There seems to be a grave misunderstanding of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. I may not be a constitutional lawyer, but there are a few things I do know.
In general, the 2nd Amendment grants the right to keep and bear arms, but it does not grant the right to use a gun to seek revenge or relieve frustrations against others.
Over the weekend in Florida, Michael Dunn, 45, was at a gas station and asked a group of teens in a car to turn down the music that was blaring from the car. He said he heard threats from the teens and thought he saw a gun in the car. Dunn grabbed his gun and opened fire on the teens in the car, killing 17-yr-old Ron Davis. Dunn said he felt threatened. No guns were found in the car.
Last night on the show I talked about a homeowner in Minnesota who shot and killed two teens who had invaded his home on Thanksgiving Day. The 18-yr-old girl was shot and as she lay on the ground he shot her several more times in the chest. Her 17-yr-old cousin was shot and after falling down the stairs, the homeowner then shot him in the head as he lay on the floor. David Smith, 64, faces two counts of second-degree murder.
A few months ago, a retired firefighter in Texas had a confrontation over loud music with a neighbor across the street from his home. He walked across the street and shot and killed his neighbor. He was convicted of murder.
All of these cases bring to mind the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. What must be defined in all of these cases is whether the gun owners can prove they actually felt threatened. Laws allow lethal use of a gun in the presence of a direct and immediate threat.
The homeowner in Minnesota will have to convince a jury that he felt threatened even after both of his victims had been shot and were lying on the floor. David Smith admitted that he probably fired more shots than necessary.
In Florida, Michael Dunn, who asked that teens in a car at a gas station turn down their blaring music will have to prove that he felt an immediate threat from the teens, which will certainly reach beyond verbal threats.
The right to own a gun in America carries with it the responsibility to use your gun at the right time and in the proper manner – period!
The 2nd Amendment does not protect macho or vigilante mentalities and does not allow gun-owning citizens to use their guns to seek revenge or vent frustration.
Over the weekend I saw a guy walking down the street holding a soft drink in one hand and holding up his pants with the other hand. Males who wear ‘saggy pants’ are looked upon as menacing. I thought that this guy wasn’t “menacing” or a threat to anyone – both of his hands are occupied!
While I admit that I don’t understand the trend of wearing one’s pants down so low that underwear is exposed, I do understand that every young generation has its own trends. When I was growing up, my parents’ generation was very critical of my generation’s fashion statements with hair and clothes and they didn’t understand either.
The city of Bogalusa has begun a 30-day warning period for all those who wear ‘saggy pants’ in public. After the warning period comes the enforcement of penalties. The maximum penalty is $500 or 30 days in jail, or both. A bit severe, perhaps?
On “The Scoot Show” (8:00 pm – midnight), the debate over whether wearing ‘saggy pants’ with underwear exposed is obscene has come up often and will be debated on the show again tonight. This is obviously not just an issue in Bogalusa, but throughout New Orleans and across America. It’s a trend, like it or not. But should it be illegal?
Here’s what I find interesting about this debate: I also see females walking around with the t-back part of their underwear exposed above the waistline of their jeans. Why is this not part of the debate?
Could it be because this is still such a male-dominated world that the sight to the underwear of a male is offensive but not the sight of a female’s underwear?
On Thanksgiving Day, we make a conscious effort to verbalize the things for which we are most thankful. Like many people, I have had a tradition in my adult life of asking everyone at the table to mention at least one thing they are thankful for. Most mention health, children, parents, their home, job, etc.
While we should always be thankful for all of those things, perhaps we should focus more on why there was the first Thanksgiving in 1621 and be thankful for where we are today.
That first recorded Thanksgiving in 1621 was a gathering of the new settlers from England and Native Americas. They gathered to give thanks for the harvest that year. A bountiful harvest was crucial to life in 1621. Each year, the harvest sustained people through the harsh winter months. If there wasn’t enough harvested before the onset of winter, people died.
Most of us cannot imagine stockpiling food to live on through the winter. Whenever we need something we simply ‘go to the store’. I understand that there are many hungry people in America and throughout the civilized world, but most of us are fortunate enough to have the food we need to sustain life throughout the year...and if we run low we go to the store. That doesn’t mean everyone can afford the most expensive cut of meat or lobster on a regular basis, but most of us go to the store regularly and shop for our food needs.
Maybe this Thanksgiving we should take time to think about, and talk about, why there was that first gathering to give ‘thanks’ in 1621. Most of us have been through times in our lives that have made us thankful that we can go to the store on a regular basis, but when things get better for us it is too easy to forget about how thankful we should be for the simplest and most basic things in life.
So, this Thanksgiving Day as we sit down to enjoy the bounty of our harvest, let’s remember the first Thanksgiving and be thankful that we will have the opportunity to make many trips to the store during the winter months to replenish our bounty.
The Election of 2012 proved to be a glaring example of how divided we are in America. We should use Thanksgiving 2012 as a holiday that reminds us of all that brings us together.
Though actual documents may not provide solid proof, it is generally believed that in the fall of 1621, the new settlers from England and the Native Americans came together for a gathering to give ‘thanks’ for the harvest. If two distinctively different groups with entirely different sets of beliefs could come together in 1621 to share a feast and give ‘thanks’ for all they were blessed with, then in that same spirit conservatives and liberals should be able to come together this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, which means that all religions can come together for a day when we more actively acknowledge all the things for which we are thankful. And regardless of religion or race or whether you are conservative, liberal, suburbanite, urbanite or any of the countless groups that define our differences, we should recognize that we all want the same things: good health, happiness, the best for our children and our families, the opportunity to provide, a positive future and a Saints victory Sunday against the 49ers. We all want the best for America, even if there are different ideas on how to make America the best.
