I got involved in an online discussion the other day with a fellow that said “The mainstream media will never post a pro-gun story…. ever.” While I agree that there is a lot lacking in the way much of the media handles news, I had to disagree with him on such a blanket statement. The trend to paint everybody in the media with the same brush is just as unfair as is the one-sided reporting. And, it loses potential friends in the media that we on the pro-gun side could have.

One newspaper publisher I know in the Midwest has decided that there are too many gun nuts out there, not because he is/was antigun, but because every time he reported a legitimate story about a crime that involved a gun, a small faction of extremists gave him so much grief. If all you ever hear from are those on the extreme side of any issue, you soon forget there are a lot of reasonable people in the middle.

I have been a gun owner all my life, I even owned a gun shop at one time, and I owned newspapers for 30 years. But I saw the same extreme viewpoints on the part of people who do the pro-gun cause a lot more harm than good. Once, I reported the facts on a case where a guy bought a gun at a flea market and then threatened a neighbor with it, and that among the other things he was charged with was being a felon in possession of a firearm, since he had three prior felony convictions and should have never been near a gun. When the paper hit the street, a couple of guys showed up at my office wearing handguns on their belts (which is legal in Arizona) demanding to see me to talk about my yellow journalism and trying to intimidate my secretary, all the while holding their hands on their gun butts. How does that help win any friends to the gun cause?

Blaming the media every time they report on a legitimate news story where a gun is involved is as unfair and as bad as a recent television news story I saw in which a career criminal stabbed a man to death. No firearm was involved, but the graphic on the screen was of a handgun and crime scene tape.

The thing I keep trying to preach is that not everything is black and white. There is a huge middle ground where we can meet and solve a lot of problems if people were just willing to do so. Why is everybody so afraid of it?

Yes, I’m very pro-gun. But that doesn’t mean everybody should be allowed to own a bazooka. There has to be some middle ground between the total gun ban that some people want and the idea that any commonsense restrictions on firearms are the first step toward total disarmament.

I have no problem with universal background checks when purchasing a firearm. We keep hearing about the gun show loophole, but I can walk through the local swap meet and come away with more handguns, shotguns, and rifles than I can carry, as long as I have the money, and nobody’s going to ask me for any identification. Which means anybody else can too, including criminals and people who cannot legally pass a background check at a gun shop. That has to stop.

We need to get together in that middle ground. Trust me, it’s really not all that spooky. If you’re really afraid of it, stand close to me. I’ve got a gun.

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98 Comments on That Spooky Middle Ground

  1. Croft says:

    Give me a lat and long for the concentration camps. Google Earth is pretty up to date. We can pick out rooms.

  2. Wendy says:

    I’ve been hanging out in the middle for a very long time. I think there a lot of us here. And most of us are tired of getting slammed from both sides.

  3. RodI says:

    Croft….Aren’t you a Canadian that lives in Mexico??? Both countries do not allow Firearms or ammunition…. Why are you so adamant to chime in on the USA’s problems with its second amendment rights… You only pass thru our country on route to your preferred places to live… I think you are just stirring the pot..

    And Nick is never too far away from the right attitude when he writes one of these Bad Nick blogs…….

  4. Croft says:

    Aside from having to spend a month driving through the US twice a year (and we did spend six months there in the winter of ’10) I am technically an American. I was born in Canada to an American citizen. Most of my family is in the USA. I currently live six months in Canada, four in Mexico and two in the USA.

    The USA is the 900 pound gorilla in the room. Whatever it does affects it’s neighbors. The USA gun sales policy of arming the Mexican cartels has cost the lives of tens of thousands down here in Mexico. The USA refusing to enforce their own drug laws creates a ready market for the cartels to sell their drugs and buy more guns from the USA. The border is a sieve for drugs and cash and there is no interest or desire to end that. Americans have cash and they want drugs and their government is afraid to stand in their way.

  5. Butch & Fonda says:

    Croft,

    QUOTE: The USA gun sales policy of arming the Mexican cartels has cost the lives of tens of thousands down here in Mexico.

