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In order to add credibility to the arguments made below, I will fully and freely disclose the following: I am a gun owner. And I really enjoy shooting.  Not hunting, mind you. I don’t hunt. No, I like guns, always have. Handguns, rifles, shotguns, semi-automatic, lever-action, revolvers – my tastes run the gamut, as most gun enthusiasts’ do.

In my youth I owned a lot of G.I. Joe and COBRA action figures and they came with miniature weapons which I loved learning about. By the age of 10 I could recite the standard list of firearms used by all of the Joes: M-16, M60, Browning .50 Caliber, M1911A1 Auto-pistol, etc. I also, in my youth, learned safe-handling and a healthy respect for firearms as well. I’m very thankful to my dad and other mentors for that important guidance.

I’ll also state that I’m not a fan of the idea of concealed carry. Not because I don’t like guns, but because I don’t trust people. Not everyone is smart, rational, or responsible. And that means that even if someone is shooting at people in a public place, I can’t count on concealed carriers to use caution rather than fear or rage when they start shooting back. The only thing worse than a child being killed by a gunman is a child killed by someone who was trying to shoot the gunman.

That being said, I’m going to examine the 2nd amendment-based argument which was the basis of two recent supreme court rulings concerning Washington D.C. (District of Columbia v. Heller – 2008) and Chicago (McDonald v. Chicago 2010) regarding handgun ownership. This argument is constantly parroted by gun rights proponents, so I think it is important to point out its flaws so that we can instead focus on why the recent rulings were, in fact, a travesty, a federal government power grab, and an assault on local governance, which most “States’ Rights” and “small government” advocates should have been up in arms about (pardon the pun). Read the rest of this entry »

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