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Archive for June, 2008

The Supreme Court Has Put A Real Damper On My Day

Posted by drewbendon on June 26, 2008

Update: Google Map: Oakland Homicides 2008


“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.”

Today, according to the Supreme Court, this phrase means that if you are not a felon or mentally ill, that you have an absolute right to keep a loaded operational, unlocked firearm in your home “for your protection.”

The driving, fundamental premise of the majority’s decision is that the the phrase “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” is merely prefatory and does not define the right which is “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The argument is made linguistically and, purportedly, historically.

But if you think that the phrase “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” is only a preface, devoid of impact, than you are free to ignore the actual historical context of the Second Amendment – and therefore its import.

Justice Scalia points out the historical context.

“… the history that the founding generation knew and that we have described above. That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the ablebodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people’s arms, enabling a select militia or standing army to suppress political opponents. This is what had occurred in England that prompted codification of the right to have arms in the English Bill of Rights.”

The founding fathers lived in a world of monarchical tyrants. In trying to create their free society they wanted to make sure that power wouldn’t be concentrated in the hands of one or even a few persons who could then abridge the freedoms of the people. And yes, I understand that one of those freedoms would have been the use and ownership of guns – by white males. But we don’t live in that time.

Since that time we have created a standing army and eliminated (except on the lunatic fringe) militia. Since that time we have created hand-held guns with dramatically greater fire-power and accuracy than the finest weapons of that age. Since that time we have moved from a primarily agrarian society to one in which we have metropolitan areas with over 10 million people. Few of us – in this country – live in the same fear of a tyrant ruling us as those folks who founded this country 232 years ago.

If we don’t consider the historical context in which the Constitution was drafted, how can we make it relevant to our modern society. Handguns are an awful menace to our free society. Take a look at some statistics.

Comparison of U.S. gun homicides to other industrialized countries:
In 1998 (the most recent year for which this data has been compiled), handguns murdered:

  • 373 people in Germany
  • 151 people in Canada
  • 57 people in Australia
  • 19 people in Japan
  • 54 people in England and Wales, and
  • 11,789 people in the United States

(*Please note that these 1998 numbers account only for HOMICIDES, and do not include suicides, which comprise and even greater number of gun deaths, or unintentional shootings).

– Provided by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

From the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence website: http://www.ichv.org/index.htm; http://www.ichv.org/Statistics.htm

Take the time to review the research.



I think you will agree that we need to rid our society of the negative impact of handguns.

Despite the optimism of the Brady Campaign I think that this Supreme Court decision can only be considered a step toward the further decay of safety and security in our society. (How many recent stories of gun violence have there been in our local papers; its too hard to count.) It also underscores, to me, how important each Presidential election is to future jurisprudence. One has to wonder how this decision goes if George Bush II was never elected president.

Justices Scalia (Reagan), Roberts (G.W. Bush), Thomas (G. Bush), Kennedy (Reagan) and Alito (G.W. Bush) voted in the majority.

Justices Stevens (Ford), Souter (G. Bush), Bader-Ginsberg (Clinton) and Breyer (Clinton) were in the minority.


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Sometimes it just works

Posted by drewbendon on June 20, 2008

Every once in a while, a bit of hue and cry from the public actually changes policy.  Its rare to be sure, but when it works its a wonderful reminder that we are in fact the government.  So here’s a big hearty thank you to those of you Piedmont greenies who played your part in convincing the state to do this: Apple Moth Spraying Called Off.


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Piedmont Baseball Survey

Posted by Len Gilbert on June 18, 2008

Hey, lots of baseball and softball posts lately, but it is that time of year…

I have coached teams from tee ball to Mustang and am currently the PBF Mustang commissioner. If you participated in the Piedmont Baseball Foundation programs this spring, please take our season-end survey.

We are always trying to improve the program. Some of the things we try work, some don’t. We want to hear from you how the season went for you and your child or children. We have questions about the league, your coaches, competitive programs, and the different divisions.

Please let us know what you think!

Take the Survey


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Baja Padres Defend Dads Club Softball Title

Posted by Len Gilbert on June 4, 2008

Come out an root for your schools Dads Club team.

The defending champion Beach Dads Club, aka the Baja Padres are playing Wildwood again. New this year is the inclusion of the recently formed Havens Dads Club.

The three clubs will play a series of three, 3-inning round-robin games this Saturday, June 7th 2:30pm at Coaches Field.

Game 1: Havens vs Wildwood
Game 2: Havens vs Beach
Game 3: Beach vs Wildwood (the rematch)

Sport your school’s dads club by wearing your club’s colors. Beach again is wearing the Baja Padres black and orange. Wildwood is returning in green and gold. Havens? That’s a mystery….

The proceeds from registration go to the tri-school program of the winning team’s choice.

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