The New Year, at least as I have come to understand, is an occasion to take stock of your accomplishments, and your failures, your blessings and your curses, and resolve to do better. Not because you have to, not because its expected, not because you were told, but because true satisfaction comes from within, from accomplishing something that challenged you. When we set goals for ourselves, and we attain them we feel empowered, confident and motivated.
This new year we should all have our resolutions. They should all be selfishly directed. Selfishly to give us the satisfaction that comes from a successful goal achievement.
As these last few weeks have unfolded, I, like many people reflect a little more on the past and the future. I realize that we are all in this mess together, and we all have some relatively strong opinions about how to get out of it. If we didn't, we wouldn't waste the time it takes to read dissenting ones, nor post our own to be subjected to ridicule and derision. At times, regardless of the face some of us present, it is hard to hear and harder to believe that someone else just cant see what is so clear to each of us. Most of us have some degree of introspection available, some don't and I will let them identify themselves by their past and future comments. Those of us who do, read the dissent and consider it, save for the extreme nonsense that invariably finds its way to the boards. Most of this is eventually dismissed for a variety of reasons that are as unique as each of us.
The salient question I have asked myself is how do we find a common ground? I am going to try to write the entries in the coming year from a point of an intangible , and inarguable baseline. This will invariably upset many people. Hopefully, equally on each side, but the point is not to act as if I am devoid of an opinion. Merely that my opinion is derived from that incontrovertible baseline. I will extend the offer again, to any of those on the left, to propose a piece with a valid baseline and their arguments emanating from the same place.
The rules, as stated by the paper, are that any and all blog entries have to be attributed to a real name, not a pseudo name. While there have been publications in the past that were published under pseudo names, it will no longer be tolerated, and all of us have noticed how rigidly the rules are now being enforced.
There has been much debate here, and the vast majority of the argument from the left, in my opinion seems to focus on compromise, but compromise without a rational baseline. I would agree that there are times where compromise is the rational answer. However, compromise doesn't mean you always start in the middle as the first step. There have to be parameters or absolutes established prior to even knowing what the middle is. If a gunman broke into your house in the middle of dinner and announced that he was going to kill all of you, killing half is not the middle.
This scenario is not ridiculous because the baseline is that no one should be killed. A compromise would be that the intruder is convinced that there is no right to kill anyone and a valid compromise would start there.
So as we discuss all of the issues that come to pass here, we have to figure out a valid baseline to further any discussion.
Recently a poster posted a study regarding gun violence and proceeded to compare the US to 16 other countries. On its face this appears to be a valid comparison. However, upon further review one finds that there are many critical elements left out, which substantially alter the skew of the article reviewing the study. First, they claim 6 violent deaths per 100,000, with the implication that these are all from firearms and all a result of a violent crime. This is not the case. Just over half of these are crimes with a firearm, and less than half of those are results of crimes, the rest are suicides. Furthermore, the neglect to mention, out of the 6,367 deaths from firearms in the US in 2010 only 358 were from rifles of any kind.
This is nowhere near 6 per 100,000. This also means that more people were killed that year (FBI crime statistics) by bare hands than with rifles.
Yet a small and very vocal minority are screaming at the top of their lungs for "assault" gun bans, ammo and magazine limits and gun registration. It doesn't mention the fact that crime by firearms, and violent crime in general has been trending down for years, even as gun sales are exponentially higher. It also doesn't define how these crimes are quantified. Did anyone know that if a burglary took place without the use of a firearm, but in the getaway someone was killed by the burglars car and he was in possession of a firearm, that it is considered a "firearm related death"?
Lets find a baseline and make sensible decisions about our society instead of running around with our eyes covered.
Why don't we try to determine a baseline for a discussion prior to launching into attacks about who is responsible and how it has to be fixed.
If guns are the issue it is simple. At least for those of us not in the legislature.
There is a Second amendment, it reads as below:
"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 right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
That is not an ambiguous or vague statement. It is clear and succinct.
The baseline is that there is no right contained within any of the three branches of government to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms, if the will of the people is different there needs to be another amendment or a repeal of the second.
The Constitution was not proposed as perfect, it was not a map to utopia. It is written by and has all the frailties and flaws inherent of man. But it is the law, and if a country is to survive, it is to live by its own rule of law. If they aren't, liked change them, but to subvert, circumvent or change by presidential fiat is to usurp the rule of law.