Ban Guns, Not Sodas

Ban Guns, Not Sodas








You’ve probably heard that that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban Big Gulps and other oversized sugary drinks.  I don’t drink pop unless it’s mixed with rum or vodka and can get through my day without any caffeine so if this bill were to happen in Chicago or nationwide, it wouldn’t really affect my daily living.  But I worry about what is next after the big drinks that are terrible for you.

I love ice cream.  And M&M’s too.  When I don’t exercise self control, I’ll happily eat a pint of Haggen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s.  But that’s my decision.  I know these products aren’t healthy and I don’t care.  They taste great.  And while I work out an hour a day to make myself feel better about my terrible eating choices, if I didn’t that really doesn’t harm anyone else.

The reality is that most food out there is bad for you.  White bread is like poison.  A chicken Caesar salad is more fattening than a cheeseburger.  Even chicken and ground turkey are high in cholesterol.  So if we don’t stop banning things that only harm one person then where are we going to draw the line?   I worry about the day that my king size bag of M&M’s will cost me more in taxes than it does in product.

None of this is like banning or taxing cigarettes although the reasons the Government does so are probably the same.  In their minds, they are probably saving you from slowly killing yourself by making cigarettes cost so much and prohibiting where you can use them.  I think the taxes against cigarettes are absurd, but I’m all in favor of preventing people from smoking around me or my kids.  2nd hand smoke can harm.  When my child sees you drinking a slurpee, the only harm is me having to deal with his whining after I tell him for the 10th time that he can’t have one.

This doesn’t mean that the Government shouldn’t educate or encourage good choices.  My son won’t ever eat at McDonalds again because he heard about pink slime.  His classmate became a pescaterian when he learned how cows and pigs are killed.  I’ve avoided some food purchases after reading how many calories are in an item.  But every now and then I order a milkshake even though I know it’s just a big glass of melted ice cream that will fill me with regret after the initial elation.

If the Government really wants to take away rights that people have grown accustomed to, they should get some balls and finally enact common sense gun legislation.  It hasn’t received a ton of play, but I found it shocking that a recent report showed that in 2009 ten states had more gun deaths than car deaths (Indiana was 735 to 715 and Michigan was at 1,095 to 977).   Surely some of those gun deaths were self defense just as many of the auto deaths were from some careless person running in the street.   But you can bet that just as many car deaths were prevented by safer cars being designed by car makers, we can save lots of lives if we restrict the types of guns and bullets that can be purchased.  An honest person will acknowledge that the 2nd amendment did not imagine a world where a gun could fire hundreds of rounds a minute or have bullets that could pierce body armor.

If you feel the need to have a hand gun in your home, I have no problem if that makes you feel safer.  If you want to participate in the “sport” of hunting, I don’t get the thrill of shooting Bambi, but go and own a shotgun if that’s what you want to do.  But to demand the right to own a weapon that can kill scores of people in minutes or pierce the bullet proof vest of a cop makes no sense to me.  Sure we can imagine that there is a day when your home may be under such great attack by robbers that you would need such force.  But it is almost always imagined and never real.  You don’t ever hear of situations where a high caliber glock solved a problem that a gun which can only shoot six bullets at a time could not (gun nuts, please spare me the correction on how these guns work, we all get the idea of what I’m saying).

I’m not in favor of banning all guns everywhere and I know that the “bad guys” have guns and would ignore rules put in place to limit them.  But if you stop producing bullets that pierce bullet proof vests, eventually they will run out.  And while you might feel better having these bullets, I feel worse that gang bangers and drug dealers can kill cops who are trying to stop them.  Same holds true if we outlaw manufacturing guns that can spray bullets.  This won’t stop every gun death, just as we’ll never stop everyone from driving drunk or reckless.  But the goal should be to minimize deaths.

