After much careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that these people are illogical, unscientific, anti-democratic blockheads who are not only totally lacking in integrity, but WRONG!
Let's take this in logical order. First, we have a constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment clearly states, "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It doesn't say "the right of the states" or "the right of the militias," it says "the right of the people." [Not to mention the Michigan state constitution at article I section 6 says "Every person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.] Now, in spite of the ignorant statements of prejudiced Supreme Court Justices to the contrary, this means you and me, folks!
That is the only interpretation that is consistent with American history. James Madison wrote to a European that our country, unlike those in Europe, was not afraid for its people to be armed. Thomas Jefferson said, "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms." George Washington said, "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and the keystone under independence.... The rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable.... The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good." Samual Adams said, "The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to ...prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms." What all must realize is that you cannot have a government of the people, by the people and for the people that is afraid of the people and wants to disarm them.
The organization called Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership has demonstrated that there is a strong association between a disarmed population and genocide. In every totalitarian country in this century, the first step of government murderers was to disarm the people. They have proven that the 1968 Gun Control Act was patterned after a Nazi gun control act.
As a prominent syndicated columnist, Charley Reese, says, "...even if you personally have no desire to own a gun, you should fight to preserve your right to own one. The Second Amendment is the canary of liberty. When it dies, it will be time to get real nervous about your future prospects as a free American." "What about crime?", he says. "Crime is a people problem, not a hardware problem. The belief that an inanimate object can cause animate objects to change drastically their behavior is a silly superstition. Furthermore, it is flat stupid to propose laws that only the law-abiding will obey as a crime-fighting measure.
"When guns were most available and virtually unregulated, when you could buy them without question the way you buy a lawn mower, when you could buy them through the mail or from catalogs, there was less violent crime, not more.
"Sociologists say you can't prove a variable with a constant. The constants in American history are guns and teen-agers. The variable is the crime rate. As guns have become increasingly difficult to acquire, and in some places actually banned, the crime rate has gone up. Obviously, the causative factor is not guns." In Mr. Reese's opinion and in mine there are two foundational reasons for the increasing crime rate. First is the "drug war," and second is the deterioration of the family. "The frequently heard claim," says Reese, "that people who keep a gun in their home are 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household than a criminal intruder, is a piece of garbage research. The guys who conducted that research included suicides, which were 85 percent of gunshot victims [that were] used in their study. Intruders [that were] frightened off or deterred were not counted. No attempt was made to make sure the studied groups were homogenous. The study, in effect, compares weeds and flowers.
"Don't forget, criminals, drug dealers, gang members and thugs also have 'households' and guns. In fact, Chicago facts show that many murder victims and most of their murderers have prior criminal records. Similar results have been found in other cities." Now that fatal gun accidents are at an all-time low, Clinton and his buddies want to mandate trigger locks, which render a firearm unusable for self-defense. The best you would be able to do with it, on short notice, is throw it at an intruder!
Don't be deceived! These people, including Clinton, who want firearms out of the hands of you and I, could not care less about our safety and well- being. Some are bitter individuals who have suffered tragedies in their own lives, tragedies they were unable to prevent, and are now bound and determined that all of America will pay for that failure. Some are so egotistical that they believe the average American is not intelligent enough to make their own decisions. Some are so out of touch with reality that they believe that if only guns could be eliminated this world would be the utopia they dream of. The rest (a small number) are megalomaniacs who use the emotions, egos and dreams of the others to gain absolute control over every man, woman and child in this nation for their own profit. These last few are fully aware that this cannot be accomplished while "We the People" still have the means to defend ourselves.
If they can deprive us of one, clearly stated, historically supported individual right, the rest will soon follow.
-9th Division Command
1997 SESSION HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 3
requiring the attorney general to bring suit against the United States Government for violating the United States Constitution and the New Hampshire constitution by enacting a military firearms ban.
SPONSORS: Rep. Mirski, Graf 12; Rep. Varrell, Rock 9
REFERRED TO: State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs
This joint resolution requires the attorney general to bring suit against the United States Government for violating the United States Constitution and the New Hampshire constitution by enacting the assault weapons ban, which prevents United States citizens from owning military firearms. The attorney general shall prepare a report for the speaker of the house, the senate president, and the governor within 60 days of the effective date of this resolution, outlining the progress of such lawsuit.
Whereas, the general court finds that the assault weapons ban is unconstitutional for the following reasons:
(1) The assault weapons ban is unconstitutional because it deprives the people of their right of self-defense under the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It does so by limiting the tools which the people may use to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from assault. The assault weapons ban prevents the people from responding to the threat of force in kind, relegating the people's use of defensive weapons to weapons of lesser force than those which might be used against them. The state cannot limit the means for self-defense without abrogating the right of self-defense.
