May 26th, 2012 10:57 AM
"Trust me" column by Tina Dupuy - a response (long)
Read something yesterday in the local rag that prompted more than just a roll of my eyes...
Column: Trust Me: You Believe in Gun Control
On May 22, 2012, in Column, by Tina Dupuy
If you ask the typical hyper-political gun owner (and I have … at Thanksgiving dinner), why it’s important to own a gun, they’ll bark about the Constitution. Yes, the Second Amendment: “The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed!”
This of course is the slogan the National Rifle Association adopted in the 1970’s. It was then that owning a gun became an absolute right endowed by God and the Constitution. A blessing passed down by our forefathers to obliterate game and protect our property. The NRA was founded in 1870 and for its first hundred years it was for gun control and didn’t mention the Second Amendment as their cause.
Adam Winkler points out in his delicious book, “Gun Fight,” what we call the “wild west” had some of the strictest gun control laws we’ve seen as a nation. The shoot out at the OK Corral took place, after all, because Wyatt Earp was trying to disarm the outlaw Cowboys in accordance with a Tombstone ordinance. The KKK was among other things, a gun control organization. They were trying to keep guns out of the hands of newly freed slaves … but still gun control.
The part of the Second Amendment omitted from the NRA’s slogan is: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” Yes, well regulated—it’s in the Constitution!
Now, to some, guns are as sacred as scripture. If you ask, again, this typical hyper-political gun owner why they need to stockpile assault rifles, you will get an answer much like Pat Flynn’s, a recent candidate for a Senate seat in Nebraska. “Really, we have our guns to protect ourselves against the government, number one,” Flynn said in a debate right before the primary. “Hunting’s number two. But protecting us against our government is number one.” Remember Flynn was trying to land a job in the government (he didn’t win his party’s nomination, by the way).
The idea is that we have to be just as armed as our government in order to be safer or have more liberty (or something). The U.S. government has unmanned drones armed with supersonic laser-guided anti-armor Hellfire missiles, “bunker busters,” and nuclear weapons. Are far-right politicians saying we need civilians to have shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles “for protection?” Of course they’re not. They actually do want limits on ownership.
And if you ask the most vehement gun rights advocate why Everyman Gun Owner shouldn’t have nuclear weapons, I’d bet you’d get the same answer as to why we don’t want every country to have the capability: “Because they could get into the wrong hands.”
So weapons-grade plutonium should be limited. But the ever-handy semi-auto Glock pistol with a 30-round high-capacity magazine is an absolute right?
A recent gun buyback drive in Los Angeles resulted in someone turning in a rocket launcher. Comforting.
So we’re not actually talking about limited vs. unlimited. We are talking about degrees of weapon ownership.
Guns fall into the wrong hands all the time. More guns and fewer requirements for ownership doesn’t curb this. George Zimmerman was the wrong hands. Zimmerman, a Florida man now infamous for shooting an unarmed black teenager at close range after a 911 operator told him not to engage the alleged suspect and wait for police to arrive, is now being defended by said hyper-political gun owners. There’s no reason a Neighborhood Watch captain should be patrolling his block with a criminal record and a pistol. Zimmerman was a catastrophe realized. Even in the wake of new evidence about this case, the fact remains if Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, 16-year-old Trayvon Martin would be alive.
The United States is number one in the world in civilian gun ownership. And since we’re not last in gun violence (we’re the 14th highest in deaths—way higher in just injuries) it’s safe to assume that increasing the number of guns doesn’t decrease the number of gun deaths. Just like cutting taxes doesn’t increase revenue—making gun ownership unlimited doesn’t make us safer. It’s a lie. A fairy tale of the gun lobby. Completely unsupported by data or logic. A falsehood.
So unless you think all Americans should get Daisy Cutters this Christmas—you believe in regulations as to who gets a weapon, what kind and where they can have it.
Gun control laws are not tyranny—as the family of Trayvon Martin can testify to—a de-regulated militia is.
Wow, Tina, just... wow. Thank heavens we get to remember this Monday (Memorial Day) the people who have given their lives to protect your First Amendment right to voice your opinion. Your facts are seriously skewed, in fact, some of what you wrote aren't facts at all, so God bless your right to air your opinion. (By the way, does my mention of your First Amendment right to speak your opinion constitute "barking about the Constitution?")
