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Rounds Defends Gun Rights of Potential Terrorists, Misunderstands Right to Travel

Senator Mike Rounds finally gets around to addressing the blatant contradiction in his party’s post-Paris hysteria about Syrian refugees who haven’t committed any terrorist acts and his party’s refusal to support the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act.

Predictably, since President Obama says pass it and the NRA says don’t, Senator Rounds gets the issue wrong:

“Being able to fly is one thing but constitutional protections for someone to be able to have an arms, to have the right to bear arms, to keep and bear arms, is a constitutionally protected right.  And, if you’re going to take that away from someone there has to be a due process involved in it,” says Rounds [Charles Michael Ray, “Senator Rounds: Those on No Fly List Have 2nd Amendment Rights,” SDPB Radio, 2015.12.03].

Never mind syntax: Senator Rounds is trying to enunciate shallow textualism: the word arms is in the Constitution, so the right to arms is sacred; the word travel isn’t in the Constitution, so there’s no right to travel.

Rounds ignores moral sense and Constitutional history:

As the Supreme Court notes in Saenz v Roe, 98-97 (1999), the Constitution does not contain the word “travel” in any context, let alone an explicit right to travel (except for members of Congress, who are guaranteed the right to travel to and from Congress). The presumed right to travel, however, is firmly established in U.S. law and precedent. In U.S. v Guest, 383 U.S. 745 (1966), the Court noted, “It is a right that has been firmly established and repeatedly recognized.” In fact, in Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969), Justice Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that “it is a right broadly assertable against private interference as well as governmental action. Like the right of association, … it is a virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution to us all.” It is interesting to note that the Articles of Confederation had an explicit right to travel; it is now thought that the right is so fundamental that the Framers may have thought it unnecessary to include it in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights [emphasis mine; Steve Mount, “Things That Are Not in the U.S. Constitution,”, downloaded 2015.12.04].

Mike Rounds with shotgun
I need this gun a lot more than my plane.

The self-evident, universally recognized right to travel would seem to precede the right to bear arms added to the Constitution in its Second Amendment. More Americans exercise their right to travel each day than their right to bear arms. Senator Rounds is thus positing that the government can abridge a more fundamental—and, I will argue, more universally practical—right but must not abridge a less fundamental right.

That position is untenable. Even if I spot Senator Rounds equivalence of the right to travel and the right to bear arms (a pretty generous concession, which I offer strictly for the sake of argument), our junior Senator would have two legally consistent options:

  1. Declare that limiting access to guns is as necessary as limiting travel to protecting the general welfare and vote for the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act.
  2. Declare that the right to travel is as sacred as the right to bear arms and vote to repeal whatever legislation allows the government to deny individuals on the terrorist watchlist their constitutionally protected right to travel.

Jeb Bush at least inkles at consistency on the no-fly-no-gun issue. But once Mike Rounds starts contriving a Constitutional argument, he can’t even keep his own inconsistency consistent:

Rounds says the U.S. Congress may consider the issue of setting laws to guide the courts on this issue.  He says in the end it’s still important to keep guns out of the hands of those who would do damage.  He says the repeal of part of the Patriot Act hurt the ability of intelligence agencies to stop terrorism [Ray, 2015.12.03].

Letter Translation: Yeah, I said we have a right to guns, but someone might hurt us, so let’s amp up the Patriot Act and take more rights away.

Spirit Translation: Principles? What? Quick, someone tell me what to vote for!

Senator Rounds voted with 52 Republicans and one Democrat (Senator Heitkamp?! Come on!!) yesterday to protect the ability of potential terrorists banned from airplanes to acquire guns and explosives. Don’t look to Mike Rounds for leadership or clear philosophy on this issue. He can’t acknowledge this obvious fact: making assault weapons available to civilians—Muslim or Christian, watchlisted or not—has led to lots of dead Americans.


  1. bearcreekbat 2015-12-04 17:56

    Rounds is not even a Constitutional student, let alone a Constitutional scholar. He use talking points to raise money and poke at the reptilian right wing base mind, but demonstrates no understanding of SCOTUS jurisprudence concerning the Constitutional right tot travel.

  2. bearcreekbat 2015-12-04 18:15

    mfi – so sad, but so true.

  3. Bob Newland 2015-12-04 19:33

    Rounds’ performance illustrates one thing: This is one dumb ****.

