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Trigger Happy In The Gunshine State

Entertainment Memo Pad Politics

Trigger Happy In The Gunshine State


Doug Varrieur likes to shoot.

Problem is, it’s 25 miles to the nearest range, where they charge $45 an hour. What’s a gun enthusiast to do?

Lucky for him, Varrieur lives in Florida. Problem solved. Just erect a makeshift range in the back yard and fire away. It’s perfectly legal.

Re-read that if you want. It’s just as nutty the second time around.

In a story by my colleague Cammy Clark that appeared in Sunday’s Miami Herald, we learn that Varrieur, who lives on Big Pine Key, once complained to a gun-shop owner about what a pain it was going to the range to shoot. The owner put him onto Florida statute 790.15, which lists the conditions under which one may not legally discharge a firearm in the state. Turns out there aren’t many. You may not shoot “in any public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway or street,” over any road, highway or occupied premises, or “recklessly or negligently” at your own home.

Otherwise, let ‘er rip.

There are no mandatory safety requirements. Indeed, the language about recklessness and negligence was only added in 2011. Prior to that, apparently, it was even legal to blast at shadows and hallucinations, assuming you did so in your own back yard. Shooting actual people is presumably still illegal, though the family of the late Trayvon Martin might beg to differ.

Because he is a responsible gun owner, Varrieur, who has been shooting in his back yard once a week for a month, took precautions, even though, again, he is not required to. They include a wooden backstop seven feet high, eight feet wide and a foot thick.

Can you imagine living next door to this guy? Worse, can you imagine living next door to a Doug Varrieur who doesn’t take the precautions the law says he doesn’t have to bother with?

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

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  1. Michael Ross January 29, 2014

    My mother was a court reporter for forty years, meaning she has literally heard about every single murder, robbery or rape that has ever occurred in the entire state over a forty-year-period.

    Consequently, she also believes crime is much more rampant than it actually is. And yet even she is tame in comparison to the average gun enthusiast.

    The first step to pushing the gun debate forward is getting gun owners to admit that their obsession with gun ownership isn’t about safety. It’s about insecurity.

    We live in a rapidly changing world that is vastly different to the 1950s “paradise” they all semi-secretly pine for. Now they are in a strange, alien (to them) world in which the President is black, the Pope is Argentinean, Atheism is the most rapidly growing “religion,” homosexuality is tolerated, the new generation doesn’t pine for cars and white picket fences, stay-at-home dads exist, a Hispanic network beat NBC in the ratings, the Dallas Cowboys suck, the Red Sox have broken the curse, the kids all have information at their fingertips, and grown men are watching My Little Pony.

    And the reason all this change threatens them is because, before then, they were assured that, as white male Christians, they were supposed to be the ruling class. The days of that guarantee are almost over, and the only thing that can give them any comfort in this rapidly changing world is to be able to threaten the change with a gun.

    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh January 29, 2014

      Mike, my dad was convinced that some unknown guy (generally assumed to be a person of color) was going to go out of his way to mug him. That was why even well into his upper 80s and 90s before he passed away, he insisted on “packing” every place he went. I was more afraid of him breaking his arm from the recoil than I was of him actually hitting anything. But, no matter what, I could not convince him that he did not need to go armed everyplace.

      1. Michael Ross January 29, 2014

        No offense, I know he’s your dad, but that sounds like George Zimmerman.

        Gun reform is going to be difficult, more than anything, because gun enthusiasts are becoming more and more invested in fighting reality.

        Ten years ago, the NRA offered basic common sense gun reform suggestions. Today, they’re peddling conspiracy theories.

    2. CrankyToo January 29, 2014

      There’s no shortage of nonsensical opinion on display here in the National Memo (primarily from right-leaning dumbasses, I might add), but your posts are consistently prescient and I enjoy reading them. Cheers, Bro.

    3. johninPCFL January 29, 2014

      The latest here is the case where a theater patron killed another for texting during the movie previews. Apparently the management wouldn’t throw the father out for texting his three-year-old’s babysitter before the movie started, so the ex-cop and SWAT team founder shot him.

