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Thursday News: Thanks to NRA (and GOP), We Live in a Country Where School Shootings Are Common; “Virginia Republicans still haven’t gotten the message on guns”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, February 15.

  • Quizzical

    We are not going to find the answer to our gun violence problem in The Federalist Papers. The Founding fathers knew nothing about high schools with 3100 students, or assault rifles with extended magazines. This is our problem to solve, not theirs.

    Laws are not simply expression of governing philosophies, or balancing of rights. More often, laws are the accretion of hard won experience. Building codes are a good example. For example, when there is a terrible fire due in part to a certain type of building cladding, with great loss of life, this experience results in building codes being changed around the world.

    In this country, that process has not been allowed to play out where guns are concerned. Instead, the NRA has thwarted it, and has successfully dismantled gun control laws.

  • Dan Rather on FL school shootings:

    Sadness and despair – those were my first reactions.

    But then, quickly, I am hopping mad. My urge is to use a much stronger adjective but this is not a time to descend into profanity.

    What happened in that Florida school today IS NOT OK. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

    Our children should be able to go to school and be SAFE.

    Remember the national panic over Ebola? It ended up killing one person. But there was a national consensus that we would do whatever it took to protect Americans.

    But when it comes to gun violence in schools, we just throw up our hands? Thoughts and prayers? Is that how we should have responded to threats like 9/11 as well?

    We like to call ourselves the best country on Earth. We like to say how we have a can-do spirit to conquer challenges. But all that self-congratulatory rhetoric rings pretty damn hollow on days like today.

    Anyone who says now isn’t the time to talk about gun violence, anyone who says there’s nothing we can do, anyone who offers up only thoughts and prayers is saying that they can’t be bothered with the hard work of trying to keep American children safe. Shame on them. And shame on our nation.

  • RobertColgan

    The most egregious misconstruction today of anything written by Constitutional framers is that ambiguous clause in the 2nd Amendment —– “(“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” . . . . .when the “Well regulated militia” had everything to do with being a quickly mobilized army should it be necessary to have a resistance force.
    In the early United States all males between the ages of 16 and 60 constituted the Militia: their duty was not only to keep and bear arms——but to be ready if called upon to become an army.
    Once an army and navy had been deigned necessary to have and maintain for the security of the growing country, the Militia were no longer as necessary, though still an ad hoc component of a defensive force.
    The Civil War basically ended the need for State, that is, citizen, militias.
    By 1865 the victorious Northern Army was essentially the established federal militia;
    the victorious Northern Navy the established Naval force for US protection.
    National Guard units stationed in each State constituted the local militia.

    The need for the citizens to “keep and bear arms for a well-regulated Militia” had, like white wigs fashionably worn by 18th century men, become passé.

    Yet— just as many laws regarding hitching requirements for horses are still on the books in places where horses haven’t touched hooves in a century—-the 2nd Amendment was never revised to accurately reflect what had altered in a grown-up nation with a huge standing army and navy.

    The right of the people keep and bear arms as written in the 2nd Amendment has far less to do with their unlegislated (‘unregulated’ : legislation = regulation) ability to purchase/own guns as it does to insist on having security against foreign invasion by designating the people as “militia.”

    The NRA doesn’t acknowledge this. Their lawyers twist and spin it every way they can to make it sound as if the right to BE a citizen is being infringed if guns are regulated.
    The Congressmen and women, many of them lawyers, PAID royally by the NRA to advance the above twist, won’t do anything to bite that feeding hand. Their constituents are just as brainwashed, though uncompensated by the NRA…they have come to believe that any curtailment of the types of guns, the amounts of ammo, etc that can be purchased is a direct violation of their Constitutional rights.

    Nope. Congress has the power, the State congresses have the power to regulate firearms within their borders just as they have the ability to regulate poison use, or noise pollution.
    One former Congresswoman said yesterday in an interview on DemocracyNow—–“….the only thing that is going to make this happen is if we have term limits on Representatives and Senators just as we do on the presidency. Otherwise they are beholden to sponsors, like the NR, and do not change their views.”