Important Editorial


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damien
August 6, 2007, 01:39 PM
I searched for the name of the writer and journal here and have not seen this posted yet.

It is very rare to see an editorial go our way. Letters to the editor, for sure, but rarely does an editorial board support RKBA. This one is 100% in support and very well written and I think should be bookmarked in the minds of RKBA supporters.

http://www.journalinquirer.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=18660461&BRD=985&PAG=461&dept_id=569380&rfi=8

Time to admit the 'gun nuts' are right
By Keith C. Burris
08/03/2007

In the aftermath of the Petit family slayings in Cheshire, we all reached for explanations: How do human beings sink this low? How could this tragedy have been prevented? Why?

There are so many nagging questions. They all need to be asked. And maybe some old arguments need to be hashed out again.

Why not a more stringent "three strikes and you're out" law in this state? Connecticut's version is so weak that it's more like "30 strikes and we'll think about it while you strike again."

Why not speed up the criminal trial process for repeat violent offenders? Get them off the streets. It's been proposed many times. Most people agree it should be done. It never happens.

Can't we better monitor the probation process?

Can't we do a better job of predicting -- figuring out which non-violent criminals are about to turn violent?

Are home alarms really effective?

How about dogs?

But somehow all of these ideas pale before the barbarity of this particular crime.

That is why one old question is worth asking again. It is this: What if the Second Amendment is for real? Is it possible that it should it be revered, just like the First Amendment?

Sam Ervin said, "The Constitution should be taken like mountain whiskey -- undiluted and untaxed." Maybe that applies to all of the Constitution.

Is it possible that the Second Amendment is not a quaint and antiquated remnant of a world that will never return, but an idea as relevant and sound today as when it was written?

Is it possible that we are not talking about the right of the government to form a militia when there is no standing army, but the right of the individual to defend himself, or herself, against both tyranny and lawlessness? Maybe we are talking about the right of self-defense -- the right of the individual to take up arms against a government that wants to oppress, be it foreign or domestic. And the right of the individual to defend himself against criminals, brutes, and barbarians when local police seem unable to stop them.

Might the Second Amendment matter almost as much as the First?

I think the answer is yes.

And just like the First, the Second is practical, newly relevant, and far wiser than the watered-down alternatives.

I don't think George Bush wants to impose martial law on his fellow citizens. But he has diluted habeas corpus. And he has enlarged Big Brother. You have to stop and think about a government that wants to control the thoughts and behavior of its people.

Should such a government be permitted to disarm them as well?

And whereas the reform of the criminal justice system along some of the lines suggested above (a real "three strikes" law and faster trials for violent offenders) would not have saved the lives of Jennifer, and Hayley, and Michaela Petit, a gun might have.

I don't say it would have.

I say it might have.

Had Dr. William Petit had access to a gun and known how to use it, he might have been able to dispatch the two perpetrators, who were armed with only an air gun and ropes.

Moreover, the three victims here were women.

What if Mrs. Hawke-Petit had been trained in the use of firearms? Suppose she had been able to get to a gun after her husband was beaten into unconsciousness by the invaders? Or when she was forced to take one captor to the bank to fetch him money?

It's worth thinking about.

Women and children are now the major targets of predators in our society. Government is not protecting them very well. Many professional women who work in cities know this and take courses in self-defense. A gun may be the only realistic self-defense against the sort of criminals we are talking about here.

And if a few women took care of a few thugs in cases like this; if a few stories like this one ended in a different way -- with a woman blowing one of these brutes to kingdom come -- it might be a deterrent. Lives upon lives might be spared.

A friend of mine said: "The gun nuts are back."

They are.

And they are right.

Mind you, we are talking about arming people who are trained and know how to use a weapon.

No one should have a gun who has not been trained.

Just as one gets training in handling a boat, motorcycle, or car, one must learn how to use and safely store a gun. (The National Rifle Association maintains an extensive national network of programs in firearms training and education.)

And, obviously, no one would be forced to own a gun.

A second caveat: Encouraging citizens to arm themselves is no "answer" to crimes like the Petit murders.

An "answer" does not exist.

But it is one of several remedies when we are faced with palpable evil.

All possible remedies should be on the table:

-- Various reforms of the justice system, like a real three-strike-law for predatory offenders.

-- Better psychological treatment for troubled youth.

-- Religious training, in both love and self-restraint, especially when people are young.

-- Prison programs that both retain the hard core and educate the educable.

-- More and better home alarm systems.

-- More cops visible in more neighborhoods.

-- Dobermans.

All of these approaches have merit.

So does self-defense.

