This Isn't 1790
It has been almost a week since the absurd and avoidable massacre in Colorado and this country still hasn't had a meaningful conversation about guns. Liberals continue to blame the NRA and the gun industry in general, whom makes it laughably easy to purchase assault weapons and ammunition, even over the internet. Conservatives refuse to readjust their sails, and continue to claim that it's never the gun that kills anyone, but solely the person pulling the trigger.
I'm a lifelong member of the party that gives liberalism a bad name, and we all understand that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution grants citizens the right to possess firearms, but I am positive that if Jefferson and Madison and Adams knew what kind of guns people in 2012 would be possessing, they would have created safeguards against the proliferation of these destructive weapons.
The right to protect oneself in their own home makes sense; but that right does not snowball into another right of being able to carry assault weapons or endanger the well being of society. Our persistence in growing our stockpile of armaments (we have almost the same amount of guns in the country as people) is a sign of only one thing: paranoia. We saw it in 2008, when Wal-Mart had record sales of ammunition because Obama was going to "take away our 2nd Amendment rights," which he couldn't do even if he wanted to.
The NRA percolates that Obama's refusal to enact gun control laws in his first term is a giant conspiracy to get reelected in order to enact draconian gun laws without election consequences. Concealed carry licenses have increased all over the country as people feel safer with a gun on their hip, even though research continues to show households with guns are three times more likely to have a homicide that those without them.
I agree with conservatives that guns are not the only problem in these shooting sprees. Whatever the factors in these senseless attacks may be -- mental health, media violence, political speech, ease of access to guns -- a heavily armed citizenry who thinks they live in 19th century Arizona is not the answer.
I understand Americans love their guns like they love their double quarter pounders, and I also know that Americans think the 2nd Amendment is one of their natural rights given to them by god and that the vast majority of gun owners are good family-values, law-abiding citizens--otherwise known as yes-men. However, there is a clear distinction that conservatives refuse to recognize between owning one handgun for the protection of your family or having a couple hunting rifles and owning five assault rifles with one hundred round drum magazines. Assault rifles with high capacity clips are meant for nothing else but to kill as many people as possible in as little time as possible.
I am positive Thomas Jefferson, our greatest founding father, had no idea what kind of fetish ownership would become in 2012 as he had never seen a gun not loaded from the muzzle with a bullet wrapped in paper shot with powder from a horn. It isn't 1790 anymore. The 2nd Amendment was designed to protect citizens, but its modern metamorphoses endanger us instead. No national legislation came after Columbine in '99 or the DC sniper attacks in '02, nor did the waves break after the Virginia Tech shooting or the attack on Gabbie Giffords in Arizona. Hopefully, this time, lives will not have been lost in vain.
Judge and Jury
For Aurora shooter James Holmes (and all murderers) I oppose the death penalty -- it's too damn good!
But so are prisons' libraries and weight rooms. Make him repay society via: 1) Work: sort garbage for recycling, dig ditches for America's infrastructure, pick crops for America's farmers; 2) Tests: new drugs, treatments, surgical techniques, food additives (eliminate animal tests, PETA!); 3) Donations: blood weekly, spinal fluid and marrow monthly, half his liver annually (it grows back), one kidney/lung/eye, etc.
And when he dies, screw his will: Donate all organs and assets to those who need and deserve them more.
J. Andrew Smith
Piling It On
I am upset about the child abuse committed by Sandusky and the cover up by Paterno, Curley, Schulz and Spanier. The lives of many young children have been adversely impacted by these men.
And that is my point. The five individuals were involved with these tragic events, not the assistant football coaches, not the football players, not the faculty and not the student body.
I believe the NCAA president and executive board overstepped their authority by imposing very harsh penalties on the Penn State football program and by extension on the entire university. The penalties will needlessly decimate one of the premier athletic programs in the country and could debilitate the entire university.
If the leaders of a corporation, e.g. president, vice president, commit a crime, are the junior level managers and hourly workers punished? If a parent commits a crime, are his/her children punished for the crime?
The NCAA decided to use Penn State as a scapegoat example to thwart other university leaders from going astray. I think the NCAA should have stayed out of it and let the criminal and civil proceedings run their courses. The NCAA is persecuting innocent people.
Donald A. Moskowitz
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