“Bullfighting in Coarsegold?”

Jose Maria Manzanares

Although the Oakhurst area has been treated to two separate displays of impressive support for gun rights these last few weeks at the intersection of Highways 41 and 49, local participants might as well have been demonstrating against the introduction of bull fighting at next year’s Coarsegold Rodeo.

No one is discussing any such thing, just as no one is talking about taking anyone’s guns away or introducing any major legislation nationally that hasn’t already been the law here in California for at least the last two decades.

The old “Slippery Slope” argument isn’t remotely applicable. That’s like arguing for no speed limits in characterizing any form of collective restraint as inevitably opening the door to complete restriction. As Mr. Spock would observe — that’s not a logical perspective.

So let’s use basic reason.

What has President Obama’s history been on gun legislation since he took office in January of 2009?

In February of that year, he supported former President George Bush’s last minute rule before leaving office allowing loaded guns in national parks.

In 2010, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave the President a report card of seven F’s for his first year in office, including one on “standing up to the gun lobby.”

FactCheck.org reported at the end of 2011, “We’ve seen little or no evidence that the Obama Administration is doing much to regulate guns or gun ownership.”

Caroline Brewer, Director of Communication for the Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says, “We certainly don’t have a record of President Obama calling for an elimination of any kind on handguns in the United States.” Brewer adds, “After the near fatal shooting of U.S. Representative Gabby Gifford, the President called for better background checks, not banning guns.”

All of the above is presented in response to a number of anti-Obama, anti-government proclamations included in the recent Tea Party supported Oakhurst demonstrations.

Can’t our poor President do anything potentially right for the seemingly outraged politically right? And let’s be mindful of the fact that President Obama’s record on Gun Safety prior to the Sandy Hook killings, particularly lack of inclusion or even the slightest reference to the issue in his successful re-election campaign, has earned him significant negatives from the left wing of his own party.

To help set the record straight, the Democratic Club of Oakhurst will be distributing informative leaflets on both Saturday, March 16th, and Saturday, March 23rd, from 2 till 4 in front of Von’s.

I already have my own sign ready. It simply says, “Support the Constitution! NO Confiscation!”

We’ll have a copy of the Second Amendment visible as well. It states, “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.”

I am of the opinion that the phrase “well regulated” clearly necessitates reasonable measures of control, meaning it’s probably not cool to keep nuclear tipped rockets in one’s garage. And I believe the words “free State” can be fairly defined as the new government existing on December 17, 1791 — known to all these days as our current United States of America. It’s hard for me to envision our Founding Fathers declaring, “If we get this wrong, shoot us!”

Anyone who thinks they’re going to overthrow a tyrannical federal government with their AK-47’s might want to read up on drones, cruise missiles, our Navy SEALs and APC’s.


3 Responses to ““Bullfighting in Coarsegold?””

  1. Charles Walker Says:

    Peter C, I do not now nor have I ever owned a firearm. I have fired guns in the past at targets and shooting sporting clays, but that was many years ago. I have been fascinated with guns since I was a child. However I have always had a deathly fear of bullets.

    The primary reasons that I do not own a gun: 1. If I was faced with a situation where I had to defend myself or my family I honestly don’t believe that I could shoot another being. 2. The fact that I may be unwilling to use a gun in a situation described above leads me to believe that, like thousands of others, I might very well be shot and possibly killed with my own gun. 3. While I have no reason to think that I might ever consider suicide, having access to a firearm certainly makes suicide by me or someone with access to my firearm much easier.

    All that said, I accept for better or for worse the fact that the second amendment to our Constitution confers on American citizens the right to possess firearms.

    There was a recent story in my local fish rapper about the number of “Conceal-Carry” permits in Florida that really caught my attention. As of today there are about 1,000,000 folks here in Florida who can legally carry a gun concealed on their person. That translates to approximately one permittee for every 19.3 man, woman and child in the state. That is a staggering statistic! I personally have two friends who carry concealed weapons at all times (well actually only one now, the other fellow has developed dementia and his wife won’t let him carry it any more). They are both fine, upstanding citizens who would never misuse their firearms on purpose. I do wonder sometimes, how many folks I have passed in the local Piggily Wiggly who are packing. I’m guessing more than a few.

    My curiosity led me to attend the gun show at the county fairgrounds recently. There has been so much chatter about this gun show (“Concealed weapons classes on premises; get yours while you still can!”) and gun shows in general lately that I decided to experience one for myself. At 10:30 AM Sunday, February 24th there was a short line to pay the $6 admission to the show. Once inside the building was crowded with vendors and attendees. I observed no obvious criminal types or gang bangers. There were a few folks in camo clothing, but not the full on survivalist types. On the other hand, there were no folks that I could identify as likely to have their pictures in the “Luminaries” section of the Press-Journal. They were for the most part a “Walmart” crowd. Regular working folk…blue collar fishermen and hunters. I’m sure there were some gun collectors as well. Frankly the vendors looked (to me at any rate) a lot sketchier than the customers.

    There were a lot of guns for sale. I mean SERIOUSLY a lot of guns. There were everything from Derringers all the way up to Bushmaster AR-15s with price tags of $2500+. There were lots of bullets for sale. There were high capacity ammo clips. There were holsters and hand grips and carrying cases and cleaning kits. There were stun guns and pepper spray. But what really amazed me was the profusion of knives. There were little knives, big knives and really, really HUGE knives! There were spears! There were war axes and ninja star knives. There were even halberds for the love of Zeus! Just like the ones the Swiss Guards at the Vatican carry! What in the world does someone do with a halberd? Can you imagine what would go through the mind of some miscreant when his victim decides to stand his ground with a halberd?

    I walked around for 45 minutes looking at the merchandise and the folks in attendance. As I said, they appeared to be just regular folks, possibly more Okeechobee than Barrier Island, but regular folks just like you and me. And yet, there we all were, at a gun show at 10:30 on a Sunday morning…

    I admit to feeling a little uncomfortable at the show. As I said, I have a lifelong fascination with guns, but I don’t know why. I’m guessing most of the other folks at the show are the same. 99% are not criminals or psychopaths. Probably 99.9% of them will never shot another human being. I’m guessing that 98% would or will not ever commit a crime involving a firearm. On the other hand, I bet at least 85% of the people in that building currently own a firearm and 40-45% currently have a valid concealed weapons permit.

    I agree with the NRA: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. However, I would offer this caveat; guns can facilitate people in the killing of people…

    Then I drove to the Vero Beach airport to take pictures of the registrations on the outlandishly expensive private jets sitting on the apron. If you go to the Flight Aware website, you can trace the registrations and see which zillionaires are visiting our fair county this weekend, but that’s another story.

  2. petercavanaugh Says:

    Dear Charlie:

    Please know how well I rest these last few hours comforted by the soothing knowledge that you’re not holding anything back.

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