    4. DEFENDER88 January 29, 2014

      So *older white male Christians* are the problem??
      If we can agree that most Racists are ignorant bigots.
      Why are you acting like one.
      If you really want to reduce crime, gun crime, mass killings, etc you should put your intellect and efforts to helping explore, discuss and mitigating the underlying root problems.
      Let me get this right – most all older white Christian men feel insecure and afraid of a changing world and want to change it back to the 1950’s by using a gun??? And that is a primary problem with gun violence? That is just ignorant.

      To be literate and perhaps intelligent, you sure are ignorant about the true motivations of gun owners and older white Christian men, and the real root causations of crime and gun crime.
      And as long as you and others in here continue to demonize gun owners, and not discuss the real problems, there will likely be no progress in reducing crime, murder, and killing, since you are attacking the wrong people in the wrong direction, with no proposed solutions to the real underlying fundamental root problems.
      Reducing Crime and killing IS the desired objective is it not?
      Or is it just universal dis-arming of everyone?
      Or do you plan to just dis-arm older white male Christians???
      Sounds Racist and ignorant to me and, while cute and clever, is a deflection from discussing the real problems and potential solutions.
      This will NOT reduce crime, gun crime, mass killings, etc
      My guess is, like most others in here, you have no real interest in the hard work of that anyway.

      1. Michael Ross January 30, 2014

        No, just the ones who think it’s racist to not pander to their every whim.

        Like yourself, for example. You accuse me of acting racist for suggesting that full control of the government and economy not being reserved exclusively to white male Christians might not be a bad thing.

        1. DEFENDER88 January 30, 2014

          So you are saying that White Male Christians are in full exclusive control of the Govt and economy?

          1. Michael Ross January 30, 2014

            No. They were in the 1950s, but now we have a black man in the Oval Office, which is causing a lot of them to worry how long they have before a black man or a woman gets their position too.

            I know the truth is inconvenient for you, but all of this deliberate misinterpretation is not going to help you conceal it.

    5. DEFENDER88 January 30, 2014

      Ok, I will give you that there is probably some angst among *some* older white males about having to share power with others but it is not as wide spread as you think and for sure not a root problem of the violence we are seeing. And you need to watch characterising All older white Christian males in this way ie racist characterizations. FYI the largest increase (By Far) of people now buying guns and seeking training is women.
      Your theory-Not inconvenient for me. I voted for Obama both times and I am an older white male.. Like must conspiracy theories, yours is seriously flawed. And a distraction/deflection from the real issue of the subject of trying to reduce crime, violence and gun violence and the potential solutions. Again, until you stop demonizing honest gun owners you will not make much progress on those issues. People in here got all puffed up, arrogant, and so sure of themselves that Fienstein and Obama were going to make changes after Sandy Hook(Gun Bans, Registration, Confiscation, etc) And what happened? Nothing. We need to work together for real change. But until people like you in here continue to degrade the good people who own guns(like me)(which is the vast majority of gun owners) not much progress will be made. There are many potential changes that can help but Gun Bans, Confiscation, etc have, historically(world wide) and here in the US not worked to reduce violence and murder.
      That is the objective is it not?
      In Africa when guns are not available they turn to Macheties but the level of VIolence and murder continues at the same rate – guns or no guns. It is the propensity for violence that is the root issue and must be addressed, not gun bans/control etc. Exa – the propensity for violence of these young white men on antidepressants ie the mental health Issue. That is almost totally out of control. ALL the mass murders have been done by young white men (16-26) on antidepressants. That started in the 1990’s when the asylums were emptied in favor of treating these people at home. So now we have mass murder in schools. This was not happening before that – ie in the 80’s, 70’s etal

      1. Michael Ross January 31, 2014

        You’re right in that it is not a widespread problem among older white males. I would estimate the number for whom it is a problem to be about 1/10.

        Though given your compulsive desire to shout down anyone who dares to question those statistics, I think it’s pretty fair to assume you’re either a part of that minority or on the payroll of someone who is.

