Monday, October 11, 2010

Second Amendment

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.

The Second Amendment provides proctection to We the People. It protects We the People's right to keep and bear Arms to protect themselves or for recreational purposes. It also protects the right of We the People to organize themselves into a militia if need be to protect their rights from being infringed by the government.

I am sad to say I never understood what a militia was until our in-class discussion.

I know that I am ultimately responsible for my own ignorance, but I would also like to a make a point that the public school system does not do well in educating students about the United States history and government. I know that the public school system has requirements set in place that will not allow students to graduate high school or college without taking certain history and government related courses. However, as many students know, oftentimes classroom work and homework become busy work rather than a true learning experience. I passed my Advanced Placement United States History and Advanced Placement Government courses in high school and even scored a 4 on the official AP US History Exam, but I did not really learn what I needed to learn. I just crammed and memorized. I did not devote the time I should have to truly studying and pondering ideas and implications. I know that it is my own fault; however, I do think that instead of having official exams to assess students knowledge of a subject, better teaching and learning experiences should be implemented throughout the entire schooling experience.

Arms have never been a big part of my life. I do not personally know any friends or family that bear arms. I do not use arms for recreational or defensive purposes. Perhaps this gives me the good neutral background I need to consider the Second Amendment rationally.

This article talks about the complications surrounding gun control. A honorably discharged Vietnam War veteran is repeatedly denied gun rights due to a past misdemeanor of assault and battery that does not seem to have involved a weapon. I feel that Schrader's minor misdemeanor should not deny him gun rights.

SAF Sues Eric Holder, FBI Over Misdemeanor Gun Rights Denial
Second Amendment Foundation

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Acting on behalf of a Georgia resident and honorably discharged Vietnam War veteran, the Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over enforcement of a federal statute that can deny gun rights to someone with a simple misdemeanor conviction on his record.

The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. SAF and co-plaintiff Jefferson Wayne Schrader of Cleveland, GA are represented by attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued both the Heller and McDonald cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In July 1968, Schrader, then 21, was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery relating to a fight involving a man who had previously assaulted him in Annapolis, MD. The altercation was observed by a police officer, who arrested Schrader, then an enlisted man in the Navy, stationed in Annapolis. The man he fought with was in a street gang that had attacked him for entering their "territory," according to the complaint.

Schrader was ordered to pay a $100 fine and $9 court cost. He subsequently served a tour of duty in Vietnam and was eventually honorably discharged. However, in 2008 and again in 2009, Mr. Schrader was denied the opportunity to receive a shotgun as a gift, or to purchase a handgun for personal protection. He was advised by the FBI to dispose of or surrender any firearms he might have or face criminal prosecution.

"Schrader's dilemma," explained SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "is that until recently, Maryland law did not set forth a maximum sentence for the crime of misdemeanor assault. Because of that, he is now being treated like a felon and his gun rights have been denied."

"No fair-minded person can tolerate gun control laws being applied this way," he added. "Mr. Schrader's case is a great example of why gun owners cannot trust government bureaucrats to enforce gun laws."

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation
Posted on Wed, Oct. 13, 2010 04:15 PM
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This article talks about the issues surrounding the upcoming gun election next month on November 2 in Raymore, Missouri. Residents will be voting on whether or not to do away with an ordinance passed earlier this year that allows city council members to carry concealed weapons during meetings. I am not sure how I feel about the election.

Showdown looms for Raymore gun law
The Kansas City Star

The debate over the upcoming gun election in Raymore makes it sound like the city has an abnormally high rate of mental instability.

Both sides talk a lot about “crazy” people.

The anti-gun crowd worries that a City Council member could go “crazy” during a contentious meeting, pull a gun and start shooting. The pro-gun forces fear a “crazy,” irate citizen may come through the door blasting and a well-armed council may be the last line of defense.

Neither is likely to happen. This will: On Nov. 2, this city is headed for a showdown.

Residents that day will vote on a ballot question that, if passed, would amend the city charter and do away with an ordinance passed this year that allows council members to carry concealed weapons during meetings.

The ordinance also lets anyone with a conceal-and-carry permit to take a gun into city buildings and parks, and makes it legal to transport a gun in a vehicle even if the person does not have a conceal-and-carry permit.

