[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
70°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 10
1941 - Three days after Pearl Harbor attack, 165th and 185th Infantry Regiments assigned to Saugus; Edison power substation guarded 24/7 [timeline]


Out of Left Field | Commentary by Charlie Vignola
| Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012

charlievignolaI’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday, no matter what their denomination.

Sadly, the holiday season will never be the same to the people of Newtown, Conn., who lost so many of their loved ones in one of the worst mass shootings in modern history.

What is it about firearms that is so appealing to Americans – more so than the citizens of any other nation on earth? They’re so appealing that we as a nation are willing to suffer through more than 30,000 gun-related deaths per year just to keep them legal and plentiful.

It all dates back to the birth of America, a perilous time when foreign invaders threatened our very shores, inspiring our Founding Fathers to add the Second Amendment to the Constitution: “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.” That’s it, the whole thing, that one sentence.

You’ll notice the amendment opens with the phrase, “a well regulated militia,” framing the specific context in which we had the right to bear arms. To this day, there’s debate over the interpretation of this, although I’m not sure how or why.

It seems pretty self-explanatory, doesn’t it? At a time when we were fighting for our right to become a nation and enemy soldiers posed a threat on U.S. soil, the founders made it an enumerated right that guns could be in the possession of a “well regulated militia.” This was at a time when we didn’t have a National Guard, a standing army or even local police forces as we now know them. So of course it made sense for a well-regulated militia to be able to carry guns to defend our nascent country.

But it’s not 1776 anymore, and we don’t have Redcoats on the streets of America threatening our families. Nothing in that one sentence that makes up the entirety of the Second Amendment says you have the right to a lethal weapon if you are not part of a “well regulated militia.”

“Well regulated” is specific language, not a random phrase, and the key word is “regulated.” You know how Republicans detest regulations, and how they’re always looking for ways to deregulate everything? Well, the Founding Fathers didn’t care. They thought firearms were important enough to regulate, and they said so quite clearly.

It’s ironic that the people who are so paranoid about how dangerous the world is insist on allowing more and deadlier guns on the streets of America year after year – more than 300 million and counting – which, of course, makes the world more dangerous, thus justifying their demands for more guns. It’s a sick feedback loop, a Kafka-esque, self-fulfilling prophecy.

Look. You’re so concerned about self-defense? That’s the real reason you want to have the right to carry a gun? Fine. We’ve had tremendous breakthroughs in non-lethal weapons over the last 20 years, everything from tasers and guns that shoot rubber bullets to sonic weapons. If that’s your big bugaboo, let’s outlaw all lethal weapons in America unless you’re a cop, soldier, federal agent or security guard, and allow people to carry state-of-the-art, non-lethal weapons that will get the same job done without the possibility of killing innocent bystanders or committing mass murders. Would that satisfy the more reasonable members of the NRA?

What about hunters and their God-given right to kill innocent animals for food and sport? Well, maybe we could have them check out GPS-enabled guns from local departments of fish and game for use during the hunting season, sort of like a public library system for firearms, so we’d know who has them and what they’re being used for.

And perhaps as Chris Rock has suggested, bullets should be outrageously expensive, so people would really have to think twice before firing them.

Granted, these might not be perfect solutions, but they’re a start.

What about the more paranoid members of the NRA? The ones who listen to Alex Jones podcasts, don’t understand what’s so weird about the show “Doomsday Preppers” and are anxiously waiting for the black helicopters to usher them to FEMA camps where they’ll be chemically sterilized and brainwashed?

For those with more active imaginations, I’d like to point out a few facts. You know that ever-rising military budget you’ve always supported and the War on Terror you’ve backed all these years? Well, thanks to those, America has secret prisons, whisper-quiet predator drones that can attack civilian populations, warrantless wiretapping of all Americans’ phone calls and emails, not to mention satellites that can read a license plate from space, tanks and aircraft carriers, stealth bombers and battleships, and chemical and nuclear weapons. All of this courtesy of you, the American taxpayer.

Beyond that, thanks to the rise and popularity of social media, more than 1 billion people on Facebook have willingly given access to their circles of friends, political leanings and actual GPS locations at any given moment, all of which can be demanded by the government thanks to the Patriot Act that was rammed through after 9/11.

So if America suddenly becomes an Orwellian tyranny overnight? Good luck to Billy Bob and his good ol’ boy army storming D.C. with their rifles and having to contend with all of that.

Here’s the bottom line: Guns make our country more dangerous, and the more guns on the streets, the more dangerous it is. It’s not a debatable point. That’s why there are more gun-related deaths in America than in any other nation on earth by a factor of 10. It’s also true that we can’t just magically wish away the 300 million guns that already exist in America any more than we can magically deport the millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in America. So, what to do?

