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Ear to the Ground

Police ‘Regret’ Airing of Shooter’s Video

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Posted on Apr 19, 2007

The superintendent of the Virginia state police has politely criticized NBC for airing the Virginia Tech shooter’s video diatribe. The head of NBC News defended the decision to broadcast the footage, saying: “I’m not sure we’ll ever fully understand why this happened, but I do think this is as close as we’ll come to having a glimpse inside the mind of a killer.”


BBC:

Speaking at Virginia Tech, Steve Flaherty, superintendent of Virginia State Police, said he appreciated NBC’s co-operation, but regretted the decision to broadcast the tapes.

“A lot of folks saw images that were very disturbing,” he told a news conference.

“This is a kind of image that people in my line of work have to see, and I’m worried that people who are not used to seeing them had to see them,” he said.

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By JNagarya, April 21, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

#65330 by gryphyn on 4/20 at 8:07 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

“There’s a really fine line between reporting a newsworthy event and sensationalizing it.  Being able to see and hear the person responsible for these killings fills out our understanding of what happened here.  And then we might not dismiss summarily those whose behavior follows a similar pattern.”

And it was sensationalized.

And those are the only considerations.  Irrelevant is compounding the trauma of the survivors?  Irrelevant giving the killer the wall-to-wall platform he wanted?  Irrelevant the invitation to copy-cats who also want to go out in a blaze of “glory” and posthumous fame?

Irrelevant are the consequences to the thoughtless.

The media could have been minimally responsible: report receipt of the materials to the authorities, and consult with them and other professionals in the field how to present such inflammatory materials to the public—if at all.

Does the First Amendment protect the “right” of the media to show, and the viewer to see, the crime scene itself?  Why not?  All the better that be done before the dead are removed.  Even better, gory close-up video shots!

Money over life itself, just so long as one’s personal voyeuristic curiosity is satisfied, for the moment.

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By nonsequitor, April 21, 2007 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

Bread and Circus time at Numb Beyond Comprehesion news.
...and the great unwashed is trying to decide if it is Bread or Circus. lol


It wondereth me how i would act if this were my son?

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By gryphyn, April 20, 2007 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There’s a really fine line between reporting a newsworthy event and sensationalizing it.  Being able to see and hear the person responsible for these killings fills out our understanding of what happened here.  And then we might not dismiss summarily those whose behavior follows a similar pattern.

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

#65235 by tomack on 4/20 at 8:31 am
(Unregistered commenter)

Guns don’t kill people, historians do—through sheer boredom.

While I haven’t picked up anything new from either of you I didn’t already learn in High School (good ole Mr. McNally was a great teacher)the first few exchanges…vollies…were entertaining—in that uncomfiortable sort of way. But now it’s just a horrible example of seeing people become what they (probably)rail against during the normal course of a day. Good energy wasted via thinly veiled hostility. Agree to disagree or disagree to agree…something…anything. Just stick to the real argument at PRESENT: what do we think as a society about pummeling our public with every concievable bit of news—happy, sad, or in between. Answer: that rain has left the station…long ago. It’s all or nothing when it comes right down to it. Slippery slope otherwise, what?

Hostilityy?  From the other person, yes.  Otherwise, it’s okay to speak with an accent, but not the read with one.

And I doubt you learned about the debates of the Bill of Rights in high school history.  What is the source of your hostile condescension?

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

#65182 by masonmyatt on 4/20 at 4:10 am
(8 comments total)

“. . . .  For the record, I did not say that the Constitution was adopted WITH the Bill of Rights in place. . . .”

This is what you said—

“So, the new Constitutional government, adopted only after the Bill of Rights was added, constituted a new government which required new institutions—-such as organized militias.”

The Executive branch was organized under the ratified Constitution before the first Congress was organized and held.  The Bill of Rights was debated and framed by that first Congress.  And _organized_ militia was the norm from the beginnings of the colonies.  I provided source by means of which to verify the latter for oneself. 

“If you have been studying this all those years, then you know as well as anyone that you could cite sources from reputable publishers that would back anything you might want to argue within the bounds of reason.”

