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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Guns on Campus - What Is Freedom? Part I

Near and dear to my heart is the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. My dad retired from the Marine Corps after serving 21 years and in two wars. He joined the Corps in 1950 when he graduated from high school with the expressed purpose of going to Korea. He later served as an advisor in Vietnam, and in between had a fruitfull career. One of the things he experienced was being part of the Marine Corps 1000 yd rifle team which is composed of competitive marksman shooting at long distances. Marines take marksmanship very seriously. Even the Commandant of the Marine Corps must requalify with the service rifle each year, and we take inordinate pride in our skills.

My dad taught me to shoot, and the Marine Corps polished the skill. It takes many hours of focused practice time to learn how to shoot well, and even today I can place 10 rounds inside the head of a target at 500 yards in an offhand (standing, unsupported) stance with am M16 with no scope. I have fired more than 100,000 rounds with everything from a 9mm handgun to M60 machine guns to sniper rifles to anti-tank rockets. I served in combat. Later in law enforcement I carried a weapon virtually 24/7. I have weapons in my house, have taught my daughters to shoot, and will do so with my son when he is old enough to understand the responsibility of learning to do so. I shoot every chance I get, whether it is skeet shooting or target shooting with a rifle across a pasture at my father-in-law's.

I am always heartened when I think of the farmers and silversmiths and storekeepers who picked up a musket and fought off the strongest and most professional military of the time when they pushed the British into the sea at Yorktown. I have never been shy about the fact that I will defend my home, my family, and my neighbors if and when the need arises.

In my perspective, the ability to do so is freedom. I have the responsibility to protect my family and friends, and have the freedom to access the resources to do so. I do not have to rely upon the government or others. I carry that duty proudly. Freedom is knowing that my children sleep soundly at night because I am there to protect them. There is freedom in knowing that when I work hard and pay my mortgage payment each month that no one is just going to waltz in and take my home.

To the left, freedom is wanting to eliminate people from having guns. They want campuses to be gun-free so that they don't have to fear firearms. The left wishes to be free of making the distinction between good guys and bad. So we have a story about a group of college students who wish to be allowed to carry their weapons on a college campus.
They have protested their inability to do that by wearing empty gun holsters to class. HERE IS THEIR WEBSITE.

Please notice the rules for the protest as posted by the group. Do you notice a difference between those rules and the wail and cry of the left? I saw a YouTube video the other day with a rabid anti-war guy advocating that the students today are wimps compared to those of the 60s, and that they should be taking every opportunity to disrupt the normal business and routine of every college campus in the country (If I can find it again, I will edit this post, but I don't remember the guy's name or anything that would lead me back to it at the moment).

They have an excellent point about the right to defend themselves, and the fact that if even one student in the building was in possession of a weapon, the massacre at Virginia Tech would not have happened. Why should they be denied the freedom that the original American citizens possessed?

Freedom. We can protest, but we must do so responsibly. We should have the ability to defend ourselves, our homes, and our families. The framers of our government wanted the freedom of speech and religion to be enumerated first, knowing that those important liberties depended on the freedom to defend it with force. Freedom is knowing that we hold the key, and the assets, to preserve our liberties.

13 Posts From Readers:

Conservative Chic said...

Another great post Robert. Whenever I hear of someone trying to bann guns, I always seem to think of this quote...."Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

But it's the truth. To bann guns, you will be taking the protection away from those that need it most. Do they honestly think that if they bann guns all the gang bangers are gonna hand them all over? C'mon, face reality here. I think they key word here is responsible. Safety locks, background checks, etc are very important and should be implemented, but to bann guns is not only ridiculous, it's dangerous for all of us that want to take care of our families and homes.

Shaw said...

I read the Fox News you linked to on students who want to carry concealed weapon on campus. The report mentions 4 universities, and reports on 12 students at the University of Idaho who are involved in trying to get the Univ. to allow students to carry concealed weapons. The University of Idaho has a student enrollment of over 11,000 students. Hardly an overwhelming show of students who want to carry concealed weapons is it? And in a state that one could never in one’s wildest dreams call liberal or left. That was a particularly dumb example for Fox News to use. It appears that the students who are wearing empty holsters to make their points are in a miniscule minority. And it also appears that it is the universities’ boards who make decisions on gun issues, not “the left.”

And speaking of “the left.” I'll post what a quick search in Google found concerning the leading candidates (and other well-known lefty politicians) on the left on gun issues. Not one wants to take away your right to own a gun. Not one. And those who offer restrictions do so on the basis of restricting gun ownership to the "bad" guys, i.e., criminals, or the mentally unstable.

You should be a bit more thoughtful before you indict the entire political spectrum known as “the left.” As you will see, your assessment that "To the left, freedom is wanting to eliminate people from having guns. They want campuses to be gun-free so that they don't have to fear firearms. The left wishes to be free of making the distinction between good guys and bad." is inaccurate.

Shaw said...

Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana) strongly believes in our Second Amendment rights. As a gun owner and custom butcher Jon made his living with a gun for 25 years. As a legislator Tester voted repeatedly to protect gun rights. In the United States Senate, Jon will stand up to anyone — Republican or Democrat — who wants to take away Montanans’ gun rights.

Last October in the New Mexico gubernatorial race, he was (again) endorsed by the NRA:
The gun rights group - traditionally not a left-wing organization, to answer the question - lent its endorsement Monday to Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat.

Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) is a life-long hunter.

Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) recently released a statement saying clearly that as a Senator he will oppose efforts to further curtail the rights of gun owners. This is said with no ifs ands or buts. No new gun control measures, period.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) on Gun Control. Democratic Sr Senator (CT) .... (Jun 1999); Rated A+ by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.

Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois) He fully supports 2nd Amendment rights, with restrictions only for criminals and those mentally unstable.

John Edwards on Gun Control: “I respect and believe in people’s Second Amendment rights.

Hillary Clinton does not want to take away your right to own guns. She is for background checks to prevent mentally ill people and criminals from purchasing guns.

Joe Biden on Gun Control. Democratic Sr Senator (DE) .... (Jun 1999); Rated A+ by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record. (Dec 2003) ...

Al Gore on Gun Control: “I believe in the rights of hunters, sportsmen and legitimate gun owners.”

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Robert I recently did a series on the Constitution and touched on some of the very ideals and thoughts that you are bringing out in these last two posts ....and what looks like a regular series.

Well done and looking forward to it!

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Ken, I promise I am not trying to be a copycat. However, you post some interesting things that always spark a line of thought with me. It coincidently hit me the same week as this story, and I went with it.

Thanks for coming around without coating my house with eggs.

Shaw, I am not inaccurate. There is no one on the right side of the spectrum who advocates gun control. THe assult on this freedom is from the left.

Hillary Clinton: "We will not make progress on a sensible gun control agenda unless the entire American public gets behind it" - Forum at South Side Middle School in Nassau County Jul 15, 1999

"We’ve made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do." - ABC’s “Good Morning America” Jun 4, 1999

"We need to stand firm on behalf of sensible gun control legislation." - www.hillary2000.org, “Gun Safety” Sep 9, 2000

Barak Obama: Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.

Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.

Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.

Source: 1998 IL State Legislative National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Al Gore: "We have got to take them (NRA) on strongly and pass new gun control legislation-not aimed at hunters and sportsmen, but at these handguns that are causing so much distress in our country." - Democrat debate in Los Angeles Mar 1, 2000

"We need child-safety trigger locks. We need to ban junk guns. We need to reinstate the 3-day waiting period." - Democrat debate in Los Angeles Mar 1, 2000

"It’s much more sensible to try to get the maximum gun control that we possibly can." - Democratic Debate in Durham, NH Jan 5, 2000

Unfortuantely, there are those on the left who would take away my right to own guns, and allow me to keep only what they think is "reasonable". This does not fall within my definition of freedom, nor do the above statements.

Shaw said...

Shaw, I am not inaccurate. There is no one on the right side of the spectrum who advocates gun control. THe assult on this freedom is from the left.--Robert

Wrong again, my good man. Just plain wrong. And it took me exactly 2 seconds to find how wrong you are.

http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue11/dont_blame_liberals.htm



NEWSMAX.COM - Anti-gun crusaders seem worried about the advent of a Republican administration. Heaven knows why. Republicans, in recent years, have managed to do nearly as much damage to the Second Amendment as Democrats.

In 1969, journalist William Safire asked Richard Nixon what he thought about gun control. "Guns are an abomination," Nixon replied. According to Safire, Nixon went on to confess that, "Free from fear of gun owners' retaliation at the polls, he favored making handguns illegal and requiring licenses for hunting rifles."

It was President George Bush, Sr. who banned the import of "assault weapons" in 1989, and promoted the view that Americans should only be allowed to own weapons suitable for "sporting purposes."

It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners.

Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. "I support the Brady Bill," he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, "and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay."

One of the most aggressive gun control advocates today is Republican mayor Rudolph Giuliani of New York City, whose administration sued 26 gun manufacturers in June 2000, and whose police commissioner, Howard Safir, proposed a nationwide plan for gun licensing, complete with yearly "safety" inspections.

Another Republican, New York State Governor George Pataki, on August 10, 2000, signed into law what The New York Times called "the nation’s strictest gun controls," a radical program mandating trigger locks, background checks at gun shows and "ballistic fingerprinting" of guns sold in the state. It also raised the legal age to buy a handgun to 21 and banned "assault weapons," the sale or possession of which would now be punishable by seven years in prison.

Gun control crusaders argue that the Republicans are simply yielding to grassroots pressure, to gain political advantage. But polls show little evidence of such pressure.

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I said nothing about republicans. I said conservatives, and Giuliani is not one of us. 1967 in California? Are you completely incapable of framing your arguments in history? I have no problem at all with requiring a permit to carry concealed in public. The issue is with places such as NYC and Washington, D.C. where it is impossile to get one.

