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H-B Woodlawn Students Start Gun Control Petition

by ARLnow.com — December 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm 4,434 138 Comments

H-B Woodlawn Secondary School (via Arlington Public Schools)Two H-B Woodlawn students have created a petition calling on Congress to pass stronger gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

The online petition has gathered 133 signatures already and resulted in 336 letters and emails being sent to Congress. Seventh graders Nicole and Daniel created the children-driven petition with the hopes that it will garner student support beyond Arlington.

“We are representing the children of the United States who do not want to wake up every morning with a thought that someone close to us, or even ourselves, might die that day,” they said in the petition. “We do not want to see our friends or loved ones die in schools or movie theaters or malls any more.”

“Please help us stop the killings and the murders and the massacres by enacting legislation that will ban assault weapons and require a special license, a strict application process with a background investigation and a mental check for every person wanting to acquire a gun,” the petition said.

This morning, the National Rifle Association held a press conference in which the organization blamed the media, the entertainment industry and video games for a culture of violence, and called for armed security guards in every American school.

“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. “If we truly cherish our kids more than our money… we must give them the greatest protection possible. And that protection is only available with properly-armed good guys.”

Nicole and Daniel’s father, Arlington resident Michael Getter, said that arming more citizens is not the answer.

“The time has come to take meaningful steps in preventing mass executions that have become practically a commonplace in our county,” Getter said. “There seems to be very little evidence that ease of access and proliferation of dangerous weaponry among US population is making this county any safer for its citizens.”

Photo via Arlington Public Schools

  • Ian

    [Post removed per comment policy]

    • Vik

      You don’t need to insult those students. LaPierre’s quote sounds a lot more unreasonable than what these kids are proposing. It seems like a lot of people agree with most of what they propose; I don’t see the need to make personal attacks just because you disagree with part of what they said.

    • Arlingtoon

      Many of them (including my own) are among the smartest critters in the County.

      BTW, the plural of “life” is lives. My H-B kid would have known that. Pity you didn’t pay as much attention when you were in school as my kid has paid.

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      To be clear, mean-spirited personal attacks and insults on children — whether they’re part of a news story or not — will result in a ban from commenting.

    • HBGrad

      Mmm, yes, those brain washed kids enrolled at one of the top schools in the state, what idiots.

      I don’t care about your position on gun control, but I’m not willing to accept the NRA’s position saying we’ve reached the point where the only thing left to do is arm out teachers.

    • ArlingtonWay

      Comment policy? Since when have you had a comment policy and please do tell us what it is. Just FYI, though, “moderator whim” is not a comment policy.

      • DCBuff

        Do you really need that much help? Look up under “Terms of Use” yourself. And, given this is a privately owned/operated website, “moderator whim” could be a comment policy.

  • Way to go

    A big shout out to these kids. Good work! A big F$&@ You shout out to Ian. Way to contribute to a kind and thoughtful moment. Kids in our community who are trying to make a difference. Don’t care that’s fine, but don’t hate those that do.

  • novasteve

    How would you all feel if some students petition for congress to outlaw abortion? Would you be congratulating them for asking for other people’s constitutional rights to be violated?

    • here he goes again

      is this a contest to see how far off the topic you can go?
      - in any case virtually every catholic school in the country has done just that ….so what is you point again?

      • Bluemontsince1961

        He likes to put root beer in the Bacardi egg nog. Some folks aren’t happy unless they can go make in every fountain in every park.

    • Hbgrad

      In case you hadn’t noticed, Virginia GOP leaders have been making excellent progress in infringing on women’s rights to access abortions.

      Also, this petition is calling for gun control, not gun abolition. Pres. Obama and other democratic leaders have said repeatedly that they recognize and respect the second amendment, but they think that guns, like an other hazardous object, needs to have some checks to minimize the risk of the wrong type of person getting their hands on one.

      • bman

        Those abortions kill more children than these so called “assault weapons”

        • dk (not DK)

          Is this an either/or situation?

          By that reckoning, abortions also kill more children than do car accidents. So would you also argue that the legality of abortion means we should not regulate the use of of motor vehicles?

    • dk (not DK)

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      The availability of guns in this country is infringing on the the unalienable rights of the citizens of the United States. These rights absolutely and unequivocally trump the right to bear arms.

      • novasteve

        the declaration of independence doesn’t give people any legal rights. Wrong document.

      • KalashniKEV

        LOL, how do you figure?

        • dk (not DK)

          You don’t think the children in Newtown were denied their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

          • novasteve

            You don’t have a right to life liberty and a pursuit of happiness because the declaration of independence is not a legal document. The US constitution is, and it guarantees against the denial of life, liberty and property WITHOUT due process.

            Do you really think there should be a right to “pursuit of happiness”? Maybe the gunman was happy by killing people? Pedophiles are happy when they have sex with prepubescents. The pursuit of happiness is a frightening thing because a lot of people are sick.

