Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Supreme Court will Uphold our Right to Gun Ownership

Supreme Court will Uphold our Right to Gun Ownership

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution is one of the most debated portions of that document. For generations, the controversy in question is whether the Founders intended to give the right to keep and bear arms only to militias or also to individual citizens not serving in the military.

The Supreme Court may be on the verge of settling the issue once and for all. Last week, the high court heard arguments in its second big gun rights case in the last few years. In 2008, the Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that Washington, DC’s ban on gun ownership was unconstitutional. The ruling was a landmark decision for proponents of 2nd Amendment rights, but it only applied to federal enclaves like the District of Columbia. However, the case opened the door for a challenge to national gun ban laws. Currently before the court is McDonald v. Chicago. At issue is whether Chicago’s gun ban is constitutional under the 2nd Amendment. The court’s decision in this case will determine whether 2nd Amendment rights go beyond federal property and can be applied to the states and local governments.

Things look promising for gun rights advocates in McDonald, based on a quote from the majority opinion penned by Justice Scalia in Heller. In Heller, Scalia stated, “There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.” He supported the majority’s position by stating the fact that gun possession was a right of Americans “…prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense…” Now, we have all heard the stories of the rugged frontiersmen with their guns they used for securing dinner and protecting the homestead. Thus, Scalia’s argument makes perfect sense. How could the authors of the Bill of Rights not guarantee a right early individual Americans already had and one so vital to their survival? The idea that the right was not protected through the 2nd Amendment is preposterous.

But there is more from the majority opinion that supports 2nd Amendment rights for individuals. The court saw the individual’s right to keep arms as an important preservation of the citizen militia. According to Scalia, “The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty.” At the time of the 2nd Amendment’s drafting, a militia was “the body of all citizens capable of military service”. Thus, whether young, middle aged, or old, the country may call upon you in an instant to serve in a militia to put down an insurrection or defend against foreign invasion. Denying you the initial right to own a gun which could be needed to defend the country in a time of emergency would have been counterproductive. The court’s reasoning in support of individual gun rights is compelling to say the least.

Getting back to the current case before the court, if the justices are consistent and overturn Chicago’s gun ban they will have to justify their applying the 2nd Amendment to states and local governments. Remember that Heller only applied to firearms possession on federal property. But, the means to apply the 2nd Amendment to states and localities is simple. Over time, the court has used the 14th Amendment to bind states and localities to recognizing the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendment rights of their citizens. In part it reads, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” If the court grants individual Americans the right to keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment it will apply the right to the states under the 14th Amendment.

The current Supreme Court has a golden opportunity to set the record straight with regards to individual guns rights under the 2nd Amendment. The debate over the years has been very contentious with both sides misquoting the Founders’ statements about gun rights to suit their purposes. The Founders made a lot of statements about gun rights and how they apply to citizen militias. Understanding that at that time citizen militias meant “all citizens capable of military service” it is easy to come to the conclusion that the 2nd Amendment bestows a right to gun ownership to all individual Americans. Fortunately for America, it appears the Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion later this year.

Powered by

About Kenn Jacobine

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stubbornfacts Jamison

    Awesome article… but you said:

    “the country may call upon you in an instant to serve in a militia to put down an insurrection or defend against foreign invasion.”

    Who would call upon me to put down an insurrection, or an over zealous government? I can understand the “country” calling upon me to defend thew country in a worst-case scenario, but I hardly see the government calling upon me to grab my gun to take them out of office because they felt they were a threat to me.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    It was meant for the colonial time period.

  • zingzing

    yes, yes it was.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Kenn, I agree with you and I think the Court will overturn the ban on just the grounds you argue.

    What, though, is your position with regard to reasonable controls on gun ownership, especially considering the efficient lethality of modern firearms?

    If the Constitution were written today and contained a provision guaranteeing Americans’ right to own and operate a car, would you be in favour of or against laws requiring such things as driver’s licenses, vehicle insurance and speed limits?

  • David Fraley

    Mayor Daley sites horror stories of people who were hurt by guns in his town as a reason to ban guns. He fails to point out that these happened under his watch and his austere rules, witch failed to protect them. Perhaps some of them might have been spared if they were not perceived as unarmed and helpless. The shooters might have thought better of it if and held there fire. Wolves attack sheep not bears.

    Criminals are immune to gun laws. The primary problem with all gun laws is the very people they are aimed at are those least likely to follow them. The penalties for gun possession pal in comparison for people that already have records and have committed much greater affiances. Many gun confiscations from criminals are as a result of unlawful searches and not prosecutable. Thus the deterrent is small compared to the perceived utility.

    Criminals must have guns to stay in business or run the risk of losing their ill-gotten gains to yet another criminal. Predators are prayed upon by stronger meaner predators. Remember they are not going to call 911. They need to intimidate or kill witnesses and victims. No criminal wants a confrontation on equal terms. They strike from a position of advantage. No one knows how many crimes have been deterred by the perception (real or imagined) that the intended victim can return aggression in kind. With out the advantage of being the only one armed they might even be forced to work for a living. What a terrible thing.

  • zingzing

    “witch failed to protect them.”

    stupid witch.

    sorry.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    David,

    Criminals must have guns to stay in business or run the risk of losing their ill-gotten gains to yet another criminal. Predators are prayed upon by stronger meaner predators. Remember they are not going to call 911. They need to intimidate or kill witnesses and victims. No criminal wants a confrontation on equal terms. They strike from a position of advantage. No one knows how many crimes have been deterred by the perception (real or imagined) that the intended victim can return aggression in kind.

    There’s at least one major hole in your argument, which is that most crimes are non-violent.

    I suggest that not only do criminals not want a confrontation on equal terms, the vast majority of them do not want a confrontation at all.

  • STM

    “It was meant for the colonial time period.”

    Yes. Which was 200 years ago. They had 300,000 slow-firing, muzzle-loading muskets, rifles and pistols arming a populace that the government wanted to serve as a militia, mainly against the supposed threat from the British (which didn’t turn out to be such a successful strategy in the War of 1812).

    Neverthless, it fulfilled a purpose at the time and made a lot of sense … common sense, because to keep a huge standing army to fight a superpower of the era would have sent the fledgling country broke.

    I’d suggest the founding fathers, who wrote that amendment with good intent, would be turning in their graves right as they couldn’t have understood that eventually, the US population would soar to nearly 300 million and there would be 300 million LEGAL firearms floating around America, and God knows how many illegal ones.

    They didn’t have a crystal ball and they couldn’t have foreseen that that amendment would turn America into a giant human shooting gallery that has the worst rate of gun homicide and gun crime generally in the western world.

    Unfortunately, since the proliferation of guns in the US is now at near saturation point, it’s too late to do anything about it.

    With so many crims armed, law-abiding Americans are probably right to feel they a right to feel they need to protect themselves – no matter how misguided that notion may be at times.

    Especially since most killings and woundings committed by owners of legal guns in the US are committed against people in domestic situations or against people known to the shooters, not against criminals.

    That’s the sad part of it all … the idea was right at the time, but it’s made America a laughing stock in the civilised world, and despite the founding fathers’ admonition that the constitution should be changed by Americans as circumstances changed in the future, the hard-core gun lobby still only needs to point to the constitution to support its case.

    I can’t believe that Americans don’t realise the Bill of Rights was written by a bunch of old farts 200 years ago and the 2nd amendment addressed the situation as it applied then.

    It is a document written by people for people, not the Holy Grail or a document sent down by6 God. The ideas contained in it weren’t even new, and certainly weren’t plucked out of thin air. Most of the enumerated rights existed prior to the revolution under the laws of the colonies.

    I do not believe in gun bans. I grew up around firearms, like most of my generation.

    But the 2nd amendment says nothing about controls. It talks about the right to bear arms. Commonsense controls do not infringe.

    They just mitigate some of the risk in allowing nearly 300 million people to walk around packing a gatt.

  • STM

    And yes, I do understand that nearly 300 million americans aren’t legal gun owners and that the figure is closer to 80 million (and that these generally own more than one firearm), but the way it stands now, most could be if they wanted.

  • Jordan Richardson

    No one knows how many crimes have been deterred by the perception (real or imagined) that the intended victim can return aggression in kind.

    This is why I park a tank in my front yard and have a nuke in the shed.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    STM

    “I can’t believe that Americans don’t realise the Bill of Rights was written by a bunch of old farts 200 years ago and the 2nd amendment addressed the situation as it applied then.”

    Does this mean that the Bill of Rights protections when it comes to search and seizure, right to counsel, cruel and unusual punishment is outdated also, because you just missed working for an Administration that really adored that kind of reasoning. The 2nd Amendment is as relevant today as it was in 1787 – to protect us first and foremost from tyranny.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Dr. D,

    I still think controls on felons and mentally impaired individuals is reasonable but must be done with due process of law since guns represent property.

    As to traffic rules, this area is a quandary for my libertine principles. On the one hand we have an absolute right to movement. However, who owns the roads? Whoever owns the roads has the right to make the rules under property rights. It is definitely not the feds but the states and local communities. Thus I don’t have a problem with state or local rules of the road, but I believe licensing does interfere with my right to movement thus I am against. In terms of insurance, for me this relates to criminal justice laws where someone kills a member of your family but they owe a debt to society. This is nonsense. They need to be punished by society but need to repay you and yours somehow. The 13th Amendment allows involuntary servitude under conditions where a law has been broken. Likewise, courts should order those that don’t have insurance to repay the damage through labor or whatever to the victim.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Unfortunately, since the proliferation of guns in the US is now at near saturation point, it’s too late to do anything about it. With so many crims armed, law-abiding Americans are probably right to feel they a right to feel they need to protect themselves – no matter how misguided that notion may be at times. Especially since most killings and woundings committed by owners of legal guns in the US are committed against people in domestic situations or against people known to the shooters, not against criminals.

    Stan, all this is cultural, and the proliferation of guns and their misuse in the States is due to a sick view of the value of human life, as opposed to the pleasure taking human life with a six-gun or whatever piece that blows people away.

    Switzerland has a gun culture. Shooting is the national sport. Go check its murder rate against that of the States.