You’ve already heard the common-sense solutions, the ones we can agree on immediately: Outlaw assault weapons, ban high-volume magazines, and most importantly, close the gun show loophole that allows four out of every 10 guns in America to be purchased without a background check – a flaw so egregious that al-Qaeda members are encouraged by their leaders to take advantage of it.

Will addressing these issues solve the problem of gun violence in America? No, but they don’t have to. All they have to do is help minimize the problems, and just by doing that, we could save lives. Hell, if we save even one life, it’s worth it, isn’t it?

Obviously there are other contributing factors; cultural issues and dealing with mental health play big parts, as well. The truth is, we’ll never be able to regulate fully what’s in people’s minds, nor do we want to as a free society. But we are able to regulate consumer products, which is all that guns are, and on that score we can definitely make a meaningful difference.

The only question is: Do we have the collective will to see it through?

 

Charlie Vignola describes himself as a former College Republican turned liberal Democrat.  A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1999, he works in the motion picture industry and loves his wife and kids.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

8 Comments

  1. Sooo….”Guns make our country more dangerous”, but “Will addressing these issues solve the problem of gun violence in America? No”…

    Just curious, then, what’s the point of your article, other than another baseless attack on good people owning guns , devoid of statistics and wrought with emotion?

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. 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

    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good”– George Washington

    “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

    Men trained in arms from their infancy, and animated by the love of liberty, will afford neither a cheap or easy conquest.– From the Declaration of the Continental Congress, July 1775.

  2. Kevitivity says:

    First, some perspective: Swimming pools kill 100 times more children each year than guns (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2001/07/27/levittpoolsvsguns/).

    Mr Vignol, Like freedom of speech, gun ownership in America is a civil right. Our founding fathers, like most Americans today (thank God) understood how important it is for a free citizenry to be able to defend itself.

    I urge you to move beyond your knee-jerk and emotional response to the Newtown tradgedy and instead focus on the real issue at hand, which is how we as a nation deal with mental illness in this country. Disarming the good guys helps no one.

  3. Kimji says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful commentary!

  4. Kevitivity says:

    There is far more evidence that anti-gun politicians are more dangerous than guns. New data, gathered by the Sac Bee, shows that even as gun sales are up dramatically in CA, gun deaths are down. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/27/5079151/california-gun-sales-increase.html

  5. DMV says:

    Progressive liberals make the U.S. more dangerous.. Since this is an opinion piece..

  6. DMV says:

    and again define Militia.. You use the term as if you know what it is.. Do you?

  7. Dennis says:

    Douchebag liberal.

  8. c.b. says:

    Should’t liberals of all people realize that banning things doesn’t make them disappear? Or are they too stoned with their illegally purchased drugs to understand

