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  1. #461  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    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...
    Farce would be a good word.
    WRT class: I knew I shouldn't have brought that up. 2 points before all the other non-lefties start thowing stuff at me;
    FYI, don't assume that I'm a 'rightie'.
    1) nearly everything applied only to Rich White Males in the Consitution.
    No. It applied to all 'free men'. The catch was that only those that had a stake in paying the costs (i.e. taxes) tended to have the vote. That has its good points and bad points, IMO.
    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...
    Actually, the 'benefits' of the revolutionary war were secured by less than 20% of the population, IIRC.
    Anyway, I merely brought it up as an ancillary point that the constitution is not the most holy word of the divine lord.
    No, definitely not, but it's a pretty damned good system of government considering the time in which it was created.
    2) Can the lower class be responsible? Of course, don't try to pin a moral judgement on me that i didn't make.
    I wasn't trying to pin anything on you, but you seemed to present things as a dichotomy when the options are legion.
    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.
    We've actually got a ****-poor enforcement record WRT those.
    There needs to be other solutions to their problems, including gun problems.
    I don't think people are willing to explore all the alternatives, though. They only want the ones that'll make them feel like they're 'doing something about the problem'.
    What is wrong with regulating a _thing_? Especially when that _thing's _ sole use is to kill people?
    Except that the uses of guns are a bit less well-defined than that.
    ‎"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...
  2. #462  
    Originally posted by Toby
    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.
    You damn skippy. what happened? When did it happen? it is television?
    Weapons are a small part of the equation. Read the Jefferson quote again. Some of us have definitely lost our 'spirit of resistance'.
    Still damn skippy.
    Nah...I think a far more significant factor is that the people don't realize how far afield the current government has gone.
    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.).

    (Quoted out of order....)
    Actually, I'm not sure that it's even necessary to be intentionally tryannical anymore. All the little tyrranies and little lies and little barrels of pork seem to add up to one big mess.
    ...I think that perhaps part of the problem is that we're coming to the end of the viability of the nation-state. As John Cusak said, "It's irrelevant, really. The idea of governments, nations, it's mostly a public relations theory at this point, anyway."

    yep.
  3. Rob
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    #463  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Weapons are a small part of the equation. Read the Jefferson quote again. Some of us have definitely lost our 'spirit of resistance'.
    Well, you really should be more specific about the things you wish people would more actively resist (if gun control is a relatively small one, which are the large issues to you? Taxes? Foreign Policy? The Criminal Justice System?)

    I agree with your general point that many people are too apathetic, not willing enough to get involved, be active in causes, and resist injustices. On the other hand, not everyone has the same idea about what is just (and then there's the theory that if people aren't mad enough to vote or protest, then the gov't must be doing a good job...)

    Originally posted by Toby
    The politicians realize that the masses are easily placated and/or distracted and/or fooled.
    That's only true when the issue is something as trivial as crime or foreign policy. But if sex is involved, nothing will deter the public's insistence on having all the available facts so they can come to an informed decision!!! (btw, did anyone see that article in The Onion about the (unmarried) congressman admitting having a sexual relationship with his girlfriend? It was hilarious! It's no longer available on their site, but I attached the text of the page if you want to read it)
    Attached Files Attached Files
  4. #464  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Farce would be a good word.
    heh...
    FYI, don't assume that I'm a 'rightie'.
    I don't, I figured it was safe to say non-leftie since most folk find me pretty far left, especially when I get into stupid rants on message boards. From what I have observed (and can remember--mostly it's just gut feeling now), I'd guess middle-right... possibly libertarian.
    No. It applied to all 'free men'. The catch was that only those that had a stake in paying the costs (i.e. taxes) tended to have the vote. That has its good points and bad points, IMO.

    You damn skippy.
    Actually, the 'benefits' of the revolutionary war were secured by less than 20% of the population, IIRC.

    thankee
    No, definitely not, but it's a pretty damned good system of government considering the time in which it was created.