    I like guns. I like the idea of being able to possess and carry a fairly small piece of equipment that can equalize me with the biggest and strongest folks I might meet. I think that some firearms are quite beautiful as art.

    I also think it is ludicrous that I am legally able to carry exposed firearms and to pack firearms among many groups of people. I am legally able to buy a firearm from anyone who is not a federally licensed firearms dealer. All this while I am barred from obtaining a concealed-carry permit (which I would ignore if I had nefarious motives) and from buying a gun in a gun store. I am a pot felon, therefore ineligible for an easily roundaboutable firearms restriction.

    I have no idea how to reduce the number of multiple-murder occurrences. Any potential restriction on firearms ownership will experience bloody political consequences. I don’t really want to feel like I need to pack a pistol wherever I go. Carrying a gun is a pain in the ass (as well as the shoulders and armpits).

    The prognosis is that we have a long argument ahead of us about who gets to do what to whom regarding firearms ownership.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2015-12-04 19:41

    Am I reading Rounds correctly?
    Is he suggesting that a private commercial carrier does not have the right to limit or deny Muslim or Christians from carrying bombs and guns on their planes and buses?

    Does the 2nd Amendment overrule private carriers from protecting their travelers.

  5. 96Tears 2015-12-04 19:49

    How do criminals behave? Watch Mike Rounds. He’s a total sociopath and a whore for the worst special interests. Merry Christmas folks!

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-04 19:52

    Roger, that’s a really good question to ask our junior Senator. He seems to think we can’t abridge the Second Amendment without due process, yet airport security seems to be predicated entirely on taking away everyone’s rights without any due process.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-04 19:54

    Bearcreekbat—yeah! The first paragraph from Rounds sounds like an NRA pitch. The second sounds like a home-folks/calm-your-fears pitch. The two statements don’t seem to fit together at all.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-04 19:56

    All fair shots, Mike. Maybe it’s time we win the culture war once and for all.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-04 20:06

    Bob, I’ll agree with your collector’s perspective: guns, like swords and other instruments of war, can also be aesthetically pleasing.

    I appreciate the point about a fairly small piece of equipment equalizing power between little guys and big guys. Kind of like computers, cell phones, and the Internet. But that equalization has its downside: guns allow two 20-somethings to walk into a building and kill 14 people, engage police in a firefight, and plunge an entire nation into a media frenzy… if not into political action.

    I agree that you are caught in a legal absurdity… though maybe we should just ban concealed weapons altogether and require everyone who wants to carry to carry openly. Wouldn’t we all feel safer?

    I share your sentiment that packing a pistol everywhere we go is a pain. I don’t even like having to fill another pocket with my phone. Plus, if you’re carrying a gun, you have an obligation to be constantly alert to your surroundings, to possible hazards, and to the prospect of needing to draw and shoot that weapon at any time.

  10. Bob Newland 2015-12-04 21:00

    Banning concealed weapons only restricts those who agree to be restricted.

    Effective–in the sense of reducing firearms murders–legislation probably is limited to a substantive ban on firearms possession. At the very least, it will take years to have an effect, and will create political turmoil of the sort to which we have not yet become accustomed.

    I would like to see laws proposed that would effectively reduce mass murders (or not-so-mass murders). I don’t know what those might be if they don’t also reduce the possibility of legal firearms ownership among folks who will resist vehemently.a

  11. John 2015-12-04 21:18

    The nation needs to round-up excess guns as did Australia. Then needs to apply the same pre-abortion rules to gun purchases: 72-hour periods, seek a licensed provider more than 120 miles from ones home, mandatory visits to emergency rooms where gun shot victims are present, mandatory visits with family members and clergy who presided over gun-shot victims funerals, etc.

    If the terrorist gun-buyer NRA supporters and apologists arguments were correct – then why wasn’t even 1 of the 355 mass shootings this year stopped by an armed citizen? Think of that evidence – less than 0.28% chance that a US mass shooting will be stopped by an armed citizen — actually the result is a 0.0% chance since it didn’t occur.

    And how does one stop shoot-happy police and their departments? Train them and hold them accountable – as is Las Vegas.

  12. Bob Newland 2015-12-04 21:25

    John, there are claims by gun-ownership advocates that a significant number of crimes are averted by folks with firearms. I don’t vouch for their veracity, just that they exist.

