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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gun Control & The National Rifle Association

While the 2nd Amendment is a ‘Right’ it holds a wide array of interpretations as it has become a far too important topic for those with little to do with their time. So let’s take a look at this amendment and some interpretations:

The Amendment:

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

The Breakdown:

“Bear Arms” refers to military service, which is why the plural is used (based on Greek ‘hopla pherein’ and Latin ‘arma ferre’) – one does not bear arm, or bear an arm. The word means, etymologically, ‘equipment’ (from the root ar-* in verbs like ‘ararisko’, to fit out). It refers to the ‘equipage’ of war. Thus ‘bear arms’ can be used of naval as well as artillery warfare, since the “profession of arms” refers to all military callings.

While this seems to be a pretty good case they have found several interpretations arguing the opposite as follows by Olson and Cramer:

Searching more comprehensive collections of English language works published before 1820 shows that there are a number of uses that…have nothing to do with military service…[and] The common law was in agreement. Edward Christian’s edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries that appeared in the 1790’s described the rights of Englishmen (which every American colonist had been promised) in these terms ‘everyone is at liberty to keep or carry a gun, if he does not use it for the [unlawful] destruction of game.’ This right was separate from militia duties

And if you see the source of this article you can be overwhelmed with the attention given to this topic over the past several years. The verbiage is decidedly controversial in regards to ‘Militia’ and the following about ‘Bearing Arms’ by Hamilton.

If a well regulated militia be the most natural defense of a free country, it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security….A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.

As of late, we’ve seen some articles floating around about increasing ability to carry concealed weapons and the statistics regarding whether that leads to more or less deaths in the United States. To that I say, what an experiment. In our research we looked up some other studies done on the subject. It appears in Australia, when they implemented their gun control in 1996 that murders by guns have decreased sharply to date. The source below will actually enforce this and claims that the increase in gun control does not definitely insinuate dictatorship and chaos within a country. Maybe in America, however, where the crazies whose biggest worry is owning enough assault weapons so they can fight “terrorist” should be feared in this event.

As a side note: NRA – Another ‘could have been good’ organization that refuses to actually be responsible in this debate. When Obama was running for office they spent millions perpetuating propaganda regardless of the supported evidence that Obama was not going to revoke home gun control laws. While it seems they should be a champion of civil liberties, they are seemingly more of an agenda seeking organization versus the former.

The NRA has circulated printed material and ran TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.

And then in further investigation…

The NRA spent $40 million during this year’s elections, including $15 million to portray Sen. Barack Obama as a threat to gun rights. The NRA circulated fliers and mailers that claimed to be “Barack Obama’s 10-Point Plan to ‘Change’ the Second Amendment.”

Republicans hold two rights dear to their heart, one being freedom of speech, and the other the right to bear arms. These two rights are the hobbyhorse for the extremist radical right wing nut job, and in there undying love for them they let fearous ignoramia take over. This fear often causes otherwise rational people to act like assholes. Quoting Roger West NFTOS editor-in chief "It should be noted that no right is absolute, even those supposedly granted by God and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights."

So what does this all mean? Well, regardless of how you’d like to determine what our rights in this matter are or should be, in going forward we should agree the following:

Guns can kill people.
They can be distributed by the masses or prohibited completely and you can not necessarily derive an end result regarding either extreme.
If you are part of the NRA and have a sticker on your car, hat, tie, or otherwise.. you have a serious misunderstanding of what they represent. I’m all for civil liberties but if you are wearing this then you clearly will never be wrong about your standpoint despite anything anytime. If you are about civil liberties then check out Alan Dershowitz or even Jean Edward Smith.