    You still damn skippy. It works pretty good for us, although I'm wishing it was not beholden to special interest and corporate interest...
    We've actually got a ****-poor enforcement record WRT those.

    yep.
    I don't think people are willing to explore all the alternatives, though. They only want the ones that'll make them feel like they're 'doing something about the problem'.

    yep. but thing is--reasonable and intelligent gun control measures like the ones I've described would do something about the problem... but they'll never go through because of the NRA "give them an inch, they'll take your M16" mentality. *sigh* ...I swear I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but it's so easy with this topic....
    Except that the uses of guns are a bit less well-defined than that.

    Ok, excepting hunting rifles, shotguns, etc. What are the purposes of guns? They all stem from the gun's ability to kill, not it's ability to make julienne fries. Guns are made to be effective tools of killing. it seems to me that the regulation of such a tool is reasonable and would have significant benefits.
  5. #465  
    Originally posted by Rob
    Well, you really should be more specific about the things you wish people would more actively resist (if gun control is a relatively small one, which are the large issues to you? Taxes? Foreign Policy? The Criminal Justice System?)
    You're missing the point. I'm not advocating any particular thing. I'm saying that the 'spirit of resistance' is what was important to Jefferson's quote. Weapons are merely a potential tool (a last line of defense, if you will) to resist intrusions from whatever source.
    That's only true when the issue is something as trivial as crime or foreign policy. But if sex is involved, nothing will deter the public's insistence on having all the available facts so they can come to an informed decision!!!
    Umm...I think you missed the point again. The sexual scandal _was_ the distraction to prevent people from digging further into what was really going on (i.e. the President was paying more attention to getting his knob polished than in conducting the business he was elected to do). Then he had to start bombing other countries to distract the people from that distraction...
    ‎"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...
  6. Rob
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    #466  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    Ok, excepting hunting rifles, shotguns, etc. What are the purposes of guns? They all stem from the gun's ability to kill, not it's ability to make julienne fries. Guns are made to be effective tools of killing. it seems to me that the regulation of such a tool is reasonable and would have significant benefits.
    Why except hunting rifles? They are used to kill, too. The point is that some killing isn't as controversial as others (e.g. killing a deer, killing a madman mass murder who jumps through your livingroom window brandishing a bloody chainsaw, etc.) As I said before, as long as we can ensure gun owners are trained to use them and educated about safety and precautions, I don't mind handguns and hunting rifles. But I still think that a ban on civilians having assault rifles and other military-grade weapons capable of massive killing is a good thing. The costs of having these things around far outweighs the benefits IMO.
  7. #467  
    Originally posted by Rob
    Why except hunting rifles? They are used to kill, too.

    I suppose I should have said:
    The point is that some killing isn't as controversial as others (e.g. killing a deer, killing a madman mass murder who jumps through your livingroom window brandishing a bloody chainsaw, etc.)

    We share the same view.
    As I said before, as long as we can ensure gun owners are trained to use them and educated about safety and precautions, I don't mind handguns and hunting rifles. But I still think that a ban on civilians having assault rifles and other military-grade weapons capable of massive killing is a good thing. The costs of having these things around far outweighs the benefits IMO.
    Agreed. I would add some checks to that training and education, like mandatory licenses at the end of that training, sophisticated gun-tracking measures, waiting periods, background checks (at gunshows too, what kind of ***** would support background checks everywhere but gun shows? I don't care if it hurts the sellers! It's like "We check all bags and passangers going on planes, except on the 2nd sunday of every month.").

