Posted on Tuesday 18 December 2012

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
  • Unalienable Rights trumps the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
  • There’s nothing about an M16, AR15, or AK47 that is either well regulated or has anything to do with the security of a free state – quite the opposite.
This is just not that hard…
    December 18, 2012 | 8:13 AM

    Why is Guptay on CNN keep talking about antidepressants and Lanza? I can’t find anything that confirms he was on psych meds to now. Great, let’s get the guns, video games, and prescription drugs. Oh, and let’s fortify schools like NSA buildings!

    Bernard Carroll
    December 18, 2012 | 9:01 AM

    Right… it’s just not that hard at all. The Second Amendment does not trump the First Amendment right to life, yet the NRA and the cowards in Congress want to say it does. Tell that to the 20 children killed last Friday in Connecticut.

    December 18, 2012 | 10:57 AM

    gun control is not a black and white issue, but you keep letting the right and left run the discourse, the public thinks it is about status quo or take away all guns.

    the problem has and always will be, WHO has the right to bear arms, being a citizen does not give carte blanche for all. The dialogue seems to be heading to some extreme discourse about how mental health will be handled hereon though.

    Again, you let politicians decide how to manage mental health issues, well, it won’t be pretty, that I can guarantee!

    Allen Jones
    December 18, 2012 | 2:23 PM

    Heck Mickey….You peeled the lid off of a can of worms…….part of the reason I like you so much….. The gun control debate is disturbing to me – in part because so much of one’s perspective is based on his/her own history. I had my first BB gun when I was 7 years old, my first shotgun and .22 when I was 10. I was taught responsible gun ownership before I knew anything about higher math or world culture. It was/is part of who I am.

    Through the years guns helped to feed my family and protect my chickens and other critters from predators. The venison and other game I brought home as a younger man was economically important to my family and, having provided for my family, a source of pride for a young father.

    Later, as a Probation and Parole officer for 10 years, a Beretta or Walther was tucked into my belt whenever I had to make an arrest or enter a dangerous situation. A cop friend shot dead by a drunk taught me all I needed to know about self-protection. As recently as a couple of years ago a Smith & Wesson slept under the pillow beside me while I battled with institutionalized greed and corruption in government and industry. Seemed prudent.

    So…..My history with guns is such that I would use them before surrendering them.

    That said, my heart bleeds with the stories of dead children and the adults who tried to protect them. I wish I had been at the door to that school with my Smith & Wesson. Had I been – or had someone else been – the story would have been different. That is the other side of this debate. It is not a simple equation. I look forward to chewing on this with you on my balcony in Apalachicola.
    Fond regards,

    December 18, 2012 | 7:06 PM

    Until the rise of the NRA in the 1950s, the second amendment was construed to apply to state militias, not individual gun ownership.

    Fanapt and paradoxical reactions to it being bandied about re Sandy Hook mass murder

    December 18, 2012 | 7:29 PM

    I expect there are a lot of us waiting to hear about his drug treatment. I expect we’ll hear more…

    December 18, 2012 | 11:43 PM

    If the LEFT had it’s way we would using Gov approved bendable sporks made in China (knives after all can kill you know), we would be all driving around in bumper cars with a maximum speed limit of 5 MPH that ran Soy-lent Green ( you do know how many traffic fatalities occur every year correct), and they would eliminate the Constitution and replace it with something FDA approved and guaranteed safe and sanitized for those patriotic LEFT thinkers.

    Yet, the true brilliance of our founding fathers & the Constitution was that they foresaw the dangers of a LEFT leaning/right thinking/do-gooder majority mob mentality would have upon this fragile Republic of Democratic principles.

    The Constitution is just fine; as is our right to bare arms….the problem we are seeing today just highlights our declining national character, lack of ethical boundaries, and disappearing moral fiber as a society. That’s Not a GUN problem! Only fools & reactionary’s would see “guns” as the crisis we are facing as a nation in these perilous times in which we live.

    December 19, 2012 | 12:49 AM

    I believe this incident is a family issue that spread out to the eventual harm to others. I do not believe restricting sales (Dick’s Sporting Goods) will prevent anything new from happening. As a matter of fact, preventing gun sales will not stop this from happening again. The fact is, the young man and the family had been through something for years—it was brewing and the mom either didn’t know how to deal with it–or she asked for help and nothing new to hear she couldn’t get it unless someone was hurt–isn’t that the method of operation inside the mental health system?

    I believe that the gun violence at malls, and this one are all symptoms of a sick and toxic society. America has lost moral and ethical standards, it’s full of greed, gluttony, political corruption… etc. how on earth do we expect children to grow up in this technology-based society, growing up on video games, eating a poor western diet, and yes most often we hear of them on psychiatric medications at such young ages, what do we expect the fall out of all of this to be? the garden of Eden?