So let's begin, perhaps with American History 101. The Constitution does not "grant" Americans any rights... certainly not those defined in the Bill of Rights. Rather, it limits the power of our government to interfere with our lives in certain areas, notably in what we say, how we assemble, what religions we practice, and of course our freedom to own firearms - plus lots more. I don't know what the slogan of the NRA is, but I do know that the Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791, 180 years before the 1970 date you cite as when "owning a gun became an absolute right." I also see nothing in the 2nd Amendment about "obliterating game." If you read the Federalist Papers AND the Anti-Federalist Papers, you would know that the 2nd Amendment isn't about duck hunting. Are you against the civil rights defined in our Constitution? Or perhaps just the ones you don't like?
Next: What the "delicious" book by Winkler neglects to point out is that the "wild west" exemplified by Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral was not in a State governed by the Constitution at the time - more than 30 years before Arizona became our 48th State. You may also recall that horse theft was punishable by hanging in a lot of States around the same time, which today would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Your citation about laws in areas not governed by the Constitution adds nothing to the argument, and in fact such confiscatory and prohibitive laws today would likely be seriously challenged under the Constitution (e.g., District of Columbia v. Heller).
Then you state that the NRA omits the "well-regulated militia" clause from their slogan. The meaning and semantics of this phrase have been debated for a long time, but what is clear is the erroneous, knee-jerk interpretation by 21st century folks who lack the initiative to learn and understand the contemporary language of the late 18th century. "Well regulated" does NOT mean "controlled," but rather "well-practiced" or "well-drilled." (Just as the Sixth Commandment has been misinterpreted as "thou shalt not kill", when the correct translation is "thou shalt not murder" - big difference there.) And lest any nattering nabobs of negativism think "oh, 'the militia' means the National Guard", recognize that "the militia" comprised all able-bodied male Americans at the time (how dare they exclude women!!!). And just so you're clear, the National Guard was a 20th-century creation.
OK, let's move past the history lessons and talk about what arms it makes sense to control. You assert that it's ludicrous to think that small arms in the hands of American civilians could not possibly be a match for cruise missiles, Predator drones, etc. Sure, some people think there should be no limits on what weapons we can own, and likewise some people think it's OK to put pornographic images on highway billboards. Heck, some people even think it's OK to kill unborn babies! Seriously - comparing a Glock handgun to weapons-grade plutonium is quite a stretch. But hey, since you brought it up, should it be a crime to have something potentially dangerous if you don't do anything dangerous with it? If I had enough money to buy a used 747 and fly it, I could load the thing full of highly volatile jet fuel and fly it over downtown Los Angeles. Would that worry anyone, even if I had the ability to fly it into the Memorial Coliseum during a USC playoff game and blow up nearly 100,000 football fans? If I think about that, does that make me a criminal even if I haven't done a criminal act? In other words, at what point do we limit ownership of something that could be dangerous, as long as it's not used dangerously? If you drive an automobile on a highway, the missile you're piloting is 30 times more lethal than the biggest gun I can legally buy, based on simple physics, so to me, that's really dangerous. And owning a car isn't even a right protected by the Constitution!
You wrote "A recent gun buyback drive in Los Angeles resulted in someone turning in a rocket launcher. Comforting." What's even less comforting, Tina, is the misguided thinking behind gun buy-backs. They purport to get "guns off the street", but they provide an easy means to dump a stolen weapon - maybe even a murder weapon - with no risk at all, and get rewarded in Happy Meals or a Target card. Never mind that in many jurisdictions, simply transporting a firearm (especially handguns) without being licensed to do so is itself a crime. So sure, let's have lots more opportunities to transport guns illegally and turn in the "blood gun" that just capped a rival gang member last week.
"Guns fall into the wrong hands all the time." Sure. So do knives, chainsaws, lawnmowers and automobiles. We slaughter over 30,000 American annually with our sacred automobiles and cripple and make brain dead many times more than that, but instead what makes the news is that gasoline prices are high this year! Cars killing people at a rate of 600 a week isn't news, but a fraction of that number of firearms deaths IS? And what about over 1 million abortions a year in the US - that doesn't rate? I think you have a misplaced sense of outrage.
