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July 23, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

The right to live without fear

Another view?

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I have reviewed, analyzed and had ambivalent feelings regarding gun control opinions.

Picture this if you can, and believe it because it is true.

I was 13 years old in 1955. My alcohol-saturated stepfather was determined to kill my mother, my brother and me. He had a rifle pointed at us and stood on the fourth step of the upstairs staircase. I walked to the second step, looked at him, and for 45 minutes I calmly talked him into putting the rifle down. He gave me the rifle, and to this day I’m not sure what I did with it. Many horrific incidents occurred in my childhood because of him. What ended it was that he was killed head-on by a tractor-trailer — yes, he was drunk. During his life he had access to two dangerous weapons — a rifle and a car; both kill if not used in the manner they were designed for. So, was this man a drunk with a mental problem or a mentally ill drunk?

All I’m saying is we cannot take away guns or cars, but I truly believe that a person should be scrutinized by more than only one psychiatrist stating they are mentally ill for domestic problems, anger problems, authority problems, etc.

We all have the right to live without fear, and that also is in the Constitution.

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  1. Guns are not poisonous snakes that bite and kill people. Sadly many anti-gun rights persons believe they are.

    Capt. Giffords, the husband of Gabriel Giffords and a retired astronaut, and Wayne LaPierre were on the Chris Wallace Sunday Morning Show, albeit separately. LaPierre made the NRA case on every point/question factually and correctly. No political rhetoric and no emotion charged speech. On many of the points/issues Capt Giffords agreed.

    It's a start. But unfortunately half of the Congress or more are NRA supporters with top grades. Even if the NRA is right, and on many of the issues it is, such a strong lobby skews the debate, at least with Congress, in its favor.

    CarmineD

  2. The question should not be about guns. It should be about whether or not, because some misuse them, should the Constitutional rights of others be curtailed? I say - no. Put the onus on those it belongs - the criminal class - and leave our Constitutional rights intact.

  3. "Put the onus on those it belongs - the criminal class - and leave our Constitutional rights intact." @ Jerry Fink

    On this matter Jerry, LaPierre and Capt. Giffords were on the same page. Referring specifically to Chicago, both said law enforcement needs to seek out and arrest the gang members and leaders with the same vigor that is used for terrorists. Then once they are apprehended, enforce the 9000 existing gun laws on the books to prevent and preempt them from their criminal activities.

    CarmineD

  4. CarmineD sez "Even if the NRA is right, and on many of the issues it is, such a strong lobby skews the debate, at least with Congress, in its favor."

    I would suggest that the NRA skews the result more than the debate in Congress. Meanwhile, popular opinion, especially in "the people's house", goes unrecognized.

  5. I agree with 1999 Wayne LaPierre on background checks specifically:

    http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/04/backgroun...

  6. "I would suggest that the NRA skews the result more than the debate in Congress. Meanwhile, popular opinion, especially in "the people's house", goes unrecognized." @ Jim Weber

    Money, whether the issues are right or wrong, at a minimun impugns the debate and at a maximum completely distorts it.

    CarmineD

  7. With 300 million guns in circulation in our country of 310 million people.We have far to many murders and suicides.Each year 100,000 people are shot,of which over 31,000 die from all types of gun deaths.

    With 150 million cars on the road every day in our country, we also have far to many deaths 42,000, and 2.4 million injured from car accidents each year.

    Both groups have far to many dead and injured.How can we lower the numbers? That's anyone's guess.

  8. Excellent letter. Let's enable LEO to take guns and other weapons away from violent offenders, illegal invaders, gangs, loiterers. Jeraldo suggested it: REASONABLE search and seizure of loiterers particularly when hanging out in high-crime areas. Allow PAT DOWN to locate weapons--doesn't need to be entire search for contraband, just a pat down. Enabling this would cost LESS than we're paying--less red tape, court costs, officer affidavits, trial hearings / questions.

  9. we are living in a nation filled with mental illness and people are obsessed with guns and drugs. It's a volatile combination. People won't spend the money to incarcerate millions more people and all of our health care dollars go to physical illness. There is no money for comprehensive mental health services. It's a lose lose situation.

