Protecting our 2nd Amendment rights: Now is the time

by Stan Pate

Ordinary citizens need to become involved in the political process to ensure we keep the freedoms that others have sacrificed so much to give us. The lessons of England provide a frightening example of what can happen if we let others decide our future.

Perceived Security

I find myself these days often sitting and pondering the freedoms that we enjoy in this country, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our inalienable rights granted to us by our God.  As someone who enjoys history, I’ve read a great deal about the struggles, pain, and sacrifices that so many have endured to give this freedom to us all. For many of us, it is a freedom that we don’t fully appreciate and understand. A freedom that so many are voting away today in the interest of “perceived” security.  I call it perceived security because as a former police officer I was to arrive so many times just in time to do the paperwork and to start the investigation on the crime scene. Rarely was I there in time to have an effect on saving the victim from being a victim.  I was also given firsthand knowledge of how the “common” citizen can adequately defend themselves, given a proper attitude and the ability to do so. This resulted in several arrests both by myself and other officers when an armed citizen stopped a crime and we were called.

The State Will Protect and Take Care of Us

More and more Americans are looking to the “State” to protect us, take care of us, to be our father and mother throughout our entire lives.  This seems to have escalated in this new era of terrorism – much of which seems to be directed at America.  The September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 brought global terror to our door, shaking so many of us out of our stupor. We began to see that there were dangers out there that we’d chosen to ignore.

In this “new era” one would think that Americans would gather around each other and look out for each other. Many are, but so many seem to still be asleep, content that the state will protect us if we will only give up that next freedom to the state. Then the state will have that one more tool that will allow them “to look out for our best interests”.

Freedoms We Take for Granted

Some of the things that we enjoy here in America are the freedom to come and go as we please, believe things as we please, speak our minds as we feel, and to vote our representatives into or out of office – in short, to control our future.

Will we still have all these freedoms in the future, or are they slowly slipping away from us as they have in other “free” countries?  We don’t have to look far to see a few possible futures for America if we just cave in and go with the flow as so many are encouraging us to do.  Our freedoms have already eroded since this country was formed a relatively short time ago, in historical terms.  It has been said that it is the job of a government to govern while it is the job of a free people to limit the government in order to remain free.

Lessons from Other Countries

For the last several years I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing this great country and its people in international competitions in several foreign countries around the globe as a member of the U.S. Rifle Team. It has been with my involvement shooting on the international scene that I’ve gained a perspective that I didn’t have before. A perspective on the path and the steps that a country takes in steadily losing its freedoms. I’ve gained this insight from those awesome competitors I now call friends.  I have gained so much from friendly conversations with those foreign competitors who admonish us as Americans to not do what was done in their country. They hold us as the keepers of freedom today. If America falls, the rest fall.  This was to become a resounding theme in so many conversations with foreign competitors: “Be careful Yank, your country is the last great hope for the rest of the world, if you lose your freedoms then the rest of us don’t stand a chance. “

Lessons from the United Kingdom

My first time traveling to the United Kingdom was so exciting for me, I was going there to represent the U.S. as one of the members of the U.S. Team at the World Championships, at the world famous range known as Bisley.  Traveling to England wasn’t like traveling to someplace where you really needed to learn a foreign language before going. We spoke the same language and we were related in history to each other. American society was founded in England – it was almost like going back to visit our roots.  It was during the five and a half hours that it took the team to work its way thru the very polite and courteous customs inspection that I realized that things were indeed much different in the U.K. in some very important ways.

Firearms are extremely controlled in the U.K. today. You can still own them but you have to fill out an enormous amount of paperwork, spend a great deal of money, and be prepared to open up your entire life to the government.  Firearms ownership used to be very similar to how it currently is in America. If you wanted a rifle, shotgun, or handgun you simply purchased it if you could afford it. As in America, the U.K. enjoyed a rich hunting tradition both on their island in Europe and in Africa. There were shooting competitions of many kinds encompassing all types of firearms.  Today you can’t own a handgun. Rarely can you own a pump action or semi auto shotgun or rifle.  How did this happen and could it happen to us here in the land of the free and home of the brave?

More Laws Are Not the Answer

There are those who are screaming for more and stronger laws in my state in order to make our people safe.  Folks, we already have enough laws to prosecute criminals if they would only be used.  It is interesting that when they are used and the criminals are convicted, the criminals are then released early due to prison overcrowding!  Would more laws really make anyone safer?  History has already shown that it is only the law abiding citizens who obey the law; criminals, as the name applies, really don’t care. It just makes them more dangerous to apprehend.

Restricting Gun Rights Resulted in More Crime in England and Australia

What is the progression of a government controlling guns?

  • First was something “for the good of the security of the people” you need to turn in your privately owned machine guns, they aren’t good for anything but hurting innocent people anyway. We aren’t interested in any of your other firearms, just those evil machine guns.
  • Next after a relatively short interval or after a very public tragic event, we now see that we need to have you turn in your evil semi-autos because they hold too many bullets and shoot so fast, if they aren’t available then events such as this couldn’t happen. We’re not interested in your pump actions or lever actions, or even you revolver pistols, just those nasty semi-auto firearms.
  • Then in the now established pattern or after another tragic event, it is now apparent that we must relieve our society of all of those nasty handguns. They aren’t good for anything except giving criminal the power to hurt or rob our good citizens.
  • We also need to relieve society of the dangers of the massive firepower of pump and lever action firearms.