I make crucial distinction: there is law, and there is non-law.  I only “do” non-law as minimally necessary.  As concerns Constitution and Bill of Rights, legislative history—the debates—have legal authority.  Non-law does not.

I rarely step outside legal history, and usually to determine why a particular anomaly arose in the law.  Plymouth Colony routinely enacted laws regulating firearms; no surprise in that.  But when it suddenly prohibited sale of weapons to Indians, I was curious why.  A war with the Indians.

“Any fact from the historical sources can be challenged.  History is always an interpretation of one’s grasp of the purported facts and can always be altered when new information comes tyo the fore or when there is a better insight into what was already established “factually.””

Law is a different discipline; it is rare one cannot determine “original intent” by going to legislative history—the “work product” produced by those who debated and wrote the law in question.

“You do not have all the evidence and you do everyone who reads you a disservice by suggesting that anything with a citation is irrefutable.”

I’ve defended no sources cited; and challenged another who posted non-law without identifying its source.  And it is more efficient to post relevant law to substantiate my assertions than merely describe the law sight-unseen by the reader.

“That you imply an association between me and the “right” end of the political spectrum is just one more blatant example of the inadequacy of your information and the inaccuracies in your assumptions about me.”

Should allow you to substitute your judgment for my knowledge of my experience? 

“If you gave one shred of an indication that you were open to a genuine discussion of these issues, I could cite with as much facility as you.”

When will you be reading the debates of that which became the Second Amendment by those who wrote it?  Am I to wait for you to catch up in that regard before arriving at the unmistakable conclusion to which those ineluctably lead?

“Why do I assume that I could writea 200 page monograph on any one of these issues with pages of documentation and you would dismiss it out of hand with no real interaction?”

Why do you assume no distinction between relevant and irrelevant—between law and non-law?

“You are not open to any challenge in that you hold the truth.”

You haven’t presented challenge; you’ve mostly ascribed “motives”.  And I will certainly reject “challenges” based upon the irrelevant.  When the issue is law, the issue is not addressed by non-law—however fascinating and historically important the latter. 

“That was the source of my implicating your mode of thought with that of the fundamentalists.  You show them a transitional fossil and they see two more gaps.  You would do the same with anything I might write.”

I limit my focus to legal history, law, and legal authority, because the law is not determined from non-law.

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By vet240, April 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure the Police and the School would like to keep as much information about this man and this terrible incident under wraps. There are going to be a lot of law suits.

The school and the police both failed to protect the public by ignoring this mans obvious mental problems for too long a time. One commentator said that the school and the police had to consider their vulnerability to litigation if they had acted prematurely and arrested or detained the killer. Lets see now, one law suit now or dozens later? What to do, what to do?

I for one am appreciative for the chance to find out what was going on in this mans mind. If I had been a parent who lost my child in this horrendous manner I would want to know why. To know why is to know the mind of the mad man who did it.

My first reaction to the killings was that his name should be erased from history. With further thought I have come to the conclusion that we might prevent further incidents of this type by forcing a hard look at the way we allow these mentally ill persons to remain on the loose in our communities. A part of that process is looking at this mans journey into madness.

We need more and better mental health facilities, not more prisons.

Regarding gun control? I think we should limit citizens from all automatic weapons. Six shot revolvers, pump shotguns and bolt action rifles without speed loaders should suffice the average citizens lust for fire power.

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By tomack, April 20, 2007 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Guns don’t kill people, historians do—through sheer boredom.

While I haven’t picked up anything new from either of you I didn’t already learn in High School (good ole Mr. McNally was a great teacher)the first few exchanges…vollies…were entertaining—in that uncomfiortable sort of way. But now it’s just a horrible example of seeing people become what they (probably)rail against during the normal course of a day. Good energy wasted via thinly veiled hostility. Agree to disagree or disagree to agree…something…anything. Just stick to the real argument at PRESENT: what do we think as a society about pummeling our public with every concievable bit of news—happy, sad, or in between. Answer: that rain has left the station…long ago. It’s all or nothing when it comes right down to it. Slippery slope otherwise, what?

