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Is A Reasoned Approach Possible With Gun Control?

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Daddy was right. Ain't no use in talking about religion, politics, whether that dress makes yer wife look fat, or guns… unless you're sitting among a bunch of hunters all dressed up in their "out-to-kill" finery, oiling stocks and cutting cross-hatches into their bullet points.

Take abortion. The gyrations politicians go through to avoid waving the banner for either side would be hysterical if it wasn't so obvious… and boring. "I'm for abortion only in the event a woman is impregnated by a creature from another planet — or the dark lagoon. Otherwise, while I personally would never have an abortion, I support a woman's right to be confused." I daresay there must be some kind of middle ground that doesn't leave women between a rock and hellfire and brimstone, but no one's brave enough to suggest it.

Likewise, in one of the few thundering blunders made by the Founding Dads, we have the Second Amendment, in my humble opinion, a veritable smorgasbord of words that can be construed to arrive at any conclusion one wants. What the hell does it mean?

"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."

If one focuses on the first two phrases, it's clear that gun ownership applies to the state's militia, probably as protection against feared federal hegemony, although it didn't work all that well in the Civil War. If one focuses on the last phrase, it's clear that the people's right to own veritable arsenals can never be withdrawn. Put the two together, and you have… mush.

A case in D.C. may wind its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The District passed a law banning all hand guns except for current and former police while allowing rifles and shotguns as long as they're either "unloaded and disassembled or bound by trigger locks." An appeals court killed the law, and the city has asked the Supreme Court to hear it. Surprise, surprise, the Bush Administration opposes the law.

And the two sides, one standing on one edge of the Grand Canyon, and the other on the far side, cavil endlessly to anyone with ears about the death of children, the right to protect one's self in one's home, etc. etc. ad nauseum. There is, at last, nothing new to be said.

So, how does one rationally address this issue? (Pardon me while I fall off my chair laughing.)

Let us begin by acknowledging that the other side (whichever side you're on) has deep, powerful, often unconscious emotional reasons for their positions. And, while you're at it, admit you're in the same quandary. We pretend to argue logic and reason, but what's driving those arguments are perceived threats to important personal values. If we could talk about those values and those emotions, we'd at least make a start at having a discussion rather than a televised political debate among Presidential wannabes. We may even find that we have some of those values (self-preservation, family protection, security) in common but that the triggers for those values are different.

Next, how about we throw the 2nd Amendment into the trash heap of well-meant but stupid historical statements. There is no right way to interpret it, and we're just being intellectually dishonest if we pretend there is.

Then, given common values and no Constitutional guidelines, we seek compromise. The pro-gunners fear that banning handguns is but the first step in taking away all their guns. How are the anti-gunners going to assure them that isn't the case? (There are anti-gunners who do take that position; you probably don't want them in the room when you're negotiating.) The moderate anti-gunners focus on handguns because they're most easily misused by children, adults engaged in a free-for-all, or a simple, stupid, tragic accident. Plus, it's a lot harder to carry around a concealed shotgun than pistol.

Except for vegetablearians, the blather about hunting is just so much, well, blather. Eat a steak you got from your local supermarket or kill a deer and eat the deer. There's no difference. I admit to being nauseated by those who trophy hunt, who simply kill for the sport of it. If that's a sport, so is smoking and drinking. But I wouldn't let my personal distaste for those chickens (like there's real danger in going after deer) interfere with my desire to strike a compromise with the pro-gunners that guarantees their right to rifles and shotguns.

Of course, we have to address the automatic vs. semi-automatic issue as well as the increasing number of guns that resemble Rambo's favorite wartime toys, but once we're engaged in good faith efforts, one can hope that we can isolate the extremists on both sides. I can't believe that every pro-gunner wants an Uzi… or at least I hope not.

See, not so hard. Sure. Actually, what's hardest is the first step, the discussions where people listen to each other with an open mind, seek areas of agreement, begin to develop a bit of trust in the good faith of their opponents. I've engineered this process between chemical plants and the communities in which they operate, and it takes a long, long time, as well as people who truly want a reasonable, workable solution.

But, it'll never happen, so I will take refuge in that most profound philosophical thought:

In Jameson Veritas

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About Mark Schannon

Retired crisis & risk manager/communications expert; extensive public relations experience in most areas over 30 years. Still available for extraordinary opportunities of mind-numbing complexity. Life-long liberal agnostic...or is that agnostic liberal.
  • Dr Dreadful

    Brace for impact, Mark…

    Well done on a witty, astute and for the most part impartial piece. You will shortly be assailed by the usual gun nuts (on both sides) convinced that you, the government, the Republican Party, liberals and/or the UN is out to get them.

    I sometimes think that the only way we’re ever going to decide what the intent of the 2nd Amendment really is would be to appoint some venerable and pedantic old judge from the backwoods of Nepal, who’s never heard of the United States or its Constitution, to take a good old look and give us his considered, untainted legal opinion as to what the hell it actually means. And then abide by his decision.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Dr. Dreadful, thanks for the comments & I’m keeping my head down. Alas, there have been numerous studies and books by supposedly neutral experts trying to parse the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, but no one’s come close to creating consensus.

    And it wouldn’t matter if there was an “objective” truth: people’s well-entrenched belief and value systems will reject anything that challenges it. That’s why the only approach is for somewhat reasonable people to agree that a middle ground is possible. Win their hearts, then win their minds.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Baronius

    Here’s my problem. I don’t care about the issue at all – I’ve got no emotional commitment to either side. I’ll never own a gun, because I’m deeply suicidal. But it’s obvious to me that the gun rights nuts are right. So don’t play the game where you label both sides as emotional; that’s a copout. As for the particular text, we know what it says and what the authors believed it meant. And the gun nuts are just simply right. If you want a new compromise, amend the Constitution. Otherwise, you’ve got to go with what it says.

  • http://www.KeepAndBearArms.com Bruce W. Krafft

    “Let us begin by acknowledging that the other side (whichever side you’re on) has deep, powerful, often unconscious emotional reasons for their positions. And, while you’re at it, admit you’re in the same quandary. …”

    Actually Mark, I will ‘admit’ no such thing. My position is based on clear well researched scientific evidence. A gun is the safest, most effective self-defense tool available, bar none. Where ‘shall-issue’ laws are passed, (and controlling for other factors) crime goes down.

    And for those of you who still cling to Dr. Kellerman’s ‘study’ which shows that a gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill someone in the home than an intruder, I suggest you go to Guncite where you can see the flip side of the data: that in homes *without* a gun you were 99 times more likely to have someone in the home killed (without a gun) than you were to kill an intruder (without a gun).

    Seems pretty straightforward to me . . .

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    how about we throw the 2nd Amendment into the trash heap of well-meant but stupid historical statements.

    Yep. You’re a gun-grabbing communist.

  • Dr Dreadful

    What did I tell you, Mark? Took all of nineteen minutes for the gun sites’ bots to find your post…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    So don’t play the game where you label both sides as emotional; that’s a copout. As for the particular text, we know what it says and what the authors believed it meant. And the gun nuts are just simply right. If you want a new compromise, amend the Constitution. Otherwise, you’ve got to go with what it says.

    Thank you.

  • Roger

    While we’re at it, why not throw-out, or at least water down, other portions of the Bill of Rights, starting with the First Amendment. Once you establish the principal that the constitution is a buffet, where you can pick and choose which portions to honor, and which to de-legitimize and ignore, then you run the risk that some other portion of the Bill of Rights that you favor will be next on the chopping block. Surely, the Founders didn’t intend for the First Amendment to protect pornography or offensive art. (They really didn’t!) And of course they had no concept of television or the internet, so they couldn’t have intended to protect those media. See where this leads?

    And in fact, a robust interpretation of the Second Amendment is much more consistent with the original intent of the Founders, than the silly idea that it protects the rights of states to form a national guard. The Bill of Rights was specifically passed to protect the rights of the “people”, which is why that word is used so frequently in it, including in the Second Amendment. The “militia” is comprised of the whole people, so said James Madison. Based on their own personal experience as armed revolutionaries, the founders understood the importance of citizens possessing militarily capable firearms to keep government reasonably honest, and to discourage tyranny. The Second Amendment was never enacted to protect hunters, but to enable the people to defend liberty in an effective way – at gun point. Like it or not, that’s the truth.

  • Tony Heaton

    Dr. Dreadful, I haven’t seen anyone violently attack Mark. Maybe your lack of knowledge of words is why you might have trouble understanding the second amendment? Why do all you anti-gun people refer to us gun owners as gun nuts? Does it have anything to do with the fact that you have no data to back up your position?

    If you understand English and the meaning of words with respect to their 18th century use, the second amendment isn’t that difficult to understand. It also helps if you read the Federalist papers and other writings of our founding father’s. The supposed misunderstanding of the second amendment didn’t come about until the 20th century. Why don’t ant-gun groups focus on the criminal rather than the tool. Criminals use various weapons to commit their crimes and only in the case of firearms do you focus on the tool. I don’t see a call to ban knives, clubs, automobiles, etc. I live in New Mexico and we have a huge DUI problem, as does other states. We have people on their 40th and higher arrests for DUI. Not only do they not try and ban alcohol for automobiles, they don’t even punish the criminal. In states that allow concealed carry, violent crime has been reduced. The anti-gun people said that blood would run in the streets like rivers. If you want the any data, post a request and I’ll post some references. I’d do it now, but every anti-gun person I’ve ever talked to was not interested in facts.

  • Tony Heaton

    Sorry, I made an error. I intended to say alcohol or automobiles

  • REMF

    “Yep. You’re a gun-grabbing communist.”

    Did “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy ever have an illegitimate grandson…?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Tony:

    1. I said what I did to Mark because every time anyone posts anything on this topic to BC, the pro-gunners descend like a pack of wolves, the gun control folks rise up to counter, and pretty soon we have a full-on dogfight going on. It’s strange – it’s only gun control where this happens. Beats me why.
    2. I’m not anti-gun.
    3. If you re-read my comment, I referred to “gun nuts (on both sides)”. That means pro and anti.
    4. I wasn’t suggesting you were a nut either. I have several friends who are very strongly pro-gun. None of them are nuts.
    5. I don’t have any trouble with the language, thank you. The bit about the “well-armed militia” is the qualifier; the “keep and bear arms” bit is the right, yadda yadda. The thing is that having a militia for national defense is a bit different than keeping guns for private defense.
    6. My personal view, being originally from Britain, which doesn’t have a gun culture, is that I would rather not have them around the house or on my person. I do enjoy shooting them, though.

    Hope that clears a few things up.

  • Travis Lee

    This is what passes for wit?

    The US has something over 20,000 restrictive gun laws, and not a one has ever been shown to reduce crime. They don’t, and they were never intended to. The first gun control laws were enacted to suppress the rights of freed black slaves. The Sullivan Act in New York City was enacted to keep down immigrants and uppity tourists who didn’t like being robbed, and fought back with their own handguns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was modeled after the Nazi Weapons law of 1938, and was originally aimed to control urban blacks.

    I’m not going to argue the US Constitution with you. You are incapable of parsing a simple sentence correctly. Or understand the commentary by the founding fathers on the subject.

    If you mean to ban pistols, or other firearms in the US, you will have to repeal the Second Amendment.

    You will have to get my State, and others to repeal their right to keep and bear arms.

    You will have to repeal my state’s Concealed Carry laws.

    You will have to enact a Constitutional amendment to seize and confiscate personal property, previously lawfully obtained, and owned.

    And then you will have to repeal the Fourth Amendment to facilitate searches of every home, business and square foot of ground in the country, and random road blocks, and searches of pedestrians on city sidewalks.

    And since literally millions of “gun-nuts” will insist on their right to due process you will have to repeal the fifth amendment right to due legal process, as they will demand the right to a jury trial.

    When you manage to do that…

    Well, as King Leonidas said to Xerxes when he demanded the Spartans lay down their weapons…
    MOLON LABE: Come and take them.

    There are an estimated 300 MILLION firearms in the US.
    50% of all US households have at least one firearm, 80-85 million individual gun-owners. The Clinton so-called ban put more semi-automatic rifles into Americans’ hands than all the marketing by the industry ever could have done. Americans get VERY feisty when the self-appointed elitists like you tell them they can’t have something.

    If you suspect that we are dangerous desperados, why do you think we would comply with your new regime? Do you think I have handguns, semi-auto rifles, and scoped long-range rifles just to relinquish them?

    I just have to ask, you and what army?

    Perhaps you have no guns, but many anti-gun activists own guns, have carry licenses, and even have armed body guards. When your kind demands more anti-gun laws, you invariably mean for everybody else, not, of course, FOR YOU.

    Either you believe that we dangerous “gun nuts” will simply comply with mass confiscation, or you believe that we harmless and cowardly folk can simply be beaten down with a handful of seizures and high profile prosecutions.

    But if things do come to that point, it will be the beginning of a flat out civil war.
    If you really are that foolish, do you recall that WE are the ones who have the guns?
    More guns than all the combined police and military in the whole country. If you were counting just hunters in this country, it would tally more than the forces of the five largest militaries in the world, COMBINED.

    Most gun-rights activists will try to reason with you and your kind, to persuade you that we are not criminals, we pose no threat to you, that we are just regular folks with jobs, and families, and love puppies. But I have had my fill of the arguing and the deliberate obtuseness of people like you.

    The most hateful, hostile, violent people I have ever met are anti-gun activists. I’ve seen them literally shaking with RAGE when a conversation comes to guns. You wish to make me a criminal, and have your state-armed thugs put me in prison, or kill me, and you think I will simply sit here ?! Umm, No.

    Come and take them.

    And if you have any courage, don’t send police or guardsmen to do the dirty work.
    DO IT YOURSELF.

    Oh, I guess that makes it a little different, doesn’t it?

    Do you think you can instigate a war, and remain safe in your gated community, secured by your armed employees? Hmm. How amusing.

    The “reasoned approach” to gun control I would suggest, is don’t go to war with me.

    Just don’t.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I also enjoy shooting guns for fun but that’s not the issue.

    In the context of the USA, the police ought to be protecting the citizenry but are doing an incredibly bad job.

    Due to the easy availability of weapons in the USA, many criminals have taken to possessing and using them to give them an edge.

    Due to this, many US citizens understandably want to get guns to protect themselves as the police do a bad job of protecting them.

    As the citizens get armed, criminals respond by getting bigger guns such as machine guns or assault rifles.

    This kicks off a stupid arms race which will probably end with domestic robberies being committed by gangsters in tanks!

    The solution is simple, get the police to do their jobs properly and disarm the criminals and the gangs which are taking over ever larger tranches of the USA.

    If gangs can run their areas so effectively, it shows it can be done. The police could do with learning a few tricks from the criminals.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Travis, it would be easy to get your guns off you. If I wanted to do that, I’d get an anti-tank weapon and blow you and your house to bits whilst you slept. Thanks God for the right to bear arms!

  • Travis Lee

    And you proved my point, Christopher,

    Hostile, hateful and violent.

    Why is a handgun in my possession evil, and yet your willingness to murder me with a military weapon is appropriate?

    Gun laws are enforced at gunpoint.

    Better get me the first time.

    Good luck.

  • fsilber

    The author misunderstands the issue. It is not a fear of a general ban on all guns which causes people like me to oppose a ban on handguns.

    My fear is that if handguns are banned, ordinary peaceful, law-abiding private citizens will have no ready means of shooting down robbers, rapists and carjackers.

    God knows, it has been decades since we could rely on the police to do this for us.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Travis, actually I think you proved mine. I was pointing out a set of facts. Facts are not hostile, hateful or violent.

    On the other hand, it seems that a significant proportion of pro gun types see threats where there are none, are dangerously intolerant and not very skilled at understanding what is happening right in front of them. These are all good reasons for disarming them…

    fsilber, I hope you were being at least slightly funny. The problem is with the police force.

  • http://waronguns.blogspot.com David Codrea

    Of course there’s a right way to interpret the Second Amendment, Mark. Just because you say there’s not doesn’t make it so.

    Be intellectually honest and do some research before acting like you’re an authority and obscuring the issue.

    Start by getting a copy of attorney David T. Hardy’s “In Search of the Second Amendment” DVD, which interviews leading Constitutional scholars and examines the historical record on how the amendment was developed and the intent of the Founders.

    If you’re going to set yourself up as an authority with credentials to negate evidence presented by figures like Kates, Polsby, Levinson, Halbrook, Malcolm, Amar, Barnett, Cottroll, Kleck, Lund, Johnson, Innes, Reynolds, Volokh, et al., then let’s party.

    Educating yourself so you know what you’re talking about would be the “reasoned approach.” Otherwise, you just come across as another self-impressed dilettante with a fashionable opinion and a following of equally shallow and uneducated sycophants.

  • http://none.com None

    “In the context of the USA, the police ought to be protecting the citizenry but are doing an incredibly bad job.”

    Since when is it the police’s job to protect you? Since when do policemen walk down every street at night making sure everyone’s tucked in?

  • Rudy Kohn

    “As the citizens get armed, criminals respond by getting bigger guns such as machine guns or assault rifles.

    This kicks off a stupid arms race which will probably end with domestic robberies being committed by gangsters in tanks!”

    The problem with this statement is that it doesn’t follow from empirical evidence. In the years before right-to-carry legislation, crimes with automatic weapons were extremely rare.

    However, now that over forty states allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons, we would expect the use of automatic weapons in crimes to increase. Millions of people now carry concealed handguns completely legally. Crime has decreased where concealed carry is allowed.

    Automatic weapons are generally no good for committing crimes, and are still almost never used. They are large, heavy, and go through ammunition at staggering rates. They are usually more difficult to conceal. They are prohibitively expensive. Their use in crime brings down extremely harsh responses from law enforcement.

    I submit that no escalation has occurred on any measurable scale.

  • Gordon

    The problem really isn’t the police (well other than the problem of them wanting to be the only ones with guns even after they are retired). The courts have ruled that the police have no duty to protect anyone but themselves. That leaves protection of me and my family to me. That alone is enough reason for me to want the most effective means to do so, and since I am not a pro linebacker, that means a gun.

  • Clavos

    Since nearly all the police departments in the USA write “to serve and protect” (or some variation thereof) on the sides of their cars?

    And if that’s not their primary function, then WTF are we wasting taxpayers’ money paying them for?

  • http://blog.robballen.com Robb Allen

    Chris almost has a coherent idea, but fails at the very end to falling for an emotional gambit.

    A recent report indicates at least 270,000,000 firearms are owned by citizens in the US (this means non military, non police weapons). 99.7% of those weapons never see a crime. If you think that number is low, consider that even 1% would mean nearly 3 million firearm related crimes a year, and that simply is not true.

    Reduction in legal gun ownership will not affect the .3% of criminal’s guns. Ever. Not even a smidgen. Making 100% of handguns illegal would still see that .3% in circulation as criminals would not turn in theirs. And crime would not change.

    In short, it’s not the tool, it’s the criminal. How many times do we read “the gunman had a lengthy rap sheet”, or “was wanted for other charges”?

    So, if you want to reduce crime, you focus on the criminal. If you want to look like you’re doing something, you try to ban guns, knowing damned well the criminals aren’t going to care about the ban in the first place.

  • Paul

    While admitting there are two sides to every story, and both sides make very reasonable arguments, I really feel like the old bumper sticker says it best…When you outlaw guns only the outlaws will have guns. Statistically a high percentage of guns used in crimes are illegally obtained. But making more laws doesn’t change what someone already willing to break the laws will do. I’m totally in favor of strengthening criminal control, coming down harder on anyone who uses a gun to commit a crime. How many gun crimes are committed by repeat offenders? I do like your impartiality, and I think more people need to understand the arguments of both sides. As far as the second amendment…..interpretation is the key. I know what it means to me, and back in the day when they wrote it, does anyone know how many homes had guns? I’m not sure how many in the city, but I’d bet the number is huge, as far as out of the city I’d bet that number was 99.99%. I also realize part of the story here is handguns vs rifles/shotguns. In my mind a gun is a gun, but statistics show most gun crimes are committed with handguns. So what happens after you “abolish” owning handguns? Does anyone think they’ll magical disappear? Does anyone reading this think illegal drugs are difficult to get?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    It’s much harder to conceal an illegal weapon, which is large and made of metal, than illegal drugs, which are small and organic, so I don’t think the comparison is valid.

    It may be true that a high percentage of guns used in crimes are illegally obtained, but, unless stolen, those guns were obtained legally in the first place so again, some degree of improved gun control would help.

    It still boils down to the fact that the police are not doing their job properly.

  • http://www.willowtown.com/reality/blacksburg.htm Barry Bright

    Same ol’ lies, same ol’ obfuscation by a “Liberal” citiot, marxist, whatever, this time from a country full of cowards who turned their guns into their govt. So they fully deserve what’s happening in merry ol’ England. See my webpage.

    Bottom line: I own a politically incorrect ‘assault’ weapon for the lowlifes who don’t think I need one, whether they be lowlifes on the street or lowlifes in the govt. or lowlifes in the mainstream or nowadays, non-mainstream media.

    When the Brits were told to turn their guns in they should have opened “Liberal” season.

    I won’t sit in my house and wait for someone to come to my home and endanger my family with a tank, an Apache helicopter, or a handgun bought from a drug dealer on a street corner. When I am threatened with confiscation and imprisonment or death for resisting it I will go hunting, and it won’t be for deer, turkey or squirrel.

    Have a nice police state. I don’t plan on being around to enjoy it and I do plan on taking a few modern authoritarians with me.

  • http://armedcanadian.blogspot.com Matt

    Since nearly all the police departments in the USA write “to serve and protect” (or some variation thereof) on the sides of their cars?

    And if that’s not their primary function, then WTF are we wasting taxpayers’ money paying them for?

    Clavos,

    The “Serve and Protect” is correct. To serve and protect the COMMUNITY at large. The police have no duty to specific individuals even if they call for help and the police fail to arrive in time or at all.

    The police have no duty to protect YOU unless they happen to see someone committing a crime against you as they walk by. And even then, only if they aren’t on their way to a crime in progress more pressing than yours.

    State and Federal Court rulings are virtually unanimous on this point. The police have no duty to protect individuals. By policing the community-at-large, they are upholding their duty.

    As a result, it falls to you as an individual to take responsibility for your safety. There are numerous cases where people have called the police for help, the police come late or never arrive at all and bad things happen to them. They, or their survivors, sue the city and police departments and the Courts always side with the police. (Settling out of court is not an admission of guilt, I am talking about actual cases that went to Court).

    And people are shocked when they learn this. Once you understand the idea that the Police is there to protect you is a fallacy, your whole worldview will change. Mine did. I understand this idea and accept it. Since the police have no duty to protect me, it is my duty as a responsible adult to do so for myself. And I have.

    And guns are the means by which I protect myself.

  • Clavos

    I understand that it’s the community as a whole that their supposed to (but don’t) protect.

    The point is, if they really are protecting the community; if they really are doing their jobs, I don’t feel a need to protect myself.

    But, I live in South Florida, where the police are part of the criminal element, and, far from protecting the community, they prey on it. The sheriff of Broward county (for example) just yesterday, pleaded guilty to several counts of felony fraud.

    I’ve lived in several third world countries in my day. The police in this country are no longer any different from the police in those countries, and down here, they are worse; it’s not unfair to say that the police in Mexico, for example, are less corrupt and more competent than the police in Miami-Dade or Broward counties, these days.

    But then, they don’t get paid much, and you get what you pay for.

  • Travis Lee

    Did I now, Chris?

    I gave a rather straightforward warning that the gun-grabbers had best leave gun owners ALONE.

    You are the fellow who offered unprovoked violence. (As is typical)

    Whose point was proven?

    The only possible way to remove 300 million firearms from Americans is to establish exactly the tyrannical regime which the gun-banners assert is a paranoid fantasy.

    Your gun-free utopian fantasy can only be established by mass murder.
    Either you are shockingly naive not to realize this, or that is, in fact, your very PURPOSE.

    Not a week goes by, that some politician, political group, or self-annointed media hack doesn’t propose a new law to seize my property, make me a criminal, send me to prison, or kill me if I object.

    When push comes to shove, you will find yourself outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded.

    I DEMAND only to be left alone.
    And I can enforce that demand.

    That’s what makes you gun banners so crazy, isn’t it?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    In the context of the USA, the police ought to be protecting the citizenry but are doing an incredibly bad job.

    This is an absolutely fundamental misconception. Ask any police officer and he will tell you that except in the most general sense of providing a high profile presence in a community it is virtually impossible for the police to ‘prevent’ most common crime. For them to do that their numbers would have to be so huge and their presence so intrusive that it would be unacceptable to the public.

