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Section Three "Disagreeing with editorial board on guns"
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A LITTLE ABOUT BOB CONFER
Bob is a Libertarian, desirous of the personal liberty that our nation’s forefathers had intended. He is neither a Republican nor a Democrat...his views are his own, unique and not beholden to any party. His opinions are a blend of all beliefs and are founded upon common sense and patriotism. You will often find him to be critical of government actions while at other times quite supportive. He is a voice of the people driven by the need to make our elected officials accountable, thus making America an even-greater breeding ground for liberty and capitalism.
The following article [s] were published in the Greater Niagara Newspapers, and is the opinion of the writer
|DISAGREEING WITH THE EDITORIAL
BOARD ON HANDGUN ISSUE
From the 19 November 2007 Greater Niagara Newspapers
We find ourselves at a crucial moment in the history of gun ownership in the United States. Very soon the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the case of the District of Columbia v. Heller. In this case Washington resident Dick Heller and his lawyers say the city’s 31-year-old handgun ban is unconstitutional. Heller, an armed security officer by profession no less, had attempted to register a personal handgun for home protection and was denied by the City, which he then sued and lost to. But, then, a three-man panel of the US Court of Appeals ruled in his favor, that is, until the full panel of the Appeals Court agreed with the City. That judicial mess is what has led up to this case now being front and center before Chief Justice Roberts and crew.
If the Supreme Court moves on this issue to clarify once and for all whether gun ownership is a singular or collective right it would satisfy one of the more controversial and confusing issues of our time. It is an issue debated at length due to multiple interpretations of the language and intent of the founding documents. Along with abortion, firearms represent one of the two most polarizing topics in American political culture; it is one that has for years permeated political discourse and one for which everyone has their opinion. People care passionately about their stance and quite often take much offense to the other side.
I am no different in this regard. That’s why, last week, I was shocked to see all of the Greater Niagara Newspapers running the very same GNN-written editorial that denounced the singular approach to gun ownership. I would expect such unabashed anti-gun rhetoric out of a left-leaning metropolitan newspaper like the New York Times, but not out of our newspaper network whose Niagara-Orleans readership is best summed up as right-leaning (if not outright conservative) and, therefore, more truer to the founding fathers’ ways of thinking when it comes to Constitutional understanding.
Everyone is allowed their own opinions (or else I wouldn’t be on these pages every week) and mine in no way mirrors that of the editorial board(s). I am of a pro-gun mentality and I found the editorial to be an outlet for Big Media fear mongering and, overall, an argument fraught with holes.
The board seemed quite content with the collective interpretation of the Second Amendment, focusing on the use of the word “militia”. I ask that they go back one month when my column looked at two other words in the amendment (“the people”) to declare that the amendment portrays singular rights based upon the use of those words in other amendments (1, 4, 9, 10). Those rights would ring hollow if the essence of the individual were eliminated by using the same collective mindset that the anti-gun crowd applies to the Second.
The authors then went on to say everything is rosy with New York’s gun laws. This could not be further from the truth. Our State is a minority (and far from a role model) when it comes to the Second Amendment, be it in terms of guns or weapons of defense. We are one of 12 states that has a pistol permit system. We are one of 8 states that limits pepper spray. And, we are one of only 6 states that prohibits stun guns. Based upon the severity of these reigns, were these to actually be effective regulations our violent crime rate would be very far below the national average, if not at the absolute bottom. Instead, we consistently find ourselves amongst the top twenty most violent states.
Perhaps based upon such statistics, the editorial board also noted that there is no correlation between tougher gun laws and the reduction in violent crime. If that’s the case, why would the writers chose to support such ill-advised legislation? By doing so they are only promoting the elimination of weapons from the hands of law-abiding citizens, giving the advantage to the evil wretches of society who chose to forgo morality and steal from, rape, and murder the innocents.
The editorial board has their opinions. I have mine. The Supreme Court has theirs. All those who count themselves as American fundamentalists and believers of natural rights and self-responsibility should hope the Court’s approach is more similar to mine. If not, our citizens will continue to argue the issue while, in the background, the governments of the various states erode our very personal rights.
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