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By Tom Doff, April 20, 2007 at 8:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Observing the head of NBC news makes me think that ‘This is as close as we’ll come to having a glimpse inside the mind of an imbecile’.

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By Duris Maxwell, LL.B, April 20, 2007 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well is my face red. I thought the head of NBC’s “expertise” was broadcasting. Duh!! It seems it’s psychiatry! Thank God, therefore, that we’re all in such capable hands: TV Boy is going to help us get “a glimpse inside the mind of a killer.”

Wait a minute…what’s that smell? Oh no, could it be? OMG: It’s Ratings Man; disguised as TV Boy; disquised as Dr. Love.

This horrendous decision of NBC to air these images of a sick, murdering fuck re-victimized everyone who was affected by the shocking nightmare at Virginia Tech. By absconding with the regalia of Behavioral and Development research, the head of NBC thought he could hide his real motive: A massive spike in NBC’s ratings. I would argue he succeeded. For many, he and his network now rate a centre spot at the bottom of the barrel.

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

As a historian, I am a source.

For the record, I did not say that the Constitution was adopted WITH the Bill of Rights in place.  But, New York and New Jersey refused to ratify the Constitution until there was a promise of a Bill of Rights.  Without those ratifications, the Constitution would not have been adopted. You repeatedly make asserions about positions that you inferred from what I said rather than what I said.  If you have been studying this all those years, then you know as well as anyone that you could cite sources from reputable publishers that would back anything you might want to argue within the bounds of reason.  Any fact from the historical sources can be challenged.  History is always an interpretation of one’s grasp of the purported facts and can always be altered when new information comes tyo the fore or when there is a better insight into what was already established “factually.”  You do not have all the evidence and you do everyone who reads you a disservice by suggesting that anything with a citation is irrefutable.

That you imply an association between me and the “right” end of the political spectrum is just one more blatant example of the inadequacy of your information and the inaccuracies in your assumptions about me. 

If you gave one shred of an indication that you were open to a genuine discussion of these issues, I could cite with as much facility as you.  Why do I assume that I could writea 200 page monograph on any one of these issues with pages of documentation and you would dismiss it out of hand with no real interaction?  You are not open to any challenge in that you hold the truth. That was the source of my implicating your mode of thought with that of the fundamentalists.  You show them a transitional fossil and they see two more gaps.  You would do the same with anything I might write.
Have a good day.  I have to go work up some new lies since you are so damned clever.

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

#65173 by masonmyatt on 4/20 at 3:01 am
(7 comments total)

“Okay, it is clearly far more important to you than it is to me to WIN.”

I am not the issue.  The facts are.

“My uncertainty is in reference to my interpretations of issues under debate.  I would never assume that there is no one around whose analyses might not add to my understanding of the world.

“That said, I have a very respectable Ph.D. in US history and have no need to try to out “expertise” you or anyone else.”

That’s why you asserted the “error” that the Constitution was ratified WITH the Bill of Rights, when that is not the fact?

“I tried to engage you in an honest discussion.  You clearly have no interest in that and I am sorry to have intruded into your self-important world.”

I am not the issue: and my honesty is not subject to challenge on any existing grounds.  The facts are the issue.  Have you any issue with or correction of the facts I posted?

“Enjoy your certainty.  I pursued my formal education out of a natural curiousity about the world and its history.  At 60 I am still on that quest to understand everything better than I do now.  I do not have nor desire the kind of certainty you claim.

And yet there are facts which are impossible to challenge except by lie, or other perhaps-inadvertent fiction—correct?

“Intellectually, that puts you in the same class of thinkers as the fundamentalists and other ideologues who preach but do not listen.  Too bad you will never experience the wonder of curiousity and the joy of discovery.  You win?”

I am not the issue.  The facts are.  Have you an issue with or correction of any of the facts I’ve posted?

As for the snipe about “fundamentalists”: How do you “interpret” the statement in the Continental Congress’ “Tory Act” of Jan. 2, 1776 which reads:

“[I]t is the opinion of this Congress that they [Tories] ought to be disarmed”?

Does that tell you that the Founders—at least those who composed that Congress, and supported the publication of that document—were opposed to gun control, and to “gun-grabbing”?

