Gun views should change with the times

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Steve Singleton uses Founding Father Noah Webster’s Oct. 10, 1787, pamphlet to support his case for the Second Amendment. The pamphlet is on the Internet for all to read and is quite interesting.

Webster started his pamphlet talking about tyranny and where nations derive their power to deprive the people of their liberties. Webster wrote, “In some nations, legislators have derived much of their power from the influence of religion, or from that implicit belief which an ignorant and superstitious people entertain of the gods, and their interposition in every transaction of life.”

One could make a good argument that this is true today as well.

Webster continued, “Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command: for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.”

These days no amount of armed citizens could ever be superior to the U.S. military, even if we drastically cut its budget. However, Webster had an answer for this.

He asked, “In what then does real power consist?” Answer: “A general and tolerably equal distribution of landed property is the whole basis of national freedom. The liberty of the press, trial by jury, the Habeas Corpus writ, even Magna Charta itself, although justly deemed the palladia of freedom, are all inferior considerations, when compared with a general distribution of real property among every class of people.”

Yes, Webster could appear a Founding Father socialist.

It is worth reading the pamphlet for one Founding Father’s opinion, keeping in mind Webster changed his opinion throughout his life.

As for guns, there are not many Americans who want gun ownership eliminated, including Obama, anymore than car ownership eliminated. Like car controls that I suspect few are against, why not some reasonable gun restrictions in honor of Webster who would likely have updated his view on guns given the changing times.

Carlan Bradshaw

Walla Walla

Comments

barracuda 1 year, 2 months ago

Posted from another post.... "How are we going to get the illegal or the guns from the bad guys who have these problems? I dont believe they will willingly hand over their guns, when their "rivals" keep theirs...

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paco1234 1 year, 2 months ago

Well, well...evidently Mr. Webster was a community organizer after all! He also believed in the distribution of welth (real property) as the basis for freedom. He was actually talking about justice for all ( not guns) as the guiding force for democracy. I really like this! How about you, Mr. Singleton?

As for the military like guns owned by "the good guys" I believe they should be grandfathered in. Good guys ought to be trusted in keeping such weapons safely stored and properly registered. Some good guys can easily turn into bad guys mostly if there is good money to be made from illegal sales of weapons. The "bad guys" got their guns from irresponsible "good guys" such as sleazy gun dealers and from other "good guys" at gun shows parking lots. Such gun dealers and straw purchasers should be severly penalized with all the weight of the law. How about a $50,000 fine and some jail time? This will be a good start and a very effective deterrent. The bad guys will be given a non-penalty opportunity for a buy back deal. Otherwise if they are cought with an illegal military style gun the penalty ought to be prison time.

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namvet60 1 year, 2 months ago

paco - you must be referring to our current government as the sleazy gun dealers!

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blueskies 1 year ago

Namvet60, if you are still around, would you please elaborate. I would put nothing past our current or previous administrations but I'm interested in understanding your comment.

Barracuda, I can't see a society keeping all guns from "bad" guys but just like traffic circles effectively slowing down traffic, do you think closing the gun show loophole might make it harder for "bad" guys obtaining a gun?

And by the way, I am not opposed to gun ownership. Presently, we have quite a few in our house that are used every season for hunting. With that we think there is a place for laws and government and, yes, as little as possible but as many as are needed for this country to effectively function .

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barracuda 1 year ago

Re: your statement/question.... Yes something needs to be done... But I dont think that is the place....
I would like to see a stat showing the number of guns used everyday in crimes... where they were aquired from. Were they stolen, bought from friends, or actually bought at a gun shows. I have tried googling it, but not any info....

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blueskies 1 year ago

Good point. I'll check to see what I can come up with.

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namvet60 1 year ago

In responding to paco - his comment could very well outline the justice department on the Fast and Furious debacle - when your own government is the illustrous gun runners how can you keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally challenged persons. The only people that will be caught in the gun control are the law abiding citizens.

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blueskies 1 year ago

Namvet, could there be some form of gun safety legislation to slow down criminals and mentally challenged persons from getting immediate gun access that wouldn't affect law abiding citizens? For example, how would background checks affect law abiding citizens?

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namvet60 1 year ago

First off do you actually think that criminals buy there weapons legally - they already have background checks in place BUT they want to put it in a data base for future use - all they have to do is enforce the laws that they have passed and they would be able to control the criminals. Put capital punishment back in the justice system and limit appeals to 2 within 6 months and you would find a lot of criminals figure out they don't want to be criminals anymore. It would also cut costs for the taxpayers due to limits in lockup.

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