Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor
It has happened again. A mass killing at the hands of a person armed with knives and three semi-automatic handguns and 400 rounds of ammunition. This time the alleged shooter stabbed three to death and then went on a shooting spree that ended with at least three more dead and a total of 8 injured/wounded people from gunshot wounds and 5 more injured by his knives or by being hit by his car.
The family of the alleged shooter requested a police intervention prior to the killings and the police did speak with the young man, but they did not have cause to search his apartment. The police had other interactions with Elliot Rodger, age 22 and he later expressed concern that they did not find his weapons.
“Deputies also encountered Rodger earlier this year when he accused a roommate of stealing three candles, and in another case in which he claimed to be beaten but deputies suspected he was the aggressor.
Rodger detailed his plans in an extensive 141-page manifesto released Saturday and said he narrowly missed being found out when the officers knocked on his door.
Rodger expressed relief that his apartment wasn’t searched because they would have found his weapons and his writings. When recounting his thinking about whether he should kill his father, Rodger expressed a sliver of acknowledgment that his plot, which included killing other family members, was wrong.
“I didn’t want it to come to this,” Rodger said. “I desperately wanted a way out.” He then immediately talks about his mother giving him a new car — a BMW coupe.” USA Today
This latest shooting spree is not the reason for this article. It is merely one more example of why common sense gun control measures that could save innocent lives are needed. When recent polls seem to indicate that a majority of Americans agree that common sense gun control regulations are needed, the NRA continually stands in the way of possibly life saving legislation. However, the NRA is not just working to prevent any gun control legislation from proceeding, it is also standing in the way of attempts to have the Center for Disease Control (CDC) do research on gun prevention measures.
“But this past week we’ve seen the other side of the coin. How the NRA works to suppress information that would lead to treating a public health catastrophe that claims over 30,000 lives per year and injures over 100,000 as that very thing, while fighting to ensure we have as little access to information as possible that might help save lives.
The simple fact is, much like with their friends on the right from the tobacco industry to the oil industry to the megachurch, science and information are the enemies of the NRA. They have proven they will do whatever it takes to make sure we have less of it, and more Santa Barbaras.
The clearest example, of course, is the NRA’s labeling a bill sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) to allow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to once again use its considerable expertise to research gun violence prevention, “unethical.” Yes, they actually said that.
Because anyone who does statistically significant research on a public health problem from the angle of helping people and not profiting from misery, and again and again finds obvious truths such as owning guns makes you more likely to get shot, is not someone the NRA and its allies will countenance without smearing. I debated one of these types from the Second Amendment Foundation on NPR recently regarding the CDC. It is amazing how tongue-tied they get when you present them with irrefutable information.” Reader Supported News
In what world is it “unethical” to research ways to prevent deaths? Would the NRA consider it unethical to study ways to prevent automotive deaths? Or deaths caused by contaminated food? In the NRA’s world, massacres like the ones that happened in Santa Barbara, Sandy Hook Elementary, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, Columbine and countless others, can only be prevented by good guys carrying guns everywhere and anywhere.
When an organization like the NRA labels an attempt to investigate ways to reduce deaths as unethical, I have to wonder if this lobbyist organization has lost touch with reality. How can we as a country not look into ways that we could possibly prevent some of the 30,000 deaths and 100,000 injured from gun actions? How much longer can the United States of America go on allowing a company/lobbying organization to spend millions to block any and all reasonable actions that may save lives?
Shame on the NRA for blocking reasonable gun control legislation and for even trying to stop research into ways to reduce deaths from guns. Shame on us for allowing it to continue. How much longer will we, as a nation, stand by and watch innocents die? How much longer until we listen to our hearts and our heads and stand up and insist that something be done? Our lives and the lives of our children are at stake. Our moral standing as a nation is also at stake.
Richard Martinez, the father of one of the Santa Barbara victims may have said it best as he reacted to the death of his child. “Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, of Los Osos, California, was the last of six people killed by suspect Elliot Rodger before the gunman apparently shot and killed himself, authorities said.
Martinez choked back tears as he spoke, then grew angrier as he talked about gun laws and lobbyists.
“The talk about gun rights. What about Chris’ right to live?” Martinez said. “When will enough people say: ‘Stop this madness! We don’t have to live like this! Too many people have died!” MSN News
How much longer until we heed Mr. Martinez’ plea?