(2) The assault weapons ban is unconstitutional because it deprives the people of the means necessary for defense of their rights under the Constitution. The assault weapons ban nullifies the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. The assault weapons ban prevents the people from acquiring and owning the military firearms necessary for the fielding of effective militias.
The militia, as provided for in the Constitution, is the people's army and exists for the purpose of defending the constitution. By preventing the people from owning military firearms, the assault weapons ban abrogates the constitutional purpose of the Second Amendment and prevents the people from responding in kind to the exertion of unwarranted military force by either federal or state governments.
(3) By nullifying the utility of militias, the assault weapons ban renders null and void those provisions under Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which provide for the organizing, arming, and fielding of militias and makes moot the states' authority to appoint officers and to train and discipline militias.
(4) The assault weapons ban is unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution because the power to regulate firearms, to the limited extent to which such powers may be available under the U.S. Constitution, lies with the states, not with the federal government. Federal enactment of the assault weapons ban has usurped the states' limited right to regulate firearms; and
Whereas, every state office holder is obligated by his or her oath of office to uphold and defend the constitutions of the state of New Hampshire and the United States, the obligation exists regardless of whether or not particular features of these documents enjoy uniformly popular public support; and
Whereas, when the state of New Hampshire ratified the federal Constitution in 1788, it was with the clear understanding that the people's right to bear arms would be preserved. The governor and members of the New Hampshire house and senate have the solemn obligation to correct the failure of the United States Congress and of the President of the United States to act within the parameters of the United States Constitution concerning the right of the people to possess military armaments; and
Whereas, the authors of the United States Constitution acted on behalf of the disparate populations of the original 13 colonies. Following the revolution, each state constitution was created upon the theme that whatever power government possessed was derived from the people. That theme was carried into the constitutional convention of 1787 through the representatives appointed by the states. Power granted the federal government by the states was narrowly defined in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Upon completion, the proposed constitution was submitted to the states for ratification. Ratification was only achieved with the understanding that a bill of rights would be prepared and appended to the constitution to ensure that there would be no misunderstanding with respect to the fundamental idea that the power of the state is limited by inherent rights retained by the people; and
Whereas, the assault weapons ban denies the people of the right to keep and bear the arms necessary for the defense of the constitution guaranteed them under the Second Amendment. It makes moot all constitutional references in Article I, Section 8 and in the Second Amendment to the employment of the militia, because the assault weapons ban effectively disarms the militia and places all military force and the ability to employ it in the hands of the federal government; and
Whereas, the assault weapons ban qualifies each individual absolute right of self-defense, guaranteed by the Ninth Amendment, by limiting the rights of the people to defend themselves with tools appropriate to the task. The "right of self-defense" ceases to exist if the state is able to assert the power to limit the nature of the response which an individual may make to a particular threat of force. Individuals have the absolute right to respond to force in kind; and
Whereas, Part I of the New Hampshire constitution is an extensive enumeration of rights, which bill of rights was written in response to the excesses of colonial governors in New Hampshire and Massachusetts and when New Hampshire ratified the federal constitution, it was with the firm and absolute understanding that none of the rights enumerated in its own constitution would be abrogated by adopting the federal constitution. The assault weapons ban interferes with and assumes power over numerous provisions contained within part I of the New Hampshire constitution and is therefore in violation of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in its treading upon rights retained by the state; and
Whereas, the remedy to the enactment of the assault weapons ban requires that the state of New Hampshire assert the right of the people of New Hampshire to keep and bear those arms which could be required to defend their constitutional rights from either state or federal forces intent on suppressing them; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
That the attorney general be required to bring suit against the United States Government for violations of the United States Constitution and the New Hampshire constitution in enacting the assault weapons ban, which prevents United States citizens from owning military firearms.
The attorney general shall submit a report to the governor, the speaker of the house, and the senate president within 60 days of the effective date of this resolution, outlining the progress of the lawsuit.
Everyone seems to agree that we have a terrible problem with guns in this country. There are headlines as well as statistics to prove this. Few, however, agree on the causes of the problem, or what to do about it.
Among the theories about the origin of this mess is one that says our frontier heritage cast into our culture a belief that because we got out from under the tyranny of England's George III with a shooting revolution, that implementing justice, redressing grievances, and correcting wrongs of any kind are all best handled with guns. The good guy--the guy on the proper side of the law--wins in a throw-down because he is faster on the draw. This is demonstrated by every B Western movie and a thousand pulp fiction novels. (And the genre of Western Fiction is not a passing fad. It is our Iliad and Odyssey and it's here to stay.) The theory is that deep in our collective psyche is the feeling that a gun is a social tool and an indispensable prop of American Civilization.