          • b0rk

            I think you are repeatedly misunderstanding the partial quote you keep posting.

            The “pursuit of happiness” segment comes from the Declaration of Independence, which was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. It is not the same as the Bill of Rights, or an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is where citizens derive their protected rights.

            The segment of the larger sentence that you keep quoting (“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…”) was written by Thomas Jefferson.

            Jefferson declared himself an Epicurean during his lifetime: this is a philosophical doctrine that teaches the pursuit of happiness and proposes autarchy, which translates as self-sufficiency or freedom.

  • bobbytiger

    Yep, it’s time to pass another law. We can put the new law next to the 1990 Gun-Free School Zones Act.

    • KalashniKEV

      If we can create soft enough targets, criminals won’t need guns either. A reasonably fit man with two good fists could Rule over all he takes in. Hey, maybe this is Moran’s secret motivation…

      • Sceptical

        Surely nobody can be THIS stupid?

    • b0rk

      Or the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which essentially, did nothing to prevent what it was designed to do. Wikipedia has lots of citations by research institutes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_weapons_ban#Expiration_and_effect_on_crime

  • Enough Already

    While I applaud those kids for trying to do something, Arlington Resident Michael Getter’s opinion that arming more citizens is not the answer. Thanks Michael, nobody cares what you think, be quiet and let your kids get their petition signed.

  • dude

    I may be wrong but isn’t HB about personal rights and freedom? I find it ironic that the students with the most personal freedoms are attempting to take other’s away. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be tighter controls, just saying it’s coming from this group of kids…

    • Captain_Obvious

      requesting stronger gun laws is not trying to take away personal freedom. Requesting banning guns is, see the difference ?

      • KalashniKEV

        So no AWB then?

        Not like it would make anyone safer anyway.

    • Ignorant1

      HB is about personal responsibility and wise choices. Perhaps making high kill assault weaponry easily available for purchase is not a responsible and wise choice? Is the freedom to buy assault rifles with high capacity magazines the type of freedom people need in their pursuit of happiness. So far we have only seen pain and suffering … not nearly as much happiness… Is possession of such weapons an essential and god-given human right? May be those are good questions for classroom discussions…

      • KalashniKEV

        “High Kill???” LOL

        What kind of Moon Battery is this? Oh, the kind you want to bring into our classrooms.

        We see right through you.

    • Robert

      When dead babies become acceptable collateral damage for freedom in this country, perhaps the kids at HB found that to be unacceptable.

  • Arlingtoon

    Tell that to the 20 kids in Newtown who had more than their rights taken away.

  • Professor Hyperbole

    “The time has come to take meaningful steps in preventing mass executions that have become practically a commonplace in our county,” Getter said.

    I can’t even read this blog anymore.

  • Sarcastic Jane

    Dude is correct. The HB students run the school and call their teachers by their first names and tell them to “F@*# off ” if they please. They are outspoken in their quest for personal freedom, so for them to be jumping on a gun control lobby is quite the opposite of their “hands off” stance on just about everything else. I believe they also supported a petition to bring charges against Arlington County Police a few years ago for shooting an 18 year old gun brandishing bank robber who was running towards Williamsburg Middle School in attempt to evade officers!

    • ArlNative

      Please, learn about HBW before spreading misinformation.

      You have one thing right: staff are all called by their first names. Using profanity is not tolerated by students or staff.

      You can learn more here:
      http://www.apsva.us/domain/1593 – click on ‘school profile’

      I. STATEMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
      The H-B Woodlawn Program is designed to provide our students with more control over their education than traditional comprehensive schools permit. We prize self-motivation and self-discipline in our students, for we know that these characteristics are vital for success here. We also work hard to inculcate these habits in our students, incrementally increasing freedom and expectations of responsibility through the grades.

      II. SYSTEM OF OPERATION
      The central focus of our system is student choice. Students make choices in three general areas:

      A. Use of Time and Personal Behavior
      H-B Woodlawn does not provide “continuous adult supervision.” Rather, students must decide how to use their time wisely to meet their obligations. The amount of “unsupervised” time increases gradually from 6th to 12th grade. Some students use free time for study, while others spend it socially or away from the building. Instead of having a system of rules to govern their use of time and behavior, H-B Woodlawn students are held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Students must monitor themselves on and off campus. To make this offer of freedom work, we must trust the good intentions of our students and they must reciprocate with a sufficient degree of personal responsibility.

      B. Educational Goals
      The second area in which we give students more control is in setting educational goals. Beginning in middle school with personal “contracts,” we expand choices in the upper grades to include the English and social studies elective programs, independent study and AP courses.

      The student who can best take advantage of the personal freedom at H-B Woodlawn is self-motivated and self-directed. For these independent learners, there is no limit to their success. The flexibility, informality and individuality of the atmosphere at H-B Woodlawn encourage these students to design and implement their own programs. Some older students also take college courses, pursue internships and independent study projects, and participate in our “Community as School” Program.

