Aurora, Sandyhook, Boston & Common Sense

On July 20, 2012, one man perpetrated a mass shooting inside a movie theater located in Aurora Colorado, killing twelve people, wounding fifty-eight others. On July 25, 2012 President Barrack Obama made one of the most extensive remakes of his presidency to date about gun control, saying he believed most gun owners would agree “we should do everything possible" to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons and that criminal records should be carefully examined before they obtain firearms. Obama added that a "mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily." “These steps shouldn’t be controversial,” he said “they should be common sense." (1)

On December 14, 2012, a single individual attacked Sandy Hook Elementary school in Sandy Hook Connecticut, killing twenty-eight innocent people while wounding two others. Most of the victims were children. The autopsy confirmed early reports that the perpetrator left his “assault-style” weapon in the car. Our first image below is of Bill Chadwell in death after the Northfield Raid.                                                                                          

Immediately after the tragedy in Newtown,  Connecticut, President Obama along  with the majority of his party decided they had the proper pretext  to pass a bill that would assume to protect the public “from themselves” by further limiting access to publicly owned firearms, which they proposed to Americans was one of the worse vices ever conceived by mankind.   

As part of this program, "On January 13, 2013, President Obama unveiled a sweeping initiative aimed at reducing gun violence in America, including proposals to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and expand background checks to include all gun purchases, not just those at stores. Mr. Obama also announced twenty three executive actions [using or abusing the power of executive privilege] that do not require congressional approval, such as improved tracking of recovered guns, improvements to the federal background check system, enhanced school safety, [and] greater national attention to mental health.

Obama added, "they're common-sense measures" which he claimed were supported by the “majority of Americans." (2) Using these already long-digested liberal suggestions now pontificated by the president, the preponderant liberal media, the Democratic Party, and the gun control lobby pushed for what they called "common-sense" anti-gun legislation.

Meanwhile, the liberal media promulgated to U.S. citizens through the medium of Vice President  Joe Biden--sometimes called the court jester of the United States--the assurance that Americans don't need bazookas or assault rifles to protect their interests, a shot gun was good enough for them, as prescribed by Obama, Biden, et al. Meanwhile, to orchestrate this anti-gun program, California senator Diane Feinstein  introduced an updated version of the assault weapons ban she championed in the 1990's, while Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi proclaimed she was appalled because the NRA had the audacity to suggest training youngsters about gun safety. The president and his allies to forward their campaign used as examples the surviving innocent Sandy Hook school children as a surrealistic, visual reminder and used sporting and public events, as well as talk shows as the venue for this bombardment of anti-gun propaganda.

After months of intense negotiations where they suffered numerous setbacks, the "Common-Sense Coalition" decided to pin their hopes on a Senate bill requiring additional background checks, kicking off this campaign in the Senate where they had a numerical advantage, thus hoping to cow the Republicans in the House of Representatives into passing this legislation.

On April 15, 2013, our country suffered one of its worst terrorist attacks in history during the Boston Marathon. The massacre killed three Innocent spectators while injuring at least two hundred and sixty others. On April 19, the two terrorists engaged in a battle with police during which hundreds of rounds of ammunition were fired and improvised explosive devices were thrown by the terrorists at the police from a fleeing car.

On April 17, 2013, the anti-gun bill was defeated. Later the same day, President Obama, in a nasty, virulent speech where he called the Senate’s actions a “disgrace”  claimed "the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill," while providing no evidence of this. Obama added, "both sides have to listen to each other," and said the defeat was due to "politics," without giving any proof.  Answering his critics, who have called him to task for "subjecting the young Newtown survivors to emotional blackmail by using them as a prop," the president sarcastically asked the question: "Do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don’t have a right to weigh in on this issue?  Do we think their emotions and their loss is not relevant to this debate?" All of this had nothing whatever to do with a vote by the American people’s representatives in the U.S. Senate.(3)

It seems the definition of "common sense" as propounded by Obama and his handlers must be substantially different than it is among the American people. Common sense as defined by Merriam-Webster is defined as, "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts." Thus, "common sense" (in this view) equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, "the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way." Whichever definition is used, identifying particular items of knowledge as "common sense" is difficult to define and apply. (4)

In 1776, American patriot Thomas Paine authored his pamphlet entitled "Common Sense," which was credited as the spark that ignited the fire of revolution, convincing the common American colonist that fighting the tyrannical British empire was the only "common sense" choice. Perhaps his unique perspective might provide additional insight.