    The obama/holder, Fast and Furious Operation being an exception, the majority of the drug cartels arms are NOT acquired through dealers. In the F&F instance, the dealers were told to “stand down” BY the BATFE (a GOVERNMENT Department) and proceed with the illegal sales. WHY would the GOVERNMENT instruct licensed dealers to MAKE ILLEGAL SALES TO UNQUALIFIED BUYERS?? Maybe an agenda?? Had it not been for the tragic death of a U.S. officer, the F&F operation would not have come to public notice until the government wanted it to.

    As for the automatic weapons (machineguns) used by the cartels, they have been extremely regulated since 1934 and even more so since 1986, with no new one being manufactured for private ownership since then.

    Their arsenals are generally supplied by either international arms dealers or corrupt Mexican Police & Military.

    In reference to the drug laws, it is PRETTY OBVIOUS how well they work. How are gun control laws going to handle a “durable/non-consumable” item without a TOTAL BAN/CONFISCATION that makes any ownership illegal,, when the drug laws o nothing to stop the use of a “consumable/non-reusable” commodity that must be replaced constantly.

    Butch

  6. Croft says:

    Guns purchased by straw buyers in the US are constantly being seized in Mexico. This is how the majority of modern weapons find their way into Mexico. If you buy a gun you should be legally responsible for that weapon forever or until you can supply proof that it was legally sold or otherwise disposed of.

    This (below) is not an isolated case. The mayor and sheriff of a NM town were both recently arrested for supplying weapons to the cartels.

    LAREDO, Texas (CBS/AP) — A South Texas man has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for buying guns in Laredo intended for use in Mexico.

    A federal judge Monday sentenced 37-year-old Silverio Venegas of Rio Bravo to three concurrent terms in prison for buying the three weapons in Laredo in late 2011.

    One, an AR-15 pistol, was found shortly after it was bought at the sight of a shootout between gunmen and Mexican soldiers in Nuevo Laredo. One soldier and four gunmen were killed.

    An AR-15 rifle and AK-47 rifle were found at a crime scene in Saltillo, Mexico. Venegas had pleaded guilty to falsely claiming that the guns he was buying were for him. Guns are often purchased in the U.S. by “straw buyers” and later smuggled to Mexico.

    A straw purchase, also called a nominee purchase, is any purchase where an agent agrees to acquire a good or service for someone who is unable or unwilling to purchase the good or service himself. Straw purchases are legal except in cases where the ultimate receiver of goods or services uses those goods or services in the commission of a crime with the prior knowledge of the straw purchaser.

    The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran a series of “gunwalking” sting operations between 2006 and 2011. These operations were done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States.

    (TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  7. Croft says:

    http://articles.washingtonpost.....un-traffic

    Guns in Mexico traced to U.S.
    By Pete Yost,April 27, 2012
    Mexican authorities have recovered 68,000 guns in the past five years that have been traced back to the United States, the federal government said Thursday.

    The flood of weapons underscores complaints from Mexico that the United States is responsible for arming the drug cartels plaguing America’s southern neighbor. More than 47,000 people in Mexico have been killed in six years of violence between warring cartels.

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in releasing its latest data covering 2007 through 2011, said that many of the guns seized in Mexico and submitted to the ATF for tracing were recovered at the scene of cartel shootings while others were seized in raids on illegal arms caches. All the recovered weapons were suspected of being used in crimes in Mexico.

    At a North American summit in Washington on April 2, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the U.S. government has not done enough to stop the flow of assault weapons and other guns.

    Calderon credited President Obama with trying to reduce the gun traffic, but he said that Obama faces political resistance.

    There is Republican opposition in Congress and broad opposition from Republicans and gun-rights advocates elsewhere to a new assault weapons ban or other curbs on gun sales. The Obama administration says it is working to tighten inspections of border checkpoints in the absence of an assault-rifle ban that expired before Obama took office.

  8. Croft says:

    There is a free flow of drugs, guns and cash across the border. Take a border guard in an isolated crossing. What does he make? $40K? $60K a year? A car comes through the border and the guy says, “There is a semi coming through in ten minutes. Wave him through”, and hands him $100K cash. What is he going to do? The quantities of drugs that come across are not snuggled in the bottoms of suitcases or in condoms up someone’s butt like the old days, they are brought in by the truck load.

    Last year an older US Couple were heading for the border from Mexico when their motorhome toppled over onto it’s side. Police found a false ceiling and two tons of cocaine!