None of these options "fix" a society that can produce human beings who torture and kill the defenseless for sport.

No one step or program can plug every hole in America's justice system, or its soul.

But there are times when a gun in the hands of a potential victim may save a life.

Let's admit -- since the murderers, and druggies, and psychos, and thieves already have guns -- that arming the peaceful, law-abiding, decent, and productive people, whether in a school, or a private home, or on the way to a parked car, is an option that also has merit.

--------

Keith C. Burris is editorial page editor of the Journal Inquirer.

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ozwyn
August 6, 2007, 01:42 PM
guess maybe eventually people do wake up. good work.

fletcher
August 6, 2007, 01:44 PM
Well-written. Looks like we have another convert, and hopefully other sheep who read this article will have their eyes opened as well.

TX1911fan
August 6, 2007, 02:13 PM
I have a friend who has had his wife "converted" because of this crime.

DogBonz
August 6, 2007, 02:46 PM
I have a friend who has had his wife "converted" because of this crime.

I know a few folks who have changed their tune after hearing or reading about this horrible crime. It is sad that it takes events like this for folks to come around. What is even sadder is those who still maintain that a firearm in one of their hands would not have at least leveled the playing field.

elrod
August 6, 2007, 03:13 PM
There are so many good, middle American people who live in Smallville, USA, who have never had a close brush with the reality that is brutal crime. In some ways it takes an especially heinous incident, such as the one in Connecticut to get their attention. Too many people have let the media tell them that firearms are not the way to go.:confused: It has been easier to let family members or employers steer them away from this option rather than take a course in gun use and safety, and purchase a defensive firearm. I pray we never see another crime this bloody, and I further pray that the one will be enough to get some otherwise defenseless homes armed safely. To have a positive editorial in a major northeastern newspaper is a large step in the right direction.;)

Mr White
August 6, 2007, 03:51 PM
I'm skeptical of that editorial. He takes the tone that arming ones self against attackers is a very left-field idea that but that it may be necessary in the face of such horrible crimes. Its almost like he's putting the option of self defense out there as way to scare the masses into taking more action on the other options.

What if the Second Amendment is for real?

Is it possible that the Second Amendment is not a quaint and antiquated remnant of a world that will never return

Is it possible that we are not talking about the right of the government to form a militia when there is no standing army, but the right of the individual to defend himself, or herself, against both tyranny and lawlessness?

Its like he's asking these questions with a preconceived idea of what the answer should be, but with the intent of stirring up the sheep to push for things like better 3 strikes laws, faster time-to-trial for offenders, better home alarm systems, more dogs or more cops.

MikePGS
August 6, 2007, 03:57 PM
Mr White, to me it almost sounded as if the person who wrote the article was being sardonic when he made those particular statements.

Im283
August 6, 2007, 04:00 PM
I don't think words will change a true anti. Words might pull a fence sitter onto our side or even to the other but no one who is a true anti will not be swayed by mere words.

The man who wrote the editorial to me does not sound like he is really sold on it. I agree with what Mr. White said.

damien
August 6, 2007, 04:04 PM
I don't think words will change a true anti. Words might pull a fence sitter onto our side or even to the other but no one who is a true anti will not be swayed by mere words.

If you are right, this is actually the most positive news I have heard in a while. The fact is, we can't and don't need to convince any of the true antis. 90% of the people out there are the fence sitters. The more fence sitters we pull in, the better. And I think we are succeeding in this regard. Changing the people who wear tinfoil hats has never been practical.

IA_farmboy
August 7, 2007, 12:59 AM
I don't think words will change a true anti. Words might pull a fence sitter onto our side or even to the other but no one who is a true anti will not be swayed by mere words.
If you are right, this is actually the most positive news I have heard in a while. The fact is, we can't and don't need to convince any of the true antis. 90% of the people out there are the fence sitters. The more fence sitters we pull in, the better. And I think we are succeeding in this regard. Changing the people who wear tinfoil hats has never been practical.

Move enough fence sitters to think that gun ownership should not be at the whim of the local sheriff, or state governor, and it would make those that think firearm restrictions are a good idea look as foolish in the future as the gun nuts do now to the mainstream media and general populace.

I guy can dream, can't he?

