Gun restrictions will not infringe on people’s rights

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When I was a kid, I grew up with images of Hopalong Cassidy shooting umpteen bullets at bad guys from his six-shooter while riding on his white horse, Topper, at a full run. Paladin was called to town to wipe out bad guys because he was the guy with the gun in the ad, Have Gun Will Travel. Wyatt Earp shot all the bad guys when they deserved it and so did Steve McQueen and several others.

Television was filled with westerns and good guys always triumphed over the bad guys. Law was dictated by the barrel of a gun. Those were my heroes as a kid. I had strap-on pistols and hid behind trees and couches in my living room. I shot my parents and friends who I pretended to be the bad guys who needed killing until Mom called me for dinner.

You cannot tell me a kid watching violent movies and video games is not desensitized by all the killing and gore they see. They imagine themselves as the good guys wiping out the enemy like I did. As I grew older, my cowboy heroes were replaced by Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto and Bob Cousy. I got rid of my toy guns and picked up a baseball glove instead. The guns were for kids. The baseball glove was for the new man I was going to be as my body grew bigger and stronger.

But my reality of the Old West was a myth and I did not know it. Earp made people check their guns outside town and so did Deadwood. Shoot-outs were rare and nothing like the shows depicted. But sadly, we are all victims of the American western shoot ’em-up myths that filled the television and movie screens and still do. Shoot-outs are exciting and sell tickets. Talking down the bad buys is boring.

In colonial times, most people did not own guns. Those who did were required to register their names with the local constables so they could be recruited for a militia if necessary. Eventually, the Revolutionary War made call-up necessary. Those that had guns used them primarily for hunting for food and to run off marauding Indians occasionally. They did not use them against each other.

Nothing in the U.S. Constitution says the government cannot require all weapons to be registered. No rights are taken away by registration. Even the National Rifle Association said all registration was a good idea and testified to such after the Columbine incident. Now, it distances itself from those statements.

Far-right Supreme Court Justice and hunter Anton Scalia has even said that certain restrictions can be put on gun owners, registration being one of them. The Heller v. Washington, D.C., decision allowed homeowners to have guns to protect themselves at home. It was not a complete freedom to do whatever you want with guns under the Second Amendment as many tout today.

The case for registering all guns is strong, based on history and legal precedent. When the Second Amendment was written, there were no rapid-fire weapons — there were not even any pre-made bullets. It took a good 30 seconds to reload between shots. The word “militia” meant a “local militia,” not the way it has come to be interpreted by the right-leaning court to mean an individual as well as a militia.

Guns are made to kill. It makes sense to register them and to be able to track them for our own safety. It makes sense to limit gun styles, bullet magazine capacity and the ability to convert them to rapid-fire weapons. Military weapons should be limited to the military. It makes sense to limit gun ownership to mentally stable individuals. Police officers should be able to pull up gun registrations on their car computers just the way they can pull up your driver’s license when you get stopped.

Hopefully, the recent Connecticut massacre of children and teachers will finally bring that day closer.

Tyler Cassell


Posted 7:21 pm, February 28, 2013
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Reader feedback