    yep. You and me, let's change america
  8. #468  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    I don't, I figured it was safe to say non-leftie since most folk find me pretty far left, especially when I get into stupid rants on message boards. From what I have observed (and can remember--mostly it's just gut feeling now), I'd guess middle-right... possibly libertarian.
    Actually, I've never understood the concept of libertarians being 'right' in any sense. If 'left' = 'liberal', then in today's day and age, you can't get much more 'left' than 'libertarian'. I find it mildly offensive that the 'left' have corrupted the idea of 'left' and 'liberal' to equate with the touchy-feely burble normally associated with the term.
    Ok, excepting hunting rifles, shotguns, etc.
    Why excepting those? Hunting rifles are by definition made to kill.
    What are the purposes of guns?
    It really depends on the gun.
    They all stem from the gun's ability to kill, not it's ability to make julienne fries.
    Actually, handguns are a compromise.
    Guns are made to be effective tools of killing.
    Or target shooting, or scaring people from harming you or your property, etc.
    it seems to me that the regulation of such a tool is reasonable and would have significant benefits.
    Tell me how you regulate an inanimate object. You still have to regulate behavior. You can make it illegal to produce, possess, use, whatever, but that's still regulating an action by a sentient being. Which action is bad? Seems to me that it's only 'bad' when the gun is used to intentionally harm a living entity which posed no threat to your own right to life, liberty, etc.
    ‎"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. #469  
    This topic really deserves its own thread, but I want to get this one above 500 posts

    random ideas to improve the US govt

    1) mandatory service. Not sure about this one WRT personal freedoms and all, but i am attracted to the idea (McCain is by far my favorite politician in washington... if only because people take him more seriously than they do the ever-fun Paul Wellstone). make it at least 2 full years before you're 40, with your choice of service.

    2) No contribution to any politician or political group of more than 500 dollars a year from any person or entity. make it iron-clad.

    Here's my favorite, I'm serious about this one:

    3) Amend the constitution so that the election of members of the House of Representatives proportional to a state-wide vote. If your state has 8 house seats, and your party gets 51 percent of the vote, your party gets 4 of those seats. Heck, it works pretty well for other representational republics (aka democracies). Why not us?
    ...ok, so there's the issue that your house member would no longer represent your neighborhood, but instead your entire state... but what better way to break the 2 party system?

    *sigh* ...that last part guarantees it will never happen...
  10. Rob
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    #470  
    Originally posted by Toby
    You're missing the point. I'm not advocating any particular thing. I'm saying that the 'spirit of resistance' is what was important to Jefferson's quote. Weapons are merely a potential tool (a last line of defense, if you will) to resist intrusions from whatever source.
    I think you are missing my point. Advocating resistence (armed resistence no less) without specifying what 'particular thing' they are justified in resisting makes no sense.

    Let's look at the quotes again:

    "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennyslvania, 1759

    In this case, Ben warns against giving up "essential liberty", not ANY liberty (e.g. everyone SHOULD give up the freedom to arbitrarily kill anyone they want)

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

    Note he says "on certain occasions". He didn't say "resist the government in all things at all times"

    "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

    Again, "from time to time" people should take up arms to 'refresh' the 'tree of liberty'. Not all the time, and presumably not without some good reason(s). So I ask again, do you want everyone to feel more rebellious and resist the government in all things? In whatever it is they personally dislike, regardless of whether it is just or not?

    The problem with these quotes is that they can be applied too broadly, since they lack an explicit context and target no specific injustice. Timothy McVeigh could use these quotes to justify the Oklahoma City bombing (for all I know, he DID quote Franklin and Jefferson). I doubt that these founders intended their words to be applied haphazardly or generically. At the time, the liberties they were trying to protect involved things like taxation (and other restrictions) without representation. Their heated rhetoric grew out of a context of what they considered tyranny and oppression from the remote British crown. Is our situation in the U.S. today analogous to their situation? Do we face the same threats, the same tyranny and oppression from the federal government?
  11. #471  
    Originally posted by Rob
    [...] But I still think that a ban on civilians having assault rifles and other military-grade weapons capable of massive killing is a good thing. [...]
    If September 11 should have taught people anything, it's that _anything_ can be used as a weapon capable of massive killing.
    ‎"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. #472  
    Actually, I've never understood the concept of libertarians being 'right' in any sense. If 'left' = 'liberal', then in today's day and age, you can't get much more 'left' than 'libertarian'. I find it mildly offensive that the 'left' have corrupted the idea of 'left' and 'liberal' to equate with the touchy-feely burble normally associated with the term.
    ah, you are libertarian. They're "right" because their politics often jive with GOP policies--but I understand your point and agree.

