Expanding Gun Rights

Expanding Gun RightsAnother day, another shooting.

In the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, with the sole exception of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was killed and son injured in a 1993 shooting, only one gun control bill has been introduced. Hers! 534 Democratic and Republicant members, where are you? To honor Rep. Giffords, I suggest that a minimum of 32 bills be introduced. One for each of the massacre bullets from that pimped-out Glock2.

One down.

Republican Rep. Peter T. King of New York will propose new gun control legislation making it a crime to carry a gun within 1,000 feet of the president, vice president, members of Congress or federal judges.

Two down? Hmmm.

It’s not surprising that King wants to ban weapons within 1,000 feet of the political elite. After all, that includes him. (Much like the government medical care he enjoys and wants to torpedo for everyone else.) I’m just surprised Republicant King didn’t include people with annual incomes of over $1,000,000. in his ban!

If Congressmembers won’t limit gun rights, why don’t they just come out-of-the- closet and pass laws to expand them?

A few suggestions.

Since the most recent gun incidents involved students, let’s start with student gun rights. For instance, in Tucson, the assassin fumbled with the reloading of the extended ammunition magazine. Distracted, he was unable to quickly insert it, getting off “only” 32 shots. His frustration with college is now clear; classes weren’t offered in how to insert a magazine expertly. Rep. King, consider mandating gun classes and start them early, at least by middle school.

In Tucson, a spectator was packing but hesitated to shoot because he was unsure of who was the assassin. Rep. King, add an immunity clause to your bill for anyone who shoots at a possible assassin of a political elite. People who pack guns need to have confidence that they have “right-to-shoot powers” under the Second Amendment, thus encouraging them to shoot without hesitation. Legalize the concept of shooting first and asking questions later.

Students need gun training. Money for shooting ranges and the hiring of high-profile shooter/teachers such as Dick Cheney needs to be available. Cheney could mentor young students on the proper way to wound but not kill people who might be in proximity. And, speaking of proximity. Tucson is just a hop, skip and jump from the Mexican border. Tie these courses to the need for controlling our borders. I’m sure students would more fully realize the importance of the Second Amendment if it were combined with the war on illegal immigration. For special significance add to your bill the provision that any moving target within 1,000 feet of the Mexican border may be legally shot. I’m sure Arizona Republicant colleagues would sign onto your bill.

In Gardena, California, if the student hadn’t hidden his firearm, but packed it on his hip, everyone would have been safer knowing he had a gun. Obviously the student was poorly trained on how to conceal a gun. Classes need to include the proper way to conceal, assemble and load firearms. Additionally, allow for gun clubs and competitions between schools. Imagine students winning a varsity letter in guns and shooting.

One last thought, Rep. King, to be even more safe, why not amend your bill to say that a gun may not be carried within your congressional district when you’re there?

Carl Matthes

About Carl Matthes

Carl Matthes is a native of Los Angeles and has lived in Eagle Rock for 45 years. He is the current president of UGLA, Uptown Gay and Lesbian Alliance, a grassroots organization in Northeast Los Angeles which provides a support system for gay men and lesbians and education for individuals and the community-at-large on the true nature of homosexuality. He is a former columnist and a current advisor to the Lesbian News, the oldest lesbian publication in America, which is owned and published by his sister, Ella. He was editor of the GLAAD/LA (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) newsletter, a former GLAAD National Board member and served as a GLAAD/LA representative on the LGBT/LAPD Advisory Board. Carl has also been a Board member of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

In July, 2008, Carl was legally married to Carl Johnson, his partner of 45 years, by Los Angels City Councilmember Jose Huizar. It was a unique gay/lesbian double ceremony as Carl's sister Ella and her partner Gladi were also married by Jose.

Comments

  1. This person, who is apparently mentally ill, took a gun and killed 6 people and injured 12 or 13 others. Is it Rep. McCarthy’s belief that if this bill had been law prior to this shooting it would have made any difference?

    It certainly wouldn’t have stopped him from doing it. And it would fail to provide any meaningful punishment afterwards – after all, he’s facing (among a great many other charges) 6 counts of first-degree murder.