This was the general pattern used in both England and Australia. In both cases, if you were to look at the numbers you would find that the effect upon society by the confiscation of all firearms was the exact opposite of what was promised.  Violent crime in both of those countries has risen to new heights – while the law abiding citizen is virtually not allowed to defend themselves from those criminal elements that are still using firearms and other weapons to perpetuate violent acts upon them.

In England, the Slippery Slope Got Much, Much Worse

For anyone who thinks that things would or even could stop there, then we only have to look just a little closer at England. Let’s look at what happened in that great country after firearms were all but banned.  People were still being murdered – but now they were being killed with hunting knives, so hunting knives were banned in the interest of public safety.  People were still being killed, now by bats used in sporting events, so baseball and cricket bats, while not banned outright, are extremely controlled. You must be able to prove that you’re on your way to compete in a sporting event or practice if you have one of these “potential weapons” in your vehicle. This is done “for the good of the public”.  Amazingly, people were still being killed! But now by lock-blade pocket knives. Today it can get you serious jail time if you are found carrying a lock-blade pocket knife of any size! This includes multi-tools from various manufacturers.  While we were over in England competing we were told that there was a bill before the governing body that would require the tips of all kitchen knives to have rounded points. Know why?  Because people were still being killed and injured!  Do you see the pattern here? You give an inch, and then someone is willing and ready to take you the extra mile.

It Couldn’t Happen Here?

There is the temptation for us proud Americans to voice the opinion that such things couldn’t happen here; not in this country. But let’s look at where we are now in comparison to those “other” counties.  When I was a young kid I can remember my older brother taking me to the local hardware store where he purchased me my first hunting rifle out of a barrel for under $50.  I was ten years old and this was my second rifle – my first I’d received a couple of years earlier.  As a high school student I can remember having a rifle in the gun rack in the back window of my truck. By the way – so did the Principal of the school.  I can remember taking a rifle or shotgun to school on the school bus so that I could hunt on the way home from school. Yes, I had ammunition and a hunting knife in my backpack and those things were kept locked up in my wall locker – the rifle or shotgun was left in the Principal’s office during school hours.

In the interest of a comparison we can see that we’ve for the most part already traversed thru the evil machine gun stage even though our 2nd Amendment gives us the unfettered right of gun ownership – it doesn’t say except for one type or another of firearms.  We’ve had repeated attacks and even limitations put on our semi-automatic rifles and pistols focusing on magazine capacities, stocks, and muzzle brakes. In some places today these characteristics are controlled or outright banned. Look at what California requires today. California has enacted a firearms registration law.  We have now, and have had, Presidents who have done everything that they could to get rid of at least the semi-automatic rifles in the interest of public safety. One of the arguments has been that they had no legitimate sporting purpose; they were weapons of war.  The Second Amendment never once mentions anything about hunting. The Second Amendment is specifically directed towards the American public and its ability to defend itself from aggression and from its own government.

The Road Ahead – Now Is the Time to Get Involved

We are in an era of real danger in this country – the examples and progression are plain to see.  No matter whether you choose to own a firearm or not, whether you choose to hunt or not, and whether you’re a person who’d actively defend your own life or not – our Second Amendment rights are under threat. The American Citizen needs to decide to get involved. I’m talking about the person who has no interest in politics, no interest in being in the spotlight, the person who doesn’t trust those that somehow got elected to positions of power. That person needs to decide to send emails and make phone calls to their elected officials.  If we do not take an active role in protecting those rights that were earned with such suffering and difficulty, and then were so freely given to us, we will lose them.  History in other countries is clear as to how the rights of a people can be so willingly stripped away – leaving only a ruled and controlled population with the government absolutely in charge. Yes, it can happen here.

There is hope – a glimmer that is just now coming to light.  In Canada, our close neighbor and close friend, the course of gun control is taking a turn for freedom and common sense.  Canada has been on the path of the U.K. – finally arriving at a point where there was gun registration on all firearms.  Within the last few weeks a vote was taken to stop all “long gun” (rifles and shotguns) registration and it looks like the bill will pass! While this is a ways from complete freedom, it is still a tremendous step in the right direction.

In America we have moved quite a ways down the road of government ownership of our day-to-day lives. This isn’t only related to the 2nd Amendment rights.  History in our school system is being either changed or ignored, health care is now being forced upon us “for our own good”, and the government is increasingly in control of how or if we can discipline our own children. We are continuously being more closely monitored in the interest of national security and, of course, for our own safety. We can also now apparently be held indefinitely without a trial if we are accused of being a terrorist.  Times are getting scary and there is nobody but us to straighten things out.

Now is the time to become involved in our political process to influence our elected officials. To ensure that we have a government that represents us – not a government that controls us. When the citizens control the government, and not the other way around, then we are honoring the sacrifices of those who fought and died to give us this freedom.

Semper Fi!

Stan Pate is a former active duty Marine, a former police officer, and a competitive shooter who represents rifle companies as well as assorted equipment companies.  He competes in international competitions representing his sponsors and has spent the last five years shooting around the globe as a member of the U.S. F-T/R Rifle Team, winning medals and being an ambassador for our country. 

