Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “self defense”

esaeleR sserP adirolF – issoR moT

From Satirificated Press Wire:

.drawrof gnivom si etats taerg siht taht desaelp si tnemnrevog adirolF ruoY

.etsaw ot enog ,gnol os rof ,evah secruoser niatrec taht dezingocer evah eW

.secruoser eseht ezilitu ot redro ni seicilop gnitnemelpmi era ew ,yhw si tahT

.sisnacirfa sunamuhbuS rof sesnecil gnitnuh gniussi nigeb noos lliw adirolF

“.elpoep kcalb” sa ot derrefer ylremrof erew sisnacirfa sunamuhbuS

.tsep a deredisnoc gnol seiceps a fo gnitsevrah eht wolla lliw sihT

.4102 ni detnemelpmi eb lliw ,yrevals sa nwonk ,margorp wen a ,noitidda nI

.ytilitu dessecca-nu ylremrof fo erutpac eht rof wolla lliw siht ,niagA

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.snoisiced truoc suoirav yb elbissop edam erew segnahc esehT

.gnitov no noisiced truoC emerpuS eht saw eseht fo tnatropmi tsoM

backwardsledimages

.snoitcele ni etov sisnacirfa sunamuhbuS tel ot deriuqer regnol on si adirolF

.srezilitu laitnetop sserppo regnol on nac sisnacirfa sunamuhbuS ,eroferehT

.elbissop stimrep gnitnuh edam snaidirolF sikamibab sunamuhimeS xis ,oslA

.ssecorp eht detidepxe tsael ta yeht ,rO

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.snur selttikS egavas fo raef ni evil ot decrof eb regnol on lliw snaidirolF

.sgniht rehto gnomA

.erehwyreve snaidirolF rof modeerf drawot pets taerg a si sihT

-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

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Gun Control: Kill the Handgun – Roger Ingalls

In the wake of the shooting deaths in Aurora, Colorado, the roar to ban assault rifles can be heard all over the country. The President made a soft but responsible comment on the issue while Senator Feinstein was more direct.

Obama at the National Urban League: “I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms, I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation. That hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage but I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals. That they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities. I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons, and we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller.”

Senator Feinstein: “Weapons of war don’t belong on the streets. This is a powerful weapon, it had a 100-round drum; this is a man who planned, who went in, and his purpose was to kill as many people as he could in a sold-out theater. We’ve got to really sit down and come to grips with what is sold to the average citizen in America. I have no problem with people being licensed to buy a firearm, but these are weapons that are only going to be used to kill a lot of people in close combat.”

I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment – commonly referred to as “the right to bear arms”. The Second Amendment text: 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 amendment was provided for the purpose of deterring tyrannical government, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, facilitating a natural right of self-defense and enabling the people to organize a militia system.

If assault rifles are banned we’ll be left with hunting guns and handguns and we would then be out of compliance with the intent of the Second Amendment.

Guns kill approximately 30,000 people in the United States, per year, and less than 0.5% of those killed die from assault rifles. The political and media assault on assault rifles is way off target.

As defined in The Bill of Rights and in the context of the time in which it was written, I do not believe the Second Amendment guarantees the public the right to own or bear hand guns. Hand guns DO NOT satisfy the intended purpose of the amendment.  You cannot deter a tyrannical government or organize a militia with hand guns. I DO believe the public has the right to bear rifles, assault weapons and any equipment used by the military and government. This may be controversial but it is the true intent of the amendment.

Assault weapons make big headline when used for murder but they kill a fraction of the people relative to other weapons. Hand guns are designed for convenient and surprise killing at close proximity which is completely incompatible with the Second Amendment.

If politicians and mainstream media want to focus on a real problem without violating the Constitution, they should kill the handgun.

Gun Control: Lisa and Trayvon Get Shot – Roger Ingalls

What do Trayvon Martin and Lisa Simmons have in common? The title gives it away but they were both shot. The circumstances behind the shootings are very different with one almost in the running for the annual Darwin Awards and the other probably marked by bad timing coupled with mutual adrenaline and fear.

Lisa was shot by her boyfriend, Steven Egan, in what appears to be a hunting accident. Ms. Simmons did not die from her wounds but she was seriously injured and had to be airlifted to a hospital where she is still recovering. The story behind the shooting would be funny if Lisa did not get hurt but I suspect some will find it hilarious. She was shot because her boyfriend thought she was a wild pig. I won’t go into the details but you can read about it here (link). Incidentally, Lisa doesn’t qualify for the Darwin Awards because she survived.