  9. Susan Pezzano says:

    It is not the guns….it’s the people, damn it! If you get caught making a straw purchase the penalty should be astronomical. I don’t know about you, but I cheer when I read about someone that shot an intruder to their home or business while being robbed. I don’t care if the perp was killed or not, I still cheer inside. The newspapers where I am from report this and cheer also. If you commit a crime, any crime, and use a gun, the penalty should be so great and mandatory it would make people think. Politicians are the problem. All parties. I know. I was one in my earlier years. I resigned because politics was to political ! If I wanted to be re elected I had to do and say things the party wanted, not what my constituents really wanted or how I felt. There are so many people that feel the penalty for committing a crime with a gun should be great, but still want the right to bear arms, is astounding. Politicians want it all one way or the other. WRONG! We need a good middle ground. Don’t even get me started on drugs………

  10. Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Stevens 320 right in the doorway. I gave it 6 shells, and noticing that it had no legs, even placed it in my… wheelchair to help it get around. I then left it alone and went about my business. While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down… the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign right in front of our house. After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there in the wheelchair, right where I had left it. It hadn’t rolled itself outside. It certainly hadn’t killed anyone, even with the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do so. In fact, it hadn’t even loaded itself. Well you can imagine my surprise, with all the media hype about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people. Either the media is wrong, and it’s the misuse of guns by PEOPLE that kills people, or I’m in possession of the laziest gun in the world. Alright, well I’m off to check on my spoons. I hear they’re making people fat.

  11. Robyn says:

    Steve, that illistrates my point. A couple of nuts take AR-15’s and shoot up theaters and a school (which is even questioned), and we suddenly ahve to ban all AR-15’s. I know lots of people who use them for sport shooting (turkey shoots, contests, etc.)! In our state (PA) people go to college on shooting scholarships.

    On last night’s CBS News (yes Nick, I’m quoting mainstream media) they said that because of all the mental hospital closings across our country that 80% of our prisions are now people with mental illnesses who need diagnosis and medication – not a prision cell.

    Again I’ll say – the “middle ground” is where we were before we closed our mental health facilities, and began a revolving door criminal justice system.

    We don’t have a gun problem in our country folks. We have a mental illness (violent offenders) and a criminal element issue! And until we fix those issues, we’re gonna still have murders – gun bans or not!

  12. Jeff says:

    From earlier post:
    “Statistically, in the U.S., more deaths result from guns than from drunk drivers. In 2010, 10,136 people were drunk driving fatalities and in 2011 the number was 9,878 (NHTSA). In 2010, 31,672 deaths resulted from firearms and in 2011 the number was 32,163 (Alpers, Philip and Marcus Wilson. 2013. Guns in the United States: Facts, Figures and Firearm Law). ”

    Old saying – Figures lie and liars figure! Those are the most absurdly manipulated numbers imaginable. It’s not that they aren’t technically correct just that they are not the whole truth. It seems that this discussion should be about crime which according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2011 was 8,583 murders with all types of firearms combined. So to use the anti-gun mantra – “If it would save one life”…we should make alcohol illegal – totally. Hey it worked so well back in the day and I’m sure Uncle Sam and the states can find somewhere else to make up those lost taxes.

  13. Paul Stough says:

    A nuclear bomb will behave in the same way, so you believe that anyone should be able to own one?

    Paul

  14. Croft says:

    Don’t want to touch that one, do we?

  15. Croft says:

    Tomorrow will decide whether real gun safety reform moves forward, or whether the Senate Judiciary Committee kills it.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee will decide whether to move each of the proposed gun safety measures to the full Senate. That includes:

    1) A ban on assault weapons.
    2) A ban on high-capacity magazines.
    3) Universal background checks by closing the private sale (gun show) loophole.
    4)Making gun trafficking a federal crime and increasing penalties for for those who purchase a gun illegally for others.

  16. Robyn says:

    Have any of you read the constitution? Do you understand that you’re losing the rights that set our country apart from every other country in the world?

    ”People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.” – Benjamin Franklin

  17. Croft says:

    I think I see your point, Robyn. Having a loaded gun in your belt is the very definition of “temporary security”.

  18. Robyn says:

    Why is it that people like you who choose to not own guns, think you have the right to dictate that no one own one? If you don’t want one, don’t own one.