      Students are empowered to have control over their educational program. They are also left somewhat unprotected to suffer the consequences of their actions. In l97l we selected “a word to the wise is sufficient” (Verbum Sap Sat) as our school motto to reflect our association of freedom with responsibility.

      C. School Governance
      We do this through the “Town Meeting” which is H-B Woodlawn’s policy-making body. The Town Meeting decides the allocation of staffing given to departments, teacher hiring, the expenditure of parent-raised funds, and general school rules. Town Meetings are held weekly throughout the year. Each student, teacher, and parent in attendance has an equal vote.

      As students are treated equally with adults in Town Meeting voting, so are they in other relations with adults. At H-B Woodlawn, students address their teachers by their first names and choose their own “teacher-advisor.” To us, this symbolizes an equal footing in the educational process, and also stresses for the student the need to make decisions for himself or herself, not by relying on an impersonal school structure or on the power and authority of a teacher or administrator. For this same reason, administrators also teach classes and have “teacher-advisor” groups.

      • Sarcastic Jane

        I have observed classes at HB several times over the last 10 years and each time at some point in the day a student used profanity to a teacher and nothing was done and when I asked the teacher, I was informed that it was the student choice to express themselves.

        • ArlNative

          That is not my daily experience. Sorry you experienced it. You could have gone to the principal or other administrator with your concerns.

        • dk (not DK)

          This is B.S.

    • dk (not DK)

      Personal freedom is also the right not to feel threatened by the presence of guns in the hands of wannabe vigilantes, the mentally ill, and those with pathological feelings of inadequacy.

    • drax

      I hope “Sarcastic Jane” means you’re being sarcastic, Jane.

    • KalashniKEV

      OMG, Is this true???

      • Bluemontsince1961

        No, Kev, “Sarcastic Jane” is being sarcastic. I went to HB Woodlawn back when and never saw any student disrespect a teacher. Yes, they were allowed to call the teachers by their first name – if the teacher said it was OK. But mouthing off or cursing a teacher was definitely not tolerated at all and such behavior would have gone over like a lead balloon.

    • Deb

      My daughter is a 2009 graduate of HB…never had a swearing issue with a teacher. I do not know where you get your information. If a student does not live up to their side of the bargain…they are told to move back to their home school. That did happen to a few kids who just didn’t accept the responsibility side of the bargain. HB is a wonderful school for kids who are self motivated…some kids are not. My son was not…he went to Yorktown.

  • Robert

    Brainwashed? Perhaps Ian is off by only, say 180 degrees. Over 40 years ago when the Woodlawn program started the NRA was about hunting, sportsmanship, and gun safety. It has since turned into a shill for the gun industry’s greed. Let’s put an end to the romantic fantasy that good guys with guns will take care of the bad guys with guns. There is absolutely no evidence for that in the real world. What we do know is guns have turned into a form of porn for some. Sex sells and the gun lobby knows it. Perhaps the gun has always been a sexual fetish for some. However I think guys who like posing in their” tighty whities” on their bed with automatic weapons, and extra long clips, trying to prove they are a real man is a contemporary phenomena. One can only hope they do not allow their urges to evolve into phonomania.

    • Ian

      There is no reason why responsible gun owners should not be allowed to posses whatever firearm they wish.

      Why should a mentally unstable young man ruin a freedom millions of Americans have and never harm a soul?

      This petition is the opposite of freedom and liberty. It explicit calls for removing guns from people who have never used it in any malicious way. They are guilty for a potential crime. Is this really the road we want to go down?

      • Captain_Obvious

        RPG’s for all !! right ?

      • drax

        I’m responsible. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t own a small thermonuclear device.

        Right?

        • Steve

          Should the government own one? Is there any reasonable way to deploy a nuke? Nukes kill millions, not dozens. Our government has already abused their “privilege” to these weapons. Twice. When you kill millions you’re a statesman. Kill dozens, a lunatic. Your frame of reference is wrong is my point. Think about it.

      • dk (not DK)

        Is the road we want to go down?

        Yes.

      • CW

        “There is no reason why responsible gun owners should not be allowed to posses whatever firearm they wish.”

        I agree with this. Kind of like how I wouldn’t have a problem with people driving drunk if only they just wouldn’t run over innocent people so darn much. The point is – everyone is a “responsible gun owner” until they do something irresponsible, kind of like how every other criminal, no matter how long the rap sheet, at some point had never committed a crime. The point of the laws is to limit the damage when the unknown occurs by providing a reasonable limit on the power that one human can command.

        Do you think it would be cool if civilians were allowed to have red ICBM launch buttons in their bedrooms? I mean, responsible civilians. After all, they’ve been “responsible” to date, so what’s to make you think, per your logic, that they would ever use that power irresponsibly? So you agree that there is no risk in allowing that, correct?