        I will ask everyone else to keep in mind that it isn’t racism that motivates the richest 1% and their allied trailer trash 9% to behave like this. It’s greed. The 1% have it and don’t want anyone else to have even so much as a prayer of getting it. In their eyes, blacks and Hispanics are no different from the inbred trailer trash they have allied themselves with; they just prefer the latter because they’re so easily manipulated.

    6. DEFENDER88 February 1, 2014

      You seem to be doing most of the “Shouting”. Now it is people who live in trailers. “Trailer Trash” Here is a news flash for you – most people who live in trailers are good people. I dont, but I know some who do. But I dont look down on and degrade any class or nationality of people like you do.
      Just because they may be financially challenged you see them as a lower class of people. So you are more elite then them?? Dont know what happened to you to think this way but you sure are judgemental, making racial and class inferences, and “looking down” on people who are just as good as you or anyone else. Seems you have some growing up to do.
      Usually your type of anger comes from a history of Hurt, Fear and Frustration. Seems you need to look inward and consider that.
      As for me working for the 1%. I am retired and live on a small SS check, which was well earned.
      Again, all this is a deflection from discussing the real root problems of violence and gun violence in this country.
      If you think people who live in trailers are ignorant and easily manipulated, go try it.
      I assume you are refering to White People as Trailer Trash.
      Seems most all white people to you are the enemy and deserve degradation.
      Keep in mind that all the blacks and hispanics in this country (combined) could not have elected Obama without a substantial
      white vote for him, and in fact was a majority of whites. Including me, an old white male.
      I am wondering what has damaged/afflicted your thinking/perspective to get you to this point.
      I have no love for the 1% financial elite either. They should be doing more to help the less fortunate.
      But they are not the problem with crime and gun crime. – the issue of discussion here.
      BTW I did not CALL you a racist, I said you were acting like one, and you have.

      1. Michael Ross February 1, 2014

        FYI, I differentiate between people who live in trailers and genuine Grade-A trailer trash. But that’s a triviality compared to your intense desire to shift the focus onto me and away from all of your shortcomings (seriously, you’ve yet to respond without writing a novella’s worth of bitching).

        Admit it: When I described people clinging to their guns because they’re terrified of change, that described you to a T.

  2. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh January 29, 2014

    Leonard, we don’t need facts as long as we have Rush, Sarah, Glenn, Sean, Mike and Anne to do our thinking for us!

  3. holyreality January 29, 2014

    911, What’s your emergency?
    Hello? My neighbor is shooting something and I think I heard a beer can clinking.

    A few calls like this will certainly make a gun enthusiast think twice before “practicing” in the future.

  4. Faraday_Cat January 29, 2014

    I’m so very confused…wouldn’t the church, which you have chosen to attend presumably because they match your beliefs, be the absolute last place you would FEEL you need to carry?!? If you are afraid of the people who have the most in common with you, that says a lot about either your beliefs or your propensity to be scared, doesn’t it?

    1. DEFENDER88 January 29, 2014

      You, apparently, have not been following this problem.
      The problem is not the people you are sitting in church with and believe like you do. The problem is mad men, mental cases, coming in from outside and shooting up churches like schools.
      Or do you think that is ok and they should neither desire nor be allowed that measure of security(ie armed security)?

    2. Allan Richardson January 29, 2014

      Theological arguments start in church. If Martin Luther had owned a handgun (sold by a time traveler, perhaps, as in the Turtledove novel “Guns of the South”), would he have just posted his theses or walked in shooting during Mass? Ditto for the Inquisition minions.

