Article the Fourth
[ Amendment II ]
"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."
SPORTING HUNTING RANGE SELF DEFENSE CCDW
photography by Mark D McKinley
Guns! Guns! Guns!
- written by "Jeff Botts"
GUNS!!!!!!!!! GUNS!!!!!!!!! GUNS!!!!!!!
Uh Oh. Maybe I should keep this to myself, but recently I have been called a white redneck gun nut. And it's all because I'm a law-abiding gun owner. As a nation we are continually told that all Muslims are not terrorists. I don't have to be told this. I know. I have a logical mind. And I'm not in the Trump camp. But it does seem odd to me that the same people who keep saying that all Muslims aren't terrorists are very quick to lump me in with all the mass shooters. So, now I would like to educate some people on what the gun laws really are in this state.
If a person buys a firearm from a licensed dealer, a background check IS done, no matter where that sale takes place. It is federal law. Here's how online gun sales work: You order a gun online. The dealer you bought it from ships it to a Licensed dealer. You go to dealer to pick it up. You pay a transfer fee. The dealer does a background check. Private sales in KY are legal. No background checks are done. Please if you don't agree with the laws on private sales read your Constitution, especially the 10th Amendment. And I keep hearing that the 2nd Amendment is outdated and should be changed or repealed. First let's talk law. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled twice that the 2nd Amendment protects a PERSONAL right to gun ownership. 2008 DC. v. Heller and 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago. Then there are those who say well it was written at a time when we only had muskets. True. But the 1st Amendment was written before we had the internet, TV, Playboy and pornography. I would ask , "Do you think our genius forefathers got EVERYTHING right except the 2nd Amendment?"
Then the argument goes to: Well all our rights have limitations. Again, true. You can't yell 'fire' in a crowded theater. True, but I don't have my mouth duct-taped shut when I go see a movie. The people who violate the law are arrested. I don't mean to stereotype, but I'm convinced that most of the people calling for more gun control have never even held a gun. And I know many members of Congress have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to firearms. Here's a quick lesson. A semi-automatic firearm is NOT fully automatic. A semi-auto firearm will fire one round each time you pull the trigger, then you must release the trigger and pull again to fire another round. A full auto firearm will continuously fire as long as the trigger is held back. No one can walk into a gun store and just buy a fully automatic firearm. There are more federal checks that have to be done, usually taking 6 months, not to mention those firearms cost in the tens of thousands.
On to the media hyped 'Assault Weapon.' No such thing exists in the civilian world. The shooting in France was done by terrorists who had fully automatic rifles. France and all the surrounding countries have some of the strictest gun laws on the planet. Did those laws stop that attack?
Yeah, before we know it those guns will be linked to some gun shop here in the states. LOL. The recent shooting in California was carried out with guns bought in California. California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country. Did those laws stop that attack?
And now we're finding out how much information was missed by the authorities regarding that couple. And that's where the focus should be. Intelligence. And one question I hear often is, when has a civilian with a gun stopped a mass shooting?
There have been plenty, they just don't get reported on the national news. If anyone wants links to these stories I will provide them. And my question is, when has a cop stopped a mass shooting?
And how many politicians who call for gun control are walking around with armed security?
Are their lives worth more than yours, mine, or my family?
My family has armed security too. Me. And my last point: Sometimes when they get upset and let their guard down, the people calling for more gun control, will slip up and say things like 'ban all the guns' 'repeal the 2nd Amendment.' Neither will ever happen. Banning guns would mean confiscation and there are too many guns in circulation to make that feasible. Repealing the 2nd Amendment needs too many votes to ever pass. ALL politicians who are trying to get elected court the pro-gun people to some degree to get votes.
Don't believe me?
Look at this publicity photo of then Sen. Gabby Giffords when she was campaigning for office. That is an AR-15. Now that my opinion about this is 'out there' some of my friends might look at me differently. So be it. I just had to say something as I was being lumped in with mass murderers.
- (c) 2015 Jeff Botts
Journalism, Politics, Society, Violence,
Respect for Life and Firearms
- written by "Mark D. McKinley"
We're frequently bombarded with headlines [and commentary] about ISIS, Ebola, select violent crimes, gun control issues, Benghazi, murder and unbridled corruption. These leading news stories are often accompanied with sensational commentary. What happened to really investigating an incident and gathering all the facts BEFORE reporting serious issues?
With the disappearance of old-school-seat-of-the-pants-investigative-journalism, who can we turn to for an accurate ... no nonsense account of current events?