Willysully from Lakeview says:
The author needs a history lesson. Lewis and Clark carried the repeating Girandoni pellet rifle, a popular arm of the Austrian Army. The rifle shot a .46 caliber ball with enough force to down a deer. It is estimated a practiced shooter could fire 30 rounds in 60 seconds. The author needs to realize you should actually know something before writing about it!
March 3, 2013, 10:30 am
Bill from Maine says:
The author not only needs a lot of lessons in history he also needs to read Heller himself. First off for one history lesson, the colonial militia system was used to not run off the Indians, but to kill them when they attacked. The militia was also used to kill the French during the French and Indian War or any other threat to the community. And if you the author actually read Heller you should have read that SCOTUS did not rule that registration was constitutional, but stated that since registration was not part of the case, it would not rule on it. A little homework before you write can go a long way.
March 3, 2013, 10:53 am
Matthew from Ohio says:
Actually, according to Federal Law, gun registration is illegal. Look it up.
March 3, 2013, 12:29 pm
Zack from Bayside says:
Mr. Cassell, It was brave of you or perhaps naive, to think speaking wisely about the need for gun control would reverberate with today's vacuous gunaholics ; I prefer to think the former. I enjoyed the silly letters, all three, seemingly writtten by the same person with different "from's for dramatic affect. They bare the same base mentality. Look forward to yet one more, "Lou from Bayside". The more he disagrees with you with his inimitable ravings, the more you know you've Nailed it. Write on.
March 4, 2013, 1:56 am
Michael from Missouri says:
In colonial times most people did own firearms. Their were not stores like they are today, hunting was a huge part of every families lives. Most families hunted with a gun or they didn't eat meat.
The case for not registering firearms is much stronger than registering. Look at history all over the world, corrupt governments have weapon owners register their weapons and then confiscate them and then start to abuse their power. It has happened a ridiculous amount of times through out our world history.
The US Constitution does not say anything about not being able to make gun owners register, but if you read the tenth amendment it states that powers not given to the federal government in those writings are given to the people. Which means the government does not have that right.
Another thing it does not matter that when the US Constitution was drafted that their guns were not as powerful as today's, because criminals have bigger and more power weapons today as well so it means in order to defend yourself you need something comparable to the person trying to hurt you.
Lastly Military style weapons are already illegal for a citizen to own. If you own a semi-automatic rifle and you convert it to automatic that is against the federal law, you can be arrested fine, have your firearms confiscated and serve time in person for doing that.
This is a perfect example of a non-informed person who is driven by emotion instead of reason.
March 4, 2013, 6:10 am
Lou from Bayside says:
To Zack and the sophmoric writer of this drech:
Keep in mind your govt has purchased almost 2 billion rounds of ammunition which they plan to use on the American public when they steal your pensions and 401 k plans. The fake Kenyan Manchurian Candidate has ramped up his drone program and intends to use them on the American people. The second ammendment is not so we can go Turkey hunting! It is so that as a last resort , we can shoot tyrants! Shame on all those who have danced on the graves of the Sandy Hook children in order to advance the twisted agenda of the Kenyan with the fake social security number from Connecticut whose real father was Frank Marshall Davis Communist propogandist!
March 4, 2013, 7:26 am
Tony D from Astoria says:
All the things they are planning to do would not have stopped Adam Lanza. He broke over ten laws that day. His mother even broke the laws in Connecticut by not storing her weapons properly. Maybe if the school had security glass or bars we would not even be talking about this.

When the economic collapse comes to this country thanks to our spendaholic politicians, do you want to be weaponless? What part of Infringed do you people not understand? You know nothing about why the framers wrote the Constitution the way they did. They literally studied thousands of years of governments, scholars, and great minds to come up with that document. Benjamin Franklin alone may have had an IQ of 180. these were the best and the brightest of the time. It's really funny and sad that politicians like Nancy Pelosi is such a Constitutional moron, just watch the You Tube videos of her.

It is not a right to drive a car, it's a privilege, there is a BIG difference people. I am leaving this State I cannot take it anymore. Do you really want people like Mayor Bloomberg running your lives. Do you like to be told what to eat and drink? Whenever politicians say it's for the "Greater Good" be very afraid because those are the words of tyrants. "WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF WOLVES. YOU CANNOT PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM THE WOLVES BY CREATING MORE SHEEP."
March 4, 2013, 8 am
Allan from Inglis says:
Doing some research before you start writing won't infringe upon your first amendment rights.
March 4, 2013, 9:27 am
Tony D from Astoria says:
Definitian of the word "Infringed"
from Webster dictionary..

Definition of INFRINGE
transitive verb
: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another
obsolete : defeat, frustrate
intransitive verb
: encroach —used with on or upon
— in·fring·er noun

"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …"
Richard Henry Lee
writing in Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.