    I don’t admire America at all. We have a lot wrong with us as a society and we are seriously unimpressive as a whole.

    December 19, 2012 | 11:51 AM

    Dr Carroll: One wonder Where to begin.

    The NRA and the Cowards in Congress, . . .

    Are you even Aware that there was more than some heat generated at the time over making the 2nd Amendment the 1st Amendment, with Freedom of Speech, Religion and Peaceful Assembly positioned Subordinate to today’s 2nd?

    Have you even Read the 1st Amendment?

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

    It says Nothing about a “Right to Life”.

    “Tell that to the 20 children killed last Friday in Connecticut.”

    There is only one more heavily regulated legal activity in America than the ownership of firearms, and that is flying an airplane.

    Dr Carroll, I’d suggest we Tell that to the Cowards who’ve Demagogued us a nation where 1 person killed 26 at that school because it is Politically Profitable and Expedient to blame inanimate objects, rather than easily and lawfully, Constitutionally ARM the teachers.

    @ Allostrata:

    “Until the rise of the NRA in the 1950s, the second amendment was construed to apply to state militias, not individual gun ownership.”

    By Whom? Certainly not people intimately knowledgeable of the Founder’s actual intent. Latter day Activist Courts and Collectivist Political Barons yes, but not the Founders themselves.

    The people “Construing” the 2nd as applying only to State Militias are and were the same people “Construing” some non-existent “Right to Life” being found in the 1st Amendment.

    Bernard Carroll
    December 19, 2012 | 3:44 PM

    Okay, I stand corrected… Right to Life appears in the Declaration of Independence rather than in the First Amendment. I guess I see that as a distinction without a difference.

    December 19, 2012 | 3:48 PM

    Corrected, yet correct: The Declaration of Independence trumps everything in my book. It doesn’t get any bigger than “endowed by their Creator“…

    December 19, 2012 | 6:22 PM

    @ Dr Carroll & Mickey

    Thanks, but there is a substantial difference. The Constitution is Law. The Declaration no matter How noble we agree its aims are, is not.

    Mickey, why have you chosen to include the M16 in this discussion? M16s are not part of this equation as civilian ownership of them without a near impossible to obtain Federal License for fully automatic or multiple round burst fire with a single trigger pull weapons is already Felony Grade prohibited under the 1934 NFA right along with silencers and sawed off shotguns.

    The last time I looked it was 10 years and $100,000 worth of illegal.

    And since the 1st Amendment has been dragged into this, could either of you explain to me How a consumer can be swindled into Violating it by committing an offense so far removed from the realm of legal possibility, a Thought or Mood Crime, that the Founders/Framers refused to sully themselves by even addressing Freedom of Thought and Mood?

    The Declaration of Independence was a list of grievances the Founders tendered to George III enumerating their Beliefs that the Fictions of Law he imposed upon them constituted ample reason for them to separate from His further interference with the Lawful conduct of their own affairs.

    Please see Clause/Paragraph #1.

    The ‘Right to Life’ they informed him of originated not from George’s Fictions but from God, and as such superseded George’s Fiction that They could be held accountable in His contempt as being Beneath owning their Real Rights, At Law, as British Citizens.

    The Constitution however, remains the document wherein they codified their Real Rights as the Supreme Laws, rather than matters of their own Beliefs.

    December 20, 2012 | 8:00 AM

    God help us all. We are still fighting about our rights to have guns. You tell the parents whose little children 6 & 7 years old died of multiple gun shots about your rights to have assault weapons in America. Sick is a word that comes to my mind. I don’t really care to hear your defense of your mind.

    Bernard Carroll
    December 20, 2012 | 10:49 AM

    I agree with Joy, and her position can be elaborated. I think dbunker might do well to review the topic of Natural Law, which trumps any statutes of a particular society. Natural Law was the wellspring for the Declaration of Independence, where Right to Life is stated… as Mickey pointed out, the Declaration acknowledges the Creator. Natural Law also is the wellspring for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It would not be a stretch to see the NRA as promoting an abuse of human rights through the reckless endangerment of innocent children (and adults), as there is no offsetting social good in promoting the availability of weapons of mass killing.

    December 20, 2012 | 12:04 PM

    Auh Yes…those wonderful do-gooder reactionaries always willing to sacrifice the rights of others in their serpentine fervor to momentary events….