    It does stand to reason, though, that with millions owning and carrying firearms, at least some thugs are dissuaded by superior firepower.

  13. Loren 2015-12-04 21:25

    Huh???? You can’t fly because you are on a “watch list” but you can buy fire arms because the Constitution doesn’t care if you may hurt others? Really? Sometimes it is really tough playing to the lobbyists!

  14. Porter Lansing 2015-12-04 22:20

    The second amendment is secondary to citizen’s safety. Many weapons are already banned for private ownership so we’re only discussing degree of restriction; not that restriction exists. You can’t own a missile and if our safety is threatened you’ll not be able to own a weapon with a removable clip, like it was in the 60’s. Or maybe all weapons can only hold one round. That would make us safer. In short, the second amendment kneels before my safety as do the imagined rights of the “gun huggers”. The NRA is wrong: Owning a gun is far more likely to harm you than protect you.

  15. Don Coyote 2015-12-04 22:45

    From the Department of FWIW. The word travel isn’t in the Articles of Confederation either.

    The pertinent article is #4: “…entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State…”

    While the Constitution retains the privileges and immunities clause under Art 4, Sec 2: “The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.” the “ingress and regress” clause is lost. Why? Under the Articles of Confederation, the various colonies were claiming to be “sovereign” states while under the Constitution they became “federated” states, surrendering a portion of their sovereignty to the new central government. And why restrict movement within your country since the new central government is given the awesome power of controlling commerce, a power surrendered by the states. Art 1, Sec8, Clause 3: “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” In essence the “right” to travel is implied.

    The 2nd Amendment’s right to bear arms is a right that would have existed even if it hadn’t been stated in the Bill of Rights. Hamilton argued in Federalist #84, “For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.”

    The 2nd Amendment was meant to protect the right of citizens to bear arms and is not bestowed upon the citizens by the government. The right is inalienable and would exist even without the 2nd Amendment. It also states that it “shall not be infringed” while Articles of Confederation nor the Constitution confer that qualifier on the “right” to travel. The “right” to travel is ensconced in an enumerated power while the right to bear arms is found in a protected right. This is a big difference.

    But has the supposed “right to travel” been forbidden with the No-Fly list? No. Only a means of conveyance has. These persons still can travel by car, train, bus and ship. Only air has been forbidden. An inconvenience? Yes. Forbidden? No.

  16. Douglas Wiken 2015-12-04 23:02

    The Republicans have made complete idiot asses of themselves on the guns and terrorists issues and also on funding other programs to further control or limit mass gun violence.

    Of course, they have been distracted recently having to vote against “Obamacare” again and again and again……………………………………

  17. Richard Schriever 2015-12-05 00:07

    I have always considered the “right to travel” as = to the right to move about freely – I.E., to “be at liberty”. And we all know where the right to liberty (among others) is at in the constitution – right?.

  18. Richard Schriever 2015-12-05 00:14

    Don Coyote – the 2nd amendment was NOT designed to protect individual citizens. It’s language states specifically, it is designed to protect the STATE (via the citizen militias). The 2nd is NOT “inalienable” – it is “enumerated” (has a number). Re: the right to travel – see above re: LIBERTY (which is indeed, one of those specifically designated as inalienable. Geez, you conswervatives sure are hell-bent on inverting the language of the constitution.

  19. Richard Schriever 2015-12-05 00:19

    Porter Lansing – you certainly can own a missle. I can even point you to a RETAIL STORE in Lods Angeles where you can purchase all sorts of them – up to and including MASSIVE Saturn rocket engines. ( ) Of course, you can’t FIRE/launch one without prior FAA approval.

  20. Richard Schriever 2015-12-05 00:32

    Bob Newland – scientific estimates of the ration of crimes prevented by gun owners vs. committed is around 1:99. I.E. crime may be reduced about about 1% by the presence of guns.

    Meanwhile, the presence of a gun is also more likely to GENEREATE a crime. Here’s a good summary:

    “…..The states with the highest gun ownership rates have a gun murder rate 114% higher than those with the lowest gun ownership rates……A recent study looking at 30 years of homicide data in all 50 states found that for every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate……”, I.E., guns kill people – almost a perfect correlation.