So then you launch into the Zimmerman case. First, you cite Zimmerman's criminal record. If you actually researched it, you'd find out that Zimmerman was charged with "battery" on a police officer, when he put his hand on a cop's arm as the cop was arresting a friend. The judicial system was exercised, and there ultimately was no criminal history associated with Zimmerman which disqualified him from legally owning and carrying a gun in Florida. (By the way, the truant Trayvon Martin was actually 17 years old, not 16.) And since you saw fit to mention Zimmerman's criminal record, why not mention that Martin had a drug problem and was suspended from school more than once for having drug paraphernalia? More facts: Zimmerman was not told by the 911 operator not to follow Martin; he was told "you don't have to do that." That's more than a slight spin on the facts, don't you think, Tina?
"Even in the wake of new evidence about this case, the fact remains if Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, 16-year-old Trayvon Martin would be alive." Oh, brother... Martin might be alive, but Zimmerman might be dead. Would that make you feel better? Based on injuries sustained by Zimmerman, it's not a stretch of the imagination to realize he was in trouble when he pulled the trigger. And our own government tells us that nearly 20% of murders are committed without knives or guns... fists and blunt objects (stones, bats, sidewalks) being typical weapons. Sure, we can question what Zimmerman did in following Martin, but we don't know as unshakeable fact how the hands-on altercation began. We know how it ended, but precious little else. I doubt you would want your head to be pounded into the pavement, and I wonder how far you would go to stop that if it was happening to you. Without taking sides, my mind remains open to what really happened that night, without adding spin. It appears that your mind is already made up.
Your last leap of faith is another doozie. "...making gun ownership unlimited doesn’t make us safer. It’s a lie. A fairy tale of the gun lobby. Completely unsupported by data or logic. A falsehood." Depends on who you ask - you obviously haven't researched anything past your own opinions. While the debate about "more guns equals less crime" continues among scholars, the unshakeable fact is that where gun ownership is common and gun use is routine, criminal use of firearms against people is undeniably lower than in areas where gun ownership and use are highly restricted. Population density may be a factor, as large cities have vastly higher gun crime rates than smaller ones. But since two-thirds of Americans live in cities and towns smaller than 100,000 population, this means that the greatest number of Americans live in areas where gun violence is a pretty rare occurrence.
Overall, Tina, I have to say it's not your petticoat but your bias that's showing. Can your next blog talk about "hyper-political" anti-rights bigotry???
NRA Endowment Member
May 26th, 2012 11:13 AM
Just another writer speaking of things that they perceive to be true, without realizing that they don't know what they don't know.
Nothing new there, it seems to be a requirement for employment for a writer these days.
Good job on the reply Gasmitty. Well spoken.
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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May 26th, 2012 12:23 PM
May 26th, 2012 01:02 PM
This woman is a example of the "kool aide" drinking Liberal/Progressive anti gun nuts.
Half truths and out and out lies pepper this "article?". I find it disturbing that this kind of dribble gets a public platform, but then that is what our Constitution affords her. So we are to fight for her rights to spew and give up our rights to defend it??
Short sighted, lying manipulators of the truth spew on....we have your backs.
A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
Susan B. Anthony
A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
May 26th, 2012 03:10 PM
Totally the perfect retort to a Liberal and their hatred of anything to do with the ownership of firearms.
The sad fact is that many of these types are not going to be swayed by facts, they deal strictly in emotion and anything that rebuffs their lame opinions and belief will fall upon deaf ears.
She also fails to understand "Presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." In her mind the Big Z is already guilty and we could save the taxpayers a bundle by dispensing with a trial by jury and just slam him into prison for a thousand years. She'd like that, wouldn't she.
Unless of course, if she was accused of a crime, then we would see how much she would crow "innocent."
I guess that part of our rights should only apply to certain people and certain situations in her stupid opinion.
She needs to be arrested for impersonating a journalist, obviously, she isn't.
"A Smith & Wesson always beats 4 aces!"