    Shall we line up the body bags of those killed by the indiscriminate prescriptions of poison written by psychiatrist & other “do gooder” related medical doctors…maybe we should line up & count the body bags of children killed by our direct Government actions & their socially approved weapons of mass destruction in third world countries around the globe…or count the bodies of those children killed on the HWY’s across America….those tragedies & lost lives aren’t getting non-stop day after day media coverage beaming into everyone’s home, or rigorous calls from the LEFT for government intervention to the limit/eliminate the rights of all! ..shall we ask where your outrage is when it comes to those innocents, those tragedies?

    Joy and Bernard, I respect your right not to own a gun, & even your right to express your wayward opinions as mislead as they are…though I find your choice to use this tragic death/loss of children & families as a platform for the dissolution of our Constitution & individual rights of citizens; rationally unpalatable & quite honestly reprehensible.

    worth repeating:

    “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
    of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
    under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
    The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
    at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
    will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
    of their own conscience.” – CS Lewis


    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson

    December 20, 2012 | 12:31 PM

    The Right to Life argument didn’t carry the day when abortion was being debated.

    December 20, 2012 | 12:41 PM

    Drs Carroll and Nardo;

    I find it particularly revealing we’ve a problem even Knowing, much less separating the Rule of Law from aggrieved parties Declarations of “This is what you’ve done, all of it Illegally, and This is Why we’ve had 10 times more than twice too much of enough of you so Good-Bye you Criminal,” but then the 1st Amendment does pose a stumbling block for any pretensions of legality Psychiatry chooses to ideate itself into.

    The actual Right to Life itself, (and prohibitions on Govt. takings of it sans Due Process: IE: The Rule of Law) regardless of its presumed point of origination Divine or other, is codified in the 5th Amendment and Sec 1 of the 14th Amendment.

    Let us for the moment assume the 1st Amendment’s Right to Life (phantom, penumbrated, or otherwise) trumps the 2nd Amendment. Would that proposition also advance the 1st Amendment into a superior position over any of the Other Amendments? Or might we understand that the Other Amendments, unlike the unpopular 2nd Amendment, are all inextricably linked and indispensable parts of a uniform whole assuring that Right to Life?

    Dr Carroll; The last I looked there were 22,311 Infringements on the 2nd’s Shall Not be Infringed. I’d like to know if you believe that 1 more, or 22,311 more Infringements would have prevented this latest atrocity, and more to my point, What the specifics of any such “Sensible” Infringement should be.

    I use the word “Sensible” because it’s invariably invoked by those who know better than the Founders did as to What was needed to ensure the Right to Life remained untrammeled.

    And with that word “Sensible” or “Responsible” or “Get Serious about standing up to the NRA and Cowards in Congress” we also find the Further Infringers misdirecting the uniformed through including Fully Automatic Weapons like M16s into the discussion of their proposed further Infringings upon an unpopular Right (“endowed by their Creator?”) as it pertains to Cosmetic, look alike Semi-Automatic Weapons.

    IE: Hoodwinking the ignorant into thinking their latest proposition will save Granny and the Kids from a non-existent problem we’re suffering due to the ready and easy availability of machine guns which their Further infringement will somehow rectify.

    I pose these questions to you not in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence’s “Damn your impertinence Sir” but in desiring clarity on the issue of Both of you being so intelligent that the State has empowered you in your Professional capacity to Deprive Citizens of their entire Bill of Rights including the Right to Life, and yet, you’ve Both fallen into and for these glaring reversals of easily discernable and equally easily discoverable Fact.

    How can this be?

    Or is that even though All people are Equal, Some people are More Equal than others?

    Bernard Carroll
    December 20, 2012 | 12:44 PM

    Will someone please remind me… what is the redeeming social value of promoting the availability of weapons designed for mass killing?

    December 20, 2012 | 12:57 PM

    “Will someone please remind me… what is the redeeming social value of promoting the availability of weapons designed for mass killing?”–Bernard Carroll

    Because America sells, sells, sells, and Americans are eager buyers of everything–until we can reverse time and go back to the “good old days” when we had corded plugged to the wall phones, no Internet, no cell phones, no smart phones…. times have changed along with technology that has been marketed to consumers. The gun sales are just part of the culture now, in America, just like fast food and the “mystery” of the obesity “epidemic”. The DSM5 has expanded, the marketing of psych meds to children under age 10 has become acceptable….just like everything else.

    December 20, 2012 | 12:59 PM

    PS–“value”? we don’t have them anymore!!

    December 20, 2012 | 1:14 PM

    Dr. Carroll:
    According to press reports, there are a number of shooting ranges in the Newtown area, so apparently target practice is still enjoyed as a competitive/social activity.