    Not to mention, that you don’t even live here. Want to change laws? Then change YOUR country’s laws.

    I’m a law abiding citizen. I’ve not even had a moving violation in 25 years. I have a right to protect my person, family, and property.

    Has your business even been broken into? Mine has. Ever have a crazed drunk or druggie get your face? I have. Let’s hope you never have a cause or time when you wish you were armed. Given that situation, you may change your mind.

  19. Paul Stough says:

    Robyn-What rights are we losing? What did you do with your gun when your business was broken into? What did you do with your gun when confronted with a crazed drunk or a druggie?

    Also, if part of the reason for the Second Amendment is for people to protect themselves from their government, arent people who choose not to own guns unpatriotic? I mean, how terrible would it be when the government comes to get our guns, and you are the only one in your neighborhood who had guns, so you would have to hold off the government all by yourself? That just doesnt seen right, or fair.

    Paul

  20. Croft says:

    I simply do not understand the gun obsessed mentality. Yes my home has been broken into, once when I was at home. I did not have a gun to “defend” my home and possessions from my neighbors 13 year old son who broke into the garage and stole my son’s bike. If I had shot him I would still be feeling sick about it. My work truck was stolen along with all my tools and winter gear. That is what insurance is for. I ended up with a new truck, new tools and new winter gear. The thief, who totaled the truck the same weekend got caught and sent to jail. I did OK. I guess I could have shot him and ended up with the same old truck, my old tools and winter gear and feeling really bad about shooting a 19 year old kid who simply made an error in judgement. The trial to find me innocent (if in fact it did because shooting unarmed people in Canada is frowned upon) would have cost society more than replacing the “stuff”.

    Sure, like anyone else I have had confrontations with drunks and idiots. I rely on my mouth and just walking away to defuse these situations, which has worked every time. The last thing on my mind would be to pull a gun.

    I am an “American” born outside the country who has decided not to apply for dual citizenship. I can see no up side to it as I have no intention of ever living there as I prefer the social services I get in Canada. I have family in the US, some of them children, and have a vested interest in keeping them safe from gun toting (whatever). Who knows, one of my American nephews kids might be the one to bump into you at a stop sign when you are in a bad mood or mistakenly knock on your door late at night. Both these things have resulted in the car owner or homeowner shooting guns.

    And I actually have and still do work to change laws in Canada. Somewhat successfully because I work from within the system.

    My “temporary security” remark above is based on the fact that your six shooter only protects you when you are carrying it, when you can safely shoot it and when you can identify your target, not to mention being awake and alert. You must also be present. Carrying all the guns you want will not help your kids if something happens at school or at the mall. I would much prefer a society where packing a gun is not necessary.

    This where I am coming from.

  21. Croft says:

    If we end up in the same restaurant and you sit at the next table with your AK-47 hanging off your shoulder don’t be offended if I get up and leave. You do not make me fee “safe”.

    A former US State Department (I suspect CIA) employee gave me this advice in Mexico. The same rule applies anywhere. If you feel uneasy, leave. People packing guns are rarely good news.

  22. Croft says:

    Robyn, Paul has a very good question. What did you do to all these thieves, drunks and druggies you came into contact with? Did you kill them all? Just wound them? Obviously them simply seeing you were “packing” did not frighten them off.

    I would be interested to know.

  23. Butch & Fonda says:

    Robyn,

    While I agree with you 100%, when people bring up Nuclear weapons and some of the other “off the direct subject” arguments as some have done here, it is a waste of time.

    Remember the old saying about arguing with idiots, SOME PEOPLE don’t and never will understand the reason behind the Second Amendment and it’s importance to a Free Republic government where the Government works FOR the PEOPLE, not the other way around.

    Unarmed SLAVES have NO CHOICES.

    Butch

  24. Paul Stough says:

    Butch-The direct topic is owning weapons to defend yourself from not only individuals who would do you harm, but to also, protect you from your government. If you are to defend yourself from your government, shouldnt you have the same weapons available as your government does? Otherwise, isnt it like bringing a knife to a gun fight?

    So tell us, do you believe that part of the Second Amendment is meant to protect ourselves from our government?

    The current issue of should we allow so called assault weapons, and high capacity magazines is just a distraction from the real issue, which is, what does the Second Amendment mean? Is it meant just to protect our persons and property from other individuals? If that is the case, one standard should apply. If it also means that citizens have the right to protect themselves from their government, then another standard would apply.

