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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Former Fort Wayne Mayor and current Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke, speaking at the Rotary Club yesterday:

Political action is also needed. Helmke has criticized Republican officials and said he will do the same with the Democratic-led Congress if it chooses to ignore the country's gun problem.

Virginia Tech has been referred to as a wake-up call, but Helmke said the country has seen many others. He rattled off a dozen or more fatal school and workplace shootings in recent years including Columbine, West Nickel Mines, Pa., and the shooting at Johnson Space Center in Texas the same week as the Virginia Tech shootings.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, on the other hand:

Gov. Rick Perry, mulling ways to stop the kind of murderous rampages that recently left 33 dead on a college campus in Virginia, said Monday there's one sure-fire solution he likes: allow Texans to take their concealed handguns anywhere.


Perry said he opposes any concealed gun-toting restrictions at all — whether it's in a hospital, a public school, a beer joint or even the local courthouse.


Larry Morris
Tue, 05/01/2007 - 7:27am

Yet another reason I like living in Texas, ... (all those who want to argue we shouldn't be able to take our legal firearms into places like schools or courthouses, we're the only ones barred from doing so, the criminals can do (and usually do) what-ever they want, ...)

Wed, 05/02/2007 - 11:07am

"nelson peters wants to take your guns away"

google that.
also- see recent x-wire.blogspot.com post about same topic.

There is a very good reason for the 2nd amendment, and the Indiana constitution equivalent. (google "indiana constitution")
Article 1, paragraph 32, and 33..

One of the first battles of the American Revolution/ (war of the rebellion by the british) was the battles of lexington, and concord. They were fought because the British Army /government wanted to take away the guns of the colonists. Ordinary armed citizens, volunteer militia, and "minutemen" stopped that didnt they?
After all peaceful means of defending their freedoms as citizens, and otherwise law-abiding colonists had been exhausted, the minutemen were forced to defend themselves, and protect their families and property.
they did a pretty good job of it, too.

Many atrocities were perpetrated on the American populace by the British Army, who had generally been rude, and disrepsectful of the colonists concerns, as cited in the declaration of independence.

So any time anybody wants to take your guns away, or stop future purchases of guns, or the right to obtain a ccw permit( and just why does a law-abiding citizen need permission to exercise a constitutional right anyway?) thus reducing by attrition the supply of available firearms to the citizens , one has the duty to question the motives, partiotism, and loyalty to the constitution
of those who would disarm the citizens- because one restriction will follow another and another, and so on.

It is the duty of every citizen to vote against traitors, and their supporters, their puppets, and stooges, at every level government.
thousands of Americans have died defending your right to protect yourself from the enemies of the constitution- both foreign- And especially domestic.
like it or not, everybody must stand up and fight for their freedoms, or die like dogs in mass graves.
Paul Helmke is a silver-tongued devil, selling the snake oil of gun confiscation, all the while speaking with the proverbial "forked tongue" of so-called reasonableness.
and Nelson Peters is his puppet.

tim zank
Wed, 05/02/2007 - 5:55pm

Roach, what exactly do you base the Helmke/Peters conspiracy on? As a commissioner or a mayor, Peters can't affect any change in Fort Wayne or Allen county with respect to guns, so why all the harping?

Steve Towsley
Wed, 05/02/2007 - 10:47pm

When Paul Helmke opens with a notion he calls "the country's gun problem," he has already lost his way. What "gun" problem, exactly?

Helmke's assertion is a dangerous red herring which could divert America yet again from dealing with the real social and psychological problems often bred by our culture, problems which include some violent mentally ill, uncaring sociopaths and delusional psychopaths among them.

When Helmke asserts that the country needs to take up another debate on guns, he is transparently trying to fire up anti-gun sentiment in hopes that Americans will stand for another round of infringements against the one paragraph of the Bill of Rights which explicitly and unequivocally states that it shall not be infringed. Not infringed, meaning not even nibbled around the edges.

It's funny how Helmke's cohorts on the one hand purposely misconstrue the 2nd Amendment, announcing that it grants rights only to state militias, while on the other hand trying to reassure crowds upon crowds of Americans that they have no desire to take away "your Second Amendment rights." Whose? The militias rights?

