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February 11th, 2013
04:32 PM ET

Southern states arm themselves for a gun fight

By Tommy Andres, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - President Obama's State of the Union address is expected to focus on the economy, but guns will also be a focal point even if the issue isn't addressed in words.

Around 20 House democrats have announced they will bring people affected by gun violence to the speech, and Republican Sen. John McCain has invited Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly to be his guests.

The speech comes just a week after the second wave of state legislative sessions kicked off, and a slew of gun related bills have hit statehouses across the country. In the Northeast, many states are pushing for stricter gun control, but in many states, mostly in the South, lawmakers are pushing legislation to block any federal gun control measures that may be passed in Washington.

Constitutional Law Professor Kermit Roosevelt from the University of Pennsylvania says the bills may be trying to send a message, but they won't do much else.

[2:25] "A state legislature could enact a resolution saying we don't like this federal law. We wish it didn't exist. We wish we didn't have to follow it. But all the same they do have to follow it. This is probably more political grandstanding than complete ignorance about the relations between states and the federal government."

While those bills may be symbolic, plenty of other bills loosening restrictions on guns in schools, churches and cars are also up for votes, and a broad national picture is forming. The political conversation is turning into a standoff between states and and federal government over what the right to bear arms really means.

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Filed under: Crime • Culture • Guns • Justice • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Jose

    The day supremacist militia brigands, both black and white, decide to come out in hostile force to impose their own brand of leibenstraum on the rest of us will be the day I put my helmet back on and take my orders to man a Ma Deuce on a Humvee, again.

    February 21, 2013 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. H. B.

    Well said, Durundal. Judging by what I've seen gun advocates saying everywhere – in the media and even in comment fields on websites, what scares me most is that they already HAVE guns, yet the way they talk about gun control, the crazier I can see them getting. I HAVE read some comments of people who have guns, but aren't choosing to treat any form of gun control as a threat.

    They're the ones it doesn't bother me to have them own guns. It's the rest of them who DO.

    So what Durundal said is exactly on point. Our countrymen are too uneducated and incompetent to be trusted with dangerous weapons. Look at the rants and rages we see people carrying on – people who have guns, and who can't control themselves.

    What the Founding Fathers said was based on an age where there were no semi-automatic weapons with 100-round magazines. Nor could they have anticipated the craziness of so many Americans today. If they had, they'd have run home, screaming.

    It is inane to hold to statements that are no longer relevant in a changed society with a profoundly changed technology.

    I'd bet these guys, if they had their way, would take the position that no home is complete without a nuke. The worst part is that they see gun ownership as a right, with no real obligations on their part, instead of a privilege, which comes with some serious responsibilities.

    Having hundreds of thousands of people all around us with an easy ability to throw tantrums and no sense of responsibility for what they do with their guns is the basis of our problems. THEY are the ones who need the mental health exams first.

    February 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I agree with you. Here, look at this:

      "The political conversation is turning into a standoff between states and and federal government over what the right to bear arms really means."

      Can you imagine ?!?! These people should NOT be allowed to be anywhere even NEAR firearms. If they are so profoundly brain damaged that they perceive " . . . shall not be infringed." as something that is difficult to understand they are not only a danger to society but themselves as well. Can you imagine what they might do should they encounter a sign that says : "DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE. DO NOT TOUCH!" ??

      February 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan @ CC.C

    “MOLON LABE!”

    February 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. REAL HISTORY

    We all know what THE FOUNDING FATHERS MEANT,we don´t want any Smart Lawyers interpreting "Anything" for us. A quick History Lesson.In the 1650´s William Burridge arrived in Anne Arundel CO.,MD. To settle his lands. He was called. "a captain of 50".YES,HE HAD HIS OWN MILITIA,there were private Militias then. READ ON.....In 1729 the Elkton Iron Forge in Cecil CO.,MD,Started into operation.By the 1740´s,this Forge was selling,"Without interuption,Licensing OR any prohibition whatsoever,Pistols,Rifles and Cannon to all able bodied men including Private Citizens,Private Militias and Organized Colonial Militias.This was done because the FOUNDING FATHERS REALIZED that in order to defend ourselves from either a Foreign invader,Or a Domestic Tyrant,we would have to remain Vigilant and armed.That´s why the SPECIFIC CLAUSE IN THE CONSTITUTION READS "AGAINST ALL ENEMIES,FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC".It seems to me that some of these Lawyers who are trying to replace,THE RULE OF LAW,WITH THE RULE OF MEN" (Their opinion),and not the COSTITUTION,Think they will win.I know AT LEAST 150 MILLION AMERICANS who say they WILL NOT!

    February 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Durundal

      enough with the flag waving, its tedious: we get it, you are desperately trying to justify your fantasy. The simple facts of life are that our countrymen are too uneducated and incompetent to be trusted with dangerous weapons. They are more likely to use them to prevent their car from being repo'ed then they ever will be to actually stop a burglar or "save someone's life". I have far more reason to have faith in my country than I do its people.

      February 15, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
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