    “…..Drivers who carry guns are 44% more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77% more likely to follow them aggressively.
    • Among Texans convicted of serious crimes, those with concealed-handgun licenses were sentenced for threatening someone with a firearm 4.8 times more than those without.
    • In states with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, those policies have been linked to a 7 to 10% increase in homicides……”

    There’s more at the article linked.

  21. Porter Lansing 2015-12-05 01:58

    Well said, Mr. Schriever on ALL your points. You can of course own a missile but you can’t own a fully loaded tactical missile with nuke warheads. Of course, the point is that many weapons are restricted and gun ownership isn’t inalienable or even a right when the weapon puts citizens in danger.

  22. Porter Lansing 2015-12-05 04:15

    Sen. Rounds took about $5000 from the NRA and apparently that’s the price of deciding that those on USA’s Terror Watch List can purchase semi-auto rifles and unlimited rounds of ammo at will. Sad … Our safety should sell for more! i.e. Noem went for the same price but Sen. Thune (a nat’l popular favorite) took nearly $50,00 from NRA. “You’re such a high maintenance diva, John.”

  23. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 06:45

    At the Oregon Community College shooting there were a number of armed students with concealed carry permits who chose not to attempt to stop the gunman for fear of being shot by the police. Apparently good guys with guns live in fear of others with guns like the rest of us.

  24. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 06:57

    Cory,one has to be constantly alert even when not packing a weapon. The internet is filled with stories of “responsible” gun owners whose cannons accidently discharge and wound or kill some innocent bystander(s). Nearly every day some idjit with a gun qualifies for the Darwin Award. Some even remove themselves from the gene pool in one fashion or another.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:01

    Bob, I’m not one to be put off by vehement resistance.

  26. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 07:14

    Newland is right: if you can’t defend yourself against your neighbors you should go buy the best firearm and the most ammo you can afford as soon as the stores open today. I like the Ruger Mini-Thirty.

  27. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 07:19

    Scott Simon just now mentioned the Westerhuis murders along side San Bernardino and Colorado Springs.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:27

    So the gist of Don Coyote’s observation is that the right to travel and the right to bear arms are at best equivalent. Great. Rounds is still full of bull.

    The right to travel is severely infringed by the no-fly list. A suspect class is deprived of equal access to a fundamental right. Citizens of equal or even lesser means can access a certain conveyance that watchlisted citizens cannot. Watchlisted citizens have much less ability to fly to the nation’s capital to testify before or lobby Congress; hence, they are denied equal participation in the political process. The watchlist denies a constitutional right as surely as the blacks-to-the-back rules that Rosa Parks and others protested in the South in the 1950s. Never mind driving her own car, walking, or roller-skating; in the 1950s Rosa Parks still had access to the same conveyance as other citizens; she just had to sit in certain seats. But even that infringement on her right to travel was unjust.

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:32

    Porter, check that number: in 2014, Rounds got $4950 from the NRA, then another $4950 from the NRA Political Victory Fund. THe NRA may have other branches through which it funneled money to him. OpenSecrets says Rounds received $15,700 from gun rights orgs.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:38

    Richard gets me thinking about the Second Amendment:

    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.

    The right of the people, collective noun. I know I’m bucking the trend of jurisprudence, but I can see Richard’s argument. “The people” makes the preamble about the “well regulated militia” and “security of a free state” become clearer, as does a look at the arms clause from the Articles of Confederation:

    No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.

    Article 6 envisioned the state stockpiling a proper quantity of arms for defense in public stores, not Gooney McBuckshot’s closet. The Second Amendment strips a lot of that language, as it strips the mention of free travel (“free ingress and regress” from state to state). But does the shift of language from “every State” to “the people” tell us anything?

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:46

    Bob, for the moment, I’m taking John’s empirical statement that armed civilians have not prevented any of the 355 major shootings this year, plus Mike’s statement about the concealed carriers at Oregon not drawing, over the assertions of the gun rights groups about crime prevention. Those claims that guns stop crimes are based on individuals responding to a random phone survey and reporting their own gun successes. Such responses are fraught with exaggeration, strategic lies (gun rights advocates saying yes to skew the results in their favor), and a lack of timeframe that confounds extrapolation of the data to the annual rates of self-defense claimed by gun advocates. These biases produce self-defense numbers that are mathematically impossible. Read more here:

    …and here:

  32. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 07:48

    Mike, exactly. A loaded weapon is a threat unlike almost any other everyday item I might carry, requiring a level of attention and care at least as great as driving an automobile.