Beyond that, what is really so wrong about making people jump through some hoops to own a gun?  Training classes?  That makes sense.  Preventing someone from owning an arsenal of guns?  Show that there is a valid purpose for having them and you should get them, otherwise you don’t.  Require background checks and a renewal of permits and training?  You bet.  And while I’ve heard all of the arguments for concealed carry, how many shootings have occurred because someone with a gun made a bad decision in a heated moment?  When Gabby Giffords was shot, Arizona law would have allowed her shooter to hold his gun at his side while he waited in line and the police could have only legally intervened if he pointed the gun at her or they had reason to believe he would.  Now that is nuts.

I’ve lived in Australia where guns are mostly banned and any shooting in the nation would be national news.  There is still violence of course, but after a gun massacre woke up the nation, the number of deaths from violence have plummeted and crime has gone down as well.

Ironically, many Republican politicians have supported Mayor Bloomberg in one way or another, but you know none of them would limit the rights to do anything with a gun.  I’m more nervous about a bad decision maker with a gun than someone who overdoses on a Pepsi or Blizzard.  If it can’t hurt me or my kids, do what you want.  If it can, there should be restrictions. 

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  • fb_avatar

    Over,250,000, 000 Gun's in America, yes that's 250 Million Guns in America. Over 311 Million American Citizens are in America. You will always have some kind of a Crazy person doing some kind of a terrible Crime. You simply can not Ban Guns, its a Constitutional Right... called the Second Amendment. Chicago and D.C. tried and currently, Chicago has a Murder Rate going thru the roof. Illinois is the only State to NOT have a concealed Carry Law and is now known as The Criminal Friendly State. Ask a Syrian how good it is to be unarmed when gangs come to your home intent on Killing you and hundreds more. Ask yourself... if a crazed killer comes into a place and starts killing people, do I want to be unarmed and die cowering under a desk... calling 911 and waiting for my turn to get shot. I want CCW!

  • In reply to Dan Cox:

    OK, I will spare you the details of how these guns work. I would note that revolvers come in larger calibres than most semi-automatics. I would ask whether or not you favor mandatory background checks and licensing to vote. Shouldn't we have to jump through some hoops there as well?

    There is nothing more dangerous to this country than a mentally ill voter. How about requiring mandatory training, background checks and licensing to exercise free speech or to peacefully assemble?

    Why does one right get handled one way and not the rest?

    An honest person will acknowledge that the 2nd amendment did not imagine a world where body armor could give an attacker an advantage. Should we ban body armor as well?

  • In reply to jpvoodoo:

    Well, I assume you are intelligent enough to figure out the difference between restricting opinions and restricting the ability of someone who doesn't like an opinion from easily harming that person as well as police officers, soldiers or anyone else that could defend us. Again, I'm not saying get rid of all guns, but I've yet to hear a valid reason why criminals or anyone else that isn't a law authority should have access to heavier fire power than the authorities or would even need it. Yes if this was Syria I would want every conceivable weapon in my home. And if it was the moon I'd want an oxygen hookup.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    "but I've yet to hear a valid reason why criminals or anyone else that isn't a law authority should have access to heavier fire power than the authorities or would even need it."

    The public does not have access to heavier firepower than the police or military. If anything, the military and police have access to equal and even greater firepower than the public does.

    Who are you to decide on behalf of the entire population what type of firepower is "needed." We don't have a bill of needs, we have a bill of rights. Rights have risks. Our country is unique in that its founders decided that we would be a country that errs on the side of liberty over security and that these risks are worthwhile for the high level of personal liberty we share. We accept these risks when we decide not to renounce our American citizenship.

  • In reply to jpvoodoo:

    Who are you to decide? Or anyone? The point is that if the Government is going to regulate things they perceive as dangerous or unhealthy, MY OPINION, is that I'd rather have them regulate guns that do way more than any sane person could ever need. I don't agree that risks others can take that could harm me are worthwhile and this is something you and the other alleged constitutional scholars need to re-assess.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    I can agree with you that the soft drink ban and other such bans are ridiculous. It's a matter of personal choice, just like what type of gun or calibre, or magazine we prefer is a matter of personal choice.