  5. howa4x January 29, 2014

    Florida has always been a transient state attracting people from all over the country so we can’t just say this is all about them. The strangest thing about gun ownership is that less people own guns but the number of sales are up, which to me means that some folks are stocking up as they say. I had guns for target practice when my friends and I were 12 and 13 but then we discovered dating and it was more fun.
    I think the most ironic thing about the debate is that people really think something violent is going to happen and they need to be prepared. They also think that any restrictions on gun purchases is a threat especially background checks. This is because of a paranoid fantasy that one day the evil government will look up all the registered guns and go out and seize them.
    Ok, but here is where to logic breaks down. If there is no background checks then criminals and terrorists can easily get access to guns and in some states semi automatic weapons. They can then use these weapons to rob people and sometimes kill them and with drug gangs usually kill each other, which all ends up on the nightly news. People watching it get scared and want to buy more guns with out realizing that they are aiding the criminals to get easy access to weapons too. So it becomes a vicious cycle. People have to realize that unfettered access to guns means everyone has it. Mental patients, criminals, drug gangs jealous, husbands, and terrorists, and on and on. Is that the world we want to live in?

    1. DEFENDER88 January 29, 2014

      A world without crime.
      That would be nice.

      I believe you are well meaning but there are some problems with your logic.
      1) Crimials dont do background checks. They get their guns mostly on the black market.
      They always have and always will.

      2) The 3 biggest mass murders in history were all preceeded by confiscation of all guns by the Govt. – Hitler, Stalin, Mao In the millions. Stalin actually murdered more than Hitler. I assume you are familiar with whom Hitler murdered.

      3) Cant happen here?
      Many in here say that is crazy and not being planned. BUT
      The current Govt has already said(in private meetings) that confiscation is a future goal.
      This was reported by a Left Wing(Dem) source. So I believe it to be true.
      If a Republican source had said this I would be skeptical.
      How are they going to confiscate the criminals guns?? NO, they will only get the honest gun owners guns. You would call that safer?? Another well intended govt program gone wrong.

      4) There are already thousands and thousands of gun laws.

      5) The most *Gun Free*(Most restrictive) large cities have the highest gun crime rates.
      Detroit, Chicago, etc. ie
      It is not working.

      6) The true fundamental problems that need to be solved are:
      Poverty, drugs(make them(drugs) legal would help), and the mental health issue.
      95% of all gun crime is done in connection to inner-city gangs and/or drugs. When a shooting in town hits the news, YOU have a good idea of what part of town where it normally is, even before they announce it. Low income, poverty stricken drug areas.

      *All* the mass school killings have been done by young white males(16-26) with mental health problems. *All* are connected to them going on or coming off anti-depressants.
      ALL the mass killings have been in *Gun Free* Zones.
      Gun Free Zones – Either provide armed security or allow certified CCW’s.

      Most gun owners are honest, good people who just want to be able to defend themsleves if needed. Do you have a problem with that? I do agree most need more training in safe handling of firearms.

      Ok I may be a little paranoid(so I will give you that much), but I have been shot at 3 times(unprovoked attacks) and me with no gun.
      So that is well earned. Lessons learned.
      I am fully trained now to a much higher level than the average Police in gun handling. But I have no desire to shoot Anyone. Something I would Never Want to have to do.
      But I do insist on being able to defend myself with equal force if necessary. And the criminals will ALWAYS have automatic(semi) weapons.The key word is Defend. I have never attacked anyone.

      1. howa4x January 30, 2014

        Thanks for your thoughts. Here are some answers.
        1 Criminals get black market guns because of loop holes in state gun laws that allow people to buy more than one gun at a time and in some states multiple guns. A NJ state trooper friend told me drugs go to Pa in exchange for guns to come back and be sold in NJ cities.
        2 the despots you named did confiscate guns that is correct, but in the time they did it the state controlled the means of communication like radio stations and there were fewer guns in the population. Here think of Ruby Ridge and the Dravidian’s compound in TX. In both instances the ATF came in and it was covered nationally by every major network. Nothing here can be done in private and the UN doesn’t have Black helicopters. In fact the UN is inept.
        I don’t know where 3 comes from but I would just ask you to think it through.
        4. Yes there are gun laws but it is an uneven quilt in terms of how they are enforced from state to state. the last republican congress tied the hands of the ATF by taking away the money for a director for 2 yrs, and then cutting the budget so they are just now getting a handle on what laws exist and now they are enforced.
        5 those cities you mentioned have a high crime rate due to the drug trade and gang activity. Unless marshal law is enacted to confiscate all the guns it isn’t going to change. I answered that in number 1
        6. Maybe we should outlaw anti depressants. Actually the Va tech shooter was in counseling and walked into a local gun store and bought 2 semi automatic hand guns no questions asked. The Columbine shooters walked into their local Wal-Mart and bought the guns and ammo. The Aurora shooter got his ammo and body armor on line. All had easy access to guns and Ammo. there are many loop holes in gun laws. Another issue is the confidentially that is applied to patient doctor relationships. So a person treating one of these kids can’t call police and say look out for this one
        I’m sorry you were shot 3 times but you can’t look at a national issue by your own experience only. I realize that the vast majority of gun owners are law bidding Americans. I just don’t see any rational as to why people are resistant to background checks. I don’t see why there are loop holes in the laws that allow criminals to purchase guns. This makes all of us potential victims. I don’t see why you can just go on line and buy enough ammo to kill everyone in your city. I don’t see how all this laxity in gun laws makes anyone safer.
        Thanks for the chat