    Gun control per se is not the answer – all that does is disarm the law-biding populace. Open carrying is a better solution.

    I say better because the reason for the high murder rate in America is rooted in a culture that worships gun violence. The term “gun-play” should be telling and illustrative in all this.

    Until the culture changes, the murder rate will not go down significantly.

    The culture here is changing, unfortunately – and we are seeing more and more murder in a land that used to be sober and relatively peaceful.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Ken Jacobine,

    Unfortunately, a lot of people want to cherry pick their Constitution.

    “I can’t believe that Americans don’t realise the Bill of Rights was written by a bunch of old farts 200 years ago and the 2nd amendment addressed the situation as it applied then.”

    These same people will run right over the First Amendment to get to this one.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Ruvy is right, and it would also help if automatic rifles weren’t being sold out of the trunks of people’s cars at our local swap meets.

    Until the culture changes, the murder rate will not go down significantly.

  • JD GATLIFF

    Today’s old farts, fought a WORLD WAR 70 years ago. To keep this nation,that’s the U.S.A., and other nations free.
    By exercizing their 2nd amendment rights from their homes and farms. These old farts, who by the way are HEROs, knew how to handle a tool, their weapons, properly. God bless them and thank you.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I had no idea that the US was invaded by the Axis, which in turn gave rise to a re-enactment of posse comitatus. Which land battles can you think of?

    But the Russkies were.

  • STM

    Hopefully, JD, we all know how to handle our tools properly.

    I agree with you about American sacrifice 70 years ago, and the sacrifice of her victorious allies also, but it has nothing to do with gun control (as opposed to gun bans).

    The two things aren’t linked. You can train monkeys to shoot properly.

    I’d be one of ‘em: as a young fella I learned more about firearms and how to use them and how not to use them in a few weeks in camp with some experienced military instructors than any of us did taking the odd potshot at kangaroos, wild pigs, fence posts and road signs up in the bush.

    In the years in between, I’ve seen first hand the damage that firearms can do, on too many occasions, which is why I believe that most people shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near them.

    The 2nd amendment isn’t as relevent today as it was 200 years ago. It’s just that it’s too late to change anything given the proliferation of illegal and legal firearms in the US, as one of your countrymen on this site has pointed out to me on a number of occasions.

  • STM

    Kenn: “I still think controls on felons and mentally impaired individuals is reasonable but must be done with due process of law since guns represent property.”

    At last, we agree on something. Everything needs to be done with due process of law. It’s what gives us all our point of difference from “the rest”.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Amen

  • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stubbornfacts Jamison

    “I can’t believe that Americans don’t realise the Bill of Rights was written by a bunch of old farts 200 years ago and the 2nd amendment addressed the situation as it applied then.” – STM. Yeah, we don’t need guns. Our government will NEVER get over zealous, pry into our private lives too much, take freedoms away day by day… humans just don’t act that way anymore.
    There is nothing new under the sun.

    How about I like guns. Like to collect them. Like to shoot them. And like that security blanket knowing that I have it and am safer with it against a thug high on crack than I was without it.

    And thankfully, those “old farts” took their own lives in their hands, gave up all of their comforts, so you could call them old farts today in the comfort of your desk chair.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Wow, Jamison. STM is an Aussie.

    I’m certain you’re not going to like his response.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I think Jammison types on his keyboard while standing up. Why doesn’t he sit down here and join us all?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Switzerland has a gun culture. Shooting is the national sport. Go check its murder rate against that of the States.

    And IIRC, that murder rate is significantly higher than any other developed nation – with the exception of the United States, in comparison to which it is peanuts.

    I find that interesting, although I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Hopefully, JD, we all know how to handle our tools properly.

    LOL (à la Sid James).

    BTW, Stan, what happened to your blog on the Sunday Tele website? Wasn’t there the last time I checked.

    Was it because you called Rupert a stupid old troll? Probably not wise to antagonise your boss so. Not that he didn’t deserve it. He ate your sandwich. The one in the break room fridge that was clearly marked with your name on it. Honestly, multi-billionaire and he’s too cheap to buy his own lunch. Stupid old troll.

  • Boeke

    GATLIFF: “These old farts, who by the way are HEROs, knew how to handle a tool, their weapons, properly. God bless them and thank you.”

    My father, a city boy who had never handled a gun in his life, did his duty and fought in the trenches in Europe in WW1 and returned hating guns and saying that wars never solved anything. My brother, a city boy who never handled a gun in his life, did his duty and fought in the South Pacific and went out every day and committed atrocities, killing everyone without a US uniform on, surrendering Jap warriors, civilians, everyone. THAT WAS NORMAL! Atrocity was normal in that war. He detested weapons and war when he returned.

    Neither one would consider themselves a hero. They would have laughed at the idea.

    None of their comrades considered themselves heroes.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “And thankfully, those “old farts” took their own lives in their hands, gave up all of their comforts, so you could call them old farts today in the comfort of your desk chair.”

    “all of their comforts”?! What history books have you read? The ones where the colonists fought the British and dinosaurs? They certainly didn’t give up nice clothes or are “Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States” by Howard Chandler Christy and John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence” examples of lying liberal media of the time.

    Also, please cite how American Revolution impacted Australia.

    Curiously yours

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    For generations, the controversy in question is whether the Founders intended to give the right to keep and bear arms only to militias or also to individual citizens not serving in the military.…

    Well, in the words of Thomas Jefferson:
    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Additional food for thought in the words of Alexander Hamilton:
    “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all forms of positive government.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, that may have been applicable back then, Silas, but today?

    Do you really think that armed citizenry could stand against today’s police force or the National Guard?

    Another question which sort of lurks in the background: Why haven’t the English sought similar measures to adequately protect themselves in the eventuality of tyrannical government?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    Extrapolating, then, Silas, do you think Jefferson would have been on board with the idea of the people having access to ever more technologically-advanced and lethal weaponry so as to counter an ever more powerful government?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Well, British government is easier to manage. There are nearly 61 million subjects in the United Kingdom disbursed over an area of 242.5K square kilometers (246 per km). There are almost 309 million people in the United States disbursed over 9.6 million square kilometers (32 per km). Seems to me the the United States Federal Government falls in to the too big to fail category.

    Time for a reassessment, folks. Our we just too big to manage? Is devolution the answer? Should we break up this Federation into 5 or 6 smaller, manageable Federal governments? Perhaps we should redistribute the states among the Federal Reserve Banks.

    Do you really think that armed citizenry could stand against today’s police force or the National Guard?

    I just don’t know, Roger. What I do know is that the rescission of our right to bear arms frightens me more than the threat of terrorism.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    …do you think Jefferson would have been on board with the idea of the people having access to ever more technologically-advanced and lethal weaponry so as to counter an ever more powerful government?

    Excellent question to which I have no answer at the moment. I agree that technological advances may have changed the words of our forefathers so that they no longer apply. The problem is that political operatives always refer back to them in their arguments. And somehow we manage to turn to the framers of the Constitution in these trying times.

    It goes back to history repeating itself. If we don’t want it to continue, we need to educate our young with the facts and the truth in an open, robust manner. Let them be prepared properly to make the decisions they will have to execute when they inherit the Earth from the likes of us.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Not just that, Silas. The UK has a parliamentary government, which means that theoretically we can kick the bastards out any time we want: we don’t have to wait until a fixed election day which may be years down the pipe.

    All it takes is one successful no-confidence vote in the Commons – and every MP knows it.

    A true case of the pen (or rather pencil) being mightier than the sword.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I reckon the Framers would be pretty exasperated if they could watch this debate now, especially the extreme opinions on both sides.

    On the one hand, you’ve got the windmill-tilters of the anti-gun lobby, trying to argue that the Second Amendment doesn’t say what it clearly does say.

    On the other, you’ve got the gun nuts who resist any form of control or regulation, reading into the Second Amendment far more than it actually does say.

    I think it wouldn’t be long before one of the Founders couldn’t restrain himself from stepping into the middle of the ring and calling for anyone with some common sense to come and talk some of it into these idiots.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To expand on the difference as to the right to bear arms.

    Perhaps the rule of law is more deeply ingrained in the English psyche. Furthermore, since the War of Independence was, from another perspective, a rebellion, perhaps the Yanks are naturally more suspicious of government. Hence the added precaution.

    One might also look at the right to bear arms as a kind of validation of America’s own history and beginnings.

  • ET

    If I were a thief, I would rather break in to some of you guys’ houses than some 200 year old fart’s house. You guys should post a sign in your yard, “We are a gun-free family”… stand up for what you believe in.

  • zingzing

    well, then, et… join your local militia and don’t forget to wake up for drills. stand up for what you believe! and march, you miserable maggot!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not quite convinced of that, zing.

    A person ought to have a right to defend themselves when worst comes to worst.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    ET, I do have a sign on my lawn that says, ‘We are a gun-free family’.

    I also have a sign on the wall of the hole in the middle of that lawn which says, ‘Sorry – did we omit to mention that we are NOT a concealed-20-foot-deep-mantrap-filled-with-sharpened-wooden-stakes-free family’?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Just kidding. I don’t have one of those.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    A lawn, I mean. The mantrap is real.

    :-)

  • Clyde

    I put my ‘gun-free home’ sign out when I’m in a particularly bad mood. Nothing cheers me up like shooting an intruder.

  • cannonshop

    Jeannie, where’s this flea market you refer to? ’cause I’ve LOOKED for someone selling a machine-gun out of the trunk of a car-and never found them even when I was in pretty good with some very paranoid anti-government type people.

    Do I have to go to, say, Chicago or Detroit to find this?

    (I’ve done gun-shows, your statement is bullshit.)

  • zingzing

    roger, i was only referring to the 2nd amendment. if you believe in the 2nd amendment without issue, then back it up.

    cannonshop, it’s ridiculously easy to get guns at a gun show. it’s also ridiculously easy to abuse hyphens. and children. just thought i’d make a connection between guns and fucking children. perverts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was speaking in the strictest of sense, zing – no liberal interpretation there.

  • Boeke

    These brave words are often spoken by gun fans: “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

    But they never do! If sincere they would have risen up before now, say when Bush obviated the constitution.

    Considering the dominant political leanings of gun fans it is more likely they would turn their guns on rebellious citizens than a tyrant.

