Rebuttal — E. Walworth: Rights are not unconditional

If "our outrage is fleeting" and we have no "political will for changing the status quo" (editorial, July 25) — all too true after each mass shooting — there are those who will continue to make our lives more dangerous.

While attempts at limiting the size of ammunition magazines or the number of gun purchases per month have gone nowhere, legislatures everywhere are contending with a ceaseless tide of bills that expand concealed carry rights, that allow all the more weapons into national parks, that establish "stand your ground" laws, and so forth.

The hysteria that follows any sensible suggestion to make this country just a little bit safer — "The next thing you know they will take our all guns away!" — would be funny if it were not taken so seriously. Witness the surge of gun sales in Colorado at the moment.

If we can make our roads and vehicles safer; if we can be persuaded to wear seat belts; if we can turn the tide on smoking; if we can make the air we breathe and the water we drink cleaner — all of this achieved through the political process — we should be able to do the same in the realm of firearms. Not to try would be pathetic.

As fatality rates from vehicular accidents and smoking come down, should we still settle for the 30,000-plus deaths per year from bullets?

I would like to think that there are a few politicians out there who will not duck for cover when their suggestions about reasonable "gun control" measures are met with shrieks and howls.

The Bill of Rights gives us many freedoms, but no single amendment, including the Second, is unconditional.

Edward Walworth, Lewiston

Board member, Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence

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MARK GRAVEL's picture

It looks like paranoia is a

It looks like paranoia is a two-way street. According the Centers for Disease Control, more that 2 out of 3 gun deaths are due to drug activity and suicide. Accidental gun deaths account for about 600 deaths.

The CDC recommends that the best way to reduce gun deaths is to treat depression and other mental illness and to treat illegal drug use.

I would say legalizing drug use would go a long way to reducing gun violence.

The takeaway should be that most of us are far more likely to die in an automobile accident than death by gun.

Moreover, if you want to put a large dent in gun deaths, follow the CDC’s recommendations and address mental illness and drug use. More gun regulation will do nothing to address the primary causes of gun deaths.

ERNEST LABBE's picture


if there had been just one person in the theater carrying a concealed weapon the tradgety would have been avoided or at least minimized. We have gun control laws, it just seems that criminals and wacko's don't obey the laws.

Doing a google search I could not find where there over 9,000 deaths by guns in the US in recent years.

 's picture


Probably could've done with one shot from the back of the theatre, without even spilling any popcorn.

JEAN FORD's picture

Give me a break!!!!! So

Give me a break!!!!! So what, we should have had a shoot-out, in the dark, between untrained citizens?

Andrew Jones's picture

You're right, it was far

You're right, it was far better for the suspect to kill and wound dozens of people with no immediate fear of reprisal.

JEAN FORD's picture

I suppose you think George

I suppose you think George Zimmerman was in the right...

Andrew Jones's picture

Are you really going to

Are you really going to compare the hypothetical shooting of this lunatic to that of Zimmerman's alleged self-defense shooting of an unarmed teenager? The only crime the people in the movie theater committed was going to see another Christopher Nolan film. They didn't do anything to justify being shot at.

Since you brought it up; no, I do not think George was right. I think both George and Trayvon made poor decisions on that night which resulted in a fatality. Assuming all the facts of Zimmerman's story are correct, I cannot fault him for shooting but I will fault him for getting into that situation in the first place.

JEAN FORD's picture

Yup...a shoot-out in the

Yup...a shoot-out in the dark...hmmm...what could go wrong there?!

Cannot believe you are "assuming" the facts of Zimmerman's story are true. And what "poor decision" did Martin make WWB (walking while black?) What he should have bought a gun instead of candy? That way he could have defended himself against the racist cop wannabe that was following him AFTER being told not to by law enforcement. You cannot be the aggressor and start a fight them claim self-defense. Trayvon Martin DID NOTHING!!! Zimmerman hunted down a teenager and killed him. End of story.

Andrew Jones's picture

My point is that the

My point is that the situation couldn't have gotten any worse if it resulted in a shoot-out in a dark theater between Holmes and a random cwp holder. Instead, he was allowed to rampage unchecked, killing a dozen people and injuring scores more.

