Friday, June 3, 2022

Again: There Is NO "Right" To Own An AR-15 - Therefore A Total Ban On Assault Weapons Is The Only Sane Course


                  Assault-style weapons ready for sale at gun store.

             Antonin Scalia, in Heller (2008) argued owning an assault -style weapon is not protected under the 2nd amendment

"If you want to make the argument that the Supreme Court should protect your rights to have military style weapons, that's legitimate.  But if you say it is your God-given constitutional right to have an AR-15 that is not what the second amendment says. And it's not what Justice Scalia says or the Supreme Court says."-  Joe Scarborough, Feb. 19, 2018, in wake of Parkland FL mass shooting

President Biden was 100 percent correct in his address last night to assert passionately that something needs to be done in the wake of the ongoing mass shootings. Twenty more just since the Uvalde TX massacre, including 4 slain at a hospital in Tulsa mere days ago.   At the core of "doing something" is returning to the assault weapons ban - which Reeps let expire in 2004 - after Gee Dumbya took power.  Not surprisingly, mass killings have tripled ever since.  All the arguments to protect any ownership for the AR-15 and similar weapons is pure horse manure, given we are talking about a weapon originally developed in the 1950s for military warfare - then allocated to the M16-  and which fires bullets at a velocity three times the speed of sound.   The sheer impact and effects of such bullets are indescribable as shown on a recent 60 Minutes, e.g.

How destructive AR-15 style rifles can be - YouTube

As CBS Scott Pelley points out the AR-15s now number 11 million in this country and they're rarely used for hunting, target practice or protection. They are used for mass murders. All the claims to have a "right" to buy or own such a weapon are therefore deranged, irrational and balderdash. 

NO ONE  needs such a military assault weapon for "protection"  or for hunting.   These assault weapons - which is what they are, let's not split definitional hairs between "automatics" and "semi-automatics" - are strictly for the purpose of mass killing. As, for example, in a war theater.  No upstanding citizen in these United States "needs" such a weapon.

I call "Gun -tards" all those - primarily of the Reeptard tribe - who sincerely believe any person in the U.S. is entitled by the 2nd amendment to own any gun or rifle he wants short of a .50 mm anti-aircraft gun.  This is freaking insane and I will now proceed to show how the gun nuts who defend this insanity are basically taking meth along with their coke and MJ candy  - that's how deranged and bereft of reason they are.  Here are the primary points:

The Second Amendment was written as a collective - not individual right.

I've gone through this before but let's do so again for the enlightenment of skeptics and the re-education mainly of the gun-tards who might be reading this.   The Second Amendment to the Constitution states:

"A self-Regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

If one adheres to the originalist narrative (As former Justice Antonin Scalia did, e.g. in Heller, 2008), one must understand and comprehend the era and period in which this was written. At that time muskets were the primary weapon, and no major organized standing army existed such as we have today. Indeed, the Continental Army of Washington, though it prevailed over the British, had massive war debts to pay off. There was no way to keep thousands of men under arms for sustained periods, as well as clothing and feeding them - far less recycling them with newer equipment each year!

It therefore became necessary to authorize the basis for a non-centralized force or "Militia" in order to supplement any governmentally organized army called up. This "Militia" originated in the countryside, from citizens living across the land in various villages, towns and states. In effect, the 2nd amendment drafters were asserting the necessity for a subsidiary people's army to assist the main one. Citizens then became in effect, necessary to the security of the nation. One could then describe the state militias as "adjunct armies".

Indeed, some interpreters of the amendment believe the original content is really even more diluted than what I portrayed. They see the "well regulated militia" provision as actually devised as protections from any marauding, "loose cannons". These interpreters insist the framers would never in a million years have envisaged people (individuals) possessing permanent private weapons in their own homes.

In  a controversial 1939 case, FDR's Solicitor General framed the argument to the Court:

"The Second Amendment grants people a right that is not one which may be utilized for private purposes but only exists where the arms are borne in a militia or some other military organization provided by law and intended for protection of the State."

The SC decision was unanimous.  This was barely 83 years ago, so what happened in the interim to debase the amendment to be unrecognizable today?

While the Court's decision prevailed for several more decades, it started to unravel by the 1970s as various Right wing extremist groups coalesced to challenge "gun control"  based on spurious private gun ownership  interpretations. By virtue of the infusion of millions of bucks  into state legislative campaigns they successively overturned laws in legislatures - much like the abortion opponents are now doing in many red states.

But then Chief Justice Warren Burger was dissuaded by the gun crazies' arguments, especially that the 2nd amendment granted every man the right to keep and bear arms on his own, responding that this interpretation was :

"One of the greatest pieces of fraud on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime."

Alas, as the strength and political power of the NRA metastasized, it was just a matter of time before more and more state legislatures (like in Florida) were bought out and their NRA slaves passed laws contravening Justice Burger's and the earlier 1939 ruling. This is why the only way things will change is to vote out the NRA political slaves, like Rick Scott, and vote in firm gun regulation leaders.

Yes, the gun-tards will scream that this amounts to "taking away citizen rights" but it no more does this than driving laws that prohibit driving on the wrong side of the highway, or driving 100 mph at night takes away driving rights.  We are not "taking away" rights but seeking temperate regulation such as in Massachusetts, e.g. requiring passing gun safety courses, being licensed to purchase ammo or guns, and being fingerprinted with the latter circulated to all state law enforcement centers - as well as a Criminal History Board such as in MA.

AR-15 purchase rights:

The gun -tards claim that the fault is not in the prevalence of lethal military-style weapons but rather in the mental health system.  If we just control the crazies and maniacs we can stop the mass murders, shootings and still let 18 yr. olds - like the Uvalde and Buffalo punks - to purchase ARs. I call horse shit on that baloney for the simple reason  that at the age of 18 the brain is still being formed. Also, combined with rising testosterone a vulnerable kid's brain can easily go off the rails, at even the most minor insults, or impressions. The latter include from social media blurtations and conspiracy ideations widely shared.