  • STM

    All this nonsense about the government taking away your rights, what crap.

    This is a figment of the imagination in the minds of Americans of a certain bent.

    OK, we all know you can’t trust the bastards … but thankfully, you don’t need guns to hold ‘em at bay in 2010.

    You can just vote ‘em out of office.

    As for El Bicho’s query to the other bloke in regard to how the American revolution impacted Australia, it actually did.

    It is the very reason for its existence.

    Interesting too that the two countries are so similar, they’re almost identical in both form AND function … Australia is a lot more irreverent and an idea of what America might have been if there’d been no revolution upon which to hang the hat of patriotism.

    Oz is a thriving democracy where people use the flag as a beach towel instead of standing up and saluting it, hand over heart.

    And in brutalised, transported Convicts vs fleeing Puritans … tell me, who’s the one most likely to support the underdog, and to make sure that governments don’t get too big for their boots??

    The other big difference, and one on which many pundits agree: in Australia, the government generally fears the people and how they’ll react if they’re not properly consulted or ridden roughshod over when it comes to policy and implementing legislation.

    In America, far too many people fear the government, in my experience – and feel they need to consult and lobby the government on everything, even if it’s not in the national interest.

    Politics is also far more polarised in the US, which makes it lively in a different way.

    Can’t say either one is better, because I love the US – especially its people, and to visit – but I did make a choice for one of these two countries a long time ago and I’m not unhappy living down here in the quiet workers’ paradise on the edge of the South Pacific.

    I agonised over that decision for a week.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cannonshop,

    In NY and Pennsylvania they have swap meets and flea markets on the weekends in many places. You can’t observe a waiting period when you buy personal collectors items like firearms out of the back of some one’s car(that’s how they get around it). I’ll look for a link. Really, it’s not BS.

  • STM

    What everyone forgets is that it’s only rule of law that protects our rights and freedoms as citizens, both here in Oz and in the US and in Doc’s Britain, and a few other places like Canada, NZ, and the thriving former colonies in the West Indies, which all inherited the whole shebang … not firearms.

    I’ve gotta say, I’ve venver once woken up in fear, worrying that the army or some nefarious government agency will be on my doostep doing the kind of stuff that translates to taking away the rights of ordinary citizens.

    IMO, it’s an unreasonable fear when it comes to the US too …

  • STM

    BTW, I would never advocate a ban on citizens acquiring or owning firearms, either as collectors or shooters or people who think they need them for protection. If anyone cares to read the posts, it’s commonsense controls I’ve mentioned here.

    As Doc points out, they’re no different to requiring a person to having a driver’s licence and insurance before they take a car – also a lethal weapon in the wrong hands – on the road.

    I notice no one baulks at governments taking away the right to drive from people who can’t obey or continually flout the commonsense rules of the road, thus putting others in danger.

    What’s the difference??

  • zingzing

    “What’s the difference??”

    one is a replacement for a penis, and the other… wait. what is the difference then?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Switzerland has a gun culture. Shooting is the national sport. Go check its murder rate against that of the States.

    And IIRC, that murder rate is significantly higher than any other developed nation – with the exception of the United States, in comparison to which it is peanuts.

    I find that interesting, although I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

    DD, you weren’t born in the States. I was. “High Noon at the OK Corral” resonates with the violence in the culture in the United States. There is a basic attitude there that if someone is a problem, you blow him away – end of problem! Violence, especially vigilante violence that is seen as necessary when the justice system is not seen to work (which is all too often), touches a deep chord of sympathy in Americans – even ex-pats like me.

    And that is why the Swiss murder rate, high as it is, is far far lower than that of the United States.

    It is all that simple. America has a culture of murder and gun-play. And you Americans haven’t the balls to admit it, so you hide behind legalistic solutions – all of which, on all sides, are all bullshit.

    The culture has to change before the murder rate in your country will decrease significantly.

  • zingzing

    “There is a basic attitude there that if someone is a problem, you blow him away – end of problem!”

    obviously, “basic” is a bit of a stretch.

    “It is all that simple.”

    really?

    “And you Americans haven’t the balls to admit it, so you hide behind legalistic solutions.”

    that kinda goes against what you have to say above…

    “The culture has to change before the murder rate in your country will decrease significantly.”

    well, at least that’s true.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    How does one thing go against another here, zing?

    There are two reasons for the impassioned defense of the 2nd article of amendment to the the 1787 constitution as one granting the right of the population to bear arms.

    One is the reasonable and intelligent fear that a government in Washington that wants to impose a dictatorship will pass a law making possession of arms a crime. When one looks at the history of Europe with its many dictatorships, and even that of England, with a royal family and aristocracy that admire(d)s the Nazis and the possibility of a royal revolution à la Romania always a possibility (in spite of the supposed freedom granted under English Civil Law), it is wise to have a super-law (which is what the constitution is) as a deterrent.

    The other is that guns are a preferred method to solve human relations problems in the States. Americans can’t admit to the second reason – it makes them look like genocidal savages (remember how moonraven, the American Indian, used to excoriate you all for just that?) so they emphasize the first.

    There is no contradiction in not being able or willing to smell one’s own shit. Dogs have that problem all the time!

  • cannonshop

    Jeannie, NY And Pennsylvania? two states with extensive gun-control legislation, blue states, whose reps suppport gun-control.

    I’d say your bigger problem is having laws on the books that the people are disinclined to obey in spirit, if not in letter-in which case, it’s not teh ‘availability’ of guns, it’s the scorn for the intent of the laws, Jeannie.

    Maybe it’s the fairly high commonality of ATF agents cruising gun shows out here, but even with private sales, most sellers aren’t dumb enough NOT to keep some kind of record on the off-chance that they wound up selling a piece to some nutball homicidal lunatic (or cop running a ‘sting’.)

    Now, when I WAS working the gun-shows out here, several times potential buyers walked off on me when I asked to see their I.D. or asked them to sign a coverage-of-the-ass form. if the “Liberal” northeast has a problem, it’s probably more to do with the culture of the Liberal NOrtheast, and not a gun problem at all.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Violence, especially vigilante violence that is seen as necessary when the justice system is not seen to work (which is all too often), touches a deep chord of sympathy in Americans – even ex-pats like me.

    I’d noticed!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    When one looks at the history of Europe with its many dictatorships, and even that of England, with a royal family and aristocracy that admire(d)s the Nazis

    Which is why we ended up pulling their teeth and giving the real power to the Commons.

    We love ‘em, but they tend to get daft ideas and so they aren’t allowed out by themselves.

  • zingzing

    “The other is that guns are a preferred method to solve human relations problems in the States.”

    bullshit. everyone has problems in their lives–every fucking one of us–and yet very few of us americans are out murdering each other. of course, a lot of us are, compared to the rest of the world, but to say that “guns are a preferred method” is just junk. just because you think killing people is a good idea doesn’t mean that a lot of other americans (or ex-pats like yourself) think that that is a sane option.

    just like i used to say to moonie, i’ll say to you that you’re putting your own shit on everybody else. but even you, who grew up in america, don’t solve your interpersonal problems with a gun, now do you? and i don’t either. and i’ve only ever seen one gun pulled in anger in my life, but i’ve been in shitloads of fights, physical and not. obviously, if what you say is true, then every american would be dead by now. and yet there are 300+ million of us. so how is it that we survive ourselves?

    “How does one thing go against another here, zing?”

    it’s either “legalistic” or just shooting someone, so which is it?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    The Constitution says nothing about the registration, licensing and maintenance of firearms records. The Constitution doesn’t say you can’t board a plane with a loaded gun in you hand. The Constitution doesn’t say you can’t walk into the White House strapped (much to the chagrin of many Tea Party folks, I’m sure).

    You have the right to free speech and assembly as well, but the Constitution says nothing about parade permits, cabaret licenses, obscenity laws, noise ordinances or the FCC.

    I’m not against personal gun ownership, but gun ownership rights end with the barrel of that gun. IMHO, if you want to own a gun, fine. Licensing, registration, insurance and mandatory training and gun maintenance courses is not unreasonable.

    Pull the trigger on a Glock, and that 9mm is flying away from you at about 1000 feet per second for over a mile at the right angle and trajectory. The bullet can rip through walls, windows, ceilings and shutters. In a densely populated urban environment, you can see the issue.

    If trained police and military personnel are capable of horriffic, tragic mistakes with firearms, why on EARTH is it out of bounds to ask civilians who want to possess firearms to abide by these minimal requirements?

    Without control, there is only chaos.

    –Cobra

  • Clavos

    There is no hyphen in expat, as it’s short for expatriate, not ex-patriot.

  • zingzing

    you know, i thought that, but safari, which is making me pretty sick these days, doesn’t like “expat,” so i decided to just hyphenate the fucker, and… really? fucker? you don’t understand “fucker,” safari?

    safari makes you doubt yourself.

    but yes, i knew that it’s short for “expatriate,” and i doubt that patriots have anything to do with… well, you know, that does make it’s own sense, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Cannonshop writes:

    “Now, when I WAS working the gun-shows out here, several times potential buyers walked off on me when I asked to see their I.D. or asked them to sign a coverage-of-the-ass form. if the “Liberal” northeast has a problem, it’s probably more to do with the culture of the Liberal NOrtheast, and not a gun problem at all.”

    No, it’s MY problem when the “Iron Pipeline” floods streets up here in the Northeast with cheap firearms.

    Mayor Bloomberg of NYC is fighting back.

    “Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms traced 137 guns used in New York City crimes between the mid-1990s and 2002 to the seven Virginia dealers. The city then dispatched local investigators with hidden cameras to see if the stores were engaged in any illegal sales. The sued stores, according to the city, all permitted a “straw purchase,” when one person who might not pass an instant criminal background check does all the shopping but turns to a companion to make the buy.

    –Cobra

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Cobra,

    The death penalty and tougher sentencing laws would do much more to get the violent criminal off the street than to take away the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. Let’s decriminalize drugs while we are at it as well!

  • STM

    Cobra: “The Constitution says nothing about the registration, licensing and maintenance of firearms records.”

