10302014Headline:

West Palm Beach, Florida

HomeFloridaWest Palm Beach

Email John Hopkins John Hopkins on LinkedIn John Hopkins on Twitter John Hopkins on Facebook
John Hopkins
John Hopkins
Contributor • (866) 735-1102 Ext 710

Join Me in Controlling Something That Kills Over 30, 000 Per Year

23 comments

When I was a kid, my dad was an avid hunter and we had guns, bullets, bows, and arrows in the house. At a very young age and several times after, he would take me through the same lecture about gun safety, bow safety and how dangerous they both were if in the wrong hands. He made it crystal clear that until taught properly, my hands were the wrong hands.

That is called gun control. It had nothing to do with denying access to guns, at the proper time, and it had nothing to do with taking anything away. He believed in simple, safe gun control.

Dick "Crack Shot" CheneyLast week, had the United States Congress demonstrated even a modicum of leadership, we would have taken the first small step toward some amount of gun control. Instead, Republicans and Democrats alike followed the dictates of the minority and the money of the National Rifle Association in voting against even weak gun control legislation.

Mississippi attorney Don Barrett is a gun owner and, says he, “we don’t want anybody messing with our guns”. But Mr. Barrett did have the courage of conviction to file a lawsuit against a Mississippi pawnshop that illegally sold a gun resulting in the shooting death of Chicago policeman Thomas Wortham, IV. Clearly, Mr. Barrett believes in some amount of gun control.

According to reports, a Rust College student named Quawi Gates had a system of sending stooges to the pawnshop to purchase guns. Quawi Gates apparently had a criminal record preventing him from purchasing guns and so his stooges would serve as “straw men”. Then Gates would turn around and sell the gun for a profit. Quawi Gates made deals to purchase a total of eight guns from the same pawnshop. One of the guns made it to the Southside of Chicago and, sadly, Officer Thomas Wortham paid for the easy access to guns. Officer Wortham, who had just begun a program to try and clean up guns from the southside of Chicago was shot and killed by one of Quawi’s illegally purchased guns.

Am I a gun control “freak”. Maybe. It depends on how you define it. I am absolutely opposed to continuing down the path that the National Rifle Association has been taking us. That path has resulted in:

· 270 million guns in the US

· 9,146 people killed by guns (2011)

· $10 million PER YEAR spent by the NRA for gun lobbying efforts. This is an amount that would have clothed every homeless child in America.

I am absolutely opposed to laws, whether followed or not, that ultimately permits the purchase of illegal firearms and result in the murder of a police officer or anyone else.

I am sorry, but I also am absolutely convinced that the Second Amendment should not be recognized as GUARANTEEING you a right to own and bear arms. If you believe that it does, I suggest you read it with an objective eye and thoughts of the over 30,000 people killed by guns in 2010:

“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.”

Let’s take a look: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,…” We have what is called the Florida National Guard (as all states do) and the last I checked that is, in fact, a well regulated militia.

Next part is always the hitch, isn’t it. The National Rifle Association, who has no interest in regulating guns or ownership, argues that the well regulated militia is achieved through “…, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

In the 1700’s the only way they could conceive of a well regulated militia was if the populace had arms and were in fact encouraged to own them. In the 1700’s, the majority of the populace DID NOT own guns. It is now 300 years later and the federal government has tanks and rocket launchers. It isn’t your great, great grandpa’s 1700’s anymore.

Because a well-regulated militia already exists, the need for the populace to keep and bear arms has certainly changed.

The idea of gun ownership needs to be focused on it as a privilege and rather than a right. If you want to own guns, you must protect the public (and your kids) from those guns. If one of your guns is loosed into the public, you should be responsible. If your gun is stolen and you do not immediately report it, you are responsible for everything that happens with the gun.

So, I challenge the responsible fire arms owners. Buck the stranglehold the National Rifle Association (NRA) has on you, the state legislatures, the majority of Governors, and the Congress. Let’s start the American Association for Responsible Gun Ownership (AARGO), maybe partner with the AARP and rifle through some real gun control.

