* I learned a lot from my father. Hard work never hurt anybody. If you want to succeed in this world you must work hard. There is no shame in doing any honest job (he had no tolerance for criminal activity, however). Do not expect any handouts; if you want something you have to work for it. My father lived by those words. His relaxation was in watching sports - almost any sport; and he liked to go target shooting. A gun was in the house when my brother and I were growing up. He kept it locked away, and made it quite clear to the two of us that guns were not toys. We were not allowed to go near the locked container. If we even pointed our toy pistols at him or our Mom we heard about it.
* In the 12/19/12 Investor's Business Daily, Dennis Prager wrote: "...when American schools emphasized character development, and when nearly all Americans believed that there is a G-d who forbids and punishes murder, such massacres rarely took place." Prager goes on: "...until the contemporary period, religion and/or conscience development were ubiquitous. Instead of teaching young Americans self-control, thanks to leftist influence, we now teach them self-esteem - which has been worse than morally useless." Citing a leading criminologist, Prager notes that "few Americans have the high self-esteem that violent criminals have." Some of us might conclude that bad, evil, immoral people do bad, evil and immoral things. But today's schools teach all cultures are equal; it is wrong to make value judgments like right and wrong or good and evil.
* Following the horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." The simple logic of that statement seems irrefutable. But not for the left. So what succeeded in stopping the Nazis? Good guys yelling "Stop it now!" or good guys with guns? If your home is being burglarized while you are at home (and assuming you neither own a gun nor have armed security) do you want the police to come with their guns or without their guns? The President and his family are protected by a small army with quite a bit of firepower. According to Mark Levin, Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein owns a firearm, and said: If somebody tries to take me out, I'm going to take them with me."
* In the 12/21/12 IBD, Ann Coulter wrote of a study by two professors who examined how changes in gun laws from 1977 to 1995 affected public shootings with multiple victims. Coulter notes that the study looked at "waiting periods and background checks for guns, the death penalty and increased penalties for committing a crime with a gun." Only one policy seemed to work - the increasing number of states allowing the carrying of a concealed weapon. Coulter points out that the mass shootings of late seem to occur at locations where guns are prohibited - such as schools, movie theaters, malls and even churches. The 12/28/12 IBD points out that 25 years ago only a small number of states allowed concealed weapons. Now 41 states have such laws. Yet, "major crimes, except in gun-controlled major cities, have shown a continuing decline that has paralleled the rise in the number of right-to-carry-states."
* The 12/31/12 IBD, citing FBI data, reports that "In 2007, there were 1,817 homicides committed with 'knives or cutting instruments; 'blunt objects' killed 674; while 'personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)' were the choices in 869 homicides." Of course, if the concern is simply senseless deaths, then the automobile ought to be the first thing to go, with 32,367 deaths in 2011. That amounts to an astonishing 88+ people killed each and every day in the US by cars.
* Reflecting the perspective of the left is an opinion piece in the 1/6/13 NY Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal, described as a physician and science reporter for the paper. The headline of the piece is "More Guns = More Killing." In what she believes refutes the NRA approach, she says "Despite the ubiquitous presence of 'good guys' with guns, countries like Guatamala, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia and Venezuela have some of the highest homicide rates in the world." Aside from whether or not it is appropriate to make comparisons of the US with these Central and South American countries, Dr. Rosenthal does not tell us the actual rate of gun ownership in these countries, simply averring that gun ownership there is "ubiquitous." She goes on to note that, per a 2011 UN report, "Honduras led the world in homicides, with 91.6 per 100,000 people. The other countries' rates: "El Salvador (69.1), Jamaica (40.9), Colombia (31.4), and Guatamala (38.5).
* But according to a site called "gunpolicy.org" the the number of lawfully owned guns in Honduras was 500,000, or 6.2 per 100,000 people. (And recall, a homicide rate of 91.6 per 100,000.) As for the US, according to justfacts.com, the population in 2009 was 307 million, with an estimated 300 million guns in 2010. That amounts to a gun ownership rate of 97%! Yet, what does Dr. Rosenthal say the US homicide rate is? About 5 per 100,000. So just how does any of this data prove the point of the article, "More Guns = More Killing"? In fact, it seems to prove the opposite.
* The Second Amendment reads: "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." Ambiguous? Perhaps. But we know that the militia in revolutionary times consisted of individuals who owned guns. And we know that the US Supreme Court held in 2010 that the Second Amendment does protect an individual's right to gun ownership; at least in the home. (McDonald vs. City of Chicago, holding that the Second Amendment protection applies to states and municipalities as well as the federal government.) I have read letters to the editor advocating the abolition of gun ownership. I suspect a good many on the left would favor that. But did Prohibition stop the consumption of alcohol? Has making drugs illegal stopped the sale and trafficking of drugs? If guns were to be banned, the criminals, who by definition do not respect the law, would still obtain guns on the black market. Why should any individual (who is not a criminal or mentally disturbed) not be allowed to defend themselves and their families?
* A professor at the University of Rhode Island Tweeted: "Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children." And this: "F... the NRA. Wayne LaPierre should be in prison." And this: "Can we define NRA membership dues as contributing to a terrorist organization?" And from Joyce Carol Oates: "Another NRA-sponsored massacre for Christmas 2012." (Quotes from article by Michelle Malkin in 12/20/12 IBD.) Malkin states that Oates "mused hopefully for mass shootings against the NRA." Marg Helgenberger of CSI chimed in with: "One can only hope, but sadly I don't think anything would change." And from a Texas Democrat party official: "Can we now shoot the #NRA and everyone who defends them?" As noted in my post entitled "Why I Am No Longer a Democrat," one cannot disagree with the Left without being accused of being evil.
* The Sandy Hook shootings were horrific. It is impossible to comprehend why anyone would want to kill 6 and 7 year olds. The American people's hearts were broken that day. Some have suggested tougher penalties for possessing guns on or near school campuses. But these school shooters do not care about the punishment. They fully expect to die the day of their shootings. Often, they kill themselves. Tougher penalties would not stop them. So what then? Amend the Constitution to ban gun ownership? Again, the criminals will get guns anyway. Yet, the movement afoot coming from Obama and Biden seeks that utopian world that the left always seeks. But evil and killers have been with us long before there were guns; since the time of Cain and Abel.
* As one of our former politicians said: "Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms...The right of the citizen to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible." From one of our founders? No. A Republican? No. Former Vice President of the United States Hubert Horatio Humphrey, a Democrat.