    Bingo. An American voice of reason. And none of which appeasrs to infringe on any law-abiding citizen’s right to own or acquire a firearm.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if someone now chimes in and points out that the 2nd amendment doesn’t mention “law-abiding”.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    cannonshop,

    In re. to #44

    Jeannie, where’s this flea market you refer to? ’cause I’ve LOOKED for someone
    selling a machine-gun out of the trunk of a car-and never found them even when I was in pretty good with some very paranoid anti-government type people.

    “New legislation introduced in the Senate looks to close a “loophole” in federal gun laws that allows unlicensed gun sellers at flea markets and swap meets to sell guns without requiring them to do the same background checks that are required of licensed sellers.”

    :)Sorry that it took me so long to find this link.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Kenn Jacobine writes:

    “Cobra,

    “The death penalty and tougher sentencing laws would do much more to get the violent criminal off the street than to take away the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. Let’s decriminalize drugs while we are at it as well!”

    Only the most psychologically disturbed or fundamentalist zealots commit capital offenses with the goal of being caught. The vast majority believe they’re going to get away, therefore the death penalty is not a deterrent for them.

    If you want MORE crimes solved (investigations, arrests, indictments, prosecutions and imprisonment) then you want to increase the size and scope of law enforcement. That means increasing the size and scope of government. That means more taxes.

    Are you game, Kenn?

    –Cobra

  • Kenn Jacobine

    I was not even talking about deterrence. Let’s just rid the system altogether of those folks. Decriminalize drugs and the crime rate goes down enormously. Provide a sound monetary system, one where the Fed can’t inflate and make the cost of living so expensive for the little guy that some do turn to illegal drugs and other crimes. Government causes more of our problems than it solves. More police will not lower crime rates only cost more money that we don’t have.

  • http://www.thecobraslair.com Cobra

    Kenn writes:

    “Provide a sound monetary system, one where the Fed can’t inflate and make the cost of living so expensive for the little guy that some do turn to illegal drugs and other crimes.”

    There’s a difference here, Kenn. If the industrial base of America wasn’t transferred overseas the past 40 years, there would be more manufacturing jobs here for the people you claim are turning to drugs. That’s not the fault of the “Fed”.

    –Cobra

  • Leroy

    Misadministration by The Fed damages all Americans. We need a weaker Fed to properly administer Monetary policy, probably under tighter control by elected oficials. It just needs to soak up some of the small cycles in the economy, NOT try to direct the whole economy, which it does a lousy job of, being dominated by rightist ideologues.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Cobra,

    The Fed produces inflation. High prices (costs) drive American business overseas. There is a direct correlation to businesses moving abroad and the age of American inflation. The age began with Nixon closing the last vestige of the Gold Standard which allowed the politicians to spend and the Fed to print money like crazy. That is when and why we lost our industrial base. Remember when inflation was 13% in the late 70s and early 80s?

  • http://www.thecleaversmiddleboy.blogstpot.com slimfairview

    Part I

    The best reason for repeating the 2nd Amendment is to encourage debate.

    Good concept.

    However, the best reason for “talking about it” is to convince us to do things their way. No one agrees with someone else’s opinion. Only his own opinion expressed by somebody else.

    Case in point. The debate is not about the 2nd Amendment. It is about handgun deaths. This leads to: “the proliferation and availability of guns.” When I think of the above I think of the NRA.

    The NRA is a nationwide organization of American men, women, and children who 2nd of all own guns–up the wazoo. Big guns, small guns, short guns, tall guns, Derringers, machine-guns, bazookas, they even own those muzzle-loading blunderbusses used by Porky Pig to hunt Daffy Duck every Thanksgiving in Colonial New England. However, I said second of all. First of all, they don’t go around killing people.

    If the proliferation and availability of guns caused the problem, the NRA would have a bigger problem than a civil rights debate.

    The old canard:

    Guns kill people.
    Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
    People with guns kill people.
    Well…people with guns don’t kill people.
    Killers with guns kill people.

    Love to all,
    as ever,
    Slim ;)

    Excerpted from thecleaversmiddleboy with permission

    Part II

    Declamations of outdated ideas on gun ownership run a narrow gamut of clichés, slogans, and platitudes. It seems like only yesterday a letter to the editor referred to “Indian uprisings and British invasions: [his words, not mine.] We also heard about supermarkets replacing the need for anyone to hunt for food. (How many people do we know who hunt for food?)

    There are frequent references to the wild west, manliness, and the like. But we are not talking about 200 years after the Bill of Rights was written. We are talking about 6 million Jews who were exterminated in WWII. If 10% had had, and had exercised a 2nd Amendment Right to keep and bear arms…. Then there are Lenin and Stalin and some 30 million Russians exterminated. If 1% had had and had exercised a 2nd Amendment Right to keep and bear arms…. Then there is Chairman Mao who said, “All revolution comes out of the barrel of a gun.” Subsequent to which, how many Chinese people were guaranteed a right to keep and bear arms?

    Heated debates about guns surfaced when crime began to skyrocket. The use of a gun for defense brought about the “doctrine of retreat”: If you’re in the parlor, retreat upstairs. If you are pursued, retreat down the hall. If you are pursued, retreat into your bedroom. If you are in your bedroom with your back to the wall and your life is threatened…. Even then, you may be put on trial. The whole debate degenerated into a farce.

    There was a strong anti-law and order sentiment. Then, 2300 human beings were murdered down dead in New York City in one year, the people got fed up, and the people elected the “high, great, and wonderful, God bless his honor the Mayor Rudy Giuliani” who said crime is a criminal justice problem, not a social problem; who said, crime causes poverty; who cut the murder rate 30% in one year; and who continued to drive crime numbers down. The result–prosperity returned to NYC.

    But wait, there’s more!!! The same anti-law and order demographic learned to love the criminal justice system. Why? Because parts of the city that were uninhabitable suddenly became chic, trendy, hot, hot, hot! Fashionable clubs like Buffalo 8 and Butterballs were the place to drink up till you fall down when you weren’t hanging out not getting robbed, raped and murdered down dead.

    So the gun debate subsided. Why then the sudden increase in the debate? Opportunity. With crime way down and the party crowd feeling good, we again laugh at anyone who sees sense in the 2nd Amendment. (The only amendment, the only civil right, that the civil libertarians don’t defend.) This, unless the person is Sandra Bullock in The Blindside who declares herself to be a member of the NRA who is “always packin” and NOBODY, but nobody, sees the subliminal racism in that scene. People who haven’t seen the film, surely saw that clip.

    The 2nd Amendment is a right. It is there for a reason. Not to shoot squirrels in Central Park, to feel manly, to repulse the British, or any other bits of derision. We lack the capacity to see history as it lives among us. Analogies don’t seem to be our strong point anymore.

    Excerpted from thecleaversmiddleboy with permission.
    love to all,
    as ever,
    Slim ;)

  • STM

    Yeah, all well and good Slim, except the “citizens” of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Mao’s Red China weren’t protected by the thing that protects ALL our freedoms … rule of law.

    (Rule of dictator is not rule of law).

    Therefore: ridiculous argument null and void.

  • absolute pro gun

    I didn’t read through all 73 comments. But how in the hell can you say that the word “people” in the 1st amendment means the indivudial citizen, then the meaning changes to the government in the 2nd amendment, then changes back to the individual citizen for every other amendment?
    Also, what part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you people understand? It’s that simple. Criminals WILL get guns if they want them regardless of what the laws are. The only thing guns laws accomplish is disarming law abiding citizens. And let’s face it, the 2nd amendment isn’t about hunting. It’s about defense, both personal defense against an attacker, and against the government if necessary. I don’t own an ar-15 for hunting. I own it to blow holes though anyone who tries to kill me.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    The problem with gun ownership, guy, is that if someone really, truly wants to kill you…you’re probably going to get dead real soon. All the guns in the world wouldn’t help you…and I think you know this already.

    All guns do is make it easier. The ‘self-protection’ myth is simply that – a myth. A study by the University of Washington showed that a gun was 22 times more likely to be used against someone the user knows than to be used in self-defense. So save the ‘self-defense’ argument for someone (like your fellow gun nuts) who already believes it.

    What it really boils down to…is that you just don’t want to give up your toys.

  • absolute pro gun

    So you’d just sit there and let someone try to kill you because you’re probably going to die anyways? You probably have never been in a fight then..

    Yeah, guns make it easier to defend myself. The gun is simply the most effective personal defense weapon ever invented in the history of mankind. The FBI reports that appproximately 2 million people use guns to legitimately defend themselve every year.

    Actually, what it really boils down to is this: I have the right to own private property. I’m not hurting anyone with it unless I use it to defend myself with. So, neither you, nor anybody else, has the authority to take that right from me, ESPECIALLY since the government is specifically prohibited form having that authority. And any bad thing that might happen as a result of me owning guns isn’t justification to restrict gun ownership.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    #74 right on brother!!

    Glenn, to correct you our constitutionally protected toys.

  • STM

    Clearly, the constitution DOES give Americans the right to bear arms. But it doesn’t say anything about restricting their access to people who plainly shouldn’t have them, nor does it say that they shouldn’t be registered – which is not an infringment.

    No matter what anyone says, America has become a giant shooting gallery with live human targets. As has been pointed out, most deaths from legal guns aren’t committed by American legal gun owners protecting themselves, they’re committed by legal American gun owners using therm on people they know – friends, family, or acquaintances.

    Clearly, then, there are people who shouldn’t be allowed to own them.

    The police and other law enforcement authorities (and perhaps mental-health professionals) should be allowed to make that call.

    Also, 500,000 muzzle loaders designed to protect against the British was probably a worth goal.

    In 21st-century modern America, 300 million modern firearms, including bazookas, machine guns and semi-auto assault style rifles, virtually swimming around the place is a different ballgame and a recipe for complete insanity.

    Yes, of course, let people have guns … it’s a right – but not those who shouldn’t, and put the brakes a tad on the kinds of firearms people can own (the 2nd amendment says nothing about that).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    put the brakes a tad on the kinds of firearms people can own (the 2nd amendment says nothing about that).

    Arguably it does, Stan:

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    I guess it all boils down to what is meant by the word infringe.

