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  1.    #441  
    Originally posted by Toby
    You've got it all wrong. It's 'the right to keep and arm bears'. This means that it's our $DEITY-given right to train killer bears with automatic assault rifles to protect our property.
    Property? I thought it was privacy, or piracy, or something-like-that.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  2. #442  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    [...] Black people are 2/3's people? [...]
    Since we're being pedantic, it was 3/5 of slaves (not free black men), but furthermore it wasn't. 3 out of 5 were considered a person for the purposes of representation and taxation based on population. 2 out of 5 were considered property, i.e. not _any_ bit person. Personally, I'd consider the true meaning of it a bit more offensive than all of them being 3/5 a person.
    4) So I want a compromise. sure, have your guns, but you can't have cop-killing automatic laser-guided smart assault rifles. And you need a license. no, I'm not kidding, an honest-to-god-got-your-picutre-on-it-and-is-tracked-by-the-government-license. And they can revoke it if you're a felon. None of these measures breaks the 2nd amendment.
    Actually, even the NRA would _love_ for it to be treated like a driver's license. You pass a test, get a license, then you get to buy _whatever_ you can afford that the license covers. Have 'normal' gun licenses for handguns or sporting rifles. Have CGLs for people who want to have heavier armaments which they can use commercially (security firms, mercenaries <weg>, whatever). I'd buy that for a dollar.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  3. #443  
    Originally posted by homer
    [...] Quite a few, actually. In addition there are a LOT of accidental deaths due to firearms (mainly with children). [...]
    How many? You don't know, do you? The overwhelming majority (by a factor of 10-15) of firearms injuries (accidental or otherwise) are males age 15-24. Fatal and non-fatal firearm injuries (accidental or otherwise) to children account for 'only' a couple thousand cases per year. Don't play the touchy-feely children angle. That's so trite and so weakly supported.
    Are there any brits or aussies that would like to jump in with their opinions? I know they look at our country as a bunch of crazy gun-toting fools. (which is quite accurate, actually! )
    Yeah, but they kill more people at soccer matches than we do with guns.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  4. Rob
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    #444  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    right, so, the 2nd amendment pretty clearly is meant to provide for the armament of both "militias" and "the people." and now I'm going to trot out the tired old "different times, different interpretations" argument.
    Are you sure about this interpretation? Can you cite respected constitution scholars on this? (I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm really curious!) I always thought there was an "of" implied, not an "and", i.e. "a well regulated militia of the people being necessary...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

    Secondly, how much do you think NRA and gun ownership rights folks base their beliefs on the need to ensure the goals of the 2nd amendment are met? And what are those goals?

    I'm no expert, but to me a militia would be first and foremost for defense against external threats (foreign armies of colonial powers for example), and second for maintaining civil order. Not for hunting or as a military check/balance of power against abuses by an over-reaching federal government. I personally think the (official) armed forces do a pretty decent job overall of protecting us from external threats. There's a lot more room for improvement with respect to the police, especially in certain densly-populated urban areas, but I'm pretty sure that better regulation (more oversight) of controversial police departments makes more sense than simply arming the public (if trained police officers who have to endure scrutiny and review of their actions can occasionally make terrible life-ending mistakes with firearms, why do we think unregulated use of firearms by untrained civilians will be better?)

    I'm not saying I'm against gun ownership, but I was interested in the foundation of the NRA's arguments in the 2nd amendment (versus a more general moral/ethical argument about the natural law right to protect oneself and one's family...)

    I actually think it would be OK to have a high percentage of gun ownership *IF* we had some way to ensure people were reasonably well trained and taking responsible precautions to prevent accidents. I'm not sure why citizens have to have high-powered and/or assault weapons, though, unless the idea is that it's their right to take up arms against (what they think is) a corrupt or overpowered central/federal government stepping on their rights (I guess the separatist militias would cite the Declaration of Independence not the 2nd amendment though.)

    What do people think about handguns that only work if you have authorized fingerprints or something like that?
  5. #445  
    Originally posted by Rob
    Are you sure about this interpretation?
    lord, no.
    I always thought there was an "of" implied, not an "and", i.e. "a well regulated militia of the people being necessary...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
    i like that just as much, because then the amendment calls for regulation. yee ha! :P
    Secondly, how much do you think NRA and gun ownership rights folks base their beliefs on the need to ensure the goals of the 2nd amendment are met? And what are those goals?

    Frankly, I don't care too much about the goals of the founding fathers anymore, except that I share most of them (life, liberty, property, representational gov't, etc.). WRT the 2nd amendment, I don't care what their goals were, what should our goals be?
    I'm no expert, but to me a militia would be first and foremost for defense against external threats (foreign armies of colonial powers for example), and second for maintaining civil order. Not for hunting or as a military check/balance of power against abuses by an over-reaching federal government.

