Latest Oak Park Editorial
Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:41 AM
Maximum freedom, minimal responsibility
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 10:00 PM
By Ken Trainor
So here we are, a dozen years into the third millennium, and evidently no one is safe — anywhere. We and our loved ones are completely vulnerable to any deranged individual with a grudge and access to all the guns he wants, who takes it into whatever's left of his mind to make a name for himself by shooting up a herd of docile humanity, collected passively somewhere for his killing pleasure. Doesn't matter where — post offices, schools, libraries, churches, shopping mall movie theaters, any place in a relatively free society where people congregate and security is light. The Batman massacre is the latest.
After each incident, we shake our heads, share the grief from a distance, then get distracted and move on. A few still have the nerve to say, "Now? Now at long last will we wake up and do something about the scourge of guns in this society?"
The answer, of course, is no because we all recognize nothing can be done. The NRA has purchased — or intimidated — the vast majority of our elected officials, and they also have their five protectors on the Supreme Court who would overrule any legislation that somehow got through Congress or the state legislatures.
In effect, we are ruled by the NRA, which is ironic because NRA members are forever talking about how they need their weapons to fight tyranny.
But the only true tyranny in this country is the stranglehold of the NRA.
This is a golden era for gun pushers. They have more money than God, and can always get their way. If a madman commits mass murder with easily accessible guns (thanks to their lobbying efforts), it's not their problem. Not their responsibility.
That's the problem.
The NRA, four million members strong, is the last bastion of ultraliberalism — maximum freedom, minimal responsibility. You've heard the old adage, "With freedom comes responsibility"? Doesn't apply. They don't feel any responsibility to the society at large and its legitimate concerns over safety. They can't even accept the modest inconveniences that would accompany effective regulation of firearms. That would infringe their personal freedom, which is far more important to them than the common good.
"Gun nuts," as they are often called, aren't "nuts" because of guns. It's their inflexible extremism that makes them nutty. If they ever acknowledged the responsibility that comes with their freedom, the rest of us might have some slim hope for progress. But they don't. Not satisfied with unfettered access to guns, they now want libertine laws allowing conceal and carry with few, if any, restrictions.
Our only real hope to break their stranglehold would be a series of class-action lawsuits similar to the ones that eventually forced the tobacco industry to start accepting responsibility for the scourge they inflict on society.
That's a long shot to be sure, but without that, we won't have any shot at all. The only ones with a shot will be the madmen who take full advantage of the NRA's irresponsibility, making the rest of us more likely to join the lengthening list of massacre casualties.
There is, however, one avenue the rest of us can pursue: indicting the NRA in the court of public opinion. We can publicly call on the gun lobby to start accepting their share of the responsibility for the mass murders committed in an atmosphere of easy access to guns, which they do more than any other entity to perpetuate.
Where is the responsibility, NRA, that comes with your Second Amendment freedom? Guns don't kill people. No, madmen with weapons of mass destruction, easily obtained through your efforts, kill large numbers of people.
Is the NRA responsible for this? Partly. How big a part? Depends on who you ask, I suppose. Let's ask the people in Aurora, Colo., who just finished burying their loved ones. Let's ask the folks in Littleton, Colo., who are still mourning the students at Columbine High School 13 years later.
There's a long list of people we can ask, and the list keeps growing.
Where is the responsibility that comes with your freedom, NRA?
The rest of us need to keep repeating that question in the court of public opinion. The NRA believes they can bully us into silence. We have to prove them wrong. If we don't, our elected officials will never address our safety concerns.
If you're a member of the NRA and find all this offensive, then you, too, should speak up. Not to us — to your own organization. Tell them that freedom without responsibility is immoral and you don't want to be part of an organization that refuses to address this society's legitimate safety concerns. We're talking about doing something more significant than offering firearm certification classes.
The NRA has won (this round anyway). Their freedom is assured. They can afford to be gracious. So how about an answer — no dodges, no cop-outs, not the usual spiteful, sneering, haughty, we-know-it-all-and-you-don't-know-jack answers we usually hear. How about a straightforward answer to your fellow countrymen, who are wondering what you can do to help keep the deadly firearms you have made so easily accessible out of the hands of madmen? We're scared and we don't feel safe – and with very good reason.
With freedom comes responsibility. With great freedom comes great responsibility.
The NRA is part of the problem.
When will they become part of the solution?
Posted 01 August 2012 - 04:49 AM
Yes, I really look like this.
Posted 01 August 2012 - 05:46 AM
Lewis Carroll, 1872
Posted 01 August 2012 - 06:25 AM
Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:56 AM
Remember the 1991 Luby Cafeteria Massacre of the Unarmed (Kileen, Texas before Texas Concealed Carry) Do we need 23 people to die in a similar incident before we're allowed effective self defense?