      • Jackson

        Why did a few guys with box cutters take away my right to bring nail clippers on a plane? Actions sometimes have consequences, even if you didn’t perform the action yourself. It’s part of living in a society. I’m not calling for a ban (very few people are calling for a BAN, no matter how many times Kev and Steve say it).

    • novasteve

      Maybe because the left has been trying to ban guns since the earlier days the NRA focused on hunting, etc. If the libs weren’t so hellbent on banning guns the NRA could go back to doing more of that. And they do plenty of that anyways.

      • drax

        The liberals are at fault for what the NRA does, in other words. Sure, steve.

      • Captain_Obvious

        Of course, its the libs fault. Its the libs fault the NRA is more focused on gun sales than anything else. Brilliant !

  • VCDL Member

    Getter said. “There seems to be very little evidence that ease of access and proliferation of dangerous weaponry among US population is making this county any safer for its citizens.”

    From 1993 to 2011, gun-related murders have been cut in half. In 1993, there were 17,073 gun killings, for a rate of 6.6 per 100,000 people. Last year that was cut to 9,903 murders for a rate of 3.2 per 100,000.

    There’s your evidence. It’s from the Congressional Research Service – Gun Control Legislation
    William J. Krouse
    Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy
    November 14, 2012

    Feel free to read this fascinating report!

    • Ignorant1

      Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004. According to the statistics you offer – it clearly worked and had some lasting positive effect.

      • VCDL Member

        And murder rates kept going down after the ban was listed in 2004 and even as guns per capita doubled, so lifting the ban and more good people getting arms helped drive down the murder rate in part. It’s harder for a killer to kill when he is being shot at.

        • novasteve

          Also in DC, you can now have a hangun at home and the murder rates are about 1/5th of what they used to be in the early 1990s.

          • drax

            Nice try, steve, but DC’s handgun ban was only overturned in 2008, and it’s still very hard to legally own a firearm in DC, and you’re still mostly not allowed to carry one outside your home. The change in gun laws in DC has nothing to do with the reduction in crime there. It’s a trend that most cities are seeing.

          • novasteve

            Drax, before Heller, you coudln’t even use a rifle at home for self defense. you could only use it at a range. If someone broke into your house and tried to kill you and you shot them with a rifle, you would have been charged with a crime in DC before Heller. Add in you have no right to police protection.

            If you libs keep on saying more guns means more crime, why was it when guns were illegal in DC we had more violent crime, and now you can legally own them, violent crime is down?

          • bobbytiger

            You are of course correct novasteve, the citizens do not have “a right to police protection”
            Sound unreal (?), read the Supreme Court decision on Warren vs. the District of Columbia, then get back to me.

        • good guy detector

          And we can tell the good guys from the bad guys by the color of their hats right? isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

        • Ignorant1

          Read the report. Indeed very interesting, yet inconclusive. Among other inconclusive data there is this interesting piece:

          Between 1993 and 2004 death rate from gun violence declined from 6.6 to 3.6. After expiration of the ban it remained relatively steady.

          Your position seem to indicate that it is better to have more shootouts between good and bad guys in our schools, movie theaters, colleges and shopping malls, than limit the access to highly effective killing machines in order to prevent such events from occurring in the first place. While I disagree with such position, it is nevertheless a valid one that many people seem to share.

        • Josh S

          I think you’re playing a bit fast and loose here with the facts. Or perhaps the authors of the study were. I notice the sentence compares “gun killings” in 1993 with “murders” in 2011. It’s my understanding that in these reports “gun killings” typically includes murders, suicides, and accidents. So are we mixing apples and oranges here?
          In either case, your conclusion is also shaky. Correlation does not equal causation. If gun murders per 100,000 actually did go down in the time frame, there are all sorts of possible explanations. Having more guns in circulation in the general population identified as the reason just seems illogical, doesn’t it? It doesn’t seem to make common sense.
          You mention having more “good people [get] armed.” What evidence do you have that more “good” people got armed versus “bad” people? How do you know which is which? If someone was good when they bought the gun, will they always be good? Will it always stay in their possession? Didn’t the kid in CT steal the guns from his mom? Had any of the guns she possessed been previously banned?

  • bman

    Misguided students.

    Amendment II

    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.

    • drax

      So what militia are you a member of? How often do you do drills?

      Try something more advanced next time.

      • KalashniKEV

        Drax- according to the Militia Act, the Militia consists of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who are not members of the National Guard or Naval Militia.

        Try having a clue what you’re talking about for once.

        • Jackson

          Wow, I’m in a militia? When did that happen? I must be decades behind in dues.

          • KalashniKEV

            I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

            (oh, wait… no I’m not)

        • Arlwhat

          There is no, “the Militia Act”.

          • KalashniKEV

            Yes. There is. Google it.

          • correction

            And that act says the militia answers to the president – read it.. The acts provided for the organization of the state militias and provided for the President of the United States to take command of the state militias in times of imminent invasion or insurrection

    • Moi

      Misguided adult.