    What the police do, with a full awareness of their limitations, is try to get repeat offenders of the streets and find criminals after the fact and make sure that they get appropriately punished and removed from society. Along with this they do make a limited effort to recover stolen property and prevent certain kinds of ongoing crime like fraud.

    What they just cannot do, is prevent crimes like murder and burglary and mugging – except in rare lucky cases – because they just don’t have the manpower and the omniscience to do it.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Mark, good article. Very enjoyable & thoughtful, IMO, even if it DID bring the gun/anti-gun nuts out of the woodwork asap. Oh well.

    As with all major bones of contention, the problem is not so simplistic as the opposing camps would have it. On the pro side, a good deal of the problem is lack of law enforcement – not by the police, but the courts; lack of some system that ensures those with criminal records don’t have access to guns or at least, can’t buy them as easily as they do now; lack of punishment for those who DO supply miscreants with guns, legally or illegally; a very valid fear (especially in light of this current administration, which seems intent on violating constitutional rights at will) that restrictions will lead to government being able & willing to swoop down & leave the citizenry totally unarmed & vulnerable not only to crime, but also to military coups, etc.

    On the anti side, there’s demonstrable stats that show that guns are used in most violent crimes, that violence is on the rise in the US; partially due to the pervasive gun culture & glorification of same by TV & Hollywood, etc.; the increasing aquisition of such stuff as Uzis & shoulder-fired mortars (?!) by private citizens – most of whom, frankly, I wouldn’t want to trust to walk & chew gum at the same time, let alone trust with the judgement to handle a gun correctly or intelligently; and most of all to the utter lack of any cohesive requirements anywhere on any level for those wanting guns to have training & be certified as knowing how to handle them, which IMO is a certain recipe for disaster, especially when mixed with lack of intelligence or common sense – which is WHY most gun accidents happen in the first place: sheer stupidity.

    Personally, I favor having a certain amount of gun access to everyone without a criminal record, but with a definite amount of training & demonstrated capacity to use them with a modicum of common sense if not intelligence. Therefore, no guns to people not only of criminal record, but to those who are mentally unstable (like the Blacksburg shooter this past April), underage, or “developmentally challenged” – i.e. retarded or slow. And frankly I can’t see a need for ANYBODY anywhere to have automatics or such items as Uzis or launchers in their private arsenals at all for any reason. If such things were pervasively illegal & unobtainable, it’s likely such situations as Waco or Ruby Ridge would not have occurred, or at least would have been on a smaller scale.

    No objections to shotguns or rifles; as mentioned, it’s hard to carry one concealed, unless you have a very long overcoat & it’s sawed off – which I believe is illegal to begin with. Hunting firearms should be subject to the same strictures as handguns: you have to have a license, & you have to have training to show you know how to handle the damned things. Hunters should also have training, if only to make them aware that game they shoot, if they wound it, should always be followed up & finished off, instead of being left to suffer & die slowly; and that whatever they shoot, they’d better eat (with possible exceptions of coyotes, etc.). As for those idiots who do “trophy hunting” of tame animals at special hunting ranches – those should be illegal, & those who run or resort to them used for target practice by Dick Cheney.

    I don’t know what to do about the issue of government oversight. I can fully appreciate the conundrum of, if it’s licensed, then it’s too easy for the government to id it & take it away. On the other hand, how else do you ensure the owner is trained & responsible, & that illicit guns aren’t being provided to inappropriate/illegal persons? I’d like to hear people’s thoughts on that specific issue, because it’s more than I’m capable of solving w/my current level of expertise. Any ideas?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Travis, you just can’t stop digging in the pit of stupidity. It was you that said that you would be prepared to commit violence in order to keep your weapons. I mocked your attitude.

    Yes, brainiac, I’m really proposing mass murder on a grand scale. Of course!

    The only think that drives me crazy is exchanges like this that make taking psychedelic drugs redundant…

    Dave, it is absolutely not a misconception. You yourself trip up your own flimsy argument by admitting that they don’t have the manpower to do the job. That is a budgeting and management issue and that’s where the inability to do their job begins.

    Gangs can effectively control whole neighbourhoods with a comparatively small number of people by getting bodies on the street where they belong, something the police ought to be doing.

    If you take a look at Britain as an example, it is exactly when they started taking cops off their beats and increased the amount of paperwork and number of managers that community standards plummneted and crime rates soared.

    The only result of what you describe as policing is that your excessively large numbers of prison inmates are being turned into professional hardcore criminals by being sent to Convict State High, as your many jails ought to be known.

  • Dr Dreadful

    I wonder if the many pro-gun commenters who’ve never been seen on this site before could explain what it is about this particular issue that gets them so paranoid as to have bots alert them when anyone posts a gun-related article on the web.

    Gay marriage and abortion are also highly emotive issues, but don’t provoke this kind of reaction.

    So what are gun advocates so twitchy about?

    And why should we think guns and twitchy people are a good combo?

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    Travis, it would be easy to get your guns off you. If I wanted to do that, I’d get an anti-tank weapon and blow you and your house to bits whilst you slept.

    I think that if more people in the general public were made aware that this is what would be necessary for confiscation, we would see much less support for it. Christopher Rose may relish the idea of blowing up the homes of several million US citizens with tanks and murdering them inside, but I suspect the public at large has much less stomach for it, under any reasoning.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    I wonder if the many pro-gun commenters who’ve never been seen on this site before could explain what it is about this particular issue that gets them so paranoid as to have bots alert them when anyone posts a gun-related article on the web.

    First, there is no “bot” doing this. It is real people. (Check the dictionary for “grassroots.”) I was referred here by Say Uncle’s site. Second, what issue would you jump in to defend?

    If there was a concerted effort through the media and well-funded lobbying groups to abridge the right to free speech, would you jump into that debate wherever you saw it? If the issue was freedom of religion, would you get involved in that? What about quartering troops in your home “to balance the budget?”

    To me, this is a fundamental right. The old saying is that freedom in America rests on four boxes: the soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the ammunition box. I’m standing on the first so that I never get to the last.

  • Smacklug

    Nancy, Uzis and “shoulder-fired mortars” are already regulated under the same laws that sawed off shotguns and silencers are. They are all registered, and new machine guns and destructive devices (cannons, etc.) cannot be added to the registry. I believe only one crime has been committed with a machine gun on the registry since it began.

  • Paul

    “It may be true that a high percentage of guns used in crimes are illegally obtained, but, unless stolen, those guns were obtained legally in the first place so again, some degree of improved gun control would help.”
    This is how the majority of gun control advocates think, and what it means is limiting law abiding citizens right to own firearms because they eventually fall into the wrong hands, even though they may be stolen from that citizen.

  • Clavos

    And how do you think Say Uncle learned of it, Phelps? Bots at Say Uncle are why it was on that site,and drew your attention.

    They’re common; many sites, especially advocacy ones, use them, and specifically, pro gun advocacy sites use ‘em.

  • Nancy

    Paul #38 – there was an interesting item on the WTOP radio this ayem about criminals increasingly targeting COPS – their cars, the stations – AND at home – to steal their weapons! Talk about brass balls! The police can’t even protect themselves; how can they protect the public when the courts consistently tie their hands to coddle violent criminals?

    Anyway, glad to know the heavy stuff is at least technically off limits.

    The most interesting guns I’ve seen are the muzzle loaders. Hunting/shooting with those is a real challenge. They’re pretty artistic in their own right as objects, for the most part, as well.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    And how do you think Say Uncle learned of it, Phelps? Bots at Say Uncle are why it was on that site,and drew your attention.

    It’s called grassroots. We are individuals who know each other and are often friends. Someone who does read this site sees it. They email Says Uncle because they know that he has a lot of readers and works as a clearing house for this sort of thing. He posts it, lots of people see it and come here.

    Is it really so bizarre to think that there might actually be a community that feels strongly about this and actually communicates with each other? I know Say Uncle, I have met him in person, and I guarantee you, he has no need or desire to use automation for this.

  • Paul

    I have a google homepage with news alerts to which I have keywords set. One of those is gun control. Thats how I found this page, and I offer my opinion. I know nothing of bots, I just try to keep current on the news.

  • http://oldsmoblogger.blogspot.com Oldsmoblogger

    Frankly, as an intellectual exercise (only–I do not advocate trying it on “for real”, see below for explanation) you are welcome to consign the Second Amendment wherever you like. The Second (in keeping with all the other enumerated individual rights in the Bill of Rights) confers no right; it merely recognizes a pre-existing right, the right of effective self-defense of one’s right to life (I trust that Locke, and Jefferson after him, are clear on this subject to everyone’s satisfaction).

    If there were none willing to assert and exercise the rights enumerated in the Constitution, it would indeed be “just a (redacted) piece of paper.” But free people do not treat the Constitution as a magic talisman, a Scroll of Protection. It is a sort of contract, and contracts must be enforced.

    One may argue that correlation may not be causation (although in this case the theoretical relationship between disarmament and genocide ought to be self-evident), but the genocides of the 20th Century were preceded in all cases by civilian disarmament. Allowing the government to disarm the citizenry is a mistake a free people only get to make once, and a mistake I don’t intend to make ever.

    As for “Uzis,” I’m not that big a fan myself (an FN-FAL or M14 would be more to my taste), but that’s not really your question. Even now, law-abiding private citizens are permitted to own “Uzis” (by which Matt means fully automatic weapons). One merely pays a $200 tax per weapon. The restrictions on import and manufacture of these weapons have priced them beyond the means of the typical citizen even without the tax, but that is another subject. The fact is that private ownership of automatic weapons is legal now and has never been otherwise.

    So what arms should a free citizen be able to bear without infringement? Bearing in mind that among the weapons the King’s army marched on Lexington and Concord to seize included privately owned cannon, I would submit that the list includes but may not be limited to the following:

    Machine guns (such as the Browning M2)
    Field artillery pieces
    Mortars
    Man-portable air-defense weapons
    Man-portable anti-armor weapons

    Of course, just as cannon were in the 18th Century, these weapons are beyond the means of many people. I can find no logical basis, however, for ruling them out. It is merely that we have been told so repeatedly, with appeals to emotion and authority, that we consider them out of bounds.

    And as others have said: After those who would place free men and women in subjection have managed to get two-thirds of both houses of Congress to write and submit to the several states an amendment repealing the Second, and somehow convinced thirty-eight state legislatures to ratify same, and then put in place everything else needed to carry out the program…

    …they will still have to Come And Take Them. There is no other logical conclusion.

  • Uzziel

    I want an UZI, so there. :P

    -Anonymous-

  • Jack Burton

    Of course, we have to address the automatic vs. semi-automatic issue as well as the increasing number of guns that resemble Rambo’s favorite wartime toys, but once we’re engaged in good faith efforts, one can hope that we can isolate the extremists on both sides. I can’t believe that every pro-gunner wants an Uzi… or at least I hope not.

    1) It is not “good faith” to be absolutly clueless about the subject of which you’re posting

    2) One cannot “rationally” discuss this issue when one is unwilling to learn even a smidgen about the issue.

    So you have a choice… read and learn. Or continue in your ignorance, revel in it, and hold it to your chest like a new mamma holds her baby.

    But do so knowing that those who actually know about guns easily spot you for what you are.

    “Assault rifles” are being demonized by many politicians, media-types, and other anti-gun folk who actually have no idea what it is they are demonizing. Most people who hear the truth are quite surprised to find out just how off-base and factually wrong these nay-sayers are.

    Actually, many of the national leaders in the gun banning community know they are lying to the public. Josh Sugarmann, author of the 1988 book “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America” laid out the strategy for all to see.

    “Assault weapons–just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms–are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons–anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun–can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

    True automatic assault rifles such as the Sturmgewehr 44 were first developed by the Germans in WWII, and further refined by the Russians immediately post-war as defined by the AK-47. America’s eventual version, the M16/M4, wasn’t too bad either but certainly wasn’t universally loved by soldiers.

    They tried to meet the needs of the soldiers who were actually fighting so the weapons tended to be:

    –lightweight
    –of a smaller caliber
    –easy to maintain
    –rugged
    –Shot from the hip if necessary
    –fairly accurate out to a reasonable distance.
    –Could be fired in three different modes, single, 3-shot, and full automatic.

    Any extra metal or wood was left off the gun, and if the part wasn’t needed it wasn’t on the gun. This meant that often the stock (the part that goes against the shooter’s cheek) was just a bare outline of metal, or even completely collapsible. This “look” is often consider bizarre by those who never thought about the “why” of it.

    Now, being lightweight created it’s own set of problems.

    The foremost problem is that the barrel was a skinny, short little thing, which meant that it got pretty hot quickly. This is not good. Even a little .22 rabbit-rifle heats up with enough shots fired just at the firing range, and a soldier didn’t want to be worrying about a hot barrel. That can cause many bad things to happen including ammo accidentally firing at random. To minimize that a “shroud” was used over the barrel, with ventilating holes to carry away the heat and protect the soldiers hands. It didn’t add anything to the gun except to keep the barrel cooler when firing multiple rounds in a short time.

    Often a flash-suppressor was added, not to keep the enemy from knowing where the fire is coming from, but to keep the soldier’s nighttime eyesight protected. The enemy would have plenty of notice about where the fire is coming from since the bullets would be coming directly towards him.

    Soldiers don’t like humping heavy things; they have enough to carry anyway so the smaller the rounds (bullets) the more the soldier could pack. One can never have too much ammo, but it doesn’t do any good if you’ve left it all back at the barracks.

    This meant the majority of the assault riffles were chambered for the .223 round. That means the width of the bullet is only .223 of a full inch. The significance of this?

    Well, the most popular round in the world, and the one that is used to take more rabbits and squirrels than any other (because that’s about all it’s powerful enough for) is the .22 Long Rifle.

    The .22 LR bullet is a little thing. Itty bitty. Imagine something less than a quarter inch in diameter. And the dreaded assault riffle bullet is three one thousandth of an inch bigger in diameter. Think of it like this – you have to drive 220 miles to get to your friends house. But he’s moving three miles further away in a month. Will now driving 223 miles make much of a difference overall?

    The actual .223 bullet really isn’t that much larger than a fat grain of rice.

    So how does such a small bullet help the soldier? Because the .223 is put into a larger cartridge with more powder it comes out of the barrel much faster than a normal .22. That creates more energy when it hits someone, but the small size of the bullet has always kept it from being considered a sure mankiller. In Vietnam a Marine coined the term “poodle killer” for the .223 and that name has stuck even to today. That was okay with the soldiers because in reality a wounded soldier on the other side was better than a dead soldier. A dead soldier was forgotten about but a wounded one needed on average four other soldiers to take care of him.

    Because of the way the gun was normally carried on patrol (pointing downwards so you wouldn’t shoot your teammate in the head) it was good to have a way to immediately bring it into play… thus the stock and grip were designed to fire, if necessary, from the hip. Couldn’t hit a darn thing with it that way but when in combat the enemy doesn’t necessarily stick their head up to check your accuracy. So it worked in a fashion. Kept the enemies heads down until a soldier could get into a better position behind cover.

    The rifle didn’t have to be super accurate and it wasn’t. Especially at a distance. Combat between individual soldiers is just not that far apart. If you can barely see the guy it’s a job for artillery, not rifles.

    The main distinguishing feature, though, was it’s ability to “select” fire. The shooter could choose between, with one pull of the trigger, to shoot one shot, three shots, or full automatic which meant the gun would fire all the rounds attached to it. Some magazines held five rounds, some ten, twenty, thirty, and even a hundred.

    The truth is though, very few of the assault rifles are ever fired full auto by trained troops. The reason is because they just can’t hit anything. Inside a barn they would have trouble hitting the sides of the barn. The barrel wants to rise with every bullet fired, and unless one is a super-sized Rambo the barrel WILL rise into the air while it’s firing.

    Virtually every company commander in Vietnam had a standing rule: an automatic $50.00 fine for any troop who shot his gun at full auto without an express order from the commander. This was the days when $50 was almost a months pay for these guys.

    There were some extremely limited times when full auto was helpful, and then one was glad they had it.

    Our guys in Iraq are under similar orders about firing full auto. It’s just not a productive way to fight a war or kill people.

    Aside from that the disadvantages of machine guns are considerable. Not least among them is the weight and space of the ammunition they consume. This is something that isn’t obvious to the casual viewer of action films, since most on-screen firearms feature tardis-like ammunition capacities, capable of firing indefinitely with no magazine changes.

    In fact, an M16 has a firing rate of 750 rounds per minute, so that if one were to be used as typically shown in movies (constant spray of bullets), one would go through a 30-round magazine every two and a half seconds. And a full magazine weighs a pound. So for a single minute’s use in full auto, a movie-watching criminal would need to carry at least 25 pounds of magazines around (and that’s about $500 worth of ammunition, which will seriously dent their bank heist operational budget).

    Why is the full auto bit stressed. Because these guns are NOT what is being sold today, but yet it is what every one screams about when they say “assault weapons.”

    The guns sold to the civilian market that “look like” the military weapons all fire ONE SHOT at a time, just like virtually every other gun on the market. It’s nothing special, and it’s the way civilian rifles have been made for almost 140 years.

    Buying a newly-manufactured full-fledged automatic assault weapon has been illegal since 1986, and unless one has jumped through sufficient federal government hoops it is also highly illegal to buy one that was made before 1986.

    The process to obtain an older automatic weapon is complicated and expensive, and includes fingerprints by the Feds and an exorbitant federal transfer tax on each full auto weapon. Since 1934 there has been one (perhaps two, it’s in dispute) documented cases of any licensed fully automatic weapon being used in the commission of a crime.

    “Machine guns” and “automatic weapons” are simply not bought down at Walmart. Complaining about someone waking into a store and legally buying fully automatic weapons is akin to complaining about how circuses mistreat unicorns.

    Those who talk about “machine guns” blasting away at rabbits or deer are either highly ignorant of the subject or just doing it to demagogue the discussion.

    What the anti-gunners mean when they say “assault weapons” are guns that are made to “look like” the real ones. And that’s it. There are a number of variations in manufacturers, and model names, but not a single one of them would be found on a battlefield.

    The real soldiers would laugh at them.

    One can take a little .22 rifle, a harmless little plinking rifle that wouldn’t do any great damage to a armadillo, and for a couple of hundred dollars buy all kinds of replacement parts and add-ons such as the barrel-shroud and flash-suppressor that would make it indistinguishable (from the outside) to an “assault rifle.” Yet, internally it would be the same little ol’ .22.

    What many in the anti-gun movement are trying to do is to get one to believe that if you put racing stripes and decals on your dad’s Oldsmobile you can take it out to the NASCAR track and compete equally.

    Many people complain that the semi-autos sold today are easily converted to full automatic weapons. They have no understanding of either the mechanics of firearms or the laws prohibiting even the whiff of an full auto.

    Federal law declares that any gun that is easily converted to an automatic weapon IS an automatic weapon for the purposes of the law, even if not actually converted — (National Firearms Act as amended by the McClure-Volkmer Act of 1986). That NON-automatic pistols or carbines that fire from an open bolt are Title 2/Class III restricted under Federal law, because they can be converted by filing the sear.

    It is a crime to even ATTEMPT to convert a legal semi-auto to fully automatic fire even in the absence of a conversion kit. The attempt is the same thing as possessing an illegal, unregistered machine gun. If you possess even a single PART from a full auto gun and attempt to fit it to a semi-auto, you’ve just tried to assemble an illegal machine gun. That is a 10 year prison sentence and/or a $250,000 dollar fine.

    The semi-auto versions of any military-type rifle have to be specifically designed so that CANNOT accept parts from their full auto cousins without requiring major alteration to the gun itself. As a result, the presence of the alteration is prima facie evidence that you were, in fact, intending to manufacture an illegal machine gun.

    This is difficult to explain to someone who isn’t familiar with the internals of firearms. I can tell you it is not easy to convert any semi-auto rifle to full-auto. It requires a machine shop in many cases and a machinist used to working to very precise specs. And manufacture of a conversion kit would be considered manufacture of a machine gun under the law. Hence why you don’t see the kits.

    Books do exist on how to build machine guns or make the necessary conversions. That’s legal. It’s protected under the 1st Amendment. You can even buy the book and own the corresponding gun. Questionable judgement but still legal. You become a criminal the moment you attempt to go from the abstract words on a page and turn them into steel reality. Then you’re breaking the law. Not until.

    Many of the look-alikes fire the same .223 round as the military ones do, but this is considered an underpowered round by the civilian world. It’s certainly less powerful than what Uncle Bob’s deer hunting rifle fires.

    And, by the way, it does make a perfectly fine hunting gun if used on the right game. Many people think rifles chambered for the .223 cartridge are the absolute best for hunting varmints such as coyotes, small feral hogs, and other destructive pests, and it’s even popular for some small types of deer in parts of the country where the forest is thick and sight is only fifty yards or so. Since almost all states limit the number of rounds that can be carried in a longgun while hunting to only five the issue of someone shooting a deer thirty times is simply not even reasonable.

    Would they be used to take elk or mule deer out west where the animals are much bigger and the shooting distance is measured by hundreds of yards? No, that takes a much bigger gun and caliber bullet. But just because you don’t use a hammer in place of a screwdriver doesn’t mean that both hammers and screwdrivers have their proper uses.

    These types of rifles are lightweight, rugged, and easy to maintain because many people, including tens of thousands of ranchers, farmers, and backpackers need this type of rifle while out in the fields. They shoot a common and inexpensive cartridge. They’re customizable, with only a few moving parts, easy to find spare parts for, and don’t have a lot of recoil.

    You can drop it in a swamp, pull it out and it will still shoot. Not a lot of expensive hunting rifles could take the abuse a typical sports uitility rifle could shrug off.

    Many police departments in both big and little cities across the nation are converting to these guns for these same reasons.

    A farmer friend of mine in northwest Arkansas carries one on the back of his tractor out in the fields. His bane is armadillos, which tear up his crops faster than anything else. When he sees one he shoots it. He needs something that can stand up to the abuse of being shaken for hours on the tractor, is lightweight and short enough not to get in his way, and is powerful enough to pierce the ‘dillo hide. His AR-15, the semi-auto civilian model of the M-4, is perfect for his use.

    These rifles can use magazines that hold up to 30 rounds, but if one can shoot three 10 round mags in 30 seconds or one 30 round mag in 24 seconds it is not really any more dangerous. When the King riots were happening in L.A. there were many Koreans on their rooftops with their AR-15s and multiple round mags. They kept their neighborhood from burning down. That’s a pretty impressive reason for wanting any weapon.

    The civilian models have been made more accurate than the military models because the majority of the guns sold are simply used as target rifles. It’s a huge sport and tens of thousands compete across the country to see who can maintain the most accurate rifle. At Camp Perry, where the National Shooting championships have been held each year for decades, the AR-15 has dominated the short to medium length accuracy competition for many years.

    Go to most outdoor ranges and you’ll see all kinds of guys with their AR-15s and others at the line. These guys are just average, everyday guys (and some women) who like to put little holes in paper with things that go bang.

    Many of these folk are former military who hold fond memories of those days. Others just want to look cool, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. A lot of them consider the military as “heroes” and want to emulate them.

    Are these guns being used to specifically target police officers for death? No, of course not. David Kopel examined the evidence stretching over years and years and found that they are far from any major cause of harm to our police officers.

    Again, these guns may “look” like a military weapon but they are the farthest thing from one… they fire just one bullet at a time the way every other civilian rifle is sold. There is fundamentally no difference between them and Uncle Bob’s hunting rifle except in they way they look, and a smaller type bullet.

    An excellent ten minute video about this subject can be found here.

    You’ll get to see a normal, everyday hunting rifle change to an “evil black rifle” right before your very eyes. And when you realize that it is fundamentally no different from you going from suit and tie with combed hair to bluejeans and a tee shirt with unkempt hair then you’ll understand the lies the gun banners have been trying to foist off on the public.

    Now that you know the truth of the matter you can spot when someone is ignorant about assault weapons and yet are still willing to give their opinion about something they know nothing about.

  • http://www.saysuncle.com SayUncle’s Bot

    I assure you, I’m no bot.

    Well, unless, of course, my bot is smart enough to come here and defend its non-botness. I mean, I am a member of the Triangle Of Death and we are sneaky like that.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    The basic meaning of the 2nd Amendment is perfectly clear to anyone who can read English, it would seem. The author just doesn’t LIKE what it says, and therefore manages not to get the point. The military (and their bosses) have to be kept in line, so it’s imperative that the people have to have guns.

    I suppose that for the sake of making the point undeniable even to those not wanting to get the point, it would have been better if they’d included a “therefore,” making it “therefore the right of the people to keep and bear arms… But if someone is determined not to get the plain meaning of the words, it doesn’t much matter.

    Now, the US Constitution isn’t the revealed word of the living God, so it can be changed. It’s perfectly reasonable to say that the founders weren’t counting on automatic weapons when they came up with those words. Perhaps that merits re-considering the wisdom of the 2nd Amendment.