    That was the primary intent of militias in the day, rebelling against the gov't.
  6. #446  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Actually, even the NRA would _love_ for it to be treated like a driver's license. You pass a test, get a license, then you get to buy _whatever_ you can afford that the license covers. Have 'normal' gun licenses for handguns or sporting rifles. Have CGLs for people who want to have heavier armaments which they can use commercially (security firms, mercenaries <weg>, whatever). I'd buy that for a dollar.
    Then why hasn't it gotten done? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
  7. #447  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    Then why hasn't it gotten done? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
    Simple. Much like the anti-smoking lobby, the anti-gun lobby's goal is not to regulate a thing. It is to _eradicate_ it. Historically, every single compromise that has been made with them has led to further demands. If you want to eliminate a thing, you don't try and eliminate it when you know that it will be opposed. You whittle away at it and desensitize people to how it's eroding.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  8. #448  
    Originally posted by Rob
    Are you sure about this interpretation? Can you cite respected constitution scholars on this? (I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm really curious!) I always thought there was an "of" implied, not an "and", i.e. "a well regulated militia of the people being necessary...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
    Personally I think that there was an extraneous comma or two there. "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."
    Secondly, how much do you think NRA and gun ownership rights folks base their beliefs on the need to ensure the goals of the 2nd amendment are met? And what are those goals?
    Simple: 'the security of a free state'. Keep in mind that this was both from external _and_ internal threats. Here are a couple of quotes:
    "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennyslvania, 1759

    "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive." --Thomas Jefferson

    "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. ... The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson
    I'm no expert, but to me a militia would be first and foremost for defense against external threats (foreign armies of colonial powers for example), and second for maintaining civil order.
    No, those are the duty of the government. Defense of our borders is one of the few enumerated powers of GovCo.
    Not for hunting or as a military check/balance of power against abuses by an over-reaching federal government.
    Then you need to read a bit more history. Try the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers to get an idea of the vibe in the country at the time.
    I personally think the (official) armed forces do a pretty decent job overall of protecting us from external threats.
    They do for most routine matters, but there are occasions where the general populace must be relied on to suplement their numbers.
    There's a lot more room for improvement with respect to the police, especially in certain densly-populated urban areas, but I'm pretty sure that better regulation (more oversight) of controversial police departments makes more sense than simply arming the public (if trained police officers who have to endure scrutiny and review of their actions can occasionally make terrible life-ending mistakes with firearms, why do we think unregulated use of firearms by untrained civilians will be better?)
    Ever consider that's why the founders wanted the people to have guns and militias? They _wanted_ the general populace to be trained.
    I'm not saying I'm against gun ownership, but I was interested in the foundation of the NRA's arguments in the 2nd amendment (versus a more general moral/ethical argument about the natural law right to protect oneself and one's family...)
    Therein lies the rub. Prior to the 1980s, the NRA's role was _drastically_ different than today. Its role was providing hunter and firearms safety classes and marksmanship training to train people how to use weapons safely and properly. It has historically had a _very_ close working relationship with law enforcement (and still does for the most part from what I understand at least on a local level).
    I actually think it would be OK to have a high percentage of gun ownership *IF* we had some way to ensure people were reasonably well trained and taking responsible precautions to prevent accidents.
    Ironically, that's what the NRA was doing before the anti-gun folks made them into what they are today.
    I'm not sure why citizens have to have high-powered and/or assault weapons, though, unless the idea is that it's their right to take up arms against (what they think is) a corrupt or overpowered central/federal government stepping on their rights (I guess the separatist militias would cite the Declaration of Independence not the 2nd amendment though.)
    Actually, there are several arguments that could be made. One would be to put them on equal footing with federal forces and other potential tyrants. The second would be that should they be called up to help defend their country, they'll already have experience and proficiency with the weapons (or some simililar to those) they'll be using.
    What do people think about handguns that only work if you have authorized fingerprints or something like that?
    Sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Maybe we should do like Cuba and ship all of our criminals to other countries who think they know better how to handle them.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  9. #449  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Simple. Much like the anti-smoking lobby, the anti-gun lobby's goal is not to regulate a thing. It is to _eradicate_ it. Historically, every single compromise that has been made with them has led to further demands. If you want to eliminate a thing, you don't try and eliminate it when you know that it will be opposed. You whittle away at it and desensitize people to how it's eroding.
    Perhaps, but this sounds quite a bit like NRA rhetoric: it's their fault! I have an incredibly hard time believing gun control advocates (or even gun eliminatin advocates) would seriously oppose mandatory, regulated gun licenses on some sort of nationwide network.