    ...btw: i don't think it was "liberals" who changed the connotation of the word, that was an intentional tactic of Mr. Ronald Regan, et al.
    Why excepting those? Hunting rifles are by definition made to kill.
    Adressed above, probably while you were typing. sigh, message boards.
    Actually, handguns are a compromise.
    ?
    Or target shooting, or scaring people from harming you or your property, etc.
    both derivations of their original purpose, although there's something to be said for target shooting.
    Tell me how you regulate an inanimate object. You still have to regulate behavior. You can make it illegal to produce, possess, use, whatever, but that's still regulating an action by a sentient being. Which action is bad? Seems to me that it's only 'bad' when the gun is used to intentionally harm a living entity which posed no threat to your own right
    [/b]
    Still being pedantic, are we? Fine, regulate behavior regarding guns and track guns in a national system. It's too easy for people to get guns, too easy to use them wrongly. There is no earthly reason for there to be number and lethality (ie nasty-scary-gun-level) of guns out there for the purposes that most gun apologists say they're used for.
  13. #473  
    Originally posted by Toby
    If September 11 should have taught people anything, it's that _anything_ can be used as a weapon capable of massive killing.
    so? Somehow, I don't think that banning assault rifles places us on a slippery slope whose end is banning razor blades. See my comments about the function of a gun.
  14. Rob
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    #474  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    random ideas to improve the US govt

    1) mandatory service.
    Actually, after all the talk about how the U.S. is hated and/or misunderstood around the world, I had the thought that the U.S. should have mandatory service, but let people choose between military service (probably national guard/army reserve for most) and peace corps/foreign legion style work. Maybe we could let the weenies work in the U.S. helping to build homes for habitat for humanity or something but you really do get a lot out of sending young people to a foreign country (improves U.S. citizen's understanding of world/foreign affairs and makes them less arrogant and ignorant, and improves foreign citizen's appreciation and understanding of the views as well as the generosity of Americans).
  15. #475  
    Originally posted by Rob
    I think you are missing my point. Advocating resistence (armed resistence no less) without specifying what 'particular thing' they are justified in resisting makes no sense.
    No, I didn't miss that. I just think it's manufactured from whole cloth. I never advocated armed resistance to anything.
    Let's look at the quotes again:
    Let's.
    "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennyslvania, 1759

    In this case, Ben warns against giving up "essential liberty", not ANY liberty (e.g. everyone SHOULD give up the freedom to arbitrarily kill anyone they want)
    Your freedom to swing your fist ends just before it comes into contact with my nose. Other than that, swing away.
    "The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive." --Thomas Jefferson

    Note he says "on certain occasions". He didn't say "resist the government in all things at all times"
    Nor did I.
    "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