    If the latter is true, then it would only make sense that citizens should be allowed to own the same weapons as those who would come and try to take our weapons away from us? Do you disagree with that logic? Or is this discussion beyond your NRA talking points?

    Paul

  25. Steve R. says:

    The logic spouted about is that the 2nd amendment was made for those with muskets to defend from our Government that had muskets. Which at the time made sense. And once again is starting to also.

    Does that mean the 1st amendment was only for people with a quill writing the news or maybe a printing press of the time.

    Everything evolves but no one seems to want to take ownership of who, what, when and where the 2nd amendment applies. Opening a conference on changing the 2nd amenment would mean every amendment could be looked at. So that will more than likely never happen.

  26. Butch & Fonda says:

    Paul,

    To answer your nuclear weapon statement, I would NOT expect the U.S. Government to use nuclear weapons against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil.

    I could thoroughly expect the U.S. Government to turn “assault” weapons with large capacity magazines against the U.S. citizenry to further the socialistic agenda they seem to intent on pursuing shown their total disregard for the U.S. Constitution.

    Butch

  27. Paul Stough says:

    Butch,

    So you believe that when the Obama Administration comes to get our guns, they wont use anything more than “assault” weapons with large capacity magazines to effect that end?

    For instance, you dont believe they would use a M-60 machine gun, or a 50 caliber machine gun, or an armored personnel carrier?

    That kind of thinking seems pretty naive to me.

    Paul

  28. Robyn says:

    In answer to the questions presented to me, here are your answers:

    When the alarm goes off on our building, and my husband responds to that alarm, he conceal carries (with permit) his 9mm with 10 rounds. He walks the parameter of our building first, and if there is an entry point, he then radios me to tell me that it’s a real alarm, not a false alarm. At that time, I phone 911, tell them that we had a break-in. In this particular cirmcumstance, the alarm ran the criminal off. But we have no way of knowing if they’ve left or if they are still in the building at that point. My hubby carries that for HIS protection.

    In the case of a van load of drunks that came to our business and caused a ruckus, the state police removed them for us. But we had to deal with them until they (PSP) arrived. My husband was cancealed carrying for our protection. They didn’t know he had the gun him, and wouldn’t ever.. unless. 4 or 5 drunk and high 20-30 somethings is an unfair confrontation with two business owners in their 50’s. Just sayin’.

    In neither case did anyone get shot. But had the situation gotten violent, we at least had something to protect our persons. And again I’ll say. For the government to want to ban my semi-automatic hand gun is a violation of my second amendment rights.

    Most gun owners are like myself. We are not hot heads looking for someone to shoot. We are honest, law abiding citizens, who use them to defend ourselves, as a last resort.

    And Croft, I won’t ever be sitting next you at a table with my AR-15. First, because I don’t own one, and secondly, because I wouldn’t have any riffle in a restaurant with me. I have however, carried many a riffle or shotgun into the woods to hunt.

    That said, I can guarentee you, that in any restauarant you’re in, that there is probably at least one conceal carry sitting there while you dine on your meal. I have MANY friends who carry in their purses. And I know many guys with conceals in their ankle holsters. So don’t you fool yourself — what you don’t know won’t hurt you! And, they will never hurt you – as long as you’re not intending any harm on them. And if someone is, God help them.

    Gun owners like us don’t take that responsibility lightly. We’d of course mourn the need to ever discharge a weapon on anyone. But unfortunately, many times, criminals know that they less likely convicted if they kill their victims instead of just mugging, raping, or robbing them.

  29. Croft says:

    Well, I guess we come from different worlds. We are in our late 60’s (me 67, wife 70) and spend four to five months wandering mainland Mexico in our motorhome every year. I am active on the travel forums and read all the alarmist posts from Americans saying we are nuts to go to Mexico and that they would never go to Mexico unarmed. These comments (without exception) all come from Americans although they form the smallest number of travelers here. The vast majority are from Canada followed by Europeans. This winter we have only run into four or five rigs from the US.