    But if the author wants to start grabbing guns (and he clearly does – in a moderate and reasonable manner of course), he needs to in fact get a constitutional amendment to repeal or severely modify that pesky 2nd Amendment.

    They built that stuff right into the constitution exactly to make it difficult to change or get around, because it was perceived as critically important to a free nation. You don’t get to start screwing with people’s basic rights in this country just because you can get 51% of this year’s crop of congressional hacks to vote for it.

    Personally, as a 2nd Amendment extremist and general right wing nutjob, I’m still more worried about the abusive powers of government with guns than random criminals with guns. But I’d take it that we need to have guns in order to protect ourselves from both.

    Mr Schannon says “We pretend to argue logic and reason, but what’s driving those arguments are perceived threats to important personal values.” It’s not logical and reasonable to argue against threats to your personal values?

    In conclusion, I mock the author’s fake call for a “reasoned approach.” What he means isn’t really a reasonable discussion about the issues and merits, but mostly just that us gun nuts should give up our guns, and accept that we only have a right to have them if him and this year’s crop of congress critters say it’s ok.

  • Dr. Jim

    You asked:

    “So what are gun advocates so twitchy about?

    And why should we think guns and twitchy people are a good combo?”

    I’ve never been on this blog before and I’m never coming back. I’ll just answer this.

    We are “twitchy”, to use your loaded term, because gun control is literally an existential threat. If you think that getting between a person and his job is dangerous, try getting between a person and his life! Gun ownership means “life” in many respects:
    1) Lifestyle — shooting is a very enjoyable hobby and some folks like hunting (not me)
    2) Wealth — folks have thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars wrapped up in their hobbies. For some “twitchy” hoplophobes to insist that they just surrender this investment, without compensation, is an outrage.
    3) Pure physical existence — for all the reasons mentioned above, each individual is responsible for his own protection. Those of use who are old/frail/female have to rely on something other our powerful physiques. Guns are EQUALIZERS.

    As for your “twitchy” citizen owning a gun, why don’t you go to a gun range and get some training? Find out that these folks you consider twitchy are generally very level-headed. Go beyond static range training and look into practical shooting. And most important, really examine all of the recent data from sociologists and economists that clearly demonstrate that guns in the hands of good people are good things.

    Bye…

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Personally. I think all pro-gun nuts should be shot on the grounds of terminal boredom. Except for SayUncle’s Bot, he’s funny.

    Or, to answer the question posed by the author of this article, no!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Chris, his question was answered within 20 minutes of his post being published.

    The pro-gun people who’ve been commenting on this thread don’t even want to acknowledge the other side may have legitimate concerns. As for compromise… it probably won’t be long before the words ‘cold’, ‘dead’ and ‘hands’ get used in the same sentence yet again. Zzzzzzz…..

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    That Al “Twitchy” Barger should be the first to go. Not only does he think that a bunch of lightly armed civilians could keep a professional army in line and that determining the meaning of the people who wrote the constitution centuries ago through the prism of contemporary thinking is possible, he’s got rubbish taste in music too! Up against the wall with him!!

    *Looks around nervously as he realises that most people here are heavily armed and humourless* That’s a joke, folks!

  • Nancy

    #45, Jack – THANKS! Good explanation. Maybe you should make this info a series of articles? I’d enjoy them. You don’t mention tho, that a .22 (albeit a handgun) can make an awful mess in a body, because it just bounces around & tears everything up. In some ways, I’d rather be shot with a .45 than a .22, if I had to be shot at all. So they’re not quite as “plinking” & insignificant as you indicate.

  • Travis Lee

    Whenever I scratch the surface of an anti-gunner I find the same murderous impulse underneath their high-falutin’ jibber jabber about crime, and safety, and “the children.”

    The truth is that they would rather see a woman raped, and strangled, than with a gun in her hand having just shot her attacker, dead.

    The truth is they would rather have law abiding citizens terrorized on the streets, or in their homes by gangsters, and other predators, than with the means to protect themselves and their families.

    You notice the antis never tell you HOW they mean to disarm “gun-nuts” like me, while leaving our (relatively) free and benign society as it is?

    When we say NO, they mean to kill us.
    When you object to the police prying up your floorboads in order to find your “hidden” guns, they will be quite happy to take you to jail, or they will kill you.

    It really is that simple.

    Sarah Brady has guns, Diane Feinstein has a carry permit, Rosie O’Donnell has armed bodyguards. Teddy (woman killer) Kennedy has bodyguards armed with sub-machineguns. Steven Spielberg is said to have one of the largest gun collections this side of the NRA museum. Will they be disarmed under the new regime? HA!

    “Gun control” is not about crime.
    It’s not even about guns, it’s about CONTROL.

    The fact is that without gutting the Bill of Rights, without instigating a full on shooting war, the anti gun fanatics can’t force America to disarm, and a disarmed populace is NECCESSARY for them to accomplish what they ultimately want to do.

    It took mere minutes before Chris threatened me with murder. If it hadn’t been him, it would have been someone else.

    Anti gunners ALWAYS proclaim their benign, and peaceful motivations, and they ALWAYS follow up rapidly with the threat of murder.

    Chris and his kind actually seem to believe that when the mass confiscations begin, gun-owners will just be all hanging out in a compound watching American Idol.

    You just go on thinking that, guys.

  • jrafe

    “I wonder if the many pro-gun commenters who’ve never been seen on this site before could explain what it is about this particular issue that gets them so paranoid…”

    Most gun owners are passionate about owning guns. Is that hard to understand?

    What happened here with this article and comments is nothing new. I became quite aware of the phenomenon a few years ago when looking at the Seattle Intelligencer online. Since then without fail a theory of mine is proven correct without exception.

    An antigun article is written. The article is rebuked with extreme prejudice by an overwhelming number of progun comments. Happens everytime. The reason is simple.

    A lot of people care deeply about gun ownership. Care enough to scour the internet for articles like this one. Care enough to voice their opinion. Care enough to debate with the opposition. Care enough to write, call, email, and fax their congresspersons, their local officials, their local newspapers, etc. etc. etc.

    Gun control cannot gain traction because it cannot attract enough passionate, fanatical supporters. Soccer moms are nice for a photo, but in the end they go back to the mall, turn on American Idol, making sure the kids get to school, and all that good stuff, like the rest of us do.

    The difference is that for gun owners, the guns are another big piece of our lives. We argue about gun control and stick with it because it’s OUR guns that people are arguing about.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Keep digging that hole, Travis. All you’re convincing me of is that you lack the discrimination to understand events clearly.

    The thought that in a real life situation someone so “loaded” would actually be able to shoot at people is not a reassuring one. Neither is knowing that you are unable to distinguish between parody and reality. You should be the first to be disarmed, simply because you can’t distinguish betwen friend and foe.

  • http://blog.robballen.com Robb Allen

    “As for compromise…”

    I’ll compromise. I’ll meet you half way. We have 20,000 gun control laws on the books. I’ll let 10,000 stand, you get to choose the 10,000 that get taken away.

    *That’s* compromise. But somehow I’m willing to be you’re not up for that because you don’t gain anything and yet expect us to lose everything instead.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Rose [comment 51]- I may be heavily armed, but I’m certainly not humorless, otherwise there’d be a lot more open seats in the next congressional elections.

    Of course, as a top Enemy of The People, you’d be among the first to go – right after Mariah Carey and the Dixie Chicks.

    Oh Alienboy, I see a trip to Camp Mimi in your future.

    Also, if you think US crackers are “lightly armed civilians,” then you just don’t know. Ha!

  • jrafe

    “The pro-gun people who’ve been commenting on this thread don’t even want to acknowledge the other side may have legitimate concerns.”

    Dr. Dreadful,

    I understand you have concerns. Gun violence is deplorable.

    What do suggest? Can you give me a couple of suggestions you think would be effective in alleviating your concerns?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I see I’m late to Mark’s party, and Mark is long gone – probably snoozing under an empty bottle of Jameson’s.

    I used to live in the States and don’t any longer. So the second amendment to the US constitution of 1787 means little to me personally.

    So, I’ll make this kind of simple. I happen to feel that the culture of a society dictates how violent it will be. Jews are swindlers and rapists, not killers. So for a bunch of us to carry around guns here is no big deal. The murder rate is remarkably low in Israel. But Americans are murderers. The blazing gun is the next step after the blazing temper.

    HAVING SAID ALL THAT, I think that gun ownership should be legal in the United States, and that the second amendment should be interpreted in such a way as to guarantee its leqality and existence, in spite of the cost of lives it entails due to the violence inherent in American culture.

    An armed populace is the only thing separating you from a dictatorship. Period.

  • Travis Lee

    Sure Chris

    I have no difficulty differentiating between friend and foe.

    I don’t think for a minute that you have the wherewithal to do me harm….

    But if you could , without personal risk to yourself, ah, yes…. I think you’d be just tickled for someone ELSE to kill me.

    I have been vetted by State police of two states and by the FBI four times when I applied, and received concealed carry permits. My legal history, or rather the lack of it, is checked by the NICS two or more times a year when I fill out a 4473 form at a gun dealer.

    (do you know what that is, bunkie?)

    If I chose, I could obtain the licensing for a full auto firearm.

    Would you qualify to buy a firearm, legally?
    I wonder.

    Somehow, your opinion about who is, or is not “fit” to own a firearm does not especially impress me.

    I have found that often, someone who means you harm you will quite plainly announce that intention. Calling it “parody” is weak camoflage.

    Would you like to disarm me?

    You will have to change constitutional amendments, and enact new laws in order to do so.

    And I STILL will not comply.

    And that just terrifies you.

    That fact that I can say NO… and make it stick.

  • Paul

    Yes, a reasoned approach to compromise is possible with gun control, but only with people who are willing to sacrifice something on both sides of the debate. Both sides have to reach common ground, which means no one is taking away all the guns, but we may have to agree to do without some of them, which we already have. Also one side has to know crimes with guns will always happen, but we can lessen the quantity, and severity of such crimes. That we also have done. As with any system, there are problems, and loop holes and we each have to agree to deal with, and solve those problems. We have more gun control laws today than ever before. The High-Cap law that fell off the books a while back was found to have truly changed nothing, for instance if you want more bullets just carry more clips…Virgina Tech maniac proved that point. But he also proved another point, that regardless of the gun laws we currently have, gun crimes persist. As far as I’m aware all his guns were purchased legally. We all know he should have been identified and not allowed to purchase a gun, but a what expense to our privacy? His medical records were kept private so as not to break any privacy laws. That debate is seperate to the one we’re having, but its related. I think everyday people fight for both sides, and slowly we are all creating a system that will work as good as any can.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Al, lol!

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    can’t you all feel your brains being sucked out through your eyeballs?

    yeesh.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Like immigration and gay marriage, this topic brings out the crazies. The resulting pile of ridiculous rhetoric scares off [or bores] the potentially reasonable contributors, on either side.

    And this, in effect, answers the question posed in the article’s title: No, it’s not possible, as long as hyperbolic rhetoric is the currency most commenters insist on dealing in.

    Americans have far more guns than in any other rich Western democracy. Yet paranoia about their being taken away remains rampant.

    Should someone tentatively suggest government regulation of, say, military-style automatic weapons, they are immediately accused of being unconstitutional, anti-American, and threatening the very existence of all gun owners.

    And politicians go along with this absolutist stuff [even Democrats bring up the issue at their peril], so that there hasn’t been any real public discussion of the issue in years.

    But the paranoid yelling continues.

  • Jack Burton

    You don’t mention tho, that a .22 (albeit a handgun) can make an awful mess in a body, because it just bounces around & tears everything up. In some ways, I’d rather be shot with a .45 than a .22, if I had to be shot at all. So they’re not quite as “plinking” & insignificant as you indicate.

    “Could” is the key word, Nancy. Even a BB gun can kill someone which is why an assualt with one is considered deadly force by most states.

    A .22 has to hit the bone just right to ping pong thru the body as you describe. When that happens, yes, it can make a mess in there. But that really is the exception than the rule for being shot with a .22.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Absolutely fascinating discussion which simply reinforces one of my points which is that people cannot separate rational from emotional. It’s not a matter of how smart or well-informed, it’s fact that the brain pathways that deal with emotion are inextricably tied to those pathways that deal with logic.

    Rationalism is a myth. Look behind the so-called “rational arguments” of both sides of the debate and the raw emotion and fear is right below the surface.

    As for the canard that the 2nd Amendment is easy to understand, read all the historians on the subject, not just the ones who agree with you. There is no concensus. Parse the sentence, and it makes no sense grammatically–or rather it can be read two ways.

    My suggestion is for people to recognize how emotionally engaged they become, ask themselves why, and how that distorts their logic. The two winners of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics won because they shattered the myth that people act rationally when making economic decisions.

    The same is true for all human interaction–which is why we never seem to be able to resolve anything.

    In Jameson Veritas

  • Paul

    Paranoid yelling? Maybe some see any attempt at gun control as an attempt to abolish all guns….and given some attitudes of those in favor of gun control I can understand it to some degree. Call it like you see it, people still gonna argue.

  • Archie

    ‘You don’t mention tho, that a .22 (albeit a handgun) can make an awful mess in a body, because it just bounces around & tears everything up. In some ways, I’d rather be shot with a .45 than a .22, if I had to be shot at all.

    Where do you find this stuff ?? Rolling Stoned ???

    A .22 make a very small hole ( in a human body or anything else ) and had NO WHERE NEAR the energy of a .45.

    If you want to take your chance with a .45 insted of a .22 go ahead but not me. I KNOW what each one does and don’t rely on movies for my information.

  • http://www.saysuncle.com SayUncle’s Bot

    “read all the historians on the subject, not just the ones who agree with you.”

    Simple challenge then: find any document from the time of the founding (+/- 20 years, if you like) that supports the collective rights mythology. Go ahead. I’ll wait. For a while.

    “Parse the sentence, and it makes no sense grammatically–or rather it can be read two ways.”

    Only by disregarding the rules english language. (link)

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    This topic has been done to death, and the results are pretty conclusive. There’s no rational wiggle room on this issue. The meaning of the 2nd Amendment is not in doubt. The founding fathers explicated on it at endless length. The statistical evidence is equally clear. Guns save lives. Plus there’s always simple common sense, which obviously tells us that we’re safer with the means to defend ourselves.

    Nice to see you posting again, though, Mark.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Where did I find it? On an autopsy table, that’s where. Helluva mess, so I guess that one in a million hit just right on bone happened, except it seems to be fairly common in carcasses I see w/.22 holes in them. Just my experience, of course, but what do I know?

  • Uncle Lar

    The misuse of firearms by criminals in this country is deplorable. So you want to pass new laws to further restrict access to guns by law abiding citizens. WTF? Can’t seem to follow your logic there.
    Compromise? The gun owning community has been played for fools for a good 40 years by that bogus canard. Prior to 1968 anyone could buy a gun by mail or at just about any hardware store. Today I must fill out and sign a federal form on which it is a felony to lie. Then I must wait while a background check with authorities is made and cannot take delivery of a firearms purchase until I pass. Now add on state and local laws that impose waiting periods and police permits to purchase and outright bans on guns of certain caliber or with unapproved cosmetic features. That’s why we’re so touchy, we have compromised to the tune of 20,000 plus laws which per an official CDC study have done nothing to reduce crime. And yet you have the gall to say “you won’t compromise, it’s your fault for not giving in.” Yeah, right. If we were a tenth the bloody minded misfits you paint us to be you wouldn’t dare open your yaps. It’s because we have been so patient and willing to give and give and give yet again that you come back to the well one more time. This time if you only give up (insert sliver of freedom here) this time it will work and we can all live happily ever after.
    And before you call me a paranoid fool, supply proof that you have gotten rid of your spare tire, fire extinguishers, and any insurance you own, or admit you are just as paranoid only about other things equally likely to occur as an armed confrontation. In some 55 years I have needed a spare twice, insurance three times, extinguisher never, and a firearm on four occasions to prevent my physical harm.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Whether or not guns save lives, they could be sensibly regulated without the constitution being jeopardized. Unless, of course:

    “The meaning of the 2nd Amendment is not in doubt.”

    Eminent legal scholars may still disagree on this point. But for Dave, it’s all settled.

    In this as in so many other matters, Dave is all-knowing and favors this sort of discussion-ending statement. Those who hold other opinions than his own are simply irrelevant fools. It’s just possibly not the optimal stance for an editor of a web site about opinions.

  • http://www.PhotoshopTodaynet.blogspot.com/ T. Michael Testi

    Christopher,

    That Al “Twitchy” Barger should be the first to go. Not only does he think that a bunch of lightly armed civilians could keep a professional army in line…

    Last I checked, that’s how the founding fathers became the founding fathers…Now if that professional army had gun control the founding fathers would have just been terrorists.

    I think that point goes to the intent of the founding fathers.

    T.

  • Paul

    Compromise yes. We may not like jumping through hoops to get a gun, but that doesn’t change the fact we both still own guns, and can buy more if we see the need(or the want). Despite all the gun control laws on the books, I STILL HAVE GUNS. Compromise is helping everyone make sure we are all safer, without violating our basic rights. I have never needed a gun to protect me or mine, and yet in the future I may, and if I do need it, I have it. So do you. So does any law abiding citizen. In some cities gun control has gone to far I think, so yes I’m against gun control, but only unreasonable gun control. I don’t mind calling the FBI to ask for a gun, I have nothing to hide. The last one I bought, a 1911 springfield 45, I had to wait a whole two days. It made me mad waiting because I’m perfectly legal to buy it, but I realize that systems stops sales to people who aren’t legal. Compromise is needed, as is rationality.

  • http://www.madduckttc.net The Duck

    Good thing they don’t have a gun culture in England, as gun crime is said to be out of control, with 10 people being shot everyday.
    And hey it’s an island & they cannot keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys how would they ever do it in the US of A?

  • Clavos

    I’m wondering…

    How many people on this thread have actually killed another human being with a weapon.

    In my experience, most who have done so (like the police, and many combat veterans), while usually not eager to ban weapons, are equally reluctant to allow just any jerkoff to carry them around town, which is pretty much the way it is these days; particularly here in Florida.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Mark!!

    Here I thought you were snoozing under an empty booze bottle! Welcome back.

    Guess I was as stupid as everybody else here, talking about guns instead of rationality.

    As to the second amendment, it was written this way for a reason, just like all law. In this instance, it was put there to reflect the political reality of needing something to deal with the idea of a state militia and making sure that citizens had some right to bear arms.

    In today’s world, it makes no sense at all. But, as I said in my irrational comment, better to have an armed populace than a dictatorship….

  • Nancy

    When I WAS carrying a gun on a regular basis as law enforcement, I spent a good deal of time being awfully nervous, because carrying a gun legally in that manner seemed to me to be a direct invitation for every macho shithead & coked-up asshole & wannabe Whatever to try to see if he (invariably it was a ‘he’) was better/faster/more aggressive than the other person with the gun. It was like a goad or an irritant or a pheromone to them.

    At the same time, until there’s some way to control gun ownership, yet ensure the government can’t step in & appropriate them in some vague, self-proclaimed “emergency” such as BushCo would be apt to do, I oppose gun control or banning them. I myself can’t see a way to do both, however, kind of like the universal ID: you either become subject to Big Brother, or you leave the cracks wide open for the cockroaches to slip in.

  • Angela

    I only have one thing to say..

    ” Guns don’t kill people!!!!! People kill people!!”

    It takes ‘someone’ to pull a trigger.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Whether or not guns save lives, they could be sensibly regulated without the constitution being jeopardized.

    Now Handy, when did I say that guns couldn’t be regulated?

    Unless, of course:

    “The meaning of the 2nd Amendment is not in doubt.”

    Eminent legal scholars may still disagree on this point.

    Any disagreement on this on a constitutional basis would be pure bullshit. They may disagre with the amendment and the idea of gun ownership and they may have many fine arguments, but Constitutionally there’s nothing to support them.

    But for Dave, it’s all settled.

    In this as in so many other matters, Dave is all-knowing and favors this sort of discussion-ending statement. Those who hold other opinions than his own are simply irrelevant fools. It’s just possibly not the optimal stance for an editor of a web site about opinions.

    I can fully support your right to hold an opinion and to express it no matter how foolish and unfounded it may be without that having any impact on my role as editor.

    An article like this is an opportunity for those who are better informed to come to the site and disabuse the gun control nuts yet again of their erroneous claims.

    The fear of guns is irrational and directly counter to the best interests of individuals and the nation as a whole. The facts are o√erwhelming as is the legal and constitutional history of the issue. I don’t mean to shut down conversation on the subject, but is there really anything new to say?

    The gun-grabbers are fanatics and can only back their position with emotional arguments and statements which are patently false. We’ve seen that demonstrated here and many times before. Going through the same dance yet again is fine with me, but doesn’t it seem awfully futile?

    Dave

  • Clavos

    ” Guns don’t kill people!!!!! People kill people!!”

    EXACTLY!!

    So people should be outlawed; not guns.

    Now there’s an idea with some real merit.

  • Travis Lee

    Mark, nice of you to show up.

    Since you kicked this off with your misreading of the Second Amendment, and your stated desire to trash it, I think the burden is upon YOU to justify it.

    It is up to YOU to explain how “the people” in the Second Amendment is entirely different than in the First, fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments.

    It is not for me to justify my right to my property, or my right to self defense, but it is up to YOU and YOUR side to justify your attack on it.

    It is up to you to explain why a woman who has to walk dangerous streets at night should not be “allowed” to use a pistol against a rapist twice her mass, or hunting in packs.

    It’s up to you to explain why individuals should not be “allowed” effective self defense against gangs of human predators.

    I’ve seen your kind lie, distort, and prevericate in order to hoax the fence sitters into thinking that gun control is about crime.

    Your side reached your high water mark with the Clinton ban and the Brady Act.

    The Clinton Ban expired 3 years ago, and now 38 states have shall issue concealed carry laws, and Vermont and Alaska have no license requirements at all.

    It will take years, but we will take our rights back, just the way your side stole them. One law at a time, one state at a time, one election, and one politician at a time.

    And if your side should happen to luck into legislative majorities, and repeal the Bill of Rights…. Well, you’ll just have fight in Congress and statehouses every step of the way.

    On the day that you make me an outlaw, not for anything that I have done, but for my possession of things.

    Come and take them.

    If you think you can.

  • Nancy

    Clavvie, don’t get macho. I can’t see Handy or anybody else trying to wrestle your guns away from you. Now if it were your yachts….

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, as I imagine you know but are choosing to ignore, statistics are just like photographs, they just capture an aspect of a particular place at a particular time.

    Your continued use of them to support your case this way and to do your typical elitist pig flipoff of those with whom you disagree yet again makes a mockery of your frequent bleating about being impartial.

    There is no direct relationship between disliking guns and wanting them controlled.

    I really like guns but want to see them controlled because I am not persuaded that the vast majority of people can conduct themselves responsibly at all times. Soldiers can’t do it, policemen can’t do it, so why should we think that the less disciplined and trained population at large can?

  • Clavos

    Hmmm,

    I guess there are aren’t any cops or combat vets on this thread; at least, not any willing to disclose they’ve killed someone, however legally it was done.

    Too bad. Their perspective could add a new (and much more realistic, as opposed to theoretical) element to the discussion.

  • Paul

    “I really like guns but want to see them controlled because I am not persuaded that the vast majority of people can conduct themselves responsibly at all times. Soldiers can’t do it, policemen can’t do it, so why should we think that the less disciplined and trained population at large can?”

    I think you mean there have been instances where soldiers didn’t do it, or policemen didn’t do it, however they like the general population of people who do own guns very much conduct themselves reponsibly at ALL times. Like anything else on the planet there are those few who will abuse anything. It bothers me to think you truly believe cops shouldn’t have guns?

  • Clavos

    Nancy #84,

    What????

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Paul, it bothers me far more that people like you, who presumably owns weapons, have such poor reasoning abilities.

    I didn’t say that I think the cops (in the USA) shouldn’t have guns, it’s way too late for that.

    I did say that professionals can’t conduct themselves appropriately at all times so why should we imagine that the population at large should be able to.

    What concerns me is that people will make errors of judgement and weapons will be deployed inappropriately. The fact that you, for example, can’t even follow the written word properly doesn’t make me feel confident that you could properly assess a real life situation happening in real time.