The only “agenda” I have is to get the facts right, and that the facts be got right.  You’ll note that in one of the two threads on TruthDig concerning the VA Tech murders I post facts—quoted directly from the primary sources—which illustrate that both the British, and the Founders, engaged in “gun control” to the degree of disarming the other side.

Note, also, that I identify my sources, and even where they can be found, so you can determine for yourself whether the facts are as I assert.  If I neglect or fail to do so, I can be challenged on that, beginning with request for the source.

I have been directly confronting, eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe, the right wing extremists on these issues for over fifteen years, so am not “new” to them. 

That means I also recognize snippets from that end of the political spectrum, including such assertions that the Constitution was ratified WITH the Bill of Rights—which is certainly, without question or doubt, false. 

And—this also of essential importance—that, “The First Amendment was the most important right, which is why it was placed first.  And the Second Amendment was placed where it is to back up the First.”

That too is certainly, without question or doubt, false: the Bill of Rights as submitted to the states for ratification consisted of TWELVE proposed amendments, the FIRST TWO of which were rejected, thus making Third and Fourth the First and Second.

It isn’t about “winning”; it is about pursuit of truth, and the accuracy requisite to doing that.

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

Forgive my attempts to cling to life here after the discussion was stillborn, but may I ask you about the source of your immediate condescension and personal animus? I am not moping about needing your approval or anything but having reread what I have written, I see no comparable challenges to your integrity or qualifications.  My god, man, you took issue even when I agreed with you.  What is that about? (Since this is no longer about the original thread anyway.)

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

Okay, it is clearly far more important to you than it is to me to WIN. My uncertainty is in reference to my interpretations of issues under debate.  I would never assume that there is no one around whose analyses might not add to my understanding of the world.

That said, I have a very respectable Ph.D. in US history and have no need to try to out “expertise” you or anyone else.  I tried to engage you in an honest discussion.  You clearly have no interest in that and I am sorry to have intruded into your self-important world.  Enjoy your certainty.  I pursued my formal education out of a natural curiousity about the world and its history.  At 60 I am still on that quest to understand everything better than I do now.  I do not have nor desire the kind of certainty you claim.  Intellectually, that puts you in the same class of thinkers as the fundamentalists and other ideologues who preach but do not listen.  Too bad you will never experience the wonder of curiousity and the joy of discovery.  You win?

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 3:50 am Link to this comment

Brief addendum to the following—

“. . . . the original revolution overthrew those colonial governments which had had the sanction of their colonial masters in England. . . .”

The fact I stated in my prior—that there was never an absence of gov’t: there was no “overthrow”; there was a “dissolving of the [legal] bonds”—is that there was an unbroken consistency, regardless nature of gov’t, despotic or elective, in especially the keeping of the military power under the civil power—the rule of law.  As Sam Adams and others expressed it: “The military power is always to be in exact subordination to the Civil Power.”  The same concept is in the “Declaration,” purportedly written by Jefferson: “[King George III] has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.”

Among the earliest acts of the MA-Bay “revolutionary” legislature in 1775-1776 was to repeal, amend, and then reenact the MA-Bay “Militia Act” which had been last amended circa the 1670s.  The crucial point being, again, that regardless whether the gov’t was despotic or elective, the military had always and continued to be kept subordinate to the civil gov’t, thus, beyond elaboration in finer details, there was no need for any significant changes in such laws, or in the separate body of laws which regulated private, individual ownership of guns. 

It is essential to understand, the current crop of self-appointed “patriot"s’ self-serving false fantasies notwithstanding, that gov’t continued right along before, during, and after the “revolution,” without interruption, aside from the dissolution of a few legislatures; and little, other than introduction of separation of powers, actually otherwise changed.

The sources of the Constitution—and Bill of Rights—were not English common (or other) law; the sources were the relatively unique bodies of law of the colonies themselves, the specific sources of the Bill of Rights being the states’ bills of rights in their existing constitutions.  Protecting the gov’t against potential armed overthrow was all along the norm, as was regulation of the means by which that would be accomplished: armed gangs.  Exactly as, for public safety, regulation of dangerous substances and objects, among those obviously being guns, was all along the norm, and continued as such before, during, and after the “revolution”.  That included the Founders’ _disarming_ of the “non-associators”/Loyalists/Tories.