        1. DEFENDER88 January 30, 2014

          Finally someone in here who does not call me a murdering killer just because I own a gun.
          And I do appreciate that.
          Most in here try to demonize me which gets us nowhere.
          ALL efforts at GunControl will likely fail until we honest gun owners are listened to and seriously considered.
          The last round of gun control failed because we mobilized in a passionate way that the gun grabbers still dont comprehend or fully understand. Nor do they fully comprehend just how many millions of us there are.
          If we are going to be demonized and/or ignored then we will fight(politically), with a passion.
          And not your regular kind of passion.
          Even though we may agree with some of the items they want.
          You and I could probably work out some good solutions.
          At least you listened, did not call me names, and hit on some of the real issues that need to be addressed.

          1) Mental Health – Again, ALL the Mass School killings have been done by young white males (16-26).
          this was not a problem until the 1990’s. The same time when we emptied the Assylums in favor of treating the mentally ill at home with the new-age Antidepressants. This was not happening in the 80’s, 70’s, 60’s etal. This I have researched. You can find some of this on wikepedia. I am 67yo so I have the personal experience of living through all this.

          In those years, if someone needed antidepressant/mental treatment they were institionalized so they would not be a threat to society until they could be (“cured/controlled). Yes there are problems with patient confidentiality, the stigma, etc. I am not a mental health professional so I dont know what exactly needs to be done but seems those people should be kept away from the public until they can be declared as safe ie not a threat like they are now. And, I think anyway, they should go on the FBI gun Watch list to prevent them from buying arms. I do know if something is not done about this problem the school shootings will continue add infinitum. The alternate to that is Armed security in all public places and especially schools. Or arm everyone. The current default solution is rapid response by SWAT teams to go in shooting. But even this is more often too late. Although more schools around here are hiring more *Armed* Security.

          2)Inner-city gun crime/gangs and drugs –

          (ps As an engineer I do some Fault Tree and Root Cause Analysis in finding the root cause of equipment/process failures. Seems applicable here also.)

          2 things I think should be considered here would be:

          1)The root cause of 95% of this(ALL gun crime) is drugs and gangs, the root cause of that is poverty and lack of opportunities for young(especially Black men) to improve their conditions(make money) through good jobs. Also better education system for them would help + other helpful, forward thinking efforts.

          2) Legalize the drugs. Except the ones which lead to violent behaviors(Antidepressants, etc). Most all of them were legal here at one time. How and why Marijuana was criminalized is a mystery to me. Alcohol is worse. If we can do it with Alcohol we can do it with weed. I dont do either BTW.
          Tax them(as legal drugs)(like alcohol) and fix the deficit just with this. We could also empty at least 1/2 the prison population and save money here also.
          Put some of this money into improving education and the condition of the now gang/violence prone youth.

          Since 95% of gun violence in the US is inner-city drug gang related – these changes could make a huge difference.