Another theory cites a drug policy in this country that lacks sanity.
Because we have put a monster drug traffic outside the law--we have outlawed drugs instead of regulating them--we have started with a medical problem and managed to turn it into a crime problem--and so we lost control of the situation, and the flow of guns into the streets and even the schools is a result of this.
I subscribe to both these theories.
But whatever other causes may be operative, the problem has little to do with the number of guns per capita. Israeli citizens are far more heavily armed than we are and there is less street crime there than in the US. In Switzerland, with its compulsory military service, every home has a gun in it--often a machine pistol--and they can boast the lowest gun-death rate of any industrialized country.
Gun aficionados are fond of saying "Guns don't kill people--people kill people." Well, they are right.
A firearm is a potent weapon that can provide action-at-a-distance-- that can be lethal fairly far away from the person wielding it. There is a very real question whether humans have progressed socially and psychologically enough to deal, not just with atomic bombs, but with small calibre firearms. But these things are here to stay. They are with us, and we can't un-ring that bell. It might seem that it would be nice if no such things existed--if there were no instruments to send pellets of metal tearing through flesh--but when there were no guns people impaled each other on spears and hacked each other to pieces with swords, so the difficulty is not guns, but human nature. And we aren't going to solve that problem with simple prohibitions.
Abolishing guns in not in the cards. [Sensible regulation is.] I sympathize with people who want to ban guns, but I can't agree with them. We have to be careful that in our zeal to abolish guns we don't wind up pushing counter-productive legislation that will leave armed only those people most likely to do harm with the weapons.
We have probably 200 million firearms in the United States, owned by 65 million Americans. About 25% of us are gun owners. (In Switzerland it's closer to 100%). More than 98% of U.S. guns are never involved in crimes. The headlines, of course go to those that are involved.
When the magnitude of the gun problem dawned on the American Public, the reaction was two-fold: one faction sought to ban guns, or to put in place controls so stringent as to be unworkable; and the other decided to arm themselves individually. Both responses were in the main inappropriate. Outright bans are counter-productive; and untrained civilians carrying firearms are dangerous--to themselves and others.
I have reservations about mass arming of everyone--the potential for increased incident of accident and crimes of passion looms as a great worry. But here is where well-thought-out regulation can play a part.
Taking courses in the proper and safe use, transport and storage of firearms can go a long way to keeping accidents, etc., down. Waiting periods and qualifications for licensing for each type of weapon are in order.
As for training in gun use and gun safety, the dreaded National Rifle Association has actually been in the lead on safety and proper use of firearms. Their image has been besmirched, probably unjustly, by zealotry in the ranks (and in management), which gave the appearance at times of wanting 9-year-olds to be able to walk into a gun shop and buy armor-piercing bullets. This was nonsense, and the organization is not as irresponsible as many think. (This statement is a little like George Bernard Shaw's when he was a music critic and said "Wagner's music is not as bad as it sounds."). But in fairness, the NRA has a point about the inadvisability of simply taking guns away from the populace. If that were possible, it would not disarm that small percentage of the populace willing to break the law, and the social environment. It would, in effect, disarm the honest bulk of the population.
A narrow 1986 study, appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that a gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. A breakdown of that number is instructive: First of all, 37 of those 43 deaths are suicides. And banning guns does not ban suicide. When Canada enacted strict gun controls in 1976 psychiatrists noticed that jumping off bridges replaced suicides previously committed with guns. In Japan, where they have tried to ban all guns, the suicide rate is consistently and dramatically higher than here in the U.S.
And home defense by force of arms is not simply a matter of shooting intruders. There are cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm, and cases in which would- be intruders may have purposely avoided a house known to be armed.
By and large, burglars, robbers, and muggers use guns because they assume their victims are unarmed and afraid of guns. They want control. They do not seek to have a shoot-out with their victims. Training in gun use deals with when to display a firearm and when to turn over your cash and jewelry.
The total number of deaths attributed to firearms is between 25,000 and 30,000 a year. This includes suicides, homicides, the so-called justifiable homicides (mostly self-defense) and accidents. Even at the 30,000 figure it is far less than are killed by automobiles. Would we be justified in seeking to ban automobiles? American adults use many things that are dangerous, and we live with the risks.
Most of America's 65 million gun owners collect and use their firearms responsibly. Punishing people who obey the law is backward thinking.
It's true that there are many armed crimes in this country, but our collective delusion about firearms, obscures the real reason for almost all of that crime. It is the so-called War on Drugs, recently again called a failure by legislators who see the folly of our policy. Having abandoned our jurisdiction by putting drug traffic outside the law--outlawing substances that can be abused--we have created a situation where gang members and drug dealers buy guns on a black market where guns are cheap, untraceable and require no waiting period, and then overflow onto the streets and show up in the hands of school-children.