 Don't take my word, look it up, e.g, Google!  The prefrontal cortex and its judgment centers are still in the process of growth and will be until the age of 22-23. That means any late teen who buys a gun isn't in full possession of his rational or judgmental faculties.

 'But what about 18 year olds in the military?'  What about them?'  - The gun-tards bellow.

But the 'tards miss the point that 18 -year old recruits must undergo rigorous basic training and drills which act to rigidly program their brains to a certain repeatable cadence from which they can't veer.   For example, recruits practice endless sighting and dry firing their weapon over several days before they can actually live fire with it. They are given hours of instruction and are heavily monitored on the firing range while gaining proficiency. 

Recruits are sternly taught to manage the muzzle of the weapon at all times and are only permitted to lock in a magazine and load the chamber when they are deemed ready, when the weapon is pointing downrange where no human is in sight, and then only when they are ordered to do so.  Further, recruits can’t keep their weapons and ammo in their barracks at night; the weapon has to be checked into the armory each night and checked out each morning.

It follows that any state law that would allow easy purchase by an 18 year old of a military assault weapon is itself insane, i,e, that law is an ass. It was also likely voted on by ass lawmakers, e.g. NRA slaves who need their money for re-election. Such is the case in FLA.

The Mental Health meme in general:

If Reeptards had their way most mass murders would be blamed on kooks, nuts, psychos and wackos. But as my now tenured psychology niece Shayl points out this is totally in error.  Not processed is how ordinary people - not wackos- can get suddenly unhinged in a time of extreme stress and want to lash out. At such times adrenalin floods the system and reason and temperance take a back seat.  In especially horrible lash back instances - say after getting fired, dumped from a social group - the person will want to strike back. A military -style weapon within easy reach is then the worst implement to have because the broiling brain will not process its actions properly - just react.  Shayl estimates that 60 percent of mass shootings are done not by an innately "mad" individual but by a usually normal person who simple blew a gasket, for whatever reason.  I tend to agree.  If this is the case it means that no amount of mental health surveillance or "red flag" laws will save the day, save us from more mass slaughter.  There will always be a norm who has reached the limit- maybe after getting his home foreclosed and losing a job - who loses his mind and goes off the rails, looking for an AR-15.

The job of society, a sane society with a moral compass, is to ensure the severely rattled person - often seeking immediate 'payback' from a slight or  major setback-  has the most difficult time finding one.


What do we derive from the preceding arguments? That the REAL un-Americans (especially the NRA) are those who have twisted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to their own ends, with the result that the fallout has created a never-ending sea of maimed, crippled and murdered gun victims. None of this will change until we return to the gun control concepts and legislation that marked our regulatory past but which too many have forgotten.

My own recommendations are simple but basic:

- Banning of all AR-15s, Bushmaster .223s and other assault -style weapons. They are not protected under the 2nd amendment and are only used for wanton killing.

- Mandatory licensing and registration of all guns purchased at point of sale. No issuing of firearm until registration is completed and license to own issued - just as in the case of a motor vehicle.  (Also, a 30-day wait for all gun purchases to be finalized)

- If a registered firearm is used to commit a crime, the licensed owner faces criminal sanction, punishment.  That includes parents who don't properly secure their firearms.

- Minimum age of 21 to purchase any firearm.

See Also:
by Mitchell Zimmerman | June 3, 2022 - 5:46am | permalink

— from OtherWords


In the days since the Uvalde shooting, media outlets have shared heartbreaking images of the small victims as they were cherished in life. As Americans, we’re forced to look into their young, innocent eyes and accept our shame that we failed to protect them.

What we haven’t seen is what they looked like after their lives were ripped away by AR-15 bullets. Many of the children were reportedly so mutilated they could only be identified by DNA.

It is understandable that a newspaper would be loath to publish such photographs. Most human beings would be loath to look at them.

But in the past, such disturbing images have been used to galvanize action — by forcing us to examine painful realities. When I was a civil rights organizer in the South back in the 1960s, one episode still loomed large in the minds of those who took part in the freedom struggle.

by William Rivers Pitt | June 2, 2022 - 5:39am | permalink

— from Truthout

Content warning: This story includes graphic descriptions of gun violence and its effects on the human body.


by Reagan Ross | June 3, 2022 - 5:41am | permalink


In 2009, I wrote a short op-ed for The Oregonian on why men—and it is almost always men—become mass shooters. Re-reading the piece, I think it still holds up fairly well, though what is distressing is how 13 years later, we still find ourselves with this disturbing phenomenon. Considering the massacre of little children at Robb Elementary School and the Buffalo massacre, I felt compelled to re-visit my thoughts, amplify some key points. Most pointedly, like so many others, I am especially tormented by this recent atrocity, the killing of children aged 9 thru 11.

Like how I felt about the Sandy Hook tragedy, I cannot fathom how such horrors can be inflicted on our children. And like so many others, I am with those who stress guns as the simplest way to ameliorate these mass shootings. Gun regulation is absolutely essential to at least cutting down on the number of mass shootings, legislation like background checks and assault rifle bans especially—obviously—key to keep weapons of war out of the hands of potential deranged killers.


by Amanda Marcotte | June 4, 2022 - 7:26am | permalink

— from Salon

During his Thursday night address to the country following a staggering series of mass shootings across the country, President Joe Biden mostly focused his attention on the need for better gun laws. But — likely due to the fact that Republicans will block even the mildest of restrictions on gun access — Biden did toss a bone in the direction of the mental health discussion.


by Brandon Gage | June 1, 2022 - 8:04am | permalink


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