          3)Background Checks
          Ideally I would be all for this.
          1) I have seen the data on this and it currently catches only maybe 1/4 of 1% of applicants as criminals.
          Still I dont have a big problem here. Even though it is not really working.
          2) Gun Registration – All my guns are “Registered”. But, historically, world wide, this has “always” been a pre-cursor to Confiscation. You say AINT, CANT, happen here. I thought that also until I heard about the closed door discussions(After Sandy Hook) with Obama, and others that said confiscation was a “Desired Goal” of the *current(anyway)* Govt. This was reported by a Left wing source, so I believe it to be true. If it had been a Right Wing source I would be skeptical.
          Since Obama never was, previously, a proponent of gun control.
          This is where I and many million more with me will part ways with the Govt.
          ps I voted for Obama 2 times so I am not a Right Wing Nut.

          Ideologically – There is a large Harvard Law Study(hardly a Right Wing group) showing that access to guns has no relation to violence. That even when guns are totally absent the crime and murder rate does not fall.
          The driving force is the propensity for violence not access to guns.
          If you think about some of the past conflicts in Africa, Macheties were used for mass murder. I am recalling the Tootsi/Hoto conflict in where? Central Africa – Chad, Mozambique, Sudan, Zambia?? Cant recall the country.

          Analogy – More people die from Obesity, diabetes, etc than guns. Maybe we should outlaw Spoons.

          1. howa4x January 30, 2014

            We are in the same age group, I’m 65. I ran a community based drug program when I was in governmental public health, and worked with the police there to make them realize that drug abuse is a disease, and not a crime. We need more out patient slots than prison cells. The problem is many sided and not just one. The urban areas became the perfect storm for what we see today.
            In the law of unintended consequences, the way we designed welfare broke up families by only allowing a single mother into the program. This allowed a male to impregnate a woman and then have no responsibility for bringing the child up. This eroded the family structure in the neighborhood and there was a lack of role models for these young kids. I know I was mentor for this reason. Kids gravitated to gangs because they became a surrogate family and provided brotherhood and protection..
            Now the other side of the storm. You are correct drugs were legal at one time and 2 factors made them illegal. 1st was the temperance movement that helped ban alcohol. When prohibition was lifted they turned to drugs to demonize. 2nd was the alcohol industry trying to limit the competition.
            How did hard drugs like Heroin get a foot hold in urban areas?
            The Mafia introduced it in the 40’s 50’s and 60’s through the Sicilian connection, but most crime families had a prohibition on selling it, but not all of them. Since racism was dominant at that time it was introduced into afro American communities. The Mafia/police/church alliance guaranteed the spread since the police were made up of Italians and Irish and so was the Mafia. The Church knew about it but never excommunicated any Mafia Don or crime family member ever for 2 reasons. 1st the church got a lot of money from the Mob to fund schools and activities, and 2nd the distribution was to Afro Americans not Catholics. I know this is shocking but since the Vatican bank launders mafia money in Italy this is not far fetched.
            So now we have the broken families, introduced drugs and have a lack of effective role models, and given 40 or 50 years it is the situation we have today but more exaggerated. The answer to all this was incarceration. So now we were graduating Class A felons instead of college graduates, who could never be hired because of the label, except into the drug distribution trade. Since we live in a capitalist society everyone realized there is money in both guns and drugs.
            It will take a sea change in our thinking to change the primordial soup we created. But we all need to try.
            Thanks for the chat

          2. DEFENDER88 January 30, 2014

            Thanks for sharing your experience and info. LIke I said, you and I could probably make some progress. I agree the primordial soup is afoul. It is either change it or just accept the guns/crime problem.

          3. silvak January 31, 2014

            The Newtown shootings have reignited the old debates about individual gun rights.Since there is also a call to return to the vision of the Founding Fathers, it may be appropriate to look at what they intended with the Second Amendment, which states:

            ” A well 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”.

            Much of the debate has been about the second half of the Amendment – about the right to bear arms. Both sides of this debate have some valid points but the truth surely lies somewhere inbetween. It is true that strict gun control laws would have prevented the mentally unsound , like the Newtown shooter, from getting weapons so easily. It is also true that some armed law-abiding citizens present at that event could have stopped this deranged gunman.