    On being an alleged constitutional scholar. This is clearly trying to rub it in my face that you chose to go to law school and I didn't. This smacks of elitism, in that it suggests that I'm not capable of reading the constitution. Its interpretation should not require a scholar, it's written simply enough. We should not have to channel dead people to figure out what they meant. This reliance on precedent rather than the actual text is a tool for "scholars" to manipulate its meaning rather than uphold the text as it is written.

    If there is a willingness to restrict what weapons can be kept, then there is a process to change it directly in the ammendment itself. I don't see anyone doing that. I think the constitution should say what it means and mean what it says, not be subject to re-interpretation every few years.

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    In reply to Michael Helfand:

    Michael Helfand, I would be willing to wager that you have never been the victim of an Armed Assault, Stalking, Rape, Home Invasion, Gang Attack or Car Jacking. That having been said... who are you to decide, or anyone, to decide how much of a weapon I need to defend myself? The whole purpose of the Second Amendment was to give a Right to the People... that the Government could not infringe upon. Read the Constitution, read the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in the recent Cases that struck down a 28 year ban of hand guns in Chicago and D.C. By your own admittance, you got a C in your Constitution Class and the people who were running it , did not teach you about the Constitution. You have been trained to be a Socialist, that is illiterate of your own Rights... what a fool!

  • In reply to Dan Cox:

    Be nice Dan. Just because he got a C in a class, doesn't mean his understanding of the subject necessarily remains poor for eternity. He could have studied the subject in greater depth later and formed his opinion, we don't know. Sometimes when I did poorly in a subject, I became even more determined to learn about it.

    I thought about commenting about it too, but thought it would be as cheap a shot as when he called me an "alleged constitutional scholar" and I wasn't going to return the disfavor.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    Can you provide an example of how civilians have "access to heavier firepower than the authorities?" It is in fact illegal to have armor pierciing bullets, and is also not legal to own plate body armor. I don't understand what you are complaining about. Let me also point out that the 2nd amendment is not a "god-given" right. It is a natural and fundamental right of all people to have the ability to exercise self defense. Please read this analysis to show the irrelavence of comparing gun and automobile deaths;

  • I got a C (barely) in the one constitutional law class I took and they don't actually teach the constitution in law school unless you seek it out. What I was referring to is that people throw out the 2nd amendment without knowing that there can and have been limits to it. For example, there was the assault weapons ban which was ruled constitutional.

    Bigger point, again, is that if any lawmaker is going to ban something that harms, I see no point in it happening unless it can harm me and others. So drinking is legal, driving is legal, drunk driving is not. Guns are legal, but we don't let people hold grenade launchers outside of Midway Airport. There are reasonable restrictions that can and should be used that still allow people to protect themselves if they feel the need.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    "I got a C (barely) in the one constitutional law class I took"
    ...way to throw your credibility out the window. The bill of rights does not grant rights, it merely protects pre-existing rights. If you read the way every amendment is written it is clear that all the rights are presumed to already exist. It doesn't grant anything, but protect something from being taken away.

    "So drinking is legal, driving is legal, drunk driving is not. Guns are legal, but we don't let people hold grenade launchers outside of Midway Airport"
    ...Yes and it's illegal to murder someone. But when danger is seconds away, the police are only several minutes away at best. It has been admitted and declared many times that the police are not responsible or liable for protecting you. They usually only clean up the mess after a murder. Personal protection is a personal responsibilty. The state of Illonois infringes on a right that "shall not be infringed" by not allowing citizens to protect them outside of their home. In DC vs. Heller, the judge declared that the 2nd amendment does extend outside of the home. All these "reasonable restrictsions" (buzz words to sway the ignorant) you talk about don't actually do anything. I'll try to find the study, but I read one the other day showing that almost half of all assaults and home invasions involve more than one assailant, and you're saying I don't need more than 6 rounds in my gun? I have to lose the tactical advantage I have in my home in an effort to protect my life, family, and property against someone who wishes to do harm against them because you are scared of guns?

  • Guns are legal, shooting people indiscrininately is not. But we don't restrict rum, but leave beer restriction free.