  10. Nevada leads the nation in women killed by men. Where can these women go to get help? Probably no place. I would love to know what the domestic violence budget is in the state of Nevada or city of Las Vegas. It's probably next to nonexistent. Most big cities have a couple of help lines and maybe a domestic violence shelter or two. Yet vast numbers of women and children get battered and murdered every year.

  11. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb...
    probably another domestic violence related murder suicide.

  12. "We all have the right to live without fear, and that also is in the Constitution."

    Graham -- no it's not, in either Constitution. And fear being the subjective emotion it is, it becomes meaningless in that context. Instead it's become a handy club when used under color of law.

    "The question should not be about guns. It should be about whether or not, because some misuse them, should the Constitutional rights of others be curtailed?"

    lvfacts -- good point. The same as if there were a new Hitler among us spewing hate speech should be the excuse to shut the rest of us up.

    "I would suggest that the NRA skews the result more than the debate in Congress."

    pisces -- it's not just the NRA. Any strong special interest can do the same. Banks and their evil minions cause far more suffering than weapons.

    "Wayne LaPierre is a national disgrace...."

    JeffFromVegas -- then don't join the NRA.

    "Nevada leads the nation in women killed by men. Where can these women go to get help? Probably no place."

    zippert -- again you show the rest of us how wilfully ignorant you are. Thanks to our present VP, since at least the mid-90s VAWA has ensured women not only have plenty of resources, it's mostly all publicly funded. Before posting you should have Googled domestic violence las vegas

    "The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people." -- Noam Chomsky

  13. Personally, I don't live in fear. Haven't since I left the John Birch Society many decades ago.

    I think that the constant repetition that people will lose their guns is ridiculous. Nobody has offered any legislation for the removal of all guns from the people, which would be unconstitutional.

    Owning a gun for protection of self and the family, or for hunting or target shooting is not in danger.

    What is being discussed and proposed by some is a ban on assault type weapons and the limitation on magazines, as well as background checks on all weapons and ammunition purchases.

    I don't get the opposition, except that those who object appear to be the ones living in significant fear. That makes them dangerous to everyone else.

    One thing I really agree with is that all gun owner's should be able to pass a comprehensive psychological evaluation to qualify for gun ownership.

  14. killer... You don't have the nerve to put your name on the board but you love throwing insults like a little child. If the women of Nevada have plenty of resources why are they getting slaughtered. We have led the nation in gun violence against women for nearly all of the last 10 years. Maybe your definition of plenty of resources and my definition of plenty of resources differ. When the statistics start improving then we will have allocated enough resources.
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/09/21/nev...

  15. http://ag.state.nv.us/victims/dv/nv/prog...
    The above is the attorney general's list of domestic violence resources in the state of Nevada. How many emergency shelters in Clark County? Two. Two shelters and how many instances of domestic violence occur in Nevada every year?????Half the women that live in this state report being victims of domestic violence. Clark County has a population of nearly 2,000,000. 1 million domestic violence victims and two small shelters. Seems just this side of ridiculous to me.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/feb...

  16. "killer... You don't have the nerve to put your name on the board but you love throwing insults like a little child."

    zippert -- "nerve" has nothing to do with it. The Federalist Papers were originally published by some of our Founders under pseudonyms. That's good enough for me. This host doesn't have a problem with it, either. So your taunt on the point is de minimis.

    DV is a problem largely because those making money off it ensure the public perceives it as being a problem, like the Superbowl Sunday myth.

    These Discussion are just conversations based on personal opinions. If you take my posts as insults, it's the price you pay, like the rest of us, for free speech. Since I don't care to get personal, and that's where you're leading this thread, I'm finished with you here. Expect to be ignored and disrespected.

    "The family of enemies, whose buzz you apprehend, are now nothing. . .Do not fear, therefore, these insects. What you write will be far above their grovelling sphere." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Judge William Johnson, 1823, from "The Works of Thomas Jefferson" Vol. 12

  17. Ref... Had you been armed and attempted to shoot it out with the robbery suspects you would've probably been killed or seriously injured. You're still here. The fact that you were not armed probably saved your life.

    I have been involved in several shootings in my life and they occurred so quickly I never once had a chance to shoot back.

    The deadliest sniper in US military history was just shot and killed at a gun range in your native state of Texas. If that guy couldn't defend himself against the kook he was shooting with what are the odds the rest of us can pull it off.