    December 20, 2012 | 1:31 PM

    No one has addressed this, so I will: the mother was the registered owner of the guns, so why weren’t they locked up in a gun safe? has anyone thought about that? if the guns weren’t available to the boy in the home, would the 6 year olds still be alive?

    Bernard Carroll
    December 20, 2012 | 1:58 PM

    Seriously, what is the redeeming social value of promoting the availability of weapons designed for mass killing? I haven’t seen a coherent answer yet.

    Jane, you are changing the topic… this is not about target practice at shooting ranges. And it’s not about deer hunting or duck shoots, either, to pick up on Allen Jones’s comment.

    December 20, 2012 | 2:13 PM

    Bernard, I think it IS about target practice or shooting ranges since the young man’s mother used those guns for that reason, that is turning into the elephant in the room…

    December 20, 2012 | 2:19 PM

    Dr Carroll;

    So we must look to Natural Law rather than Positive Law as our final arbiter?

    The Law itself under a schema of Natural Law becomes a matter subject to the individual interpretations of whoever wishes to see Their views upheld over everyone else’s.

    What a wonderful world you posit provided that Anarchy and Chaos are your desideratum.

    I would love to see you discuss your conception of Law, as a defendant, with the Judge. And since this post is gaining interest from readers who may not have seen my previous explanation of Why the Psychiatric Violation of Positive Law negates whatever anarchic superiority the imposition of Natural Law subject to interpretation by individuals invites:

    Like it or not, we are a Nation of Laws, not a Nation of Men, and that Sir is all that stands between us and Democracy’s Tyranny of the 51% majority Mob Rule.

    “Sick is a word that comes to my mind. I don’t really care to hear your defense of your mind.”

    “I agree with Joy,”

    Because you are a Psychiatrist I find that particularly revealing. Your opinion Settles the matter. You don’t even want to Hear any other information, because people holding a contrary view to your own, are Sick.

    “It would not be a stretch to see the NRA as promoting an abuse of human rights through the reckless endangerment of innocent children (and adults), as there is no offsetting social good in promoting the availability of weapons of mass killing.”

    The NRA is a post Civil War creation. It’s purpose was to improve the generally poor level of marksmanship found in the Citizen Soldiery, IE: real gun control to prevent hitting innocent bystanders, and for all the Anti NRA rhetoric we’re awash in, they’ve consistently been the group most actively Involved in teaching gun safety.

    Bashing the NRA is as willfully misleading as lumping fully automatic M16s into propositions to stem semi automatic assault rifle violence is.

    But you are perfectly free and within your Rights to “see the NRA as” whatever you like to see them as.

    You are however Not free, Natural Law notwithstanding, to violate Federal Criminal prohibitions on involving the use of Interstate Commerce Facilities in the Commission of Murder For Hire, because Your Opinion of the “Right To Life” censors any further discussion on the matter, as per Joy.

    “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

    Ahh, the United Nations. This is Another Fine Mess you’ve gotten us into, Ollie.

    And just how is The U.N. working out these days?

    The current UN treaty re: the Rights of People with Disabilities would have the US signing on with 153 Nations. The UN is not a sovereign nation.
    But Cuba is one of those nations.?
    And Egypt. Yup. Human rights are busting out all over in Egypt.?
    Greece too. Who’s going to bail Them out??
    Iran. “Kill Da Jooooos, . . . ack, ack, ack.”?
    Lebanon. Peace and Prosperity Central.?
    Haiti. Actually I’ve been thinking of retiring there, since they too are signed onto this Piece of U.N. Non-Binding Paper.

    Yes Indeed, the U.N. is On the Case so we needn’t, as per Joy, “hear your your defense of Your mind because You’re Sick” worry about it. The Professionals are in charge, and Natural Law which needed to be Codified into Positive Law, is all the discussion needed to clinch the argument.

    Dr Carrol; Have you ever heard the expression be careful what you wish for, you just might get it?


    Muslim countries
    Most Muslim countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights agreements. In 1948, Saudi Arabia did not sign the declaration, claiming that it violated Islamic Sharia law.[23] However, Pakistan (which had signed the declaration) disagreed with and critiqued the Saudi position.[24] In 1982, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, said that the UDHR was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition”, which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.[25] On 30 June 2000, Muslim nations that are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) officially resolved to support the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam,[26] an alternative document that says people have “freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah”, without any discrimination on grounds of “race, colour, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations”. As a secular state, Turkey has signed the declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and other European Human Rights agreements.
    A number of scholars in different fields have expressed concerns with the Declaration’s alleged western bias. These include Irene Oh (Religion and Ethics), Abdulaziz Sachedina (Religion), Riffat Hassan (Theology) and Faisal Kutty (Law). Riffat Hassan argues as follows:
    “What needs to be pointed out to those who uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be the highest, or sole, model, of a charter of equality and liberty for all human beings, is that given the Western origin and orientation of this Declaration, the “universality” of the assumptions on which it is based is – at the very least – problematic and subject to questioning. Furthermore, the alleged incompatibility between the concept of human rights and religion in general, or particular religions such as Islam, needs to be examined in an unbiased way.” [27]
    Irene Oh argues that one of the ways to reconcile the two is to approach it from the perspective of comparative ethics.[28]
    Kutty writes: “A strong argument can be made that the current formulation of international human rights constitutes a cultural structure in which western society finds itself easily at home … It is important to acknowledge and appreciate that other societies may have equally valid alternative conceptions of human rights.”[2