    I can say that again in shorter words if you need more time to process the information…

  • Paul

    I do own several guns, and other weapons. I’ve never found an occasion to use them other than practice. However the kind of situation that would require me to respond with deadly force is one anyone can recognize. It happens to people all over the world by the second. Everyday, all day and all night. I’m here only to offer my opinion on such things, not to play word games. Were you to be in a situation that required you to use deadly force in order to save yourself, or your loved ones, could you respond? Would you be successful? I don’t know the answer myself were if posed to me, I would respond: I have the proper equipment, and training, and practice to properly defend me and mine. Can you say the same?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Nancy [comment 79] sez: When I WAS carrying a gun on a regular basis as law enforcement, I spent a good deal of time being awfully nervous, because carrying a gun legally in that manner seemed to me to be a direct invitation for every macho shithead & coked-up asshole & wannabe

    Really? Now, I’ll be inclined to take your word regarding your personal experience, but this seems highly counterintuitive to me. My conventional wisdom would be the exact opposite of that, as summed up by the famous Robert Heinlein quote that “An armed society is a polite society.” I would generally expect most folks to take someone having a gun as a sign that they shouldn’t be getting stupid.

    Ponder a bit perhaps on how much of that “seems” was anything real, versus your subjective perception. Were fools actually more aggressive for having a gun? It would seem more likely that some folk would screw with just on general principles of you being some kind of cop.

    I for one am more worried about Big Brother than cockroaches. But of course, even if you accept Big Brother and try to ban guns, the cockroaches will still have them.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Paul, I take it you had no answer to my previous point so let’s see what there is to consider in your new one.

    There is very little in common with training situations and real life so you can’t assume that you will be able to respond in the way you presume. I don’t think anyone can.

    Al, Robert Heinlein wrote some fine novels but not every line of his was on the money. People act like assholes all the time and i fully believe and am not at all surprised by what Nancy wrote. It seems entirely intuitive to me.

    As I’ve remarked previously, there’s a need to sort out the policing and social issues in the USA before things get far worse than they are already. The country risks tearing itself apart.

  • Clavos

    Chris points out:

    “There is very little in common with training situations and real life so you can’t assume that you will be able to respond in the way you presume. I don’t think anyone can.”

    True, and the basis for my question as to whether anyone on the thread has actually killed with a weapon.

    Otherwise, it’s all conjecture and theory, which isn’t worth a spent shell casing when the bullets start flying.

  • Paul

    #92-I’m not sure you live in the same world the rest of us do. Training and practice is the only way to prepare for any situtation. I mentioned I didn’t know the answer to the question I posed to you “Were you to be in a situation that required you to use deadly force in order to save yourself, or your loved ones, could you respond? Would you be successful?” But I am as prepared as I can be. You refused to answer the question at all. As far as your “sorting out” statement, you offer no real problem, or solution.
    I choose to ignore your vague reference to some obscure author who believes everyone behaves as…..

  • Clavos

    Robert Heinlein an “obscure author???”

    Bwwwaaaahaaahaahhaaa!!

  • Jack Burton

    I sometimes think that the only way we’re ever going to decide what the intent of the 2nd Amendment really is would be to appoint some venerable and pedantic old judge from the backwoods of Nepal, who’s never heard of the United States or its Constitution, to take a good old look and give us his considered, untainted legal opinion as to what the hell it actually means. And then abide by his decision.

    How odd. I prefer to go by the educated opinion
    of the leading expert on the English language.

    Do you want a backwoods Nepalese operating on your wife in a major life or death situation also?

  • Kevin

    I’ll consider “compromise” and “consider the other side” when we cross out the existing 20-something-thousand current laws and start over. Until then, you get no cooperation or support from me to pass any more gun control laws OF ANY KIND, IN ANY MEASURE.

  • Jack Burton

    The solution is simple, get the police to do their jobs properly and disarm the criminals and the gangs which are taking over ever larger tranches of the USA.

    The “proper” job of the police is coming out and taking a nice crime report after the event is over. They might even solve it.

    But “prevent” it? Dream on…

  • Jack Burton

    a significant proportion of pro gun types see threats where there are none, are dangerously intolerant and not very skilled at understanding what is happening right in front of them. These are all good reasons for disarming them…

    It’s a real mess alright. That’s why here, in Indiana where we have almost 300,000 CCW holders, there are just dozens of dead bodies laying around town every day. Draped over cars, laying in the streets, even littering the lawns.

    And the worse thing of all is that the police don’t seem to want to do a thing about it. Even the newspaper won’t report on it. Why, when was the last time you saw any story about the tens of thousands of killer CCW holders rampaging thru our streets?

    It’s a conspiracy I tell you… but it’s a good thing we have people like Mr. Rose who can cut thru the fog and tell us the truth about what is what.

  • Jack Burton

    It may be true that a high percentage of guns used in crimes are illegally obtained, but, unless stolen, those guns were obtained legally in the first place so again, some degree of improved gun control would help.

    How? Be specific. Give details.

  • Clavos

    Umm, Jack,

    You left out part of that qualification of “the leading expert in the English language” quote, it actually says:

    “…the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. (emphasis added)

    Since the “expert” is such in the context of a government school system in the USA (even in what is arguably the best one in the country), that’s not much of a credential.

    But, in any case, he is not “the” leading expert, but “a” leading expert.

  • Clavos

    Jack,

    As you know, my comments in #101 apply to A.C. Brocki, not Professor Copperud.

    However, Copperud’s credentials are in the field of style and usage of American English in journalism.

    I would think the interpretation of the meaning of the second Amendment would best be left up to a constitutional scholar, not a journalism teacher.

  • Jack Burton

    lack of some system that ensures those with criminal records don’t have access to guns or at least, can’t buy them as easily as they do now;

    And you say you’re former law enforcement? And you’ve never heard of the background checks that everyone must go thru to buy a gun from a dealer?

    Ohhh… you know that “criminals” buy their guns off the streets. So what “system” do you propose that is going to keep a criminal from doing a criminal act? Make it double illegal?

    lack of punishment for those who DO supply miscreants with guns, legally or illegally;

    And you’re going to point us to a cite that shows that no one has ever gone to jail for gun running, eh?

    the increasing aquisition of such stuff as Uzis & shoulder-fired mortars (?!) by private citizens –

    You got a cite on that? Nope, didn’t think so.


    most of whom, frankly, I wouldn’t want to trust to walk & chew gum at the same time, let alone trust with the judgement to handle a gun correctly or intelligently;

    Typical cop arrogance. We know better than you stupid citizens and know what’s good for you. Betcha that’s why you became a cop in the first place… so you could lord it over your inferiors.


    and most of all to the utter lack of any cohesive requirements anywhere on any level for those wanting guns to have training & be certified as knowing how to handle them, which IMO is a certain recipe for disaster, especially when mixed with lack of intelligence or common sense – which is WHY most gun accidents happen in the first place: sheer stupidity.

    Indiana requires NO training to own a gun, NO training or certification to carry one. Our rate of problems with gun and CCW owners is virtually identical with the other states that require hours of training and testing.

    Why is that?

    And frankly I can’t see a need for ANYBODY anywhere to have automatics or such items as Uzis or launchers in their private arsenals at all for any reason.

    There’s been two (2) incidents since 1934 where a legally owned fully automatic weapon has been used in a crime.

    So what’s your beef with people owning one. Be specific.

    Hunting firearms should be subject to the same strictures as handguns: you have to have a license, & you have to have training to show you know how to handle the damned things. Hunters should also have training,

    Virtually every state in the union requires training before issuing a hunting license. Please try to keep up.

    On the other hand, how else do you ensure the owner is trained & responsible, & that illicit guns aren’t being provided to inappropriate/illegal persons?

    How else do you provide that the people are trained and responsible before letting them write a news story for the paper unless they are licensed by the government. Look at the large number of liars and palagerists we’ve had in the press just the past few years.

    They just plain make up stories from thin air and pass them off as “true news.”

    Nope… we need the government to ensure that the journalists, and even the amateur letter-to-the-editor writers are sufficiently trained enough to do the job correctly.

  • Jack Burton

    Gangs can effectively control whole neighbourhoods with a comparatively small number of people by getting bodies on the street where they belong, something the police ought to be doing.

    Well, well, well. That’s an idea that I never thought of before.

    Let’s control crime by turning our police into “our” version of a vicious thug gang that ignores the whole concept of the BOR and people’s rights.

    That’s just how gangs “control” their neighborhoods, eh?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Fine, Jack. I’m aware of the wording and the intent.

    In modern colloquial usage, we would probably write it, “Because a well-regulated militia is necessary…” (The rest of it would be about the same, except maybe with a few less commas.)

    My wry comment had more to do with its continuing relevance. As Chris has pointed out, in a fight between a determined and disciplined federal army with all its modern weaponry and a citizen militia armed with rifles and handguns, the result is something of a foregone conclusion. (Bearing in mind how things have panned out in Iraq, I dunno though…)

    Did you leave your sense of humor in the backwoods of Nepal, perchance?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Fine, Jack. I’m aware of the wording and the intent.

    In modern colloquial usage, we would probably write it, “Because a well-regulated militia is necessary…” (The rest of it would be about the same, except maybe with a few less commas.)

    My wry comment had more to do with its continuing relevance. As Chris has pointed out, in a fight between a determined and disciplined federal army with all its modern weaponry and a citizen militia armed with rifles and handguns, the result is something of a foregone conclusion. (Bearing in mind how things have panned out in Iraq, I dunno though…)

    Did you leave your sense of humor in the backwoods of Nepal, perchance?

  • Clavos

    “Did you leave your sense of humor in the backwoods of Nepal, perchance?”

    Jeez, Doc, what’s wrong with you?

    This is much too important an issue into which to inject humor!

  • Jack Burton

    The pro-gun people who’ve been commenting on this thread don’t even want to acknowledge the other side may have legitimate concerns.

    No, of course we don’t. It’s never our kids, our wives, our siblings, our parents, our neighbors, our friends who get victimized by people who misuse guns for harm.

    It’s only the anti-gun people who have that problem happening to them. So we just don’t care about the harm done since it doesn’t affect us at all.

    Or… maybe it’s that while we “acknowledge” the concerns we understand quite well that an emotional response and answer is not going to solve the problem, and will probably make it even worse.

  • Jack Burton

    That Al “Twitchy” Barger should be the first to go. Not only does he think that a bunch of lightly armed civilians could keep a professional army in line

    Hmmmm. I’d like to know your credentials on overcoming insurrections and rebellions. How many years in the military did you put in studying the topic?

    and that determining the meaning of the people who wrote the constitution centuries ago through the prism of contemporary thinking is possible,

    I think it’s the gun bigots who are trying to look thru “comtemporary” lenses at the Constitution.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Jack, who are you responding to in your comment #103?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Jack, you’ve made three things clear and three only.

    1. Talking about weapons with you is like talking about religion with a faithist.

    2. The answer to the question posed by the author is no.

    3. There is no point at all in talking to someone who thinks they’re a smartarse, particularly when they’re not.

  • Jack Burton

    Americans have far more guns than in any other rich Western democracy. Yet paranoia about their being taken away remains rampant.

    You don’t live in Chicago, do you? Or in Washington D.C.? Or in San Francisco where they just voted to “take away” all the handguns from legal owners.

    Or in Illinois where they are just a few votes away from “taking away” virtually every single semi-auto rifle, shotgun, and handgun from every owner.

    Sheesh. At least learn about something before you expose your ignorance to the world.

    Should someone tentatively suggest government regulation of, say, military-style automatic weapons, they are immediately accused of being unconstitutional, anti-American, and threatening the very existence of all gun owners.

    Don’t know much about “military-style automatic weapons” either, do you. Do everyone a favor and go up a few posts and read my essay specifically written to cure your ignorance.

  • Clavos

    You do your cause more harm than good by adopting that arrogant asshole persona in your responses, Jack.

    Remember, all these people you’re copping a ‘tude with are voters.

  • Jack Burton

    Just my experience, of course, but what do I know?

    Well, you claim to be a former cop but then again you didn’t know quite a bit about guns, such as that automatics are not bought down at Walmart, and that criminals can’t buy them at gunstores because they have to go thru a background check.

    So, yes, one could take what you “know” about .22s with a grain of salt.

  • Clavos

    What about private sales and sales at gun shows, Jack?

    How many “background checks” (which are perfunctory at best) are performed in conjunction with those sales?

    A lot of bravado and posturing in this thread, but not much real world experience.

  • Jack Burton

    so yes I’m against gun control, but only unreasonable gun control.

    So what are you going to do with your Springfield when you move to Chicago? YOU may call their ban undreasonable but THEY find it plenty reasonable. And what’s your argument? The Second Amendment?

    Tough. You already abandoned it.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    This so-called debate gets more ridiculous every time it’s brought up. It’s not even a debate, or even an argument–just a series of contradictions. The buzzphrases are tiresome– “law-abiding citizens protecting themselves”–against whom? Themselves? It’s not as if there are roving bands of killers preying on suburban neighborhoods.

    See, what happens is law-abiding citizens become criminals every day once they pull that trigger. And it’s not in self-defense most of the time. It’s usually domestic, or a bar fight, or any set of silly things. Here in Dallas, I wake up every morning to hear about four or five overnight shootings–and very rarely are any of them self defense.

    Don’t get me wrong–I think all you guys should pack heat, get loaded and blow away somebody close to you. We need to weed out the population anyway,and guns as penile extensions seems as good a way as any.

  • Jack Burton

    In my experience, most who have done so (like the police, and many combat veterans), while usually not eager to ban weapons, are equally reluctant to allow just any jerkoff to carry them around town, which is pretty much the way it is these days; particularly here in Florida.

    The National Association of Chiefs of Police released its 17th Annual Survey of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs and some of the survey findings are surprising and compelling.

    NACOP asserts that the public perception of how police view certain issues is based on media coverage, which is not necessarily accurate. When police chiefs and sheriffs are allowed to respond to poll questions anonymously, the politics may be removed from their answers.

    Gun Control: With regard to private citizens owning firearms for sport or self-defense, 93.6 percent of the respondents supported civilian gun-ownership rights. Ninety-six percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs believe criminals obtain firearms from illegal sources and 92.2 percent revealed they hadn’t arrested anyone for violation of the so-called “waiting period” laws. When asked if citizens concealed-weapons permits would reduce violent crime, 63.1 percent said yes.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    You can read surveys, or you can actually interview cops. I prefer the latter.

  • Jack Burton

    I really like guns but want to see them controlled because I am not persuaded that the vast majority of people can conduct themselves responsibly at all times. Soldiers can’t do it, policemen can’t do it, so why should we think that the less disciplined and trained population at large can?

    270 million guns in American hands by some counts.

    270 MILLION…

    If just ten percent of them were misused each year we’d have 27 MILLION gun crimes.

    But we don’t.

    If only ONE PERCENT of them were misused each year we’d have 2.7 MILLION gun crimes.

    But we don’t.

    We have far, far less than one million gun crimes a year… but that is a good round number so let’s use it.

    That means that Chris, who is persuaded that the “vast majority” of people can’t control themselves is left to explain WHY 99.7 percent of ALL GUNS are kept in safe hands.

    Why do you say this, Chris? Be specific. Give details. Step up to the plate.

  • Jack Burton

    What concerns me is that people will make errors of judgement and weapons will be deployed inappropriately.

    But you do say that professionals make errors in judgement, right? And that they use guns inappropriately, right? That’s a plain face reading of your text.

    So what is your solution to that?

  • Jack Burton

    I would think the interpretation of the meaning of the second Amendment would best be left up to a constitutional scholar, not a journalism teacher.

    The Constitution was written for the people, not scholars.

    And my “expert” certainly trumps some backwoods Nepalese shaman. :-)

  • Dr Dreadful

    Jeez, Doc, what’s wrong with you?

    This is much too important an issue into which to inject humor!

    It’s starting to look like we should break out the beer and beach chairs though.

  • Clavos

    “The Constitution was written for the people, not scholars.”

    So why did you cite a scholar???

  • Dr Dreadful

    And my hypothetical impartial expert is not a shaman, he’s a very experienced judge, educated at the Royal College of Law and well-versed in legal principles including Blackstone. He would have to come from somewhere like rural Nepal to ensure that he was not familiar with the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and didn’t have any preconceived notions about it.

    Does such a person exist in reality? Probably not. But you’re clearly alarmed by him anyway.

  • sr

    I have NRA stickers on my home and cars. I often see various pro gun bumper stickers each day. I have yet to see a sticker on a home or car that says this is a gun free home/car. Why is this?

  • Jack Burton

    My wry comment had more to do with its continuing relevance. As Chris has pointed out, in a fight between a determined and disciplined federal army with all its modern weaponry and a citizen militia armed with rifles and handguns, the result is something of a foregone conclusion. (Bearing in mind how things have panned out in Iraq, I dunno though…)

    I generally found in my 25 years of miliary experience that those who say things such as this have no clue about what they are speaking of.

  • Jack Burton

    Jack, who are you responding to in your comment #103?

    I beleive it was Nancy.

  • Jack Burton

    Jack, you’ve made three things clear and three only.

    Since you’ve not answered a single thing I’ve said I think it is very clear to the readers just what I’ve made clear.

    1. Talking about weapons with you is like talking about religion with a faithist.

    Translation: I can’t answer a single thing he’s posted so I’ll go on the attack and deflect with issues of religion. That’s right!

    2. The answer to the question posed by the author is no.

    You are correct. Because you’ve never answered a single post I’ve made with any reasoned argument.

    3. There is no point at all in talking to someone who thinks they’re a smartarse, particularly when they’re not.

    Translation: Oh my God, he’s killing me and I can’t answer ’cause I’ll look even more like a fool. What do I do now?

  • straightarrow

    That has to be one of the most inane pieces of drivel ever written. You sir, may not be illiterate, but I suspect you could be illegitimate and resent it.

  • Jack Burton

    You do your cause more harm than good by adopting that arrogant asshole persona in your responses, Jack.

    And how long before the first post about “gun nuts”?

    Quite frankly, you people are more than willing to see my wife raped and strangled with her own pantyhose than to see her standing over her dead attacker with a smoking gun, and I am supposed to be polite to you.

    You’d leave the eldery, the handicapped, the young, the small, the weak, all at the mercy of predatory thugs if you had your way, and I am supposed to be polite to you.

    Fie…

    Remember, all these people you’re copping a ‘tude with are voters.

    First of all, I only pick on gun bigots who are already making fools of themselves. T think I know how they are going to “vote” already. And I’ve taught more average voters how to use guns than you’ll probably see in a week.

    And ask the average “voter” who they’d rather have walk into the parking garage late at night when they are being accosted by that thug with a knife… you, who at best is going to say “Stop or I’ll say stop again” or me, who’s trained in the use of a gun and has the right to carry one with him wherever he goes?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Didn’t Charles Bronson die a couple of years ago?

  • Dr Dreadful

    I have yet to see a sticker on a home or car that says this is a gun free home/car. Why is this?

    Perhaps because such a sticker would say “Come and burgle me now”.

    …Three minutes later, our thusly-encouraged burglar lunges empty-handed towards the front door, bruised and bloody, eager to make his escape. As he does so, his eyes happen to catch the back of the “Gun-free home” sticker he saw earlier in the window. It says:

    “Although perhaps we should have mentioned the pack of ferocious Dobermans.”

  • Travis Lee

    How interesting, Ray

    Your Texas CCW holders must be remarkably different than citizens who carry guns in the other 39 free states.

    So you are asserting that your abundance of homicides in Dallas are not only by citizens with no documented record of violent crimes, but they are CCW holders to boot?

    I’m sure your Dallas news papers must be chock full of coverage of these cases.

    Seems that if that were true, the anti-gun folks would be screaming about it month after month on TV news. “blood in the streets” as they always tell us when CCW is coming up in another State legislature. New Mexico has had CCW for about 3 years now, and as yet, the only CCW holder I have heard of killing someone shot a deranged man who nearly stabbed his ex-wife to death in Walmart. The police spokeswoman announced that very day that it looked like justifiable homicide, and they never arrested the shooter.

    So there must be just SCADS of CCW people in Texas getting their licenses revoked for serious crimes other than murder, right?

    According to The Texas Department of Public Safety, by way of Gunfacts, that simply is not the case.

    You are simply talking out of your south end, as you face North.

    Actually, most homicides are by violent criminals, and the “victims” have criminal records as well.

    So, am I inconsistent in carrying a pistol for self defence? Not at all. Statistics have little to offer when an unusual situation comes up, and your own life is on the line.

    That last bit of anti-gun psychobabble was the best of all. “penile extensions”?!

    If that were the case I’d carry a .454 Casull with a nine inch barrel, rather than a 9mm with a 3 inch barrel.

    But please, do go on.

  • Dsparil

    no there is a right way to interpret it if you use the Federalist Papers(which btw were written by the authors of the bill of rights so I’d say they have a pretty good idea what they’re talking about) which outline specifically why it was set up and to what extent it goes. you just simply want to ignore the fine matter and focus on the rhetoric that the gun control media uses to push its agenda.

  • troll

    what does all this about individuals using guns to protect themselves from criminals and reducing crime have to do with the 2nd amendment – ?

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Like I said, I’m all for you guys blowing each other to bits. I have no interest in skewed stats from gun groups or anti-gun groups. And since you don’t live in Dallas, you might not want to assume things about the press here. They’re a pretty conservative lot. And the citizenry loves to pack– you should visit some time.

  • Travis Lee

    So Ray, the TX DPS, and the newspapers are all covering up for murderous CCW holders?

    Suuuuure.

  • sr

    Doc, I never have to feed my clock or watch it crap on the floor. My neighbor has a pit bull and she,s quick on the draw with her cell calling 911.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Did I say that? Of course not. But you’re so busy trying to defend a position you can’t see I merely stated a fact. Dallas is a very violent town. That’s no secret. And most murders are the result of disputes–not raving killers prowling the streets at night in search of hapless white people.

    Did I say anything about taking guns away from the citizenry? Again, no. What I saidis I think all you guys should pack, get into a drunken rant and have fun.

  • sr

    It,s GLOCK stupid.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Straightarrow: That has to be one of the most inane pieces of drivel ever written. You sir, may not be illiterate, but I suspect you could be illegitimate and resent it.

    Who are you, really, and how did you know about my illegitimacy? You’re right. It haunts me. I wake up at night covered in sweat, holding my GLOCK against my cheek for comfort, wondering, “why me, oh Lord,” until I hear his response: “Because some people piss me off.”

    And you wonder, Ruvy, why I bury myself in fine Irish whiskey (well, not now, but in a few weeks I hope.) The truth is out. I can say no more, except…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • troll

    or one could say leave Mark’s mother out of this…..(5!)

  • Jack Burton

    What about private sales and sales at gun shows, Jack?

    What about them? Are you saying that if I want to sell my hunting rifle to my next door neighbor that I can’t? I just gave a handgun to my middle daughter. Are you saying that should be against the law?

    And what about guns shows? Let’s learn a little more about them on your next question, eh.

    How many “background checks” (which are perfunctory at best) are performed in conjunction with those sales?

    Hmmm… background checks are run thru almost 30 separate databases, depending upon the state. That’s some strange definition of “perfunctory.”

    And as to your question about gun shows, every dealer at a gun show has to follow every single state and federal law that he would follow any place else.

    There are usually a few individuals at a gun show who are selling off part of their private collection. In my experience as a vendor at gun shows this amounts to maybe three or four tables from the 100 to 150 dealer tables.

    And the private sellers must follow every single state and federal law concerning private gun sales. If they screw up just a little tiny bit you can bet the BATF agent standing by will be thrilled to make an arrest.

    And how can anyone tell just who the BATF agent is? Because he’s the one at the gun tables begging the dealers and private sellers to “cut him a break” and ignore the rules “just this once, as a favor to him.”

    A lot of bravado and posturing in this thread, but not much real world experience.

    Answer honestly. Just how many gun shows have you been to? 20? 30? None? What is YOUR “real world” experience at gun shows?

    For the readers let me tell you a bit about how the gun bigots work. There’s a “factoid” going around about how up to 50 percent of the sellers at guns shows are not “licensed dealers.”

    The gun bigots beat this to death when talking about gun shows. They use it to attampt to show that there are illegal guns just flying out the door.

    What they don’t say is that in that 50 percent that are not licensed dealers are

    1) knife sellers
    2) book sellers
    3) specialty meat vendors (alligator jerky, anyone?)
    4) ammo sellers
    5) leather good sellers
    6) Parts sellers
    7) safe sellers
    8) security system sellers

    And even beanie baby sellers.

    None of which need to be “licensed” by the government to sell their products.

    Folks, if you see a gun bigot trying to give you a “fact” you can pretty much count on it being based somewhere upon a lie.

  • Travis Lee

    Hmmm
    post #117

    “See, what happens is law-abiding citizens become criminals every day once they pull that trigger. ”

    No, it seems you DID suggest that law abiding folks go straight to murder without an intervening evolution of violence, criminality, or drug abuse.

    Or perhaps that wasn’t really what you meant.