    Laws such as this will do little other than clutter up the law books. It is likely to end up costing a legitimate gun owner who has no idea that there is a proscribed person in the same theater or restaurant time, money and perhaps their liberty. It is very likely to make a citizen into a criminal and is highly unlikely to either deter or punish an actual criminal.a

  2. Bill Gibbons says:
  3. Bill Gibbons says:

    I think its time to remind all Americans just how badly even Britain’s strict gun control laws have failed dismally to stop armed criminals from doing their worst.

    Banning guns does not stop the criminals from carrying them. So how has Britain fared since former prime minister Tony Blair’s all out macho “total ban” on handguns in 1997? Before Blair decided to disarm millions of law abiding citizens, the country had three mass shooting that unarmed Bobbies on the beat could not stop. Last April in picturesque Cumbria, a popular tourist destination in northern England, a cab driver by the name of Derrick Bird drove around for 35 miles, casually gunning people down with his 12 gauge shotgun and .22 rifle. He managed to kill 12 innocent people and wound 25 others.

    The big problem here was, NOT ONE person could stop Derrick Bird. not the police, not the public. Why? Because they were unarmed. Nobody had a gun or access to one that could be used to stop this slaughter. After bird finished his shooting spree, he casually walked into a secluded area and shot himself. In one instance, Bird was in plain sight of two police officers who were scooting people out of the way and shouting at others to “take cover.” They could not stop him. Their batons and cans of pepper spray weren’t quite a match for Bird’s guns.

    The UK handgun ban is absolutely insane. Just how many of the tens of thousands of UK citizens who owned handguns went on shooting sprees before they were stripped of their weapons in 1996? Only three. Yes, they were three too many, but enough for Tont Blair’s socialist government to disarm an entire nation of all handguns and rifles over .22 calibre. Ten years later in 2006, there were an estimated FOUR MIILION illegal guns circulating in the UK. Criminals between the ages of 15-24 can get access to Mac-10 sub-machine guns, Beretta pistols and replica weapons converted to fire live ammo. Also on the rise is the number of victims shot: Again, going back eight years, 440 people were seriously wounded by firearms in 2003/4, up five per cent from 2002. In the first six months of 2009, the number of shootings in London had almost doubled from 123 to 236 compared with the same period in 2008, a rise of 91.8%. Serious firearms offences have risen by 47% across London alone.

    Since 1996, gun crime has increased overall in the UK by 92%. Now we have huge areas of London, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool controlled by gangs armed with machine guns, fighting it out over turf and the drugs trade. Teenagers packing illegal handguns battle each other in “respect” shootings. In the meantime, coppers walk around unarmed while the rest of the country is left to cower in homes behind locked doors, burglar alarms and barred windows. The average time for police officers responding to emergency 999 calls has grown to three hours! The number of “hot” burglaries, that is, brwak-ins when people are still at home, is now an almost daily event across the country.

    Although Canada is not free from armed criminals, at least the situation here is a lot saner. All police officers here are armed and Canada has considerably less violent crime than the UK. There are over 3.8 million gun owners here who didn’t kill anyone yesterday. The answer in the UK is to have every police station or district manned by a select number of armed officers who can react quickly and independently when another mass shooting happens. And it will given time.

    For those “ban all guns” groupies who continue to believe that disarming law abiding citizens will somehow keep us all safe, they should listen to the number of 911 recording on YouTube by terrified women in the USA who were calling for help when stalkers, rapists and burglars were in the act of breaking into their homes. The police were too far away to get to the scene in time. All the women in question are all alive today because they had access to a gun in the house and were able to put a bullet in their attackers. In Canada, they would have been charged (maybe). Dead criminals are a much better solution, or rather criminals who are afraid to break into someone house, knowing that the owner coulder be armed and willing to shoot an intuder.

    When a citizenry is unarmed and therefore stripped of its ability to protect itself from violent criminals, then that citizenry is no longer free.

    In closing, here is a newspaper report from the UK (with photos) of an armoured car guard who was attacked and badly wounded by three hooded men armed with machetes. In the UK, armoured car personnel are not allowed to possess ANY KIND of defensive weapon, not even a baton or pepper spray. They get a crash helmet and a stab vest. That’s it.