      Amendment – Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.

      Nevertheless, there are many federal laws that abridge that very freedom. Some are considered “plan and manner” restrictions, some relate to “commercial speech,” some to pornography, etc.

      The point is that, while we may reasonably differ on the contours of the limits, there can be no reasonable argument that no regulation is permitted….and that’s how I read your message, bman.

      • dk (not DK)

        +1

        I have a constitutional right to free speech. I do not have a right to yell FIRE in a crowded theater.

        Maybe that’s too complicated for bman and his ilk.

        • novasteve

          You mean you don’t have a right to FALSELY shout fire in a crowded theater.

          I have a right to a gun, but I don’t have a right to go on a killing spree with it. You want to ban my right to have the gun. So that’s like you wanting to ban shouting fire period, even if there actually were a fire.

          • Captain_Obvious

            no one wants to ban your right to own a gun, stop the lies already.

          • KalashniKEV

            So no AWB then? Because I’m pretty sure that’s what Obama has in store. He’s been waiting for a tragedy such as this to capitalize on.

          • Jackson

            Nope, no ban. You’re projecting your paranoia with blanket statements (untrue ones at that).

          • KalashniKEV

            This is so weird then… the article we’re commenting on is about a ban…

          • Captain_Obvious

            No, the article we’re commenting on is about stronger gun laws…its in the FIRST sentence.

            It’s so weird…you can’t read.

    • TCE

      Feel free to join the National Guard then (the modern militia). And before you point out the Supreme Court ruled otherwise… keep in mind according to the Right they make mistakes too… (Roe V. Wade)…

      • novasteve

        HELLER. READ IT.

        It’s an INDIVIDUAL RIGHT. Not a militia thing.

        • HOW?

          Because you SAY SO IN BIG LETTERS?

        • drax

          So why is the militia thing in the Constitution?

          • novasteve

            THE SUPEREME COURT SAYS IT IS AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT DRAX. CASE CLOSED>

            THe issue is decided. IT doesn’t matter wha tyou think, the Supreme Court says it’s an individual right. I love all these armchair lawyers here who refuse to read a supreme court ruling. you are pretending they didn’t decide Heller.

            Can I pretend Roe v. wade doesn’t exist?

          • dk (not DK)

            This is patently ridiculous. You spend 25% of your time slinging abortion into every discussion, regardless of its relevance. You have implied time and again that the abortion issue is NOT settled, that Roe v Wade COULD be overturned, that states SHOULD pretend that Roe v Wade doesn’t exist. Now you want to say that because the SC decided the Heller case that the second amendment issue is decided and the case is closed? GMAFB.

            Let’s not even get into the fact that the Heller case overturned long-standing judicial precedent regarding the second amendment (so much for originalism), so the Heller case itself is proof positive that the Constitution is indeed a living document, the meaning of which can change over time depending on who is interpreting it.

        • dk (not DK)

          You are entitled to your opinion, but not to your own facts. The 2nd amendment does not say that every individual is entitled to bear arms. It says that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed but it clearly links that right to a *well-regulated* militia.

          • KalashniKEV

            The militia is, by definition, not a part of Big Government. There’s a reason why the framers set it up that way…

            And this was long before the Federal Reserve, “Free” Healthcare, or big Tax Hikes.

          • novasteve

            And there’s nothing about abortion or even a right to privacy, but the Supreme court says it exists. The supreme court said the right to bear arms is an individual right. That’s FACT, not opinion.

          • KalashniKEV

            Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers. But I cannot say who will be the militia of the future day.

            If that paper on the table gets no alteration, the militia of the future day may not consist of all classes, high and low, and rich and poor; but they may be confined to the lower and middle classes of the people, granting exclusion to the higher classes of the people.

            If we should ever see that day, the most ignominious punishments and heavy fines may be expected.”

            – George Mason, debate in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 1788

          • dk (not DK)

            @KK: The obvious question then is, who did the framers intend to do this “well-regulating?”

          • dk (not DK)

            @NS: So, I’m to assume then that you have no problem with Roe v. Wade because the Supremes said it was so?

          • KalashniKEV

            The Civilian Marksmanship Program.

    • Ignorant1

      By Jim Wright
      Special to the Star-Telegram
      …..
      Each time a serious effort is launched to control such insane misuse of firearms, opponents raise the Second Amendment. It clearly wasn’t written to protect armed assaults on innocent Americans!

      The authors’ original purpose was not ambiguous but clearly stated. It involved national defense. The entire provision contains just 27 words: “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.”

      The amendment’s authors, writing in 1789, clearly wanted American farmers and ordinary householders to be able to respond the next time a patriotic Paul Revere came around wanting armed help to repel an attempted British invasion.
      These, the ordinary residents, were all we had to comprise a “militia.” If robbed of weapons to defend their modest homes and villages, the nation would’ve been easy prey to a well-armed invader.