  • What if you had to wait for background checks on ANY weapon purchased? I mean are you really buying a shotgun (2) days before a planned hunting trip?
  • Would it be so bad if EVERY fire arm had to be registered with the government? Are we really that paranoid?
  • What if we outlawed any weapon that held over 9 bullets before you had to reload? Do you really have to shoot an intruder 10 times?
  • If you must be 21 in many states to drink alcohol, shouldn’t you have to be at least that old to own a firearm?
  • Why does it seem that everyone needs a concealed weapons permit?
  • Do we really think that arming teachers and placing more guns in schools is the way to handle tragic killings in schools?
  • Should states really encourage guns as a part of handling every threatening situation? What if no one in the threatening situation could have a gun? WE called those fights when I was a kid and no one got killed.
  • And, sorry, absolutely no, none, nada, zip on the explosives, grenades, dynamite, or anything similar without a permit and a damn good commercial reason?

I even think that if you are out hunting with your old friend and you shoot him, you should be responsible…even if you are the vice-president of the United States.

23 Comments

Have an opinion about this post? Please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

  1. Jack Morris says:
    up arrow

    You aren’t winning over any gun owners by stating that you used to be around them.

    Get off your high horse, read some crime statistics, and leave us alone. I’ll consider accepting any new gun restrictions when Obama and Eric Holder are held accountable for violating already existing weapon laws that resulted in the death of Americans via the “Fast and Furious” scandal.

    Your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment is flawed and inconsistent with the Federalist Papers and a history of court rulings.

    Also, under no circumstances will I ever be “ok” with the Federal Gov. having a list of all gun owners. It completely compromises what the 2nd Amendment was intended for.

  2. JJ Kavanaugh says:
    up arrow

    Your really don’t get it sir, the amendment was structured to say exactly what it means. “A well regulated militia” never meant one run by the government, it was every whole, healthy , and hale man from 16 to 60 who could and would turn out when the alarm sounded. THEY CAME KNOWING HOW TO SHOOT! The Europeans who aided in training the soldiers of our new nation did not teach them how to shoot, care for and clean their rifles, or repair and maintenance. They taught the manual or arms and drill… how to fight and march in a line of men all carrying 4-5 foot long rifles with another foot plus of bayonet. A “free state” needs a populace willing to defend it and to do so they must be armed so they know exactly what it takes to shoot another living creature, 4 legged or 2. Try actually reading your own governement’s statistics, black and white, no interpretation please. It’s funny how they don’t support so much of what you claim. Also, just for ythe sake of being truthful- name ANY ONE COUNTRY in the world that instituted national registration of firearms who didn’t later seize them. I know of one, but the Swiss issue each male citizen and some female weapons to keep in their homes… “well regulated militia” hey? You are not a “gun control freak” sir, just a fool. My apologies if you take that personally, but if you think another law will solve societal issues when we don’t bother to enforce the ones on the books you are indeed a fool.

  3. Allan says:
    up arrow

    “In the 1700’s the only way they could conceive of a well regulated militia was if the populace had arms and were in fact encouraged to own them. In the 1700’s, the majority of the populace DID NOT own guns. It is now 300 years later and the federal government has tanks and rocket launchers. It isn’t your great, great grandpa’s 1700’s anymore.”

    Then repeal the second amendment or leave us alone.
    Shall not be infringed means just that.

  4. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    Liberals love to bring up the “well regulated” section of the 2nd Amendment in hopes of pointing out that regulated should mean controlled, monitored, or governed. The problem is the phrase has changed meaning over the years and when reading and discussing the wording in the 2nd Amendment you must look to the intent of those that wrote the Amendment and keep to the definition of the time period. A “well regulated” militia of the period was made up of average citizens who decently disciplined to stand the trials of combat, trained in the proper function of their weapons, and maintained their weaponry in good working order. Alexander Hamilton declared in “The Federalist Papers, #29” that “the character of a well regulated militia” was found in a state of preparedness only reached after rigorous and consistent training. But that to fully acquire “the character of a well regulated militia” would be so time consuming as to be “a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.” So the best we can do is be ready to fight if needed in defense of the State, keep our firearms in proper working order, and know how to use them.

  5. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    “I am sorry, but I also am absolutely convinced that the Second Amendment should not be recognized as GUARANTEEING you a right to own and bear arms.”

    It would seem that the Supreme Court disagrees with you in District of Columbia v. Heller.

  6. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Allan, Mr. Kavanaugh and Mr. Morris. Thank you for expressing your opinion. With respect, my primary concern is the escalating rate of dead people as a result of firearms. I am not trying to win over gun owners by trying to be one of them. I simply wanted to illustrate a man who believes as fervently in the second amendment as you do, but who also was wise enough to understand the need for gun safety; nothing more.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist, so I will leave all that baggage at your door.

