Skip to comments.The end of the 2nd Amendment?
Posted on 08/18/2006 12:24:13 PM PDT by neverdem
Ngoc Le heard his wifes screams and ran from the back of the wireless store he owns in Camden, New Jersey. His wife was behind the counter, as was a masked man wielding a knife. The man brandished the blade, herding the couple into a back room. Once there, he tied the 28-year old businessman to a chair, then proceeded to rape 22-year old Kelly Le. Once the brutal rape had finished, he slit the couples throats, then ran away. There was no 2nd Amendment, no right to own a gun, and Antonio Diaz Reyes got away with murder.
That isnt actually how the events of December 31st, 2004 played out. We do have a 2nd Amendment in this country, after all. So when Antonio Reyes held Kelly Le at knifepoint, Ngoc Le was able to shoot and kill the attacker with his legally owned firearm. DNA tests later determined that Reyes was responsible for a string of rapes in downtown Camden that had terrorized the city for months. The Les were shaken by what happened, but there were no regrets.
I was reminded of this armed citizen story when I read Tom Derbys recent piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Derby, an English and reading teacher in Camden, New Jersey, says its time for the 2nd Amendment to go away. In fact, he says, The premise of the Second Amendment, the need for minutemen, no longer exists. In a free society we must rely on the police. We have more important rights to fight for than the right to bear arms.
Mr. Derby is an English teacher, so perhaps he can be forgiven for not knowing that the U.S. government has said our individual security and safety is not guaranteed by the law enforcement in this country. There are several Supreme Court decisions that hold citizens have no constitutional guarantee of protection by police (South v. Maryland and Castle Rock v. Gonzalez come immediately to mind), and many more decisions have been made at lower levels (in the case of Warren v. District of Columbia, for example, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.). Despite what Mr. Derby says, we are responsible for our individual safety. The law enforcement community performs a valuable service each and every day, but any cop will tell you that they cant be your personal bodyguard.
Tom Derby also says, When wolves and human predators roamed freely Northeast, one was entitled to defend ones family and property with firearms. Circumstances have changed; we need to reconsider that entitlement. How have circumstances changed? Derby has taught in Camden, New Jersey for 18 years. He should be all too familiar with the human predators that still roam the streets. Camden, after all, was named the most dangerous city in America for the second year in a row last year, and has been in the top ten each of the past eight years, according to Morgan Quinto, the company that ranks cities on their crime rates. In 2004 the citys murder rate was 60.8 per 100,000 residents, more than 11 times the national average. Its robbery rate was almost 8 times the national average, and its rate of aggravated assaults were more than 4 times the national average. Yet Derby says we should no longer be entitled to defend ourselves?
Derby seems to think that if we scrapped the 2nd Amendment, all the criminals in this country would lay down their weapons. Yet the criminal element doesnt rely on the 2nd Amendment any more than child pornographers rely on the 1st Amendment. Get rid of the right to legally own firearms, and the gang members and street thugs plaguing Camden wont even blink. But the legal gun owners, like Ngoc Le, will pay the price.
Tom Derby appears to be a teacher who cares a great deal about his students, and he should be commended for that. In his piece, he writes about several who have fallen victim to violence. One of the students he mentions, a boy named Len, was an A student who eventually joined a gang. Derby writes, I lost track of Len, and a colleague brought me the bad news before the papers got it: He had become a professional assassin, and his own gang killed him and set his body on fire in a football field in North Camden.
But Derby seems to be blaming Lens death on an inanimate object, rather than the human beings who took Lens life. Nothing is said about Lens choices in life that placed him directly in the path of violence. In the end, Derby says its not a person responsible for Lens death, but a thing.
Its easy to take this approach. We dont have to think ill of the dead, wondering why they chose a life of crime instead of a life inside the boundaries of the law. We dont have to be angry with them for inflicting violence on others, because its not their fault. The devil didnt make them do it, the gun did. But if were going to make excuses for the criminal behavior of those we love, we cant expect them to change their ways.