            The truth is in the Second Amendment itself. The Founding Fathers clearly connected the right to bear arms ( a phrase in the English of that time that implied a collective action, not an inalienable individual right) with the people ( again, a collective reference) and “a well-regulated militia,being necessary to the security of a free state” . It means the right to arms is given in exchange for the responsibility of being part of a well-trained, well organised citizens force. It means rigorous rules about who gets to be part of such a force, rigorous training , extensive screening and rigorous control over weapons.

            Imagine the impact of all law-abiding,able-bodied citizens, carrying not concealed but highly visible weapons, contributing their time to take turns patrolling their communities, campuses,business areas. It is not a far-fetched idea. In some of the safest societies like Switzerland, Singapore and Israel ( even with the terrorist attacks), all able-bodied citizens are part of military or police forces.

            So there should be more debate about or implementation of the first part of the Amendment, which our founders deemed as “necessary”. Even if we take individual gun rights as settled law, to truly implement the full intent of the Second Amendment, we should get all law-abiding citizens to be part-time members of military, law enforcement or rescue forces. As happened in our early history and now in Israel,Switzerland and Singapore, the benefits went far beyond policing – it was a powerful nation-building instrument, it brought diverse citizens together, forging lasting friendships in the crucible of training and service, ensured proper representation of all groups in such forces, increased minority presence at leaderships levels , provided some stake in the community to the unemployed, brought aimless youth into some meaningful work and reduced the burden on the career officers so that they could focus better on the more critical jobs.

            In fact, if the first part was implemented, there would be no debate about the second part, for all eligible citizens would have their guns and use it too, even assault weapons.. It would be the only solution to please both sides of the debate – the gun-rights group would get an armed citizenry that would reduce crime and be a detterent to a federal or foreign invasion and the gun -control lobby would get regulations far more comprehensive than they could ever imagine.

            Let’s indeed return to the vision of our founders. Let’s implement their full intent of the Second Amendment.

          4. DEFENDER88 February 5, 2014

            I could not agree more.
            I like it.
            Even the Mexicans are doing that very thing now, in some areas, to control the Cartels since the Govt cant or wont ie too corrupt. They have Flattened some Cartels.
            But can you imagine the – OMG You OWN A GUN!!crowd, like in here, agreeing to anything that involves *SELF* DEFENSE – OMG The Very idea? Although there may be enough independents along with the Conservatives to make it happen. The Repubs would have to be in office however Exec and Legislative for it to have any chance.
            Maybe start at the State level – my state could do it.