    I am a retired policeman and carry a gun from time to time. A lifetime of experience has led me to believe that if I do attempt to shoot it out with an assailant I am very likely to get blasted myself. For that reason I strive to avoid dangerous places and precarious situations.

  18. Thomas Jefferson argued against slavery yet owned hundreds of slaves and sexually abused them to boot. He is the poster boy for hypocrisy and sexual abuse.

    He also argued very strongly against banking and Usury. He lived his entire life beyond his means and died owing the equivalent of millions of dollars today. He was so broke at the end of his life he had to sell his slaves to pay some of his bills. What a piece of work!

    domestic violence, sexual abuse, debt... He sounds like a modern-day Vegas local.

  19. Future, I don't care who it is, the idea of non military citizens owning assault type military weapons is disordered thinking.

    If people can't live their lives without military style weapons, using the 2nd Amendment as their rationale, we might as well start drafting them into the military so they can satisfy their urge to use such weapons.

  20. Zip and Killer: I've been unarmed with a rifle pointed at me. I've been unarmed and threatened by known felons. I have also been armed. Much prefer to be armed. As far as DV, I've had close personal "friends" who thought they could treat me like the little dumb girl who would do for them endlessly--but didn't think that for long. Recall one Vegas dude who thought all he had to do was raise his voice, condescend and tell me what to do. I didn't stick around long enough to figure out how his brain got so messed up. I was a competent well-paid professional and he couldn't hold a job yet he thought he had the right to lord it over. I'm not into "liberation" but expect any "relationship" to include some things that I enjoy. I don't mind reciprocating, but I won't be used forever. The guy stalked me--this was before the term "stalking" was commonly used. It took me awhile to figure out what he was doing but I got it fixed--without a TRO. He even thought we "broke up" because I was a slow learner. See, playing dumb has its uses.

  21. peacelilly: Did you hear about the guy who shot first--at the truckload of guys about to intrude on his home? Homeowner had security cameras and saw something that made clear their intentions. DA didn't even suggest charging homeowner for firing first--they didn't get out of the truck, just drove away.

  22. "Future, I don't care who it is, the idea of non military citizens owning assault type military weapons is disordered thinking."

    peacelily -- no it's not. Read the recent (2008) U.S. Supreme Court opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, starting with syllabus(b) and (f).

    "Zip and Killer....."

    Roslenda -- wow! Sounds like someone put that ancient Chinese curse on you, the one about your life getting "interesting."

    For your subsequent post, have a look @ this new one hot off the press -- http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb...

    Then consider how different it would have been if the guy had to live under pre-Heller type restrictions -- gun disassembled or trying to find the keys for the trigger lock, all while in panic mode.

    "...the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table." District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. (slip opinion at 64) (2008)

  23. Freeman: 6'3", 225 lbs. And how does a 70 lb Doberman take you down? With an all-out, go for the throat, huevos to the wall attack. Would you knowingly take on a 5'6" 60 year old Taekwondo grandmaster armed only with the perfectly legal cane he walks with?

    My points? 1) There is far more to be considered in the ability to defend oneself than relative size and sheer bulk. In the vernacular "Size isn't important. What counts is how you use it." 2) "Weapon" is in the mind of the user.

  24. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb...
    It looks like we might just have a justifiable self defense shooting in Vegas. Hallaluja!! Go grandpa! Miracles do happen.

  25. As usual the far right is operating out of paranoia and continue their fearmongering talking points. Why is it that countries that had this problem with gun violence no longer do since they enacted gun control laws? Only in America does stupidity and arrogance allow 30,000 people a year to die by gun violence. As long as people can buy weapons without background checks, cities such as Chicago and New York will always have runners selling their wares on the streets. Posted by an ex NRA member and gun hobbyist.

  26. VernosB says "Why is it that countries that had this problem with gun violence no longer do since they enacted gun control laws?"

    And what countries would those be?

    The UK has experienced an 89% increase in gun violence in the first 10 years since their ban was enacted.

    According to the experts hired by the Australian government to evaluate the effectiveness of the new laws, Australia saw no effect on gun violence in the country as a result of their ban.

    So please, tell us what countries no longer have a problem with gun violence since enacting gun control laws.

  27. Today, we can't be sure that the mental state of a legal gun owner or carrier is any better than a criminal.