Stan is currently the President of the Oregon State Shooting Association, the Vice Chairman of the Oregon State Range Association, and sits on the Range Advisory Board for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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Posted by at 10:38 | Posted in 2nd Amendment | 69 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • AndyT

    you americans are completely crazy. i hate to be the bearer of bad news but the wild west ended in the late 1800’s! your blood lust, greed and foreign policy have made you the laughing stock of the world. with over 2.2 million people incarcerated in predominantly privatised jails you exceed china as a country with a blatant disregard for human rights. your founding fathers would hang their heads in shame at the complete mess that you have made of your country. your constitution is a complete joke. truth, justice and the american way…spare us please! more like big oil, corruption and buy our corporations products or we will kill you…

    • Ronglynn

      Dear Foreign Idiot:

      Why on the Earth are you reading the Oregon Catalyst? You are a totally ignorant fool. I have an Masters Degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice from the University of Portland(Oregon). I also retired from a career in adult corrections after 26 years. Your statement of “With over 2.2 million people incarerated in predominantly privatised jails…” proves that you are stupid. Jails and Prisons in the USA are almost all ran by the government. The number of privately ran corrections facilities is extremely small and is probably well below 1%. Regarding the number of prisoners, they all broke the law and are receiving sentences handed out by our judicial system. If our Constitution is such a joke, then why are millions of people trying to come to America to live? America is a very vast country with over 300 Million people. The amount you know about America is a almost zilch. If your brain were converted to gasoline, it would not power an ant’s go kart one time around the inside of one piece of Cherrio cereal. If our Founding founders were alive, they would kick your ass over your shoulders. If by some unfortunate reason you are now residing in the United States, GET OUT NOW! Go to Cuba or North Korea as they need more useful idiots.

      • valley person

         The US has the highest incarceration rate, the percent of citizens behind bars, in the world. You can call names all you like, but facts are facts.

        The millions of people trying to immigrate to the US are primarily doing so for economic reasons. Any rich nation will do. Europe, Canada, and Australia  have the same problem we do in that regard.

        If our Founding Fathers were still alive, they would shun you as a rude boor.

      • Ramalama

        “I have an Masters Degree in the Administration of Criminal Justice from the University of Portland(Oregon)”

        And yet, you made a grammatical mistake that a competent 3rd grader would spot instantly.

        1st rule of the internet: If you’re going to call people idiots, check your spelling and grammar first.

        • guest

           U, Ramalama ding bong, R like a dull wedge, inculpable of any sanity!

        • RonGlynn

          The reason Millions of people are in prison and in jail is because Liberalism is a disease. More and more people in this land are growing up without a moral compass. They have been taught by the Public Schools that they come from pond scum and that there is no God. Why shouldn’t they lie and steal. Hollywood and TV puts out so much garbage that portrays hedonism as the way to go.
           
          Do you even know any Naturalized Citizens? They came here for Freedom! I saw a van full of illegal immigrants in the store after a hard day of planting trees in the mountains. Anyone of them would love to be an American Citizen are they came from a rathole of country that oppresses them. As far as the Founding Fathers, if I were back then, I would be in the Colonial Army. I imagine you would be sitting on your hands doing nothing.

        • RonGlynn

          I am so sorry that your Highness found me out! Is that your real name or are you just too cowardly to let us know who your are?

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Yes, I know, American and Americans are a complete and utter joke and laughing stock.

      At least until the next time we have to bail out Europe – Then at least to Europeans we are great.

      Or at least to the third world citizens, who seem absolutely desperate to get here. – I guess to them we are great. You know the cool thing about that one is at least they come here to work, not strictly for the cush Euro welfare.

      Or the next time a Muslim country needs us to bail them out – Yeah, sure, they seem to hate us more than most, but they do come pleading for our assistance when the chips are down.

      Hmm, that covers a whole lot of the world now that I think about it.

      Hey – Speaking of jokes – when was the last time the world looked to France to solve a desperate situation? HA Ha, ok, that’s a good one.

      Hey – Did you hear the one about the country where a dictator started killing all his citizens and this guy stood up in the UN and said “No, the US cant handle this, we need the Swedish Special Forces and Italian Navy for this one!” Ha ha, that’s a good one.

      Look, lets face it, the world loves to mock the US, we all know that. But when the chips are down, they all come running to us as Daddy.

  • Chana Cox

    The fact is that the state cannot be there when people most need defending from violence.  They can only be there afterwards, and their presence seldom results in the apprehension of criminals. 

    IN England, where I visit regularly, violent crime has gone up greatly.  Homeowners are not permitted to use any resistance against thieves who enter their home. If they do, the homeowner is more likely to be prosecuted than the thief.  As a result, thieves find it far more convenient to rob homes with the homeowners family in them.  
    I have noticed that an inordinate number of people my age have taken to walking with canes.  I imagine they will outlaw canes next.  

  • 3H


    Violent crime in both of those countries has risen to new heights – while the law abiding citizen is virtually not allowed to defend themselves from those criminal elements that are still using firearms and other weapons to perpetuate violent acts upon them.

    So, wouldn’t we expect to find in countries that have more stringent gun control than the US that their incidence of violent crime would be higher than ours, yes?  Is this true?

