Current Events Roundtable 1/23/13

current Events

Another round of current events. This week we will focus on the gun bill, school violence, a Real-Life Star Wars, and a Presidential snub? Steve, David, and Monique debate the topics in the news.

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Photo courtesy of the Huffington Post.

1.. President Obama’s recent signing of the ban on assault weapons is the right move?

Monique- In the event that Obama signs a blanket assault weapons ban, he would be making the wrong move, what’s more, that move would be a failure to defend the Constitution, as such a breach of his oath of office. That said, the recent signing of Presidential Memoranda and Directives related to researching gun violence and making Executive Branch records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) appear inline with the Constitution as well as within his purview as President. By signing H.R. 2076“Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012” into law, it seems that Congress and the President have expanded the roles of the Secret Service and U.S. Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement. Of course, this expansion is clausal and dependent upon “the request of an appropriate law enforcement official of a State or political subdivision” which means the law hasn’t usurped powers reserved by the States.

David- No response

Steve- It is the right move in the sense that he is trying to do something. However, to the lengths that he is going with this, I believe he may be overstepping his boundaries. I respect that the President is trying to take an aggressive approach to gun violence, and parts of his proposed bill are great, like the universal background check. He is walking a narrow line to the Constitution on other parts of the bill.
1a. Will his bill pass Congress or the Senate?

Monique- Yes, though passage of an assault weapons ban depends on a number of factors not the least being the actual wording of the finalized version of the bill. Both, the House and the Senate have opportunities to adjust the wording prior to vote. With a bill of this magnitude, I would not be surprised to see caveats, exemptions, and addendums benefiting the local, state, and federal police departments and militaries. I would also expect those caveats to not apply to the law-abiding public-at-large nor to criminals who by definition are not law-abiding.

David- Congress is great at 2 things. Spending Money, Killing Trees. As I have said, there is NO lack of gun laws, the problem is ENFORCEMENT. Whom? The justice dept. Who runs that? Oh yeah. The Buck Stops Here just don’t look good on a bumper sticker.

Steve- The Senate would pass the bill primarily because Obama has them in his pocket. However, Congress cant seem to pass a bill on where they can take a piss in Washington without making a fuss. They won’t pass it unless there is many amendments to the bill.
1b. Does this bill violate the Second Amendment?

Monique- Any law that denies law-abiding citizens the right to bear Arms is an infringement of the Second Amendment. An infringement of this sort is an inarguable violation of the Second Amendment.

David- You bet. But so do HUNDREDS of other bills. Just like yelling “fire” in a movie theatre SHOULD NOT fall under 1, my owning a tactical nuke is not ok under 2.

Steve- Parts of the bill yes. But I still like the universal background check. This is something that all gun owners should be okay with.

2. Lance Armstrong confessing to Oprah about doping was a good idea?

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Monique- Yes, while it seems a few years late in coming, it is never a bad idea to tell the truth. Confession or not, the life he lived is gone. The empire he built tumbled at his feet. I see nothing wrong with a man who climbs out of the rubble to begin rebuilding.

David- Don’t see why not. I wouldn’t have advised him to do it (until the book) but what exactly does this do? Confirm what most that care think he did? Much like Pete Rose, the casual fan still think he’s once of the greatest of all time, and he’s rich. Moving on.

Steve- For him? No. Look what it caused. Now there are companies trying to sue him for millions of dollars for bonus money that they paid him for winning the Tour De France. Coming out at this point only will cause him more agony. Was in the morale thing to do? Probably, but do fans REALLY care? I don’t think so.
2a. Should the Anti-Doping committee lift his lifetime ban?

Monique- No, they should not lift his life-time ban. In this instance, the life-time ban promulgates the rules of clean competition as well as the severity of breaking those rules. To lift the ban would be to say that with an apology doping is “okay.” That is not the message we ought to send to the next generation of competitors.

David- Still cheated? Then no.

Steve- Armstrong should be banned from active competition for life. He cheated and thus has to suffer the penalties. However, I would not be against him returning to the sport as a consultant to cyclers to stay away from PED’s. He would be a good spokesman, and a good example on why they should stay away.

3. Should schools allow teachers to be armed?

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Monique- What a horrifying proposition for our nation’s children. When proposing such an idea, adults ought to remember their “worst” teacher, recall any exchanges they had with that teacher, and then imagine said teacher being armed. How frightful. Increasing the number of armed officers on campus would be a far better solution than arming teachers. We must not forget that a small segment of the teaching population also molests our nation’s children. Do we really want armed child molesters inside our schools? Think about it.

David- Should we allow firemen, policemen, construction workers, ditch diggers to be armed? Depends on the person. Let me give you an example. If I taught high school history, I’m ex-military, 300 pounds and have never qualified less than Expert in marksman ship. I live in a concealed carry state. Should I have a sidearm?  Yes. Ok. I have to teach gym or coach Football. Should I carry my sidearm? No.
Another male weighs 120 pounds, never served, teaches Math.  Should he carry a sidearm? Not without EXTENSIVE training. Should he just hit the pawnshop then start walking the halls like John Wayne?
Asking for trouble. You think the worst case scenario is sandy hook?
Wait till a 1st grader finds his/her teachers gun in the desk and starts shooting up his classroom.
Only slightly worse is a teacher shoots a kid that gets in his/her face. I have seen a teacher get into a fight with a student and they both had BATS. Think if that teacher had a GUN.
Depends on the teacher. And we need to be CAREFUL who gets a gun- no matter the person.

Steve- This is tough. I think that there are too many teachers that would be “questionable” suitors to carry a weapon. We have seen many incidents where teachers have been inappropriate with their students. Teachers are educators first and foremost, and they should be at the school to teach the students that are in front of them. It is up to the Government, and the School board to work together to get some sort of security measures in place to either have a police officer at the school, or have an armed security guard who is properly trained.

4. Was the idea of a real life “Death Star” a waste of time?.

Death Star

Monique- Yes, the idea of creating a “real life ‘Death Star’” was a waste of time. Any discussion of space that doesn’t revolve around improving technologies for long distance travel is a waste of time. We ought to harness innovation and improve travel before we ever attempt the technologies for planetary destruction.

 

David- Not really. The Cold War was not going to be “won” by bullets, and you are not winning a land war in Asia. Wars are won in the air, and you don’t get any higher than space. People may think the concept of shooting down missiles in space was stupid and impossible, let me remind you of the Patriot anti-Scud systems. The “Death Star” just does the same thing. I never thought that “LAZERS” would do the damage- but missile to missile? Easily done.

 

Steve- Yes..Dumbest idea ever. I like Star Wars, but a death star? Seriously?
5. Both President George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush are said to be not attending the inauguration. Is this a sign of disrespect?

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Monique- Yes and no. For Bush, Sr. not attending could be a health necessity after his recent hospital experience. For Bush, Jr. a failure to attend, without mitigating health concerns, does indeed seem a sign of disrespect.

David- No. Freezing cold, its the second term, everything that has gone wrong since 1868 has been your fault, I’m not passing the torch, why should W show up? Not to mention the fact that the elder Bush has been sick. I understand Bush II staying the heck outta Washington.

Steve- It is a tradition for former Presidents to attend the inauguration of the incoming President. That said. This is not really a sign of disrespect. George H.W. Bush is still recouping from a lengthy hospital stay, and probably is in no condition to attend. George W. has stayed out of the spotlight since 2009, and does not feel it is necessary to attend. I do wonder however if “W” would have attended if Romney was elected. I would bet the farm he would have been there.

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