My wife lived in Camden for nine years, and if she and I had never met, theres a good chance that my 15-year old stepson would have been in Mr. Derbys class. I know my wife would be glad that he had a teacher who cared about him, but shed be livid knowing that his teacher thought she should be disarmed so she couldnt protect her family from the wolves roaming the streets. I dont think Mr. Derby is a bad man, just horribly misguided.
If we don't have this right, the rest of them do no good.
But Derby seems to be blaming Lens death on an inanimate object, rather than the human beings who took Lens life.
Or the choices made by this young man to, first, become a gangbanger and, second, to become a "professional assasin".
The Second Amendment...
America's Only Homeland Security!
Be Ever Vigilant!
If this idiot thinks America is "the murder capitol of the western world", he hasn't noticed the Mexican murder rate.
I thought the lefties had pretty much given up on gun control as a political issue due to their frequent defeats on the subject.
But, but, but...the courts have found the police can't be held legally liable for failing to protect us.
I dont think Mr. Derby is a bad man, just horribly misguided.
He is painfully ignorant.
I vote we leave him alone and let Darwin take him out.
>>In a free society we must rely on the police.
Translation: We need bigger a police force and more taxes to run it
What do you expect from the same type of people who value the life of a little deer running through the woods more than they do an unborn child ?
I understand that Soviet Russia had a lot of police, and no right to own guns. Boy, look how great that turned out.
Actions have consequences. What part of "Duh?" doesn't this moron understand?
Double bang list bump.
The term "useful idiot" is fully applicable here in regards to Mr. Derby.
How does an idiot like that ever get to teach in public schools?......oops, I answered my own question..........
The English teacher should take shop. That is to say, the damfool teacher in Camden NJ of all places needs to be a grocer in Camden NJ.
Jefferson thought a revolution was needed about every generation. You can't have a decent revolution if you can't shoot.
"In a free society we must rely on the police."
Here's a piece of moronic logic. If we must rely on the government, we're anything but free.
A "You might be interested in this" ping...
The difference between a western flaming liberal and a middle eastern terrorist is a simple matter of education. Their natures are the same.
Ran across a clip of Larry The Cable Guy last night on tv. My husband and I had a good laugh at his saying "Blaming a gun for killing people is like blaming my pencil for bad spelling."
Well fine, give us all a badge.
With out free access to arms there is no free society. There is this FDR thing he called Freedom from Fear. With out the 2nd,we all become victims of fear of the criminal element. Lots of small businesses will close if they can't keep protection. Walls will go up around communities with controlled access. Night life will die. Bars and barricades will be everywhere. People will spend their ready money for security measures rather than personal needs.
Anyone who thinks otherwise, doesn't understand how vicious the criminal element has become in this age.
Cam hits another one out of the park!
"End of the Second Amendment"?
Oh, please. Admittedly, we always need to be vigilant about this. But the Second Amendment is one of the very few battles that conservatives, at least for now, have won, thanks to the NRA. There are many more issues we need to focus on.
I don't care how much he "cares." He is actively trying to undermine a natural right and empower criminals. F him.
It would have been ironic if Derby had ended up shooting that gang-banger to protect himself somewhere down the line.
It's not an assault rifle, it is a "Homeland Security Defense Unit, .308 caliber" !
Oh, please. All we have been able to do is hold them off for now. We haven't won until all barriers to personal firearms ownership in this country have been removed (even in California).
No doubt, Mr. Derby lives outside of Camden in a nice safe 'hood, so he can theorize and "feel" all he wants without dealing in reality or consequences. How the H*** does an "A" student become a gangbanger? I guess "A" doesn't mean much in today's classrooms.
There are many more issues we need to focus on.
Which issues do you feel we need more focus on?
"On the Plains of Hesitation,
bleach the bones of countless millions who,
at the dawn of victory,
sat down to wait,
I married an English & Reading teacher. Thank God she is a traditionalist, a conservative Christian and a Republican. I'm glad I found out all of these truths about her before I discovered her field, or I fear we'd never have struck a happy chord on which to proceed!