    Well, that wouldn’t be the case for intentional homicides.  The rate for the United States is 4.8 per 100,000;  UK = 1.23; Australia= 1.16.  Less restrictive gun ownership hasn’t seemed to have reduced the intentional murder rate.  

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate 

    That is only one type of violent crime, but certainly gives you pause for thought. 

    What statistics are you working with Mr. Pate? Do you have a link or reference for them? 

    • Ardbeg

      Crime rate is more directly tied to income disparity than what the gun laws happen to be.  So are things like obesity, mortality, incarceration population, drug use and a shorter life expectancy.

      • valley person

         There is a lot of income disparity in Great Britain, almost as much as in the US. Yet the gun death rate is far lower, as is the crime rate pretty much across the board. Far fewer people in prison.

        We call ourselves the land of the free, but lock more people up than anywhere else.

        Mr Pate complains he can’t have a machine gun. OK, what about an RPG then? A tank? A B-52 loaded with a nuke? At what point is he ok with the government “infringing” on his right to own any weapon he can lay his hands on?

        • Ardbeg

          I don’t know about the ‘gun’ death rate, but the homicide rates are similar.  My point stands. Income disparity is a better indicator of negative societal impact than what the gun laws are.  Your taking the 2nd argument past the absurd. 99.9% of 2nd amendment folks will not argue the right to own tanks and RPG’s.  We just want to be able to purchase our rifles, shotguns and handguns. I already undergo a background check every time I purchase a firearm. To me, that is enough, I don’t feel the need for more restrictions. I’m all for keeping the guns out of the hands of nutjobs and the incompetent (PDX) for example. Some people think if we get rid of guns we will get rid of crime, I’m not sure by your posts if I would put you in the group. But maybe. I’m a law abiding individual and I exercise, what I think, is my right under the 2nd amendment, to bear arms. The Supreme Court ruled in D 0f C (2008) that the Second Amendment protects an
          individual’s right to possess a firearm, “unconnected to service in a
          militia”. Case closed! I don’t make the law.  I just follow it.

          • 3H

            See above Ardbeg – crime rate is falling in UK despite the economy.  Which kinda calls into question the idea that the economy can be linked to crime rates.

            And I’m not sure where you got the figure for the homicide rates being the same.  They are not.   The murder rate in UK is 13.5 per million (see link above).   The US murder rate (2009) is at 50 per million.http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0306.pdf That doesn’t mean gun ownership has anything to do with the disparity. However, it does throw into question the contention that owning a gun can or will reduce the amount of violent crime (as measured by murders).  Presumably with a much greater number of households with guns in the US, you would think you’d find a lower murder rate.And..c’mon, you can’t fault VP for taking an argument “past the absurd” with throw away lines like: “I’m all for keeping the guns out of the hands of nutjobs and the incompetent (PDX) for example.” 😉

          • Rupert in Springfield

             >Which kinda calls into question the idea that the economy can be linked to crime rates.

            True – Economic conditions being causation for high crime are political boiler plate, but not really much more than that.

            Plenty of places with huge income disparity and low crime. Plenty of places with low income disparity and high crime. Plenty of times economic conditions have been tough and crime has gone down. Plenty of times economic conditions have been good and crime has gone up.

            There simply is no direct causal connection with economic conditions and crime rates.

          • valley person

             “Plenty of places with low income disparity and high crime.”

            Name one.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            The former Soviet Union would be one. Ever meet someone who emigrated? Who boy the tales I heard in the 70’s and 80’s

          • valley person

             The tales you heard are not data. Try again.

          • Rupert in Springfield

             >99.9% of 2nd amendment folks will not argue the right to own tanks and RPG’s.

            True. In fact I cannot think of a single notable 2nd amendment attorney, lecturer, or historian who has made the case such things are permitted under the 2nd Amendment.

            The reason why? The 2nd Amendment covers arms suitable for militia use. Militia use does not cover tanks and RPG’s as those are military weapons, not militia weapons.

            Keep in mind you are arguing with Dean (valley person) – A guy who once made the remarkably absurd statement that the Founding Fathers had left us precious little in terms of what their thinking was at the time of the writing of the Constitution.

          • valley person

             “The 2nd Amendment covers arms suitable for militia use.”

            Whoa there Mr Constitutional expert. Didn’t the Supreme Court rule in 08 that the right to own a weapon has nothing to do with being part of a well regulated militia?

            “Militia use does not cover tanks and RPG’s as those are military weapons, not militia weapons.”

            The word militia dates back to at least 1590 when it was recorded in a book by Sir John Smythe, Certain Discourses Military with the meanings: a military force; a body of soldiers and military affairs; a body of military discipline. So sorry, you have a distinction without merit. A militia is a military. And in Colonial times, this was even more so than today. 

            Keep in mind that “shoot the messenger” arguments are used when you don’t have any good argument to make. 

          • 3H

            Maybe he’s thinking of flintlocks.  

          • valley person

             More likely he isn’t thinking.

          • If your logic says 2nd amendment is limited to the militia, then that same logic would limit the 1st amendment to the press and no one else.

          • 3H

            Sorry, no.  Freedom of speech is listed as a separate element.

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

          • Rupert in Springfield

             Actually freedom of speech was vastly more restricted under the first amendment than we take it today. Substantially more so than keeping and bearing arms.

