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.
Gee, "only" 48 & DC to go!
Three. Now we're talking "progress".
"With out the 2nd,we all become victims of fear of the criminal element."
To hell with the criminals, it's the government that will go totalitarian in a heartbeat.
Yes, it's called progress. The anti's didn't do it over night and we won't get it back over night. Not unless we continue to drive the dems out of office and stack the Supreme Court with true Second Amendment judges.
You have to remember though, there are those right here on FR who won't join the NRA because of what happened thirty or forty years ago or won't vote Republican because of some issue that isn't half important as defending your life.
That goes with out saying. You could also call it, "Criminal government." So its two sets of criminals we have to worry about.
Now you're dancing and I don't think you understand the severity of my point. I could tell you what it is but I think you'd mentally assent to it without really believing it. It's in my first post.
And the other fallacy here is that once they confiscate guns, no other weapons will be used to kill. That's pure nonsense. I just heard something on the radio about knife confiscation in Scotland....because of all the "knife violence." What's next? Screw drivers? Axes? This is nuts. Absolutely nuts.
My friends didn't live on a huge ranch at the time of the attack, they lived in a tiny 800 square-foot condominium. If they owned their current handgun at that time, it would have been in his hand by the third instance of the ax striking their door. Not everyone has the flexibility to keep firearms in the open.
~ Blue Jays ~
Been there, done that. No hassle, but I'd prefer that we could exercise our right bear arms without such permit. Although my ugly black rifle is a larger caliber than the average US grunt carries.
Perhaps you live in the wrong state?
The need to be well trained with the weapon of our choice is still needed in the world and ever will be until mankind ceases to hate his own flesh.
A fool bereft of any real knowledge of history and human nature.
How long a waiting period would the Second Amendment allow? A week? A month? A decade? Do please bear in mind that one of the design goals of waiting periods is to increase the hassle of purchasing a firearm. Someone who does not live conveniently close to the point of purchase must make two trips. If the gun store is 45 minutes away, that's 90 minutes of the purchaser's life wasted. Any reason that much hassle is okay, but requiring the person to show up ten times, on separate days, to buy a gun wouldn't be?
Also, while states have the authority to brand convicted felons as slaves who are forbidden from owning firearms, and while the Second Amendment and the "full faith and credit clause" would probably allow for some federal statutes that would make such prohibitions issued in one state applicable in others, explain how the federal government has the authority to declare that anyone convicted in any state court of any crime whose sentence could be more than 366 days in prison (regardless of the actual amount of time to be served). Shouldn't the question of firearm prohibiton be a matter for the sentencing state's government to determine?
This sentence struck me too, for a couple of different reasons.
And of course it also begs the question: if your other rights are attacked after you're disarmed, what are you going to protect them with? Spitballs?
The NRA's cowering "endorsement" of Bob Dole in 1996 wasn't 30-40 years ago, and IMHO had a lot to do with the passage of the Lautenberg Abomination.
A short waiting period, which is what we have.
I don't know if I favor the Brady Law or not.
But gun-rights advocates don't help themselves
with the public when they whine about "90 minutes" of trouble for the purchaser.
Any time a person who has a right to acquire a firearm and would have gotten it in the absense of government-created hassles, doesn't get one, that person's rights have been infringed.
Further, I would have to ask: under what cirumstances would a person be so dangerous that they could not be trusted with a gun, and could not be trusted not to buy one, and yet not be so dangerous as to justify imprisonment?
Why is it that many liberals are keen on letting criminals walk the street, and yet are supposedly so concerned about them getting guns that they impose hassles for all the honest people? Shouldn't the rights of honest people outweigh those of criminals? Or is hassling the honest people the real goal in the first place?