    We are not allowed to have guns in Mexico and I am fine with that. The bad guys would probably have more of them, bigger ones, be better at using them and would have less to loose. I would probably come second in any gunfight. In six winters in Mexico, I have never wished I had a gun. Never, the subject only comes up in those forums when some idiot tells me I am crazy for being here unarmed. We have had no close calls, no robberies, no attacks by cartels. We are usually in bed watching TV by eleven, never hang out in late night bars, don’t buy or sell drugs or engage in any activity that could be considered dangerous or risky. We are unarmed, peaceful people and we are left alone to enjoy this beautiful country with it’s friendly people.

    Before winters started getting too cold in we spent our winters in the USA. Yuma, Tuscon, Phoenix and Southern California was our home for six months every year between 2000 and 2007. Even there I never wished I had a gun.

    Now it seems most Americans are becoming obsessed with guns, inventing situations where they pretend a gun might save the day or exaggerating situations where they claim a gun “saved” them. In the situations Robyn expounded on her husband was carrying a gun but no gun was actually drawn, used or needed. All of their situations would have been resolved exactly the same if no gun were present. We should be thinking, “Robyn’s husband defused these situations without the need of a gun”, instead of, “Thank goodness he had a gun”, because the latter statement reflects the reality of the situations and does not inflame people like me.

  30. Robyn says:

    I think most people (including my fellow Americans) have buried their heads in the sand. Watch this video…

    http://youtu.be/nDMeDmV0ufU

  31. T & R Martin says:

    ‘Tis better to have a gun than NOT have a gun. I may not use it & that would be great, but I would like a chance should the occasion require a need. Too bad Croft does not have an affection for the USA as so many of us have for Canada & Canadians. I am glad ARGO won BEST PICTURE. Thank you Canada.
    Hopefully Croft & wife will be fortunate to stay safe in their travels & that a gun, in their case, will never be needed.

  32. Paul Stough says:

    TR-I certainly think Croft’s position on guns is shared by a good percentage of Americans.

    Robyn said: ” For the government to want to ban my semi-automatic hand gun is a violation of my second amendment rights.”

    Where do your Second Amendment rights end, or do they? What, if any, arms are there is this world that the Second Amendment doesnt cover, and why?

  33. Croft says:

    I do have an affection for the US. My mother was American. We have spent probably ten years of accumulated time in the US. I love the food, the accents, the Indigenous cultures, Steinbeck is my favorite writer… the list goes on. I am not an American hater. Far from it. That does not mean I have to shut up when I see something I cannot abide by, specially when it can so easily affect me and my family.

  34. Robyn says:

    Paul,

    Currently, fully automatic weapons like the ones the military use are illigal to own (contrary to the lies Feinstein tells). They have been for years. While I am not a constitional attorney, I’m pretty confident, that given that the founding fathers WERE the militia, that it could be argued that we should be able to own even those.

    That said, I’d agree that logically owning fully automatic weapons is not necessary (true federalists would say I’m wrong!). We should, according to the constitution, be allowed to own the same musket as the military uses. So that would include fully automatic weapons.

    The Supreme court has said in previous decisions that what the majority of Americans own is protected by the 2nd A. While I do not own an AR-15, they are one of the MOST POPULAR riffles in America. They ARE used for hunting (generally varmints), in many states. And are used for shooting competitions. There is an estimated 4-5 MILLION in circulation (of JUST AR-15) in the USA. So to think that banning new purchases is going to get them off the street is nothing short of idiocy. They aren’t apples. They don’t go bad. They just go underground and their value sky rockets. And criminals, if confiscation took place, aren’t going to register or turn them in.

    That said, hand guns like my husband’s 9mm are semi-automatic. Meaning, you don’t have to cock them or manually discharge a round from it. Under most of these proprosed gun bans they would be illegal too. There are more crimes committed with them then the AR-15.

    However, that brings us right back to the issue that that we don’t have a gun issue in America. we have a crime problem. If the violent offenders and gang bangers were arrested, put in jail and left there, there would not be murder rate that we have.

    So in short, anything short of military weapons, are within I think, the protections of the 2nd amendment. law abiding citizens aren’t the problem in this country. And the issues need addressed, not the 2A rights of the law abiding citizens.

  35. Paul Stough says:

    So you believe that there is a limit on what “arms” a citizen can own under the Second Amendment? If we could all agree on where that limit is, we would not be having this discussion. The problem is that there is no universal agreement where that line is, and some even believe that that is no limit. So until we can come to some agreement on the meaning of the Second Amendment, the battle will go on.