OK Allan I will continue to do more research and EDUCAMINATE ME SELF
March 4, 2013, 10:05 am
Charles from Douglaston says:
Good Lord! I thought I left this ignorant paranoidal redneck mentality behind, back in Arizona where I was working the past two years. Damned if it didn't follow me back home to my supposedly enlightened New York City. I think some of these writers with their imaginative State names have been drinking more than just Tea at their Parties.
March 5, 2013, 1:58 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Charles, Public knowledge available to anyone. Your government has purchased almost 2 billion hollow point bullets, enough bullets to shoot each American 5 times. Thats paranoia? The Manchurian candidate, the Kenyan with the fake social security number plans to use these bullets and his drones on the American people. Enlightened? Whats enlightened about being a jacka**!
March 5, 2013, 6:36 am
TC from Flushing says:
Interesting to read the comments about my letter in the paper. One guy said I was wrong because Lewis and Clark had a repeating rifle. So what? OK, they did, one airgun, only one of its kind here. They only had 1 skirmish with Inidans during their whole trip. We didn't have other repeating guns here until Civil War time. As i said, Colonials had single shot musket type rifles, and most people lived in the cities and did not own guns. Then we have the armchair constitution authorities who think they know the constitution because they carry a pocket version with them, and they listen to right-wing radio who tells them what it means. And what does the government buying hollow point bullets have to do with anything I said? Nothing, except to promote fear of the government. Homeland Security bought the bullets by the way, the same organization that protects YOU, and me. And to the guy who is leaving New York because it is becoming too much for him, see ya. If any of you is interested in a good read about the subject I suggest you read "Gun Fight" by Adam Winkler. I stand by what I wrote.
March 5, 2013, 9:33 am
Lou from Bayside says:
TC, Government loving lapdog, Homeland security has not apprehended (1) single terrorist since their inception. They are a gang of sexual deviants who are functionaries of those attempting to install a police state! You feel safe with your government buying 1.6 billion hollow point bullets? Sounds like you are most likely a child porn addicted TSA agent who dislikes his pathetic , lowly station in life!
March 5, 2013, 9:53 am
Charles from Douglaston says:
OK Lou; I can recognize a put on when I read one. You must be joking. No one can be so out of touch with reality. If you are not pulling our leg, you are delusional and should seek help before you injure someone or yourself.
March 5, 2013, 11:44 am
TC from Flushing says:
Lou, the government is YOU, the people. You seem to live in a world of good guys (you) and bad guys (the Gov't). Name calling and labelling are just excuses for not having a point to make. Who cares why they bought the bullets? Be more concerned about things that matter like healthcare, debt reduction, peace in the world, ending the wars we are in, and everday living.
March 6, 2013, 6:22 am
Thomas from Kew Gardens says:
It looks like Lou of Bayside is counter to your policy stated below. Check out his name calling and accusations.
March 6, 2013, 8:42 am
Lou from Bayside says:
When the so called President Ie: Manchurian candidate is good friends and was mentored by 60s radical Bill Ayers who stated to an undercover agent that when his collection of Freaks took over they would be prepared to liquidate 25 million Americans who would not follow their program , I get worried. When that same Manchurian candidate purchases 1.6 billion hollow point bullets for domestic use I get really worried and so should you! Unfortunately , you are ignorant of history and dont take seriously the killing tendancies of these fiends!
March 6, 2013, 10:52 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Stand with Rand! Sen. Rand Paul takes determined stand against insanity of Obama’s claimed power to kill Americans

Mike Adams
Natural News
March 7, 2013
What kind of President refuses to say he will not kill Americans sitting in a cafe in Seattle, or walking down the street in Los Angeles, or driving a tractor on a farm in Texas? A President who respects no law and no rights of citizens as described in the Constitution.
That President, of course, is Barack Obama.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul took a stand against tyranny by enduring a long filibuster on the floor of the U.S. Senate. As of this writing, the filibuster is well over 10 hours long and running. In taking this opportunity to take a stand against tyranny, he showed the murderous intent of President Obama and the outright criminal attorney general known as “Mr. Fast & Furious” Eric Holder.
Obama insists he can murder you while you’re drinking coffee, mowing your lawn, or walking your dog
It is now clear: The battle lines have been drawn, and the Obama administration considers the entire United States of America to be a “battleground” where he can selectively choose when and where citizens have constitutional protections. At the stroke of a pen, Obama can choose to have you murdered — shot with a weaponized drone — even if you are not engaged in active combat or resurrection of any kind.
As I have previously written, it is now clear that Obama claims the right to murder journalists and bloggers, attacking them in their own homes through militarized drone strikes. Importantly, you do not need to be actively engaged in any violence or even a rebellion. The mere act of you sending an email to someone in the Middle East can earn you a spot on Obama’s “kill list” and result in a Hellfire missile being launched right into your home with the intention of instantly murdering you. This is the position President Obama is — extraordinarily — now defending as his “power.”
As Sen. Rand Paul expressed with stunning clarity and determination, it is now clear that President Obama believes there are NO LIMITS on his power, no limits on the military use of drone strikes, and no guaranteed protections for U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. The Bill of Rights is null and void in Obama’s mind. Due process can be selectively ignored at the will of one man in a position of power. You are no longer afforded any real protections unless “king” Obama wants you to have them!

