The world will not end Saturday.


Bill G. (not Gates or Gross, another one): “I do not own a gun. I have shot them. I understand their power and danger. I live in an urban area and would not have one in my house because of my children and because I believe that if it were known that I had firearms in my house, I would probably be a greater rather than a lesser target for a break-in. I am politically way left of center. All that being said, I pretty much agree with the NRA. The fact that most anti-gun people overlook is that the right to bear arms is constitutional. We can argue about the ambiguity of the Second Amendment, but that has pretty much been settled. Guns are different than tobacco because we have a constitutional right to keep and bear them. We need to look beyond guns and address the real social problems that lead to urban violence. As a practical matter, I really do not believe that the passage of additional restrictions will make any difference. Gang members and other criminals will continue to get illegal guns and will continue to use them illegally. They should be fully prosecuted for the crimes they commit. We do not need other laws or restrictions on people who wish to lawfully exercise their constitutional rights. The Second Amendment should not be eroded just as the first and fourth should not. There is no hierarchy in the bill of rights.”

☞ But does that mean you’d be okay with no limits, licensing, or safety requirements?

Even for children? Ex-cons? The mentally ill?

How about surface-to-air missiles?

Okay to bring them to the visitors’ gallery at the Capitol?

If any limits are acceptable, then it seems to me it’s a matter of finding a sensible balance. Which may be different in Pittsburgh from what it would be in Wyoming.

And I disagree that the Constitutional question is settled.

“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.”

To me, that says it’s about the Militia necessary to keep us secure. Well, we now have a gigantic professional militia, on land, sea, and air, employed and well-armed to keep us secure.

I also note the phrase “well regulated.” So can we at least regulate it a little?

(The First Amendment notwithstanding, we regulate the right to assembly when public safety is threatened. We require a permit to demonstrate in public spaces. The fire marshal can restrict assembly when overcrowding threatens safety. We restrict speech when public safety is at risk – the right to yell “fire” in a theater. Heck, the quiet car of the Acela has not been ruled unconstitutional. I think it’s hard to argue that assault weapons don’t threaten public safety in Homewood.)


And only three of them had 4G?

Bob Fyfe: “I watched the 3-minute clip about the 100 people on Earth. It stated that only three people have Internet access. I believe that worldwide Internet usage is greater than 25%. This website puts the figure at 28.8%. I’m not sure why there is such a disparity but that’s a pretty sizeable difference. I was also surprised that they listed the number of hungry or malnourished people at twelve. I thought that closer to a third of the world was hungry or starving.”

☞ I found those same things odd. I figured that, for the first, maybe they meant a fast broadband connection in an individual’s home. And on the second, that they must have meant really dangerously hungry. But I share your hunch that numbers are either wrong or misleading.


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