The Man Prayer. "Im a man, I can change, if I have to.....I guess!" ~ Red Green
May 26th, 2012 05:24 PM
gasmitty - Logical, concise, cogent, objective and eloquent...nice job...very nice.
Are you aware or do you know if the author was able to read your response? And did she have the ovaries to respond back to you?
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Ben Franklin
May 26th, 2012 05:52 PM
Well done gasmitty!!!!!!!
Tina is to stupid to realize how hard she was spanked by you, "IF" she even took the time to read your well spoken, long- winded, accurate pro-gun "rant"(how people like her view it), which pointed out her ignorance and lack of insight, knowledge and intelligence.
As Hotguns pointed out, "she doesn't know what she doesn't know".
Multiple Choice ;
First Amendment to the Constitution
A) Authorizes Free speech for official State news agencies
B) Protects the Individual’s right to own quill pens and 18th Century manual printing presses
C) Recognizes inalienable Individual right to free speech
Second Amendment to the Constitution
A) Authorizes possession of arms by the Army & National Guard
B) Protects the Individual’s right to own Flintlock muskets & other 18th Century Arms
C) Recognizes inalienable Individual right to keeping and bearing arms
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.
Washington didn't use his freedom of speech to defeat the British, He shot them!
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." -- Ernest Benn
May 26th, 2012 06:01 PM
I emailed my response to her, as there is no way to post a reply on her blog or wherever it is she has her columns. I also replied to the local newspaper where I saw her column.
Originally Posted by MotorCityGun
I quickly received an automatic reply to my email:
Thanks for getting in touch!
Pardon the auto-reply:
I read all my email - I promise. But if you're writing to tell me that I'm biased...well, I'm an opinion writer. If this angers you and causes you to write hateful, threatening or profane emails perhaps you should rethink your decision to read the Opinion Page.
If you're writing for any other reason, I will get back to you as soon as possible.
NRA Endowment Member
May 26th, 2012 07:28 PM
In other words, no, she ain't gonna' reply. Too bad.
Originally Posted by gasmitty
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Ben Franklin
May 28th, 2012 06:00 PM
Obviously her head has been up her butt so long she can't see clearly amy more.
May 31st, 2012 01:09 AM
Wrote Tina this evening. My response:
Tina, I'm guessing you've heard it all from your "Trust Me" column. After being out of college for three decades I went to grad school part time. I have now completed three semesters with one thesis per semester. The first two theses were filled with comments in red that looked something like the merging of Friday the 13th and Saw III.
I only mention this because I kept thinking of my theses as I read your column. That column would have been skinned alive through half quotes, half truths, tepid facts, zero citations and sub zero references. Your grasp of Constitutional history is weak at best. Yes, I realize this is not a thesis and you are not doing research. It is opinion. Still, I find your article to be sophomoric at best. Yes, again, you will get cheers from the left and boos from the right and you are playing to a left leaning audience (duh!).
I would bet a week's salary that you have not been robbed, raped, or beaten unconscious with a tire iron. I would also bet you have never listened to a 911 tape when a family is begging for mercy as each member has their throats slit. Take comfort that the police promptly arrived in under 12 minutes. Also take comfort that the meth head was crying uncontrollably before the judge the next day saying he had no idea what he was doing and he never meant to do it.
"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2
May 31st, 2012 06:31 AM
I love how every Lib likes to throw out the word Regulated in their anti 2A argument.
tr.v. reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing, reg·u·lates
1. To control or direct according to rule, principle, or law.
2. To adjust to a particular specification or requirement: regulate temperature.
3. To adjust (a mechanism) for accurate and proper functioning.
4. To put or maintain in order:
They just don't get the fact that "well regulated" means well supplied, organized and ready to fight. It does not mean that the militia had plenty of rules in place so that nobody misbehaved.
It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.
May 31st, 2012 07:24 AM
Good response, but probably a waste of time. She's not going to let the facts get in the way of her ranting.
Also, it's not worth giving her extra Internet traffic and more ad revenue.
May 31st, 2012 08:15 AM
Pigs don't know pigs stink...
Originally Posted by HotGuns
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
May 31st, 2012 08:21 AM
Twisting history to make it fit Her personal anti gun agenda. Don't confuse her with the facts.
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