Mr White
August 7, 2007, 07:38 AM
Mr White, to me it almost sounded as if the person who wrote the article was being sardonic when he made those particular statements.
Mike, do you mean that his sardonicisn was directed toward the 2nd Amendment, or toward his intended liberal Conneticut audience? If you were referring to the latter, then "Uh... yea, I'm going to have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you on that." TO me, it just doesn't seem that this guy is quite on our side.

damien
August 7, 2007, 12:33 PM
I think the tone is of a person who has finally understood something inherant about the world, that some things are out of society's control (criminal intent on the part of other people) where he saw it is controllable before this crime (by passing gun control or actual criminal control laws). He doesn't like what he has found for sure. He is only endorsing gun ownership only as a practical matter because something exists that he thinks should not have to exist (serious crime). So his endorsement is half-hearted, but it is an endorsement and he lays out the logic for it flawlessly.

Personally, I am happy for this editorial.

Tim James
August 7, 2007, 01:19 PM
You guys are complaining when the guy actually mentioned the Second Amendment in reference to opposing tyranny? Church bells should be tolling!

The only complaint I can muster is to throw "disciplining children" and "stronger families" in his list of suggestions. (Okay, since he is part of the media-government complex, he can achieve the same thing by eliminating Great Society programs and bringing back the need for families. :))

P.S. Please use a better thread title next time.

Nolo
August 7, 2007, 01:32 PM
He definitely seems as if he's come from the other side.
Hmmm...
I liked it, but through the whole article, I wanted to scream "DUHHHHHH!!".
That's just me though. I honestly don't understand how people can act as if objects are bad. Which is strange, because I understand perfectly why people personify objects. Maybe it's a weird form of personification. Like the opposite of what I do with my shotgun (give it a name, call it by it's name, sometimes talk to it, mostly just for kicks and giggles, but I suppose there's some real personification there). I think we've got politicians, just like in every war we've ever fought, uniting people by dividing everyone. The Kaiser rapes Belgians. Tojo murders Filipinos. Hitler massacres Jews. Communists are oppressive SOBs. Osama killed 3000 on 9/11. Saddam gassed the Kurds. Not that that isn't true, but it's still demonization, even when they deserve it.

alucard0822
August 7, 2007, 01:40 PM
Overall, it seems like he is more cynical and possibly even sarcastic with the "antiquated system never to return" and "2a may be for real" comments. It is one of a few seemingly "exploratory" pro-2A editorials lately, possibly to gauge public reaction to it. A simple letter or e-mail to politely comment on the editorial, and to support the defensive use of firearms by citizens may help keep these articles and editorials around, and maybe even help encourage more. Either way it is much better than the NY Times and Baltimore Sun's standard "England is doing their part to stop gun violence, why aren't we?", and "The NRA has blood on it's hands again" type editorials that are openly anti-rights (both were published about a year or so ago) We should be on the forefront of polite and informed replies, as I am sure there will probably be a few "my ______ was a victim of gun violence, how many more people have to die before we do something" and we are also trying to win the hearts and minds of the fencesitters.

Erebus
August 7, 2007, 01:54 PM
It sure sounded like he was exploring a new line or direction of thinking to me. Like a door was opened and he is still trying to digest all the new concepts that he previously rejected or of which he was ignorantly unaware.

jfh
August 7, 2007, 01:56 PM
The fact is, this writer is writing for a cake-eating, east-coast educated audience. Most of them live lives that are undistressed, for the most part, and most of them have suburban liberal values.

I can read--interpret--this editorial with any number of assumptions--but the bottom line is, it's a straightforward, unironic, unsardonic, revelation of Constitution Rights directed to an audience who probably doesn't think about the immediate impact of liberal truisms on their lives.

Until something like this crime happened.

We should be shouting hosannas from the Choir loft.

So let's do it--use the contact to compliment him. Here's the contact info:

Editorial Page Editor
Keith Burris
kburris@journalinquirer.com

You can reach us by phone at (860) 646-0500 or 1-800-237-3606

You can reach us by fax at (860) 646-9867





BTW, those church bells are pealing, not tolling --:)

Jim H.

Nolo
August 7, 2007, 02:03 PM
He definitely seems as if he's come from the other side.
Hmmm...
I liked it, but through the whole article, I wanted to scream "DUHHHHHH!!".
That's just me though. I honestly don't understand how people can act as if objects are bad. Which is strange, because I understand perfectly why people personify objects. Maybe it's a weird form of personification. Like the opposite of what I do with my shotgun (give it a name, call it by it's name, sometimes talk to it, mostly just for kicks and giggles, but I suppose there's some real personification there). I think we've got politicians, just like in every war we've ever fought, uniting people by dividing everyone. The Kaiser rapes Belgians. Tojo murders Filipinos. Hitler massacres Jews. Communists are oppressive SOBs. Osama killed 3000 on 9/11. Saddam gassed the Kurds. Not that that isn't true, but it's still demonization, even when they (the dictators) deserve it.
Darn... it looked like it wasn't going to post for me, so I reposted. Sorry.

bensdad
August 7, 2007, 02:19 PM
Kudos to Mr. Burris. I agree that some of his comments are out-of-sync with OUR way of seeing things, but the article as a whole is leaps and bounds ahead of most editorials in the MSM.