            Our concept of free speech has vastly less to do with the original right as understood at the time the constitution was written than it does on court precedent since then.

            There simply is no case that the wording differentiates the two. It is almost entirely court precedent, not the original document or understanding under the constitution or in the foundational law underpinning it.

          • 3H

            So they threw the word, “or”,in there for  giggles?

            If, as Marc implies, freedom of speech was meant for the press, why didn’t they just explicitly say so?   

          • valley person

             I didn’t say it was limited the a militia. The Supreme Court said in 08 that it isn’t.

            I’m only pointing out to Rupert what the definition of a militia is, which contrasts to what he claimed.

          • Rupert in Springfield

             Please, at least get a copy of the Federalist Papers. You would stop making this same mistake over and over and over. I mean its ridiculous. Learn what the word militia meant in the context we are discussing it, then maybe you can form an argument from there.

          • valley person

             I presume you have a copy, so tell us. What did they say the word militia meant?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Uh, no, that would not be my logic, since no where in my argument did I say one had to be in the militia to bear arms.

            What is it with you guys? I mean do you ever read what you are responding to?

          • 3H

            About as well as you do.

          • Rupert in Springfield

             >Whoa there Mr Constitutional expert. Didn’t the Supreme Court rule in 08
            that the right to own a weapon has nothing to do with being part of a
            well regulated militia?

            Yes, but since this statement has nothing to do with what I said it is somewhat irrelevant. I was talking about weapons allowed, not who can have them.

            Assignment – Read what you are commenting on before commenting. Saves time.

            >A militia is a military. And in Colonial times,

            Yawn – Not so in the context of the militia discussed in the 2nd Amendment and Supreme Court Precedent.

            Seriously, read up on this subject before commenting.

            >this was even more so than today. 

            Again not true in the context of what we are discussing. This simply was not the concept of a militia at the time. The word was not in any sense taken to be “a military” whatever “a military” means.

            >Keep in mind that “shoot the messenger” arguments are used when you don’t have any good argument to make. 

            Pointing out that your pontifications on the constitution are of little value based on the fact that you were under the impression there was little record of what the debate was surrounding the constitution is actually an excellent argument. It points out you don’t have the first clue what you are talking about.

            That’s not “shoot the messenger” that’s pointing out you really don’t know what you are talking about.

          • valley person

             A long way of avoiding the question Rupert dear. Where did Madison et al discuss what a militia is or isn’t? Show me their definition. And show me how this definition limits the sort of weapons they might acquire.

          • RonGlynn

            Do you own a firearm? If a hardened criminal is trying to break into your house. What are you going to do, fight him off with a spoon and wait for the police to arrive to save you. Perhaps you are a Quaker and willing to die without putting up a fuss.

          • valley person

             No, I don’t. I’m near 60 years old, have lived in some pretty rough neighborhoods, and have yet to experience a hardened criminal, or even a still soft one, breaking into my house. I expect that if this happened, I would gladly let him take the flat screen and whatever else might be of value and be on his way. I would then call 9/11, assuming I was unable to do so when hearing him break in. 

            Why would he shoot me in any case? Random murders, even in the US are very rare. Its way more likely that if I had a gun in the house we would have an accidental death or one resulting from a domestic dispute. 

            Now let me ask you. Why do you live in fear of a hardened criminal breaking into your house and wanting to shoot you?

          • valley person

             “I don’t know about the ‘gun’ death rate, but the homicide rates are similar. ”

            The homicide rate in the United States is 4 times that of Great Britain. 4 times higher is not similar, therefore your point doesn’t stand.

            “99.9% of 2nd amendment folks will not argue the right to own tanks and RPG’s. ”

            Ok…but constitutionally, for the .01% that does want an RPG, why can’t they have one, or 10 or 50? If you are making a political argument that you ought to be able to arm yourself short of full scale military hardware, then that seems to undercut the whole militia and infringement points in the 2nd amendment. If you are going to be a well armed militia, then having an RPG in the closet makes sense. If you aren’t going to be “infringed” on, then your right to have the RPG is absolute and not subject to legislation.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >The homicide rate in the United States is 4 times that of Great Britain.

            Old as the hills. Believe me, this causation by correlation argument, especially in this context, gun control, has been dispensed with eons ago.

            Wan me splain it to you?

            Real simple.

            The UK used to have fairly lax gun laws, in fact they were quite similar to the US.

            Guess what, the US still had a substantially higher gun crime rate.

            In other words, the US has always had a higher crime rate than the UK, even when our laws were similar.

            Please, this is really really basic stuff. To have to keep dealing with tired old arguments most knowledgable gun control people don’t even attempt anymore is ridiculous.

            Read up on this topic.

            You are coming at it from a perspective that the “why not nukes?” and “what about the UK crime rate?” are novel and inventive arguments. They are not. No one on either side of the issue really makes them anymore because they have been dealt with endlessly.

            >If you are making a political argument that you ought to be able to arm yourself short of full scale military hardware

            Actually its you who seem to be making this argument. You are the one who brought up RPG’s and nukes.

            It would be nice if your comments were better thought out. I mean this is ground floor gun control stuff and is really a little ridiculous.