    Paul

  36. Robyn says:

    As i stated previously on this post. I believe that the middle ground is where we are. Semi-automatic weapons are widely owned and used generally, very safely in our country.

    If the liberals who want to disarm us would stop stirring crap with gun owners, and instead enforce the 40,000 laws already on the books, make and enforce mandatory sentances for violent offenders using guns to commit crimes, and put dangerous mentally ill people on the “no weapons” purchase checkslists, and then keep them locked up in mental hospitals where they used to be, we wouldn’t be where we are!

    The liberals made this mess and now want to infringe on the 2A rights on honest, law abiding people because of the random violent acts of some nuts and ever violent actions of criminals in our inner cities.

    Where we are IS the “middle ground”. The LIBERALS want you to believe otherwise, but that is just to further their agenda. It has nothing to do with reality. And, given the models of their educationally vacant cities, their drug and crime ridden concrete jungles, and rampent drug and gang warfare going on daily, we by all means should believe what they tell us about guns, despite the fact that there are absolutely no stats that support their argument.

    In every case, gun bans have resulted in an increase in crime. Highly armed RURAL areas of our country are 70 times safer than our “gun banned, gun free, city zones”. And again, 70% of the crimes in this country are committed in 3% of the counties. The numbers speak for themselves. We have an urban crime issue. We don’t have a gun issue.

  37. Paul Stough says:

    Part of makes this discussion confusing is that we are talking about two, though related, separate issues; One is what the Constitution allows, and the other is what the law allows, and until we can agree on what the Constitution allows, we will not be able to agree on what the law will allow.

    As far a middle ground goes; middle ground can change from time to time, and so laws can change, but once we can agree on what the Constitution says, then making laws will be easy.

    Paul

  38. Robyn says:

    It’s pretty plain, Paul. The Constitution says that the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! That’s pretty clear, if you ask me! There should be no debate about the
    constitution.

    Telling any American that they don’t have the right to own an AR-15, or 9mm is an INFRINGEMENT on that constitutional right. I guess that made it clearer, maybe?

  39. Robyn says:

    Here is a good video that will maybe help you to understand this issue from the gun owner’s perspective.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  40. Croft says:

    So what are “arms”? Automatic weapons? Machine guns? Cruise Missiles”? Hand grenades? (remember a kid took a live hand grenade to school not that long ago for show and tell so someone must think they are OK). Nuclear weapons? (oh yes, we are being conversation killers when we mention that but what is the difference? Remember saying, “people kill, not the weapons”? Using that theory how is a nuclear bomb different that a single shot .22? As a previous poster said, he left his gun on the porch all day and nothing bad happened. How could the size of the weapon make any difference?

  41. Robyn says:

    The U.S. Constitution does not adequately define “arms”. When it was adopted, “arms” included muzzle-loaded muskets and pistols, swords, knives, bows with arrows, and spears. However, a common- law definition would be “light infantry weapons which can be carried and used, together with ammunition, by a single militiaman, functionally equivalent to those commonly used by infantrymen in land warfare.” That certainly includes modern rifles and handguns, full-auto machine guns and shotguns, grenade and grenade launchers, flares, smoke, tear gas, incendiary rounds, and anti-tank weapons, but not heavy artillery, rockets, or bombs, or lethal chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Somewhere in between we need to draw the line. The standard has to be that “arms” includes weapons which would enable citizens to effectively resist government tyranny, but the precise line will be drawn politically rather than constitutionally. The rule should be that “arms” includes all light infantry weapons that do not cause mass destruction. If we follow the rule that personal rights should be interpreted broadly and governmental powers narrowly, which was the intention of the Framers, instead of the reverse, then “arms” must be interpreted broadly.

  42. Paul Stough says:

    Robyn- You see to be arguing two different points. On one hand you said, “It’s pretty plain, Paul. The Constitution says that the right to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! That’s pretty clear, if you ask me! There should be no debate about the
    constitution.” Looks to like you are saying that there is no limit on what “arms” a citizen can own.