Three school masacres have been stopped by civilians with firearms. Two with handguns and the third by a guy with a shotgun. (Pearl, Ms; Appalacian School of Law; Edinboro,Pa)
Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:34 AM
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world - "No, you move." - Captain America
Posted 01 August 2012 - 08:53 AM
Posted 01 August 2012 - 12:19 PM
Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:00 PM
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1776
Life Member NRA, ISRA, CCRKBA & SAF
Posted 01 August 2012 - 01:23 PM
Terrible Tragedy by Homicidal Maniac --> --> It’s the fault of all legal firearms owners.
He kinda forgets to explain the logic in the middle there.
IGOLD 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
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Posted anti-gun business listing: (Android), (iPhone/iPad)
Illinois Government: (Android), (iPhone/iPad)
Posted 02 August 2012 - 10:37 PM
The reason tobacco companies have to share the burden of taking care of those who become ill or die due to smoking, is because smoking has absolutely zero benefits and when used properly causes cancer. If tobacco were introduced today, there's no way it would be legalized. Firearms on the other hand, are NOT manufactured to kill. They're manufactured for protection, for defense, for hunting, and for recreation. Law abiding citizens don't purchase or own firearms for unlawful acts. If guns were actually MADE for killing, morticians would be the wealthiest profession in the world. When I go to my gun club I feel safer than I do anywhere except in my home. I know for a fact that not a single person there is a felon. I don't have that assurance at the grocery store, at work, or even in a movie theater.
Taxing responsible firearms owners and manufactures for illegal use by others is as crazy as taxing bakers and those that eat the occasional baked good because of the health problems of the obese. Let's tax pharmacists and everyone who takes medication for the health problems and deaths caused by illegal drugs. Let's put a hefty tax on gas and alcohol to pay the victims of drunk drivers. How about a tax on everyone that uses cellphones to start a fund for people that receive threatening calls. Where does it end? I want a tax on the teachers and schools that freely let lunatics like this think they know how to read, write or formulate an opinion. People like the Oak Park writer are the dangers in our society, not inanimate objects.
Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:27 AM
Exactly. Guns did not create the Third Reich. Large numbers of sheeple submitting to indoctrination, and the elimination of all dissenters, created the Third Reich.
Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:58 PM
Who's protecting us from the NRA?
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 10:00 PM
"With freedom comes responsibility." (A line taken from Ken Trainor's "Maximum freedom, minimal responsibility" column in the Aug. 1 Wednesday Journal.)
Now that manic NRA members (protectors of our freedom to slaughter) have made it possible for anyone — anyone — to purchase over 6,000 rounds of ammunition for assault rifles, Glocks and shotguns, where is their sense of responsibility?
The Second Amendment gives us the right to own muskets.
Gotta believe 6,000 single-shot muskets would have been harder to get into a movie theater than an assault rifle, handguns and a shotgun.
The assault rifle alone had a 100-round magazine drum, capable of firing up to 60 rounds a minute. The same type of rifle was used at Columbine in 1999 and Virginia Tech in 2007.
And now Aurora in 2012.
That's a lot of time and lives lost while the NRA merrily goes along protecting our right to wipe out our neighbors. And then when one of the protected masses actually exercises their right to purchase over 6,000 rounds and uses them, they silently pour more money into the coffers to take up the fight again.
The point isn't that we can't protect people from madmen; the point is we can't protect anyone from the NRA.
There is no sane reason any civilian should be allowed to purchase an assault rifle. Period. End of story. And, as Ken pointed out, if you're misguided enough to defend the right to own assault rifles, then man up when the mayhem you so dearly protect devastates families once again.
Don't be mute.
Don't simply regret that you're part of an organization that sent out this ironic tweet to members on the morning of July 12, 2012: "Good morning, shooters! Happy Friday! Weekend plans?"
Time to plan on taking responsibility … responsibility for just what you are protecting.
And who you aren't.
Why won't the NRA do its part for safety?
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 10:00 PM
Thank you for you commentary in the Aug. 1 Viewpoints [Maximum freedom, minimal responsibility, Ken Trainor]. It was a cogent and logical argument that puts the onus on the NRA to take responsibility for its stand on firearms possession.
Why can they not do their part to keep the wrong kinds of arms out of the wrong hands? It seems that all they want is the proliferation of weapon possession and, in effect, the arming of the U.S. citizenry. This hardly appears to be protection of the rights of sport shooters.
Which sportsmen would want to bag the exploded remains of a deer that he shot with a submachine gun? Sound tasty?
Edited by GarandCollector, 14 August 2012 - 09:08 PM.
Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:07 PM
Safety from madmen with guns
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 10:00 PM
With regard to the terrible tragedies of madmen with guns [Maximum freedom, minimal responsibility, Ken Trainor, Viewpoints, Aug. 1], I would offer some pragmatic thoughts:
1) These murderous persons attack only where they know all people will definitely be unarmed.
2) As concealed-carry licensing continues to grow in 49 states (not in Illinois), violent crime is down about 50 percent in the past 25 years.
3) Ownership of firearms by law-abiding citizens has quadrupled during that same time period. (Remember when we were told increased guns in our society meant crime would explode and we would all fear each other?)
4) Over 10,000,000 citizens now are potentially legally armed and many hundreds of thousands of citizens have not been injured because criminals fear such citizens.
5) Having "off limit" places where law-abiding citizens cannot potentially carry concealed are the places where the murderers will continue to strike.
6) Psychologists have said for years it is not the weapon but the twisted will to do the murderous rampage that is the guiding factor.
7) Concealed-carry licensees have an extremely minor record of firearm abuse (your armed neighbor will not shoot you).
8) Like it or not, the evidence points to "More Guns, Less Crime," the title of John R. Lott's book, now in its 3rd edition, which in exhaustive analysis makes it clear: criminals, including mass murderers, are really nasty bullies.
9) To stop bullies, the rule remains the same: the bully must fear the honest, stand-tall person — no other way. Ask a police officer who knows crime usually occurs when he/she is not around and no one at the crime scene stands tall.
Conclusion: Mr. John Lott is right. What should we do about it? If you cannot see the only viable answer, go back and read these nine points again. And try to really use your brain to follow Dr. Lott's simple thesis: Intimidate the bully — don't let him intimidate you.
Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:26 AM
http://www.chicagogunsmith.com Military & Veteran Discounts on Shooting gear.
Life Member, NRA
Posted 15 August 2012 - 10:55 AM
Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:59 PM
The tobacco argument is even further inappropriate because the firearms manufacturers do not try to deny that if you point the gun at a life and pull the trigger, that life can be taken.
The tobacco companies ultimately lost those suits on the grounds that they systematically denied and tried to cover up the harm their product can cause.
Firearms companies aren't doing that, never have, and never will.
Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:27 PM
We need a citizens committee on the Oak Park gun issue
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 10:00 PM
Ken Trainor in his column on Aug. 1 [Viewpoints], took issue with the NRA. He claimed that it is an organization of "maximum freedom, minimal responsibility."
To attempt to respond to Mr. Trainor's diatribe would require much, much more space in this newspaper than it could possibly give, and a writer of considerably more skill than I possess to do the writing.
Instead, this is the time to renew my earnest plea that a "Citizen Advisory Committee of Inquiry" (CACI) be established, consisting of thoughtful and responsible Oak Park resident/citizens who represent, in equal numbers both sides of the Oak Park gun ordinance issue. They must be willing to devote a substantial amount of time to prepare a recommendatory report to the Oak Park village board.
As I have previously said, I would like to be one co-chair and I would hope that Mr. Trainor, being both passionate and articulate on this issue would take the responsibility to recommend/identify a co-chair to get to work with me.
Once the two co-chairs of this ad hoc group exist, we can move forward to establish committee members and do our job. I would hope that Mr. Trainor would be a stalwart and longtime advisor to the citizens committee.
Will you, Mr. Trainor, transfer your considerable ability to constructively agitate on this issue into practical behavior? Please call for a meeting, anytime, anywhere, preferably soon. Call 708-383-3850 if you and anyone else who would like to speak to me on this issue.
Freedom vs. safety
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 10:00 PM
There is a new issue here in Steamboat Springs that concerns me. A small group wants to build a casino at the local airport a few miles from Steamboat. The breakdown between the "fors" and "againsts" is the same as for so many of current arguments.
It seems to me that the argument can be reduced to "community values." I would not be personally impacted by the casino. I will certainly never go there. It won't cost me much, but it is terrible for the community. The social costs will outweigh the economic benefits. A lot of people who can least afford it will be badly hurt. It will be ugly. It will hurt the reputation of our town.
It is just like the gun control issue. I would be willing to give up a little bit of my freedom if it made for a safer community.
Oak Park/Steamboat Springs
Do madmen care who is packing a pistol?
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 10:00 PM
I recently learned that when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot and six other people, including a 9-year-old girl, were killed in Arizona over a year ago, there were, in the crowd, two men who were "packing" loaded guns. Did they "stand tall" and take out the lone killer? No, they did not. Then where were they? They were hiding behind their cars. Did their presence, or the lax gun laws of Arizona, make one bit of difference to the shooter?
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