          • 3H


            You are coming at it from a perspective that the “why not nukes?” and “what about the UK crime rate?” are novel and inventive arguments. They are not. No one on either side of the issue really makes them anymore because they have been dealt with endlessly.

            Then you haven’t read what Mr. Pate wrote above, have you?   Because I’m pretty sure that is exactly the argument he is making.  

            Maybe you should read the entire post that people are responding to.  You might find the context informative.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            I read it. I don’t see where Mr Pate is making the argument that the UK has a lower crime rate because of their strict gun laws, which is what I claimed is a now defunct argument.

            Can you point out to me where he does make such a claim?

          • 3H

            He’s making the claim, or at least heavily implying, that UK’s crime rate is increasing because of gun control.  You’ve got it backwards.

            Yeesh yet again.

    • 3H

      And, actually, crime has been falling in the UK.


      The latest set of quarterly crime figures suggest that the sustained long-term trend in the fall of crime since 1995 by more than 45% has continued despite the economic recession and the accelerating rise in unemployment.”http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jan/20/murder-rate-lowest-12-years 

      Mr. Pate, when you make at least one such grossly distorted, and wrong, statement, it makes me distrust everything else you have to say.

    • Rupert in Springfield

       >So, wouldn’t we expect to find in countries that have more stringent gun
      control than the US that their incidence of violent crime would be
      higher than ours, yes?  Is this true?

      No, why in the world would you expect to see this?

      No clinical trial of much of anything I can think of is done on this basis.

      How many times does it have to be stated, correlation is not causation!

      We went through this the last time on gun control. It was like a week ago. You have forgotten why this comparison is completely invalid?

      Im kinda stunned. I mean it was like a week. Yeesh

      • valley person

         “No clinical trial of much of anything I can think of is done on this basis.”

        Who said anything about a “clinical trial?’ This isn’t medicine dude, its social science. Comparative statistics between nations can determine more than correlation depending on the variables involved. If you and the IRA argue that having more guns in society will reduce crime, then back it up with something other than assertions. There are a large number of nations with strict gun control and not much individual gun ownership, and no right to carry, that have very low crime rates.

        • Rupert in Springfield

           >If you and the IRA argue that having more guns in society will reduce
          crime, then back it up with something other than assertions.

          I have

          Endlessly.

          You just keep making these same dopey correlation/causation arguments which have no logical, clinical or criminological validity.

          To parse your own phrase, you, the Nazi’s and the Khmer Rouge might be in love with gun control, but that doesnt mean it works. Every bit of data points towards gun control not solving crime in this country and “shall issue” carry laws being an effective deterrent.

          You don’t like that? You want to argue correlation is causation? Fine, show me where in the US higher gun ownership has lead to higher crime. Show me where in the us passage of “shall issue” carry laws has been accompanied by an increase in crime.

          You better be good, because I have a whole list waiting for you of where passage of gun control laws, including curtailment of carry laws, has lead to an increase in crime in this country.

          Please – Move on from this nonsense. You are making arguments that were so stale in the 70’s that by the 80’s even HCI wasn’t attempting them anymore.

          Move on, find a decent argument, you don’t have one with this comparison to other countries thing. By and large they have always had a lower crime rate than the US, both pre and post passage of restrictive gun laws.

          Learn at least that.

      • 3H

        If we are to accept the implications of Mr. Pate’s arguments, ” 
        Restricting Gun Rights Resulted in More Crime in England and Australia” 
        , that’s where it leads us. 

         I’m not making the argument, I’m questioning Mr. Pate’s logic.  Take a deep breath.  And please notice.. they are questions, not statements of fact (and directed at Mr. Pate); they are related directly to what Mr. Pate wrote.  In fact, your argument is with him, not with me.
        Perhaps, in the future, you should read a little more closely, and read for context.

        Yeesh indeed.

  • Guywhoknows

    The fact is, the state is an ass.

  • Larry Sparks

    Our founding fathers gave us the 2nd Amendment for a reason, they were afraid of the goverment taking away our freedoms. Obama and progressive socialists of the Democratic party are trying to take as many freedoms for the American people as possible.

  • Jacksl2

      probably a rag head looking to seek revenge on the USA

    • Ramalama

      The posting rules for oregoncatalyst.com are as follows:No personal attacks.
      No harassment, demonization, or advocacy of harm to a particular individual.
      No disruptive behavior or off-topic remarks for their own sake.
      No whining.Postings, comments, etc., contrary to these rules fall under the rubric of “disruptive behavior” and will result in banning from OregonCatalyst. You may or may not get a warning — it depends on how harried the moderators are. Contributors of all political persuasion must respect the site’s
      stated purpose.I wonder if the rules will be applied.

  • Jacksl2

    my comment was aimed at AndyT

    • 3H

      Thanks, that certainly makes your comment much less bigoted and ignorant.

  • valley person

    I’d like to try re-phrasing my question for those of you who are 2nd amendment fans.

    Does the 2nd amendment allow any restrictions whatsoever with respect to what weapon an individual can possess?

    If yes, then what is the constitutional basis for drawing a line between what weapon one can and can’t have?

    • Rupert in Springfield

       >Does the 2nd amendment allow any restrictions whatsoever with respect to what weapon an individual can possess?

      Yes, for the love of God, would you stop with this utter nonsense

      >If yes, then what is the constitutional basis for drawing a line between what weapon one can and can’t have?