The fight leading up to Election Day has been bitter and hot. Signs for both sides line streets all over town.
Council member Jeff Cox, who introduced the ordinance, and a group that has joined him in opposing the ballot measure, have been pushing the message to voters that the ballot question would “disarm police” by not making an exception for police officers carrying concealed weapons into city-owned buildings, including police headquarters.

Not true, Raymore Police Chief Kris Turnbow said Thursday. Police are exempt.

“State law allows us to carry concealed weapons in the performance of our duty,” Turnbow said. “We would not be affected by this at all.”

He is not taking a position on the ballot issue. He did, though, note that a man who allegedly shot at one of his officers during an Oct. 10 traffic stop had a conceal-and-carry permit.

There is also this twist to Raymore’s Question 1: A “no” vote will mean “yes” to allowing guns. Both sides agree voter confusion may play a role.

Supporters of the proposal to undo the ordinance say council meetings are often cantankerous and tension-filled — why put guns in the mix? Only police need be armed at public meetings, and no one has to be armed when paying a water bill or enjoying an afternoon in a city park, they say.

Opponents say the Second Amendment and Missouri law give citizens the right to carry concealed weapons. They also say they think it is foolhardy to rely entirely on police for public safety. They speak often of the 2008 “City Hall Massacre” in Kirkwood, Mo., when a gunman went to a council meeting and killed six people, among them the mayor, who died later.
For Raymore resident Jonathan Seeley, a structural engineer, it comes down to his belief that “gun control is people control.” He was a student at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, when a gunman killed 32 people and wounded at least 20 in the deadliest shooting ever on an American campus.

He said he now thought people should be able to carry a weapon anywhere, even onto airplanes and to parent-teacher conferences at schools.

“Law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves wherever they go,” Seeley said Thursday.

Murel Geyer, a retiree, doesn’t want to believe that his world is safer when people carry guns. This week he called the ordinance “plum ridiculous.”

But he knows his city likes guns. A neighbor down his street mows his yard while wearing a holster and pistol, he said.

“Seems like everybody wants to be Wyatt Earp because they think everybody else is Jesse James,” Geyer said.

Piano teacher Lisa Sullivan also favors the initiative to undo the ordinance. People are always arguing at council meetings — potholes, trash, all kinds of things, she said.

“Why would you want to put guns in a place where people get mad?” she asked. “And what happened to bring this about? What are these people scared of?”

Council member Cox, an attorney, has said that the Kirkwood shootings motivated him to introduce the ordinance. He is a staunch believer that concealed weapons increase public safety and decrease crime.

His ordinance didn’t come easy. The measure passed initially, but not by enough of a margin to withstand a veto by Mayor Juan Alonzo.

In April, though, two of the “no” votes on Cox’s plan were defeated in city elections. Popular sentiment is that pro-gun forces pushed their ouster. Cox then quickly reintroduced his proposal, and it was approved in May.

But by then, foes already were planning a citizens petition for the November ballot.

Cox is highly critical of the effort and dismisses criticism that his ordinance is anti-Second Amendment because it allows council members to carry concealed weapons during meetings, but not citizens in the audience.

State law prohibits that. His ordinance did, however, include a resolution in which Raymore asked the Missouri General Assembly to rescind a ban on citizens carrying guns at council meetings.

Cox also noted that several other cities in the area, such as Lee’s Summit and Raytown, allowed council members to carry concealed weapons during meetings. Those cities have not requested that the right extend to the audiences.

Ivan Waite, a former Raymore councilman and leader of a group fighting to undo Cox’s ordinance, said he thought Cox was hoping the gun issue would propel him to higher office — Cass County prosecutor.

“He thinks there are enough gunslingers out there to get him elected,” Waite said.
Cox, a Republican who ran for prosecutor in 2006, chuckled at the suggestion.

“That office is up right now, and I’m not running,” he said, adding that he took heat for the ordinance and never sought any recognition.

But beyond anyone’s political ambition or whether the ballot question was crafted perfectly, this election is about ideology and guns.

Dick Hime, a former Raymore police officer and current gun dealer who strongly opposes the proposed ballot question, said, “We as law-abiding citizens should have the right to control our environment — whether we are in a meeting, paying a water bill or playing with our grandchildren in the park. A lot of people like me are tired of having government telling us what we can and cannot do.”

Resident Jim Kopetsky said he believed that “Raymore is not to that point and I hope it never is.”

To reach Donald Bradley, call 816-234-4182 or send e-mail to
Posted on Fri, Oct. 22, 2010 12:03 AM
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