We need to get that straightened out. In the meantime, let's not commit the folly of prohibition on yet another dangerous thing. We did it with liquor, and things got better when we woke up and brought liquor under the law and got rid of prohibition. We may yet display some common sense in the drug problem by replacing prohibition with regulation, and we have time to avoid the mistake with guns.
By JAMES HANNAH
Associated Press Writer
BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) -- Hawk Pope, Indian chief and former ad man, is home at last.
The leader of the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band ducks and weaves as he takes a visitor through the caverns his ancestors once trod, the caverns his tribe now has bought back from the white man.
Small brown bats huddle against the chilly limestone walls that sparkle with the water that creates stalactites and tiny cave pearls.
"The earth is sacred to all native people.," he says softly. "And to be down inside the earth is kind of unique."
"The land the way it used to be is what means the most to us. And the only way to save part of it -- so it won't change that dramatically -- is to own it."
Around the country, American Indians are reclaiming the land their ancestors once inhabited. From the Ojibwe and Chippewa in Minnesota to the Appalachian American Indians in West Virginia, tribes have bought land or are raising the money to re-establish their presence in areas they once called home.
"We're seeing Indians who are using free-market mechanisms for values they hold dear," says Andrew Gulliford, director of the Public History and Historical Preservation program at Middle Tennessee State University. "They're using the system to get cultural and social benefits."
The Shawnee tribe lived in Ohio until the early 1800s, when it left for Canada and fought on the side of the British in the War of 1812.
But the tribe never forgot its homeland.
The Shawnee began buying property in Ohio in 1989. The tribe now owns 331 acres in Logan, Champaign, Darke and Ross counties.
In December, the 623-member tribe bought 100 acres in Logan County -- including the caverns -- for $225,000.
They renamed the caverns to honor their ancestors -- Shawnee for the tribe, Zane for an area man who married an Indian woman and served as an interpreter for Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne during treaty talks with the Indians in Ohio.
The tribe borrowed from a bank, buying the land a bit at a time.
"That's what works now," Pope says. "When you get it back that way, you get it back with a deed."
The 56-year-old Pope, who has been chief of the tribe for more than 25 years, worked in advertising until he quit in 1993. He left the business world to devote more time to tribal affairs.
Pope hopes to tap into the manpower of the tribe to better staff the caverns, fix up the area and turn it into a kind of resort, with campgrounds, festivals and re-enactments of Indian ceremonies.
"Why shouldn't it be a gold mine?" he asks.
It's only fitting, he says, that the Shawnee profit from the land once taken by white settlers.
"They did not recognize our claim to the land because we didn't have it in the way they did," Pope says. "We never even looked upon it as owning. We looked upon it as someplace we had the right to be, where we had the right to live."
The Indians use the land for sharecropping, and for council gatherings and ceremonies.
Reclaiming the land their ancestors once inhabited can give Indians a stronger sense of identity, Gulliford says.
"White Americans are highly mobile," he says. "Indians have a very different relationship to the landscape. There is a real link to place. That helps unite them as a community of Indians. It gives them a place where they are not a minority."
Paul Friesema, a political science professor at Northwestern University who has researched and written articles about American Indians, says there is a spiritual aspect to the land purchases.
"It really is in many places a significant attempt to reclaim a heritage," he says.
In Minnesota, the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe is using its financial independence to reclaim property along Big Lake.
The band is asking non-Indian families who have leased cabin lots on the 30-acre property to vacate by 2000. After that, only registered members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, which includes Fond du Lac, will be eligible to lease the land.
The Oneida Tribe near Green Bay, Wis., is using gambling casino profits to build the Tamustalick Cultural Center, a tourist stop designed to preserve tribal culture while telling the Indian side of the story of the Oregon Trail.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla also are using gambling profits to build a cultural center on their reservation in eastern Oregon.
And the Appalachian American Indians are raising money in hopes of building a cultural center at Pocatalico, a community in West Virginia their ancestors once inhabited. They are hoping someone will donate property for the center.
The Shawnee hope the caverns will be a moneymaker.
"The practical side of it is this is a business," Pope says.
Pope, who grew up in Indiana, now lives in Middletown and makes his living as a musician. He and his tribe wrote -- and performed -- background music for the movie "Pocahontas". He also is making a film about the Shawnee called "Renegade." The movie was filmed in Ohio and is still in post- production.
But he has another agenda: Preserving the land for children to come -- and his own nine children.
"If we don't do this, our children will have no place where they can know what the land was really like."
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