No sane society is opposed to gun control, else it is suicidal, in which instance it is not sane.

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 3:17 am Link to this comment

#65164 by masonmyatt on 4/20 at 1:38 am
(4 comments total)

. . . .  My reference to a new society was not meant to ignore the pacts, covenants and laws of the earlier colonies.  However, the original revolution overthrew those colonial governments which had had the sanction of their colonial masters in England.

Let’s see how much of a “historian” you are—

The “revolution” did not do any such thing.  When, as example, in 1775 the last Royal governor of MA-Bay, Gen. Gage, dissolved the legislature—which consisted of the “revolutionaries”—they simply reestablished the legislature and continued to enact laws.  In other words, there was never an absence of gov’t, except for the intercharter period (in relation to which there was also a “revolution”) of circa 1684 to circa 1691/2.

In 1776, the Founders’—not the Brits—legislature enacted, among many others, the statute by which they—not the Brits—disarmed the Tories.

“Similarly, after the Confederation government became too “democratic” for the landed and busuiness interests, the Constitution was produced to limit the extent of the democratic experiment articulated by the likes of Jefferson—-who was not invited to work on the Constitution, by the way.”

False again, at minimum as concerns Jefferson.  It was not that Jefferson wasn’t “invited” to the Constitutional Convention—to which, in fact the delegates were _elected_, not “invited,” by the several state legislatures—it was the fact that he was at the time, as an emissary, in Paris, France.

“So, the new Constitutional government, adopted only after the Bill of Rights was added, constituted a new government which required new institutions—-such as organized militias.

Absolutely false.  James Madison, with little resistance, persuaded the Constitutional Convention that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary.  Then, several state Ratifying Conventions, beginning with MA-Bay, submitted with their Notices of Ratification of the Constitution _proposed amendments_ thereto. 

Then, Madison, having changed his mind during a tough election, codified those proposed amendments, and submitted them to the first Congress—the House, as he was a Representative—under the newly-ratified Constitution as a resolution for a Bill of Rights, against majority indifference.  That proposal was nonetheless taken up, and evolved through changes in both houses of Congress, subsequent to which it was submitted to the states for ratification.

“I think we share the main point that the Second Amendment was not about individual rights.”

Madison’s draft of that which became the Second Amendment read, in full: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.”

If you’d like, I can provide you the date on which the Constitution was ratified by the required none states; and the date thereafter on which the Bill of Rights was ratified by the required nine states.

As for my certitude as compared with your lack thereof: for one, I am a legal professional; for another, as such, I know what is law, and what is not; and I am a long-time student of the legal history of the colonies, including that, centrally, which eventuated in Constitution, Bill of Rights, and—in particular—the Second Amendment.  In short, I have the facts, immediately at my elbow; you have a jumbled and uncertain speculation.

As for the Bill of Rights, and the intents of those who DEBATED AND WROTE it, see _Creating the Bill of Rights: The Documentary Record from the First Federal Congress_ (Johns Hopkins, 1991), Ed. by Helen E. Veit, et al.—the title of which by itself substantiates for me that the Constitution was ratified—this no secret—without, and before the existance of, the Bill of Rights.

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 2:38 am Link to this comment

I find little to disagree with my respondant but I think I was misread.  My reference to a new society was not meant to ignore the pacts, covenants and laws of the earlier colonies.  However, the original revolution overthrew those colonial governments which had had the sanction of their colonial masters in England.  Similarly, after the Confederation government became too “democratic” for the landed and busuiness interests, the Constitution was produced to limit the extent of the democratic experiment articulated by the likes of Jefferson—-who was not invited to work on the Constitution, by the way. So, the new Constitutional government, adopted only after the Bill of Rights was added, constituted a new government which required new institutions—-such as organized militias.  I think we share the main point that the Second Amendment was not about individual rights.