    On the other hand you are saying, ” However, a common- law definition would be “light infantry weapons which can be carried and used, together with ammunition, by a single militiaman, functionally equivalent to those commonly used by infantrymen in land warfare.” That certainly includes modern rifles and handguns, full-auto machine guns and shotguns, grenade and grenade launchers, flares, smoke, tear gas, incendiary rounds, and anti-tank weapons, but not heavy artillery, rockets, or bombs, or lethal chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Somewhere in between we need to draw the line.”

    You cant have it both ways. If there is no limit on “arms”, then a citizen should be able to own any number of weapons that are considered “arms”.

    If there is a limit, then it just becomes a political argument, so your “common law” definition of “arms” would be moot.

    And you statement, “Somewhere in between we need to draw the line.” To me, that is what we are doing now, we are deciding where to draw the line, but it seems that you want to dictate where the line is drawn, by using the Constitution, instead of having the line drawn by the political process.

    I certainly agree with this statement you made, “The U.S. Constitution does not adequately define “arms”.

    That is a point I have been trying to make from the beginning, and until the Supreme Court rules on what are considered “arms” under the Constitution, there will be no end to this argument.

    Paul

  43. Robyn says:

    See I disagree. We already had a line. The line was – non military weapons. But since they want to confiscate and outlaw our semi-autos, I’m thinking we should go ahead and press the constitution, and get the military weapons too.

    Just a thought…

  44. Paul Stough says:

    Yes, we had a line, but such is they way things are when decided by political means, the line can change. That is why the ultimate answer is to have the Supreme Court decide on the definition of “arms”.

  45. Robyn says:

    That had already been decided. Our new administration, in their infinate stream of creating increased cost upon the taxpayers they serve, have decided that THIS is another battle in which they should engage to further their leftist agenda.

    That said, as these lines are redrawn, they need to realize that not only is there a potential for them to not move their agenda forward, but a risk that they might also lose ground.

    The gun owners of this country (and no they are NOT all old, white, conservative men) are not going to willingly give up their rights. Many are preparing to fight for them. And as i said previously, they are doing so now currently in our legislatures and court rooms.

    I’d like to remind you, that Nick’s title was the spooky middle ground. When one side decides to push the boundary, it’s natural that the other side will push back. I’ll repeat again, where we were was a middle ground. Don’t be surprised if when all is said and done the line hasn’t moved further to the right.

  46. Paul Stough says:

    I will be really surprised if much of anything is done at all, as it is my observation that both sides use this issue for fund raising, and if it were settled once and for all by the Supreme Court, then both sides would lose a valuable fund raising tool.

    As far as middle ground is concerned; couldnt you say that when “assault weapons’ were banned several years ago, that that was the middle ground then? Then the middle was moved when the ban was lifted, and now people on both sides are trying to move the middle once again. Can you imagine how much money has been raised by both sides on this issue, and as I said if it is ever settled by the Court, how much less money both sides will be able to raise?

    I hope one side or the other will take this to the Supreme Court so it can be settled once and for all.

  47. Robyn says:

    Steve,

    I’m not a radical. And yes, I can say honestly, that banning “assault weapons” for ten years moved the line left under Pres. Clinton (whom I voted for).

    After they moved the line left, the governmental dept. studies showed no appreciative difference or effect from that ban in the number of crimes or mass murders. It was during this ten year timeline that both Columbine Shooting and the OK City bombing took place.

    I think the important this to note here, is that the “assault weapons” we’re talking about kill less then 400 people per year in our country. And there are 4-5 million of just the AR-15 in circulation. So, they are actually more safely used then working at most industrial plants in the USA. And again, we kill more people with beatings then with guns in the USA, and most of them are beaten with clubs and hammers. Yet no one is calling to ban them.

    So that is why the line moved right again. The move to the left didn’t fix anything.

    Our problems came about because during Bush II, we decided that the mental hospitals should be able to keep anyone committed once they were stabilized on medicine, as long as they didn’t pose an “imminent threat”. So, the mental hospitals across the country closed down by the groves, and those mentally ill and some violently so, were released. They now clog our prisions. In fact, this issue was recently featured on the CBS news. You can google it to read the info.

    In addition to that, in the name of “privacy” we said that medical information (including emotional or mental disorders) could not be made public with the passing of HIPA laws. Which is the very law that keeps mentally ill people’s names off the quick background check lists for weapons purchases.

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