LibertyForAll | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Under the Gun


I said "some might dislike the ACLU because..." SOME. It was just an example. The ACLU gets accused of supporting all kinds of things that people on the right of the political spectrum disagree with. It was just an example - that's all. No more, no less. However, when the event happened, and I was around then, it was a big deal to a lot of people, especially in the Chicagoland area. But thank you so much for attempting to deflect the issue!

The idea of denying felons their Second Amendment rights is a rather new idea. 1968, actually. Before that you might even get your gun back when you were released from prison. And if you want to compare it to child molesters, ok - then make the argument that only people who commited violent crimes with guns should be denied that right, not tax cheats. However, Libertarian type that I am, I'll still disagree. If one has served their time and paid their debt then all rights should be restored. If one is still a threat, then they should be out of jail in the first place. That goes for child molesters and pronography, as well.

I'll never buy the idea that because someone commited a crime, and served their time, that they then have to assimilate back into society and pay taxes, but they have no right to vote (say how their money is used) or defend themselves. Either the debt is paid or it isn't, and I'm not interested in creating groups of second or third class citizens. We're either free, or we're not. And if we're not free, then it had better be with serious reason.

Speech is tearted by the law when it effects another person directly - liable and slander. Those are acts where speech has a victim. Also under that would be screeming fire in a crowded theater when there isn't a fire, or simply screeming at 2am and waking up you neighbors. All those thing DIRECTLY infringe on another person. A waiting period infringes only on the individual. A FOID infringes only on the INDIVIDUAL. If I don't wait, or I don't have a card, you cannot produce any victim from that "crime." But making me wait when their is a threat to my life makes me the victim.

But, if we really want to make the speech law argument with guns, ok... If a guy can stick an upsidedown cross in a jar of urine, put it on public disply, do so with a NEA grant and say it's covered by the First Amendment, then I can carry my pistol when and where I want.

Posted by LibertyForAll on 07/14/2010 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Under the Gun


I never said a thing about looking at the NRA's website, I think you have me confused with another poster.

As far as your complaint about the NRA goes, the NRA is the lobbying/legal default group when it comes to the Second Amendment, much like the ACLU is for the First, Fourth and Fifth. They approach the matter from a very strict interpretation (but not strict enough for my tastes) and claim to give no quarter since what they are defending is an individual Constitutional right.

Many dislike the ACLU because they might choose to defend some Nazi's right to march in Skokie. I, for one, would support their decision to take that case (and did), as I understand that any violation of First Amendment rights, no matter how noble the reason, is a stepping stone to encrochment on mine. It is no different when any gun organization takes up the fight against permits, training requirements, registration, make and model bans, or any other anti-gun legislation. They are defending an individual right which clearly states it "shall not be infringed."

The Supreme Court has confirmed incorporation of the Second Amendment through the 14th Amendment. This means it's an individual right, and it needs to be treated as such - The argument pro-gun folks have been making all along. Guns need to be treated like books, speech and religion, and if some don't like it call a Constitutional Convention and change it. Otherwise, leave my, and everyone else's, guns alone.

I seriously doubt anyone here would suggest that once a person has been convicted of a crime and has served their time in jail, that they no longer be allowed to practice their religion or voice their opinion or OWN A BOOK. And I'm not interested in being part of any organization that would suggest such a ting, or suggest that once a person has paid his or her debt, they they may no longer defend their life or their families lives.

Self defense is an all or nothing thing.

Lastly, waiting periods do zero to prevent crime, but they can effect the lives of those in need of immediate defense.

I have had many female students over the years contact me for training, and they want it the same day. Why? Because a stalker, or an ex is making direct death threats to them. When I inform them that it will be 60+ days for an FOID card, and another 3 (or more, because it's 3 business days in IL) to pick up thier gun, many actually turn pale and sob.

I suggest that from now on I have them call you. You can explain to them how their helplessness is all for the greater good. :-)

Posted by LibertyForAll on 07/12/2010 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Under the Gun


Can you explain how "waiting periods" in any way reduce crime? How making two trips to the gunshop rather than one somehow makes the world a better place?

Can you explain to me how making me wait to buy a second gun keeps me from commiting a crime with my first gun?

And do you have any idea what an "armor piercing" bullet is? I do, but I doubt most people who argue against them do...

There isn't a bullet proof vest made that any police officer can comfortably wear on patrol that will stop most rifle bullets or shotgun slugs. Yes there are vests that can, but they are not what patrol officers wear. Most police vests are Level II or Level IIIA - rated, at best, to stop .44Magnum pistol rounds. There are also rifle level inserts that can be placed in a vest, but as a friend of mine so eloquently says it, "Stand infront of a mirror with nothing but your body armor on and ask yourself how protected you feel." Now, I'm certainly not suggesting police not wear armor, or that it doesn't serve to save lives - it does, no doubt! It's just not what so many seem to think it is.

And yes, there are some "armor piercing" pistol bullets. Very rare, and expensive. But so what? It's really such a non-issue that I have to shake my head at anyone who wants to argue about it as if it's the cause of some sort of police death epidemic.

Now, armor piercing (AP) rifle rounds. The 5.56 (.223") round used in the M16/AR15 is generally a 55-grain copper jacketed lead bullet. The AP equivalent is the 62-grain, SS109. It's a tungsten core with copper jacket. Both will go through a police issue vest, the difference being that the AP round will (probably) poke a .22-caliber hole in you and exit out the other side. The 55-grain standard round with tumble and fragment, causing all kinds of damage. So, if I had to choose, I'll take the hit from the AP - I'll have a better chance of surviving.

Granted, different calibers behave in different ways, and that's only a single example.

