Author Topic: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control  (Read 45105 times)

Norman Teigen

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Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« on: January 12, 2013, 09:49:46 AM »
I am a former English teacher who is concerned with public use of the language.  I am greatly disturbed by the arguments made by the NRA people.  I thought that it might be interesting to read  comments by the informed readers of this site.  Many Christian people are participating in the broad discussion of public safety as it relates to this topic.

To get things started, I recommend this piece by Charles Blow in today's New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/opinion/revolutionary-language.html?hp
Norman Teigen

Norman Teigen

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 09:51:18 AM »
One of the more controversial assertions by the NRA is that Hitler took away the guns of Jewish citizens which made it possible for the Nazis to incinerate them.   
Norman Teigen

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 10:16:50 AM »
There's an equal amount of pants-on-head nonsense from both sides, of which the article you linked to is a fine example. Thanks!

Dadoo

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 11:01:44 AM »
Norman,

THere is a flood of data out there that shows that there is a flood of data out there.  :)

America might not want to compare itself too hard to Europe from whence it sought refuge in the first place. Guns mean something different in a culture that used to be awash with kings, dukes, and emperors who had real power all aspects of common life. Confiscating guns in Britain means something very different than it does here. By the same token, having the means of defense in the possession of the people is as much a cultural value as much as being submissive to the authorities is in Europe.

Even the hunting culture is different: Here it is about rugged survival and alike - a connection to the colonial periods. In Europe the king owned the deer. The only ones hunting were the gentlemen and the game wardens. Hunting in Europe is still more a game warden/ conservation/ etc type thing.

You cannot ignore the deep character of a people or dismiss its formative history. Ours includes guns that are made for the sole purpose to kill something whether in search of food or in defense of something. Europe's history has a strain that sees government as a necessary and accepted intrusion on peoples lives, America was born out of rebellion to that attitude and wrote a paragraph into its constitution that enables rebellion against government at a the future if ever necessary. It shaped the character of the nation. Those who talk about the "militia" clause are giving voice to that history and the character the founders hoped to send into the future.

BTW, the data torrent shows that Britain, the European country that gave birth to the US  is a much more violent society with about 5 times the violent crime than America and America is only 28 on the list of gun violence. More data can be found here from a Cincinnati TV station:

http://www.fox19.com/story/20538164/piers-morgan-vs-alex-jones-and-gun-homicide-rates

I know, it's a Fox station. Fox is merely the NYT of the right  ;D
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Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 11:05:20 AM »
There's an equal amount of pants-on-head nonsense from both sides, of which the article you linked to is a fine example. Thanks!
Totally agree.
As a high school history/economics teacher and Air Force reservist, I take great interest in constitutional history and current issues.  What is odd about that particular piece of polemic is that the 2nd amendment (along with the rest of the Bill of Rights) is part of the constitution because of the issues surrounding the American Revolution; yet the author ridicules "revolutionary" language. Mr Blow brands all those who disagree with him as "extremists," and ridicules them as anti-government. Just to add a little twist of the bayonet, he implies they're all racist as well. The Founding Fathers/Framers/Founders (choose one) all were anti-government (they DID overthrew the British government!), but in the mess of the Articles of Confederation recognized that there needed to be some limited central government to protect the liberties for which they fought the Revolution. Judge Napolitano's statement* is historically accurate, but Blow ridicules it as extremist. I don't agree with the judge all the time, but he knows his Constitution. Mr Blow's article shows no evidence of constitutional scholarship whatsoever.

What I find disturbing about public discourse is the red herring that both right and left are following. The 2nd Amendment is in the constitution; live with it or amend it. The real issue is our nation's (state-by-state) negligence with respect to mental ilness that produces the horrible results like Sandy Hook. Since the 1960s we have "reformed" mental health institutions and it is now nearly impossible in any state to involuntarily commit a mentally ill pople who are a danger to themselves and society in their current dysfunctional conditions. Evidently it is illegal to do so in Connecticut. Their "rights" are more important than their diagnosis and treatment; BTW, that is what is wrong with Special Education in this nation as well.  For a better elaboration of this issue, see http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/U-S-needs-to-rethink-mental-health-care-system-4152526.php

Kurt


*“Here’s the dirty little secret about the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment was not written in order to protect your right to shoot deer, it was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government. How about chewing on that one.”
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 11:22:01 AM by Kurt Weinelt »
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Johan Bergfest

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 11:21:14 AM »
The Bill of Rights could/should also be read as a Bill of Responsibilities because, as Paul Harvey used to say, self-government without self-control won't work.


I know, it's a Fox station. Fox is merely the NYT of the right  ;D

Close.  But NYT still does journalism.  ;)

The real issue is our nation's (state-by-state) negligence with respect to mental ilness that produces the horrible results like Sandy Hook. Since the 1960s we have "reformed" mental health institutions and it is nearly impossible in any state to involuntarily commit a mentally ill pople who are a danger to themselves and society in their current dysfunctional conditions. Their "rights" are more important than their diagnosis and treatment; BTW, that is what is wrong with Special Education in this nation as well.  For a better elaboration of this issue, see http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/commentary/article/U-S-needs-to-rethink-mental-health-care-system

Bingo and in spades, but with one caveat.  The problem is not so much that we currently respect the "rights' of those with mental illness as that we have failed to implement an appropriate and effective system of communit-based care, which was the empty promise that came with the decision to shut down the institutions.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 11:34:08 AM by Johan Bergfest »

