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Donald Day: Pols Need To Grow Some And Repeal The Second Amendment

January 28th, 2013 · 15 Comments · Analysis and Comment

Donald Day is past president of the Bridgeport Firebirds, a fraternal organization that fights for the rights of minority firefighters. He has been active in a number of city issues throughout the decades and isn’t afraid to speak his mind. As proposed gun control legislation moves ahead in the halls of Washington and Hartford, Day shares this commentary that legislation is missing the mark.

I continue to hear talk from our politicians about banning assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines, but nothing about hand guns or the repealing the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution which gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment is an outdated and antiquated document which our ancestors over 200 years ago could not have foreseen what impact it would have on 21st century America. How can America let a document that was written over 200 years ago determine its course in the 21st century?

I am concerned that the politicians of Bridgeport would applaud the fact that one of the largest suppliers of guns in America is the cornerstones of its new project on the East Side of Bridgeport. I read where Rep. Charles Clemons and Rep. Auden Grogins were more concerned with what type of guns Bass Pro would sell as opposed to the fact the Bass Pro is selling guns in the city that they represent and where their constituents live and work. They both were concerned that Bass Pro would sell those assault rifles and not one bit of concern that they sell hand guns. I went back a decade and looked at statistics and found that over 95% of all firearms used in crimes in the City of Bridgeport are handguns and that 100% of all shooting deaths in the City of Bridgeport from 2001 to 2011 were with handguns. Why aren’t they concerned that Bass Pro is putting more instruments of death in their community?

In 1999 Mayor Joseph Ganim filed a lawsuit against gun manufactures and sellers and in that lawsuit it said, “Of the total fatalities attributed to handgun violence in the City, over 80 percent of these victims were African American or Hispanic. Many of those killed by handguns were children under the age of 15. Handgun violence has negatively impacted the lifestyle of children in certain residential communities in the City of Bridgeport.” In fact there were 172 deaths from handguns in Bridgeport from 2001 – 2011 and not one by an assault rifle with a high-capacity ammunition magazine. The Ganim lawsuit went on to say, “The greatest harm that the City of Bridgeport has suffered is the victimization of its citizens, particularly children, who are grievously injured or killed because of the conduct alleged herein of the handgun manufacturers, its distributors, product sellers and their agents.” If that was the case in 1999 one would reasonably ask what has changed since 1999 in Bridgeport that our politicians would now celebrate the arbiter of guns and gun death into its City of Bridgeport.

Let me give you some more facts on handgun deaths, the number of preschoolers (Under the age of 5) killed by guns in 2008 (88) and in 2009 (85) was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2008 (41) and 2009 (48). Black children and teens accounted for 45 percent of all child and teen gun deaths in 2008 and 2009 but were only 15 percent of the total child population. A total of 5,740 children and teens died in 2008 and 2009 to handgun violence, the two years after the Virginia Tech shooting, according to the most recent data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is the equivalent of one child or teen being killed by a gun every three hours, or eight each day over those two years, or 229 public school classrooms with 25 students each. Of the 116,385 children and teens killed by a gun since 1979, when gun data by age were first collected, 44,038 were Black. I heard on ABC news that over 232,000 guns are stolen in America each year and background checks and limiting guns to people with mental disorders won’t stop a quarter of a millions guns from getting into the hands of people that want to hurt other people.

Our politicians need to put their big boy and big girl pants on and start the dialogue about repealing the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution because the common denominator to Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine and the streets of Bridgeport is GUNS. It didn’t matter whether they were assault rifles or hand guns, our children are being killed at an alarming rate with GUNS. As long as guns are so prevalent in American society there will be more of our children killed in school, in the movie theaters and just walking down the street. America, we know that the problem with gun deaths can only be solved one way, remove guns from the homes of every American and until that happens, you and your children will be targets of opportunity for some deranged individual with a gun and an attitude.