    See here: Caught on camera: Dramatic moment security guard fought off machete-wielding gang | Mail Online

    • Carl Matthes says:

      Thank you, Mr. White, for your response. Even though you didn’t address any of the points of my article, I would like to answer your twice-asked questions. To your first question, No. To your second question, I am dismayed that you would bring in racial overtones to cloud the point of guns. Your comment is articulate, fact supported and wide-ranging. It reminds me of a finely tuned Ferrari, gracefully and skillfully traversing any international speedway. And the driver, like you, has been around this course before. Surely our country can find a way to balance a well-regulated militia with the proliferation of automatic weapons and cheap handguns. Please allow me to take you at your word, and say, “Thanks as always for the opportunity to comment. Peace be with you, and us all.”

  4. DC Matthews says:

    The recent homegrown terrorism/shootings are considered politically motivated.

    Passing a law to protect politcos and those who attend
    would be a good beginning to protect every one at federal
    political rallies and events. This will stop the intimidation some have used with open carry weapons at rallies in the last couple years.

    This can be expanded upon later.

    States and local govt’s can take up protection of state and local reps and supporters.

    Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

    • Carl Matthes says:

      Thank you, Mr. Matthews, for your point about starting gun control with the protection of our elected and some appointed federal officials. While I can’t disagree with any step forward to control guns, I would skeptical about these officials expanding their protection to others. A case in point would be healthcare. Also, there were two school shootings this week in the Los Angeles area that were not “politically motivated” – one by a clumsy student and the other by an unknown. Rep. King perhaps suffers from NIMB syndrome (Not In My Backyard), i.e., he wants everyone else to suffer the results of his not voting for gun control – but he doesn’t want to suffer.

    • Thomas White says:

      Do you always, without any exception and in any conceivable situation, want the government guys with weapons to be able to quickly & resoundingly defeat some or all other inhabitants of America?

      What if that government went by the name of the Confederate States of America, and your name was Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or even John Brown?

      Open carry is allowed in multiple states. To the best of my knowledge, open carry at or within a certain distance of a public demonstration is prohibited, and/or you can be ordered to leave or disarm immediately by an officer, in those same states.

      In general, anyone intimidating people, via brandishing a weapon (axe, hammer, saw, etc.), should be reported to the police, and the police should respond.

      A holstered weapon, or rifle slung over the should is not brandishing. If you are intimidated by the mere carry of weapons, are you not also intimidated by government actors carrying weapons?
      Consider your answer, and think about our form of government.
      Are we equal before the law?

      In whole, over the 2.3 centuries, the United States government has suffered little violence directed at it from its citizens compared to many other societies, and vice versa. Indeed, the situation has markedly improved over some circumstances of the past. Think Custer, for example.

      The ‘firepower’ legally available to a citizen today is not that much different than that possessed by our Colonists in 1775. The difference in firepower available to the United States Government now, and the British Empire in 1775 is vastly different.

      When governments have for the most part laid down their violent arms, many individual citizens surely would do the same, and gladly.

      Shall we compare the extended magazine and Glock pistol mentioned in the article to the AH-1 Cobra gunship with two General Electric M134 7.62×51 turret mounted miniguns attached.

      A regular human may be able to shoot the 32 rounds in the Glock pistol in a matter of 10 seconds or a bit less and manage to hit nothing in the process. The AH-1 Cobra, as described above, can fire 8,000 armor-piercing incendiary rounds per second. As a civilian, I’ve had those aircraft or similarly equipped fly over head innumerable times. I’ve seen the miniguns in action. So can you:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3VvB6YftWc

      A few of those helicopters could dismiss a Rally To Restore Anything, and quickly.

      U.S. T.S.A. employees received one of the most expensive, well advertised, supposedly high-tech pistols ever from the largest firearms contract ever issued by U.S. law enforcement. 65,000 pistols, those being the Heckler & Koch P2000 or similar. So, while a few in government decry the use of fancy pistols by the mere citizenry for whatever purpose, a lucrative small arms contract was granted to a German maker of firearms for airport personnel. The Heckler & Koch pistols cost almost twice as much as the Glock pistol mentioned by the article’s author.