    Great Britain has actually had a very long and successful history of gun registration and control.

    Again, I thank you for your comments and leave you to your consciences.

  7. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    And, sorry, Mr. Apple. How many times has the court been known to reverse itself. Certainly not a habit, but it has happened. As I am sure you know, the law can be fluid.

    Thanks for your comments.

  8. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    The “well regulated militia” argument has been thoroughly discussed by several people already. The central issue that people fail to fully grasp is that the 2nd Amendment does not give the American citizen the right to firearms. The 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.” The Founders understood that the right to firearms and their use for self-defense, from personal harm or a tyrannical government, should be protected. The Amendment does not state that the right is given to the “People” instead it states that the right should not be taken away, i.e. infringed. The right to defend yourself, from whoever or whatever, is a natural right and in the eyes of the Founders’ a God given right. I find it so strange that the “backward” Founders of this great nation understood this while so many of the “enlightened” modern folks cannot grasp such a simply concept.

  9. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Mr. Apple:
    for me, it is a little ingenuous to believe that the founding fathers could have understood automatic weapons such as Mk48, Heckler MG4, M16 or AK-47. I do not imagine they could conceive of Americans killing 30,000 Americans a year. Never would it have occurred to them that maniacs would walk into movie theaters,colleges or grade schools to kill men, women and children indiscriminately. This may be one of the very few issues upon which the “wisdom” of the founding fathers provides us with no insight whatsoever.

    Thank you sir.

  10. Geoff H. says:
    up arrow

    I’m pretty sure the 2nd Amendment wasn’t written for citizens with fully automatic AR-15 Bushmasters or any other kind of assault rifle/submachine gun.

    What possible reason could any homeowner, short of living in the ghettos of NY or Chicago or LA or a warzone, need for having a 30-100 round fully automatic assault weapon (which deals over 9x more damage than a handgun per shot)?

    Seriously, I’m curious.. I forgot this is ‘murrica and da Chinese are taking our jerbs.

  11. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    The flintlock rifles that our Founding Fathers would have been quite familiar with would have been the .75 caliber Brown Bess musket, the .69 caliber Charleville musket, and the .50 caliber Pennsylvania Rifle. The well trained soldier or seasoned outdoorsmen could get off 3 aimed shots per minute. These were the “assault rifles” of their day. Your giddiness over the notion of limiting the 2nd Amendment to only those weapons available to the Founding Fathers does beg a question. Does that idea of limiting also apply to the 1st Amendment? If so then your cell phone (smart or otherwise), computer, radio, TV, eBooks, etc. are not covered under the 1st Amendment. Only direct conversations, speeches, or books/pamphlets printed on a manual printing press would be constitutionally protected. If we are going back to an overly strict interpretation of the Constitution then it would seem that you don’t want black people to count as actually people or for women to vote. You can’t cherry pick which Constitutional rights you think are applicable to today.

  12. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Mr Apple:
    In a word: seriously?

    That’s what you have left in terms of debate? I am not going to even comment on the ridiculousness of enslaving my fellow man.

    The first amendment is not without restriction. As much as I may want to, I can not stand on a street corner and injure your reputation through my free speech; anymore than I can do so in writing. So, free speech is a right with certain responsibilities.

    Three rounds per minute? An AK-47 fires off over 90 rounds per minute. Isn’t the comparison somewhat silly?

    What I am actually saying, before comment began distorting it is: why should you be permitted an obviously outdated second amendment without regulation or, for many people, even responsibility?

    What is that owning all those guns is compensating for?

  13. Geoff H. says:
    up arrow

    Mr. Apple, we DO have restrictions on our 1st amendment, such as Imminent Lawlessness.

    Mr. Hopkins “seriously” succinction of your argument pretty much sums up the rest of your argument. I’m seriously lolling at your reference to Jim Crow laws and contrasting them with gun control.

  14. OsamaObamaYoMama says:
    up arrow

    What’s with the weirdly placed picture of Dick Cheney?

  15. Geoff H. says:
    up arrow

    Mr. Apple, we DO have restrictions on our 1st amendment, such as Imminent Lawlessness.

    Mr. Hopkins “seriously” succinction of your argument pretty much sums up the rest of your argument. I’m seriously lolling at your reference to Jim Crow laws and contrasting them with gun control.