A few years ago, I had an English teacher at my last school going around telling all her kids that Haitians won the American Revolution! I did some research and discovered that indeed there was a contingent of Haitians who fought on the side of the colonials at the Battle for Savannah. Unfortunately, there were no battles of a critical nature that happened in the south...and second the Haitians LOST! They got slaughtered to the tune of 500 troops inside of an hour. The rest were captured. I HAD to set the kids straight.
So I got called into the Principal's office and was told to let the issue stand so that the huge numbers of Haitian kids in our school (at least 60% illegals) would be able to feel "good" about their heritage.
This required a change of tactics on my part. The very next day, some kids came in with that same English teacher trailing along behind to make sure I was following orders.
I told them indeed a huge contingent of Haitians played a significant role in winning the revolution. English teacher's BEAMING face changes to fury when I go on: In fact, they provided the British Soldiers with so many PRISONERS that there weren't enough soldiers left who weren't on guard duty to chase the American colonists back to Saratoga so the war could subsequently be won.... I never did hear another word on all of that. But I understand that the English department chair had a word about straying off into fields of education where one is NOT state certified to teach the subject.
Maybe that's one reason I was selected as the 2001 Social Studies Teacher of the Year for that school.
"Oh, please. Admittedly, we always need to be vigilant about this. But the Second Amendment is one of the very few battles that conservatives, at least for now, have won, thanks to the NRA. There are many more issues we need to focus on."
I agree. I saw this headline and thought I was going to find out about some new HUGH threat to the 2nd. A teacher writing an article in a newspaper. That ain't going to "end" the 2nd Amendment.
the Second Amendment is one of the very few battles that conservatives, at least for now, have won, thanks to the NRA.
How the H*** does an "A" student become a gangbanger?
I dunno what your perspective is, but the only "winning" in the last 40 years is to hold the loss of our rights to the current egregious level for now. We still have a ban on imported semi-autos. We still cannot legally purchase any full auto weapons made post 1986. We still have some shotguns labeled by the BATF as "destructive devices" We still have evil tyrants like Schumer, Feinstein, Mikulski, etc. introducing anti-gun legislation. We have King George II promising to sign any gun control that crosses his desk. The people whose guns were stolen by the New Orleand police haven't gotten them back yet and probably won't. We haven't won anything. We've just slowed the rate of defeat.
He got an "a" in English as a second language.
People like Tom Derby, and the authoritarian nanny-state politicians that he votes for, are not on my list of "reasons I regret leaving New Jersey."
If he wants to be a sheep, fine, that's his choice. I won't force him to buy and train with a gun, or to carry one with him when he leaves his home. But I will be damned if I'll let his ilk prevent me from being a sheepdog - one who'd prefer to be left alone to enjoy life, but one who is always looking around to see if there's danger, and who will to bear his fangs to deter it or to fight it.
His biggest factual error is in not comprehending that the police owe no duty to anyone to protect them. They aren't there to prevent crime, though it is nice the 1 time in 100 when they actually can do so. Otherwise, we're all on our own, and I don't really relish the idea of some cop making a chalk outline around my body, or of burying my wife or kids because I failed to - or was prevented from - exercising my right and duty to protect me and my own.
Of course, most of us here also understand that on a societal level the mere prevention of street crime is a minor thing - a good one, to be certain, but minor nonetheless. The far more important goal, as nathanbedford indicated, is to be able to shoot the King should he cease to abide by the constraints of his job description. The mere possession of the tools necessary to exercise that right by some 85 million of us has a huge deterrent effect on the political class, as was intended by those magnificent dead white males who are responsible for creating our country.
Immigration, terrorism, reverse discrimination, stopping gay marriage, preserving the death penalty (which is in much more danger at this time than gun rights), education, out-of-control government spending, biotechnology (the prospect of human cloning, especially). Just off the bat.
Look, I'm with you folks. I just don't see the need for crying wolf. If just makes the author of this piece look like a wing nut.
All we have been able to do is hold them off for now. We haven't won until all barriers to personal firearms ownership in this country have been removed (even in California).
Precisely. Last time I checked, I can't legally carry in New York City or Washington D.C., so my 2A rights are still being infringed. The states and cities infringing 2A rights need to be dealt with; the question is how?