      The fact that the right clearly as understood, written and interpreted unequivocally means weapons suitable for militia use.

      How many times will you ask this question, get the same answer, before you take it upon yourself to read up on the subject?

      I implore you – Do you have a Kindle?

      Do you have a Nook or any E Reader?

      Do some damn reading on this subject. You can download Blackstones commentaries – one of the foundations of legal scholarship from which the constitution draws and actually understand what the hell you are discussing if you read it.

      Don’t like that?

      Download a copy of The Federalist Papers. I am not sure if that is free on Kindle, but I bet it is.

      If FedPap is not free and you are ever passing through Springfield, shoot me an email. I will stand by the side of the road and hurl a spare copy at you and your dumpy bike.

      Please – do some damn reading, you keep asking the same thing over and over.

      • valley person

         “The fact that the right clearly as understood, written and interpreted unequivocally means weapons suitable for militia use”

        Yes, fine. A well regulated militia, which is a citizen-based, occasionally called up military managed by the state, according to Federalist 29. Modern military weapons include RPGs and tanks. Ergo a militia member can possess an RPG or tank, suitably regulated of course. Check that one off.

        And what about non militia members?

        Since Scalia and a majority severed the need to be part of a militia from the right to possess weapons, what is the constitutional basis for denying an individual, who is not a member of a militia, from owning any weapon he or she chooses? You can’t reference any restriction that might fall on a militia member. You have to address the individual right.

        What is the basis for telling an individual, not associated with a militia, what weapon they can or can’t have?  If there is something in the Federalist papers you want to reference for your answer, feel free. 

        • Rupert in Springfield

           >Modern military weapons include RPGs and tanks.

          You seem insistent on mistaking the word military for militia. I have pointed out this mistake so many times I have lost count. I give up, you are hopeless.

          >What is the basis for telling an individual, not associated with a militia, what weapon they can or can’t have?

          Asked and answered, endlessly.

          The specific precedent would be the Supremes Miller decision. There are two Miller decisions, the one we are concerned with here addresses the Second Amendment, the other, the First. Again, this precedent has been pointed out to you countless times in previous conversations on this subject, it would be nice if you would actually look at it.

          At its core, you are not understanding how a militia was understood at the time of the founding.

          >If there is something in the Federalist papers you want to reference for your answer, feel free. 

          Federalist 29, paragraph six would be a good place for you to start.

          Paragraph 8 also goes into why it would be idiotic not to entrust the citizenry at large to be armed.

          Federalist 29 in general gives us some idea of how the militia was understood. In it, and every other Federalist reference on the subject it is clear that Madison, Hamilton and Jay all are speaking of small arms that a person would normally have in connection with militia use. Nowhere do we find reference or expectation of the citizenry providing military weapons common at the time.

          You simply are asking a question that has been asked and answered endlessly both in legal precedent, constitutional scholarship and by virtually every pro and anti second amendment organization out there. It simply doesn’t have a lot of validity. There is nothing out there in founding documents, legal scholarship or court precedent to support your contention that there is some ambiguity over this.

          Can you point to anything out there that would support your contention that there is ambiguity on this subject? Anything at all?

          • valley person

            “Can you point to anything out there that would support your contention that there is ambiguity on this subject? Anything at all? ”

            Yes, I can. Start with the post up aboe that started this discussion.

            “First was something “for the good of the security of the people” you
            need to turn in your privately owned machine guns, they aren’t good for
            anything but hurting innocent people anyway. We aren’t interested in any
            of your other firearms, just those evil machine guns.”

            A privately owned machine gun is a “small arm,” though capable of killing 50 or so people pretty quickly. So where is the line between a machine gun and an RPG or bazooka, also hand held weapons, which if anything are probably less lethal than a machine gun?

            And a definition of “militia” is:

            ” An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.”

            An ARMY. An army has big and small weapons. Thus a militia can have big and small weapons, thus an individual in an army can possess big or small weapons. I would say this question is also at best “ambiguous.”

            And lastly, there is the frequent argument made by guns rights advocates that they need their weapons not to protect themselves from criminals, but from our government. If that is the case, you will need a lot more than a hunting rifle or pistol kept in a drawer by the nightstand.  Actually this one isn’t ambiguous at all. If you fear the government, you need big arms.

          • 3H


            And lastly, there is the frequent argument made by guns rights advocates that they need their weapons not to protect themselves from criminals, but from our government. If that is the case, you will need a lot more than a hunting rifle or pistol kept in a drawer by the nightstand.  Actually this one isn’t ambiguous at all. If you fear the government, you need big arms.

            And, that was one of the arguments that Hamilton made in Federalist Papers No. 29.  The militia was to be a counter-balance to a standing army. Would it be much of a counter-balance today without a rough parity of armaments?

          • valley person

             No. Pop guns do not do well against tanks and hellfire missiles.

          • RonGlynn

            I have seen your posts. Are you are professional commentator? Really, are you? If so, when did you get your training. I have to go now. I have work to do. It has been fun.

          • valley person

             No, I’m not a professional communicator, whatever that is. Are you looking for a remedial class in English maybe?

          • 3H

            If you are a professional, and getting paid, do you have any openings?

          • valley person

             Yes to the first 2, but no to the 3rd.