I miss Paul Harvey. I miss the Huntley-Brinkley Report. I miss Louisville Wave TV newscasts with Livingston Gilbert. I miss the Matt Walsh daily radio program. I miss old school reporting of the news. I don't need news commentary twenty-four and seven. I want world news and local news delivered to me in sensible dialog - without fanfare. I've never asked for hype, spin or fancy graphics. When I want dazzling special effects and cleverly scripted dialog I go to the movies or attend visual arts events. Media hype and endless commentary serve no useful purpose in journalism. I'm searching for that elusive voice of reason. I want a news organization with the guts to quench my thirst for old-fashioned-honest-to-goodness-accurate-mundane-news-reporting.
A return to roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-busy journalism shouldn't be an unreasonable request. If there's nothing new under the sun then there must be a new way of doing what has been done. We need to return to old school ... fact based ... journalism.
For the folks that place unwarranted importance on social labels, I was a registered Democrat until a few years into the Jimmy Carter administration. I've been registered as a Republican since those years although I have no absolute allegiance to either party in terms of their politics. I wish to offer my readers safe passage through the murky waters of being pigeonholed as a Republican or Democrat. Some people find it easier to form opinions and make comparisons based on political labels. Let's keep it real - it doesn't require a PHD or any other degree to notice when something appears to be amiss.
Our two party government of Democrats and Republicans has started to decay. What our future government will look like remains a mystery. Our country is going through changes. Other countries are experiencing change as well. Our government has adopted a deceptive plan to reshape our entire process of thought aided by media fanfare in an attempt to loosen our firm grasp on reality. Our government was initially designed to be inspired by, and further implemented by, the voice and critical guidance of we the people. Our voices were intended to be heard. Our founding fathers didn't intend for us to be mislead by elected leaders or to be herded like cattle.
The current administration in Washington D.C. has gone to great lengths to strengthen racial division in our country - graciously assisted by the media. Our outspoken president continually tries to shift our fairly civil society toward racial division, undermining all efforts America had made to move beyond racism.
Washington D.C. has become an embarrassment on many levels, adversely affecting every race. Collectively speaking, the American people. My dissatisfaction with our current president has nothing to do with skin color. Our president seeks opportunities to fan the flames of racism. Such antics are demeaning to all of us. I like to think the general population is intelligent enough to see beyond political rhetoric.
To critics that proclaim nothing gets done in Washington and that Democrats and Republicans refuse to work together - both parties work toward the good of their personal political careers. I find it interesting that both parties exempted themselves from the Affordable Care Act.
Listen to how either party answers a question. One ingredient that's usually missing from their answer is substance. Are we moving forward as a society, as our president suggests, or are we sliding backwards?
Since 2009 our president has enticed division and resentment between races. I offer several instances for consideration. He was quick to speak out about the arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. by officer James Crowley. What should have been a minor local matter in the northeast was blown out of the water by reckless press coverage of our outspoken commander-in-chief. Extensive reviews of the incident later determined that the Henry Louis Gates, Jr. incident was merely a misunderstanding between two individuals and no wrong doing was perpetrated by the arresting officer. Unfortunately [thanks to our president], I must note that the arresting officer is white and the professor is a black man.
You should begin to notice a common thread that binds numerous separate incidents together. There's method to the madness that fuels the fire of racial division. Few efforts have been made by this administration to unite the country - civil unity is not the goal.
Case two; university student Dante Martin (others also participated) was recently convicted of causing the death of student Robert Champion during a hazing episode that went far beyond anything that could be considered acceptable - by any standard of college hazing. You likely don't remember this incident as prominently due to the fact that both persons were black, thus no high profile comments from the White House.
Case three; the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman confrontation. Many murders occur daily around the country, yet our president [and media] chose this incident as a perfect opportunity to promote racism. Martin was a black man and Zimmerman is Hispanic. Our president was defiant in his remarks and reckless journalism turned this unfortunate incident into national outrage ... based on race.
Case four; Fergusen, MO. The shooting death of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. There's a reason each of these cases were high profile.
Our civil liberties are under attack and unfortunately members of our society continue to be murdered on a daily basis. Sadly, our current president chooses select incidents in an effort to turn them into racially motivated crimes - enticing racial tension. President Obama is not a unifier. He is a divider.
Racially motivated crimes exist and they generally contain an element of unmistakable racism. The examples I've cited did not demonstrate an obvious element of racial motivation. Concerning the expressed situations in Florida, Massachusetts and Fergusen, Missouri, the media, our president and the justice department intentionally turned them into racial driven incidents.
Our president, Eric Holder, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and others refuse to orate opinions on crime and murder in general. They voice their opinions when a crime directly affects or involves their respective race. I expect nothing less from Jackson or Sharpton Their race driven intentions have long been established. I expect better from an elected official that took an oath of office to represent and protect all Americans without exception. Some elected officials refuse to accept the oath they swore to uphold. In many instances their judgment has been clouded by their own prejudice. It's time for some of our leaders to step aside and show the American people an indication of good judgment. The resignation of some politicians would likely demonstrate their only example of good character.