"We have won nothing."
BS. State after state has passed concealed-carry laws in just the last few years. Will it happen in California? No, obviously not, because our legislature is owned lock, stock and barrel (so to speak) by the hard left. But the problem with concealed weapons permits has existed in California for a long time. It's not exactly new.
Tom Derby, if you don't like firearms, simply don't own one or even handle one if offered to you. Several of the Camden police stations themselves are surrounded by sharp concertina wire and are extensively fortified. It is not a safe place for tourists who might get lost going to or from Philadelphia just across the river.
~ Blue Jays ~
Thanks. A little sanity on this issue goes a long way. Both the Second Amendment and common sense are on our side. But making it out that the sky is falling just makes the gun people look like fools with the non-gun people, like myself, whose support they need.
What defines a conservative, non-gun individual? Not a flame, just curious.
~ Blue Jays ~
"just slowed the rate of defeat."
What about all the concealed-carry laws that have been passed lately?
I agree that gun laws in some states should be a bit looser in terms of what can be owned. But that's hardly the disappearance or imminent disappearance of the Second Amendment. And the fact that a few anti-gun nuts are still pushing legislation is not particularly meaningful. All kinds of people push proposed laws that go nowhere.
I've already said we need to remain vigilant. But we have limited time, money, and energy. There are battles we are clearly losing, and that urgently need to be fought.
I don't own a gun, and haven't since I was 16 or so and last played around with a pellet gun. At this time, there is no need for me to own a gun. If I have to live in a scum neighborhood, or if I have a family, I'll consider whether I should buy a gun and take lessons. In any case, I'm not interested in guns.
Does any of this make me a non-conservative? No, it doesn't. If you can convince me otherwise, I'll buy you a frigging arsenal of your choice.
Didn't mean to be snippy there. I imagine all these other FReepers out there thinking I'm some doubletalking hypocrite for not being into guns, yet calling myself a conservative. I know that isn't necessarily you.
I am a firm believer in concealed firearms, available but almost never used. I call it the "black belt paradox".
Expert martial artists rarely get involved in "real" fights, that *they* don't start, because they have an air of confidence and security about them that is subtly recognized by others. People are far less inclined to "start trouble" with someone they have a feeling could whup them.
The same applies to concealed firearms. They change a person's character by giving them a confidence that is seen by others. This translates into the situation of "having a concealed gun means not having to draw it."
But the entire dynamic changes when the gun is exposed, and brandished. The keeper of the concealed gun *loses* their emotional confidence when their gun is exposed, because of the assumption, often correct, of a "flight or fight" response in whoever sees their gun.
Every person with common sense should have at least a small sense of fear and attention when a gun is brandished and they are not in control of it. Unless, of course, you have great confidence in whoever does have it, that they are sober, sensible, careful, attentive, and safety-minded.
Hardly what I would call a common assumption.
That being said, the confidence of having a concealed weapon is usually replaced with often false assumptions about what having a gun can do for you. It does not make you godlike, or impervious to harm, nor does it necessarily give you dominance in a situation, or make you a person who must be respected and obeyed. But it is in your hand, and you are focused on it. In a manner of speaking, it can become an emotional crutch.
Brandishing a gun may make you a target, and cause those about you to immediately search for whatever is available for their use as a weapon, and to calculate how to close the distance to you and violently attack before you can use your gun.
It can also be a deadly error if you brandish yet do not know that the person you are menacing *also* has a concealed weapon.
For these reasons, the "Old West Rules" of handling a gun were good ones. Those being that the gun remains holstered until absolutely needed, and is drawn only on the assumption of being fired. And every shot fired is also assumed could be a lethal shot.
For the vast majority of people then, the comfort and security of having a concealed gun will be enough--they will never, ever have to draw it. And this is the attitude they should keep.
The few who live in a bad neighborhood should ignore the confidence they feel in having a concealed weapon, and focus instead on their feelings when they brandish with intent to fire and possibly to kill. When they unholster, they need to instantly have a feeling of cold calculation without hesitation. Their gun is not a security blanket, but a lifesaving tool.