    I don’t doubt that you have an abundance of armed idiots in bars getting into fatal shootings.

    I just want you to substantiate your implication that said idiots DON’T already have criminal records, or violent histories, or in any way represent people who have CCW.

    And you admit you have illegally armed drunken idiots running around loose, why you think I’m not justified in arming myself in preparation of meeting them.

  • Jack Burton

    guns as penile extensions seems as good a way as any.

    I have known many thousands of gun owners and have interacted with them in every imaginable social setting, but I’ve never, ever, once heard one of them bring up male genetalia.

    Yet, start a topic or conversation about guns and within minutes I guarantee you there will be a gun bigot use the word or a variation of penis.

    I think it’s hardwired into their brains. They just can’t help blurting it out.

    That’s a major reason why the gun control forces have been losing ground these years. What normal person wants to be associated with that level of “ickyness” that seems to follow gun bigots like fleas on a dog.

  • Jack Burton

    You can read surveys, or you can actually interview cops. I prefer the latter.

    I gave a cite. You gave nothing.

    I am content to leave it to the readers to discern who is more credible.

  • Jack Burton

    So why did you cite a scholar???

    Surely you have no objection to citing a “real” scholar as opposed to an imaginary one.

  • Jack Burton

    Does such a person exist in reality. Probably not. But you’re clearly alarmed by him anyway.

    You have a highly funny notion of what is “alarming”?

    Winnie the Pooh, who also doesn’t exist in reality, doesn’t scare me either.

  • Travis Lee

    If I could kill a man with my mighty penis from 30 feet away, I wouldn’t need a gun!

    GD&R :)

  • Clavos

    Jack, in your 25 years of military experience (thank you for your service):

    Were you ever in combat? Where? When?

    Were you ever shot at?

    Ever see anyone shot? Step on a mine? Napalmed?

    If yes, were any women?

    Children?

    (Oh, and BTW: Much as you think you’ve got me pegged, I’m also a gun owner)

  • Clavos

    “Surely you have no objection to citing a “real” scholar as opposed to an imaginary one.”

    I have no objection at all to citing scholars; it was you who said:

    “”The Constitution was written for the people, not scholars.””

    When I suggested that a constitutional scholar might be a better interpreter of the constitution than some scholar who teaches reporting.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Doc, I never have to feed my clock or watch it crap on the floor.

    SR, if you’re relying on a clock to protect you I’m not betting on you in the event of a home invasion…

  • Jack Burton

    Clavos… I joined just as nam was ending. I spent most of the time either with things that I can’t talk about or with the mighty Seabees, studying the fine art of combat in extremely hardship situations. I finished the career with a unit that I also can’t talk much about but it involved advising D.C. on the best use of the Reserves in situations similar to that being discussed.

    I never was in combat, for which I am thankful. I certainly have the utmost in appreciation for my service siblings who spent time there, but my career was such that I was off doing something else. I will say that if the first Gulf War had lasted just a bit longer I was scheduled to do my time.

    While study and gaming is no subsitute for personal combat expereince when you get the proper mix of folk together to solve (or create) problems it becomes less of an issue for individuals.

    My wife and I got married just two years into our careers and spent the next two decades plus together in the military. Most of that time we could hardly talk to one another about the job.

    Our dinner conservations went like this, “how was your day?”

    “Fine, and yours?”

    “Fine also.”

    That was usually about all we could say. :-)

    She was off playing with the submariners during Gulf One and missed the sandbox also. Not much call for her expertise in the desert.

    I do wonder about your seeming fixation on getting shot or being a shooter though. Some of the best tactical instructors around have never personally seen the elephant but I’d take lessons from them anyday.

  • Jack Burton

    I’m also a gun owner

    I know lots of gun owners who are also gun bigots. Very common.

  • Catey

    My dad keeps a gun,legally of course, and I have never ever assumed it was for any other purpose but to protect his family. That’s why its so strange for me to even hear of it being an issue. I mean, the criminal element will always find ways to get guns illegally.

  • Jack Burton

    When I suggested that a constitutional scholar might be a better interpreter of the constitution than some scholar who teaches reporting.

    Okay… let’s ask Prof. Lawrence Tribe. His credentials as a “interpreter of the constitution”?

    Tribe’s treatise, first published in 1978, has been acclaimed as the leading — or at least the most provocative — modern synthesis of constitutional doctrine, assigned to countless law students and cited in more than 60 Supreme Court decisions. He revised it in 1988 and again in 1999 when the first volume of the third edition was published.

    Pretty impressive, eh?

    And Prof. Tribe believes:

    That most recent volume made headlines, surprisingly enough, because in it Tribe embraced a more individual rights view of the Second Amendment than he had before — a shift that the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates seized on as vindication of their longtime assertions.

    “embraced” is scholarly talk for jumped on and made it central to his view on the amendment.

  • sr

    See comment #145 Doc

  • Clavos

    Granted, Laurence Tribe’s academic credentials are impressive, even if his interpretation (which is a change of POV for him, BTW), is surprising, in view of his being a liberal. According to answers dot com:

    “Tribe continues to strongly support liberal political causes. He is one of the co-founders of the liberal American Constitution Society, the law and policy organization formed to counter the conservative and libertarian Federalist Society.”

    Interesting….

  • David

    Read some comments, then they changed course and I skipped the majority of them. Just wanted to state a personal opinion. The elected officials in D.C. cannot quarantee your safey. The police have NO legal obligation to protect you individually. Therefore, only YOU have the RIGHT to do that, and thereby the responsibility to do that. Yet it has been declared that you are not allowed to give yourself the best chance available to save your own life if or when a criminal comes at you with a weapon. Some criminals have weapons. It’s a fact. You say you’re not capable of defending your own life or the lives of those close to you? Don’t try to make me similar to you. Don’t want to be there. You might try going to a shooting range, getting some instruction from a qualified instructor (there are lots around). They can teach you how to use a tool to defend your life. Educated. Trained. Scary? Could be. Depends on where you place your values. To each his own. It’s called freedom. This is the nation that was given to you and me. I pose no threat to you.

  • http://www.saysuncle.com SayUncle

    “See, what happens is law-abiding citizens become criminals every day once they pull that trigger. And it’s not in self-defense most of the time.”

    Got a cite for that?

    “It’s usually domestic, or a bar fight, or any set of silly things. Here in Dallas, I wake up every morning to hear about four or five overnight shootings–and very rarely are any of them self defense.”

    no, it’s usually criminals killing other criminals. Coincidentally, that’s also why the Kellerman study is bogus.

  • Kirk Parker

    Clavos (#23),

    “To serve and protect” is a motto, a slogan. It’s not a legally-enforcable contract.

    Paul (#25),

    “I’m totally in favor of … coming down harder on anyone who uses a gun to commit a crime.” I quite disagree, unless you take the gun part out of your statement. What’s magic about guns, that would make killing someone with a gun worthy of a longer sentence than using a knife, bat, automobile, etc? Let’s just be tough on crime qua crime, OK?

    jrafe (#58),

    It’s not gun violence that’s deplorable, it’s all violence that is.

  • Clavos

    “”To serve and protect” is a motto, a slogan. It’s not a legally-enforcable (sic) contract.”

    No shit. Really???

  • http://www.saysuncle.com SayUncle

    BTW, I’m as pro-gun as they get, if you don’t believe me, I’ll shoot you (that’s a joke for people who need to be told that). But Jack Burton you should chill on the rhetoric. You’re not doing much for convincing those on the fence, would be my guess.

  • Clavos

    “But Jack Burton you should chill on the rhetoric. You’re not doing much for convincing those on the fence, would be my guess.”

    Exactly my point in #113.

    Obviously, I agree with you, SayUncle.

  • http://parodieslost.typepad.com Mark Schannon

    Troll, thanks for sticking up for my mother, man…if I only knew who she was…sob.

    BTW, has no one noticed the irony dripping from these comments? The article was less about gun control and more about how people can reach consensus on contentious issues. But all that’s been demonstrated is that the answer’s no. Sigh.

    Still…

    In Jameson Veritas

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Lawrence Tribe? Isn’t the one of the leading advocates of the ‘living constitution’ philosophy which basically proposes that the courts should effectively rewrite the constitution for expediency?

    Dave

  • Greg

    In reference to the comment about how the US civilian population would not stand a chance against the federal military were things to really hit the fan. Dude, what are you smoking? I seem to recall a little military/political adventure of ours in the 60’s and 70’s whereby the mightiest military force in the world was brought to its knees by a relatively rag tag bunch of little guys running around in black pajamas and sandals with AK’s and SKS’s. That same military today seems a little vexed by those pesky insurgents in the sand box.

    So, of course, that same military would have no problem dispatching the roughly 10% of American gun owners (8 million folks with 27 million firearms and goodness knows how much ammo) that would probably actually fight before giving up their guns. Boy, that fight would really suck, in so many ways.

    BTW, did you ever consider that our pulling out of Viet Nam led to the killing fields in Cambodia. Also, our proxy war in Afganistan with the Soviets and our subsequent abandoning of the Afganis once they got the Soviets out left a vacuum leading to the Taliban and Al Queada. Nature abhors a vacuum and the law of unintended consequences always stirs things up in the most interesting ways, doesn’t it?

    In the 20th century over 120 million people died at the hands of their governments or via their proxies. Armenia, the USSR, the Holocaust, the PRC, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Burundi, El Salvador and so many others, ad nauseum. Prior to the genocides and slaughters there was more often than not civilian disarmament. Of course, that could never happen in this country, not with so many towering intellects and pillars of virtue, righteousness, justice and liberty in our federal, state and local governments. Just ask Alfred Flatow, the German Olympic gold medalist in 1896. He registered his guns in 1932 like a good citizen and look where it got him.

    Law-abiding American citizens have compromised enough of their rights away. Things have only gotten worse. We’re done. We’ve been far too accommodating and the gun control experiment has been an abject failure. Law-abiding citizens are not the problem and neither are inanimate objects. Criminals and madmen will not be stopped by more laws, especially ones that are selectively and/or negligently/ineptly enforced.

    We citizens who strongly believe in our essential human right to, and the means of, self defense, will not back down any further or go away easily.

    My dad gave me a lot of good advice over the years. A few of the more poignant bits, germane to this discussion are; get your facts straight and do your research – stand up for what you believe in and for your rights, and believe in what you stand up for – never go looking for a fight, but if a fight finds you, you damn well better give it everything you got – never let a bully push you around – nobody’s going to look after your own best interest better than yourself. So far, that advice seems to have worked pretty well for me.

    You see, that’s one of the problems with the anti-gun culture. Their’s is not a paradigm based in reality and human nature/history. Their appeals are to emotion and their own irrational fears/world view, not to facts or reason. They’re not afraid to make it up as they go along and if lies and subtrifuge will advance their agenda, well, what the hell is wrong with that? It’s for the children after all.

    We’ll never give up, it’s that important to us. The antis will eventually, why they couldn’t even muster more than a few dozen souls to their protest events on 8/28, after all of the big build up in the media. It was embarrassing and pathetic.

    It’ll will be very interesting to see how Parker vs DC (now DC vs Heller) will shake out in the SCOTUS next year. The antis have a lot to worry about. Even if it goes against the pro-2A side, it will let us all know where we stand and boy, y’all better watch out then.

    Good night all, this has been a very interesting and amusing discussion. Have fun and take care.

  • http://sbcglobal.net Tim

    I personaly find your opinion rather biased and one sided! I also feel that if you do not feel that citizens THAT ARE CAPABLE OF PASSING ALL BACKGROUND CHECKS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS for sport and or preservation of life and property for themselves and others them pack up and move to CANADA or ENGLAND with all the other CRY BABIES!!Remember this always an armed person is a citizen an unarmed peson is a subject!!!!!!!!! TIM

  • Mack

    “not only does he think that a bunch of lightly armed civilians could keep a professional army in line…”

    I am old, fatter than I would like, much slower on my feet and my knees set off medal detectors. But many years ago I was happy to serve my nation as a soldier when many enjoyed spitting on us. Yes I have killed to answer another question. But as to the above, I took an oath to uphold and defend the US Constitution and to obey the LAWFUL orders of my leaders. If I had been told then to remove firearms from my fellow citizens my answer would have been no. IF needed I would have forfeited my life to defend their right. I have met very few vets that would have obeyed. I dare say that it is the same today. In order for professional army to succeed, there would have to be someone, or many someones willing to forfeit that oath. Not sure but I think we have about a million under arms today. There are about 270 million guns, many in the hands of ex-servicemen who have enjoyed shooting for years. Fact is that today I can shoot much better than I could in the service. Then I could hit a man size target at 500 yds 2 out of 5 shots with an M-16a. Today I hit around 5 out of 5 with a much heavier caliber with a target the size of a 2-3 inch circle. I think you might have to rely on people a bit more like yourself to do the job.
    Some one said something about a Bush Style emergency removal of guns from citizens. It happened 2 yrs. ago in NO, LA after the hurricane. Mayor Nagen’s police took them from little old ladies and other law abiding people but failed to take them from the oppressed looters and robbers. They are now in Contempt of Court x2 for not returning them to their owners and suffering from 3rd world crime rates today. Across the river where men and women were openly encouraged to show their weapons, there was no looting. Same in Old Mississippi and FLA after Andrew. If I carry a gun and you don’t, I bet on me.

    Nancy I don’t question your experience looking at .22 caliber damage. I too have much experience with GSW because after leaving the Army I became an acute care Respiratory Therapist. I also have seen many MVAs. If a motorcycle goes out of control it might kill a number of those it runs into. If an 18 wheeler does the same it can kill many more and find them much easier. It has to do with size and energy.
    The same applies to a .22 vs. a .45. Most .22 go faster that the .45 but the ballistics of energy transfer is on the side of the .45.
    History even proves this out. During the Revolution the assault rifle of the time fired a large caliber round bullet. When it hit bone it punched a neat hole, few lost limbs. 75 years or so later in the War of Northern Aggression as our southern buddies call it, we were firing .58 cal bullets that you would easily recognize as a bullet. It had a hollow base and gas rings around it. When fired it softened and spread out and contacted the rifling imparting a spin and lots of energy. When I shot mine I could watch the round go down range (slow) however it was deadly out pass 250 yds. When it hit the same arm it shattered the bone and mangled the flesh resulting amputation at a high rate and tremendous death rates. 29000 at Gburg. You take your .45, I prefer taking a .22.
    When a journalist asked prisoners if they feared the police or the armed homeowner more, they choose the armed homeowner. When asked why they stated because the police have rules about shooting people. In England it was reversed. Thats why in the US we have more daytime break ins while the owner is away and the opposite in GB.
    If you have brass ones put up a big sign with the gun circled and a line though it, let you freak flag fly.
    All else aside, if you don’t like the SA, change it. All you need is 3/4 majority of both Houses and 34 States to agree. No problem, ERA did it right? And most people believe that there should be = pay for = work regardless of the sex.

  • Clavos

    “most people believe that there should be = pay for = work regardless of the sex.”

    Don’t count ME in that bunch! What are you, a commie???

  • Dennis

    so, a lightly armed citizenry can’t possibly stand up to a trained military? Go back in history to WW11, and read about the Warsaw Ghetto. A group of lightly armed Poles defeated a whole German division.It’s a good thing for them you weren’t around to tell them it was impossible.

  • http://www.reproachofmen.org/ Paul W. Davis

    So, in short you are saying that the Founders of this nation crafted a nonsensical amendment to the Constitution. If there is, as you state, no right way to interpret the amendment, that is expressly what you are declaring about the Founders.

    Having read the writings of the Founders, I find that very hard to believe. Rather, I find it much easier to believe that you do not understand how the Constitution itself is framed, and the ideology upon which it is built.

    Now, if you read carefully, the following quote from the Federalist 84 (Hamilton) expressly states how the Constitution is to be interpreted. I am well aware that in this quote he argues against the Bill of Rights. However, the Founders also knew that men will take every avenue to seize power and overthrow the rights of the individual — thus a Bill of Rights (of which the 2nd Amendment is one of the individual rights expressly delineated).

    Now, to quote Hamilton:
    “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. 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?”

    Now, just where in the Federal Constitution do you find the authority and power granted to take away the right to keep and bear arms? It is not there, just like the ability to restrict freedom of the press is not there. Moreover, to insure that we retained these rights, they added the Bill of Rights, further restricting government power.

  • Dustin

    There really isn’t any debate about what the 2nd amendment means. There are just some folks who don’t know what the phrase “THE PEOPLE” means in the line: “the right of the PEOPLE to keep & bear arms SHALL NOT be INFRINGED” Apparently there are many people who don’t know what the phrase “the people” means. Unfortunately, such people are themselves people, and apparently don’t even know it.

    All they need to do is do some research about what the framers intended during the ratification phase – there are many good history books that look at the evidence from the timeframe that newspaper articles were being written to describe the Bill of Rights while it was being ratified by all the states – it is clear in EVERY CASE that the intent was to make sure that ALL the PEOPLE of the United States would NEVER be disarmed the way that England had tried to disarm them when they triggered the revolutionary war. A government who fears armed citizens is a government to be feared – they knew it, and felt it important enough to put it down in the Bill of Rights.

    If they had actually intended to protect only the right of the States to keep a Militia & only intended to protect the rights of members of an organized Militia, then it would have been clear that they would need to have written the second half of the 2nd amendment in this way: “The right of the MEMBERS of the MILITIA to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed” They were very smart men, and were no dummy’s. Their only mistake was that they apparently did not realize that no matter how hard they tried to make the meaning clear, there would always be someone dumb enough to not understand who “THE PEOPLE” were. Just like the guy who called Microsoft Tech support to ask where the “any” key was when they first introduced DOS.

    People who still don’t know who “the people” are as described in the 2nd Amendment & the other portions of the Bill of Rights really need to get themselves a dictionary as they are rather clueless.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    Two things: I live in Dallas, and no, there are not murders being committed every day by CHL holders. In fact, there aren’t murders being committed by CHL holders period in Dallas. Whenever someone who is a CHL holder has to shoot someone in Dallas, it is headline news, and it always turns out to be justifiable. And I don’t mean wink-and-a-nod justifiable, I mean “guy what trying to beat the shooter’s head in with a tire iron” justifiable.

    Second, why does it seem like the same people who claim that an armed populace is useless against a professional army are the ones arguing that Iraq is an unwinnable quagmire? Personally, I don’t see the citizens of America having to rise up against the Army in America, because I think the Army has too much honor to violate posse comitatus.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Well, all I’ve got from this passionate debate is that people like Jack Burton and his posse are very frightened by the failure of law enforcement in the USA and, possibly understandably, feel the need to take measures into their own hands.

    That does not, however detract from the reasonable concerns about the dangers of widespread gun possession, the competence of people to make accurate calls about when to use weapons or the failure to protect and serve the people by the police.

    All the smartarse answers in the world aren’t going to make those issues go away and the whole interconnected web of issues deserves far more coherent consideration at the highest political levels. The chances of that happening in the current political climate are probably extremely low.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris, this is a peculiarly American issue, and one of the things you are seeing is a very American distrust of authority. Americans tend to look to their constitution the way Europeans used to look to the king to protect them from the clowns in the government.

    To cut to the chase, Mark Schannon suggests scrapping the second amendment to the constitution of 1787 because it doesn’t make any sense. But gun owners do not want the only real protection they have in American law taken away.

    A people who trust their “pastors and masters” might be willing to live with strict gun control – maybe the Canadians and Brits. But Americans want no part of the notion.

    I’ve already expressed my own views here. Their somewhere in this mess of comments.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    CR – the “highest political levels” can debate it all they want, it’s not gonna change that fact that MY country is armed and is gonna stay that way. I mean, come on, who knews when you guys are gonna come back and try to force us back into the empire???

  • Travis Lee

    Chris,

    this is the first that I read some seriousness from you, so I’ll treat it with the the seriousness it deserves.

    We teach the rudiments of driving to teenagers, in high school, and then turn them loose with thousands of pounds of deadly machinery with barely a wince…. My father carried a rifle to school when he was 12 years old, it was common…. but over the decades, the ideological anti-gunners have turned guns into both a taboo, and a totem of power…. but as far as training young people to treat it like any other hazardous tool, they are indoctrinated that it has an evil anima all its own.

    Foolishness.

    People who have had decent training with guns, generally don’t act like idiots.

    The ONLY people who I’ve seen get stupid with guns were newbies, whose only idea of guns was from movies or TV.

    Training and education is always a good thing, I fancied that I was a real tactical guy when I took a couple days of training for a CCW, but it was only the beginning of competence.

    It was mainly enough to ensure that I could hit the broad side of a barn, and could probably manage to not shoot myself, or a bystander if presented with a bad guy presenting a close and deadly threat.

    It behooves any gun owner to get training, more training and keep training if he expects to survive or win a real gunfight. And it is a perishible skill.

    IIRC, The stats I’ve seen indicate that police have “bad shoots” at a rate of 11%, while CCWs have a rate of only 2%.

    All things considered, I would rather see no legal requirement of training at all, than the training that some antis would like to mandate which would exceed any required of sworn police officers. Alaska and Vermont have no training requirements at all for citizens to carry a pistol, and yet they have no higher a “stupid casualty” rate than other States which mandate training. Perhaps when things shake out, people aren’t quite as stupid as the social engineers presume us to be.

    Police are expected to seek out trouble and engage it, a private citizen is expected to avoid trouble if possible, and not use deadly force until he has no possible option.

    To expect any licensing system, training, background checks, to eliminate every mishap, accident, or act of stupidity is unrealistic.

    We don’t expect that from police training, we don’t expect that from medical training, we don’t expect that from military training, and we don’t expect that from driver training.

    Life is hazardous, grown-ups assume the risk of freedom.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, if a people can’t trust their own political leaders, those people have a whole heap of problems far more important than the arms issue.

    Andy, there’s no worry about that, we don’t want you back!

  • Concerned Parent

    When I was 6 years old a horrible thug climbed through the window to attack me and my sister.
    We screamed and my mom appeared, with dads military style rifle, she could have killed him but didn’t want to subject the kids to the carnage, she made him jump out the window! (we were on the ground floor, no biggie)
    When seconds count the cops are just minutes away, If you want me to surrender the protection of my kids to a police state, you’ve got another thing coming.
    Oh,btw your blog comments on the 2nd Amendment show extreme bias and total lack of historical issues, the Militia of the Revolutionary war was anyone who could carry a gun, not some federaly owned national guard.
    If you think that only National Guard can own guns then you must be against gays owning guns because you can not be openly gay and join!
    So which is it? are you a homophobe or do you hate kids?
    ;-)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    See! I knew you hated the US!!!!!

    Besides, I don’t believe you…we know that the rest of the world secretly admires us and the queen really wants us back…if you believed in god and the 10 commandments you’d be guilty of one of those coveting ones down the bottom of the list!!!

  • bliffle

    Those gun control commie pinkos hate our freedoms.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The ONLY people who I’ve seen get stupid with guns were newbies, whose only idea of guns was from movies or TV.”

    It’s always seemed odd to me. Growing up in a rural area everyone had guns (usually with the ammo stacked right beside them) where children could easily get to them and were usually even encouraged to use them at a young age. I don’t remember many news stories of these types of people shooting themselves. On the other hand, it seems city folks can have one gun, well hidden, locked and stashed and if the kids are left alone for ten minutes there’s an 82% chance someone will end up dead.

    As for the larger argument, I believe in freedom for it’s own sake. Yes, it might be argued that going gun free is safer but witness a fine example from The Matrix. Was it not safer for humans to live like livestock tucked away in their pods? Sometimes quality of life (to me determined by freedom) is more important than quantity. It’s not something that wins very often in a logical debate but I relish freedoms more than I fear the consequences. Obviously, the majority disagrees as our freedoms our slowly being eroded away in favor of safety and security.

    And why? Regardless of the violence or lack thereof it is given to humans to die once and only once. Nothing can increase or decrease this number, neither the evils of hitler or the triumph of medicines have changed the amount of death in the world one bit.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “if a people can’t trust their own political leaders, those people have a whole heap of problems far more important than the arms issue.”

    Chris,

    Read the first few paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence real carefully. They define how Americans think far better than you realize. The distrust of leaders is institutional and is almost inborn in Americans. Even Dave Nalle, one of America’s Havemores, a fellow born in the Middle East, understands how much this document is at the base of American identity – just as I do.

    It’s not that you are a dense fellow, Chris. You are not, not at all. You are better travelled than I, and in that sense, far less provincial. In addition, you seem to have a genuine affection for Americans, in spite of what some say. But when you were a little boy, you did not stand with your hand on your heart in school saying “I pledge allegiance to the flag…”

    I did.

    So did most of the folks arguing at this article over Mark Schannon’s ridiculous proposal.