  33. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 08:31

    Maybe firearms dealers should be located within 30 miles of the nearest hospital and have admitting privileges plus be certified ambulatory surgical centers for patching up collateral damaged customers whose guns go off prematurely. Maybe watching videos of actual people getting the shit shot out of them might be in order.

    As for the 2nd amendment-the NRA has it on the wall of their headquarters minus the part about a well regulated militia.

  34. Jon D 2015-12-05 09:21

    I must say, this particular thread is a shining example of the real value of internet dialogue. Every post is thoughtful and on subject. I believe that one answer to the problem of guns is very stringent laws affecting not the weapons themselves but accountability for their use. Every firearm of any type needs to be registered and any unregistered possession will mean a mandatory sentence of ten years in federal pen, no parole, no exceptions, over and above any other charges related to the use of the weapon. Any discharge of any gun resulting in injury, even to the handler, ten years for the registered owner. This would include hunting “accidents”. Once you take on the responsibility of gun ownership you are responsible for every round that leaves its barrel regardless of circumstance, and you will know, every second of every day, positively and without question, where it is pointed and whether or not there is a round in the magazine or in the chamber and if the safety mechanism is engaged. Any violation of these laws should also result in permanent revocation of all gun rights with life in prison the consequence. I think the biggest problem we have with guns is that we have such an appalling lack of respect for just what they are and what they can do.

  35. Porter Lansing 2015-12-05 09:39

    Well put, Jon D. – Here’s one I like to bring up when the gun-huggers get too big for their britches and think they can bully their way through USA just by misinterpreting our Constitution. It usually invokes a response other that self-entitlement.
    – To get a gun in Japan, first you have to attend an all-day class and pass a written test, which are held only once a month. You also must take and pass a shooting range class. Then, head over to a hospital for a mental test and drug test (Japan is unusual in that potential gun owners must affirmatively prove their mental fitness), which you’ll file with the police. Finally, pass a rigorous background check for any criminal record or association with criminal or extremist groups, and you’ll be the proud owner of your shotgun or air rifle. Just don’t forget to provide police with documentation on the specific location of the gun in your home, as well as the ammo, both of which must be locked and stored separately. And remember to have the police inspect the gun once per year and to re-take the class and exam every three years.

  36. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 10:07

    Jon D and Porter both emphasize the need for gun responsibility. We have gun rights organizations; where are the gun responsibility organizations?

  37. 96Tears 2015-12-05 10:30

    I think the issue of a well-regulated militia, as envisioned by those who drafted the 2nd Amendment, is adequately covered by a state government’s obligation to adequately provide for their National Guard, who are the historic extension of the so-called Minute Men.

    As with clever people who twist and mangle quotes from the Bible, the arguments over whether to even need a 2nd Amendment are very different today compared to realities of when it was written.

    Back in the late Nineteenth Century, the basic weapons available for military use were smooth-bore muskets. Musket balls were round and horribly inaccurate at a distance. To be a force of any kind, many muskets were needed grouped tightly in close formation to shoot into an oncoming enemy force because the expectation was with all those muskets going off at once, you’re bound to hit something. This was the principle army tactic in all civilized nations until rifled weapons improved accuracy, as in the American Civil War when rifled weapons replaced smooth-bore muskets as the basic infantry weapon. So, on a practical basis of realities between the Revolutionary War and the American Civil War, a well-regulated (trained to fight using contemporary military tactics) was a necessity for the young nation.

    My point in this long sermon is to state that the reasoning and practical use of the2nd Amendment passed on December 15, 1791, has a radically different context in an era with a professional standing army, state National Guard units in every state and the evolution of automatic weapons with 30-round clips that are available for anyone’s use in virtually every town big enough to support a Wal-Mart. Unless they’re crazy or stupid, nobody buys assault weapons and mega-loads of ammunition for personal use as their contribution to the defense of their state.

    I’m pretty sure sensible people (not wingnut uber conservatives) meeting in Congress in 2015 to develop the first 10 Amendments to a new U.S. Constitution would not bother to include a right for every person to easily purchase assault weapons and fantastically large clips and amounts of ammunition. Their view of a professional standing army for the entire nation would be very different in 2015 than it was in 1791 when a standing professional army was held with deep suspicion. A well-regulated (competent) state militia may be considered, but I don’t how it could be any different from the model established by the National Guard units in every state.