    Again, "from time to time" people should take up arms to 'refresh' the 'tree of liberty'. Not all the time, and presumably not without some good reason(s).
    That should've gone without saying. I'm not sure where you're drawing these assumptions about what I think from.
    So I ask again, do you want everyone to feel more rebellious and resist the government in all things?
    No, but I'm not sure why this is relevant.
    In whatever it is they personally dislike, regardless of whether it is just or not?
    That depends on the circumstances and methods.
    The problem with these quotes is that they can be applied too broadly, since they lack an explicit context and target no specific injustice.
    No, that's the problem with people applying the quotes. They were definitely said within a certain context. I'm not a history teacher, though, so I've not the time to get into it.
    Timothy McVeigh could use these quotes to justify the Oklahoma City bombing (for all I know, he DID quote Franklin and Jefferson).
    AAMOF, he was wearing a t-shirt with the Jefferson tyrants quote on the back (and "Sic semper tyrranis" on the front).
    I doubt that these founders intended their words to be applied haphazardly or generically.
    They surely didn't. However, they also didn't intend for the populace to roll over and beg for a Patriarchal system of government.
    At the time, the liberties they were trying to protect involved things like taxation (and other restrictions) without representation.
    Ironic considering D.C.'s situation, eh?
    Their heated rhetoric grew out of a context of what they considered tyranny and oppression from the remote British crown. Is our situation in the U.S. today analogous to their situation?
    In some respects, it might be.
    Do we face the same threats, the same tyranny and oppression from the federal government?
    Ask some of the people of Arab descent who've lost habeus corpus.
    ‎"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...
  16. Rob
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    #476  
    Originally posted by Toby
    If September 11 should have taught people anything, it's that _anything_ can be used as a weapon capable of massive killing.
    And after Sept. 11th, restrictions and regulations concerning airport screening, airplane security, and airline personnel have been tightened. That's how people are trying to address the potential for massive killing with airplanes. If you are saying that assault weapons are like airplanes, then would you support similar regulations, background checks and security restrictions for gun owners and at gun shows?
  17. #477  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    so? Somehow, I don't think that banning assault rifles places us on a slippery slope whose end is banning razor blades. See my comments about the function of a gun.
    I thought we already banned 'assault weapons'? You see...the problem with that term is that it doesn't _mean_ anything. Just like pr0n ('I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.'). There is functionally no difference between an SKS and a Ruger Mini-14 'Ranch Rifle' (so called because they're popular with ranchers for keeping predators away). AAMOF, if you ever watched the A-Team, the Mini-14 was their personal preference. So, what's the difference if I have 2 30-round magazines vs. 12 5-round magazines (they make both for both rifles)?
    ‎"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. #478  
    Originally posted by Rob
    And after Sept. 11th, restrictions and regulations concerning airport screening, airplane security, and airline personnel have been tightened. That's how people are trying to address the potential for massive killing with airplanes.
    And yet weapons have still made it onto planes, and those were supposedly accidents. Imagine what somebody still trying could do. Ultimately, you can never prevent a patient, highly-motivated individual from hurting people.
    If you are saying that assault weapons are like airplanes, then would you support similar regulations, background checks and security restrictions for gun owners and at gun shows?
    Actually, I think guns should be treated like cars. License a person for particular uses, and then let them operate freely within that space unless they screw up.
    ‎"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...
  19. #479  
    Originally posted by dietrichbohn
    ah, you are libertarian.
    Not exactly. They're just the closest thing to my views. No political -ism is a perfect fit for me. <insert Ferris quote>
    They're "right" because their politics often jive with GOP policies
    I think that's more because the GOP have co-opted some of their philosophies into some sort of bastardized populism appeal to try and win votes. Their policies on law enforcement (specifically WRT drugs, prostitution, etc.) sure as hell don't jibe with the right.
    Still being pedantic, are we? Fine, regulate behavior regarding guns and track guns in a national system. It's too easy for people to get guns, too easy to use them wrongly. There is no earthly reason for there to be number and lethality (ie nasty-scary-gun-level) of guns out there for the purposes that most gun apologists say they're used for.
    Just like there isn't any reason for there to be the selection of cars which are available out there, well, other than that we're a capitalist society and are free within the bounds of our means to buy things (including politicians).
    ‎"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...
  20. Rob
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    #480  
    Originally posted by Toby
    Actually, I think guns should be treated like cars. License a person for particular uses, and then let them operate freely within that space unless they screw up.
    In that case, we're not actually that far apart. I think you should license gun owners too. Handguns are like normal cars, just take a class and pass a test and get your license (some states take your fingerprint too, but let's not go down that rat-hole just yet). You need a special class of license to drive certain types of large trucks or operate certain specialized machinery. A few types of motorized vehicles are not even allowed on the streets. The only thing to decide is which types of weapons are significantly more dangerous and have few enough legitimate civilian uses that they should be banned or places in a more restrictive class. But I don't know enough about guns to even try categorizing them myself.

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