Also, in reference to my addendum about the motives of those challenging NBC’s airing of the video, my remarks had litle to do with the motives of NBC; instead, I was questioning the motives of those who attack the media from the Right.  Everyone seems to hate the media lately.  The Left, including this writer, loathes the extent to which most major media are corporate owned and regulated and they are often representative of that set of “values” rather than public service. Mo medium is exempt but I would like to note that two of the most villified news sources, the Times and the Post are among only 3 privately owned newspapers on the national scene—-the third being the St. Petrsburg paper, also the Times, I think.  I have little doubt that the heads of NBC saw dollars when they saw the tapes but I do not think that is the source of the attacks from the Right.

I cannot state with any authority—-I am a historian, not a psychologist—whether the publication of the rants of the most recent madman encourage copy cats or not. I think it is likely that some may seek similar notoriety.  I also think their airing might also work as a deterrent to an extent since the picture we see is of a person few will want to emulate.  The video raises huge issues and discussion points about all the points we are addressing in this exchange. The issue is debatable. 

However, I have to maintain my commitment to a belief that we are better served by facts, when we have them, than by censorship.  That said, I also agree with Nagarya that one must exercise one’s “right” to express oneself with all due responsibility.  I guess I am less sure of being unquestionably right as Nagarya appears to be—-and that is my inference, not a fact.

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

All these neo-cons who worship at the throne of “original intent” ought to note that the Second Amendment was written in the context of a new society with no organized state militias or national guards.

False.  From the founding of the very first colonies on this continent—New-Plimoth (Plymouth) being the first stable—the militia was always _under law_—laws called “Militia Acts”.  One can find those laws—and the routine regulation of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms—in _The Compact, Charter and Laws of the Colony of New Plymouth_ (Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1836; Buffalo, NY: W. S. Hein, 1982), Edited by William Brigham.  Available from such as Amazon.

In addition, and oh so pointedly: the “Minutemen” of Lexington-Concord were not a spontaneous, voluntary gathering of individual gun-nuts; they were a long-existing, well trained—and regulated under law—militia.  Under those laws, the heads of the militia—which were organized by county—were public officials—judges, selectmen, and the like: those most likely to know the law.

Further: the Original Thirteen variously adopted their first constitutions during 1776-77, and 1780 (the latter being MA-Bay).  Every one of those constitutions includes a “militia clause”—which was implemented, as are constitutions, by means of statutes called: “Militia Acts”.  Also stipulated in all those constitutions (this remains the fact) was that the commander-in-chief of the militia is the same person who is at the same time governor of the state.  (Only a looney or suicidal militia commander-in-chief would “defend against” the gov’t headed by himself.)

Only later were the Constitution, and then the Bill of Rights/Second, framed and ratified.  And as I show elsewhere, and can show again if necessary, the Second Amendment has nothing whatever to do with “individual” anything, the NRA’s lie against that fact notwithstanding.

“Not to put too fine a point on it but it was also in the context of a frontier society where one might encounter a bear or a moose on the way to the latrine.”

Vaguely true, at best.  An example: an MA-Bay statute responsing to King Philip’s War—“King Philip” a son of Massasoit—among other things prohibited the selling of guns to Indians; and prohibited the repair of Indian’s guns.  Today we call that “gun control”.

Okay, one more fact: there was no “counter”-“revolution” because, in 1776, the Founders/Framers _disarmed_ those “disaffected with the revolution”.  See, as example, 1776 “The Tory Act,” available by search at loc.gov, in which the same Continental Congress which authored the “Declaration” wrote: [I]t is the opinion of this congress that they [Tories] be disarmed.”

Today we call that “confiscation” and “gun-grabbing” and—as this was also in the statute—“prohibition”. 

No sane society leaves dangerous substances and objects lying around unregulated.  The Founders/Framers operated in and established a sane society.  The NRA won’t tell you any of the foregoing facts.  I just did.

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By JNagarya, April 20, 2007 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

#65158 by masonmyatt on 4/20 at 12:23 am
(2 comments total)

Even I, who would crawl to DC to vote for a double impeachment, do not want to overly politicize the events at VPI but once again we see the media being attacked—-for what?  For reporting facts.  In this “culture of corruption” overseen by Bush/Cheney, “facts” have become “liberal” and reporting them has become anti-American.