In "Common Sense" Payne wrote: "Some writers have so confounded society with government as to leave little or no distinction between them . . . Society is produced by our wants, government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinction . . . Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one . . . Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others." (5)

Our next image to the left is of  Sam Wells AKA Charlie Pitts

Now I understand the reason why the term “common sense” is so popular with politicians and media "talking-heads,” although I'm not sure many would consider them as modern-day philosophers. In reality, the term "common-sense" is at best a theory which has numerous definitions, none of which are universally accepted. Moreover everyone's definition is inevitably influenced heavily by each individual’s personal experiences and/or belief system.  Apparently Barrack Obama and his cronies believe everyone's knowledge and personal experience should lead us all to the same conclusion they reached: gun ownership is a privilege only to be awarded to a select few.

Missouri is often referred to as the "Show-Me State." Numerous legends and stories abound attempting to document the origin of the term, the most popular of which involves U.S. Congressman from Missouri Willard Duncan Vandiver, member of the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs during his attendance of a naval banquet, Vandiver purportedly bellowed: "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." However the slogan originated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, non-credulous character of Missourians." (6)

Most Missourians "show" their unique brand of "common-sense" in everything they do. Without a doubt, the one person who would be described as Missouri's champion of "common-sense"  was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known today by his pen name, Mark Twain. Although he passed away more than one hundred years ago it is not hard to predict how Mark Twain would react to the current campaign to pass the alleged "common-sense" gun-control measures. If Mr. Twain heard our president's recent claim that recent polls indicate 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks that make it harder for a dangerous person to buy a gun. Mr. Twain might first suspect someone had “cooked the books” or like many media mainstays, distorted the situation. Twain in his day said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

When Mr. Obama shared in a recent address that 90 percent of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the recent bill, Mark Twain's would likely counter with; "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform." And I’m sure that he would have noted that the majority of senators voted against the recent bill and it failed, which is why Obama countered with his dyspeptic diatribe!

After President Obama's recent admonishment to right-thinking Americans that they would have to change Washington, you, the American people, are going to have to sustain some passion about common-sense gun control. Samuel Clements would likely have responded: "The public is merely a multiplied me,"  continuing, “No matter how healthy a man's morals may be when he enters the White House, he comes out again with a pot-marked soul."                                                                          

Perhaps those who support additional gun control measures do so because they failed to learn the lessons from our country’s history, let alone the history of the world. Maybe they failed to study this subject because they sensed it was likely to be an unpleasant one for them.

Many Americans are likely unaware that mass killings including that of children occurred in America long before Columbine, Colorado. On May 18, 1927, Andrew Philip Kehoe, a farmer and treasurer of his township school board, killed his wife, forty-three other people, including thirty-eight children, and injured fifty-eight others when he set off bombs in a school located in Bath Township, Michigan. On September 6, 1949 Howard Barton Unruh killed thirteen people in Camden, New Jersey, using his war trophy German Luger. On July 18, 1984, James Huberty killed twenty two people including five children and wounded nineteen others outside a McDonald’s restaurant in San Diego California. By leaving the above killings unmentioned, it’s clear the preponderant liberal media have chosen to only highlight the recent, heinous examples of gun violence instead of presenting a longer-term, more balanced viewpoint on the use of firearms in America. It’s worth mentioning that the American people did not ask its government for stringent gun controls over the above crimes. Why not? Perhaps because that would have violated the Constitution!                                                                                    

When Samuel Colt marketed the first mass-produced, commercially available revolver, it was such an advancement in personal freedom and safety that someone said, "God did not create all men equal, Sam Colt did." That's because firearms allowed people who were inferior in size and/or skill a chance to defend themselves against aggressors in or out of the homes when they carried firearms legally.

In the 1870s Union Army veterans founded the National Rifle Association to better train soldiers for future wars while ensuring Black veterans a path to gun ownership, also, which had been previously denied to them.