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • Mojo

    *** There’s no right or wrong answer or political action that will satisfy all Americans when it comes to gun rights and its laws. However somewhere in the middle there must be better control and accountability that can hopefully lead towards a safer America for all! ***

    • Bob

      Ralph, there is no middle ground in regards to the Second Amendment. Either it is repealed or it is upheld without comment. The right to bear arms can be regulated, but not taken away. The idea was not only to protect legally armed individuals for safety, food and sport, but to ensure the government did not become a totalitarian state. Look around you at the unarmed civilians in totalitarian states … what rights do they have? There is good and evil at all levels of humanity. And there is good and evil at all levels of government. Police don’t prevent crime, they clean up the mess crime makes (and not very often nor in an orderly and timely fashion).

  • indices

    I would think long and hard before removing this basic item in the Bill of Rights. Tampering with the Constitution is a dangerous business that puts us on a slippery slope. Regulations and laws are a different matter, adaptable, variable from state to state (for better or worse) and ultimately can be decided by the Supreme Court. The Second Amendment didn’t need to be repealed to outlaw fully automatic Thompson submachine guns. Never say never …

  • barry soitera

    “How can America let a document that was written over 200 years ago determine its course in the 21st century?” What an idiot. Go to France.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Hey Lennie, I heard Channel 8 News report the tight security at the Capitol yesterday was due in part to a finger-chopping incident in 1994 during a gun legislation hearing. An attempt to repeal the Second Amendment would lead to a revolution of sorts. A national limit of two firearms per individual and mandatory registration of all firearms would be a great start to control the proliferation of guns. The two hands, two guns rule. Ban the collection of guns by private citizens (go to the museum, collect coins). The punishment for violating gun laws should fit the type of offense committed. Finger chops, not gunshots!
    connecticut.onpolitix.com/news/223624/task-force-public-hearing-packed

  • BOE SPY

    The most important time to defend rights is when you object to the right in question the most. Like giving someone the right to free speech when they are saying something you do not want to hear. Taking a gun away from me would do less to curb gun violence than taking a car away from you would curb drunk driving. Donald tried to exploit some stats by taking the figure from 1978 to today and shrinking them down as if they happened in a year or two. If we want to rid ourselves of outdated and exploited laws, we could get rid of affirmative action and give people the opportunity to compete for jobs by the content of their character and not be judged by the color of their skin. Gun violence is a real problem in this country but the types of restrictions you are talking about have been shown to not work in the past. Why are we trying to use them to better our future?

  • Ron Mackey

    BOE SPY, you are way off base when you said, “If we want to rid ourselves of outdated and exploited laws, we could get rid of affirmative action and give people the opportunity to compete for jobs by the content of their character and not be judged by the color of their skin.” If and I mean “IF” blacks had the same rights as whites had instead of being slaves with no rights for 250 years and another 100 years with legal discrimination and segregation then we can talk but that is not what blacks had in America.

    Donald Day’s point is “Our politicians need to put their big boy and big girl pants on and start the dialogue about repealing the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution because the common denominator to Newtown, Virginia Tech, Columbine and the streets of Bridgeport is GUNS.” BOE SPY, don’t mix issues unless you give the facts.

    • BOE SPY

      Ron–Granting jobs by a system of reverse discrimination instead of qualifications is still discrimination regardless of the circumstances. Also, the ONLY thing the gun violence in Bridgeport shares with the gun violence in Newtown would be guns. The roots of each and the way each would need to be solved are very different. Stopping me from getting a gun is not going to solve either problem. The random killings by lunatics and the crime/gang/drug violence in Bridgeport will continue whether I have a gun or not. As long as drugs can get in then terrorists, illegal immigrants and guns can get in. If you goal is to save lives, the number of lives lost to guns (excluding suicide which are half of all gun deaths) pales in comparison to heart disease (the number one killer in the country). You would save infinitely more lives by taking away McDonald’s than you would if you take away guns. Guns are one of the few things, right behind booze and cigarettes, we still make in this country that anyone still wants to buy.