Perhaps the state officials do not want us to see the rantings of a madman who so recently was allowed by the state to purchase a gun.  Sure he could have found a gun somewhere if he’d been persistent but he would not have gotten the gun he used if Virginia employed a background check before allowing a gun purchase.  They “ask” if the buyer has been institutionalized and presumably expect people who have been in mental hospitals to tell the truth about it.  THAT is the obscenity, not NBC’s showing of the tape.

Why do conservatives—or more precisely, Bushies—hate facts so much?  Ignorance is supposed to be the biggest threat to democracy and facts the enemy of tyrrany.  The current regime has those traditional American values turned inside out, as usual.

Let’s try a moral distinction, okay?

NBC hgot a “scoop”; and the only concern was/is ratings/profits.  Broadcast “news” organizations ceased being concerned with news, and facts, when they no longer had to provide that public service—separate from money-making—in exchange for their lucrative squatings on the publicly-owned airwaves.

They did not broadcast those tapes in order to inform; they did it to titilate, enhance their ratings, and increase their profits.  They—pointedly—did not bother to concern themselves with the compounding of trauma of the victims.

There is another responsibility: We may not be able always to stop copy-cat criminals; but we also need not encourage them, eh?  Cho wanted the “fame” after the fact; he even referred to Columbine.  During an interview with a victim of Columbine, now a college student, she had already been afraid to even sit in a classroom.  She also noted that “many” of her peers consider Columbine to have been “cool”. 

Not sufficiently alarmed yet?  How many will be “inspired” to copy-cat Columbine and Cho, in view of the fact that the media will assist them in achieving their ultimate goal: fame?

It’s of importance that those who talk about First Amendment “rights” never mention the fact that every right is inextricably entwined with a responsibility.  I don’t advocate censorship; but I certainly advocate responsiblity, even if that means one foregoes improved ratings and increased profits at the exepense of others’ lives.  Or is the absolutely unregulated “free market” to be made paramount over all else, even as it randomly cannibalizes chunks of the population, with those chunks afforded no choice in the matter?

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 1:39 am Link to this comment

PS: In a premptive response to the wingnuts who may scream about our Second Amendment “rights,” let me urge you to read the damned amendment!  The “right” to bear arms is inextricably linked to the need for a militia.  We now HAVE a “well regulated militia.”  It just happens to be in Iraq right now.

All these neo-cons who worship at the throne of “original intent” ought to note that the Second Amendment was written in the context of a new society with no organized state militias or national guards.  Not to put too fine a point on it but it was also in the context of a frontier society where one might encounter a bear or a moose on the way to the latrine. Times change and a post-industrial society wracked by random violence is not one that needs more armed lunatics to shoot everyone who hurts their feelings.

If origianl intent is so sacred, we should reinstitutionalize slavery since the founding fathers sanctioned it throughout the Constitution.  Do we really want to define the 21st century by 18th century mores?

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By masonmyatt, April 20, 2007 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

Even I, who would crawl to DC to vote for a double impeachment,  do not want to overly politicize the events at VPI but once again we see the media being attacked—-for what?  For reporting facts.  In this “culture of corruption” overseen by Bush/Cheney, “facts” have become “liberal” and reporting them has become anti-American.

Perhaps the state officials do not want us to see the rantings of a madman who so recently was allowed by the state to purchase a gun.  Sure he could have found a gun somewhere if he’d been persistent but he would not have gotten the gun he used if Virginia employed a background check before allowing a gun purchase.  They “ask” if the buyer has been institutionalized and presumably expect people who have been in mental hospitals to tell the truth about it.  THAT is the obscenity, not NBC’s showing of the tape.

Why do conservatives—or more precisely, Bushies—hate facts so much?  Ignorance is supposed to be the biggest threat to democracy and facts the enemy of tyrrany.  The current regime has those traditional American values turned inside out, as usual.

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By nonsequitor, April 19, 2007 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

once a fool…always a fool.
ok, flaherty you’ve had your 15 minutes of fame now go crawl back under your rock.

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