To GONH: Aug 2010
Candidates for office in NH are barraged by groups who wish to "grade" the office seeker regarding responses to questionnaires on the ,usually, single issue of importance to them. I think that manipulative word choices such as "restrictions on law abiding gun-owners", or "whims" of pro regulators, or trigger locks-as "hazardous "safety" devices" poison the results of such surveys. Therefore, I send a belief statement to them, instead of answering their slanted surveys. Here is my response to the NH Firearms Coalition and the NRA political victory fund.
First -- I am aware of and disagree with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the words of the Second Amendment. I believe the matter of gun ownership is clearly a community right according to the original constitutional language, not a right guaranteed to individuals. ("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") I attribute this to a highly politicized and dogmatic interpretation of a current majority of the Supreme Court. In many ways this is similar to the Supreme Court misinterpretation of the equality before the law provisions of the Constitution, which for six or seven decades interpreted segregated schools as "separate but equal", based on a majority of justices' cultural and racist predilections. It is also similar to my strong disagreement about the Supreme Court interpretation of the freedom of speech being equivalent to the spending of money to influence elections based on a 1976 decision. Second -- my problem isn't with "law abiding citizens", but with the evidence that suggests that 5 of 7 murders are committed by individuals who knew their victims or were relatives. As well as, evidence that, the unintentional firearm injury/ death rates among children ages 14 and under in the United States is nine times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined. My bet is that those 25 countries have effective regulations on gun ownership and accessibility. In other words most gun violence is enabled by the easy availability and accessibility and deadly consequences of guns. At times when passion displaces reason in fights, and when immaturity and curiosity is more important than understanding the consequences of gun use in young children, handy firearms have very negative consequences.
Therefore, I support reasonable regulation of gun ownership. I believe that passion is more likely to prevail than reason in circumstances and areas where desperation, depression, and powerlessness in a significant percentage of our population is enhanced by poverty, unemployment, inadequate education, poor health and lack of insurance. I find gun restriction in Chicago and Washington DC reasonable. And it is reasonable wherever poverty and unemployment are present and concentrated. Careful and exhaustive investigative procedures are justifiable in both the purchasing and licensing of firearms. I believe that organizations which fight such reasonable regulation are destroying their legitimacy and effectiveness.
I was a deer hunter as a teenager in Colorado. I support gun ownership for the purposes of sport. I find no conflict caused by reasonable firearm regulation regarding the ability of law abiding citizens to own guns for such purposes. I do not believe hunting requires automatic or semi-automatic weapons or large magazines.
It makes no sense to me that armor piercing bullets or assault weapons be available commercially. The only case for carrying a concealed handgun should be a documented need for self-defense. Gun regulation is reasonable in all cases of domestic violence. Law-abiding citizens are not hindered here are either.
I am very concerned that the prevailing value in American life for several decades has been self-interest. We have lost our sense of community, and are less willing to support universal public education, job training and accessible public health, than we are willing to support prisons, gated communities, the convenience and profit of the wealthy, and privatizing public functions. Advocacy of unregulated private ownership of guns addresses the symptoms of crime and discourages real public efforts to improve the fairness and quality of life and health of our communities and the citizens.
Charles F. Weed, candidate New Hampshire general court Cheshire three
28 Damon Court
Keene, New Hampshire