And you declined to post this from the same article: "Clearly, the pressure for gun control is not coming from the grassroots. It comes from those layers of society that the left calls the "ruling classes" – academics, Hollywood stars, Washington insiders and multibillion-dollar media conglomerates.

The latter are particularly influential in pushing anti-gun propaganda. A study by the Media Research Center released in January 2000 showed that television news stories calling for stricter gun laws outnumbered those opposing such laws by a ratio of 10 to 1.

The blame for this media bias is traditionally assigned to "liberal journalists." And, indeed, most journalists do hold left-of-center views. A 1996 survey of working journalists by the Roper Center and the Freedom Forum showed that 89 percent had voted for Bill Clinton in 1992. Only 4 percent identified themselves as Republicans and only 2 percent as conservatives."

Obob said...
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Obob said...
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American Interests said...

Good post this. Jen at Conservative Chic has pretty much expressed my feelings. Guns, responsibly stored and used are for protection of individuals and families. In my society, however I would be considered an aberration of sorts or worse still, dangerous. The 2nd amendment is not understood outside of the U.S.

Shaw said...

Shaw, I am not inaccurate. There is no one on the right side of the spectrum who advocates gun control. THe assult on this freedom is from the left.--Robert

Okay Robert, have it your way. But if you read English the way I do, you said "...no one on the right." Giuliani is on the right, not the left.

And you completely ignored this:

It was President George Bush, Sr. who banned the import of "assault weapons" in 1989, and promoted the view that Americans should only be allowed to own weapons suitable for "sporting purposes."

It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street." The law was aimed at stopping the Black Panthers, but affected all gun owners."

Twenty-four years later, Reagan was still pushing gun control. "I support the Brady Bill," he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, "and I urge the Congress to enact it without further delay."

Look, Robert, the only reason I come here and post is to try to get you and your friends to understand that a lot of times (not always) what you say about the left is simply not true.

In this case, I offered proof that it isn't just "the left," as you declared, that has imposed gun control.

Ronald Reagan is the conservatives' most cherished icon.

I'll let what I posted speak for itself.

You can continue to refute not what I said, but what the facts are. It's your blog.

Who was it who said you can have your own opinions but not your own facts?

Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

Shaw,allow me an analogy if you will.

There is a large field and on the left side are a thousand apple trees. On the right side are a thousand peach trees, and four apple trees.

In the middle is a man who is being pelted by apples from the left side, and shouts that the left is attacking him with apples.

just because there is a guy on the right side sitting under a peach ttree eating an apple does not change the fact that the assault is from the left.

I said nothing about the left being the only people in the world who want some form of gun control. In fact, less than 10% of Americans favor more strict gun control, while the majority of Americans favor enforcing the laws as they exist.

The Mulford Act in 1967 was a response to race riots and movements of the black panthers to incite more rioting. It did not restrict gun ownership. It restricted the carry of weapons to those lawfully licensed to do so. I don't think there is any conservative today that has a problem with needing a concealed carry permit. I have one, and except for the period of time where I had a badge, have always had one. I carry and will continue to do so. I gladly pay my $25 per year for the permit. As a law enforcement officer, I was always glad to see a person who had a weapon also have a permit. it instantly gave me a tool to identify the bad guys from the good ones. By that I mean that those whith weapons with permits had to undergo a background check before recieving it. Those who carried without said permit required a little more checking and therefore, more caution and scrutiny.

I will concede your point that I said "...no one on the right". I speak colloquially and presume that my audience has a basic grasp on the current condition of issues and does not need me to "break it down" for them that there is one GOP (note I did not say conservative) candidate who has backed gun control and sponsored legislation to restrict the ownership of weapons.

Of course there are a few apple trees amongst the peach orchards. Bush, Sr. was about as conservative as Giuliani, and that isn't saying much. Giuliani is a GOP candidate; he is not "on the right". He is not a conservative, an there is a distinct difference between the two.

Reagan and the Brady Bill? he may have endorsed it, but he did not sponsor it nore encourage it while he had the power to do so. The Brady bill was a completely worthless and feel-good piece of legislation. While I opposed it, it did nothing to stop me from anything I had done before its passage. Well, it actually kept me from purchasing more 30 rounds magazines. Not because they weren't available, but because I refused to pay the un-market prices that they were asking. Besides, I already owned 10 of them, so how many do I really need? LOL

Shaw, you are welcomed here and I appreciate your debate points. I am just saying that there are dacts, and then there are facts. I don't consider the issuance of a carry permit as gun control, nor do I consider Reagan an evil pagan because he supported a bill.

I do consider the left a threat when the biggest names in the ideology today support "...get the maximum gun control that we possibly can."

Seth said...

Excellent post, Robert.

Not a lot to add except in regard to your conversation with Shaw, and that to say that I have run into the same situation with folks from the port side of the political spectrum, most notably in San Francisco and here in Chicago: They just can't seem to grasp the fact that there are some important differences to be found between Republicans and Conservatives.

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