    There can and have been restrictions on guns, but the proper place to do that is not through acts passed into law, but in the constitution itself with full ratification of the states. The constitution is supposed to supersede any other law made. If you don't want me to have an ICBM, put it in the constitution. Not that I could afford one anyway.

    The program you are using right now is written in an english-like language that is precise enough that its instruction (interpretation) is unambiguous.

    We can write laws so precisely worded that they can't be misinterpreted. It seems I put more faith in "scholars" than you do. If there is a problem in interpretation, you fix it. You don't wait 100 years after the 14th ammendment is ratified to test whether a minority person can sit next to a non-minority in a classroom. If free "speech" really means free "expression", then change the word to expression. It should be the job of the legislative branch to write laws clear enough to put the judicial branch out of business. The second ammendment says "arms", but doesn't say either which ones we can have or which ones we cannot. Language matters!

  • In reply to jpvoodoo:

    "But we don't restrict rum, but leave beer restriction free."...FALSE. Liqour and beer are restricted by age as well as location. There are ample places where you are not allowed to abide or have an open container. You are not allowed to walk down the street with an open beer in your hand.

  • In reply to Chewbacca Defense:

    There are ample places where you are not allowed to abide or have an open container. You are not allowed to walk down the street with an open beer in your hand.

    This is true. But it fails to address my point that there is not a separate standard based upon how strong the alcohol content is. Rum has more "firepower" than beer in terms of alcohol content but it is not restricted moreso based upon that.

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    jpvoodoo, do you read the comments before bantering on? I am a Gun Owner, NRA Member, Second Amendment Foundation Supporter, I Marched on Springfield with IGOLD and I go out to the Range about every two weeks. I am Going to Chicago on Friday to the 7th District Federal Court of Appeals to observe the Shepard v Madigan Case, It is in regards to Concealed Carry in Illinois, of which I am a Strong Supporter. F.Y.I. 500 S&W Magnum is currently the biggest Cal. for Revolver and the Semi Auto... Desert Eagle. Brothers in Arms should not quibble, but rather fight the Anti- Gunners with facts that they can not dispute.

  • In reply to Dan Cox:

    I wasn't "bantering" at you. I was bantering at Michael Helfind, the author. I for one am confident that a constitutional ammendment would never pass ratification. My point was, if some legislator wants to propose restrictions on the second ammendment, then the only proper way is through a constitutional ammendment, then they must change the constitution itself. My view is that we are bound not by an interpretation of the constitution or by precedent, but by the actual text itself. If the interpretation is absurd, then it needs to be changed at the legislative level. Put simply, the legislature should be legislating better and as a result, the supreme court should find it necessary to interpret far less often.

    "F.Y.I. 500 S&W Magnum is currently the biggest Cal. for Revolver and the Semi Auto... Desert Eagle. Brothers in Arms should not quibble, but rather fight the Anti- Gunners with facts that they can not dispute."

    Michael's post discussed his belief that the public had access to more powerful weaponry than police and military, which simply is not true. If your local police dept chooses not to buy 30 rd magazines or not to buy higher calibres they are free to do so, but both are available to them.

    So I wasn't quibbling with you. I just felt Michael was misinformed about the supposed disparity of firepower between law enforcement and that of the public. If you look, my first comment is under yours, but level with it. That means it was a brand new comment unrelated to yours, which was intended for the articles's author.