    The 2nd Amendment should have been removed as junk. In 2015, it only serves weapon manufacturers and their gluttonous marketing plans.

  38. Les 2015-12-05 10:55

    Less is more, 96.

    Where is the national guard in western SD?

    Why was the president able to take our national guard away from us and send them oversea? Why was governor Rounds able to strip West River of its national guard?

    Who protects us then?

    We all understand their are issues of bad people with guns.

    An interesting comparison of mj and guns. I’ve spoken with locals who say they would rather see mj stay illegal. They are under the radar with our current system. Do we accept legal known ownership and enforce our current laws? Of course guns..humans kill and weed doesn’t.

  39. bearcreekbat 2015-12-05 11:11

    Don Coyote’s view of the “right” to bear arms is inconsistent with the rule of law. Calling something a “right” means that under the law the sovereign nation will use legal force to protect that right. Once you decide you have a “right” regardless of the position of the sovereign you are really claiming anarchy. And under anarchy their are no legally protected “rights.” So to claim a “right” to bear arms exists even without the 2nd Amendment is an internal contradiction in terms.

    That is why is makes even less sense to contend that your “right” to bear arms is a “right” to challenge the sovereign’s decisions with violence. No sovereign permits its citizens to use violence to destroy the very same sovereign and it borders on insanity to argue that a sovereign intends violence against itself as a purpose of the 2nd amendment.

    Thus, Don Coyote’s argument boils down to him thinking he has some inherent, but legally unenforceable, “right” to use violence against his government whenever he decides that violence is necessary. Sort of reminds me of the shooters at every single mass murder at churches, grade schools, Christmas parties, health clinics, etc. Is that where you really want our people to go Don Coyote?

  40. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 11:13

    Thomas Jefferson believed a standing army and the right to bear arms are mutually exclusive. Remember that the courts ruled that not to be so.

  41. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 11:16

    Mike Rounds and Kristi Noem clearly have no idea how many patients in South Dakota are already on medications for the various mental illnesses plaguing the state.

  42. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 11:17

    Rounds’ hypocrisy is that Syrian refugee are vetted far more extensively than gun owners are.

  43. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 11:22

    As for the cannabis questions on the gun purchase application? Ridiculous and intrusive nonsense.

  44. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 11:29

    Great ideas,Jon D. Now we have to get the non-violent drug offenders out of prison to make room for the bad guys with the guns. I’m guessing wingnuts will have a conniption fit or two over the idea of arresting patriots who mismanage their 2nd amendment,gawd given rights to kill some more.

  45. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 11:32

    If Dems and Independents get off their duff’s and get to the polls,we could get the Sinate back into filibuster proof Democrat hands so the next Dem Potus can put a couple more fair minded individuals on the Scotus and tip the judicial balance back where it belongs. No more ideological strict constructionist wingnuts ever.

  46. Gail Swenson 2015-12-05 11:38

    It should not be harder for my 90 year old father to get a state issued ID card (by trading in a valid SD driver’s license–no worries, he hadn’t driven for years…) then it would be for him to buy a gun in this state.

  47. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-12-05 12:18

    Obama will continue to cause Democrats to hemorrhage elected positions until he is gone. Democrats in SD could mitigate that damage by insulating themselves from the far left insanity the nation is revolting from (global warming a bigger threat than Islamic terrorism, gun control, Planned Parenthood baby parts selling crimes, etc); however, that does not appear ’16 will have any evidence of that.

    SD Dems could salvage their party by avoiding the above by campaigning on something S Dakotans could relate to, like opposing the corruption of the Rounds-Daugaard political machine. campaign on reforming SD’s bloated govt filled with cronies. oppose proposed tax increases with targeted state govt cuts. Seize traditional Republican talking points on limiting govt from those who have increased state govt religiously.

    Adopt appropriate stances that reflect society’s views on abortion that really wouldn’t compromise your supposed positions on them (as a last resort, bemoan them and not celebrate them).

    stop allowing your candidates to be gutted and filleted on gun rights and abortion before they even have a chance to open their mouths.