If we were to apply the same rationale to other instances of violence, there isn't much political concern when blacks kill blacks, whites kill whites, Hispanics kill Hispanics or gang members kill gang members. We need a leader that strives to unify the country and address such atrocities for what the are - crimes against humanity.
Life. Freedom. Liberty. Justice. Pursuit of Happiness. Powerful words. Firearms associated with violence have become equally powerful words in the realm of politics. I embrace the freedom and the right to voice concerns and opinions. Never take our freedom for granted.
Legislation to ban select firearms and select components won't reduce future gun crimes in America. Implementing more firearms restrictions will not inhibit criminal behavior nor prevent or stop criminal acts. I live in the real world.
I'm troubled by the senseless violence that runs amok in our otherwise civil society. If the proposed expanded background check bill that was presented for vote within the chambers of congress in April 2013 had been written as it was worded on the government website, I would have supported expanded background checks on firearm purchases. I had no issues with the expanded background check proposal that I reviewed and no problem with the practical common sense exemptions that were also written into it.
I take offense to politicians and activist groups that spew unfounded rhetoric in an effort to place our constitution, freedoms and liberty on the auction block.
What likely defeated the 2013 firearms legislation that was proposed were other items and bans attached to the bill. Controversial add-ons are what stopped the 'expanded background checks' bill in its tracks. The final vote wasn't a loss for the American people. It was simply a political loss. The White House repeatedly orated that passage of the bill wasn't about politics. It was completely about politics. It would have been a political win for the administration. The same administration that placed a complete overhaul of our healthcare system ahead of a sagging economy and double digit unemployment which should have received immediate attention.
Politicians discovered it's easy to rally support and enthusiasm for more gun control using clever and misleading phrases. Finding real solutions that would reduce senseless violence should be the focus of politicians and citizens alike. To put the never-ending gun control debate in the proper perspective, the lack of respect for human life is at the core of violence in America. Violence breeds violence. Genuine respect for life isn't something that can be controlled through government legislation. I don't think you can legislate an honest respect for life or respect for others.
Littering continues to be a problem in our cities. Littering is against the law. How difficult can it be to eliminate the littering of our streets and neighborhoods?
Littering is a form of disrespect and negligence. It's contrary to everything civil society stands for. It's become hip to show concern about the footprint we leave behind. Litter leaves a footprint - a visual symbol exhibiting a total lack of respect for others. Making society safer and a better place to live has to start with individuals. It requires old fashioned r-e-s-p-e-c-t.
There are a number of reasons the majority of arguments for additional gun control don't hold water. Align the furor of rhetoric-based gun control debates to other movements and causes - It's often been said that if we could save just one innocent life ...
Should we also ban automobiles?
Shouldn't we ban pressure cookers, too?
If we could save just one innocent life ...
Superficial passion for more gun control occasionally sounds sincere on the surface - and, we all want what is best for the children.
You can bet your last dollar that every politician and private citizen demanding more firearms regulations is sincere. Do you honestly believe that?
If the call for more gun control is truly for the children ... if we could save just a few million pure and innocent lives wouldn't we also want to ban abortion?
By the numbers there's no comparison. Align gun related deaths in a column next to the number of completely innocent lives ended by abortion. Think about the passion behind the push for more firearms regulations ... if we could save just one life.
Consider the fury behind the passion that draws overwhelming support for legalized abortion of innocent babies. Many of those same people claim their push for more firearms restrictions is for the children. Their enthusiasm in support of abortion doesn't promote respect for human life. Disrespect for human life is a prime ingredient that fosters violence in our society. Whether we're debating violence related to firearms or a woman's right to have an abortion, government can't legislate respect for human life.
If we want to make our world a better place, our focus should be on fostering respect for human life. You can't vote respect into existence. You can't introduce legislation that will magically bring respect into existence. Respect isn't something that happens overnight. Respect for others has to be instilled in the formative years. From there, it has an opportunity to mature with age.
Additional firearms bans and/or restrictions have been introduced in the past. Some of those actions were passed into law as a result of the growing number of mass shootings in the nineties. Those actions haven't ended or reduced violence associated with firearms. How many more laws related to gun control will it take to reduce or end the violence?
The answer is zero. There's no magic number of laws or bans on firearms that will reduce the violence. The perfect bill will never be introduced or passed. It's futile to think that you can.