    Can you give me a link to the NRA's thoughts on this? I hunted around but could only find bombast.
  10. #450  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Simple. Much like the anti-smoking lobby, the anti-gun lobby's goal is not to regulate a thing. It is to _eradicate_ it. Historically, every single compromise that has been made with them has led to further demands. If you want to eliminate a thing, you don't try and eliminate it when you know that it will be opposed. You whittle away at it and desensitize people to how it's eroding.
    Now that, I agree with.
    In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. JOHN 14:2
  11. #451  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    Perhaps, but this sounds quite a bit like NRA rhetoric: it's their fault!
    No. I'd say that the 'we just want reasonable restrictions' sounds more like Handgun Control, Inc. rhetoric.
    I have an incredibly hard time believing gun control advocates (or even gun eliminatin advocates) would seriously oppose mandatory, regulated gun licenses on some sort of nationwide network.
    Why? They might support it as a first step, but if someone states plainly that their goal is elimination of guns, why would they stop there? Have the anti-smoking advocates stopped at warning labels or awareness campaigns?
    Can you give me a link to the NRA's thoughts on this? I hunted around but could only find bombast.
    I've no clue. I haven't been involved with the NRA for a very long time (since they transformed from educational group to lobbyist group). I'm just speaking from the standpoint of the _members_ that I still have contact with. The ILA is a universe unto itself.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  12. #452  
    Originally posted by Toby
    I've no clue. I haven't been involved with the NRA for a very long time (since they transformed from educational group to lobbyist group). I'm just speaking from the standpoint of the _members_ that I still have contact with. The ILA is a universe unto itself.
    OK, NRAHQ is the place to get the traditional NRA information...
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  13. #453  
    t-

    Well, I think that perhaps you're misidentifying the gun control segment as a vast conspiracy designed to separate you from your firearm.

    ...The elephant in the corner here is the difficulties caused by firearms (and hell, by tobacco) tend to be worse on the lower end of the economic scale--it's by and large a class problem. While I agree that you should get your gun and be able to keep it, that right has some serious consequences on the other side. If we let it be laisse-fair (sic), I don't think that it will be good for the country.
  14. #454  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    Well, I think that perhaps you're misidentifying the gun control segment as a vast conspiracy designed to separate you from your firearm.
    No, I'm identifying Handgun Control, Inc. as a conspiracy which would like to make themselves appear to be vast to advance their agenda in little bits over a period of time since they know if they put their overall agenda on the table for an up or down vote all at once, they'd fail. Any firearms which I may or may not have would theoretically only be separated from me under a single cliche circumstance.
    ...The elephant in the corner here is the difficulties caused by firearms (and hell, by tobacco) tend to be worse on the lower end of the economic scale--it's by and large a class problem. While I agree that you should get your gun and be able to keep it, that right has some serious consequences on the other side. If we let it be laisse-fair (sic), I don't think that it will be good for the country.
    And who said that the only non-laissez-faire solution was to control a _thing_? What exactly is wrong with regulating actions which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have directly caused someone else harm? Why is it assumed that there must be something inferior with the 'lower classes' which makes them incapable of being responsible? I _live_ in state number 49 or 50 (depending on the study) where economic scales are concerned. Maybe we should outlaw cities since those seem to be where the problems concentrate.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  15. #455  
    My only problem with the license idea is that the states would probably screw up the enforcement side of it as bad as they do drivers licenses (and I think that they give out drivers licenses way too easily).

    I think that ideally it would be the best solution (in addition to harsh sentences for people who commit crimes with guns and jail time for gun owners who improperly store their guns - allowing either the theft or misuse of their weapons.).

    Responsible use of cars, guns, heavy equipment, soda machines, and gerbils, etc. is the answer, not prohibition.

    In response to the remark about the "Right to bear arms" only pertaining to "rich white males", that's bunk. Many of us have forbearers that were not rich, and owned guns. Most men that were recruited for those militias had a musket, fewer had pistols. Instead of believing me though, you could read almost any book concerning America in those times.

    BobbyMike
    "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish."
  16. Rob
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    #456  
    Originally posted by Toby
    And who said that the only non-laissez-faire solution was to control a _thing_? What exactly is wrong with regulating actions which can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have directly caused someone else harm? Why is it assumed that there must be something inferior with the 'lower classes' which makes them incapable of being responsible?
    In general, I agree that regulations should target harmful actions instead of potentially dangerous things, but aren't there some reasonable exceptions when the 'things' have potential for sufficiently great harm (especially if their intended use *is* to cause great harm?). I agree with you that the two possible uses of civilians with assault rifles are 1) to forceably overthrow the government (or keep them in check with the threat of being overthrown) and 2) as a reserve force for the regular military. Actually, now that I think about it, #2 may not make much sense because if people want to do that they can enlist in the National Guard/Army Reserve and wouldn't really be 'just civilians' in that case -- and if they don't trust or like the gov't enough to do that, they kind of fit into the first category.

