot an innocent person, the same standard applies.

BTW, before I forget, spare me the admonitions that I don't NEED an assault rifle (whatever that is) to shoot deer. Doesn't matter what YOU think I need to hunt deer. That's MY business and not yours or that of some ignorant Senator. Find something in the Second Amendment referring to hunting. I dare you to try! That should keep you off these boards for a long, long time.

allhans
24865
Points
allhans 01/26/13 - 05:54 pm
4
1
My take on those who support

My take on those who support the ban on guns is they are Obama followers. What the "cause" is doesn't matter to them, if Obama wants it, then we MUST give it to him.... Or..something like that..

harley_52
25826
Points
harley_52 01/26/13 - 06:43 pm
6
1
"What the "cause" is doesn't matter to them....

.... if Obama wants it, then we MUST give it to him.... Or..something like that.."

Here's the plan....
- expand the number of people dependent on government for survival.
- promise the ever expanding underclass a higher and higher standard of living.
- tax the working people more and more, and more.
- build resentment and hatred between the workers and non-workers.
- overwhelm the taxpayers and the government support systems building anarchy and revolution.
- disarm the working class before the revolution so they can defend themselves neither from the rioting non-workers, nor the government thugs who will join the rioters against the evil, rich taxpayers.
- do it all under the guise of "really, really caring" about the "poor" and the "unlucky."

"Gun control" has NOTHING to do with safety in schools. It's all part of the plan.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/26/13 - 08:49 pm
2
1
Un Armed
Unpublished

If Daniel Barden really belives what he is printing in his letter let him publish his address with the fact he is unarmed. The folks from the Police report pages will educate him on the real gun laws in this country.

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 01/26/13 - 09:21 pm
4
2
Need isn't in the

Need isn't in the Constitution, or is it? The word NECESSARY, IS in the Constitution.

Definition of Necessary; 1. Absolutely essential. See Synonyms at indispensable. 2. Needed to achieve a certain result or effect.

As I've stated before; our CURRENT leaders, think they are so smart and should remove a Constitutional Right, the Founding Fathers said was NECESSARY to the security of a free State. So, the Founding Fathers (A group of people who actually LIVED under an tyrannical government) said it was NECESSARY for the citizens to have firearms for the security of the free state. But current leaders (who haven't lived under tyrannical governments) thinks we shouldn't.

I think I'll side with those who have learned from experience, wouldn't you?

myfather15
56558
Points
myfather15 01/26/13 - 09:37 pm
2
2
When will people understand

When will people understand the REAL purpose of additional gun control? The REAL reason has nothing to do with making us more safe from individual incidents committed by mad men. The secular leftists DO realize their legislation will NOT make us any safer, but that isn't the purpose. The purpose is to weaken this Country and make it less defensible. The secular left wants America's existence as a super power to be eliminated. They want us on a level playing field with the rest of the world.

There are two kinds of people who continue to fight for restricting gun control. First, are those that are intentionally trying to weaken this Country in order to inch closer and closer to a one world order. These are the political leaders who KNOW the true agenda and are working tirelessly to achieve it. Using every LIE they can to further that agenda. The second type are those that blindly tow the party line. These people might not know the true agenda of the secular left. But they are committed leftists and WILLFULLY believe any lie that comes from the mouths of the lefts leaders. They might truly believe the gun control issue is about making people safer, because they don't know any better. They are ignorant to the truth because they believe anything their leaders tell them. Mr. Barden appears to be someone in the 2nd category, but I could be wrong.

He COULD very well be one who knows the true agenda. He could be one of those that despises America, believing her to be one of the great evils in the world, as we see so many other commentors on here opine. It's very clear that some actually HATE America and what she stands for, but others it isn't so clear. As I stated, some are just ignorantly towing the party line. But many are truely attempting to weaken this Country, any way possible.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
Search Augusta jobs