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 11:27:14 AM »
I know, it's a Fox station. Fox is merely the NYT of the right  ;D
Close.  But NYT still does journalism.  ;)
I prefer the Wall Street Journal to both of them, but then again I teach Economics*.
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*By way of explanation, an Economics teacher is someone who didn't take ecough Economics courses to be an Economist. An Economist is someone who is good at math, but doesn't have enough personality to be an accountant.
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Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 11:32:15 AM »
Bingo and in spaces, but with one caveat.  The problem is not so much that we currently respect the "rights' of those with mental illness as that we have failed to implement an appropriate and effective system of community-based care, which was the empty promise that came with the decision to shut down the institutions.
I agree, though the "rights" of the mentally disabled trumping treatment was a byproduct of the civils-rights era. I've got enough years on me to remember some of this.

And this is not a left v. right, Democrat v. Republican issue.  Both ends of the spectrum are shamefully negligent.
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Johan Bergfest

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 11:37:55 AM »
Bingo and in spaces, but with one caveat.  The problem is not so much that we currently respect the "rights' of those with mental illness as that we have failed to implement an appropriate and effective system of community-based care, which was the empty promise that came with the decision to shut down the institutions.
I agree, though the "rights" of the mentally disabled trumping treatment was a byproduct of the civils-rights era. I've got enough years on me to remember some of this.

And this is not a left v. right, Democrat v. Republican issue.  Both ends of the spectrum are shamefully negligent.

"Rights" had a lot to do with the decision to de-institutionalize people with mental illness and the developmentally disabled.  Based on the Olmstead decision, those persons are entitled to the most effective/least restrictive treatment.  We have failed to put those services in place.  Thus, it is not "rights" but our shameful negligence that has trumped treatment.

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 11:52:45 AM »
"Rights" had a lot to do with the decision to de-institutionalize people with mental illness and the developmentally disabled.  Based on the Olmstead decision, those persons are entitled to the most effective/least restrictive treatment.  We have failed to put those services in place.  Thus, it is not "rights" but our shameful negligence that has trumped treatment.
My better half (maybe she is my better 2/3) is an elementary Spec. Ed. teacher who handles the most profound autistic and learning disabled kids you'll ever see. The future for so many of these autistic and emotionally disabled kids is overhelmingly grim, even with really solid family support. There is a reason Spec. Ed. teachers and mental health workers burn out in such high numbers. But it is the preoccupation with "rights" (civil rights model v. diagnosis and treatment model) that impedes these folks from helping the mentally ill, especially in schools. What "least restrictive" means in the real world is more time meeting endless legal reporting requirements (combination federal/state/local) to make all the lawyers happy, and less time actually available for helping those with mental disabilities.
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

Johan Bergfest

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 12:01:16 PM »
But it is the preoccupation with "rights" (civil rights model v. diagnosis and treatment model) that impedes these folks from helping the mentally ill, especially in schools.

I'm not suggesting that the focus on "rights" is not a problem in our seriously flawed system.  However, it is a proximal problem.  The ultimate problem is that we never implemented an appropriate system of community-based care.  If we had, I don't think the current problem that we have with rights would have developed.  Thus, I think the solution is to fix the system, not to disregard the rights of those with mental illness.

Kurt Weinelt

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2013, 12:28:10 PM »
I do not suggest in the least we disregard the rights of the mentally ill, and I do agree we must fix the system. But part of the problem is to recognize that there is a natural tension between liberty and diagnosis/treatment when it comes to involuntary commitment. It is easy to abuse commitment (USSR), and it is easy to ignore the mentally ill in the name of individual rights (USA). Without the ability to involuntarily commit, any community-based system is unable to treat those who need it most, those most destructive to themselves and others. The most extreme cases will not agree to be committed.

This is the debate we need to be having, instead of yet another endless 2nd Amendment debate.
"Learning about history is an antidote to the hubris of the present, the idea that everything in OUR lives is the ultimate." David McCullough

George Erdner

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2013, 02:00:58 PM »
I find the anti-Constitution faction's rhetoric in favor of curtailing the second amendment to be every bit as false and misleading as anything put forward by those who support our Constitutional rights. In some regards, I regard it as even worse than anything the pro-Constitution side is putting forth, since the anti-Constitution faction is seeking to get the government to ignore the fundamental law of the land.


If the anti-Constitution faction wants to abolish the Second Amendment, let them seek a new Constitutional amendment. It took an amendment to repeal the amendment that created the prohibition of alcohol. Nothing short of an amendment to repeal the second amendment would be legal to impose gun control.


No argument enumerating good reasons for imposing gun control is worth a pitcher of warm spit unless it is aimed at passing a constitutional amendment.

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2013, 02:10:45 PM »
One of the more controversial assertions by the NRA is that Hitler took away the guns of Jewish citizens which made it possible for the Nazis to incinerate them.


Hitler did take away the guns of ALL citizens so that NO citizens could opposed the legal Nazi regime. That includes the Jews.


DCharlton

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Re: Revolutionary Language of Gun Control
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2013, 02:38:56 PM »
I think that Americans, and both major parties, have been too willing to forfeit rights in the name of security.  The powers we have given to presidents to eavesdrop upon, detain, and even assassinate US citizens worries me.  Both parties seem to use the rhetoric of rights, while simultaneously encroaching upon our rights in the name of security.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 04:53:38 PM by DCharlton »
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