    They disagree with each other over the stupidest of things, as the comments here show. And you’ve had to slog through each one because you are
    Comments Editor. But they all share that inborn distrust of authority I raise as a central feature of American identity.

    Those who are willing to put up with a strict regime of gun control – even to the point of scrapping the constitutional guarantee of a right to bear arms – are sick of the violence endemic in the land they live in. Two decades ago, I might have agreed with them.

    But based on the events transpiring in the last six years in the land of my birth, I’m firmly convinced that the ONLY thing standing between Americans and a dictatorship from Washington is that huge mass of guns Yanks like to carry.

    Americans have a murderous culture. It sickens the soul. But the price of maintaining liberty in that country is tolerating that murderous culture, so that a murderous dictatorship does not take over.

  • http://www.willowtown.com/reality/blacksburg.htm Barry Bright

    Same ol’ lies, same ol’ obfuscation by a “Liberal” citiot, marxist, whatever, this time from a country full of cowards who turned their guns into their govt. So they fully deserve what’s happening in merry ol’ England. See my webpage.

    Bottom line: I own a politically incorrect ‘assault’ weapon for the lowlifes who don’t think I need one, whether they be lowlifes on the street or lowlifes in the govt. or lowlifes in the mainstream or nowadays, non-mainstream media.

    When the Brits were told to turn their guns in they should have opened “Liberal” season.

    I won’t sit in my house and wait for someone to come to my home and endanger my family with a tank, an Apache helicopter, or a handgun bought from a drug dealer on a street corner. When I am threatened with confiscation and imprisonment or death for resisting it I will go hunting, and it won’t be for deer, turkey or squirrel.

    Have a nice police state. I don’t plan on being around to enjoy it and I do plan on taking a few modern authoritarians with me.

  • Nancy

    Ruvy, thanks – you speak for me, too. However, I still support training before ownership. Someone mentioned how rural youth & ‘in the old days’ kids had access to guns all the time & did just fine. Yes, they seem to have, but remember also that in the old days, gun accidents were hardly reported on the scale they are today, mainly due to the far different quality of the media & communications. Cause of death recording has also changed radically, as has recordkeeping, so that we get back to the question being asked of some diseases: is it in fact increasing – or are we just reporting it more? Ditto with gun accidents/deaths.

    Yes, I’m aware of the different results of various weaponry & ammo. I see it frequently, so I do indeed know the differences; also whether it was done from a distance, or up close & personal. As for Al thinking my being nervous carrying a gun was strange, Al – please re-read my reasons for being so. You seem to have blipped over those. Nobody with any brains who carries a gun day to day WANTS to get into a quick-draw, my-gun-is-badder-than-yours situation, unless they’re a total macho shithead fool. Alas, there are far too many of those, then & now. Frankly, IMO I would ban all MEN (males) from access to guns, because they are far too ready to use them, as evidenced by the various threats on this thread between disagreeing parties, while women hardly ever would consider similar threats, let alone acting on them. So there.

    As I said, I’m not anti-gun. My granddad, dad, uncles, etc. had them & I went shooting with them, & hunting. Before my eyesight got bad, I used to go skeet/trap shooting once a month or so, & still enjoy the thought of it. But I do intensely dislike the idea of people like the Va. Tech shooter or all these DC thugs of varying types being able to gain access to weapons virtually without gainsay because of irresponsible friends/relatives, or greedy gunsellers who don’t care about laws as long as they can make a sale. Jack, would I bar you just “giving” a weapon to your neighbor or daughter? Yes, I would. Actually, I would require all gun manufacturers to test fire each piece they make & keep the striation patterns on file for access by crime investigators, with each piece also registered to the current legal owner. If that legal owner had the piece lost or stolen, that person would then have to let the cops know, so it could go on a national registry AS being lost or stolen. (This would be to preclude that person from then being accused of committing any crimes at a later date involving that gun.)

    HOWEVER – & it’s a big however – given the current administration’s demonstrated intent to violate citizens’ constitutional freedoms left & right at will, & the uncertainty that succeeding administrations of whatever party wouldn’t be inclined to give it a try to reach an even lower bar than BushCo has in that regard, I also would not like to see those very measure put in place, UNLESS – & it’s a big unless – there were ALSO some way to prevent government from using the information either for political purposes, or for purposes of confiscation. And since the data doesn’t distinguish between criminals & honest gun holders, I therefore can’t recommend & wouldn’t support anything of the sort.

    So I’m back where I started: I don’t know how I’d address this problem, unless it would be that if you kill with a gun in the commission of a crime, you automatically buy yourself a death penalty from the state. Actually I’m all for letting the criminals have at each other. The problem is when they decide to move on to better victims & start hitting up innocent bystanders & citizens in general. If I knew they were only going to kill other hoods, I’d be all for GIVING them free ammo.

  • Clavos

    @ #186:

    Wow! I’m impressed!

    You’re one tough motherfucker; I hope I don’t run into you one day and piss you off!

    You frighten me; I’ve never had to face an armed American looking to kill me, just little slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned fuckers, and they kicked the shit out of us.

  • Jack Burton

    Well, all I’ve got from this passionate debate is that people like Jack Burton and his posse are very frightened by the failure of law enforcement in the USA and, possibly understandably, feel the need to take measures into their own hands.

    Do you buckle your seat belts? I guess you’re very frightened by the possiblity of a crash.

    Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home? I guess your very frightened by the possiblity of a fire.

    Do you lock your doors at night?…when you leave? I guess your very frightened by the possiblity of a break-in.

    Look at all these measures you’ve done to “take into your own hands” your safety.

    You’re just one frightened person, aren’t you?

    That does not, however detract from the reasonable concerns about the dangers of widespread gun possession, the competence of people to make accurate calls about when to use weapons or the failure to protect and serve the people by the police.

    Totally ignorning the fact that your argument was completely destroyed earlier and posting the same ideas doesn’t give you much credibilty.

    When you can answer why you are so scared of Americans owning guns when you know the fact is that over 99.7 percent of them are in law abiding hands then you might become interesting to debate.


    All the smartarse answers in the world aren’t going to make those issues go away

    You may not like my answers but I’ve got answers. You’ve got bupkis.

    1) Where are all the dead bodies you think the law abiding citizens are shooting?

    2) Why don’t you acknowledge that 99.7 percent of all guns are in the hands of law abiding citizens.

    Deal with those then you can claim to have accomplished something. But right now you’re in the postition of a drive-by poster, hurling charges but having nothing to back them up.

  • Nancy

    Jack, while I sympathize w/both sides (please see my last posting) I have to shake my head over incidents like the half-wit who slept with a loaded gun under his pillow – until it went off & killed him one night. Or the idiot who, in a macho gesture, thrust his loaded pistol into his pants band – & blew away his own nuts. Or the poor soul I work with, who was up in a tree with his rifle deerhunting, & it slipped – & blew off part of his leg…and HE is experienced & trained in gun safety. Of couse all accidents can’t be removed – that’s why they’re accidents – but too many happen because of the conditions demonstrated in the first two instances: thru sheer stupidity.

    Wish I knew what to do, how to guarantee safety/non-criminal use with freedom from government oppression.

  • Clavos

    Do you buckle your seat belts? I guess you’re very frightened by the possibility of a crash.

    No, I’m frightened of getting a ticket.

    Do you have a fire extinguisher in your home?

    No. Not even a smoke detector.

    Do you lock your doors at night?…when you leave?

    No. I’d rather they didn’t break anything when they come in. As for my stuff; it’s just things the advertisers and peddlers have convinced me I need, and which I was stupid enough to buy.

    Where are all the dead bodies you think the law abiding citizens are shooting?

    There aren’t any; law abiding people only shoot at targets and game.

    Why don’t you acknowledge that 99.7 percent of all guns are in the hands of law abiding citizens.

    I do. That’s why I don’t carry; I don’t have to, all you guys are, and I don’t have the stomach for killing humans, even bad ones, anymore.

    I DO like to hunt, though.

  • Jack Burton

    Jack, while I sympathize w/both sides (please see my last posting) I have to shake my head over incidents like the half-wit who slept with a loaded gun under his pillow – until it went off & killed him one night.

    Nancy… I really wish I had a cure for stupidity. It would solve a lot of our nations problems.

    But God didn’t make us to be robots; following a preprogrammed course in our lives such as ants and bees do.

    No, we have free will and the ability to make decisions. And the price we pay for that is some of us make really, really stupid or thoughtless decisions.

    Of course your examples hurt all of us in the gun enthusiast community. But the truth of it is that no amount of training or certification would have kept these people from making a stupid decision of some kind or another.

    And another truth is that these people are less than one one thousandth of the gun owing community. 99.99 of the gun owners are not going to make the same type of mistake, and we cannot base our policy and laws upon the .001 percent that do.

    If that was true, we’d have no backyard swimming pools, no lawn mowers, no chain saws, no bicycles, no five gallon buckets, no much of anything.

  • Nancy

    It’s getting there. I hate wearing seat belts or helmets. Frankly, I’d just as soon the stupid or careless go ahead & kill themselves off asap & thereby depart the gene pool, but those who think they know better disagree. Anyway, I agree you can’t mandate against stupidity or carelessness, let alone a gen-yoo-wine accidental. Oh well. For the record, my fave is turkey hunting. Those buggers are smart – & fast. But it’s still nice sitting in the woods, playing with the turkey call, on a crisp, clear day with the sun warming the edge off the chill, & the smell of the woods.

  • ChrisB

    You will have to change constitutional amendments, and enact new laws in order to do so.

    And I STILL will not comply.

    And that just terrifies you.

    Why do you hate America, Travis?

  • http://armedcanadian.blogspot.com Matt

    ChrisB,

    You can owe the rebellious streak that Travis has (as many Americans do) to the fact that the United States was founded by a nation of rebels. Traitors to the Crown, in fact, that had they failed in their rebellion, the gallows is what awaited them.

    This rebelliousness may seem quaint and barbaric in our “enlightened” age, but some aspect of our culture are time-tested and enduring. That rebellion is sometimes a reflex action but most of the time it isn’t. It serves as a good gut check and forces us to question what the government has in store for us and let us ask if that is what we want. After all, this country shook off one tyranny so it would be free and not wind up underneath another one.

    Rebellion is part of the nature of being American. It is where we came from. And arms were the means by which it was done. Not in the hands of the Army but in the hands of the People. The Revolutionary War was won by a Federal Army but it took the militia to help them do it. The militia formed by and of the People. Us.

    Understanding this helps to understand where the mentality of “cold, dead hands” and “I STILL will not comply” comes from. We did it once as a people. It can be done again as long as we have the means and the will. We are not there yet by any means but the heart of the gun issue is this option. It is why the Second Amendment exists.

    As Judge Alex Kozinski put it, “The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed…”.

    As a result, this isn’t hatred of America; it is defending it. It is keeping America true to its values laid out by the People and embodied in the values of the Founders. Because if we cast aside those values and that little streak of rebellion and questioning the authority, then we are no longer American. We might as well just be another European social experiment circling the drain where everyone has no power, no rights and does what the Government tells them and assume the Government will always be benevolent. Not here and not while we stand watch over America.

    We change what it means to be American through the Constitution. It embodies what it means to be American. It codifies what America is and what we should uphold America to be. Until we decide as a nation, as America, that the 2nd Amendment is no longer necessary because the Government is small, does as little as possible and is always justifying itself and accountable to the People and will never grow and pervert itself, we will need it as our last line of defense and pray we never need to invoke it and carry out our duty to throw off such Government.

    And I write this as an immigrant to this country.

    Hatred of America because someone will not comply with giving up a natural right of existence? Hardly. It is a Right that can never be taken away.

    The fact we recognize that is what makes us American. That is not hated of America. It is love of America.

  • Moreau

    I say forget the Second Amendment and I’m a pro-gun rights person. I also say to forget hunters.

    Although the Constitution (and hunter’s rights, I suppose) are important, what the gun control debate is really about is crime and violence in society today.

    BTW, although I’m pro-gun, I’m also quite liberal. In fact, I’m pro-gun BECAUSE I’m quite liberal.

    The problem, as you point out, is emotion and you’re right to identify deep insecurites among the pro-gun side as being the real reason for their zealotry. However, emotions run high on the anti-gun, liberal side, too.

    I thought it funny that you mention Rambo since, it seems, most liberals’ opposition to guns runs about as deep as “well, if Rambo would use it, is has to be bad.”

    Read up on Gary Kleck, Hans Toch, and some other liberal researchers in the field of criminology who admit to being biased against guns when beginning their research into gun violence and who changed their tune completely once they found that guns do far, far more good in the U.S. than harm.

    Deterrence cases — people stopping a crime from occurring, almost always without even firing a shot — outnumber “bad things” that happen with guns (armed crimes, homicides, accidents, and even suicides) by about 15-1.

  • Nancy

    I’d feel better about it all if the NRA weren’t such a … politicized participant that they leave a bad taste in my mouth 99% of the time. They COULD do such a good job of education & awareness if they’d just stop being panderers for the GOP extreme right. But any time they get involved in being ‘against’ something – then I’m immediately FOR it.

  • moonraven

    This is just silly.

    Everybody knows that a gun is a p…s substitute.

    So long as the US is filled with guys with limp p…ks (taking vi…a is admitting one doesn’t have the stuff to do it) they will be toting guns.

    How many women have been arrested for mass murders in the US?

    Think about it.

  • Catey

    There is a whole lot of women mass murderers- “black widows”, nurses who kill their patients, women who commit infanticide, using what seems to be a woman’s weapon of choice…poison.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Since some of you want me to cite what I already know to be true from personal experience, why don’t we turn it around. Show me irrefutable proof that the shooters involved in barfights were packing illegally, or that the spouse who plugged his or her mate didn’t have the prequisite papers to pull the trigger responsibly.

    You can’t.

    But by all means, stand fast in your delusions. And do take comfort that you can always check papers before you’re shot.

  • Leif Rakur

    To Dustin:
    If the Framers had intended the Second Amendment to mean what you apparently would like it to mean, why wouldn’t they have taken some words from the rejected “Pennsylvania Minority” proposal and made the last half of the amendment read, “…no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them.”? (But notice that even the Pennsylvania minority recognized that the term “the people” can mean either “the people as individuals” or “the people as a community.”)

    Phrases such as “the people” take part of their meaning from the context in which they appear. This fact applies to the Constitution as well as to other writing. For example, the term “the people” in the Fourth Amendment refers to the public in general as individuals, but the same phrase used in the 17th Amendment applies only to those who are qualified to vote, considering them collectively as the electorate. The Second Amendment is military in context. The term “the people” used there refers to those who have a right to provide collectively, as a well regulated militia, for the security of their own state.

    Joseph Story, the great expert on the Constitution who wrote early in the 19th Century, explained in detail how the same word may have different meanings from place to place in the Constitution:

    § 454. XVIII. And this leads us to remark, in the next place, that it is by no means a correct rule of interpretation to construe the same word in the same sense, wherever it occurs in the same instrument. It does not follow, either logically or grammatically, that because a word is found in one connexion in the constitution, with a definite sense, therefore the same sense is to be adopted in every other connexion, in which it occurs. 82 This would be to suppose, that the framers weighed only the force of single words, as philologists or critics, and not whole clauses and objects, as statesmen, and practical reasoners. And yet nothing has been more common, than to subject the constitution to this narrow and mischievous criticism. Men of ingenious and subtle minds, who seek for symmetry and harmony in language, having found in the constitution a word used in some sense, which falls in with their favourite theory of interpreting it, have made that the standard, by which to measure its use in every other part of the instrument. They have thus stretched it, as it were, on the bed of Procrustes, lopping off its meaning, when it seemed too large for their purposes, and extending it, when it seemed too short. They have thus distorted it to the most unnatural shapes, and crippled, where they have sought only to adjust its proportions according to their own opinions. It was very justly observed by Mr. Chief Justice Marshall, in The Cherokee Nation v. The State of Georgia, 83 that “it has been said, that the same words have not necessarily the same meaning attached to them, when found in different parts of the same instrument Their meaning is controlled by the context. This is undoubtedly true. In common language, the same word has various meanings; and the peculiar sense, in which it is used in any sentence, is to be determined by the context.” (Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Chapter V – Rules of Interpretation, 1833)

  • moonraven

    Let’s hear about those women mass murderers–the ones who climbed up in the UT tower and shot students would be such a good place to start–oh oh, that was a man with a limp prick….

  • Catey

    Actually, the favorite method of murder commited by serial killers, who are indeed predominately male, is by strangulation or suffocation.

  • moonraven

    Serial killers, please be advised, are not the same as mass murderers.

    I am talking about incidents such as Va Tech, Columbine, UT, various post offices, etc. Those are mass murder situations and they ALL involved guns.

    Try walking up to folks and strangling them in broad daylight and let’s see how many you kill.

    Geez, folks are denser than usual today.

    Most be the low barometer or something….

  • Catey

    How about with two planes in broad daylight

  • moonraven

    Oh, you mean the Dick Cheney smoke and mirrors c aper that YOU bought into?

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Catey– I fail to get the connection between serial killers with knives, 9/11, and the original issue of whether guns have an impact on society, and whether there can be a rational discourse on this subject.

    I think you, and a few others, haven proven enequivbly, that there cannot.

  • Catey

    Make sure it isn’t poisoned first.

    Make sure the toilet you sit on next isn’t set to detonate.

    Make sure you know the difference between explosions.

  • Catey

    From the way things have been going here as of late, I would say that whatever freedoms we have in America can always come back to bite us in our arse.Our very freedoms are used, against us.

  • moonraven

    WHAT freedoms?

    You sold your birthright for a plate of lentils.

  • http://oldsmoblogger.blogspot.com Oldsmoblogger

    To Leif Rakur (#201):

    Since you brought up Joseph Story, let’s see how the learned justice addresses the Second _directly_:

    “§ 1890. The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time ofanding armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facilee means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

    Offered without additional comment, as Justice Story speaks quite eloquently for himself.

  • Leif Rakur

    To Oldsmoblogger, 211:

    Yes, Story speaks eloquently of his support for the militia system, made up of American Citizens. In the same paragrah, in the part you choose to omit, he also speaks of his fears for the future of that system.

    What Story feared was the then-current attitude of the people toward service in the militia. They were growing increasingly “indifferent” to militia discipline and becoming disposed to be rid of its burdens and regulations.

    If this trend continued, Story said, it could undermine ALL OF THE PROTECTION intended by the Second Amendment.

    If, as Story said, an effective militia was ALL THE PROTECTION intended by the Second Amendment, that doesn’t leave much room in the Second Amendment for the protection of arms for personal purposes, does it?

    Here is the part of Story’s paragrph you left out:

    “And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.”

  • Leif Rakur

    To Oldsmoblogger, 211:

    Yes, Story speaks eloquently of his support for the militia system, made up of American Citizens. In the same paragrah, in the part you choose to omit, he also speaks of his fears for the future of that system.

    What Story feared was the then-current attitude of the people toward service in the militia. They were growing increasingly “indifferent” to militia discipline and becoming disposed to be rid of its burdens and regulations.

    If this trend continued, Story said, it could undermine ALL OF THE PROTECTION intended by the Second Amendment.

    If, as Story said, an effective militia was ALL THE PROTECTION intended by the Second Amendment, that doesn’t leave much room in the Second Amendment for the protection of arms for personal purposes, does it?

    Here is the part of Story’s paragrph you left out:

    “And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.”

  • Dr Dreadful

    What I find curious is that the commenters who point out – quite correctly – that the 2nd Amendment was framed to facilitate the formation of militias for national and civil defense, are actually much less concerned about that than they are about the use of guns for defense against and deterrence of crime.

  • http://oldsmoblogger.blogspot.com Oldsmoblogger

    Leif Rakur:

    Okay, but frankly the rest of the paragraph _reinforces_ the gun rights position. The definition of “militia” itself can be found in 10 USC 311, and no training requirement is identified. Furthermore, if the bulk of the people have indeed laid aside their responsibility, it is more important than ever that the rights of those who have NOT shirked stand without infringement.

    In any case, even granting the most anti-individual right cast to the rest of Story’s paragraph does not negate the use of the term “citizens” in the first. Neither does it enables anyone to identify an enumerated power of the government to disarm the citizenry.

    In any case, my answer to any legislative or Constitutional action anyone cares to take is the same as President Jackson’s answer to Chief Justice Marshall:

    “He has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it.”

  • Mack

    “I’d feel better about it all if the NRA weren’t such a … politicized participant that they leave a bad taste in my mouth 99% of the time. They COULD do such a good job of education & awareness if they’d just stop being panderers for the GOP extreme right. But any time they get involved in being ‘against’ something – then I’m immediately FOR it.”

    Nancy,
    I am the NRA, I support it through my dues. I expect them to be a politicized participant, that is one of their jobs.
    The other IS education starting with the Eddie Eagle for children who’s mantra is Don’t touch, leave the area and tell an adult. There has been an accelerated drop in true accidental deaths since it started, something you will never hear of in the media today. It also has police courses, hunting, CCW, and many more. We are the LARGEST citizen supported organization in the world with over 3.5 million strong. Most gun control groups are lucky to top 200,000. I am glad that it leaves a bad taste in your mouth we must be doing it right. BTW there are lots of Dims in the NRA also its not just for GOP anymore (never has been).

    [Deleted] moonraven, yes men tend to kill more at one time, but don’t put yourself down, women have been able to put 40 million in the ground one at a time because you (as in women) can’t seem to keep your knees together for all those limp twigs you talk about.
    You will go to war to protect your right to kill the most helpless among us and you don’t even have a mis-worded amendment for that right.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    “women have been able to put 40 million in the ground one at a time because you (as in women) can’t seem to keep your knees together for all those limp twigs you talk about.”

    Thank you, Mack. You’re a poster boy for misogyny, and quite frankly, you scare the bejeezus out of me. You also illustrate the symbolize between guns and the power of the penis, when masculinity can’t stand up to the test on its own.

    If you are, as you claim, the NRA, the organization is in dire need of a new poster boy.

  • Dustin

    Leif: Actually the 1st & second part of the 2nd amendment are two separate thoughts combined into a single sentence, kind of like saying “because we always want to be ready for anything, the right of the people to keep & bear arms shall not be infringed. Basically they were confirming the importance of the Militia (which is composed of volunteer non-professional citizens), and in order for the States to be able to call up the Militia they were confirming the right of “the people” (all US citizens) to keep & bear arms. Otherwise it would take much longer for the State to call up an emergency Militia as it would need to provide arms & training to its local citizens. The basis is that if I have my own guns then I can train with them on my own during peace time & thus will already have my own guns & would know how to use them in any emergency formation of a local militia by my State.

    A militia would be formed from a sub-set of “the people” – people able & willing to join the local force when invited to volunteer.

    Once again, if they had intended ANY restriction on who should not be restricted (or in other words have their rights to keep & bear arms INFRINGED) then they simply would have stated that only the members of the militia had the right.

    You referenced the 17th Amendment. It is not giving rights to “the people” to vote as that is taken care of elsewhere. It is simply a description of how the Senate is to be elected so in that case “the people” simply means all Americans who can vote elect them. Restricting arms to only all Americans who can vote is fine with me, I have no argument there.

  • Travis Lee

    Why not restrict voting to all Americans who can shoot? Hmmm?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Mack, please don’t change people’s name’s as a way to undermine their arguments, it will get you banned. Thanks.

    The Comments Editor

  • Jack Burton

    Everybody knows that a gun is a p…s substitute.

    So long as the US is filled with guys with limp p…ks (taking vi…a is admitting one doesn’t have the stuff to do it) they will be toting guns.

    I have known many thousands of gun owners and have interacted with them in every imaginable social setting, but I’ve never, ever, once heard one of them bring up male genetalia.

    Yet, start a topic or conversation about guns and within minutes I guarantee you there will be a gun bigot use the word or a variation of penis.

    I think it’s hardwired into their brains. They just can’t help blurting it out.

    That’s a major reason why the gun control forces have been losing ground these years. What normal person wants to be associated with that level of “ickyness” that seems to follow gun bigots like fleas on a dog.

  • Daddyojoe1

    At the risk of being accused of resorting to the old philosophical trick of appealing to a higher authority, I will post a quote by one of the Founding Fathers.

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson

    How true!

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I’ll just refer you to #216–have you met Mack?

  • Jack Burton

    Those are mass murder situations and they ALL involved guns.

    One of the most heinous mass murders in the U.S., with almost 100 people dead, involved a gallon can of gas. Perhaps we should outlaw those next.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Jack,

    You’re not doing your cause much good by taking that line. I’m not persuaded by the gun as penis substitute line either, mostly because I’ve always thought Freud was too crazy to be much of a therapist, but it doesn’t really undermine the argument to say that people don’t talk about it. If it were true, why would they?