Even if the results of the election have led you to have a negative view of our country and our future, let’s come together this Thanksgiving as one nation under God and celebrate all that we have as a nation and as individuals. For compared to the world, we have plenty and there is much to be thankful for.
11.20.12 email@example.com - “If we lose the whole business it doesn’t matter, the bottom line is – my values.” – Cope Reynolds, owner of the Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, AZ.
And so the post-election wrath continues! If you are a business owner and you vehemently opposed President Obama and still denounce everything he stands for, are you continuing to do business with customers who voted for Obama? Would you like to distinguish between the Obama and Romney voters to determine who you want to do business with?
The obvious question is – how do you know who someone voted for? Well, you don’t…unless that question is asked. In theory, this gun shop owner should ask everyone who is purchasing a firearm who they voted for…and if the answer is Obama, then he should refuse to sell them a gun.
Cope Reynolds issued an announcement on his website: Ammoland that read in part: “Effectively immediately, if you voted for Obama, your money is no good here. You have proven beyond a doubt that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”
As a talk show host I am keenly aware of the divisive nature of the political debate in 2012, but to refuse to do business with a customer based only on their “vote” seems to defy the concept that our Constitution protects ALL citizens.
I understand that a private business owner has a right to refuse to do business with customers under certain circumstances as long as the refusal is not founded in discrimination. I’m not arguing that there is legal ground to force this gun shop owner to sell guns to American citizens who voted for President Obama, but I am addressing the ridiculousness of the policy.
If this business owner, or any business owner for that matter, feels so strongly about their “values,” one has to wonder if businesses should refuse to sell a gun to someone who is pro-choice or favors legalization of pot? Or, some businesses could refuse to serve those who don’t respect “choice” or legal pot or same-sex marriage. Do you ask your customers who they voted for or what their stance is on a myriad of hot-button political issues? Or, does your business just do what’s good for business?
I believe in freedom of speech and that includes the freedom to denounce the hateful political debate in America which has led to a businessman announcing that he will refuse to do business with anyone who voted for the candidate he opposed. This is truly a microcosm of the respect we have lost for a country founded on the idea that disagreement is acceptable.
Cole Reynolds, the gun shop owner in Arizona said there has been a lot of “vile, rude and hateful comments” regarding his policy. Don’t you think refusing to do business based on someone exercising their “right to vote” is vile, rude and hateful?
BTW: if you go to the Southwest Shooting Authority and if, while purchasing a gun, they ask if you voted for Obama and you did – do what all politicians do – LIE!
OK, here’s a piece that’s a little different from all the talking-head political pundits we’ve put up with the last few months, all the so-called “experts” who are predicting the outcome of tonight’s election.
Was the election decided Saturday night in Tiger Stadium?
Stay with me here: Since 1984, the outcome of the LSU – Alabama game has predicted the presidential election. When LSU won, the Republican candidate won the White House, and when Alabama won it was the Democratic candidate who the race. Check it out:
•1984: LSU 16 – Alabama 14. Ronald Reagan beat Walter Mondale.
•1988: LSU 19 – Alabama 18. George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukakis.
•1992: Alabama 31 – LSU 11. Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush.
•1996: Alabama 26 – LSU 0. Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole.
•2000: LSU 30 – Alabama 28. George W. Bush beat Al Gore.
•2004: LSU 26 – Alabama 10. George W. Bush beat John Kerry.
I really don’t think trends like this actually predict the outcome of elections, but it is an interesting trend to watch and the polls indicate that the LSU – Alabama rivalry could predict this election. It’s that close.
Seriously, though, even though America is going to the polls at a time when politics is filled with hate, and there are legitimate reasons to feel that nothing will change, it is important to vote! Since it is the Electoral College that actually elects the president and not the popular vote, every state should follow Maine and Nebraska and assign a proportion of the electoral votes based on the popular vote of the state. That would allow the popular vote nation-wide to more directly determine which candidate wins the presidency.
Since Louisiana is a ‘red’ state and its electoral votes will certainly go to Romney, should you bother taking time to vote at all? ABSOLUTELY! If President Obama is your guy, even if it may already be determined that the state will go for Romney, the privilege of casting an individual vote is so precious that all registered voters should be inspired by a civic pride to vote. And, the same goes if you’re a Romney supporter. Just because Romney has an overwhelming lead in our state, that doesn’t mean you should leave it up to your neighbor to vote for Romney/Ryan…After all, what if everyone thought that way?
The talk show I do at night on WWL has exposed me to the poisonous nature of political debate today. After this election, one side will be very upset and predict doom and gloom for America. I was on WWL in 1992 and remember that there were many citizens in this state that predicted a Clinton victory would be bad for America. I did my show live from Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of Bill Clinton and got the sense that as young as this country is relative to the world, we were still strong and stable enough so that no one president could ruin America. I feel that way today…but be certain that an overwhelming amount of negativity will follow this election.
In every election in the history of this country, one candidate wins and one loses. There is never a guarantee that your candidate will win. And with the polls so close leading up to Election Day, both sides should be prepared for disappointment. But isn’t this something we, as a country, should celebrate?
We are the United States of America and while we are far from perfect, a free election and smooth transition of leadership are some of the things we do best. I only hope that we can be the ‘United’ States of America after this election.