    I found several definitions online, some of them referring to completely different circumstances. Generally speaking, though, in this context it means to break or violate some legally binding contract such as a law, treaty or right.

    I agree with you that desiring some sort of regulation, especially on modern firearms, is perfectly reasonable, but unfortunately there’s considerable evidence, if you look at some of the writings of the Founders and the early American judiciary, that the intent was that the right to keep and bear arms should be absolute.

    But… it ain’t clear, and so we still argue about it! :-)

  • absolute pro gun

    @ STM
    The Constitution doesn’t GIVE me the right to do anything. It PROHIBITS the GOVERNMENT from making laws that stop me from doing something. In this case, it prohibits the government from making laws that infringe my right to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t make exceptions against idiots, mentally insane, felons, etc. Nor does the argument “the guns we have now are worse than the ones they had then” really work. We didn’t have phones in 1789, but does that mean that freedom of speech isn’t protected when you use a phone? Of course not! The same can be applied to any right the Constitution protects: freedom of press vs. internet, 4th Amendment vs. cars, etc. You’re one of those people who say “I’m pro gun, except for xyz”. That makes you anti gun. “I’m pro free speech, unless you’re a felon, then you don’t have that right.” That’s bullshit…and exactly what you’re saying. “…shall NOT be infringed” means exactly what it says: no gun laws at all.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    APG –

    Did you know there’s such a thing as too much freedom? While you get all red in the face about that statement, answer these TWO questions:

    1. Can you name even ONE modern industrialized country in the world that has as much freedom of gun ownership as America currently does? (hint: neither Switzerland or Israel do)

    2. Can you name ANY country in the world that is NOT a third-world country, that has as much freedom of gun ownership as America currently does?

    In case you’re wondering, the answer to both is ‘no’. There ARE countries that have as much gun ownership freedom as we do…and they’re ALL third-world countries.

    There IS such a thing as too much freedom, guy. And in answer to your question:

    So you’d just sit there and let someone try to kill you because you’re probably going to die anyways?

    The answer is to not give someone a reason to want to kill you. FYI, this doesn’t mean being stupid and leaving your doors and windows open. This DOES mean making reasonable efforts to secure your residence, and this DOES mean being on good terms with your neighbors, and this DOES mean not going to those places where you might need a gun – to the ‘wrong side of town’, as it were.

    I was raised around guns (in the Deep South), but I don’t need them. Neither do the vast majority of Americans who somehow can’t breathe without a gun within reach. And every year thousands of Americans (including hundreds of children) die because of stupidity around guns.

    Of all the Amendments, the Second is the least important.

    And as to your question one more time, if you were coming to kill me, you’d almost certainly be able to do so – and you yourself know that no matter how hard I tried, I probably wouldn’t be able to stop you. Conversely, if I were coming to kill you, you wouldn’t be able to stop me, no matter how many guns you have…and I wouldn’t need a gun.

    And I’ve prayed many, many times that I will never be of such a mind, that I would never feel the need to do so. I don’t look for trouble, and I’m not afraid to run from trouble, to be called a coward. I’m also retired military, and I’m not afraid to die for what’s truly important. I uphold my oaths.

    APG, I don’t need a gun. Only those who are too insecure ‘need’ guns.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hell, Glenn. It’s the Wild Wild West mindset and APG ain’t along. Even such occasionally reasonable minds as Cannon’s subscribe to the idea as the quintessence of Americanism.

    There’s no such thing as too much freedom.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Glenn,

    “Of all the Amendments, the Second is the least important.’

    I guess that is why tyrants always confiscate the peoples’ guns first. Look, the 2nd is the most important because it guarantees all the others. It is time to use them when Uncle Sam comes after them.

  • absolute pro gun

    My point was that you may not “need” guns. If you don’t that’s fine. But don’t try to take away my RIGHT to have them based on some false arguments about why they’re not good. And I’m going to call bullshit on you being retired military. I highy doubt that anyone who served long enough in the military to retire is that stupid to belive that only “insecure” people need guns. Also, the military teaches fighting for both offensive and defensive uses. If what you say is true about not being able to stop somebody from trying to kill you, the military wouldn’t teach that, nor would the police. And if that was true, there would be a hell of a lot more cops dead than there are now since there are dozens of accounts where people tried to KILL the police, but they fought back and survived. The same is true for private citizens.

    Yes, avoidance is good if possible, but if you’re forced into a position where you need to defend yourself, a gun is more effective than ANY other personal weapon. There are times when avoidance is NOT possible. That’s when you need a weapon to defend yourself. And I choose a gun because it’s more effective than any other personal weapon.

    And the 2nd Amendment is one of the most important arguments because it prohibits the government from taking away that right. The entire basis for gun control is that the government can regulate guns for the safety of others. That’s a false argument for several reasons: 1) it is specifically prohibited from doing so, and 2) EVEN IF they had the authority to do so, gun control does not make people safer.

    There is no such thing as too much freedom. Having the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t mean that I have the right to go around shooting people unless I’m defending my life; just as knowing martial arts doesn’t mean you can go beat up people just because you want to.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Absolute PG: It doesn’t make exceptions against idiots, mentally insane, felons, etc.

    I hope you’re not suggesting that we allow the inmates of mental institutions and prisons to have guns…

    Of course not: because (to paraphrase Star Trek) in certain cases the danger to the many outweighs the rights of the individual. You wouldn’t put a gun in the hands of a guy who’s just been released from prison for armed robbery, or the guy who shot and killed his entire family ‘because the voices told him to’. That’s just common sense.

    For the same reason, other protections in the Bill of Rights are not absolute either: your First Amendment rights, for example, will not protect you from prosecution for making threats against your neighbour.

    Besides, it’s generally understood and accepted that felons forfeit at least some of their rights as citizens – by failing to uphold their responsibilities as citizens.

    Also, the military teaches fighting for both offensive and defensive uses. If what you say is true about not being able to stop somebody from trying to kill you, the military wouldn’t teach that, nor would the police.

    Come on, mate, you can’t be that naïve. Of course it’s possible to stop someone from trying to kill you – if you know that’s what they’re trying to do.

    But if, say, you’re a soldier on a battlefield, all the weaponry in the world isn’t going to stop an enemy sniper from blowing your brains out from a mile away.

    Likewise, Glenn could easily sit next to you at a bar, slip a slow-acting barbiturate into your beer, follow you home, wait till you’d passed out, break in and top you in any way he chose. Your guns wouldn’t do you a blind bit of good.

    And BTW, Glenn is retired military – Navy, to be exact. Perhaps that explains it! ;-)

  • STM

    All I know is, since the feds introduced gun controls here, there hasn’t been a mass shooting since Martin Bryant disposed of 35 living, breathing human beings, including two children cowering with their mother behind a treeat Port Arthur, using a pair of easily available semi-automatic assault-style rifles (one American made, the other Chinese).

    However, the rate of firearms ownership has grown in this state since then.

    You get a gun licence and register your firearms. Just like you do when you get a car.

    Big deal.

    If that’s the price to be paid for no mass shootings, good.

    We spoke after Port Arthur, the government listened and acted. As it should be … we run the place.

    Not the other way around. They’re only in parliament to do what we want.

    It might be one of the few sensible pieces of “social” legislation Howard’s government introduced.

    People should be able to own guns, unless they don’t deserve to.

    If you’ve been in jail or have a criminal conviction for violence, or in a psych institution, or you’ve been evaluated as a risk, you forfeit that right (until you’re evaluated as not being a risk).

    But unfettered access to firearms in this day and age is madness and a recipe for disaster.

    And if your sole reason for owning them is that you want to fart about with certain types of guns, join the military or the cops or a gun club.

    No wonder America is a laughing stock on this issue. No commonsense approach … and a belief that the constitution, written 200 years ago by a pack of old farts and containing nothing new that wasn’t there in the laws of the colonies before the revolution, is the Holy Grail, or a message from God, when it’s a document written by fallible men who are on record as saying they hoped future generations would change is at circumstances dicatated.

    They’d be turning in their graves if they could see the country they founded had turned into a giant shooting gallery with live human targets.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Indeed, Stan.

    And you get a lot of these ‘strict constructionists’ who seem to believe that the Constitution is the be-all and end-all of all law – yet couldn’t explain why, if this was the intent, the Founders wrote provision for a legislature into the thing…

  • absolute pro gun

    [personal attack deleted by comments editor] Gun control DOES NOT make people safer. You want proof? Look at all the mass shootings since various gun laws were created- shootings that took place in “gun free” zones such as schools.

    Also, the government is SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED gun enacting gun laws by the 2nd Amendment. If you think that it’s outdated that’s fine. But it’s still the law of the land and must be obeyed.

    And as far as felons go: Once you serve your prison sentence and are released, you’ve paid your debt to society. Unless something is part of your punishment, you absolutely have the right to do it after your punishment is over.

    @ Dr. Dreadful: I’m not that naive. STM said that guns are essentially useless for selfdefense because if someone tried hard enough to kill me that there’s nothing I can do to stop him. I said that’s bullshit. Of course there are different ways of killing people that guns couldn’t defend against. But, to say that guns are useless for selfdefense is just stupid. And, regarding comment #87, the Constitution itself (Article VI, Section 2) says that it’s the law of the land. That means that IT IS the end-all and be-all of law in the United States. That’s the explaination of they we believe that.
    But, you guys are foreigners and I wouldn’t expect you to know how our legal system works, or our cultures and traditions.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Also, the government is SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED gun enacting gun laws by the 2nd Amendment

    Depends what is meant by ‘abridged’, as I said before.

    If you think that it’s outdated that’s fine. But it’s still the law of the land and must be obeyed.

    Agreed. But as I explained, it’s not absolute.

    And as far as felons go: Once you serve your prison sentence and are released, you’ve paid your debt to society. Unless something is part of your punishment, you absolutely have the right to do it after your punishment is over.

    If you truly believe that, then you have the society you deserve.

    STM said that guns are essentially useless for selfdefense

    That was Glenn.

    But, to say that guns are useless for selfdefense is just stupid.

    He didn’t say they were useless, he said they were unnecessary.

    the Constitution itself (Article VI, Section 2) says that it’s the law of the land. That means that IT IS the end-all and be-all of law in the United States.