    I also think it makes your argument less attractive to throw around terms such as bigot. People have different opinions and we should respect that, not buy into the mindless name-calling and partisan idiocy that is blighting much of contemporary life.

    As you know, I don’t agree with the pro guns line but I do agree with the concept of basic manners…

  • Clavos

    “I’m not persuaded by the gun as penis substitute line either, mostly because I’ve always thought Freud was too crazy to be much of a therapist, but it doesn’t really undermine the argument to say that people don’t talk about it. If it were true, why would they?”

    Freud also postulated that such associations took place in the subconscious.

    But Jack knows that….

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, is it only me that finds it funny when a member of the pro-gun lobby isn’t a straight shooter?

  • Jack Burten

    Since some of you want me to cite what I already know to be true from personal experience, why don’t we turn it around. Show me irrefutable proof that the shooters involved in barfights were packing illegally, or that the spouse who plugged his or her mate didn’t have the prequisite papers to pull the trigger responsibly.

    You can’t.

    I hope you don’t spend much time in Las Vegas if you’re willing to bet such a poor hand.

    Florida, the first state to pass the new wave of CCW laws about 30 years ago keeps a very close view on those same people. Their experience over the past years: Crime rates involving CCW holders has held steady at about 0.02 percent.

    Now, that’s any kind of crime including cheating on income taxes, which has nothing to do with a gun.

    And 0.02 percent translates out to 2 people out of a thousand. Not exactly the crime wave you’ve been going on about, eh?

    Actually, out of the half million or so that Florida has issued they have cancelled 109. Virgina has issued about 50,000 and have cancelled none. Arizona has issued about 63,000 and has cancelled none. Of course, since those reports came out they may have cancelled a few, but everyone gets the picture.

    In Oregon only 4 people out of 14,000 (0.03 percent) have been convicted of a crime with a gun. In Texas out of a quarter million CCW holders only 100 have been found guilty of a felony (not even necessarily with a gun). Again, that is only 5 people out of every 1000 CCW holders.

    And in a column by Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune he wrote:

    Indiana, which has about 350,000 permit holders, canceled 921 last year, or about one-fourth of 1 percent of the total. Maj. Karen Butts, commander of the records division of the state police, says, “I can’t think of any that were revoked for a firearms homicide.” Among Utah’s 40,000 licensees, only five have lost their privileges because of a conviction for murder or attempted murder.

    I guess I “can” eh?

    BTW… all this can be found in the free download Gun Facts.

    If you’re truely interested in getting the facts instead of hysterical info this is the place to go.

    And for the moderator, I tried dozens of times to get the board to take the Gun Facts in the standard way but it wouldn’t work. I think it’s because of the dot info after the url. ???

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Will someone tell me these things:

    1. How many weapons legally owned by the civilian population are there?

    2. How often are these weapons used per year?

  • Jack Burton

    I don’t have the stomach for killing humans, even bad ones, anymore.

    I pray to God that I never have to… but I’d rather need a gun and have one than need one and not have one.

    Back a few years ago we had two escaped hardcore convicts from Mississippi roaming around our county. They had already gotten into several running gun battles with the local cops/state police and were vowing “never to be taken alive.”

    Our youngest was at a church camp and the two men were spotted far to close to the camp for the comfort of the camp directors. They called all the parents at about 9 Pm and said come and get ‘em, right now.

    My wife and I both dropped the guns into the holsters and took off. We helped establish the inner parimeter while some of the more expereinced rifle men in the church worked the outer security. We all stayed until the last child was picked up.

    On the way back home our then 12 year old said, “I am really glad that I have parents that can protect me when I need it.”

    Neither my wife or I had any intention that night of “killing” a human, even a bad one. But we were not going to let a bad one terrorize or kill any innocent children, including our own.

    Other people may choose differently and that’s their full right. But when they presume to make my decisions for me as to how best to protect my family they have crossed a line that is better not crossed.

    BTW, the rest of the story: The next day they got caught and gave it up like babies once they knew they were caught in the nutgrinder.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I fixed up your link for you, Jack; it fell foul of the anti-spam system.

  • Jack Burton

    I’d feel better about it all if the NRA weren’t such a … politicized participant that they leave a bad taste in my mouth 99% of the time. They COULD do such a good job of education & awareness if they’d just stop being panderers for the GOP extreme right.

    NRA Backs Both Sides of Aisle

    That means the NRA, which sits on a campaign war chest of $20 million, is expecting to endorse as many as 60 Democrats in House and Senate elections, about the same number it endorsed in every national election since 2002

    In this year’s election, the group is backing [Democrats such as] Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, Tennessee Rep. John Tanner and West Virginia Rep. Alan Mollohan, among others. In gubernatorial races, the NRA has endorsed Democrats in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming, and Bill Richardson, the former Clinton energy secretary and cabinet member, in New Mexico.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I can relate to that story, Jack, and sure, given the current situation in the USA, it would be just as bad a decision to disarm the civilian population now as it would to abandon Iraq in its current condition.

    On the other hand, I still believe it is long past time that the police stepped up to the plate and got crime in the USA under control.

    I simply don’t accept that it can’t be done and it is pretty obvious that current strategies aren’t working as the prison population continues to grow and prison itself is little more than Crime University. That in the context of one of the most aggressive and wide-ranging legal systems in the modern world.

  • Leif Rakur

    To Oldsmoblogger, 215:

    The Founders and the Constitution certainly didn’t find the definition of militia in 10 USC 311. In 1787, John Adams gave the definition of militia of the Founders in these words (notice that training WAS required).

    “By virtue of the laws of the country, every male inhabitant between sixteen and sixty years of age, is enrolled in a company, and a regiment of militia completely organized with all its officers. He is enjoined to keep always in his house, and at his own expense, a firelock in good order, a powder horn, a pound of powder, twelve flints, four-and-twenty balls of lead, a cartridge box, and a knapsack; so that the whole country is ready to march for its own defence upon the first signal of alarm. These companies and regiments are obliged to assemble at certain times in every year, under the orders of their officers, for the inspection of their arms and ammunition, and to perform their exercises and manoeuvres. (Appendix to A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, John Adams, 1787)

  • Jack Burton

    but it doesn’t really undermine the argument to say that people don’t talk about it. If it were true, why would they?

    I’m sorry Chris but I just couldn’t follow what you were trying to say there.

    I also think it makes your argument less attractive to throw around terms such as bigot.

    Well, my differnt opinion is that people who link guns and penises quite well meet the definition of “bigot.” It is a reflexive spewing of words that are designed to do one thing only, insult those who are gun enthusiasts.

    Do you really think it adds depth to the thread? If not, then why do you find it necessary to post a response to me, who’s only defending gun owners, and not to those who bring it up first?

    As you know, I don’t agree with the pro guns line but I do agree with the concept of basic manners…

    Well, at this point in time the only thing I can discern about your concept is that using the word penis to describe gunowners is acceptable, but defending against it is bad manners.

    If I have misread you then I am sure you’ll make it clearer.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Jack, if you really don’t get it, you’re just confirming my view that weapons shouldn’t be widely allowed due to the extreme naivety of the citizenry.

    How many men do you know that would say I feel inadequate about my masculinity and manhood so I’ve bought a weapon in order to shore up my ego? Frankly, if I meet one who does, I may shoot them myself!

    It isn’t reflexive to link gun and penis, what’s reflexive is not to listen to other people’s perspectives.

    what I don’t get is how you can pour such energy and articulacy into defending your position whilst somehow either ignoring or apparently failing to understand any opposing arguments. Is that deliberate?

  • Jack Burton

    Will someone tell me these things:

    1. How many weapons legally owned by the civilian population are there?

    2. How often are these weapons used per year?

    From about a week ago…

    GENEVA (Reuters)- The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

    U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based .Graduate Institute of International Studies

    Incidents involving a firearm represented 9% of the 4.7 million violent crimes of rape and sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault in 2005. (About 450,000)
    Bureau of Justice Statistics

    Guns prevent about 2.5 million crimes a year. Most often (about 90 percent) the gun is never fired and blood is never shed.

    –Targeting guns, Dr. Gary Kleck.

    And yes, I know that a lot of people who don’t like guns don’t like Kleck either, but Marvin Wolfgang
    , a very anti-gun researcher who is accorded the highest accolades had this to say about Klecks numbers:

    It is hard to challenge the data collected. We do not have contrary information.

    So what conclusions can be drawn?

    1) 99.6 percent of guns in the U.S. are not being misused.

    2) There are some people out there that just don’t belong in a civilized society.

    3) Far more people are saved by guns than not. And that is a “good thing.”

  • Catey

    Chris, Jack is saying that someone here used male genitalia to describe gun owners, and that was allowed. But his use of the word bigot to defend himself against those who used the word for male genitalia to describe gun owners was not allowed.

    Your doing such a great job, thumbs up!!!!

  • Jack Burton

    On the other hand, I still believe it is long past time that the police stepped up to the plate and got crime in the USA under control.

    Read the following from the liberal People’s Paradise of San Francisco
    and then get back to us…

  • Jack Burton

    I can relate to that story, Jack,

    You can relate… but what would you do in the same situation. Would your daughter feel safer in the car with you… or with us?

  • Travis Lee

    Well which is it Chris,

    Gun control or “you’ll shoot ‘em”?

    Why do you think that whatever fuzzy notion you have of gun-control won’t end with you losing your right to be armed?

    How do you think that house to house searches will not result in police searching your house on a regular basis?

    Do you believe you have a RIGHT to be armed? yes or no?

    If you do, how dare you presume that you may be armed but other people should be disallowed?

    Your side has not honestly addressed a single point brought up yet.

    Guns are scary, guns are bad, you guys scare me… wah wah wah.

    You want a law, PASS A LAW, pass 20,000 more laws aimed not at criminals but at your fellow citizens. you’ll have to scuttle the Constitution not only of the US, but of numerous States,

    Passing a law is entirely different than bringing it to pass.

    How do you not get that?

  • Clavos

    Travis,

    Chris does NOT have a right to be armed; he’s a British citizen and doesn’t live in the USA.

  • Leif Rakur

    To Dustin, 218:

    The state militias of 1787, when the Constitution was written, and of 1789, when the Bill of Rights was written, were not voluntary entities. Militia service was obligatory under state militia law for males within specified age ranges.

    The Second Amendment restrains the federal government from abolishing the people’s state militia systems.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Jack, thanks for the facts in the first part of your #237. As for the rest of that comment, refer back to #233.

    Catey, not for the first time, you have managed to get hold of the wrong end of a very short stick. Jack’s terminology was allowed or else you wouldn’t have been able to read it. Wake up! Or better yet, keep dreaming and Ruvy will be along to explain it all to you shortly.

    Travis, you’re the best argument yet for not allowing weapons into wide ownership. None of your rambling answer appears to be connected either to the conversation or, indeed, reality in any way shape or form. Please do rejoin the conversation any time you can but, as for me, it’s late and I’m off to bed. Sweet dreams!

  • Catey

    Clavos has got yer back Chris, just don’t come to any sudden stops.

  • Travis Lee

    He’s a Brit?!

    Well, then… no wonder.

  • Jack Burton

    It isn’t reflexive to link gun and penis, what’s reflexive is not to listen to other people’s perspectives.

    So it I say that people who don’t like guns have loose pussies you’re okay with that?

    And if you can give a cite where I “didn’t listen” I’d like to see it. Personally I think that each time I answered someone I have been careful to quote the pertinent info from their post in order to keep track for others as to why I am answering the way I am.

    If you can find differntly on a number of my posts then please do so. But be specific.

    You can also count the cites that I have given to back up what I say. It would be interesting to compare it to the cites that you’ve posted to back up your posts, eh?


    what I don’t get is how you can pour such energy and articulacy into defending your position whilst somehow either ignoring or apparently failing to understand any opposing arguments. Is that deliberate?

    1) I understand quite well.

    2) I haven’t seen any real “arguments” from the majority of the people. I’ve seen emotional responses, I’ve seen “I thinks”, I’ve seen lots of stuff, but rational discussion — no.

    Lets take for one simple example. You.

    You posted that the average person could not handle guns. No cite, no authority, no anything but just an opinion. I replied asking you where all the dead bodies were. A reasonable question. If the average person cannot be trusted with a gun then where ARE all the dead bodies?

    You ducked it. You ignored it. It was an great opportunity for you to clarify your thoughts.

    What did you do?

    You came back again with almost the same quote. The average person could not be trusted with a gun. I replied that time with statistics that showed that 99.7 percent of all guns were in the hands of law abiding, non-killing people. I asked you why you said what you said when the facts were against you.

    What did you do? You ducked again. You could have disputed my stats, you could have disputed my understanding of the stats, you could have thrown in the towel in defeat… but you didn’t do any of those. You came back with an answer saying that you just didn’t want to discuss it with me.

    Specifically you said in answer: Talking about weapons with you is like talking about religion with a faithist.

    Please specifically point out just where an “opposing arguement” can be found in that sentence. If you can’t find one, is that deliberate?

    Now… I’m always happy to leave it to the readers to decided who “is not listening to other people’s perspectives” and “ignoring … any opposing arguments”

  • Catey

    Well, reprimanded then.

  • Clavos

    I liked the loose pussies line.

    Some of the broads might object, though.

  • http://oldsmoblogger.blogspot.com Oldsmoblogger

    Leif, thank you for staying engaged.

    I don’t claim the Founders had recourse to 10 USC 311. I refer the reader to it because there is neither reference to training or to some putative organization. The collective rights argument is a 20th Century invention. There is no credible evidence for it contemporary to the framing of the Constitution. Even Saul Cornell, in the recent Federalist Society online discussion, could do no better than an individual called Scribble Scrabble, in one letter published in one newspaper. (Professor Cornell and the other collective-rights advocates got their collective lunches eaten, it says here. Check it out.)

    I’ll append a couple of quotes, one each from a leading Federalist and a leading Anti-Federalist:

    Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia: “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms… The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.” — Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788

    James Madison, of Virginia: The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation . . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — The Federalist, No. 46

    This is admittedly a small sample, but I have yet to see any suggestion that any of the Founders had the notion that the several states would have any more right than the federal government to establish a select militia or abrogate the pre-existing and inherent individual right to arms, expansive view of the police power or no.

    And in any case, because the right _is_ inherent to the individual and pre-exists any law made by man (one may argue the interpretation of the Second all the live-long day but good luck trying to refute Locke and Jefferson in this crowd), no law made by man can in justice abrogate it, and therefore no free man or woman can be bound in conscience to obey it.

    As an aside to the tavern, regarding the (ahem) contributions of one moonraven: Rule Number One of teh Intarwebs is that if you don’t feed the trolls, they eventually go away.

  • Jack Burton

    “Well, reprimanded then.”

    Catey, you’re trying to use logic here where it won’t work.

    A gun hater can use the most vile language, say the worst things, and in general abuse a gun enthusisast in any way and they get praised for it. “Speaking truth to power,” you know.

    And it’s all got to be true since it’s about a gun owner and heaven knows how we kill and eat babies for breakfast. We deserve to be abused.

    But call one of them a “bigot”? My goodness. They get vapor lock and the fainties right away. Out come the handkerchiefs and the tears start in flowing.

    And then the “correcting” posts start. “You know, you really shouldn’t use such vicious language as “bigot. Someone feelings are going to be hurt.”

  • Clavos

    “Rule Number One of teh Intarwebs is that if you don’t feed the trolls, they eventually go away.”

    Good luck with mr on that one.

    She’s been trolling here on BC for a year this month.

  • Catey

    I do believe you are right Jack.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “Rule Number One of teh Intarwebs is that if you don’t feed the trolls, they eventually go away.”

    heh…some of us never seem to go away…yours truly is like a good mold…scrub all you like, paint over it….we still come back for more

    sorry…didn’t mean to interrupt the flames…

    we now return you to your regularly scheduled pointless bitchfest

    Excelsior?

  • Jack Burton

    Here is an intersting resource for those interested in this issue…

    In Search of the Second Amendment is the first documentary on the American right to keep and bear arms. It stars twelve professors of constitutional law, and scholars such as Steve Halbrook, Dave Kopel, Clayton Cramer and Don Kates. The story of the American right to arms is told by these experts, and illustrated by re-enactments and original historical documents, many never before filmed. The film also explores the contributions of the African-American experience, including the 14th Amendment (1868). Two civil rights workers discuss the untold story of their movement: how civil rights workers armed themselves and fought off Klan attacks. Produced and directed by David T. Hardy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    interesting link, Jack..how’s the olde Pork Chop Express running?

    but Jack does raise the intrinsic root of the Question here

    do “We the People” have the Individual Right to self defense?

    i’m the wrong one to Ask in this occasion..i’d like to see a return to carrying swords and legal Duels, makes for people being more polite, if nothing else…

    that being said, the current trend among some to want laws regulating firearms in the name of public safety is understandable, the sheeple attempting to legislate away the Wolves by banning sharp teeth, it misses the crucial nut of the dilemma by forgetting that , “oh shit, we’re talking about insane criminal scum here…that’s why they brought an electric mini-gun to rob a liquor store!”… what’s breaking a few gun laws mean to the likes of them?

    to my Thinking..the crux of the matter is in the “well regulated militia” bit…figure out what that means and you solve the problem

    does it mean just the police force and military? – doubtful, in some instances the Founders planned against the government being able to exert totalitarian control over the People… how about just having to register as a weapon owner like you would your car, or family pet?

    i know the usual argument is that then the government knows you have a weapon(s) and will round you up first!

    but there is also the deterrent factor here…you have 100 million registered weapon owners and it proves you ain’t got enough bullets in all the government to take them out cleanly

    i am not certain what the Answer is here, but i do know that a civil and thoughtful Conversation on the topic is part and parcel of basic civic duty… i just don’t see this Issue as that critical at this point in time

    your mileage may vary…

    Excelsior?

  • Jack Burton

    how about just having to register as a weapon owner like you would your car, or family pet?

    Or register as a church goer? A newspaper reader? And only “registered” people can write a letter to their Congressman?

    It’s all in the reflexes, you know.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    i hear yer point , Jack…but ya gotta have a license ta drive…the case can be made that immediate possibility of deadly force should at least be just as registered…and it appears, prima facia, to follow the wording of the Amendment to the freaking literal letter

    if driving is a “privilege” which can be revoked at whim…then one can argue that the current protections of weapon ownership (unless you are a felon, and you are of appropriate age, you can buy a firearm) simple registration does not infringe on any right to keep and bear your arms as you see fit as your part of the “well regulated militia”

    both sides appear to raise valid concerns, as i said earlier…the actual language of the second amendment in it’s entirety is the only real clue and guideline we have on this thorny Question

    Excelsior?

  • Jack Burton

    do “We the People” have the Individual Right to self defense?

    “Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”

    – Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, ‘The Rights of the Colonists’, (actual title; ‘The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting’). Nov. 20, 1772

    “Excusable homicides are in some cases not quite unblamable. These should subject the party to marks of contrition; viz., the killing of a man in defence of property; so also in defence of one’s person, which is a species of excusable homicide”

    – Thomas Jefferson, Note to Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 152. Ford ed., ii, 209. (1779). [5579. MURDER, Excusable. — JCE5579.

    “Also, the conditions and circumstances of the period require a finding that while the stated purpose of the right to arms was to secure a well-regulated militia, the right to self-defense was assumed by the Framers.”

    – John Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice. [As quoted in Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 251 (1846); State v. Dawson, 272 N.C. 535, 159 S.E.2d 1, 9 (1968).]

  • REMF

    #245;
    Dittos, Catey. But Chris doesn’t have to be as careful as Dave Nalle.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Jack in #259 – exactly my point as to why we should have private ownership of weapons and the inalienable right to self defense

    that’s my personal View

    all i have been saying is that we live up to the “we regulated militia” part..and that the real heart of this Conversation should really be about how we, as a society, handle that part of it…

    catch the drift?

    Excelsior?

  • bliffle

    Gee, this gun discussion seems to have swamped out all other discussions on BC.

  • Clavos

    “Dittos, Catey. But Chris doesn’t have to be as careful as Dave Nalle.”

    Yes he does, emmy.

    I’ve got my nose up both their asses; sometimes simultaneously, which satisfies my kinks, but grosses them out.

    Sigh. Nobody understands you when you’re strange. Maybe I’ll go find me a sheep.

    Got any sheep up there in shitkicker country, emmy?

  • Jack Burton

    i hear yer point , Jack…but ya gotta have a license ta drive…

    Not really. In virtually every state you need no license to drive if you are on your own property. Nor do you need to register the vehicle.

    the case can be made that immediate possibility of deadly force should at least be just as registered…

    People have been dealing out immediately deadly force for ages without needing to register their weapons of choice.

    I never read in my Bible a quote from Cain that said, “Criky, Abel, where’d you get that bloody Glock?” :-)


    and it appears, prima facia, to follow the wording of the Amendment to the freaking literal letter

    I’m not sure where you get the word “register” in the Amendment. You have to read these things in the language of their day, not ours. Well regulated meant well trained, nothing else.

    if driving is a “privilege” which can be revoked at whim…

    Driving is a privilege but it can hardly be “revoked at whim.” We do have due process here, remember.


    then one can argue that the current protections of weapon ownership (unless you are a felon, and you are of appropriate age, you can buy a firearm) simple registration does not infringe on any right to keep and bear your arms as you see fit as your part of the “well regulated militia”

    Name one other Constitutionally specified right that is subject to “registration”, simply or otherwise.

    And do you know that Illinois is just weeks away from banning virtually all semi-auto guns, including rifles, handgun, and shotguns? This means Uncle Joe’s deer hunting rifle in the back closet, and the neighbors skeet shooting long gun, and every pistol except for revolvers.

    Illinois has an extremely rigid licensening system for gun owners. Just how do you think they are going to enforce this ban?

    They already have the name of every gun owner in their computer. “Simple registration” eh? Simple door-to-door pickup, eh?

    “Mr. Jones, we see here you have three rifles that fit the criteria. Please give them to us.”

  • Clavos

    “Name one other Constitutionally specified right that is subject to “registration”, simply or otherwise.”

    Voting.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    whew…ok Jack..i’ll go one round of the Dance…

    “Not really. In virtually every state you need no license to drive if you are on your own property. Nor do you need to register the vehicle.”

    and in many states you don’t need any kind of license to have that firearm on your own property (tho zoning laws may limit you firing it in town, etc)..i get your point, but you seem to recognize, but not mention, that taking that car off your own property places you under the restrictions of law…

    “People have been dealing out immediately deadly force for ages without needing to register their weapons of choice.

    I never read in my Bible a quote from Cain that said, “Criky, Abel, where’d you get that bloody Glock?” :-)”

    well do i know this one…and in some states i DO have to register if i move there, but those are intensely learned skills that most don’t possess…with a day or two training just about anyone who can see can use a pistol with reasonable deadly effect…hence the problems with handguns for many folks..other issues revolve around concealment

    “I’m not sure where you get the word “register” in the Amendment. You have to read these things in the language of their day, not ours. Well regulated meant well trained, nothing else.”

    please cite your source on what well regulated meant…that’s an interpretation i’m not familiar with…interesting but doubtful…as careful as the Founders were with their Words..they well knew the difference between training and regulation and would have used the appropriate term

    “Driving is a privilege but it can hardly be “revoked at whim.” We do have due process here, remember.”

    glad you think so…and remember that you brought up due process…we’ll be coming back to it…

    “Name one other Constitutionally specified right that is subject to “registration”, simply or otherwise.”

    strawman, imo…no other Right has the term “well regulated” in it, does it?

    point of Order: i only mention one proposed solution here, the process of registration…come up with another that satisfies the “well regulated militia” part of the language and we can talk about that…i’m open to all reasonable suggestions..that’s the only thing discussions of this topic are really good for, eh?

    “They already have the name of every gun owner in their computer. “Simple registration” eh? Simple door-to-door pickup, eh?

    “Mr. Jones, we see here you have three rifles that fit the criteria. Please give them to us.””

    remember previously when i mentioned “due process”?

    Excelsior?

  • Jack Burton

    all i have been saying is that we live up to the “we regulated militia” part..and that the real heart of this Conversation should really be about how we, as a society, handle that part of it…

    We have mandatory gun training in school starting about the fourth grade and advancing thru high school. We bring back the rifle clubs that were in so many high schools 40 years ago.

    We’re letting Hollywood, the thug rappers, and the “street” teach our kids about guns. No wonder we’re having such a problem.

    We do away with the stupid state laws that take a Goldielocks approach to gun control. “This gun is too biiiig, and this gun is too smaaaallll… ohhh, we can’t find a gun that is just riiiight.”

    And… nope… won’t say it. It’s too late at night and my discernment filter isn’t kicking on as well as it should. I’ll stop here.

  • Jack Burton

    Voting.