Yes, RKBA is a right, not a privilege earned via training. No, the 2A is not "newly relevant." It has always been so - and for more reasons than Mr. Burris articulates.

Nevertheless, his willingness to address this issue in such a manner should be encouraged and commended. Baby steps. Baby steps.

Werewolf
August 7, 2007, 03:14 PM
A well written article that shows some people are capable of getting it if smacked up side the head with enough force.

That said I just can't resist responding to this statement the author of the article made:None of these options "fix" a society that can produce human beings who torture and kill the defenseless for sport.Rehabilitation thru Reincarnation - removes the scum from society and cleanses the gene pool by preventing the animals from breeding. But then that's just a bit too hard core for our pampered, living in a pink skied, blue bunny, teddy bear world so guys like the author of that article might as well just get used to the continuation of abhorent acts by the monsters we not only breed but tend to nurture.

garymc
August 7, 2007, 03:51 PM
How many other editorials has anyone read from this paper? Is this par for the course or a major change in direction? He could simply be trying to speak the language of his local readers with some of those questioning/uncertain statements. I find it amazing that there was not a single anti response on that page, especially considering that is the state that elects Christopher Dodd.

Erebus
August 7, 2007, 05:14 PM
Rehabilitation thru Reincarnation I tend to agree with him. There will always be those that wil prey on others, there is no way to stop them from existing. You can only stop them from victimizing you and those around you.

Rocketman56
August 7, 2007, 05:19 PM
As has been mentioned, by several previous posters, the discussion of training was a bit troubling.

Personally, as with ANY tool, training should be obtained by the individual who is using the tool. It should not be mandated, but a matter of personal responsibility which, unfortunately, our society of late has NOT fostered. (Which I consider one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed.. I strive to install this in my children/grandchildren but society (aka, the local school system), doesn't help encourage.)

THANKS!
Steve

jfh
August 7, 2007, 10:56 PM
Bump

grampster
August 7, 2007, 11:08 PM
Here's what I sent him.

Mr. Burris,

I read your August 3 editorial. A link was posted on a favorite web site of mine. I must say I was pleased to see your courageous, truthful and insightful comments.
I'm 64 years old, a former law enforcement officer, recently retired from my 2nd career in sales. I have a wife, children and grandchildren and extended family. I live in Michigan. I've owned firearms since I was a youth. I have hunted wild game, but have mostly lost the desire to do so anymore. Much of my hunting grounds are now neighborhoods. I might take another trip to S. Dakota to shoot some pheasants once more, though, before I pass on. I have firearms; both long guns and pistols and revolvers. Some I keep and carry for personal protection. I like to shoot all of them, and I do. It's actually fun trying to maintain my shooting skills. My neighbors do not live in fear and trembling of me. Probably because most of them also own firearms for a variety of reasons and those who do not, are in no way intimidated by us because we are all just regular peace loving Americans. Normal folks.

I was trained up by my father, who, when he came home from WWII, decided that he'd had enough with hunting with firearms due to his war experiences. He won the Bronze Star and was a POW in Europe. He fished though , till he was 90.

He did believe it was important to teach my brother and I how to shoot, take care of firearms and be safe. We were trained in the Four Rules. We kept firearms in the house for our safety. I still have his old Ranger 20 gauge and his Remington bolt action .22 LR target rifle.

Dad recognized the value of self defense. Both of those firearms were kept available in the house through my childhood. My brother and I were never in any danger from them because we understood them and knew what they were for and how to use them.
My dad also was a member of the NRA, as am I; a Life Member. Dad said many times that the NRA trained up most American youth in the Manual of Arms and shooting sports to the point that he felt we were superior soldiers vs the Germans (in his case) and Japanese. Unfortunately, the Left has demonized the NRA, one of, if not the best of all of our American institutions. Most people who are opposed to the NRA don't even understand their value to youth and our country. Sad.

Well anyway, I'd like to thank you for a well written, thoughtful article. Too bad we don't have more media folks today that are willing to research, think about an issue, and then write the truth rather than the easily regurgitated propaganda that is taken for news or editorials today.

Cordially,


My take on the article is that he is coming from an angle that he is actually surprised that he feels the way he does.

I agree. The bells are pealing not tolling.

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