Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ATTN: NRA, Arms Industry, JEB Bush, Most GOPers, Gun Nuts, Rational People

Some of the Target Audience (no pun or malice intended)

Tie Gun Deaths to Jobs and the GOP has a Winning Issue

The "Team" Now in Play

Updated of the following post from here with this chart article from NBC News  

[click image to enlarge]

This article has extracts from the book written by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens – (written in 2014). It is truly an outstanding article and perhaps the most-logical and rational reason I have ever read calling for common sense gun policy based on the history of the Second Amendment as how we have reach time and place. It is must read and certainly a must keeper.  I wanted to post a few key points he raises (the emphasis: bold, parenthesis, red are all mine). Yet, over time as he points out much better than I – the basic issue has gone down the proverbial drain as it were, and that is in part thanks to the NRA efforts and activities, which are clear in the highlights below. This is in Justice Stevens’ own words:

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well-regulated Militia.”

“When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.”

“Organizations such as the National Rifle Association disagreed with that position and mounted a vigorous campaign claiming that federal regulation of the use of firearms severely curtailed Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour,” Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

In recent years two profoundly important changes in the law have occurred. In 2008, by a vote of 5 to 4, the Supreme Court decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects a civilian’s right to keep a handgun in his home for purposes of self-defense. And in 2010, by another vote of 5 to 4, the court decided in McDonald v. Chicago that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment limits the power of the city of Chicago to outlaw the possession of handguns by private citizens. I dissented in both of those cases and remain convinced that both decisions misinterpreted the law and were profoundly unwise. Public policies concerning gun control should be decided by the voters’ elected representatives, not by federal judges.”  

Story continues here. You don’t want to miss one word Justice Stevens wrote.  

Related and important:  – Our Congress at work on the issue of gun statistics, if we can call it work or worthwhile. 

In the aftermath of the massacre in Charleston, SC, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee quietly rejected an amendment that would have allowed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further study the underlying causes of gun violence.
In 2013, some 34,000 Americans died from gunshot wounds. So Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich decided to ask House Speaker John Boehner why his party is trying to block research on gun violence.
“The CDC is there to look at diseases that need to be dealt with to protect public health. I’m sorry, but a gun is not a disease. Guns don’t kill people — people do. And when people use weapons in a horrible way, we should condemn the actions of the individual and not blame the action on some weapon,” Boehner said at a press conference.
But does the CDC research blame the public health issue of gun violence on the weapons themselves? 
“The original concern from the National Rifle Association back in 1996, which Dr. Rivara mentioned, made that very implication. The NRA complained to Congress that the CDC was using the results of its research to essentially advocate for gun control. They called it propaganda. And back at that time, Congress slashed the CDC’s funding by the exact amount that was used for gun-related public health research” says Zwillich.
Thanks for stopping. As I said, his article is timely, spot on I firmly believe, and extremely worthy of more serious debate on this critical issue especially in light of the recent mass shooting in Oregon.

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