    • Bob

      Ron, tell that to the children killed in heavily gun-restricted states (i.e. Illinois, California, New York). More people are killed with ILLEGAL weapons by those with illicit purposes on a yearly basis than the innocents in Newtown, Columbine, Colorado and Arizona combined.
      Control the drug trafficking, control the illegal weapons, confiscate those who perpetrate violent crimes with those illegal weapons FIRST. Then watch the killing rate drop like a rock.
      Getting rid of legally registered weapons from those who are legally allowed to have them is not the first step needed.

  • Donald Day

    Barry, I’ve been to France and I could live there, but France had 85 gun deaths last year and America had close to 30,000. Let me give you some more stats, there were 48 handgun deaths in Japan last year, 34 in Switzerland and 52 in Canada. Your statement, “Go live in France” reminds me of those racists in the ’60s who would say to us to go back to Africa like my ancestors didn’t have a hand into every aspect of building America. I’m not going anywhere. I would rather stay here and fight to make this America the place my ancestors fought so hard to change. Vous êtes sot ignorant!

    BOE SPY, you say I tried to exploit some stats, which is mindless drivel. I merely gave you the numbers and years of handgun deaths in America and how they affect African American children and whether you agree or not, the numbers are the numbers. You trying to compare Affirmative Action to gun deaths is more mindless drivel. Affirmative action was first created from Executive Order 10925, which was signed by President John F. Kennedy on 6 March 1961 and now after 50 years of supposedly equal rights the playing field is now equal so let’s throw it out because it’s no longer needed. More mindless dribble. I find it amazing that the only thing you know Martin Luther King said was to judge people by the content of their character not the color of their skin. You go on the say the type of restrictions I’m talking about didn’t work in the past. WHAT? Repealing the Second Amendment has never been tried in the past! You are worse than Barry because he is just a fool, but you hide behind the cloak of anonymity, say your mindless drivel then hide again. At least Barry was man enough to use his real name.

    I can remember when the NRA would say guns don’t kill people, people kill people. More mindless drivel. Gun owners are frightening themselves irrationally. They have conjured in their own imaginations a much more terrifying environment than genuinely exists–and they are living a fantasy about the security their guns will bestow. And to the extent they are right–to the extent the American environment is indeed more dangerous than the Australian or Canadian or German or French environment–the dangers gun owners face are traceable to the prevalence of the very guns from which they so tragically mistakenly expect to gain safety.

    • BOE SPY

      OK–Don, you use three different countries in your argument. 1-Japan, an (almost) police state that beats us in every crime stat where almost nobody is allowed to own a gun. 2-Switzerland, a country where every adult of military age is REQUIRED to have a gun in the house and the gun is provided by the government. 3-Canada, a country with gun laws slightly more lenient than ours. Which model should we follow? Like I said, the problem, shown by Don’s examples, is not the guns. One thing about all the countries Don listed is they have very homogeneous populations. The irony in this debate is when I was 18 the government couldn’t wait to shove an AR into my hands and now they are doing their best to pry it out.

  • Ron Mackey

    BOE SPY, you wrote, “Ron–Granting jobs by a system of reverse discrimination instead of qualifications is still discrimination regardless of the circumstances.” What is your problem, why do you compare Affirmative Action to gun deaths? If you want to talk about Affirmative Action then write Lennie and ask him to do a post on Affirmative Action.

    • BOE SPY

      Ron, why are you getting so mad that someone is trying to infringe on a right you see as fair? How about if we keep the right and just limit it a little bit. You can only use it twice. Two hands–two jobs. Or you have to pay a really high tax to use it. We have so many people and so few jobs. It is killing people. We have to limit this right.

  • yahooy

    The race card is played too easily here.

  • Ron Mackey

    BOE SPY, let’s just talk about the Second Amendment and hand guns.

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