Martin chose to get physical which resulted in him getting shot. He could have walked away. Instead, he chose to be a tough guy and that didn't work out very well for him. If you don't think that Zimmerman's side of the story is true, I encourage you to call the Florida state prosecutor's office and help them prove it. I don't particularly care how that case ends, I just hope that the man is capable of getting a fair trial. Media outlets have done significant damage to a potential jury pool by continuing to use old photos of 'county orange' Zimmerman and a photo of Trayvon from five years ago. Whatever sells newspapers, right?

JEAN FORD's picture

I am stunned at your claim

I am stunned at your claim that Martin DID NOT walk do you know that??? How do you know he chose to be a "tough guy"??? How could you possibly know these things. I followed the coverage extensively and I don't know those things. I guess Zimmerman can claim anything he wants because dead men tell no tales. The only incontrovertible facts we know are that a grown man with a loaded gun chased a teenager he had no business chasing and after agreeing with the police he would not chase him, he just continued chasing the kid didn't he? Just out of curiosity...did you get your coverage from Fox News? I have seen absolutely no proof that Martin did anything but defend himself. What would you do if someone was following you with a gun and initiated a confrontation?

And yeah, I do believe people packing guns willy nilly can only end badly. Here's a thought, ban automatic weapons and strictly enforce gun laws. You want to go by the Second Amendment, great, people can only own muskets.

Andrew Jones's picture

Since you asked, the vast

Since you asked, the vast majority of the information I've read has been from Yes, Zimmerman has motive to lie about all of this, but until someone can prove his story false, what else can you do? Yes, the only indisputable facts are that Zimmerman followed another man against the advice of a 911 dispatcher and shot them in the chest at very close range. If I were in Trayvon's shoes I would run the hell away and not look back until I was behind the front door of my house. You do not pick fights with people with guns. Better yet, don't pick fights... even if the other guy is being aggressive.

Also, can you tell me where in the second amendment that people can only own muskets? Also, where do automatic weapons play into this? Zimmerman had a Kel-Tec PF-9(semi-automatic 9mm handgun), and Holmes had an AR-15(semi-automatic .223 rifle), Remington 870(12 gauge pump shotgun) and two Glock 22's(both semi-automatic 40cal handguns). None of these weapons are capable of fully automatic discharge.

JEAN FORD's picture

How do you know Zimmerman

How do you know Zimmerman didn’t walk up to Martin, point a gun at his chest and say “freeze a*&#%^$??? Giving Martin no chance to run like hell. From what I have seen and read about Zimmerman I can easily picture it happening that way. I am waiting with bated breath to see who the the voice print of the recorded screams belongs to. Zimmerman claims it was him but if it was Martin screaming for help I will be discounting everything that Zimmerman says as if he was lying about that, how can we believe anything he says?
My point about the guns was do you honestly think the founding fathers would be okay with the state of guns and violence in this country?

Andrew Jones's picture

We'll see. I believe it is

We'll see. I believe it is self-defense but I am willing to concede that view when this goes to trial and we get to see the forensics.

I don't think anyone, including the founding fathers, is or would be OK with the gun violence that happens in this country. However, the second amendment was written not long after a particularly bloody battle with England. It is my understanding that they intended us to remained an armed population in the event that another rebellion(like the one they just endured) was necessary. Even the British knew that guns were the key to this as they moved to secure weapons and disarm the colonists.

Don't make it harder for people like you or me, law abiding citizens, to possess what our constitution permits us to possess. Get rid of the "gun free zone" concept, because once again, it only prohibits the law abiding citizen from carrying. The James Holmes's of the world don't care that there is a sign that says "no guns allowed". The people in that theater deserved a fighting chance, no matter how small it may have been.

JEAN FORD's picture

You said it yourself..."in

You said it yourself..."in the event of another rebellion" expecting one? All the murders and illegal gun sales in this country could never have been foreseen! The unfettered access to millions of guns in this country is insane!

Rights NOT Uncoditional

Ed, what you say is so true and, contrary to all politicians, make good sense. However, without politicians having the backbone to be willing to have a sensible conversation, this will continue as it has been. Sad but true. The NRA controls our politicians and the NRA is paranoid. The media, not including Fox, is going about things in a half baked way and plays into the standard rhetoric that gets us nowhere. The NRA knows, and even blatantly says it, it will take down, or attempt to, any politician that doesn't see things as they do. Hence, NRA=money & paranoia + politicians need votes, and a job, = HOUSTON - we have a problem! This needs to get to the Supreme Court, but in a viable way OR we vote in politicians that have a backbone and without "someone" in their pocket.Then, and only then will we start to make attempts at making things better for AL of society.


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