  • I feel this whole article is a troll, but I'll bite anyway.
    First of all, thanks for responding to other posts...I do appreciate that.
    If you are willing to allow someone a 'weapon' that can kill a deer, you should know that any common hunting rifle is capable of going through body armor...Police vests are usually designed to stop pistol rounds, and will do very little with any kind of rifle round. One of the most common "assault weapon" round (the AR-15) shoots a bullet that many states consider too small to hunt with.
    You ask "how many shootings have occurred because someone with a gun made a bad decision in a heated moment?" You should look that up. Although I know I have a bias, I can remember reading two or three in the last 5 years...I've read many more stories about the Police shooting when they were not suppose to. Along those same lines, many police officers rarely use more ammunition than any common revolver...should we limit them based on the statistics of how many shots they fire in an engagement? Many people think you should not be able to own an "assault weapon" because its sole purpose is to kill? That is like saying no one should own a sports car because its sole purpose is to speed. Lots of people die when breaking speed limits.
    Why should you need to show a need for a gun? I try and say this open mindedly, so think of it this way. To carry a gun and not need it hurts no one. That is usually the case. If you've been to other states you may have well sat within feet of someone at a restaurant that was carrying a gun and you never even knew it. However, to suddenly realize you need a gun, and put in for a permit, wait, jump through more hoops and finally get it might be to late. It would be like being in your car, realizing your about to crash and THEN trying to put on a seat belt. Wearing it all the time doesn't hurt if you comfortable with it, why not? I agree that training for that is a must, much like driving.
    I'm going to end with this. A hard core gun rights person usually argues that "More guns=Less crime." I'm going to argue that "More guns ≠ More crime." In states that have gone from more restrictive to less restrictive laws, there is always the prediction that heated arguments are going to turn to blood baths. No state that I can find has shown a rise in crime after the less restrictive laws are passed. Some DO show a drop, but could simply be a correlation. Thanks for your time, I look forward to reading your response.

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    To listen to an uneducated fool, that has no real understanding of the Constitution or Bill of Rights, is simply stupid. Every American owes a Debt to our founders of this great Nation and to the Veterans of every war fought by the USA. Thomas Jefferson spoke of fools, like this Lawyer. " Your Rights will not be lost to an Enemy that has invaded our shores, but rather by a BUREAUCRAT, that swipes them away with the stroke of a pen". Only a Civilian populace that can be convinced to give away their Rights for exchange of Security, will let this happen... and they deserve neither! Jefferson was right and you Sir, are a Traitor!

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    well said dan cox!the ones that always want to ban guns don`t know the first thing about them and are the first to cry and complain when they need them!

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    better yet,ban stupid people that want to ban guns!

  • The issue that really gets to me is that the anti gunners never use facts. Not one valid fact or study was cited in this article. It's all speculation and assumptions based on irrational fear. The truth is they don't like to use facts and studies (or at least ones that are skewed using incomplete information or inflated numbers) because they tend to support the pro-gun argument. It is indeed a fact that states with gun laws that allow more freedom to individuals have less crime.

  • Here's an example of more than 6 rounds needed to incapacitate an attacker pointing a gun at a victim.

  • In reply to Chewbacca Defense:

    And here's an example of a concealed permit holder killing innocent people for no reason. And here's another where someone had more weapons that one person should ever be allowed, And another,

    And we can play this game all day. Do guns save lives at times? Sure. Do they take more than 30,000 lives a year in the U.S. alone? That's a fact. It's not unreasonable to look at that figure and say "What can we do to lessen it?" But you argue, incorrectly IMO and the Courts, that the 2nd amendment is so broad and absolute that no weapon should ever be banned. Under that line of thinking, if someone got a gun that could spray a chemical weapon, we couldn't stop them until they used it to harm people at which time we could react. I doubt you really advocate that, but that is your line of thinking. I know I won't convince you that something pro-active is sensible if it's restrictive, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

    Beyond that, can we all agree that banning junk food is a joke?

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    In reply to Michael Helfand:

    "Do they take more than 30,000 lives a year in the U.S. alone? That's a fact. It's not unreasonable to look at that figure and say "What can we do to lessen it?"

    Which, of course, sounds completely reasonable because, as inanimate objects, guns...referred to as "they"...autonomously take 30,000 lives per year regardless of apparently inconsequential human motives or influence. Those deaths could NEVER happen in the absence of firearms. In addition, guns ALWAYS: 1) induce homicidal/suicidal tendencies in anyone who handles them, 2) "go off" unpredictably of their own accord, and 3) hand themselves over directly from criminal possession to the authorities in strict deference to any gun ban.

    Automobile accidents account for roughly the same number of deaths each year. The ownership and operation of automobiles is not a right, so why not ban the "privilege" first? Stop half-assing this thing! Be reasonable!