In motion pictures over their history, firearms have been shown in situations and scenarios that have been unrealistic and have created a false image of firearm use in real life. The recent box-office smash, Django Unchained, has been no exception and its story line has little to do with normal firearms use. Django Unchained like many other movies like it is the purest fantasy and is the culmination of decades of movie and television Westerns that have convinced Americans to believe a contorted view of the "Old West" and life in general.  It typically creates an imaginary town, like in so many Westerns, where the site becomes the arena for the age-old Hollywood battle of good versus evil. The streets in the movie were so busy with gunfights the movie viewers were prepared for the contestants to take numbers. 

In real life, only a handful of documented events ever occurred conforming to these “classic” gunfights. Most real "gunfights" in the past were in reality "bushwhacking" where the winner shot the loser in the back, and even these events occurred quite infrequently.

A real-world example of how ready firearms and willing citizens can be utilized to benefit the general public was represented on September 7, 1876 in Northfield, Minnesota. In that event, within a few minutes, America's most notorious and deadly outlaws, the James-Younger gang, were decimated by a group of armed citizens, many or all of whom were hunters, Army veterans, and skilled marksmen. A number of these average citizens were utilizing the "assault-rifles" of their day—repeating  rifles equal to many U.S. Army rifles of the time and superior to the single-shot rifles wielded weeks before by General George Armstrong Custer’s elite Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Six of the eight members of the James gang were either captured or killed within weeks. The James-Younger gang ceased to exist, and "The James Gang" never recovered from this debacle.

More recent examples exist where guns have played a positive role in reinforcing the normal police but they have been virtually ignored also by the preponderant liberal media. In January 2013, a long-time anti-gun advocate, Democrat State Senator R. C. Soles, 74, shot one of two intruders at his home just outside Tabor City, North Carolina. In December 2012, a man opened fire on a movie theater, a police car, and bystanders from a nearby restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. As the assailant entered the movie theater, his guns blazing, an armed, off-duty police officer shot him four times, halting the attack before a single death occurred. In 2002, during an attack on the Appalachian School of Law, as a shooter was attempting to reload, two armed students pointed their guns at him, allowing a third student to tackle the shooter. No matter how noble your sentiments may be, when someone is intent on injuring or killing innocent parties, sometimes, armed actions are necessary by ordinary citizens, as in the above examples. 

Without a doubt there are those who have lost loved ones to gun violence, and they have the right to work toward a different set of gun laws than are currently in effect. But these people, whether their opinions are for or against the current gun laws, have no more rights to their choice of legal enactments than the rest or our citizens. This is a democracy, and many of us hope it will always be. In a Democratic system, everyone has a right to be counted and the majority trumps the minority whatever their beliefs. Ultimately, the people we voted to represent us in Congress will settle the matter, hopefully in favor of the majority of Americans.

For those who believe it is impossible to understand the effects of gun violence unless it affects you, until you have a loved one affected by it, you might be interested in knowing that the father of a Sandy Hook survivor, William "Bill" Stevens, testified against the recent proposed legislation and quoted the Constitution and Bill of Rights to support his beliefs. See this man’s testimony by watching the You-Tube video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gymfdD99wgY.  As harsh as it may sound to some, the reality for this society is to decide what an acceptable risk factor is, as well as what is the "greater good" for the majority of the people.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York,  in Washington D.C., and Shakesville, Pennsylvania, killed 2,996, while injuring more than six thousand. Since September 11, 2001 our government has gone to great extremes to educate the masses and to persuade us that we are living in a different era. In response to this change, we have surrendered numerous personal and public liberties under the pretense that the changes were necessary to increase and/or maintain the general safety level in our society.

As a result of the September 2011 attack, we exchanged some of our precious freedoms, accepting decreased civil liberties, purportedly to help enhance our security. But Americans must be certain that we have received an effective trade-off for our loss of civil liberties? In particular, is our government fulfilling its primary function of protecting its citizens? Don’t you think that terrorists would be distinctly vulnerable in executing successful attacks on America if all citizens or most were armed and prepared to defend themselves and other Americans?

