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The Great Gun Hoax on American Life

The massacre of young children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut must not be lost in the usual blather of NRA propaganda and gun enthusiast's lament that Americans have the individual right to bear any weapon in public and stockpile weapons that rival the arsenal of the United States government.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to provide for a citizens militia from foreign invasion or usurpation of the government, as well as for self-protection in the home. It has nothing to do with citizens individually purchasing guns without limit or type of gun. This is simply an NRA fairytale.

The Second Amendment is a collective right rather than an individual right. Conservative Chief Justice Rehnquist called the whole charade around the debate of the Second Amendment as "one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud on the American people."*

*[See Robert Hardaway (2002) "The Inconvenient Militia Clause of the Second Amendment: Why the Supreme Court Declines to Resolve the Debate over the Right to Bear Arms," Available at]

What is happening in your life?

Only 8 articles and 6 authors in the last month and a half! All those contributions have been interesting and informative. I hope even mine have been. But gee whiz, that doesn't occupy much of my free time to cover those few articles. I admit, I've not been a very prolific contributor, either. I'm gitten a little long in the tooth and lazy. We had a record good wheat harvest, but a very dissappointing fall crop harvest. Fair wear and tear caused me to need shoulder surgery, as soon as we completed the fall harvest. The Doctor told me yesterday that I could quit wearing the arm sling, so that should allow me to get a little more serious about attacking the keyboard and sharing my opinions and observations.

What happened to our lively group of people that were willing to share their opinions and ideas? We used to have several articles and comments nearly every day. Does anyone know what happened to the 'comment' feature and how to fix it?

The 'fiscal cliff', 'gun issue', 'gender identity', 'world conflicts', 'sports', 'entertainment', 'hobbies' and many many other subjects are of interest. Sometimes our frustrations concerning how society addresses and handles these subjects can make us negative. But, we need to share those frustrations as well as the positive things we see in society.

Dialogue and debate are important in keeping us involved in community, national, and world affairs.

The tragedy in Newtown, Conneticut and the perceived 'fiscal cliff' should generate a lively discussion on cause and solution. Interesting programs and events of the Holiday Season help us realize that there are many positive things available for us to enjoy and share with others.

When the news first broke on Dec. 18, 2012, that a man was shooting people in a grade school in Newtown, Connecticut, I, as did others across the country, tuned to the cable news programs to try to find out what was going on. The first news reports were full of speculation by new anchors and analysts. As it turned out, much of the speculation turned out to be full of errors. Among those errors was the report that the shooter was Adam Lanza's brother. Lanza who carried his brother's ID, was a young man who lived with his mother Nancy Lanza in Newtown. Other reports that turned out to be incorrect were that Adam Lanza had been a student at the school where he shot the children and school personnel, and that Nancy Lanza was a teacher at the school. Reporters erroneously reported that this was the reason Adam Lanza was allowed into to the school.
The report that really caused my heart to sink, once I had taken in the fact that twenty young students and six teachers and school administrators had been shot, was that the shooter had been diagnosed with a "personality disorder, which some reporters called Asperger's syndrome, a report that has yet to be confirmed.

Guns. Mental Health. Violence.

Great Bend, Kan. Let me start by saying I am a gun owner. I grew up with guns. I use to hunt regularly.

Let me add, the NRA blew it yesterday. They blew it big time. They had a chance to address our nation to make some changes. They had the podium and attention of many gun owners in America.

Responsibility is lacking in our Country. We have had numerous shootings this year where young men obtain weapons from family members/friends. Many people in this Country own guns. Most will never shoot anyone. Some will. Those that do, have easy access to guns.

Many of these young men have displayed mental illness/anger previous to the shooting tirades. Many of their family members were aware and chose not to lock up their guns.

Tom Hayden, a leader of the student new left and antiwar movement in the sixties and a long-term activist, writer, and thinker for progressive politics, was keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary dinner of the Wichita Peace and Social Justice Center on Dec. 7 2012.

Friends University political science professor Russell Fox has written an insightful post on Hayden and his Wichita talk.

Here is Hayden's speech. (He also spent about an hour answering questions and then mixed informally, signing his books and visiting.)

[Dec 14 update: The first version of the video had some missing audio. It should be included in this take.]

Flim-Flam Democracy

SALINA, Kan. - Imagine a letter signed, "Your Boss." He/she would have your attention, yes? So consider a letter sent by the boss portrayed in the movie "Queen of Versailles."

For those not lucky enough to see the recent documentary, here's the story: Time-share magnate and multi-millionaire David Siegel marries his third and much-younger dream-trophy-wife, Mrs. America Jacqueline. They proceed to have 7 children, because they can. With servant help.

They begin building the largest house in the U.S. It's 90,000 square feet, modeled on the Palace of Versailles and built, symbolically enough, on reclaimed swamp land. Not exactly sand, but close. Five million dollars worth of gorgeous marble lies in the basement, awaiting installation.

But suddenly, the system seizes up.

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About This Page

This is an archive page containing all stories published in Kansas Free Press in December 2012. These are listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the previous archive and January 2013 is the next one.

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