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February 28, 2016

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Until such time as America manages to ban guns like Australia did or reduce them as the UK did, it will always have a problem with its mentally challenged gun owners. What kind of parliamentary majority would be needed to change the 2nd Amendment?

Before anyone nags me for being anti-gun, just let me point out that I have owned several.

Stu--Barring a re-interpretation by the Supreme Court, of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution, it would take another Amendment to the US Constitution for the gun ownership by non-militia members to be banned. Article 5 from the Constitution provides the following:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Simply: 1) Two-thirds of members in attendance (and meeting a quorum) of both houses of Congress pass a proposed constitutional amendment. This sends the proposed amendment to the states for ratification. 2) Three-fourths of the states (38 states) must ratify the proposed amendment, either by their legislatures or special ratifying conventions, in order for the amendment to be adopted.

BTW: Since an amendment is considered to be a part of the constitution, changing an amendment is treated like changing any other part of the constitution.

We have had three gun killings just in the past few weeks, unprecedented for this out of the way place in Hawaii, two of them by police. It's escalating everywhere. So are we just going to let this happen and say, well, for legal reasons we can't do anything about the situation? We could start by actually enforcing the gun laws we do have.

I recall hearing the news item -- so tragic -- and in "middle America." The other part of that story distressing to me is the mindset that manifests itself in violence toward women.

Gun ownership seemed harmless to me three-quarters of a century ago during the years I lived in a semi-rural area and men in my life legitimately exercised an outdoorsman life -- never killed creatures for entertainment. I, too, learned gunmanship. During the ensuing years the guns that have come into everyman's ownership and in cities is mindless. I would certainly agree a starting point is to actually enforce the gun laws we have. There is room for some additional requirements.

Perhaps if there are some Supreme Court changes there will be a court case to make its way there. As I recall the argument had been guns were allowed for the militia which some interpreted as not meaning every citizen. Some I know here have strongly emotionally echoed the Charlton Heston statement and I wonder what efforts to remove guns from households might trigger (sorry about the pun.)

I think you are in to something Hattie. Just enforce the laws that are already on the books. The Politcians always clamor for more laws in this type of instance, but the same people that want more laws seem to be loathe to enforce the laws on the books or actually punish criminals.

The local Public Broadcasting System radio station had a report, this morning, concerning how well everyone worked together in response to the active shooter event. They told how the Harvey County (I don't recall whether they said "emergency management" or "sheriff's") department had just recently joined with other communities to provide assistance to one another. The report was quite laudatory concerning how other communities helped out and how, of the 14 people shuttled to hospitals (at least one of which is in Wichita - Sedgwick County), all were still alive. (They didn't say so, but I believe that one is still in critical condition.)

That said, I can assure the reporter that the mutual-aid agreements among counties are a part of the State's emergency planning - in force for all the years that I've been in disaster work. For all the things I dislike about Kansas, I've always been pleased at how well the various local government agencies work together. About 10 years ago, I counted 10 or 11 different jurisdictions represented by fire departments working on a block-long, downtown fire in a small city. And they all worked together!

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