    Adopt priorities that South Dakotans can relate to: fixing the corruption in SD vice having abortion and gun rights issues thrust upon your candidates.

    or continue on in the same attrition rut you have been in since 2010.

  48. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 12:25

    South Dakota Democrats have exactly zero to lose by being revolutionary. GOP-lite ain’t the answer voters are seeking.

  49. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 12:33

    Les, remind me: just what armed invaders is a West River National Guard needed to protect you from?

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-12-05 12:39

    DD, I will happily campaign entirely on rooting out corruption in Pierre by electing a watchdog Legislature consisting of 105 new Representatives and Senators. Care to join me?

    But don’t get me off topic. The vital need to root out the clear and present corruption here at home does not change the incoherence of Mike Rounds on gun policy. Tell me, DD, can you make any sense of Rounds is saying on this issue? Do you think the right to travel is less important than the right to bear arms?

  51. bearcreekbat 2015-12-05 12:40

    DD, why shouldn’t abortion be celebrated? It is just as much a Constitutional right for women as the right to bear arms. And abortion helps women protect their physical and emotional health. Abortion is a good thing that should be encouraged when a woman decides that it is the correct path for her.

    Your “baby parts” claim has repeatedly been shown to be false. Why do you repeat such a falsehood, especially after the murders at PP by a gun toting fella who said “no more baby parts.” Are you trying to encourage more murders of doctors, nurses, friends, police officers, and anyone else who happens to be near a PP clinic when the next guy who believes the “baby parts” lie decides to start killing again?

    Has Obama tried to take your guns away? Has anyone since his election tried to take your guns away? Or are you one of those folks who confuses people who advocate for such a policy with the actual government?

    Why isn’t it more patriotic to offer support for our President and identify the positive changes we have seen during his administration rather than to spread negative lies about what he has been able to accomplish despite Republican control of Congress and the SCOTUS?

    I do agree that both Democrats and Republicans in this state should work together to end the ongoing corruption of current elected officials in Pierre and DC and work to re-establish a two party system that focuses on the good of the people of SD. Thanks for your support on that point.

  52. Porter Lansing 2015-12-05 14:17

    Perhaps Sen Rounds is saying that transportation is less protected than gun ownership and he has no ethical right to deny guns & ammo to those on the “terrorist watch list” … and he got almost $10,000 simoleons to decide that way.
    Don’t know if NYTimes is revered in SD like it should be but it’s about the only paper left in USA with cred. (maybe WaPo, also) From today’s front page editorial:
    ~Whatever the exact wording of the Second Amendment, “it is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency.”

  53. Porter Lansing 2015-12-05 14:18

    Hear, hear Bear Creek … well phrased

  54. mike from iowa 2015-12-05 14:46

    The only crimes committed in baby parts is the murders of innocent people by ignorant,right wing spoon fed,zealots. Nothing PP has done is illegal.

  55. Richard Schriever 2015-12-05 14:49

    96 tears et al, the National Guard are NOT state troops. They are FEDERAL troops – paid by the Federal government. They are considered the reserve troops of the regular national military. Sometimes people get the wrong impression about this because the Federal government has authorized individual state GOVERNORS to “commandeer” those National (federal) Guard troops quartered within their borders in times of local emergency. States lost direct/primary control of their own state militia via the Militia Act of 1903.

  56. 96Tears 2015-12-05 15:31

    Richard, you are correct. Without getting too far into the weeds, my point was to show the Guard exists as the extension of the well-regulated state militia, as named in the 2nd Amendment. As with the entire discussion about the use and need of a well-regulated state militia, modern times have rendered the concept of a WRSM completely moot. It’s why the 2nd A should be tossed on the scrap heap.

  57. MC 2015-12-05 18:16

    96tears is correct. There was time when the defense of our country depended on every man, woman and child to take up arms and man defensive lines against an invading army. Times have changed, and so have combat tactics. We have moved from marching armies to guerrilla warfare. They have moved from wearing distinct uniforms to blending in with the population. They are now recruiting through social media. We need to adapt our tactics to match. Most of these mass shooting are over in less than two minutes. Our police are good; however by the time they get on-site, it is all over

    Let’s also add that a good number of Americans don’t trust politicians, bankers, reporters and lawyers. They seem to control the government who in turn controls the standing military.