      That logic probably made good sense in 1789. Today, it would be hopelessly outdated. Like other ideas of the time — the idea that only male property-owners should vote, and the early compromise to count each slave in any future decennial census as exactly three-fifths of a person.

      Today, our “well regulated Militia” is not a bunch of well-meaning farmers with muzzleloaders but a system of highly organized National Guardsmen in every state of the union, subject to the president’s call to federalization, and a “well regulated” standing system of trained Army, Navy and Air Force reservists.

      These, together with standing military forces, are what we depend upon to defend our free society from outside attack.
      ….

      Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/12/20/4500358/framers-didnt-envision-americans.html#storylink=cpy

  • novasteve

    The second amendment is just as much a part of the constitution as the first amendment which allows them to petition their government. So they are using their right to try to deny other people their rights.

    • Captain_Obvious

      they are not trying to deny people their rights. Read it again. They are advocating for stronger laws, not banning. You are exactly like the NRA, instill fear in people based on lies and get them to buy more weapons.
      See the way you spread the propaganda ???

      • KalashniKEV

        Captain, please read the article… I don’t think you did.

        They clearly use the word “Ban.”

        • WeaponsForEveryone!

          So, Kalashnikev, by your nick I suspect you are a fellow AK-47 aficionado. I too think that there should be no ban on ANY weapons. We just need to make sure our teachers, principals, custodians in movie theaters and shop keepers in malls should be equipped with bigger, better and more effective weapons than possible bad guys, to better protect students, movie goers or shoppers from possible random attack by an accidental lunatic.

        • Captain_Obvious

          they want to ban a particular kind of gun, not all guns…you got it ?

          • KalashniKEV

            Well then they are for banning, not protecting. Read it again. My rights will not be deprived.

          • Captain_Obvious

            no one is depriving you of your rights. I’m sorry you’ve been brainwashed into thinking so. But go ahead and keep thinking you need an assault rifle, it makes up for the other deficiencies in your like that you are clearly compensating for…

    • dk (not DK)

      So will you also argue that prohibiting people from yelling fire in a crowded theater is denying people their first amendment rights?

      • novasteve

        There’s a huge difference between owning a firearm and being responsibel with it and not committing crimes and falsely yelling fire in a theater and causing a stamepede. My gun hurts nobody. yet you want to violate MY rights so you can have a feel good moment.

        • b0rk

          Don’t forget the patting of one’s own back!

  • yawn

    Great gesture but it will not amount to anything.
    Wonder how much cajoling it took from their liberal arts
    faculty

    • novasteve

      Probably extra credit. Nothing would make liberal academics happier than lobbying the government to deny people their constitutional rights for a feel good moment and false sense of security.

  • ArlNative

    none

  • novasteve

    Do you think the lies about guns the media and libs are spreading are okay?

    We can have auto weapons?
    These are military weapons?
    .223 is a large calibre bullet?
    .223 is a high powered bullet?

    • DCBuff

      I thought that the information you provided the other day concerning calibre bullets of various weapons was interesting and a worthwhile contribution. I do not pretend to have any extensive knowledge in that area. But now you are not adding anything further, just typing about “lies” and using the all caps button on your keyboard. Instead, as you did the other day, provide other readers with insight into how we can regulate (not ban) access to weapons as part of a larger approach to improving the safety and security of our society. If, on the other hand, all you want to continue to do is flame, then I yawn in your general direction.

      • novasteve

        It’s either ignorance, extreme ignorance or deliberately lying to get people running around scared that people have these military automatic weapons that fire large calibre high powered bullets in order to get people to want them banned. But the fact remains, there’s a lot of disinformation out there. Do you want policies affecting people’s rights to be based upon ignorance?

        I notice dems doing this for lots of issues. The gender pay gap, they never sit to think that choices women make might have something to do with it, but they purport that there’s a deliberate, systemic discrimination against women to pay them 77 cents on the dollar.

        I can only imagine what they are doing with climate change.

    • dk (not DK)

      I don’t have to have a PhD in pharmacology to know that I want drugs to be well-regulated.

      I don’t have to be a microbiologist or an immunologist or a food science expert to know that I want a well-regulated food supply.

      I don’t need to be a firearms expert to know I want guns to be well-regulated.

      • novasteve

        It says for the militia to be well regulated, not the GUNS. Read it again.

        Drugs aren’t a constitutional right, the right to bear arms IS.

        • dk (not DK)

          Who is doing the regulating?

          • definitionOfTerms

            The phrase “well regulated” actually meant something similar to “properly functioning” or “well equipped” when the 2nd amendment was written. This makes sense when you understand that the militia supplied their own personal guns for militia use. One of the reasons it is so hard to have a well informed discussion of a document that is so old that along with society, even language has changed!