    Then why does ARTICLE ONE of that Constitution establish a legislature? What would be the point of one, if the Constitution was intended to be the entirety of the law?

    But, you guys are foreigners and I wouldn’t expect you to know how our legal system works, or our cultures and traditions.

    I live here.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It looks as though our braveheart here never set his foot in the inner city. He should visit North Richmond, CA, for a hair-raising experience. The campsites in Idaho are like a kindergarten by comparison, where every coward can think himself a hero. Then he’d surely appreciate the need for self-defense once his white ass even approaches the parameter.

  • absolute pro gun

    “Infringe”: To encroach on in a way that violates law.
    It’s obvious that gun laws encroach upon the right to keep and bear and arms and violates the law. Registration, permits, or any other restrictions infringe on the 2nd Amendment. ANY laws that establish criteria for “allowing” me to own guns in an infringement.

    The 2nd Amendment is absolute. Does it say that felons, minors, etc. can’t own guns? No it doesn’t! Just as the 1st Amendment doesn’t make exceptions for felons. Nobody has the right to decide criteria for me to use my rights. At that point it ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege because I need the approval of someone to use my rights.

    OK, it was Glenn, and he said the are unnecessary. But the point still holds. He’s saying that I can’t do anything to effectively defend myself if someone tried hard enough to kill me. That’s not true, and anyone who honestly thinks like that is a complete idiot. That’s just total bullshit. That’s why I gave the example of the military and police teach defensive tactics. That’s why police who are attacked on the streets fight back and survive. That’s why citizens who are attacked fight back and survive.

    And yes, I truely believe that after your punishment is over your debt to society is paid. Otherwise you’re being punished for what you might to with the gun. That’s not a just punishment.

    Article 1 establishs a legislature to make laws in accordance with the powers the government has been granted. As I said, the government is specifically prohibited from infringing the right to keep and bear arms. Therefore the legislature doesn’t have any authority in that area and can’t make laws concerning guns.

    Well, if you live here, you sure don’t understand the Constitution, the laws we have, or how and why we have them.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy’s remark way back in #13 is worthy of consideration by all. I disagree with Ruvy on more than one thing, but I figure he’s done some deep thinking about disarmament. He’s had reason to.

    Speaking of toys, Glenn in #75, is the fact that a fella just posted about abusive cops–in an ancient thread “Why Do Adults Hate Children?” that started out being about banning the game of tag in the schoolyard– just a coincidence? I’m not accusing you, I just found it a freaky and interesting coincidence. It was like Dr.Dreadful, Mr. Bean video and the article about…nevermind.

    Anyway, to STM. According to this article, (yeah, yeah, its the NRO but at least it isn’t the NRA) it was the quite moderate WEIMAR republic which set up the gun control laws (less restrictive than those proposed by the American gun control lobby) that permitted Hitler to gain unfair advantage over the Jews.

    And if you think it’s strange I can argue ANTI-war one minute and PRO-gun another, STM, I have my reasons for holding to seemingly paradoxical views, reasons which are perhaps beyond the scope of this discussion.

    And lest I forget, Kenn, thanks for providing a thought-provoking article.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ooooooh. It’s MUCH friendlier on this thread. I came HERE because I was afraid the people who threw about the term “Paultard” would be showing up soon at the thread where I’d been commenting. That often happens when Dave Nalle gives us a snapshot of the latest of his ever-changing views on the Congressmen from Texas.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Ooooooh. It’s MUCH friendlier on this thread.

    It wasn’t, earlier on. The joys of being a comments editor…

    Ve haf vays of infringink your First Amendment Rightz! ;-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know what you’ve been smoking, Irene, but I don’t want any.

    Perhaps the Lent season had ended too soon.

  • Irene Wagner

    LOL Dr. Dreadful. Is “Paultard” an editable offense?

    Roger Nowosielski: Above, I think you meant pErImeter, not pArAmeter. I can guess what you’ve been drinking. Don’t mind if I do–but I don’t take mine straight up. I prefer it mixed in with the pies you find in Kentucky around Derby Day.

  • Irene Wagner

    Here, Roger. Have a slice, unless it’s off your diet. In that case, I wouldn’t want to tempt you.

  • Irene Wagner

    Roger, were you talking about the second paragraph of #92? If you were, here’s the link. The comment to which I refer is #14 on that link.

    The odd connection between police brutality and the banning of “toys” which might be used to protect oneself from such, and THIS thread just seemed a bit uncanny, that’s all. No mind-altering drugs needed. Talk to you later. After Pentecost, maybe.

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

    Ruvy is right, and it would also help if automatic rifles weren’t being sold out of the trunks of people’s cars at our local swap meets.

    Agreed. They ought to be available in WalMart, Target, Sears and local gun shops.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    somebody: “You probably have never been in a fight then.. Yeah, guns make it easier to defend myself.”

    you need a gun? there’s word for you. it’s not kind.

    dave: “Agreed. They [automatic rifles] ought to be available in WalMart, Target, Sears and local gun shops.”

    the word is “jackass.”

  • zingzing

    or “pussy.”

  • absolute pro gun

    So there’s a word for me? OK tell me what it is. If you think that then try an experimant. Find someone who carries a gun (not a cop), and try to take his gun. See what happens. Chances are that if he’s able to get his gun you’ll be shot. Now before you say that he won’t get his gun: the inability to get the gun doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. The same goes for any weapon people use; pepper spray, tasers, batons, or anything else.
    Also, before you say anything about being able to take his gun away and use it against him. Are you willing to bet your life on that by trying that against someone with a loaded gun. If not, don’t say that he’ll have his gun taken and used against him.

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

    ABG, if Zingzing tries to take my gun I’m hardly going to shoot him. That’s just silly and disproportionate. I can certainly keep it away from him without resorting to that, and as a gun owner I’m obligated to keep him away from the gun for his safety, just as I would with a child.

    Dave

  • absolute pro gun

    It was just an example to see if people actually believe what they say and are willing to bet their lives on it.

    And just FYI, someone trying to take the gun in a fight (I should’ve clarified that in the previous post) is justification to shoot the person. Look at all the situations where suspects tried to do that to the police and got shot for it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “The odd connection between police brutality and the banning of “toys” which might be used to protect oneself from such, and THIS thread just seemed a bit uncanny . . .”

    I agree the connection is a bit uncanny, Irene. You made it.

  • STM

    APG: “Anyway, to STM. According to this article, (yeah, yeah, its the NRO but at least it isn’t the NRA) it was the quite moderate WEIMAR republic which set up the gun control laws (less restrictive than those proposed by the American gun control lobby) that permitted Hitler to gain unfair advantage over the Jews.”

    With respect mate, it had nothing to do with that … Germans and Germany, generally, went willingly down the path of nazism. That is what is so bizarre to those us living in places where rule of law won’t allow that to happen.

    Gun control has been in existence in the UK for many decades. It’s not a tyranny and never has been.

    Australia has gun control … and it’s not a tyranny (the very opposite in fact).

    In fact, because both are parliamentary democracies underpinned by the same kind of rule of law as the US, the situation is a bit different: the government generally fears the people, not the other way around.

    That’s because if you jump up and down enough, they can be booted from office before their terms are over and the whole thing goes back to the people for a new vote.

    The kinds of conditions that existed in the Weimar republic largely were the result of Versailles, and Germans were quite happy for the Nazis to restore their “national pride”, and to improve the standard of living after the depression and war reparations literally led to social chaos.

    How we saw it: They lost in 1914-1918, because we won.

    How they saw it: They were betrayed by traitors at home, who undermined their glorious military, which gave them no choice but to throw in the towel. Of course, according to that version, it was all the fault of the rich and influential jews working behind the scenes.

    And BTW, just for the record – I’m not anti-gun; I believe people should have the right to own them and use them and I grew up around firearms and have used them too but sadly have seen firsthand, and up close, what they can do to human bodies … and as a result, I don’t choose to keep one in the cupboard.

    I suppose that’s also coloured my views about who should be able to own one. My view: They’re not toys and shouldn’t be allowed in the wrong hands. Especially anyone with a criminal conviction for violence (unless it’s old and that conviction has lapsed … because people do change), and certainly no one with psych problems.

    I believe in some simple commonsense controls, not bans. There’s a big difference.

    I don’t see anyone taking away cars from citizens over there or here because they’ve been licenced, insured and registered.

  • Irene Wagner

    APG didn’t write #92— STM. I don’t change my name to get the better of people in serious arguments.

  • STM

    Irene @ #107

    Cheers Irene … I’m a dribbler. It’s been a HUUUGE night at work. I’m still here, it’s 1.30am Sunday morning and my brain’s turned to mush.

    Well, more mushy than usual.

    I still think my argument’s valid, though.

  • Irene Wagner

    S’alrtight. Yikes, STM. I hope you get an ENORMOUS salary or at least decent overtime pay. There may be slower news days ahead on the Icelandic side of the Atlantic for awhile, at least for anything happening in skies and airports besides a lot of dust. On the other hand, now that all those formerly airborne people are down on the ground, there may be more happening down on Terra Firma.

    As for the rest of the comment–
    I can’t argue that the victors of WWI behaved in a way that, as an unintended consequence, fueled the nationalism in pre-WWII Germany. An OVERWHELMINGLY willing German populace though, who might have seen to at that things worked out differently had they not been disarmed during the Weimar Republic? Hard to say. The Resistance might have been more effective, and earlier on.

    Anyway, thanks for the debate, which I’m sure will be taken up again on these threads sooner rather than later.

  • Irene Wagner

    I can’t argue against the idea..replace the fires line of para 2 with that.

  • absolute pro gun

    @ STM comment 106
    You are anti gun. What’s so hard to understand? It says “…shall not be infringed”. Yet you believe that gun control is acceptable. That’s a complete contradiction.