  16. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Sorry, I see Vice President Dick Cheney as the “poster child” for irresponsible gun ownership.

    That was a picture of him from the Ford administration time period.

  17. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    John Hopkins:
    Let’s address your statement.
    1. You say the 1st Amendment has restrictions as should the 2nd. I hear the same old tired argument all the time about how you can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded theater as justification for restrictions on the 1st Amendment. You should yell “Fire” if there is a fire and if there isn’t then you get to face the justice system and its punishment. As a gun owner, every round that I shoot is my responsibility and I have to answer for where those rounds go and what they hit.
    2. You make the comparison of an AK (I guess you also would toss in an AR into your sample group) with the fighting power/capacity of the rifles our Founding Fathers would have been accustomed. You’re right it is a silly comparison since the Flintlock rifles of the Revolutionary period were essentially no different than the weapons in the hands of the average citizen. You claim to have grown up around firearms and it would seem that your knowledge of firearms needs a little updating. The AR and AK rifles that get deemed “assault riffles” by the media (no wonder where their bias lies)are semi-auto rifles and our Government uses rifles with a full auto option. You may say that the difference is barely noticeable. Then I guess to you driving in a Ford Escort and a Ferrari 458 Spider is the same thing. Both maybe cars but they simply aren’t the same. The average American gun owner already lives with restrictions by not owning the same rifle as our Armed Forces (even though you can own fully automatic weapons if you go through the extra ATF background check and pay the extra taxes).
    3. “What I am actually saying, before comment began distorting it is: why should you be permitted an obviously outdated second amendment without regulation or, for many people, even responsibility?” “Obviously outdated second amendment”. We will NEVER see eye to eye on this one. Thank God the Founding Fathers had better insight into human nature than the so-called enlightened modern man of today.
    4. And as for the “compensating” comment, I can only see that as an attack on my manhood. Which falls into the haggard and spent attack of making the connection between firearms and their passionate owners into some type of psycho-sexual fixation. I am quite comfortable with both, my guns and my sexuality.

  18. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    You are absolutely correct about my final comment, it was both rude and unjustified.

    You are also correct that we are not going to agree.

    I simply will never understand the driving need to own firearms beyond those realistically used for hunting and sport. Yes, I suppose a fully or semi-automatic weapon could be used for sport, but why?

    And, there is most certainly no difference between an Escort and Ferrari in terms of each one’s ability to injure, maim and kill.

    As long as guns continue to be a source of people needlessly being killed, you are correct, I will always be for some form of control. Again, not ban — control.

    And, again, my apologies for my rudeness.

  19. MrApple says:
    up arrow

    Join Me in Controlling Something That Kills Over 30, 000 Per Year.
    CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/acc-inj.htm

    Unintentional fall deaths
    Number of deaths: 26,009 (almost, more people need to slip and fall)
    Motor vehicle traffic deaths
    Number of deaths: 33,687
    Unintentional poisoning deaths
    Number of deaths: 33,041

  20. Tom says:
    up arrow

    The national guard is NOT a militia. The national guard is just a version of the government controlled army.

    Every gun registration in history has turned to confiscation. Canada, Australia, England, New York. What benefit would there be in gun registration? Other than so next year when they pass a law banning the next group of guns, they know exactly who to confiscate them from. This is exactly what happened with Canada’s long gun registration.

  21. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Mr. Apple: Sorry, but I hardly see the comparison between gun deaths and those you have listed. I think they are clearly a reach and simply a comparison of apples to oranges.

    Tom: The Florida National Guard “is the National Guard force of the State of Florida”. It is controlled by the Governor of Florida or the Florida legislature. Same with the Florida Air National Guard.

    Maybe some guns simply have no business in civilian ownership, but I go back to my original debate: if you want to own them, what is really wrong with registering them and making you ultimately responsible for their use?

    What practical need do you have for a semi-automatic or fully automatic weapon, for example? If you are worried about the US government, do you suppose they give you some real way to stand against a government that would bring on tanks, jets, ships, drones,and similar weapons?

  22. Mark says:
    up arrow

    Mr. Hopkins, I’ll give this for your consideration.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-19/american-gun-deaths-to-exceed-traffic-fatalities-by-2015.html

    But your story, had no solutions for what we do about cars.

  23. John Hopkins says:
    up arrow

    Mark: Thanks. Go back to horses??