    Equally Valid Conceptions of Human Rights:

    Sharia Law: Behead those who slander Islam and its Prophet.

    December 20, 2012 | 2:29 PM

    A thoughtful post by a doctor on this topic—

    Guns and Violence: A Surgeon Speaks Out

    December 20, 2012 | 2:42 PM

    We as a people/nation can NEVER subvert EVIL by removing the rights & privileges of those who are both innocent & responsible…We as a people can never legislate morality…for the heart of man can not be changed by shackles & overreaching laws that subvert their individualism, solemnly held beliefs, & the long arduous journey & quest for self determination.

    The history of mankind shows us what a futile endeavor & calamity this poorly conceived and shortsighted proposition repeatedly has taught us as a civilization…The greater power that is bestowed upon the overseers/overlords (government), the greater likelihood that those powers will be abused for the enrichment of the newly entitled few…we have witnessed how “Prohibition” worked/ or didn’t ; actually creating more crime & tragedy, not less…we have witnessed how the so called “war on drugs” filled our prisons, and did nothing to deter those who profit from these crimes, or for those who seek elicit use of these substances…..we have been witness to an institutionalized attack upon our children by an industry, government, academia, and medicine in their concerted assault upon the emotions, minds, humanity, and spirit/souls of our children and populous with fictitious demeaning labels, control mechanisms, and profiteering schemes based in nothing more than a public relations propaganda campaign, some agnostic speculation, contrived blind theory, and hypothetical fallacy.

    Be oh so weary of those in high positions who trumpet a call bathed in their own self interest & benefit. They seek power over man, for they forsake an individuals self determination by means of fear, law, and manipulation.

    Stalin, Hitler, and like tyrants used these same tactics to subvert the rights of the less empowered segments of the population/citizenry as prosecutors tools veiled in the blood soaked cloak of “the common good” and “the betterment/protection of society” to ominous and disastrous ends…

    To use or attack an inanimate object such as a “GUN” to avoid the conversation about the real human/societal topics that need to be debated openly….Is just plain foolhardy…

    Bernard, may I suggest that you may wish to consider wiping the blood from your own hands, before pointing those fingers outwardly attacking the free judgements and legal rights of millions upon millions of law abiding gun owners and citizens in America.

    December 20, 2012 | 2:52 PM

    As I said earlier, the issue of gun ownership is NOT a black or white issue, but the extremist viewpoints at either end dominate the debate otherwise.

    I think people should be paying attention to a more serious part of the debate: making mental health matters basically more public policy in listing people with mental illness diagnoses on some “list” for gun dealers to access. What an incredible potential misuse of confidential information that could be profoundly abused and discriminating. But, just stay focused about which guns are prevented from public access, let the politicians who have NO interest in real mental health management for the best of the patient go unnoticed in their zeal to control society even more tyrannically.

    Happy Holidays, oh, if the world does not end tomorrow. Another lame effort to just create chaos and mayhem in society.

    December 20, 2012 | 2:55 PM

    Please watch this video of Maryanne Godboldo under seige with swat teams and tanks — because she did not want her young daughter to take the antipsychotic Risperdal…. guns, tanks, who do we want in control???

    December 20, 2012 | 2:58 PM

    Dr. Carroll: You posed the question about “redeeming social value” and I responded that people do enjoy target practice and shooting competitions (the Lanza’s semi-automatic rifle is, to the best of my knowledge, considered to be a firearm for competitive shooting). Gun clubs, ranges, etc. have rules and regulations and membership requires “organizational and self- policing” – which in free societies is usually regarded as a “value”. FYI, I do not own a firearm, have never fired a firearm, and do not belong to the NRA.

    Bernard Carroll
    December 20, 2012 | 3:16 PM

    dbunker, you are way over the top today.

    Jane, what you describe may be construed as a value of sorts but I do not consider it redeeming. It is more than outweighed by the slaughter on the other side of the scale.

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