On April 25, 2013, Freshman Congressman Tom Cotton, Republican from Arkansas, speaking before his fellow members of the House of Representatives expressed grave doubts about the Obama Administration’s counter-terrorism policies and program when he said: “Counter-terrorism is often shrouded in secrecy, as it should be, so let us judge by the results. In barely four years in office, five jihadists have reached their targets in the United States under Barack Obama: the Boston Marathon bomber, the Underwear bomber, the Times-Square Bomber, the Fort Hood shooter, and in my own state—the Little Rock recruiting office shooter. In over seven years after 9/11 under George W. Bush, how many terrorists reached their target in the United States? Zero! Why is the Obama Administration failing in its mission to stop terrorism before it reaches its targets in the United States?” (7)  This is a serious question that we all should consider. Incidentally, this recent rebuke of Obama followed the release of a new Congressional report that concluded the Obama administration lied to cover up their failures concerning the Benghazi debacle.

Now, on top of these failures by the Obama administration, we are being asked to surrender additional access to weapons that allow common citizens the best chance of defending themselves against highly trained and motivated assailants. The issue, finally, comes down to faith: should we blindly trust that our government and law enforcement agencies will be able to protect us, and are they the least expensive option which offers the greater benefit to all of our citizens? Both are doubtful conjectures. On the contrary, the benefits of individual firearms ownership will always far outweigh its drawbacks.

I agree with the president on April 17, 2013, that it was a “shameful day” for America. But this was for an entirely different reason. It was the day when a sitting president and commander in chief with troops in two active war zones found it necessary to throw a tantrum because he was unable to get his way, and only a mere forty-eight hours after our country had suffered the worst terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2011. The Senate vote seemed timed to get the maximum positive benefit for Obama’s anti-gun initiative by using the emotional impact of the Boston Bombing in its favor, but it still lost ignominiously, which caught in Obama’s craw.

Although an apology to the American public for this disgusting display is in order, don't expect one. Based upon previous experience of Mr. Obama, he has clearly demonstrated he is a strict devotee of the Cole Porter school of thought "Never apologize, never explain." Boston, your pain and suffering were shamelessly politicized. Your city is a grand one, and you are hanging tough. YOUR COUNTRY IS PROUD OF YOU. We are all 100 percent behind you even if our leadership isn't. And most of us will continue to defend and support our remaining civil liberties. God bless you.

On April 30, 2013, President Obama did his best to attempt to emulate Mark Twain’s style of humor when he stated "Rumors of the demise of his second term were greatly exaggerated.” Mr. President we are painfully aware we have only seen the first one hundred days of your second term. I for one am concerned how many of our Civil Liberties might survive the rest of your days in office. 

When I heard Pelosi's prediction last week, which was repeated by Vice President Biden that "No matter what congress says, gun control is inevitable,” I knew I had heard something similar on the same subject before. Below are three quotes concerning gun control from three “experts” on the subject:

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future! --Adolph Hitler, 1935, on “The Weapons Act of Nazi Germany.” Of course, Hitler used gun suppression to make slaves of Germans and to kill most German Jews.

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”-- Mahatma Gandhi, in Gandhi, An Autobiography, page 446. Ghandi like other great figures in history knew that outlawing guns reduces a people to subservience and is an example of the most obvious tyranny.

“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. 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 (1743-1826), U.S. founding father, who drafted the Declaration of Independence and was our third U.S. President

--Charlie Hart Missouri Minute Man

PS: If you agree with anything I've written here or, for whatever reason you think others should read it, PLEASE PASS THIS ARTICLE ALONG AS YOU SEE FIT. REPEAT IT, ALTHOUGH IT IS MUCH TO LONG TO TWEET IT; JUST DON'T ALLOW THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA THE CHANCE TO DELETE IT!


(1).  © Christian Science Monitor Linda Feldmann, January 16, 2013.
(2).  © The Hill.com website Amie Parnes, July 25, 2012.
(3).  © Time.com Time Staff, April 17, 2013.3
(4).  © Wikipedia.com 2013
(5).  © "Common-Sense" published in 1776 by Thomas Payne
(6).  © Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1979-1980, page 1486.                                 

          Below is one of the various sets of images  taken of Jim, Cole and Bob Younger taken shortly after Northfield.

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