Tragically, Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman on February 26th. The shooting and issues surrounding the case have been widely covered so I will also not go into the details but if you’re not familiar with it, just Google “Trayvon”. Some will get upset that I’ve linked these two shootings and will probably become even more incensed when they now learn that I’m leading this into my view of gun control.

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Most friends and some associates know that my political views lean to the left and they assume I’m against the ownership of guns but this is not true. I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment – commonly referred to as “the right to bear arms”. However, I also believe the interpretation of the amendment is grossly misunderstood.

Here is the actual Second Amendment text: 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. In review of history, the amendment was provided for the following purposes: deterring tyrannical government, repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, facilitating a natural right of self-defense and enabling the people to organize a militia system.

As defined in The Bill of Rights and in the context of the time in which it was written, I do not believe the Second Amendment guarantees the public the right to the ownership or bearing of hand guns. How does a hand gun satisfy any of the purposes that the amendment was addressing? It doesn’t. Can you deter a tyrannical government or organize a militia outfitted with hand guns? No, that would be suicide. I DO believe the public has the right to bear rifles, assault weapons, shot guns and any equipment used by the military and government. This may be controversial but it is the true intent of the amendment. Let’s face it, assault weapons make big headline when used for murder but they kill a fraction of  the people in the U.S. when compared to hand guns.

Hand guns serve no good purpose. They are only used in cruel execution of people. They are not practical for hunting, fighting wars or home defense (a shot gun is a better choice against an intruder). Hand guns are designed for convenience, concealment and close proximity killing.

Let’s examine our everyday environment in a setting where hand guns are eliminated and only long guns can be permitted and carried. If you see someone walking down the street or into a store with a non-concealable rifle you can take appropriate action if uncomfortable. You are not afforded this opportunity if the person is concealing a hand gun. An officer, seeing a rifle carrier can request confirmation of a carry permit and ask why they’re carrying at this time – again, not possible if the arms are small and hidden. Also, an undesirable may be less inclined to commit a crime if they see big guns in the hands of legal carriers around them. It’s important to realize that people are already carrying around us so wouldn’t it be nice to know who is?

George Zimmerman had a carry permit and was obviously concealing a hand gun the night he killed Trayvon Martin. Although he was legal in the eyes of the law, his neighborhood watch group did not allow the carrying of weapons. If Zimmerman’s only choice was a long gun, his neighborhood group could have seen the gun, told him no or reported it and Trayvon would still be alive.

As far as the hunting accident involving Mr. Egan and Ms. Simmons, no law or regulation can fix stupid.

“Stand Your Ground” Justifies Trayvon Martin’s Actions, Not George Zimmerman’s – Tom Rossi

The Trayvon Martin “controversy” is at conflagration level this week. In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll give you the quick version of what was already a short story.

Trayvon Martin, a black teenager, was returning to the house of his father’s girlfriend in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He was carrying a can of iced tea and a bag of the candy, “skittles.” George Zimmerman, a (some say “self-appointed”) neighborhood watchman followed him, called the police and got into a scuffle with Martin and ended up shooting him.

In the aftermath, Zimmerman (who was not dressed in any sort of security uniform) claimed to have been defending himself and therefore was not arrested by the police.

Zimmerman followed Martin. Then and only then, some kind of confrontation occurred. The only reasonable way that Florida’s “stand your ground” law could be applied in this situation would be to say that Trayvon Martin was in fear for his life – as he was the one being followed. That would have given Martin the right to use deadly force to defend himself.

But Martin didn’t have a gun, so he defended himself with his fists, it appears. Then Zimmerman shot him. Zimmerman single-handedly decided that Martin was a criminal. And as a self-styled vigilante he chased Martin, confronted him, and killed him.

This seems the most simple case to me. There’s really not much more to say. However, just as in the killing of Oscar Grant, race has become the center issue. Let’s hope that, this time, the cries of racism (though they may well be accurate) don’t drown out the simple circumstances that make it clear that this was an unjustified killing.

Is racism a factor in this case? It’s all over it. Zimmerman singled Martin out because he was black. The police immediately asked on the phone if he was black. And the police appear to have accepted “self-defense” without any question because Martin was black, even though they had clear knowledge that Zimmerman was following him, possibly even running after him.

George Zimmerman is guilty of murder and, in my opinion, it was clearly a hate crime. Nonetheless, it’s the Sanford police department that should be charged with racism. After yet another incident like this, it’s no wonder so many people of color have no faith in the rule of law in this country.

-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

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