            FROM MSN.COM
            Mexico legalizes vigilantes, nabs cartel leader
            In this Jan. 16, 2014 file photo, an armed man belonging to the Self-Defense Council of Michoacan, (CAM), stands guard at a checkpoint set up by the self-defense group at the entrance to Antunez, Mexico.
            MEXICO CITY — Mexico essentially legalized the country’s growing “self-defense” groups Monday, while also announcing that security forces had captured one of the four top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel, which the vigilante groups have been fighting for the last year.
            The government said it had reached an agreement with vigilante leaders to incorporate the armed civilian groups into old and largely forgotten quasi-military units called the Rural Defense Corps. Vigilante groups estimate their numbers at 20,000 men under arms.
            The twin announcements may help the administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto find a way out of an embarrassing situation in the western state of Michoacan, where vigilantes began rising up last February against the Knights Templar reign of terror and extortion after police and troops failed to stop the abuses.
            “The self-defense forces will become institutionalized, when they are integrated into the Rural Defense Corps,” the Interior Department said in a statement.
            Vigilante leaders will have to submit a list of their members to the Defense Department, and the army will apparently oversee the groups, which the government said “will be temporary.” They will be allowed to keep their weapons as long as they register them with the army.
            The army will give the groups “all the means necessary for communications, operations and movement,” according to the agreement. It’s not clear whether the vigilantes will be paid any wages. Such forces are usually voluntary.
            The vigilante leaders were gathered for a meeting to discuss the agreement and were not immediately available to comment.
            Latin America has been bruised by experiences with quasi-military forces, with such tolerated or legally recognized groups being blamed for rights abuses in Guatemala and Colombia in the past.
            While the cartel may be on its way out, “there shouldn’t be abuses by those who come after, there shouldn’t be what we would call a witch hunt; there should be reconciliation,” said the Rev. Javier Cortes, part of a team of priests in the Roman Catholic diocese of Apatzingan who have publicly denounced abuses by the Knights Templar.
            Before dawn on Monday, soldiers and police arrested one of the cartel’s top leaders, Dionicio Loya Plancarte, alias “El Tio,” or The Uncle.
            National Public Safety System secretary Monte Rubido said the feared drug lord was arrested without a shot being fired, adding that when federal forces found him in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, “he was hiding in a closet” and accompanied only by 16-year-old boy.
            The 58-year-old Loya Plancarte had a 30-million peso ($2.25 million) reward on his head from the Mexican government for drug, organized crime and money-laundering charges. He was considered one of the country’s three dozen most-wanted drug lords in the late 2000s.
            The Knights Templar ruled many parts of Michoacan with an iron fist, demanding extortion payments from businesses, farmers and workers, but the self-defense groups have gained ground against the cartel in recent months. Federal police and army troops were dispatched to bring peace to the troubled region, but the vigilantes have demanded the arrest of the cartel’s major leaders before they lay down their guns.
            Ramon Contreras, an activist in the vigilante movement from the town of La Ruana, which was the first to rise up against the Knights Templar, said the arrest “means a lot” to the vigilantes, but added that they won’t rest until they see all the top bosses arrested.
            Contreras voiced a common belief that the man who founded the cartel under the name La Familia Michoacana, Nazario Moreno, alias “El Chayo,” is still alive, despite the government’s statement in 2010 that he had been killed in a shootout with federal forces.
            “He’s still alive; there’s proof he’s still alive,” Contreras said.
            Loya Plancarte got his nickname, “The Uncle,” because he is believed to be the uncle of another top Knights Templar leader, Enrique Plancarte Solis.
            Loya Plancarte joined Plancarte Solis and Servando Gomez in forming the Knights Templar after the purported death of Nazario Moreno.
            The Attorney General’s Office has described Loya Plancarte as “one of the main leaders” of La Familia, saying he was “responsible for press and public relations for the organization, and it is presumed, the one who had contact with law enforcement and judicial authorities.”
            A local journalist from Michoacan recounted watching when Loya Plancarte led a sort of pilgrimage to a shrine erected to Nazario Moreno and had his assistants hand out 500-peso ($37) bills to people who attended.

      2. leadvillexp February 5, 2014

        You are correct about 99.9%. You are wrong about Hitler. He made it easier to get firearms, except for Jews and enemies of the state who he killed. For those that believe it can’t happen here just look to New York State. The Governor banned all future sales and ownership AR 15 rifles and any rifle that has one military item on it such as a thumb hole, muzzle brake or bayonet lug. You now have to register any rifle you now own with one of these items.Dictator Cuomo rammed this through without public comment by use of “Message of Necessity”, much like an Executive Order somewhat bypassing the legislature. Even most Sheriffs Departments in New York State have objected to this. We are fighting this , just hope we win.

  6. Robert Roberto January 29, 2014

    If you want to see tomorrow you have to protect yourself, if someone is about to attack you. If you don’t carry protection you are a dead man.

  7. leadvillexp February 5, 2014

    I’ve been reading the posts and most feel that everyone that carries a gun is insecure or afraid of change. This is not true. I carry at times and sometimes not. It all depends on the situation. I have been in places where most people fear to walk. I have never had to use my gun in self defense, but it was there. You have to protect yourself. The police can’t. If you look me up you will also see that I wrote in defense of Trayvon. He was the only one that had a right to claim “Stand Your Ground”. Mr. Zimmerman should never of had a gun. He was told by the police to stand down and stop following Trayvon. He caused the outcome. I have to call it murder or at the very least manslauter.
    Mr. Zimmerman has mental problems and needs to be treated. We don’t do that now. The average person has a right to protect themselves from all the people we have turned loose on the streets that should be in hospitals.


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