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854 thoughts on “The NRA Has Blood on its Hands”
“Your quote from Jefferson is not the least bit inconsistent with my comment. The rules of statutory construction presently employed were in use during Jefferson’s time, and they are familiar to all lawyers.”
If Jefferson’s quote is not inconsistent with your comment, then I’m confused, please forgive my ignorance.
If you read Jefferson’s quote he says a few key things:
1. “let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted”
A. Why was the Constitution drafted?
B. What preceded the creation of the Constitution?
C. Why was there a revolution and a war?
D. What were they fighting for, what did they want to achieve?
2. “recollect the spirit manifested in the debates”
A. Who was the focus of the debates?
B. Were rights and freedoms granted or encroachments against them limited?
3.”instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
What were the Founders and Framers views/thoughts on arms, their importance and how they related to the individual?
If you take Jefferson’s quote at face value and the very specific writings and speeches of others on the subject of arms, it would be tough to argue that the Founders and Framers were not absolutely clear that right of individual to keep and bear arms were indisputable, militia or not.
“I might also add that Jefferson was not in attendance during the debate in Philadelphia, and he was pretty adept at squeezing a few meanings out of the Constitution his ownself.”
I’m aware Thomas Jefferson was not in attendance during the debates. Regardless, to pretend his role and work did not have a significant impact on the Constitution just isn’t true. Franklin alone cited his work a number of times throughout the debate.
Mike Appleton: “The issue is not what the Founders meant; it is what the Founders said.”
The reason I’ve always laughed at gun nuts who cited the 2nd Amendment whenever a state promulgated gun regulations is that the amendment was never incorporated as good against the states– not until Heller.
What the Founders said was that the Federal government may not infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
The right was never in dispute. The dispute was over whether the federal government may compel the religious minded to take up arms.
Until Heller, the 2nd Amendment was meaningless as to the states since the federal government was never given a general police power.
With Heller, we now have a dual federalism issue.
Scalia’s interpretation of the individual’s right to keep and bear arms is an echo of the general right stated since the 1600’s — “arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law.” — Blackstone. And here in the United States, you don’t need to be a protestant to have that right.
Focusing on the prefatory clause regarding a well regulated militia brings up a whole host of problems in the age of a standing army. I’ll leave that to your imagination.
The fundamental right of the people in society is to arms for defense [and hunting], suitable to their condition and degree and such as are allowed by [state] law. Thus the reason Blackstone included it the section “OF THE ABSOLUTE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS.”
If the 2nd Amendment were never drafted, [and some other amendment were put in its place to preserve the numeric ordering], the right to keep and bear arms could easily be raised under the 9th amendment with reference to the laws of England — sans the protestant requirement; or see Amendment 1.
Per the dual federalism issue, the 2nd amendment now sets the floor while the states can set the ceiling.
I might also add that Jefferson was not in attendance during the debate in Philadelphia, and he was pretty adept at squeezing a few meanings out of the Constitution his ownself.
Your quote from Jefferson is not the least bit inconsistent with my comment. The rules of statutory construction presently employed were in use during Jefferson’s time, and they are familiar to all lawyers.
“It isnt over yet.”
I couldn’t agree more!
The issue is not what the Founders meant; it is what the Founders said.”
One of the Founders disagees…….
“On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
The issue is not what the Founders meant; it is what the Founders said.
It isnt over yet.
Paul C. Schulte
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith 1787
Because a man had this on his t-shirt when he was
arrested, the prosecutor successfully claimed he was a domestic terrorist.”
Wow. Wearing a shirt quoting the author of the Declaration of Independence is now domestic terrorism in the United States of America?
If the Founders came back for a day to see the state of the Republic, they would be far more appalled with the right than with the left.
When they wrote the “instruction manual” and handed over the keys to a shiny new republic they warned us of the left’s behavior and motivations. They also tasked us with defending our liberties at all cost.
“Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.” John Adams, 1765
We have failed.
Steve – we know how prosecutors like to overcharge.
It is pretty clear what the founders meant. I am curious how people disconnect the writings of the founders from the document they created?
I guess they must think the Constitution created itself and with perfect English grammer.
“A free people ought…to be armed….”George Washington, Speech 7 January 1790, published in the Boston Independent Chronicle, 14 January 1790
“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith 1787
“The Constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87
“Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self-defense.” John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America 1787-1788
Because a man had this on his t-shirt when he was arrested, the prosecutor successfully claimed he was a domestic terrorist.
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