    You wrote this: “I believe in some simple commonsense controls, not bans” But that’s not what you meant. What you really meant is: “I believe in total bans for civilians”.
    Doesn’t it sound stupid for me to misconstrue what you wrote in plain English into what I want it to mean? Of couse it does. And that’s exactly what you’re doing with the 2nd Amendment. It’s very simple. It says no gun laws. Yet you say that that’s not what it really means. You’re saying that what it really means is that the government can restrict gun ownership based on some arbitrary criteria- criteria that isn’t uniform. “Simple commonsense controls” can mean anything from a civilian not being able to own guns, to magazine capacity restrictions, to restrictions on carrying guns. Apparently you believe that people have the right to own guns until their actions contradict your beliefs on gun ownership. Then, you say that they shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. And the entity that you think should have control of whether people have guns is the government- a government that is speficically prohibited from having any authority over that issue. Whether or not you acknowledge it, apparently your definition of the “wrong hands” is anyone who you (based on your arbitrary criteria) don’t think should be able to own a gun. The reasons you think people shouldn’t be able to own a gun are immaterial. The fact is that neither you, nor the government, has any authority to decide if I’m “capable” of owning/using a gun, or if I’m “the wrong hands” for gun ownership.

    Also, Europe and the rest of the world are different than the United States. We’re the only country that specifically prohibits the government from having authority to create gun laws. The US government is usurping its authority and makes laws that it doesn’t have the authority to make; but we the people haven’t granted the government that authority as the rest of the world has done. But in the rest of the world, the governments have the legimate authority to make those laws in the first place. But it doesn’t here.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    We’re the only country that specifically prohibits the government from having authority to create gun laws.

    No, that’s not what the 2nd says. All it says is that government can’t prohibit people from keeping and bearing arms. It doesn’t say what kinds of arms, and you can’t logically extrapolate from that wording that it’s legal to keep claymore mines on your lawn, or a fully-armed tank in your three-car garage, or a Trident missile in your shed.

    In fact, the 2nd Amendment is far less unequivocal than the 1st, which prohibits the abridging (curtailing in any way) of free speech: yet there are any number of well-established legal decisions and precedents – many of which predate the Constitution and have been upheld by the Supreme Court – which do just that. For example, you can’t libel someone with impunity, or threaten them, or (the overused but very good old example) shout ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre with the express intention of starting a panic.

    In cases like those, your speech is harming or endangering others without justification. So likewise, no, a convicted armed robber may not own a firearm and you may not keep a hydrogen bomb in your shed – and those restrictions are, legally speaking, perfectly sound.

  • absolute pro gun

    [personal attack deleted by comments editor]
    Go look at some history books, read the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Then when you get some commonsense and logic, come back and debate.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Go look at some history books, read the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers.

    But ignore legal precedent, common law, and any Supreme Court decisions which are inconsiderate enough not to jibe with your POV?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Then when you get some commonsense and logic, come back and debate.

    In other words, when we agree with you completely.

    So what would there be to debate about then?

  • absolute pro gun

    No, when you can actually give logical reasons why we should completely ignor what the Constitution says in plain English.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    why we should completely ignor what the Constitution says in plain English.

    If it was plain English we wouldn’t be arguing.

    And besides, I’m not saying we should ignore the Constitution. I’m in complete agreement that it gives you the right to keep and bear arms, and not only for use in national defence. I’m simply stating the plain fact that your 2nd Amendment rights, like many others, are not absolute.

    Think that argument has no legal weight? I refer you to the majority in District of Columbia v. Heller – in particular, to the first two paragraphs of Section III of Justice Scalia’s opinion.

    Read them through several times, so as to assure yourself that the Court didn’t pluck its argument out of thin air.

  • STM

    I suppose if anti-gun means being pro-active and keeping them out of the hands of lunatics like Port Arthur shooter Martin Bryant, then, yes, I am anti-gun, for sure.

    The proof is always in the pudding; there hasn’t been a mass shooting here since then, after the government moved to institute certain controls on the types of weapons ordinary citizens could have. Not too many would need to keep a 7.62mm Chinese army SKS assault rifle with a folding bayonet in the broom cupboard. Anyone who does is kidding themselves.

    I quite like having a little shoot every now and then in the proper setting(it’s been a while though) so I won’t buy into arguments about them being replacements for a penis :) … but they are NOT toys, things to play with, to make you feel better about yourself, which sadly fits a lot of gun owners I know.

    If I was in the US, though, and APG was stupid enough to lump me in with all the rabid anti-gun nuts who think no one should have access to firearms at all, then all he’s done is make an enemy out of me and add the many people like me as an enemy – which increases 10-fold the number of people he has in opposition to his absolutist point of view.

    Instead of getting the support of the majority, he chooses to have the majority in opposition. And sooner or later in the US, as the situation continues to escalte and eventually spirals out of control, someone in power is going to exercise it and come down REALLY hard on gun ownership.

    Which will leave absolutists like APG out on a limb and with a lot less friends than they think.

    Here’s my bet: APG hasn’t see close up what bullets can do to the human body, and why they are lethal in the wrong hands – lunatics, criminals and fools. No one I know who has seen that lethality – no one – believes in absolute unfettered access to firearms.

  • STM

    The big problem with the 2nd amendment is not the subject matter but the bad grammer.

    You could argue the opposite I suppose by giving a nod to the time that it was written, but in my view it clearly contains a dangling participle, which makes it really unclear as to its real intent.

    My English teacher was right. Bad grammar is a sin that can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings.

    In fact, someone should fight this in court on the basis that the dangling participle completely confuses the real meaning of the amendment, and that it’s not only murder resulting from unfettered access to guns the anti-gun lobby is concerned about, but the murder of the English language.

  • STM

    APG: “The Constitution doesn’t GIVE me the right to do anything. It PROHIBITS the GOVERNMENT from making laws that stop me from doing something{“.

    Yes it does, according to the law, which has also decided as Doc points out that the right to gun ownership in the US, like the right to free speech is not, contrary to some beliefs, not absolute – and if you didn’t live in the US where there is a 2nd amendment but somewhere that had some controls on citizn gun ownership, you might not be allowed to have one.

    You don’t live in a vacuum just because you live in the US. The constitution’s just a piece of paper. Sooner or later, someone;s going to see the folly of it all and come down like a ton of bricks and the ice-cream will really hit the fan. Anarchy in America and disregard for every part of the Bill of Rights except the 2nd amendment.

    Because in my view, many absolutist gun owners don’t believe in rule of law, the real protector of freedoms, they believe in rule of gun. They’ll happily walk all over a person’s 1st amendment rights to try to make you shut your filfthy mouth about your views on the 2nd.

    Also, why do I get the feeling that part of the reason you are so absolutist is that if gun controls were introduced, you might not be able to have one.

  • absolute pro gun

    @ comment 118:
    You’re missing the entire point. I may not “need” an SKS, but the fact that I want one is justification enough for me to own one. In fact I do own one, along with a Mosin Nagant rifle and an HR shotgun. So, even with the strict gun laws in CA where I live, I can still own guns. If I have to justify owning any guns based on any “need”, it ceases to be a right and becomes a privilege that can be taken away based on whatever your criteria is for “needing” a certain gun. And you can’t say that people should only be able to own “hunting” rifles. Most guns (including bolt action, lever action, and single shot “hunting rifles”) are based on military designs or were made for the military. The same is true for most semi auto only guns on the market today.

    Many absolutist gun owners believe that way because they read the 2nd Amendment and understand it. They’re simply wanting it to be obeyed for what it says. Just like the 1st Amendment. Contrary to what you believe, you DO have an absolute right to free speech. The 1st Amendment does protect your right to free speech. If you’re going to say that the Constitution doesn’t mean what I says, what’s the point of having it in the first place? Either follow the Constitution for what it is, repeal it, or change it to what you think it should be. But unless you repeal or change it, you must obey it. The Bill of Rights only outlines what our natural rights as humans are. It doesn’t give me the right to do anything.It lists certain rights that I have and specifies that the government doesn’t have the authority to make laws infringing on those rights. Disregarding the fact that it’s about guns, people have the right to own private property. That’s a right that the government doesn’t have the authority to infringe.

  • absolute pro gun

    Also, I’m a gun absolutist PRECISELY because I believe in the rule of law. I’ve debated on here from comment #74 all the way up to now (122). Does that sound like someone who will happily trample on your 1st Amendment right so you can shut up about the 2nd? Hardly.

    There is absolutely no point whatsoever in having law if you’re going to pervert and twist its meaning into something that it isn’t. The Constitution is a law. Regardless of whether or not you like it, it must be obeyed. The same applies to ANY law. What’s the point in having speed limit laws if you’re going to twist the meaning of the laws into what you want them to mean, and then disobey them? There isn’t any. There isn’t any point in having laws like that if you’re going to say that it doesn’t mean what it says and then procede to violate it based on your perverted interpretation.
    And in reality, you anti gun people are the ones who don’t believe in the rule of law. It’s obvious that you don’t because you’re refusing to acknowledge that the law must be obeyed even though you don’t agree with it. What’s so hard to understand about it? Go read the 2nd Amendment. Which part don’t you undertand, the word “militia” or the words “shall not be infringed”? It says “shall not be infringed”, that’s pretty simple English and isn’t hard to comprehend. You don’t have to agree with it; I’m not saying you have to. I’m saying that it must be obeyed whether or not you agree with it because it’s the law of the land. Again, if you don’t like it you have three options: 1) stop trying to use the government to impose your personal beliefs on an issue that it’s specifically prohibited from having authority over, 2) get it repealed, or 3) legally change the 2nd Amendment to mean whatever you want. Unless you choose the last two options, you have no legitimate argument as to why we should have gun control. At this point it isn’t even about whether or not gun control works. It’s about the fact that the 2nd Amendment prohibits gun control and that you want to totally disregard that by implementing gun control laws. We can argue all day about the effectivness of gun control. But since the government is specifically prohibited from enacting such laws, it’s really a moot point. The fact is that the government doesn’t have the legitimate authority to make gun control laws. So whether or not they work is immaterial.

  • zingzing

    strictly speaking, if we’re going to go with the language, you have a right to grizzly arms, not any damn gun you please. it doesn’t say you can own an ak. it says that you can wrestle bears for their arms if you want to. that’s if you want to interpret it any damn way you please. limitations on guns aren’t against the constitution. that’s been proven over and over again. grizzly and polar and black and sun and whatever bears, those arms you can have. there’s been no precedent against it, so if you want one, have it.