Politicians and activists on all sides of these discussions admit without a second thought that Second Amendment rights DO exist for the American people. Virtually nobody in the nation is declaring that Americans have no rights under Article II of the Bill of Rights.

So, given that everybody acknowledges Americans have 2nd Amendment rights, list the rights that the Amendment declares "shall not be infringed," Mr. Helmke. It's there to read in black & white. Anyone who can Google Article II of the Bill of Rights can discover what "your Second Amendment rights" are.

It really doesn't matter who likes Americans' gun rights and who doesn't. The Constitution guarantees, love guns or lump 'em, the right of the People to 1) keep and 2) bear arms. 1 and 2 are the only uninfringeable rights mentioned. So if we have rights, as even the Democrats admit that we do, those have to be the ones.

In short, anybody who claims they don't want to mess with "your Second Amendment rights" can only be promising not to fiddle with the only affirmation in the paragraph: "the right of the People to keep and bear Arms (which) shall not be Infringed."

Over 60 years later, Indiana's state constitution simply re-phrased and re-affirmed the 2nd Amendment:

"Article 1, Section 32. The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.

"Article 1, Section 33. The military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power."

Plain language, clearly communicated. No wiggle room. You would have to purposefully muddy or misinterpret these statements to claim they required parsing or interpretation (by a committee led by Democrats, without question).

So. You could say that Indiana has two layers of protection, a redundant back-up so to speak, for our gun rights.

And still, the Brady Campaign has Helmke drop by Indiana to try to spread emotionalist misinformation in the shadow of Virginia Tech -- at the expense of not one but two apparently unimportant constitutions.

I'll be sending more money to the NRA as we ramp up to '08 (starting last week, actually). I don't compromise my values, or my constitutions.

Larry Morris
Thu, 05/03/2007 - 8:24am

Well said, Steve.

Fri, 05/04/2007 - 10:08am

nelson peters wants to take your guns away
and his close associate/friend/cronie paul helmke too.
and tom henry, while i'm at it- start early, repeat often.

to rebut mr. zank: you are clueless about local government- the reach, and scope that your rights can be infringed.
For instance- pretend the police where wanting to ruin your driving, arrest, or other public records. now think about how many obscure laws, and minutia of city, state, federal laws regulating every aspect of daily life that you can be arrested for- if you really stop to think about it.
Or assume you were the target of an organized, systematic effort by persons who wanted to render you "unelectable", and ruin you. There are dozens of movies with this exact plot- secret societies, organized crime, political intrigue. lots.

Now pretend they didnt want you to go into the perfectly legal business of selling AK-47's, or whatever- legally- following all BATFE, FBI, etc. procedures to anyone who wanted to buy-
gun dealing is a cheap, easily to start-up highly profitable business-beats most local jobs out there today.

And you also had a political agenda- to exercise your constitutional rights- all of them. and the authorities/ status quo/powers that be wanted to again ruin you, your reputation,- they used to call this "black listing".

Take away a persons legal right to "return fire", and its easy to assassinate someone- anywhere- just walk up and bam bam bam- like wallace was shot, or whom ever.
No gun permit. no legal gun.
Or a monri traffic stop- cops routinely violate your 4th amendment rights- got a gun in your car- "you in a heap o'trouble boy.

All I'm saying is given the close ties between Helmke, and Peters, It is highly probable that We will see further restrictions on local law abiding citizens to have to jump through more laws, red tape, taxes, etc, to exercise a constitutional right won in blood, by our veterans. Even non-felons, and class d- alcohol, reefer, even perjury/forgery- will in Indiana render you effectively disarmed, and unable to run for office- dont think that is the first things the GOP, and local politicians will go for.

How do I know? It has happened to me, and others. And as a Veteran, these abuses by our government is just the reason the founding fathers gave as reasons to "change their form of government".
The pen is mightier than the sword, but you can get a lot further with a kind word and a gun, than just a kind word- as Al capone once said..