Leave a Reply


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
It is hard to believe that 2018 is already coming to an end.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
In her December message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and details some fun family events coming up.
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
Most people with Medicare will pay the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which will be $135.50 next year, an increase of $1.50 over 2018. Your Part B premium is based on your income. People whose tax returns show income equal to or higher than $85,000 pay higher premiums. These income-adjusted premiums apply to about 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
It makes good sense to review your coverage each year. Make sure your plan still is a good fit for you in terms of cost, coverage, and quality.
Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
Local entrepreneurs, industry leaders and business owners are looking for employees who can communicate clearly, whether writing or speaking; effectively collaborate on teams; and quickly make decisions that benefit both the company and its customers.
Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018
Canyon Country is known as a major residential area in our City, as well as a popular commercial and retail spot.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The WiSH Education Foundation ends 2018 on a high note, having supported local public schools with more than $235,000 in support.
WiSH Foundation 2018 Donations to SCV Schools Top $235K
The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to announce the hiring of Anthony Harris as its Director of Athletics.
Anthony Harris is New Athletics Director at UAV
The city of Santa Clarita will partner with the American Red Cross to provide a community blood drive at The Centre on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dec. 13: City, Red Cross to Host Blood Drive at The Centre
Senator Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, introduced Senate Bill 53 (SB 53), legislation that will strengthen transparency in state agencies and stop agencies like the California High-Speed Rail Authority from taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to hold closed-door meetings without public involvement.
Wilk Intro’s Bill to Boost Transparency in High-Speed Rail, Other Agencies
Texas-born, Canyon Country-based blues singer-keyboardist Teresa James and her band The Rhythm Tramps have earned their first Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category for their 10th and latest album, "Here in Babylon."
Canyon Country’s Teresa James Lands Grammy Nomination
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station arrested a couple from Palmdale and a Simi Valley man on drug charges in the Park and Ride lot at Golden Valley Road off Highway 14 on Sunday, according to officials.
Deputies Arrest 3 on Drug Charges at GV Park and Ride Lot
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Dec. 10-16, 2018.
‘GLOW,’ ‘Seal Team,’ ‘Killer Contractor’ Now Filming in SCV
Law enforcement and Coroner's officials discovered more human remains Saturday morning in the Santa Clara River bed in Newhall, near where a human skull was discovered Wednesday.
LASD, Coroner Investigating Human Skull, Remains Found in Newhall
Several CalArtians are among the nominees announced Friday for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards to be handed out Feb. 10.
CalArtians Score Music, Tech, Graphics Grammy Nominations
1941 - Three days after Pearl Harbor attack, 165th and 185th Infantry Regiments assigned to Saugus; Edison power substation guarded 24/7 [timeline]
1983 - U.S. release of John Carpenter's "Christine;" blew up fake gas station in Valencia [watch scene (R)]
1941 - Julius Dietzmann family of Castaic arrested as German enemy aliens [story]
Valencia-based H2scan has announced the Gen 5 System, a first of its kind hydrogen sensor package to help utilities monitor and protect their distribution transformers.
Valencia’s H2scan Unveils New Transformer Monitoring System
CalArts graduates are among the nominees for Golden Globe Awards the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced on Monday, recognizing excellence in domestic and foreign film and television.
CalArtians ‘Glow’ in 76th Golden Globes Nominations
The California Department of Education and the State Board of Education have launched the second version of the California School Dashboard, a website that gives parents, students and educators access to valuable school and district data.
State Launches 2018 School Dashboard; Hart Schools Score Well
The TMU Mustangs played a dominant defensive effort Thursday, holding Hope International scoreless in the third quarter of what became a 76-47 win.
TMU Women’s Basketball Team Nets Win Over Hope Int’l
The nonprofit Friends of Hart Park, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, will present the 7th Annual Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair at Hart Park on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Dec. 8-9: Holiday Boutique, Craft Fair at Hart Park
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear comments from the public about the proposed Centennial Specific Plan Project at their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 11: Supes May OK Centennial at Tejon Ranch Development
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 11: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Castaic School Board members held their Annual Organizational Meeting on Dec. 6, and elected officers and representatives of the Board for 2019.
Castaic School Board Elects Officers, Reps for 2019
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Friday that Amazon.com Inc. has agreed not to sell force-fed foie gras in California under a consumer protection settlement reached with her office and the Monterey County and Santa Clara County district attorney’s offices.
DA’s, Amazon Settle Force-Fed Foie Gras Online Sales Case
People with mental health issues and dementia who are released from Los Angeles County jails will be given medications and connections to organizations that can keep them from becoming homeless, according to an update of a settlement agreement reached Thursday.
LA County Agrees to More Mental Health Help for Inmates
California Highway Patrol officials have determined Ventura County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Helus died after he was struck by a bullet from a CHP officer's weapon during the Borderline Bar shooting in Thousand Oaks Nov. 7.
CHP: Ventura Sheriff Sgt. Killed by Friendly Fire in Borderline Shooting
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has joined a bipartisan working group of 40 state attorneys general seeking to end illegal robocalls, he announced Friday.
State AG’s Push Feds to Stop Robocalls
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has put out a call for volunteers to help count homeless individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Wednesday night, Jan. 23.
Jan. 23: Volunteers Sought for SCV Homeless Count
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next meetings at City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Dec. 11: Re-elected City Council Members, New Mayor to be Sworn In
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of four new board members joining the 2019 Board of Directors
SCV Chamber of Commerce Adds 4 to Board
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff' Station deputies arrested a North Carolina man on felony and misdemeanor drug charges in Castaic Thursday morning.
North Carolina Man Arrested on Drug Charges in Castaic
As holiday shoppers crowd store and mall parking lots, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reminds Californians to “Save the Space” designated for disabled individuals who legally display disabled person parking placards.
DMV: ‘Save the Space’ for Holiday Shoppers with Disabilities
1921 - William S. Hart marries actress Winifred Westover [story]
Despite affordability challenges, California renters continue to hold homeownership in high regard and aspire to purchase a home eventually, according to a consumer survey recently released by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R).
Survey Finds CA Renters Still Have High Regard for Homeownership
Santa Clarita-based landscaping firm Stay Green, Inc. has been recognized in a statewide competition, bringing home three first-place awards and an Outstanding Achievement award for maintenance projects big and small.
Local Landscape Firm Recognized in Statewide Competition
SAN DIEGO - A group of investors working with Johnson Fistel, LLP, The Concerned Shareholders of Big 5 Group (the "CSB5 Group") believes these are desperate times for Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation.
Investors Make Play for Big 5 Sporting Goods Chain
Sarah Delawder, currently an assistant principal at Valencia High School, will become the assistant principal at Castaic High School.
Hart District Names Assistant Principal for Castaic High School
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Advisory Issued for all LA County Beaches Until Sunday
NORTHRIDGE - Sophomore Terrell Gomez posted a career-high 26 points to go with five 3-pointers while senior Blair Orr registered a career-best 15 points and six rebounds as CSUN Men's Basketball (3-5) defeated Cal State San Marcos, 76-72, on Wednesday evening at The Matadome.
Sophomore Gomez Propels Matadors to Victory