      The Heckler & Koch P2000 I believe it was, ships with multiple high capacity magazines, in a larger more powerful catridge than the Glock mentioned by the article’s author (40 S&W instead of 9mm). The 40 caliber round used by the T.S.A. is significantly more powerful than the standard 9mm round issued to those citizens in the United States armed forces. It is still just a wimpy pistol.

      Evidence clearly shows, demonstrated this year and repeated over and over again in the media, that most people shot with a pistol survive. And, that many of the survivors are walking around and functioning the next day, a number of which may have been shot multiple times. A fit young man attacking gathered together middle-aged and elderly people could often do about as much harm with a sword or axe as with a pistol.

      Loughner should be about as rare as Dahmer, Bundy, et al. He is. Serial murderers don’t use pistols much, cause those make too much noise and would get them caught. If acts like Loughner’s become commonplace, it might seem rational to propose that external, malevolent forces are indeed inspiring heinous acts. Perhaps. What external, malovelent forces aggravated and inspired Hitler & his millions of minions, then? Do we condemn those people, or the now very advanced airplanes, artillery, rockets, bombs, etceteras wielded by governments across the globe? Both?

      In general, the pistol is simply a fairly humane way to subdue those pursuing acts of uninvited, unwarranted, injurious violence, whether the pistol is wielded by an officer, ranger, appointee, park employee, conscript, guard, watchman, or private citizen. Design, fabricate, prototype, test, verify, mass manufacture, an affordable & freely available item that is superior to, & more humane than, the pistol for keeping the peace. Problem solved, or at least a step has been made. Respectfully, working to disempower & disarm private citizens while hiring and arming more government agents is not the best approach.

      So I ask again, do you always, without any exception and in any conceivable situation, want the government guys with weapons to be able to defeat some other inhabitants of America?
      What if that government went by the name of the Confederate States of America, and your name was Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, or even John Brown?

      The armed private citizen likely bought or made his axe, sword, hammer, knife, baseball bat, or pistol. A few are stolen. Why a pacifist or peacemaker would protest those, instead of his tax dollars going to make bombs, destroyers, ICBMs, unmanned ground vehicles that carry G.E. M134 miniguns, unmanned aerial vehicles that can fly through your bedroom window, etc, is an interesting subject to ponder. So, it’s good that we exchange thoughts, as it provokes more thought.

      Thanks as always for the opportunity to comment. Peace be with you, and us all.

      • Carl Matthes says:

        Carl Matthes says:
        January 22, 2011 at 2:13 pm

        Thank you, Mr. White, for your response. Even though you didn’t address any of the points of my article, I would like to answer your twice-asked questions. To your first question, No. To your second question, I am dismayed that you would bring in racial overtones to cloud the point of guns. Your comment is articulate, fact supported and wide-ranging. It reminds me of a finely tuned Ferrari, gracefully and skillfully traversing any international speedway. And the driver, like you, has been around this course before. Surely our country can find a way to balance a well-regulated militia with the proliferation of automatic weapons and cheap handguns. Please allow me to take you at your word, and say, “Thanks as always for the opportunity to comment. Peace be with you, and us all.”
        VA:F [1.9.7_1111]

  5. Brad Bradbury says:

    Mr. Matthes,

    Really..?

    I can remember a time when there really were Rifle Clubs in American high schools. They held trapshooting meets and competed against one another. Funny I don’t recall any students (or teachers) ever going nuts and shooting up the school.

    In your attempt to be facetious, you’ve somehow managed to stumble into common sense without even realizing it.

    • Carl Matthes says:

      Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for your comment. On the contrary, I remember markmanship clubs and ROTC clubs in high school, even here in Los Angeles. That would have been in the early 1950s. But, this isn’t the 1950s anymore, as I’m sure you would agree. Not to belabor the point, handguns were not as prolific then (not talking trapshooting here!) nor were Glock2s with extended magazines around. Finally, I was not trying to be facetious. I was trying to show how words, when they get twisted by politicians being paid off by the NRA, can be used to make the case to legally bring guns into a classroom, improve the gun skill of an assassin and legalize killing illegal immigrants. I’m sure you agree none of these things are funny.

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