Rand Paul proves he has the stuff to be President
Sen. Rand Paul is now emerging as a great hero of the American republic. He is more presidential than the President. Although he isn’t perfect and has made some mistakes on his voting record, Rand Paul apparently understands freedom better than the President, and he actually has morals and ethics, unlike the President.
Rand Paul is one of a very short list of U.S. senators willing to take a stand against tyranny and say, “NO!” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is also standing with him as are a few other Republican senators. Notably,not a single democrat in the U.S. Senate opposes President Obama murdering Americans on U.S. soil using militarized drones. The democratic party has universally abandoned human rights in America in its desire to seize political power at any cost to society.
Rand Paul understands there are limits on executive power; that the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights describe immutable rights that cannot be stripped from the citizens of America.
Here are just a few of the quotes from Sen. Rand Paul on the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2013, during his filibuster:
“If you’re sitting in a cafe, and somebody thinks you’re conspiring with (a terrorist), you should be charged or imprisoned if they can make the charges stick. But they shouldn’t just drop a Hellfire missile on you.”
“People who have more than seven days of food [have been deemed] a terrorist… and you might be somebody we might need to target with a drone.” (The context of this quote was explaining how ridiculous it is that the government’s definition of a “terrorist” includes people who store food, people who criticize the government, people who are against abortion, etc.)
“We don’t want the whims of any politician or any executive to decide what the law is.”
“Can you do military strikes on American citizens on U.S. soil. An easy answer is, I will obey the law.” (But then why doesn’t the President simply announce that he will obey the law?)
“We’d like them to say they don’t have the legal authority to kill Americans on American soil.” (But the President refuses to say this.)
“Our goal is to try to get the President to acknowledge something publicly.”
Comments from the Twitterverse
“A sad day when killing Americans is up for debate.”
“Sen. Rand Paul is giving a better human rights speech than Obama Barack ever has. And no teleprompter was in front of the Senator’s desk.”
“It’s been a while since I could say I am a proud American. Thank you Rand. Stand with Rand!”
“Epic! Stand with Rand!”
“I get the feeling that a more Libertarian stance is the only thing that can bring about a fresh start for the GOP. Stand with Rand!”
“I haven’t killed anyone yet, and I have no intention of killing Americans. But I might.” – Barack Obama
“This isn’t a filibuster. This is a line in the sand.”
“Do you stand with Senator Rand Paul and demand an answer from the White House on extra-judicial assassinations in America?”
“Thank you, Senator Rand Paul, for standing by We the People. Stand with Rand!”
“I am a two-time Obama voter. I stand with Rand.”
This article was posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 6:30 am
March 7, 2013, 6:55 am
Alex from Whitestone says:
Lou, you're funny. Rand Paul made a fool out of himself with his little talking stunt. He's out of touch, and dangerous to our government and country. How he got elected makes fools out of the voters in Kentucky. He'll be out next election. Good.
March 7, 2013, 10:34 am
Charles from Douglaston says:
Little wonder that Lou-natic would find Rand Paul bright. It takes a true dummy to truly admire yet another dummy.
March 8, 2013, 1:03 am
Lou from Bayside says:
Charles, the bright one you like ,you know the one with the fake social security number from Connecticut, has the potential to become a killer on a grand scale. One day when you realize the enormity of your stupidity and the evil fiend that you allowed ,there wont be enough tears for you to cry!
March 8, 2013, 7:27 am
Jeff from Bayside says:
Dear Lou, Is there any way we could make a film out of the facinating fantasy land in which you seem to be living? I love your letters and they seem to honestly reflect your view of the world, unless you are putting us on as one writer sugested. If so I admit you got me but if this is really what in the real world you think you are seeing, this is great stuff for a film; just wierd enough to bring forth a considerable number of like neurotics. Keep sick of these Letters based on fact and stuff. Yours are by far the most entertaining. Keep writing.

March 8, 2013, 10:18 pm

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