Sunday, February 03, 2013

AC360 on CNN hosts town hall on gun violence and reform


On Thursday night, Jan. 31, Anderson Cooper hosted an hour long “town hall” on what to do about gun violence, with basic link here.

Featured speakers included Colin Goaddard, who was one of the victims shot at Virginia Tech in April 2007 and who recovered from severe wounds.  Goddard had shown by demonstration that it was easy to buy dangerous weapons at gun shows in Virginia with no background check.

Also appearing was Joe Zamudo, from the Tucson incident in January 2011, which resulted in the severe head wounding of Congresswoman Gabbie Giffords.  Recently Giffords testified in Congress, and her speech is still forced and labored.

Sarah McKinley, who had at 18 shot an intruder in Oklahoma while defending her baby, appeared and said that background checks were appropriate. 
    
Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal reporter, said that until a Supreme Court ruling in 2008 (over a District of Columbia law) it was not clear that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to own a gun, outside of participation in an organized militia.  He said that the government can exercise reasonable judgment in banning the most obviously dangerous and “useless” (from an “ordinary” civilian perspective) weapons. 
  
The basic information about the case District of Columbia v. Heller  is (website url) here on Wikipedia.  

A Second Amendment lobby group in Virginia posted the oral arguments before the Supreme Court in 2008 on YouTube here.
  

During the show, there was some discussion of the idea that self-defense (and the ability to defend others) is a moral responsibility, an idea that I find very troubling and inviting anarchy. A sheriff from Wisconsin had suggested (on Piers Morgan) that ordinary citizens should not count on quick 911 response because of police cutbacks.  WBSM has a video of sheriff David A. Clarke’s remarks here.
 
Is a cell phone a more essential instrument of home safety than a weapon?  I think so. 

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