          • Danb5568

            Clearly any reasoned, logical argument isn’t going to change your mind. You have formed your opinions and I would give my life to insure that you are always free to express them, even if they differ from mine. I don’t think it serves any common interest for you to mock or be dismissive of any alterative opinion simply based on spelling or syntax (no I’m not talking about taxing alcohol and cigarettes) Valley person, I wonder (because I don’t know you) if you would be as quick to dismiss Tayvon Martin father’s press conference (the boy that was shot with Skittles in his hand by the neighborhood watch captain) because he was inarticulate and couldn’t speak in complete sentences. When I see you rail against a black man that has just lost his son in the same way you treat those that don’t share your point of view on guns then I’ll give your point of view the credence it’s due. If you only hold those that you disagree with to literacy standards then they aren’t standards at all.
             
             I came from the same place as Stan Pate did, a small town with real people. We never used terms like disingenuous. Instead, a f****** liar would have been used. As I read Stan’s piece important points seem to be glossed over by these comments. We are in the middle of a slip&slide of the slippery slope of relinquishing our rights. I have no problem with any of you giving up your rights with the hopes of feeling safer. That’s a personal decision and like valley person if you choose not to be armed I hope it works out for you. I will stand tall against anyone that tries to give up my rights. I was endowed by my creator with them and none of you have any standing to bargain my rights away, regardless of how good it makes you feel. The whole crime rate argument is facetious. We would all be better served if everything potentially detrimental was removed from our lives, fast food, fast cars, fast women but we wouldn’t be living free. I for one will light that single candle before I rail against the darkness.

          • the mayor

            Rupert in Springfield, you are THE MAN. Thank you for voicing a reasoned opinion in spite of the irrationality shown by other postings here. If you are in Springfield MA, as a former Masshole myself, keep fighting the good cause brother.

        • the mayor

          -What is the basis for telling an individual, not associated with a
          militia, what weapon they can or can’t have?  If there is something in
          the Federalist papers you want to reference for your answer, feel free.  

          If the individual is responsible then why shouldn’t they be able own any weapon of their choosing? Just because an individual owns an RPG, does that mean that they are going to use it to kill school children? Absolutely not.

          I think this is the point of a background check.

          As law enforcement is well aware, you can kill folks with just about anything, including your bare hands, a fork, hatpin, etc. The problem is the user behind the apparatus used for violence, not the apparatus itself.

          Unless you missed something, we do allow individuals to posses machine guns in this country, as well as everything else imaginable so long as they pass certain criteria. I have been to the “tank farm” in Los Altos CALIFORNIA about the most liberal place on earth, where one man owns over 300 tanks and also has a scud missile launcher and russian mobile radar vehicle. I am pretty damn sure he has never used these to harm anyone, but does occasionally roll over a few cars for demonstration on the fourth of july while the local swat team cheers him on.

          The constitution designed the 2nd amendment to allow individuals to protect them from a tyranny this country hasn’t experienced in centuries. One could make the argument that this is because no country in their right mind would want to invade the US knowing that we have the highest gun ownership rate in the world. 

          If you want to see what banning gun ownership does and how tyranny has taken over a county in modern times, just look a few miles to the south to Mexico. You want this in your backyard? Ain’t gonna happen in mine.

          -I’m near 60 years old, have lived in some pretty rough neighborhoods,
          and have yet to experience a hardened criminal, or even a still soft
          one, breaking into my house.

          It only takes once. If you have ever been assaulted, raped, or worse you would understand that no one asks to be a victim, it just happens and for absolutely no reason. Just because you haven’t had any problems in your time, doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow. Try walking down international blvd in Oakland as a white person and I think your luck will change instantly.

  • 1ofmany

    The issue here should be the infringement of our rights. Specifically the right to choose, be it the right to own a gun or say what we think.

    The second amendment is needed to insure the inalienable  rights of we the people. Our govenment is slowly but surely taking those rights away. Without our inalienable rights we are but mere subjects of a government empowered by the government. It is our duty to control our government and lets face it our government is out of control. In so many ways!

    The reality is we do not live in a world where guns are not needed in the every day life of private citizens. Be it protection from man or animal or simply putting food on the table. If we really want to reduce violent crime than we should ban guns from the military, (world wide).

    Our nation is in trouble and only we the people can save it. Please, let
    us set aside our petty differences.  Reading this blog was
    disheartening.

    • valley person

       “The reality is we do not live in a world where guns are not needed in the every day life of private citizens.”

      The reality is most citizens get by just fine every day with no guns. The need for protection is minimal, and food is available in the garden or at the grocery store.

      If you want to own a gun for the reasons stated, then fine, I have no objection. But I’d like to know you are sane, responsible, and that if your gun is used in a crime it can be traced to the owner. Is that too much to ask?

  • RonGlynn

    Ramalaladingdon:

    Oh, you are so cute! Is that all you have? I apologize to your Highness for being a retard. I am sorry. I guess you found me out.  I only finished the 2nd grade at Hubbard Grade School.

  • valley person

    All you gun fans note. A guy was shot in Vancouver tonight by police. Apparently he pulled a gun on the cops who were setting up to raid his neighbor’s place. 

    Great strategy, that having a gun in the home to protect yourself from the government.

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