I saw it in the Seattle PI
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
People, not guns, are the problem
Body counts garner attention from the media like a flashy neon sign. They create buzz, such as Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' gun control stance that quotes the figure of 550 violent firearms crimes in 2005 ("Seattle weighs in on handgun ban," Wednesday).
Most people will be horrified and will fail to ask the crucial, underlying question: How many of those guns were purchased legally? After all, laws will affect guns legally acquired, not those from secondary sources. The answer: 15 percent of guns used in crimes are legally obtained. That leaves 85 percent unaffected by changes to gun control laws.
Consider how many violent crimes are thwarted around the country by guns. That's a statistic one rarely hears. The number officially reported to the police is roughly 64,615 yearly; the estimate can jump as high as 2.45 million if one factors in unreported cases. Compare those numbers to 30,000 gun-related deaths yearly and one can see the difference is, at the very least, 34,000 people saved by guns. Yet, since those people are not in a morgue, they apparently don't count.
The Second Amendment was not an invention by its author, James Madison. It has a long common-law history, a history that afforded this nation the ability to defeat the British during the Revolutionary War. Moreover, in 1856, almost 100 years after the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court affirmed the interpretation of the Second Amendment in the Dred Scott decision, stating every man has the right "to keep and carry arms."
The problem in this country is not gun control, it's the people. That's right: you. The foundational documents were written with faith in its people. That we were the safest reservoir for absolute power to reside in, and that, if we were not free-thinking enough to exercise that power correctly, the solution was not to take power away, but to educate.
It was this vision the Founders had for our country; education as the true corrective action for the exploitation of the Constitution. They did not envision us as toddlers to be coddled by mommy government with our rights slowly taken from us one by one for our "own good."
Mommy government is not always going to be there to protect you. Have you forgotten Hurricane Katrina? It took days for the government, state and federal, to seize control of the situation. That was not unexpected. We do not live in a police state and we should be able to take care of ourselves for a few days while the government mobilizes. Now consider Katrina was an act of nature; imagine an attack from an enemy. Do you think you will be protected immediately?
The Second Amendment is designed to treat us as adults -- adults who live in a world where there are bad people. If you want absolute protection from your government, move to a communist country and you will be protected.
You will be told what to think and stripped of individual rights. Liberty comes at price. That price is acting like educated adults and accepting the inherent risks of free choice.
The mayors of the 11 cities warning the Supreme Court about jeopardizing gun control should instead be warning their residents that if we do not use education as a corrective measure we will soon be captives to our own lackadaisicalness.
A New Dr. Evil
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Primaries Don't Matter (If You're a Democrat)
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Q: How will the political parties use the results of the Presidential Primary?Political parties retain the authority to decide if they will use the Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the national nominating conventions. The political parties may also use caucus results, or a combination of primary results and caucus results.The Republican Party used the results of the primary to allocate all of the Washington delegates in 1992, half of its delegates in 1996, and one third of its delegates in 2000. The State Republican Party has decided that it will use the 2008 Presidential Primary to allocate 51% of its delegates. The remaining 49% of the delegates will be allocated based on caucus results.The Democratic Party has never used the results of the primary to allocate delegates. The State Democratic Party will only use caucuses to allocate delegates in 2008. (Emphasis added)
(Source: Washington State's February 19, 2008 Presidential Primary (.pdf), Frequently Asked Questions)