I'll comment only on parts of his editorial, if you'd like to read the whole thing click here.
"As written, B.O.R. #2. reads, "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."
Some hold that this only protects our right to have well-organized militias, while others read the same words as sanctioning the private possession of lethal weaponry.
What Madison really meant was interred with his bones, leaving interpretation to generations of English majors, history buffs, pacifists, gun-fanciers and, in their current session, the oracular whizzes of our Supreme Court."
He would have to pick the version with the most commas wouldn't he? Different versions of the second amendment exist with varying numbers of commas. With or without the commas it makes perfects sense when read in context and by studying other things the founders had to say about it.
"After extensive thought, exhaustive research and pleasurable study of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," I have taken two firm positions on the issue: I will not speculate on what Founding Father Madison had in mind in 1789 or how he'd advise our Supremes in 2008.
Furthermore, I care not a rat's butt about that, although it might be interesting to know how he'd feel about private citizens owning AK-47s.
I do care that 30,000 Americans die annually as a result of guns in the hands of evil and/or irresponsible shooters."
Apparently you didn't do too much thought, exhaustive research and pleasurable study did you. Perhaps you'd have been better off researching the origins of the second amendment instead of a book of punctuation. Then again, since you don't care not a rats ass about the subject, you're just going to empty your gray and black water tanks on us in the form of this editorial.
Personally, I think Madison would have been fine with private ownership of Ak-47's by the unorganized militia.
Joe, would you care to back up your statistics from a non Brady or Joyce Foundation sponsored, or discredited study? I didn't think so.
"I also respect the rights of all people to defend themselves, their loved ones and their possessions against criminals, using firearms if need be.
Neither would I prevent millions of hunters from engaging in their chosen pastime, although such peculiar pursuits as shooting doves barely seem to qualify as sporting events.
Finally, I recognize that total prohibition of private gun ownership would be only a tad more popular and effective than the ill-fated banning of John Barleycorn in the Roaring (but seldom boring) 20's.
I submit, though, that those claiming the right to bear arms, either for fun or protection, assume concomitant obligations of responsibility and competence - not unlike those imposed on those who drive automobiles or perform heart transplants.
This question to those on both sides of the gun control controversy: Why not make training and licensure pre-qualifications for weapon ownership, with really heavy fines and jail sentences for those who don't comply?
No law-abiding and well-intentioned citizen should object to such a restriction, given its obvious benefit to society."
Oh my, where to start. First you respect the rights of individuals to protect themselves, their loved ones and their property with firearms. Second, you recognize hunters being able to pursue their sports whether you agree with them or not. Thirdly, you state (and I agree) that a total ban on firearms would be about as popular, and effective as prohibition was in the 1920's. Good on you for that, but then you had to flush it all away with your next statement. You state that you can't see how anyone would have an objection to treating gun ownership like driving a car. For someone who seemed to understand the rights of individuals earlier on, you prove that you really don't get it. I shouldn't be surprised.
Read the Bill of Rights Joe, I have. It's okay if you have to look them up online and read through it, I'll wait.
Okay, where in the Bill of Rights does it mention anything about driving a car, erm, horse and buggy? No? Okay, now what does the second one say? Okay, and no, it doesn't mean the National Guard or the government giving itself permission to form a militia (how stupid would that be). Now, how many times do you see "The People" and "The State" mentioned? Okay, now read the other nine (original BOR) and tell me whether or not it's clear on who has which right? Now why is the second amendment somehow different than the others? What's that? It says "Well Regulated?" Do yourself a favor and research the meaning of the phrase as it was used at the time for the correct context. Oh that's right, you really don't care about the "technical woo-woo's" as you put it.
Completely aside from this Joe, I and millions of other gun owners like me will never submit. Every gun confiscation in history was always preceded with registration. How do you think they knew where all the guns were? It sounds cliche, but "Legislation, Registration, Confiscation" has a lot more truth going for it than you'd imagine.
"This would counter the argument that if guns were banned entirely, only the criminals would be armed.
As to that lot of scoundrels, use of firearms in the commission of a violent crime could be raised to the level of a capital offense, with appropriate punishment. (Cruel and unusual, you say? Tell that to the victims and/or their families!)
Spare me, puh-leez, the legalese woo-woo and technical hair-splitting.
Simplistic though it may be, the remedy I suggest would save thousands of lives, make society safer and still allow private citizens to protect themselves, their loved ones, their hobbies and their worldly goods.
The doves are another matter, perhaps for another column when I really feel fearless."
"If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!" *sigh* Okay, yes, it's true. Following your plan though, the government could decide to take them at anytime they want. As to more severe punishment for criminal misuse of a firearm. Before they start doing that, I think they should make murder, robbery, rape, etc... against the law first. Oh wait, murder is against the law already and many states have the death penalty. You'd think with that in mind there'd be no murders. Aren't criminals afraid of capitol punishment?
Also, regardless of what the Brady Bunch say, there are well over 20,000 gun laws already in existence with more being added all the time. It's a constant battle to make sure my rights aren't being infringed.
Simplistic? Nah, I'd never say that...I'm too polite to tell you that you're full of crap!
UPDATE: Robb over at Sharp as a Marble has an excellent post concerning the 30,000 firearm deaths a year the anti's like to crow about. Go read!