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    Yes banning junk food is a joke. But can you agree that gun rights has nothing to do with it and you created a terrible analogy, and in the process you said some ignorant things about guns and gun rights; thus the storm of people attacking everything you said about guns and ignored that whole part about junk food in your article?

  • In reply to Chewbacca Defense:

    Bless your heart.

  • In reply to Michael Helfand:

    Bless the day you have to defend yourself or family. I hope that day never comes. Please don't confuse your sense of security with denying others their natural right to self protection from those that would willingly do us arm.

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    In reply to Michael Helfand:

    Banning anything to save the public from itself is a joke. We all know it's not the cup that makes you fat, it's the action of a person.

    Same with guns, Michael. Guns don't take lives; they're inanimate objects. Anyone who says guns kill is anthropomorphizing. People kill. Some use guns to do this. Some use knives, some use cars, some use their bare fists.

    It's discouraging to attempt further discourse, simply because you're exercising the same old tired canards that have been repeatedly - and successfully - rebutted. Quickly: 1) guns don't kill, people do - we already went over that; 2) guns don't save lives, people do, whether or not they in possession of a gun; 3) no one here is arguing that any and every weapon should be considered legal under the 2nd Amendment. Any high school debater can see you're setting up a strawman; 4) we have guns that can spray chemical weapons. I carry a can of bear spray on every hike; 5) you are right; we can throw statistics at each other all day and not prove a thing. That's why I asked in another post, specifically, how taking guns away from law-abiding citizens will reduce crime. I don't want stats, I want logic.

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    "There is still violence of course, but after a gun massacre woke up the nation, the number of deaths from violence have plummeted and crime has gone down as well."

    You're a lawyer; please try to be factual.

    Overall crime rates have dropped, but violent crime against others is on the rise in Australia. Burglary rates are down, but armed robbery is up, for example.

    Since you admit that the bad guys who have guns won't obey any gun laws, why would you support passing laws that would limit the rights of others to protect themselves from these very people who don't obey the laws?

    Keep this in mind: those who forfeit the freedom to defend themselves must rely on the State for that protection.

    Places where handgun ownership is severely restricted are also those places with the highest violent crime rates.

    I won't attack you ad hominem, but I'd at least like to know how you think taking a self-defense tool away from a law-abiding citizen will reduce crime.

  • In reply to Naught Forya:

    Agreed. Every "sensible, reasonable restriction" I see proposed about guns doesn't do anything to adress illigal guns. Even several members MAIG has admitted that they want to ban guns all together. They're not against illegal guns, their against guns, which is disingenuous and deceitful. If you want to propose something to that actually impacts the ability for people to obtain illegal firearms then I'm all ears, otherwise you're simply proposing the inability to a law-abiding individual to defend himself with a tool against someone who will have that tool, regardless if it's legal or not. Criminals love gun free zones, aka defenseless target zones. Only the person who chooses to obey the law will respect the don't bring guns in here sign. Any place that is a gun free zone should be required to have armed security. It's not a coincidence that mass shootings generally occur in gun free zones. If you're going to disarm me and remove my right to self defense, then you should be responsible for my safety.

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    In reply to Chewbacca Defense:

    Well said, and if I may add... Supreme Court Ruling found that the Police ar not responsible for your safety from imminent harm, but rather... you are!

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    In reply to Chewbacca Defense:

    Well, it's over, Chewie. I was hoping for some discourse, but he ducked out of here pretty quick. Looks like he used your defense with that last comment.

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    "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall NOT be infringed upon"
    Regulation of any form concerning any weapons is an INFRINGEMENT. So technically, all of the laws banning the general public from having large, fast, and accurate weaponry is illegal, according to the supreme law of the land. Assault weapon bans, background check requirements, licensing, etc. are ILLEGAL!

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    "An honest person will acknowledge that the 2nd amendment did not imagine a world where a gun could fire hundreds of rounds a minute or have bullets that could pierce body armor."

    Does the 1st Amendment imagine a world with TV, radio, cell phones, computers, and the Internet?
    In case the author is unaware, the majority of rifle rounds will "pierce" body armour. Should we ban all those firearms that can?

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