Additional restrictions aren't the solution. The portrayal of firearms by the media, naive politicians and special interest groups is designed to entice outrage using clever phrases designed to sway public opinion. It's about gaining further control over the controllable. It isn't about ending the violence or reducing criminal behavior. Our government and mass media work together to promote fear. Government uses fear to manipulate their flock. Consider for one moment - our country sells firearms to other countries. Do you really think the United States has control over these weapons as seller and supplier, after the fact?
There's no way to account for where each of those firearms end up over time. Some of those firearms will end up in different places and be carried by individuals with different motives.
In response to the push for so-called common sense gun laws - does anyone currently believe it's responsible to give a firearm, baseball bat, golf club, knife, or any potential deadly item that could be used as a weapon to someone that's known to be unstable?
Murders have occurred through the decades. Murders influenced by songs. Influenced by lyrics. Such acts are perpetrated by unstable individuals ... and sometimes by their followers. Research the violence and gore incorporated into some top selling video and computer games. Not every kid is playing pong, puzzles, or word games on a video console. Should we ban certain genres of music? Should we ban illicit video games?
I suggest the most important thing a parent can do is take interest in their children, and take an interest in their child's interests. There's method to the madness that's introducing violence to the minds of our young people. We need to stop dodging these issues and confront a few of the reasons select individuals are turning more violent.
Respect for life and respect for others has to start at home and a strong, caring, family unit is important during the formative years. Government has obtained a firmer grasp on our educational system - are our schools better now than decades ago when we were in school?
What about television - is programming better now than it was decades ago?
Younger generations are exposed to a vast amount of stimulation and information. Take an interest in their interests. Offer guidance when it's needed. If something doesn't seem right seek options on how to address your concerns.
Time tested logic is caving to rhetoric of self interest activists and career politicians. High profile 'stories of the month' are overshadowing rational and in-depth journalism. Portions of society spew unfounded concerns and unleash their emotions based on something they're read or seen via 21st century journalism.
What has happened to voices of reason or just plain old-fashioned common sense?
Has the general population allowed itself to become too busy and too lazy to think for themselves?
Portions of society have become comfortable letting other people do their thinking. There are pockets of society find it easier and more convenient to allow others to fight their battles. Never become so comfortable that you lose the desire to peer behind political curtains of rhetoric. Examine for yourself the real facts behind catchy political phrases.
A government induced labor gave birth to a healthcare reform toddler that is maturing into the bastard child of manipulative Democrat and Republican parents. A sizable portion of our society continues to debate gun control issues when the lack of respect for human life is the problem in need of our attention.
Not enough people challenge the political rhetoric. We should be seeking real solutions to problems within our society. Too many politicians and activist groups refuse to verbally address the real issues behind many of our societal problems. There are groups offended by the notion of respecting unborn human life. Terminology was changed to allow such groups to feel better about themselves and the abortion process - the word fetus was changed to a term called fetal tissue. Many abortion advocates, politicians, and celebrities openly display their concern and respect for innocent life when violence related to firearms is the issue. Many of those same individuals strongly support the right to abort ... an innocent life.
I live in the real world. I don't have all the answers. Consider the fact that gun related deaths and violence associated with firearms affects a small percentage of innocent lives when compared to abortion. That doesn't mean I don't care about firearms related violence. I'm very concerned about the violent world we live in. I'll support real solutions, not political rhetoric that doesn't address the real problem.
Gang related killings are a big problem, especially in larger cities. Gang related deaths occasionally involve innocent lives. We must reduce the number of gangs and the stronghold they have on their communities. More parents need to listen to their young children and express comfort and love toward them before that child looks for acceptance from a gang in hopes of finding a friend.
We can't afford to turn into a nation so soft that we're offended by everything thing that comes along. Our nation won't survive if we keep treading shallow waters that entice confrontation. If we don't break this pattern of confrontation the only place we'll find common sense and logic will be as singular words in a dictionary. As a nation are we smarter today than our founding fathers?
The framework of government our founders put in place to govern this nation was nothing short of remarkable. Consider how far we've allowed ourselves to drift away from the shores of that framework.
Network television and cable programming; are the majority of programs being offered today more intelligent than the programs offered in the past?
Are decent family messages written into today's shows?
Music and video games; are song lyrics and video/computer game scenarios better today than those of the past?
Are such forms of entertainment teaching our youth good social skills?
An underlying goal of the sixties was to change our world and make it a better place. Have we tipped the societal scale toward the better?
It's natural to search for meaning when an unimaginable event happens. I can think of only one way to end all human induced violence from society and that would require eliminating the human race. That isn't an option I support ... given the fact there's likely a movement to do just that.
There's an abundance of good people on our planet and we'll face more problems that have no easy solution. A good start would be encouraging respect for life. It's an attainable goal worth striving toward.
- (c) 2015 Mark D. McKinley