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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Gun violence

        Gun Control! Debated More Than One                                           Hundred Years

The Following is part of the editorial in the Tombstone Daily Nugget of October 23,1881. The editorial is lengthy and covers sentencing, capital punishment, and other issues. I am sharing the part on the problem Tombstone, Arizona, was facing regarding gun control and the second amendment. 

 The title of the article is "Carrying Deadly Weapons."

Quotes are: 

 "The increase of murders in this territory and other states is an alarming state of things which calls for an immediate remedy." 

 "The newspapers are inquiring the[sic] cause and demanding a remedy, but murders continue to be committed with a boldness and recklessness that are terrifying to the quiet citizen who goes peacefully about his business and never thinks of shooting anybody."

The article then discusses punishment and capital punishment until near the end.


"But a better plan is to put forth greater and more systematic efforts to prevent the carrying of weapons. The arming of oneself in a peaceful community, as every well-organized community is supposed to be, and walking about like a moving arsenal, is highly ridiculous and, as events demonstrate, exceedingly dangerous. Boys and men of all ages and conditions are armed, and at the first flash of anger, the pistol is drawn, and somebody shot down."

This was printed in the Wild West Magazine for August 2021 and was submitted by Paul Lee Johnson of New York.

And in the same issue, John Boessenecker wrote, "Frontier areas were extremely dangerous, with little law enforcement, and these weapons were necessary for self-protection. But there was no such need to carry firearms in well-policed towns and cities. Citizens recognized that fact and banned the carrying of firearms in many Old West communities."

Now, to my thoughts and questions for the 21st century.

   I am listening to both sides of gun control, but I still don't understand the issue as some see it.   So, if you wish to give me your opinion or facts after reading this blog, please do. Please be respectful as I respect you.

My father was a hunter with hunting rifles for deer. I can't tell the names or calibers, but they were standard rifles for deer, and he hunted in a group, so they shared the meat if they killed a deer. That was seldom, and dad never hit one. 

When he was 16, my brother hunted with my dad and his friends. He did not own his own hunting rifle until he left the service and was married. I don't know how old he was, but certainly in his twenties.

After dad died, my brother inherited his guns. Brother then went hunting with his friends. They, too, shared their kills, which weren't often. It was mostly just being with the guys. My dad, brother, and their friends had licenses.

My brother's youngest son took gun safety classes by the local police department so he could go hunting with his dad. He did it for a few years and decided it wasn't for him. He didn't buy a gun as he quit going before he was 21.

I hope I am not boring you, but I want to set the stage for the rest of this blog. 

As far as I know, a person can purchase a hunting rifle or handgun after 18 here in Minnesota. As I understand it, they do not need to prove they have taken a gun safety class first.

We can get a driver's license before 18, but first, we must pass written and in-person tests to prove we are knowledgeable and responsible. Of course, we still have car accidents, but most are connected to alcohol or drug usage. 

Now, as I understand from the news, someone can buy assault weapons designed for the military and war at 18. They do not need to prove they have taken or passed a test, and they have little if no background checks, and guns can be purchased at gun shows and online.

The guns were first made for the military. But after the military didn't need replacements to a large degree, the military weapons were advertised to the general public. More sales, more profit for the manufacturers, the gun store, gun shows, and online businesses.

I heard one gun show owner say the military guns were lighter in weight and would be easier for hunters to carry. I don't know if that is true, but I think if my dad or brother used one of these high-capacity guns for deer hunting, there would not be any part of the deer salvageable for meat. So what is the point of having one for hunting? If you know, please let me know. 

Some say eighteen-year-olds, male or female, do not have the maturity to handle something that lethal.   I agree. This is based on my interaction with 18-year-olds. Maybe you meet 18-year-olds who are wise and responsible. If so, great for you.

I don't understand why the age limit should not be raised to 21. What will 18, 19, and 20-year-olds do with a military weapon of war? The guns are made to kill people, not for hunting.

In the news, some men in their thirties and forties were interviewed about why they had an assault-type weapon. They said they never used the gun. They just had it. Why do they spend money on something they don't use?   Do they hang it on the wall for friends and family to see, and they can boost, "Hey, I have one of these bad boys." It isn't artwork. Do they expect our country will be attacked, and they will need to help our armed forces protect us? We have many bombs and missiles, planes and ships, and troops to protect us. Are they afraid they will have to fight domestic terrorism? Don't they believe in our government to answer the call if the terrorist declares war on us? I think the government will be able to answer the call to arms satisfactorily without the citizens running out of their homes with assault weapons on the ready. If you think differently, please tell me why. 

Some people say a gun is necessary to protect themselves and their homes. Okay. But why can't they first complete gun safety classes, pass background checks, and get a license for a regular handgun? They do not need an assault weapon.

A reporter asked a senator why he was for 18-year-olds to have guns and not raise it to 21. He said he did not want to deny the 18, 19, and 20-year-olds their second amendment civil rights.

The second amendment is: A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed. ( I copied this from the Bill of Rights as written by our founding fathers. The punctuation and capitalization are the way they wrote the second amendment.)

There is no mention of the age when people can keep and bear arms. 21, 18, 19, and 20 are not stated. The way it could be read, any member of the "people" could keep and bear arms, so how about a 12-year-old, or a10 year old, or a 5-year-old, or a 2-year-old? Don't they have the second amendment rights as they are people? Did our founding fathers think young children should be carrying guns? If you believe preschoolers, elementary-age, or high school students should have guns of any type, please tell me why.

It is our government that can set the age for the application of the second amendment. The citizens can say the age when a person can carry a gun, and it would not be unconstitutional or deny anyone his/her rights. The founding fathers did not tell us the age to guarantee this right. They expected us to apply this right sensibly.

Also, the amendment says "a gun."  It does not specify what kind of gun.   People can carry a gun at the age and type set by the U.S. government and the citizens of this country, and their second amendment rights would be intact. The government regulation on the kind of gun and the age of the weapon's owner does not take away the civil right of the second amendment. The founding fathers wrote a broad declaration to not take away the citizen's rights to apply the amendment for the good of the people, the little people, the big people, the wealthy people, the poor people, and the people on the top rung of power and the people on the bottom rung. But, they expected sensible reasoning in applying the second amendment.

Guns are made for killing. That is all they are made for. Why have a gun if you do not intend to use it to kill, whether an animal or a person? 

Assault weapons are made only for killing people, not animals. They are made to kill as many people as possible in the least amount of time.  

It is sad to admit the military does need these weapons. But why do non-military need these weapons? 

Have we, the citizens, given up our responsibility to use the right of the second amendment for our security and safety for all by applying the good sense of our founding fathers to destroy our own people. 

I want people to have a gun if they want one. But, I want our government to regulate the kind of guns for non-military citizens, the age, and the competence of the gun owner. Everyone purchasing a firearm should have to take classes on gun safety for that type of weapon before purchasing the weapon.  

Yes, people kill, but guns are made for that purpose only. If someone buys a gun, they want to use it to kill, whether it is an animal or a person.  

I hope you are not turned off by my long blog. I would like your feedback. If you disagree with anything, please let me know why? I want to understand your thinking.


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Gun violence

        Gun Control! Debated More Than One                                           Hundred Years The Following is part of the editorial in...