    The no-fly list isn’t meant to deter people from traveling. It is meant to keep weapons of mass destruction away from those that want to kill us. They are free to use other means of transportation if they want, we just don’t want terrorist using planes to kill thousands.

  58. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 18:20

    So, Clark: you’re still just another schlubb from SE South Dakota, right?

  59. larry kurtz 2015-12-05 18:22

    Glyphosate is a weapon of mass destruction. CAFOs are weapons of mass destruction. Cattle are weapons of mass destruction…should i drone on?

  60. Les 2015-12-05 18:42

    I think the first 4 amendments should go, 96. About done with speech with texting. I’ve got extra rooms in my house not being used. Without guns there won’t be any crime worth entering a home for a search. Problems all solved..

    That’s a question for 96, Cory. She brought the guards into topic.

  61. Nick Nemec 2015-12-06 08:07

    I always thought the right to travel was inherent to the First Amendment’s right to peacefully assemble. Without a right to travel how can I or anyone else peacefully assemble?

  62. 96Tears 2015-12-06 09:14

    Speaking of peaceful assemblies, think about this when you’re in church. Knowing what we know today and, hypothetically, the United States were just formed and Congress was deciding the first 10 amendments to the new U.S. Constitution, what would be the first 10 most important rights needing to be protected (and why)?

  63. Les 2015-12-06 09:50

    I can imagine, 96. It’s hard to imagine you could hate this guy enough to extinguish his flame though. Have a great day.
    John Lennon,
    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    Living for today…
    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people
    Living life in peace…
    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one
    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world…
    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

  64. LisaB 2015-12-06 09:59

    He received $5000.00 from the NRA did anyone expect anything different? Thune has received almost $50,000.00 inhis lifetime. I expect hime to be handingout guns to terrorists

  65. bearcreekbat 2015-12-06 11:14

    Thanks for posting Lennon’s lyrics Les, it made my day to think about such a world again.

  66. leslie 2015-12-06 13:35

    now that we are posting lyrics, “in the weeds” starting @1:40(youtube) by a mississippi valley iowa slider.

    …some say i’m a dreamer, but i’m not the only one. soundtrack of my life. how a republican can vote republican and live with his/her self is a mystery

  67. Disgusted Dakotan 2015-12-06 16:35

    @CAH I don’t try to understand slimy RINO insurance peddlers.

    @BCB Even Obama is a smart enough liberal to couch his agenda. But you go ahead and march in some parades celebrating abortion.

  68. bearcreekbat 2015-12-06 16:57

    DD, I’ll be happy to march in that celebratory parade, as I fully support women’s autonomy.

    Now will you please stop spreading the “baby parts” PP lie so that people who are deceived by that lie will stop gunning down people at or near PP?

  69. Roger Cornelius 2015-12-06 17:17


    DD needs to read David Newquest’s Northern Valley Beacon blog, he discusses the baby parts lie being promoted, especially by Fiorina.

  70. bearcreekbat 2015-12-06 17:33

    Thanks Roger. I think it extremely important to stop people from making false claims that are designed to lead to violence. I find it sickening that people who claim to be “right to life” have so little concern about the lives that are lost or hurt by spreading such lies.

  71. Roger Cornelius 2015-12-06 17:39

    Precisely and well stated.
    Our daily realities especially with the high level daily gun violence should be enough to sicken any sane person.
    Women’s personal health concerns don’t even compare to the daily killing.

  72. mike from iowa 2015-12-06 18:25

    Jerry Falwell Jr,king of Liberty Uni has encouraged students there to go around campus armed and shoot Muslims on sight,but only the radical ones. Not sure how you tell a radical from a dromedary Muslim or kristian,for that matter. Isn’t that precisely what Jeebus told his disciples to do-wage war?

  73. Jana 2015-12-06 18:31

    Mike Riounds Stands With Suspected Terrorists…many of them may be supporters of ISIS because he fears the NRA worse than ISIS.

    ISIS must be mocking the GOP leaders for their complicity with their efforts.

    The GOP not only creates new ISIS members with their religiously based hate speech, but then says “but we are too big of pussies deny you buying assault weapons because the NRA is even more evil than you!”

  74. mike from iowa 2015-12-06 18:39

    Newquist’s blog is a good read. No matter how false the information is that Trump and Fiorina disseminate,there are always willing nutjobs to believe it as gospel,especially in the US House of Ill Repute.

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