But my point here is that people hear things like "armor piercing" or "assault weapon" or "Saturday Night Specials" or "waiting periods", and they run with it as if it is some sort of accurate representation of reality. It's not. And when it comes to regulating or tampering with a Constitutional right, I would suggest that we all need to do our due diligence and actually learn a little bit about what it is were talking about.

As with most things in life, it's best to go into an decision with facts, science and reality, not emotion and second-hand information. ...but I'm not saying that's what you're doing. :-)

Posted by LibertyForAll on 07/09/2010 at 11:37 AM

Re: “Under the Gun

Wakeup, is who sponsored the event (single event, not "meetings and rallys")regarding concealed carry last week in Chicago. It was for the most part organized by Gerald Vernon, who is an African-American who teaches Inner City Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. The NRA was not involved, did not sponsor it, and proved ZERO funding for that meeting, so it would be great if you ceased perpetuating that falsehood.

As far as "low income African Americans" go - perhaps they can speak and think for themselves. Maybe they actually have brains and don't need to be treated like children. Maybe their lives are worth defending, and maybe they can make that choice for themselves. Holy crap, do you have any idea how patronizing and elitist you sound saying things like that?

And I agree with you 100% that DEFENSIVE pistols are designed to shoot people with. Thank god! That's why I carry two! I carry my guns to shoot people with, because some people need to be shot. Not murdered, not assaulted, not needlessly threatened with, but shot when they engage in behavior which threatens the lives of the innocent - and what's more, they need to be shot NOW. Not in 10-minutes when the police arrive - Now! And shooting bad people engaging in bad behavior is not a bad thing, and it in no way makes the firearme used a negative object. Quite the contrary, it makes that firearm a life saving device. And like a car, or a knife, or a fire extinguisher, it can be misused. But because it is misused does not make the manufacturer guilty of ill intent, and shame on you for making such an accusation. I suggest you take a trip to a gun manufacturing facility and talk to the people there. There are lots of them in Illinois, and I'm sure any owner would be glad to sit down and speak with you. Once you do that, then come back and tell me they are "merchants of death", or some other such dreck.

In the meantime, I'll continue to train women and minorities (especially gay and lesbian) students in the art of self defense with firearms. I'll also continue to sleep well at night with that stack of letters and emails on my desk all thanking me for saving lives. Yeah, that's right, people actually save life with their handguns, and it happens everyday.

And when you can provide a better solution than a handgun to a 110lb woman with a stalker who is making death threats towards her and her children, I'll be all ears. But until then, I suggest she arm herself with one of the wonderful defensive pistols we have available in the US and get properly trained. And in the event she is confronted with said stalker and the fight is on, I sure hope the gun she has in her hand works as advertized!

Posted by LibertyForAll on 07/09/2010 at 11:03 AM

Re: “Under the Gun

Dear Wakeup,

As a non-NRA member, you will not hear me defending the organization. Of course, under full disclosure, it's because I've never felt they were actually trying to promote the idea that guns should be treated like books. I think they love gun legislation and things like the new Chicago law as it gives them reason to exist. That is actually where the money is with that organization - crying to gun owners that they need to donate to fight anti-gun legislation.

That aside, the NRA is the largest lobbying group in the US (next to AARP), and the vast majority of membership is made up of INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS. "The little guy" as you might say. 3.5-4.5-MILLION at any given time. People who don't own gun manufacturing businesses, don't own gun shops, and don't make money from guns. Sure, there are manufacturers who are members, and gun shops, but that's not where the numbers come from. It's just regular people, black, white, male, female, Republican, Democrat, who simply want to be LEFT ALONE. They want to be left alone to hunt, collect guns, shoot matches, and even own and carry guns for defense of home and family without being treated like they are criminals. They don't want children gunned down in the school yard, they don't want war in the streets, and they certainly don't want gun violence on the streets of Chicago. Painting anyone with such broad brush strokes is disingenuous, at best, and something that I would suggest only someone without tangible knowledge of the subject would do.

And as far as manufacturers go, very few are "industrial sized" businesses. Most are what would be considered small businesses. Springfield Armory here in Illinois employs 135-people. DSA in Lake Barrington, IL, employs 30. Even the largest of companies, like Smith and Wesson, employ around 1450. Hardly anything that could be compared to GM, BP, or CitiBank. Most gun manufacturers are regular people who work very hard in a business that is quite hard to stay afloat in and definately has seen some lean years. That last two years not withstanding.

Now, if you think guns should be banned, fine. Then we need to call a Constitutional convention and change the Bill of Rights. What we can't do is decide to ignore Article II because we please. I can't imagine what those here would say if Mayor Daley suggested a $100 permit to own a book in Chicago. Or if he said only one book per adult could be read at any time in every home, and that all other books had to be locked up. Imagine your reation if he were to suggest you needed to take 5-hours of training before you could vote, or if you could only attend the church of your choice one time a month.

Article II applies to individuals, just like Article I does. We all need to get over that. And once we do, perhaps we can start throwing our energy into the real cause of gang violence in Chicago - namely, the "war" on drugs. Teens are shooting (stabbing and beating with baseball bats) each other over drug sale TERRITORY. Drugs are the real "big business", and drug profit is the motivation behind the violence. The drug war has been fought, and drugs won. We need to de-criminalize them immediately and reduce the huge profit motives. And if it makes you feel better, I'll even agree to diverting the drug war funding into treatment and education. But we all need to realize that the money made from selling drugs is so good that people are willing to kill each other over it...and what they use to do that is simply a tool in the hands of a motivated killer who will still commit the murder regardless of that tools availability.

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Posted by LibertyForAll on 07/08/2010 at 2:19 PM

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