    It’s always a pleasure to know that I helped educate at least one person a day and raised him from the mirey muck of civic ignorance. :-)

    This spins it a little different than what I would, but the basic info is pretty correct .

  • Clavos

    Hairsplitting. I noticed you did that with gonzo, too, with the straw man about driving on private property.

    I didn’t say voting for president, did I?

    u.s. constitution:

    article 1, section 2:

    “Clause 1: The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.”

    “article XVII:

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.”

    The point is: the right to vote IS guaranteed by the constitution, and registration IS required to do so.

    meh.

  • Jack Burton

    and in many states you don’t need any kind of license to have that firearm on your own property (tho zoning laws may limit you firing it in town, etc)..i get your point, but you seem to recognize, but not mention, that taking that car off your own property places you under the restrictions of law…

    Not neccessarily. If I tow my car from my home to the shop it doesn’t have to be registered. It’s when I put the car into actual use on the road that the government can sink it’s tax claws into my wallet. And that is 99 percent of the purpose of auto registration anyway.

    But you’re right. Not requiring registration in your home and on your property, and requiring a license (not necessarily for the gun itself) off property is the way many states work it.

    Is it Consitutional? No. Do most people live with it? Yes.

    well do i know this one…and in some states i DO have to register if i move there, but those are intensely learned skills that most don’t possess…with a day or two training just about anyone who can see can use a pistol with reasonable deadly effect…hence the problems with handguns for many folks..other issues revolve around concealment

    Lot’s of small concealable items are deadly without any training. If the nanny state registered all of them it would certainly take up enought of their time to ensure they would not be up to further mischief.

    please cite your source on what well regulated meant…that’s an interpretation i’m not familiar with…interesting but doubtful…as careful as the Founders were with their Words..they well knew the difference between training and regulation and would have used the appropriate term

    “Training” meant “regulation.” Smack you on the forehead.

    Take a look at this

    And I can assure you that anyone in the military who has dealt extensively with training knows that “regulation” still means the same thing today as it did back then.

    remember previously when i mentioned “due process”?

    You mean the same due process clause that California ignorned when they banned the dreaded “assault rifle” and forced everyone to either move or sell theirs out of state.

    BTW, you could give lessons to quite a number of folk here on how to dialogue. Signficant parts of the concept have escaped them.

  • Jack Burton

    Hairsplitting. I noticed you did that with gonzo, too, with the straw man about driving on private property.

    I refer to it as being precise…a concept that a lot of people have problems with. And please tell us how not registering a car on private property is a “strawman”? I am sure others want to know also. Be specific. Walk us thru the entire thread about that topic so we can understand.

    The point is: the right to vote IS guaranteed by the constitution, and registration IS required to do so.

    Nice try but neither one of your two examples from the Constitution say that the people have a right to vote. You may call it hairsplitting but just what do you think the courts do?

    And the courts have ruled there is not a Constitutional right. If you have a problem with that, and you obviously do, take it up with the courts, not me. I can’t help you any with that one.

  • Clavos

    I refer to it as being precise.

    “You say potahto, I say potayto.”

    Refer to it any way you want, I say it’s hairsplitting…a concept that a lot of people have problems with.

  • Jack Burton

    Refer to it any way you want, I say it’s hairsplitting…a concept that a lot of people have problems with.

    Fine… have problems with it. But when you’re dealing with legal matters (as we are) then grownups realize that living in the real world requires living by the real world rules.

    And precisness is what helps win in the arena of the court… not the ability to emote your “feelings.”

    Still haven’t quite figured out just how I used a “strawman” yet, though, eh?

  • Clavos

    And you still haven’t noticed that not once on this thread have I advocated restricting (not even more licensing) gun ownership, but you’ve typed me more than once as a “gun bigot.”

    Go ahead, check it out. I’ll wait.

    I received my first weapon for my eighth birthday, more than fifty years ago, and have owned weapons continuously since.

    I said it upthread, and others have too: you hurt the cause more than you help, with your blowhard, arrogant attitude, and your facile, stereotypical assumptions.

    Good luck with that.

    I sincerely regret we’re on the same side of the issue.

  • REMF

    “Got any sheep up there in shitkicker country, emmy?”

    Come on up, flat-lander. I’ve got an extra pair of boxing gloves, let’s go three rounds and find out who can fight and who can’t.

  • gonzo marx

    for Jack in #270 – well now..i would not advise trying to smack me ..forehead or anywhere else, but the mat is always open to those who want to try

    but i digresss…

    i completely disagree with you postulate about “well regulated”…the link you gave is by no means definitive or even authoritative…yet even there the very first line is from a court ruling which states…“”Regulate, as ordinarily used, means to subject to rules or restrictions,
    >to adjust by rule or method, to govern […]”
    > Simkins v. State, 249 P. 168, 35 Okla. Cr. 143.”

    which describes my position and understanding of the definition…not yours

    in the article you linked to, the author goes on with even further fallacy by utilizing a usage of the term concerning multi-barrel firearms…which did NOT exist in the time period that the Founders wrote the words under discussion

    again, i must stand on the position that if they meant training, they would have said so specifically based on the meticulous use of language in the entirety of the document

    so you know..i HAVE a background in the military..and was raised with firearms by a Dutch Grandfather who was one of a long line of gunsmiths/swordsmiths…even there “regulated fire” is NOT “well trained” shooting, but timed and tempered use of rounds for maximum efficiency, which is trained behavior, but the regulation is about rate of fire and careful; targeting of each round

    thus my entire point..it is the ENTIRE wording of the second amendment that needs discussion, the “well regulated militia” part being key, since they are the Object of the “shall not be infringed” portion

    no Tricks, no convolutions or hidden esoterica here…simple parsing of the basic language is all that is required, then determine how to implement the Intent inherent in the words themselves…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Here’s an interesting piece from a very unlikely source: the Times of London.

    Jack Burton and all his little lockstep clones should find it positively orgasmic.

    It says, in part:

    “America’s disenchantment with “gun control” is based on experience: whereas in the 1960s and 1970s armed crime rose in the face of more restrictive gun laws (in much of the US, it was illegal to possess a firearm away from the home or workplace), over the past 20 years all violent crime has dropped dramatically, in lockstep with the spread of laws allowing the carrying of concealed weapons by law-abiding citizens. Florida set this trend in 1987, and within five years the states that had followed its example showed an 8 per cent reduction in murders, 7 per cent reduction in aggravated assaults, and 5 per cent reduction in rapes. Today 40 states have such laws, and by 2004 the US Bureau of Justice reported that “firearms-related crime has plummeted.”

  • Jack Burton

    And you still haven’t noticed that not once on this thread have I advocated restricting (not even more licensing) gun ownership, but you’ve typed me more than once as a “gun bigot.”

    And not once on this thread has anyone actually seen you defend the ownership or use of guns. You make little drive-by remarks here and there but you’ve never really added much of substance to the thread, have you?

    I received my first weapon for my eighth birthday, more than fifty years ago, and have owned weapons continuously since.

    And this is supposed to impress me how? I know a lot of long term gun owners who would sell out the handgun crowd in a nanosecond if they thought it meant they could keep their precious hunting rifles and shotguns.

    Zumbo, who has owned guns longer than both of us, is a perfect example of a gun owner who felt fine with the idea that it was okay to “ban” some weapons just because of his unfamiliarity with them and their “evil” looks.

    I said it upthread, and others have too: you hurt the cause more than you help, with your blowhard, arrogant attitude, and your facile, stereotypical assumptions.

    I’m always happy to leave it to the judgement of the greater body of the readers.

    But note that you’re the one who didn’t have a clue as to how guns shows work and was more than willing to have the readers believe that something was “wrong” with them.

    You’re the one who thought that the police was had a duty to protect each individual contrary to court opinions.

    You’re the one obsessing with fantasy bots from pro-gun websites trolling the ‘net.

    And you’re the one who was wrong about the majority of police not wanting the average person to have a CCW.

    I sincerely regret we’re on the same side of the issue.

    The only side I see you on is the same as the boozer who hangs out at the bar passing out free information to everyone who doesn’t want it, and most of it is wrong anyway.

    Thank you, but I’d rather not be on that “side.”

  • Jack Burton

    which describes my position and understanding of the definition…not yours

    Which he then goes and breaks down using contemporary examples and examples thru the years of just how that means “training” and the component parts.

    again, i must stand on the position that if they meant training, they would have said so specifically based on the meticulous use of language in the entirety of the document

    Regulated meant well-trained. So they did use the proper, meticulous word. You trying to put a 2007 meaning on it doesn’t change the understanding that the FF had.

    “regulated fire” is NOT “well trained” shooting, but timed and tempered use of rounds for maximum efficiency, which is trained behavior, but the regulation is about rate of fire and careful; targeting of each round

    1) you just contradicted yourself in one sentence. That takes a special skill. :-)

    2) “trained behaviour”? Didn’t see a thing in there about registering the guns they were shooting.

    I can give you a couple hundred more cites from scholars across the board that say that well regulated is speaking of the training and associated behaviour. Would that help?

    And BTW, multi barrel firearms certainly were available during the colonial era and even earlier. From the very first days of firearms people could figure out that if you can shoot one bullet, two bullets would be even better.

    They weren’t very effective and were not accepted as a standard firearm, but they were there.

    It took Sam Colt to develope the first real multi shot firearm and he used the idea of one barrel, revolving cylinder.

  • gonzo marx

    Jack..well am i aware that there were multi-barrel weapons at the time, my bad for not speaking(typing) clearly…multifire multiple barrels weren’t around (think Gatling gun rather than the multibarrel pepperboxes)..thta was my intent

    and bring on your references, the more substantial the better…well trained and well regulated are NOT synonymous…now or in 1776, imo..i’ll have to be shown otherwise

    sol, it appears we have come right down to the point i was speaking about at the very beginning…defining “well regulated Militia”

    when you install a regulator on a car ..does that make it well trained?

    i’m just at a loss to ever find circumstance where the two terms are used identically..especially in the time period of the Founders

    hence my thinking from there..i’m still open to alternatives from advocates…so i’ll ask YOU , Jack…what conditions would qualify to your understanding as a “well regulated Militia”?

    Excelsior?

  • Jack Burton

    Jack Burton and all his little lockstep clones should find it positively orgasmic

    Guns are just ordinary tools. I’m not sure why so many people want to refer to sexual activity and guns.

    But gardening? You come up with a story about how to improve compost, or turn my slightly-better-than-ordinary tomatoes and peppers into prize winners and you’ll see orgasmic delight all right.

  • moonraven

    You fellows have managed to get youyr tangas in a knot, as usual.

    Just to add a little dose of reality here:

    I was raised in an NRA family (grandMOTHER lifetime master who held several national records for indoor target shooting, expert grandfather, and I first fired a 22 calibre German target pistol at age 3), I also taught classes in firearms usage and safety when I was a teenager to other teenagers who wanted to get deer and elk hunting licenses and in the early 70s I wrote the Washington State Firearms and Bowhunting Safety Manual.

    My grandfather was a collector of antique firearms, and he and I spent many hours adjusting powder and testing them by shooting at targets.

    During my 11-day stint as an E-5 in the US Army in order to get a story on the elimination of the WAC I outshot every guy on the base at Fort McClellan (Canadian Bull targets, m-16 rifles.)

    I THINK that makes me considerably more knowledgable about guns than at least 95% of the guys posting here. [Edited]

    Men DO equate guns with penises. Show me a western where a woman has a shootout (on Main Street or the OK Corral or any fucking place) with a man or another woman, and I will consider that there MIGHT be exceptions.

    Which there are not.

    I am 100% against guns–not because the guns are bad, but because the limp-pricked bellicose braggards who use them ARE.

  • gonzo marx

    “the Quick and the Dead” is a western flick with a female gunslinger

    there was also “Bad Girls”…some females there involved in gunplay

    two given quickly to disprove an assertion

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    “And not once on this thread has anyone actually seen you defend the ownership or use of guns”

    I didn’t need to; you’re doing fine (if nastily) on your own.

    “I know a lot of long term gun owners who would sell out the handgun crowd in a nanosecond if they thought it meant they could keep their precious hunting rifles and shotguns.”

    Once again, you ASSUME; this time, that I have no handguns.

    “You’re the one who thought that the police was (sic) had a duty to protect each individual contrary to court opinions.”

    Actually, I’m not; I merely am the one that pointed out they paint the slogan on the cars. My actual opinion of the police is even lower than that of the federal government and congress: they’re all corrupt, and collectively the worst enemies of the american people; far more dangerous than OBL and his gang of clowns.

    “But note that you’re the one who didn’t have a clue as to how guns shows work and was more than willing to have the readers believe that something was “wrong” with them.”

    If asking, “What about private sales and gun shows” constitutes (or in any way indicates) that I “don’t have a clue” about them, then I guess you’re right.

    “You’re the one who thought that the police was had a duty to protect each individual contrary to court opinions.”

    I don’t recall asserting that. Citation?

    “You’re the one obsessing with fantasy bots from pro-gun websites trolling the ‘net.”

    If mentioning them ONCE is “obsessing,” then I guess you’re right.

    FACT: Bots exist, and they troll the internet looking for key words and alerting the thousands of sites that use them.

    FACT: We go for weeks without seeing the likes of you and your sycophants on this site. Then, when an article about gun control is published, you all appear like so many annoying mosquitoes, within minutes.

    “And you’re the one who was wrong about the majority of police not wanting the average person to have a CCW.”

    One citation from one survey doesn’t prove me wrong; it merely presents another perspective.

    “The only side I see you on is the same as the boozer…”

    Thanks for proving my point.

  • sr

    Travis#242. Dont hold your breath for the answer to your above question.

  • moonraven

    A REAL film, gonzo.

    Not someonebody’s home movie shot in the backyard.

    As usual, you perversely miss the point in everything.

  • gonzo marx

    the first film has Gene Hackman in it, a solid budget, for all that it was a crappy movie…find the details here.

    the second had plenty of top shelf folks as well, a Hollywood budget and was more fun than the first, details here

    had Drew Barrymore and others in it…not a great movie, but not something filmed in a back yard by any means

    so i guess you are forced to consider there “might be exceptions” to your pronouncements as you stated?

    THAT was my point…YOU made a bald broad brush assertion and defied anyone to prove you wrong…i did it in seconds…

    now, fess up and stand up…you’ll feel better

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    Gonzo–You are not going to convince somebody who spent as many years as a film critic as I did that she is wrong.

    Shit is shit.

    Take a look at ALL the classic westerns: High Noon, The Searchers, Gunfight at the OK Corral, My Darling Clementine, One-Eyed Jacks, The Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett and Bill the Kid, etc etc etc.

    Show me ONE where the guy’s virility was not centered on his gun.

    This is a serious topic, at least for me–and it’s rerally rather tiresome to have a professional trivialist like yourself shooting off his silly keyboard.

    All you have proven is that you have time on your hands.

  • sr

    Moonraven did you forget brokeback mountain. Of course they had guns of a different nature. Should we not mention war movies.

  • moonraven

    War movies are obvious–but they do not normally include one-to-one shootouts in the middle of a dirt street and western set. Westerns of that sort are the epitome of the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” statement of penis size.

    It also shows why men from the US are such bad fucks–fast isn’t best.

    Brokeback Mountain is not a CLASSIC western. It is a recent film.

  • gonzo marx

    yoiu asked for one example again…the Unforgiven…there you go

    proven twice wrong in the same day by a simple gonzo…must rile the feathers

    but thanks for demonstrating clearly that even when convincingly proven wrong about something you clearly state you would correct yourself about…you appear incapable of doing more than feebly attempting to shift the goalposts…

    oh yes..the Devil is in the details, any Trickster will tell you that…for a Price

    Excelsior?

  • sr

    According to Moonraven you American males are bad fucks. Makes me want to strap on my six guns partner.

  • Dr Dreadful

    SR: Draw, stranger.

    [narrows eyes to slits, adjusts hat, blows on fingers, adopts shooting stance while surreptitiously ensuring that designer stubble is of regulation length]

  • REMF

    “Show me ONE where the guy’s virility was not centered on his gun.”
    – moonraven

    Bronco Billy.

  • Lumpy

    Sounds to me like Moonraven has a case of gun envy.

  • Clavos

    A natural progression, Lumpy….

  • Leif Rakur

    To Oldsmoblogger, 250:

    You mention Saul Cornell’s views on the Second Amendment. In his book, “A Well Regulated Militia,” he says:

    “The original understanding of the Second Amendment was neither an individual right of self-defense nor a collective right of the states, but rather a civic right that guaranteed that citizens would be able to keep and bear those arms needed to meet their legal obligation to participate in a well regulated militia.”

    That sounds like a reasonable way of looking at the amendment to me.

    As for someone saying that Cornell had his lunch eaten — well, my experience is that such a statement rarely comes from an impartial observer.

    You post a Federal Farmer quote:

    Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia: “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves . . . and include all men capable of bearing arms. . . To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms… The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle.” — Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer, 1788

    I’m not sure what you are driving at with this quote. It shows that Federal Farmer believed a militia was important. The Second Amendment says the same thing.

    Federal Farmer expresses his opinion that the militia should include “all men capable of bearing arms.” An interesting aspect of this is that Federal Farmer is using “bearing arms” in its military meaning of “rendering military servce,” comparable to the way “bear arms” is used in the Second Amendment.

    By the phrase “all men capable of bearing arms,” Federal Farmer could not have meant “all men capable of carrying arms.” Seventy-year-olds and eighty-year-olds may be fully capable of “carrying” arms. They are just not capable of “bearing” arms, and so they are not militiamen.

    Where the context was purely military, as it is here and as it is in the Second Amendment, the term “bear arms” was understood as a reference to military service.

    In Federal Farmer 6 (December 25, 1787), the author lists 13 “unalienable or fundamental rights” existing in the United States. Among those rights, some individual and some not, is this:

    “The militia ought always to be armed and disciplined, and the usual defence of the country.”

    Many of the rights that would later appear in the Bill of Rights are included in Federal Farmer’s enumeration. But he lists nothing there at all about personal gun rights. Why do you suppose that is?

    James Madison didn’t really say in Federalist 46 quite what you posted. What you posted was this:

    “James Madison, of Virginia: The Constitution preserves “the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation . . . (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — The Federalist, No. 46″

    Madison didn’t say in the lead-up to this passage anything about what “the Constitution preserves.”
    What he really said was this:

    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.”

    Then Madison goes on to say that the kingdoms of Europe are afraid to trust the people with arms and to say that if those kingdoms had local governments (states) and state militias like America, every European tyranny would be overturned.

    So what Madison is talking about here is the value of the state militia system and state governments, not the importance of individuals being armed for personal purposes.

    As for anyone with a militia view of the Second Amendment trying to refute Jefferson, not to worry. Jefferson understood the Second Amendment as a provision for the substitution of militia for a standing army. He never referred to the amendment as protection of arms for personal use.

  • moonraven

    Gonzo, Now you are just lying to try and be a bigshot on BC.

    I saw both films titled “The Unforgiven”–neither featured shootout on Main Street by women.

    The first (1960) had Burt Lancaster searching for Audrey Hepburn–it was sort of a cut-rate version of John Ford’s masterpiece, The Searchers.

    The Clint Eastwood 1992 version also did not have shoot outs of women gunslingers.

    The point is: Any guy who needs to have a gun to bolster his virility is missing something else–probably even 3 things.

    There are NO exceptions, oh limp ones.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Not to be a pedant, but the title ‘The Unforgiven’ applies only to the Burt Lancaster film. The later film with Clint Eastwood is just ‘Unforgiven’.

    Dave

  • http://sailorcurt.blogspot.com Sailorcurt

    thus my entire point..it is the ENTIRE wording of the second amendment that needs discussion, the “well regulated militia” part being key, since they are the Object of the “shall not be infringed” portion

    Um…not. The object of “shall not be infringed” is “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.

    The “well regulated” refers to the militia, not the keeping an bearing of arms.

    So, even if “well regulated” means “legislated into non-existence”…that is referring to the militia, not the right. The assertion of the founders that the militia (well trained or under tight regulatory control…either way) is a necessary ingredient for a truly free state is a REASON that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    You assert that if the founders intended to say “well trained” they would have. If so, then it follows that, had they intended to say “the right of the states to maintain a well regulated militia shall not be infringed”, that’s what they would have said.

    They didn’t.

    moonraven: Might I be so bold as to recommend some Midol?

    Also, it occurs to me that, when a pattern emerges, it is very likely caused by the most prevalent common denominator. If your observations with American males, considering your implied wide and varied experience with multitudes of subjects, result in a negative impression of their sexual prowess…perhaps the common denominator in the experiment was not the men in the equation?

    Just saying…

  • moonraven

    No, pigass–women my age don’t have PMS.

    Midol was 1958 in junior high.

    And you are clearly way over my age limit of 40.

    All the non-US men 40 or other have more than passed muster in the sack.

    You are just looking for an excuse to draw attention away from your being a bad fuck.

    Didn’t work.

  • moonraven

    other being less than 40.

  • http://sailorcurt.blogspot.com Sailorcurt

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  • moonraven

    Nonsense–You have never had a thought in your life.

    Quoting from Hamlet is not going to convince me otherwise, either.

  • Silver Surfer

    At least he got the quote right. Most don’t.

  • Dustin

    Leif:

    Yes they did have mandatory age groups, but they also accepted volunteers outside of those age groups specified.

  • moonraven

    He Googled the quote.

    What do you think we are doing here, anyway–talking on two cans and a string?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    MR, I’ve finally come to a conclusion about you. Your entire persona on this site is purely an absurdist conceptual joke.

    You mix a few small glimpses of your actual beliefs in with a warehouse full of statements that no rational human being could possibly believe. Similarly, you accuse everyone at BC of being incapable of critical thinking while exhibiting a ludicrous dearth of it yourself.

    You’re an expert on every subject that crosses your path, and everybody else, no matter their credentials, is a fool.

    It’s all an expansive commentary on the dogmatic “everybody’s out of step but me” approach to the world, with you epitomizing that approach. You’re some kind of Internet satirist, aren’t you?

    That’s my theory. You’re a put-on, right?

  • moonraven

    I believe I have said many times on different threads that “moonraven” is a persona deliberately adopted to mirror the absurd and obnoxious behaviors of the usual suspects on this site.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I’ve read exactly one time that “moonraven” is a persona designed to be argumentative. Perhaps you’ve confirmed my suspicions on other threads, but I’ve not read them.

    In any case, it’s good to know that I was correct in thinking that you couldn’t possibly be as obtuse as your comments make you out to be.

  • moonraven

    Maybe.

    But it is clear that you are incredibly obtuse–so what’s your point?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Now you see, MR, that was just cute. :-)

  • zingzing

    gads you two are just fun together. so, moonie… all american males are lousy in the sack, eh? see, i knew you had had your heart broken by an american man…

    you reveal so much about yourself through your statements. oh, i know…. yes moonie… it’s okay. i have a cookie! but i ate the cookie… i’m so sorry.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    P.S. It’s a rare and rather bizarre circumstance to see One-Eyed Jacks referred to as a “classic” Western.

  • moonraven

    Had my heart broken–never!

    It’s not my fault you are lousy in bed.

  • moonraven

    Michael: Nothing bizarre about it.

    I am, after all, a film critic, so if I say it’s a classic western I have more clout than a lout like you.

    One Eyed Jacks was Brando’s one directorial effort, released in 1961–before you were born, I suppose.

    It’s a clasic western in every sense of the term–including the classic comments (scum-sucking pig, big tub of guts, etc.) and the classic cinematography of its filing on the 17-mile Drive above Carmel, CA.

    Not to mention the classic plot of the outlaw that betrays his partnee. Brando says Karl Malden is the one-eyed jack–but he isn’t the only one.

  • Clavos

    mr must be drinking again, that last was replete with typos.

    Critics are the LAST people to pay attention to regarding anything to do with any form of art.

    Like lawyers, they are essentially parasites piggybacking on those who really work.

  • moonraven

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Typos schmypos–who gives a fuck. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] It’s dark as hell in here.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Critics are the LAST people to pay attention to regarding anything to do with any form of art.

    Like lawyers, they are essentially parasites piggybacking on those who really work.

    Clavos, that’s an extremely, extremely unwise comment to post on a site named BlogCRITICS…

    I think I just passed Eric, Philip and Dave on their way to your house carrying pitchforks and flaming torches.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Re: #316 –

    Thanks, MR, for taking the bait. A flawless demonstration. :-)

  • moonraven

    I only “take the bait” when I have something to say [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor.].

  • http://www.topix.com/forum/guns belinda myers

    Jack Burton single-handedly sliced & diced Dr. Dreadful, Clavos and gonzo Marx into putrid stew.

    Moonraven on the other hand is a homely hag all her own.