  • novasteve

    “We do not want to see our friends or loved ones die in schools or movie theaters or malls any more.”

    “Please help us stop the killings and the murders and the massacres by enacting legislation that will ban assault weapons and require a special license, a strict application process with a background investigation and a mental check for every person wanting to acquire a gun,” the petition said.

    Notice this doesn’t address the most common gun related homicides in the US, urban crime? Why do these people only care when whites get killed in suburbs on a rare occasion and ignor the daily killings?

    • b0rk

      This also assumes that deranged murderers are going to follow the law. Banning assault weapons and requiring licenses is all well and good until someone decides to break the law (what deranged murderers tend to do), obtain one illegally, and use it to murder people.

      • dk (not DK)

        As you know, our gun regulations are so lax that most of the guns that are used to shoot people were acquired legally by someone.

        • novasteve

          And? If that legal owner transfers the gun illegally they are committing a crime. If someone steals a gun from a legal gun owner, that’s a crime and another illegal “transfer”..

          So in your mind the only way a criminal can acquire a non legally owned gun by someone else is by breaking into the gun factory and stealing them from there?

    • dk (not DK)

      I’m glad you brought this up. I know how much you care about urban crime.

      The answer is that many of us have been bothered by urban crime for a very long time but have been frustrated by the fact the many Americans aren’t affected by it and therefore don’t care much about it.

      The reason why white people getting killed in the suburbs raises such a hew and cry is because that event hits very close to home for many Americans. They may not feel threatened by urban violence in poor neighborhoods, but they do feel threatened by violence in leafy suburbs.

      I know you are asking this question because you want very much to do something about urban crime, so I will wait breathlessly for your proposals.

      • Jackson

        Every time he brings up daily urban crime, I like to imagine it’s through eyes blind by tears, and not simply a tactic where he calls people hypocrites for only caring about middle class suburbanites being killed.

      • b0rk

        It seems that unbanning handguns hasn’t contributed to violent crimes, but possibly worked to deter them in Washington D.C. The violent crime rate has gone down every year since District of Columbia v. Heller lifted the handgun ban for private residences (available data from 2008-2011).

        In 2010, 50.7% of Washington D.C. was identified as “black” by the Census. I’d say that’s something to consider.

  • mickey_

    It is unfortunate that the educations system does not educate in many topics….and gun control is one of them. LaPierres comments were spot on for immediate security for students to protect them. There is virtually NO WAY that you can control via government laws the guns of our country. The bad guys already have them and the nuts will get them when they need them. The news media doesn’t help by giving DAYS of coverage for this nut…and you and I know there are plenty more where he came from that are planning their moment of fame. Get the security on the schools NOW and we can all talk later about gun control, which isn’t going to happen. By the way, has anyone seen in the media the story about the nut in Conn going to a different state to buy a weapon and he was turned down? I didn’t think so.

    • Jackson

      He wasn’t turned down. He left because he didn’t want to wait the mandatory waiting period.

    • Kleio

      There are a lot of uses for this type of reasoning. For example, we know even though driving drunk is illegal, yet some bad guys and nuts continue to do so, and sometimes they kill people. Therefore experience has shown it is no use to have any laws against driving drunk, any driver licensing system, or any limits on the distribution of liquor. What we need to do is to outlaw walking, mandate that everybody drives a tank, and put a police officer with a bazooka on every street corner.

  • H-B Parent

    We should applaud these young students who are expressing a concern and taking action. Whatever side of the gun debate you are on, the fact that there is a a drive to create change is admirable. How many of you, who comment and are critical, have taken the time to take action in your community?
    The fact that the students are from H-B is irrelevant – would you as critical if the students were from Swanson?

  • Lilly

    Since it’s too late to comment on the last post related to gun control, in which someone said that Florida and Louisiana and the south in general had lower rates of deaths/violence due to guns because there were more guns, would you please share the source/link for that data?

    All I have found is a detailed report, with government data from 1999-2009, which shows that the south is in fact the most violent part of the United States (i.e, has most number of fatalities due to assault).
    http://www.kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2012/07/21/assault-deaths-within-the-united-states/

  • WeaponsForEveryone!

    Israel has a MUCH lower gun-related death rate than US. No matter where you go in Israel – there is always someone with Uzi on their shoulder nearby. Saw a group of school kids on a field trip with an armed chaperone. Chaperone was a beautiful 20 year old girl, but she looked serious and carried whole bunch of weapons. I think this should be a model for our society. Everyone walks around with guns at the ready – we are all safe, no one want to make sudden movements or threatening noises. I bet NRA would support such approach to curbing gun violence.

    • Kleio

      I think it makes sense for all women to be armed at all times when out in public, and it make equal sense that all men should be required when out in public to carry a large Raggedy Ann (TM) doll in one hand and a My Little Pony (TM) toy in the other; with both hands occupied, that should pretty much take care of any imminent threat.

    • b0rk

      National military service is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18. It goes to show that education, not prohibition, goes a long way.