    The problem with the notion of civilians carrying assault rifles is that it really wouldn't be much of a deterrent to a hypothetical corrupt or tyrannical U.S. government, since the Air Force could just bomb the revolutionaries or secessionists to kingdom come (assuming that a gov't can't be effectively tyrranical without the support of the military). Should civilians have unfettered access to shoulder-fired missle launchers or tanks or nukes so they can be put "on equal footing with federal forces and other potential tyrants".

    It seems to me that assault rifles can give civilians equal footing to regular cops, and maybe the national guard but not the real military. Probably better footing than the cops (I seem to recall a story from L.A. about some bank robbers with automatic weapons and bulletproof vests who had the cops so out-gunned they had to commandeer a local gun shop to get enough firepower to stop them.

    But I think I'm getting off point here. In a working democracy, is there a need for civilians to keep military-grade weapons? Why not just vote out of office (and presumably, therefore, out of power and control of the military) the corrupt and tyrannical? If you're NOT in a working democracy, then why bother trying to convince others to oppose gun control when the tyrannical government won't listen to the people (the majority) anyway?
  17. #457  
    The point is to keep the government from being too sure of itself and circumventing a 'working democracy' (we really don't have any such thing - we're a representative republic).
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  18. Rob
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    #458  
    Originally posted by Toby
    The point is to keep the government from being too sure of itself and circumventing a 'working democracy' (we really don't have any such thing - we're a representative republic).
    Fine, a 'working representative republic'

    Do you think that the threat of armed revolution is a significant factor keeping the government from circumventing our working representative republic today (as opposed to when the country was founded)? I think a far more significant factor is education and the 'democratic' culture instilled in the population (including current and potential military personnel). How easy or hard do you think it is to subvert the government and/or military to impose a 'tyrannical' rule over American citizens (or do you think this has already happened?) Would it be significantly easier if no civilians had access to assault weapons?
  19. #459  
    Originally posted by Toby
    The point is to keep the government from being too sure of itself and circumventing a 'working democracy' (we really don't have any such thing - we're a representative republic).
    And given the gov't's absolute inability to come to a compromise on gun control, I don't know that it's a working republic right now, more like a... i dunno...

    WRT class: I knew I shouldn't have brought that up. 2 points before all the other non-lefties start thowing stuff at me;

    1) nearly everything applied only to Rich White Males in the Consitution. Even if we include the middle-class and some of the lower class who participated in the militias during the rev war, what percentage of the US population have you got? can't be more than 40%, more like 25-30, I'd wager, perhaps less if you start thinking about the loyalists... Anyway, I merely brought it up as an ancillary point that the constitution is not the most holy word of the divine lord.

    2) Can the lower class be responsible? Of course, don't try to pin a moral judgement on me that i didn't make. but trying to increase their 'responsiblity' (by which most folk tend to mean morality) doesn't cause the crime rate among the lower class to improve. We've tried regulating actions--they're called murder laws. There needs to be other solutions to their problems, including gun problems.

    What is wrong with regulating a _thing_? Especially when that _thing's _ sole use is to kill people?
  20. #460  
    Originally posted by Rob
    Fine, a 'working representative republic'
    You call this working? Did you watch the last Presidential election?
    Do you think that the threat of armed revolution is a significant factor keeping the government from circumventing our working representative republic today (as opposed to when the country was founded)?
    No, I don't think an armed revolution is considered a threat anymore. The politicians realize that the masses are easily placated and/or distracted and/or fooled.
    I think a far more significant factor is education and the 'democratic' culture instilled in the population (including current and potential military personnel).
    Nah...I think a far more significant factor is that the people don't realize how far afield the current government has gone.
    How easy or hard do you think it is to subvert the government and/or military to impose a 'tyrannical' rule over American citizens (or do you think this has already happened?)
    That's the funny part. It's not necessary to be overtly tyrannical when people will gladly give you their freedoms for the illusion of protection from whatever the bogeyman of the week is (drugs, saturday night specials, terrorism, etc.).
    Would it be significantly easier if no civilians had access to assault weapons?
    Weapons are a small part of the equation. Read the Jefferson quote again. Some of us have definitely lost our 'spirit of resistance'.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...

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