Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CAVING IN, OR NOT?



I found the following at a good Oregon political website: http://www.blueoregon.com/ .

Steve Bucknum opined:

"The following resolution passed overwhelmingly at the quarterly meeting of the Democratic Party of Oregon in Medford this last weekend. Speaking for myself, it was a great relief that this passed, as the perception of the Democratic Party being "anti-gun" is one of the most prevalent false beliefs stated by those that have left the Democratic Party to vote elsewhere.

"Special thanks to Chuck Butcher of Baker County for working the process of the Platform and Resolutions Committee at several meetings over a several month period to get this done."

RESOLUTION NO. 2005-008

A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party has long been dedicated to the preservation of civil liberties; and

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party has long been dedicated to the preservation of freedom and social justice.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON RESOLVES AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. To recognize and support the right to keep and bear arms in Article 1 Section 27 of the Oregon State Constitution and the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America as an individual right not granted by the government, but rather guaranteed by the government.

Section 2. In recognition of the tremendous personal responsibility engendered by the right to keep and bear arms, the Democratic Party of Oregon further advocates severe penalties and their enforcement for criminal use or misuse of the right.

ADOPTED by the Democratic Party of Oregon on the 16th day of July, 2005.

Resolution submitted by Charles H Butcher III, Baker County.

Snave's notes: Ideally, there would be no guns at all. I have always thought the primary purpose of guns is to at least frighten, if not injure or kill others. I wish the world would have a mass epiphany and all the guns would be melted.

Even with that said, I don't believe what the Oregon Democrats is a bad thing. Where I live, guns have always kind of been a way of life. Lots of people around here like to hunt. Ranchers need to be able to defend their livestock from predators. And of course, self-defense is not such a bad idea.

I own a rifle, but I don't have it here at home. It is at my parent's place. It's an antique, a very pretty 1893 Stevens Marksman .22, and it is the most accurate thing I have ever fired... I haven't fired it since about 1979, but one day I'll go get it and do some target practice on old beer cans up at the rifle range.

The "gun issue" is one that has caused many rural Oregonians living outside of Eugene, Portland and Salem (traditionally Oregon's "blue" areas) to desert the party in droves. Ask many voters from Medford, Klamath Falls, Burns, Baker City, Pendleton or La Grande if they would vote for a Democrat, and they would say "No way! They just want to take away our guns!"

But there are many Democrats in Oregon, even some in metro areas, who are in favor of gun ownership, with certain restrictions applied. This includes yours truly. I believe the simple acknowledgement of gun rights by Oregon Dems will help mend a few fences, and might even help election results be a little closer out here in "red"-minded Oregon than the usual 2-to-1 margin... as long as we Democrats publicize the fact that we indeed do not, for the most part, want to take away the rights of Oregonians to keep and bear arms.

So I mentioned "restrictions". For me, that would mostly mean you can't buy things like assault rifles. Seriously, who needs those? I'd keep a waiting period and background checks, and try to get manufacturers to make guns that are fireable only by the owner... that technology IS out there. I believe the problem with guns and gun violence would continue to mainly arise from the black market, and that is where I think gun control efforts should be concentrated. I could go both ways on actual gun registration, but I think it might not be bad. That way, guns could be confiscated but only those which are non-registered.

What do y'all think?

8 Comments:

Blogger Sheryl said...

I am with you on the assault rifles. To me, it's an issue of what kind of weapons. We inherited rifles from both sides of the family.

God knows where they are, but I would ot feel bad if some of these "freedom loving" advocates who think might makes right thought that I was unarmed. If they are not adverse to stealing iraqi oil, then they would not protect democrats, liberals, or any group they are not personally associated with.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I mean thought I WAS armed.

8:05 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I think they did a good thing. If it's the only issue separating a lot of folks from the Democratic Party then it's smart to come out and make a statement like that.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Just so Oregon's Democrats don't start saying our party is "pro-life" in the fundamentalist sense, that we need to eliminate lines between church and state, and that homophobia is good. I think guns is one issue where it's fairly easy to compromise, and I do believe that's all that keeps quite a few folks from voting Democrat in eastern Oregon!

9:34 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

Well perhaps if it gets people to vote for social funding, then people will be better off and have less of a reason to need guns.

And if more people are better off, then the wealth will be less polarized and once again, there's less reason to be worried about your house getting robbed if everyone is better off. So in that sense pro guns could mean less guns.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I hadn't thought of it that way, but that does seem to make sense!

I'm hoping this is a good start toward getting the usual pro-GOP 67% to 33% election results down to more like 55% to 45% for starters, as more of the moderate Republican voters come back from the Dark Side.

I can vaguely remember way back when, when eastern Oregon's own Rep. Al Ullman held a high ranking position on the Ways and Means Committee, and he was a Democrat. He was in Congress from 1/3/57 to 1/3/81. Things have changed a lot in eastern Oregon since then. What happened to cause the change?

In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, I hope we who in the political minority in eastern Oregon can answer that question, and help bring about an ensuing change in the way the locals see things.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I might add that a backlash against the environmental movement has probably contributed to some of the "red state attitude" problems we face out here. Timber, farming and ranching are vital parts of the economy around here, and there are other environmentally-impacting activities such as mining. People look at what affects their dollars, and if the environmental movement has been successfully protrayed as something that wants to take away the people's property rights and income, then the environmental movement becomes the boogeyman.

In addition to proclaiming the rights of Oregonians to keep and bear arms, the Oregon Democratic Party needs to continue working toward compromises which include use of the land for economic purposes but which also include better stewardship of the land. This would take a very successful public relations campaign.

If eastern Oregonians are convinced the Democrats DON'T want to take away their guns, DON'T want to shut down the mills, and want to ENCOURAGE farmers and ranchers to continue producing good for society... what's left to keep them voting Republican besides religion?

9:43 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

More:

Letter to Oregon Democratic Party:

I believe the battle for getting more voters outside the Willamette Valley to vote Democrat is winnable. Adding gun ownership rights to the party platform was a valuable first step.

In addition to proclaiming the rights of Oregonians to keep and bear arms, I believe the Oregon Democratic Party needs to continue working toward compromises and solutions which include continued effective use of the land for economic purposes but which also include better stewardship of the land. Land which receives proper care will yield more for us all as consumers.

This would take a very successful public relations campaign, because the Republican party has successfully painted the environmental movement as a bogeyman, and they have successfully told voters that radical groups such as Earth Liberation Front represent mainstream Democrat values. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I live in La Grande, and I have seen this mindset develop among voters here during the past 20 years. I don't think it is an unsolvable problem, though. If eastern Oregonians are convinced the Democrats DON'T want to take away their guns, DON'T want to shut down the mills, and want to ENCOURAGE farmers and ranchers to continue producing goods for society... what would then remain to keep these rural people voting Republican, besides the GOP-cultivated false opinion that Democrats aren't Christians? They certainly cannot rely on the old standby "The Democrats are the party of big government and big spending" anymore, because the Republican party now holds those titles, at least on a national level.

We have taken care of the gun issue. Now we need to attack the environmental issue. If we give a little, we can make some nice gains in this "red state" area of Oregon.

John Evans, Jr.
La Grande, OR

9:56 AM  

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