      According to Wikipedia, the rate of homicide in Israel is very low (2.4 killed per 100,000 inhabitants in a year, vs. 4.2 per 100,000 inhabitants in the United States).

      According to the logic of some on this board, the fact that MOST people are armed in Israel should mean that there are more murders and violent crimes being committed, but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Hmmmm.

  • Lilly

    Actually – It has been found that Israel actually REJECTS 40 percent of its applications for a gun, the highest rate of rejection of any country in the world. The same study found: “And even when you get approved…’all guns must have an Interior Ministry permit and identifying mark for tracing’.”

    Also worth mentioning: the difference between the US and Israel and Switzerland (which is also often cited for high rates of gun ownership) is that Israel and Switzerland require COMPULSORY armed service/training for their citizens. This is significant because people are trained to appropriately use and handle guns. And overall gun ownership in both these countries has actually DECREASED through the years.

    For some great information on the actual situation of gun ownership in Israel, see the link below. It is actually not that easy to acquire/own guns there:

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/183813221.html?refer=y

  • fedworker

    It’s a bit more complicated. Froyo anyone?

  • Puzzled

    Why is it important in the headline and article to mention what shook they attend? I’m sure students at other schools support the same cause and also students at H-B that would disagree with this petition, seems to me that the school they go to is irrelevant.”

  • Puzzled

    And by shook of course, I mean school. So sad when auto correct doesn’t account for my fat fingers.

    • Kleio

      The school is mentioned because this is the normal way to write any news story. You need to cover “who, what, where and when” in the first sentence, or paragraph at the most. By doing that you enable people to determine quickly if the item is of interest to them. You answer some of the most likely questions. You also enable the information to be checked out by readers in the community. There are a few times when a news story needs to leave out identifying details: for example, in the case of some crime victims, juvenile arrestees, national security information, and confidential sources, but even then an editor normally has to be told on request. Otherwise how can anyone trust that the writer is not just making stuff up? Think how the above story would seem to you if the school wasn’t named. “Students at an unnamed Arlington school have created a petition…” Wouldn’t that seem weird? Might you not wonder what the writer was hiding?

      • Puzzled

        If the petition was started as part of some school activity, or endorsed by the school’s town meeting, I might agree, but this was done as a private action of these two kids. We don’t reference the workplace of every adult in the title of an article that focuses on them, unless the subject of the article relates to the workplace. A brief reference within the article might be appropriate, but with the title and the picture it makes it seem like this is a school thing, and encourages our beloved arlnow commenters to criticize and stereotype the entire school. Though of course, there is never much encouragement needed there!

  • Wow

    Wow there is a lot of comments!

  • tautomer

    I am absolutely blown away at the vitriol in many of the comments here. .. and by the sheer stupidity of many of you.

    Insults to independent-thinking teens because they are engaged and part of the process?
    Baffling comments about whether a student cursed in class? Your points is what? it is a word. Commonly used. Get over it.
    The individual who objected and used abortion as an example? What the hell was your point?
    It is obvious to me that the one thing about Woodlawn that hasn’t changed in the 34 years since I was a student here is that the rest of the community just doesn’t “get it” and never will.

    I am not so sure why two students thinking for themselves and acting on their convictions in a responsible manner is so objectionable that it would provoke some of the nasty comments that it has here but I will say that I am proud as hell that free thinking lives on at HW-Woodlawn.

  • 2009HBWgrad

    First of all, it is not a constitutional right to bear an assault weapon. Assault weapons are designed to kill, and at a higher speed than an ordinary rifle. They do not belong in the hands of the mentally ill.

    I am in favor of this petition, and honestly, these laws should have already been in place. The Sandy Hook massacre is extremely tragic. Unfortunately, Nancy Lanza did not exhibit responsible gun ownership. Leaving a mentally ill child home alone with access to multiple weapons is far from responsible. As a result of her irresponsibility, 26 innocent lives have been lost.

    I am also a student at Virginia Tech, and I am really upset that such shootings have continued to occur. I was not yet a Hokie during the 2007 massacre, but I cannot say that I haven’t been affected by it. One year ago I was studying for finals, and a police officer was shot on Virginia Tech’s campus. The following year, I am studying for finals, and I am reading about a massacre that occurred at an elementary school. It is too much, too often and these lives can not be brought back.

    This petition is not requesting to permanently ban weapons, it is asking for control. Our society has become out-of-control, and in order to be considered in-control again we must eliminate/reduce the source of the variation. It seems that everyone has tried to point their fingers at somebody else; but the facts point us to a correlation between gun control and mental illness – and something has got to change. And the answer is not providing citizens with more guns.

    And for all of the H-B commentary, I just would like to reiterate H-B is ranked 2/167 locally, above Yorktown, Washington-Lee, and Wakefield: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2012/list/local/h-b-woodlawn-arlington-va/

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