  • STM

    APG: “Mosin Nagant rifle”.

    Very nice. Early or late model? Russian or one of the eastern bloc/Chinese models?

    I saw a beauty a few weeks back in a gun store in town and it looked like one of early 91/30 models. Even better, sitting next to it on the rack, was something you might not see that often in the states: an Aussie WWII Lithgow-made version of the SMLE – a .303 sniper rifle used, according to the shop owner, against the Japanese in New Guinea. Slightly more refinsed than the standard ones. But possibly not true, as they were used after WWII too.

    They were asking big dollars for both of them, though … not that I’d be buying one, but I have used the SMLE on numerous occasions way, way back and it is a great rifle. There used to be zillions of them floating around but even the regular ones are getting rare.

    Enough talking about guns: On the other business … APG: “Contrary to what you believe, you DO have an absolute right to free speech.”

    Actually, you don’t. Most Americans don’t understand that. Libel/defamation are still in place and are sometimes used, and there are certain other forms of speech that are not considered free speech under the constitution and which the supreme court has ruled upon on many occasions.

    Don’t trust me, though … go and ask a lawyer. My views on gun ownership are based on my own personal views, but the view on free speech isn’t a view, it’s a fact – it’s not absolute.

  • absolute pro gun

    CONSTITUTIONALLY it is absolute. The 1st Amendment makes that clear. The government has usurped its authority and made libel/slander laws and other “fighting words” laws. Those are Unconstitutional.

  • STM

    APG # 118. Havren’t you been reading my posts. I don’t believe anyone should have to justify any need to have a gun. I believe a person has a right to own one of they want one.

    I support the right of governments to have commonsense controls and licensing. That would include cool-down periods on purchase, restrictions on the type of firearms sold and restrictions on who can own one … no one with criminal convixctions for violent offices (unless long lapsed) and no one with a history of psych problems.

    They aren’t unreasonable.

    As for need, only farmers and registered commercial hunters really NEED guns. They should be exempt from an controls on what type of firearm can be owned.

  • STM

    APG: “Those are Unconstitutional.”

    Well, no, because if you read the dcument from front to back, it does allow for the making of legislation beyond what is enumerated in the constitution.

    About that, there is no legal disagreement.

    Is your Mosin good in working order, BTW??

  • absolute pro gun

    You do believe that people should have to justify their want to own a gun. They have to justify it not doing anything to get any felony convictions. They have to justify it be being either police/military, farmers, or registered commercial huntersso that the will have a “need” to own an SKS or similar guns. They have to justify it by proving that they meet the arbitrary standards of the governemnt that show that they aren’t mentally instable. And again, you’re missing the point. You support a “right” that the government DOES NOT HAVE. What does it take for you to understand that? Are you really that stupid?

  • STM

    It’s obviously useless trying to reason with a bloke like you.

    I’m not in the US, but here’s my tip: if you continue to be so absolutist that you isolate yourself in your argument, you’ll drive those who DO believe in gun ownership into the opposite camp, and the numbers will overwhelm you.

    What you’ll end up with eventually is strict controls – not the kind I’m advocating – because the majority camp will eventually have the say in the US when it finally gets sick of the long litany of mass shootings and senseless killings.

    Without the ability to agree on any compromise, the government will come and prise those guns out of your hands, cold and dead or not, because the anti-gun lobby will win.

    You guys are like the absolute monarchs of Europe and their supporters, hanging on to a useless philosophy from a bygone age. Eventually, they were oberwhelmed and lost their heads for their trouble.

    Compromise is the key, because the storm is coming.

    The only chance you’ll have is to hide out up in the hills away from the reach of the ATF. Oregon’s not that far away from you, is it?

    And no, felons shouldn’t be allowed to have guns. There’s not a single law enforcement officer in the US, or anywhere else in the civilised world for that matter, who’ll believe otherwise.

    Just the fact that you think it’s OK for people with psych problems and serious criminal convictions (that haven’t lapsed) to own firearms is is an example of how imbecilic your whole argument is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s obviously useless trying to reason with a bloke like you.

    That ought to have been apparent from the get-go.

  • absolute pro gun

    If people thought that it was a philosophy from a bygone age they would’ve changed it. But the fact remains that it is unchanged and must be obeyed as it stands. You really are stupid. It doesn’t matter what anyone’s opinion is if the law remains unchanged.

  • STM

    No mate, you’re the stupid one. And it’s here for the whole world to see. And you’re so caught up in your argument, when I asked an obviously interested question about your vintage Mosin you completely ignore it.

    The real issue in regard to you, your mates and your guns: Failure to compromise = goneski.

    There are already firearms controls in some states. Only 20-30 percent of americans own legal firearms. That means there are an awful lot who don’t. You do the maths, and see what path you’re headed down.

    Eventually, the legislators in washington are going to become so sick of it all they’ll act in some way, and having been unable to compromise, you are going to go down the pan where you and your insane philosophy belong. It’s the least you deserve. I’d love to be there to see the look on your face when they come and take your toys away.

  • absolute pro gun

    Actually, you’re the one caught up in his argument. You can’t see what I’m saying. I’m saying that if people think that gun control is good, then change the law to allow the government to make gun laws. If the law isn’t going to be changed, it must be obeyed as it is. You obviously think that it’s perfectly acceptable to have laws that are going to be perverted and violated based on the beliefs of anyone subject to the laws. There’s no point in having a law that, without exceptions, prevents people from smoking (for example) if you’re going to interpret it to mean that certain qualified people can smoke and that you’re the one making the criteria for qualifiation. Yes, we fail to compromise. We do so because the law is clear and prohibits a certain action (gun laws), yet you people want to enact all sorts of gun laws that are totally contradictory to the law.
    If you want to allow gun control in your country, that’s fine with me. I don’t know exactly where you live and what the laws are there. But over here in the United States, the absolute and supreme law of the land says that the government cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. ANY law that in ANY way sets a requirement for me to meet before I can own or carry a gun is an infringement of that right because the necessity to justify the exercise of a right means that it has become a privilege. It would then be a privilege that can be withheld if the person wishing to exercise it doesn’t meet the requirements set forth by the government. Again, I’m going by what the Constitution itself says. It the 2nd Amendment was repealed or changed it would be the law of the land and I would have to accept that. But it hasn’t been repealed or changed. So it must be followed according to what it says.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And you’re so caught up in your argument, when I asked an obviously interested question about your vintage Mosin you completely ignore it.

    Not only that, APG, you completely ignored my reference to DC v. Heller, which is the biggest victory for the pro-gun lobby in recent legal history.

    There’s no point in having a law that, without exceptions, prevents people from smoking (for example) if you’re going to interpret it to mean that certain qualified people can smoke and that you’re the one making the criteria for qualification.

    But there are laws like that. Try sending a 12-year-old to the local supermarket to buy cigarettes and see how he gets on.

    ANY law that in ANY way sets a requirement for me to meet before I can own or carry a gun is an infringement of that right because the necessity to justify the exercise of a right means that it has become a privilege.

    That’s the crux of the matter here: your complete and utter misunderstanding of the relationship between rights and privileges.

    I don’t know about STM mentioning that he’d love to see the look on your face when Uncle Sam came to take your guns away. But I’d enjoy seeing the look on yours if one of the Founders were around today listening to you and slapping you upside the head for your willful stupidity.

  • absolute pro gun

    The thing about Heller is that it really isn’t a major victory. The only thing it did is affirm that the government can make gun laws. Ultimately, it did not affirm the right to keep and bear arms because it says that gun laws are legal.

    Ok, maybe I should’ve said the govenment instead of “you”, which is what I meant. The point still stands though. The government makes a law specifically and clearly says that you must be at least 18 to smoke, and then intreprets it to mean that 18 doesn’t really mean 18, but means something else. That’s exactly what’s happening with the 2nd Amendment. They’re saying that the words “…shall not be infringed” don’t really mean that even though it’s written in plain English, but what it really means is “shall not be infringed except for felons, mentally insane, or any other class of people we decide is unfit to own a gun”. And really the only reason you agree with it is because it doesn’t directly affect you. If the 4th Amendment was said to not apply to convicted felons after they have served their sentence, and if you were a convicted felon, you would say that the 4th Amendment does apply to convicted felons because there’s no exception in it about them. That’s not to say that the only reason I think that way about the 2nd Amendment; I own guns legally. I’m saying that it’s just plain stupid and wrong to interpret something that’s clearly written in plain English into meaning something that it obviously doesn’t.

    My misunderstanding of rights and privileges? Why don’t you educate me then, if you’re so smart? As I understand it, you must have permission to exercise a privilege, and that the permission can be taken away at the pleasure of whoever grants it. I don’t need any justification for exercising a right. That’s basically the entire difference between rights and privileges. Having the right to do something means that I can exercise that right on the simple premise of dersiring to do so. I don’t need any justification or permission whatsoever. The closest example of that now would be carrying a concealed gun in WA, AZ, and VT. According to laws in those states, you don’t need a permit to CC. They consider it do be a right and therefore doesn’t require permission or justification to exercise. I said closest example because there are still exceptions such as requiring background checks to buy a gun, minimum age limit of 21 to CC( in AZ at least). But that’s the closest ther is to what it should be like that we have now.

    Well you obviously don’t know history very well if you think that the Founders would agree with the gun control we have now. And I’m not willfully stupid. I just read it for what it is and don’t add any bullshit into it like you do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    APG –

    This is what I’d like to see: registration of all firearms (including a ‘fingerprint’ of a bullet fired from each gun to help in law enforcement), background checks of all prospective owners, and required notification of the authorities should a firearm go missing.

    Is this really too much to ask? I’m a flaming liberal, but I’d happily vote for a constitutional amendment including the above that prevented any further restriction of gun rights.

    And please don’t give the “they’re going to come and take all our guns away” line because they haven’t done so in Switzerland or in Israel, both of which have full registration and background checks of all owners. That argument is a massive strawman supported by the NRA.

  • absolute pro gun

    Here’s my opinion on that. You can disagree if you want, but that’s fine with me.

    As I’ve already explained, the 2nd Amendment does not allow for any exceptions to the mandate against infringement. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 declared that only Protestants can own arms. The American Bill of Rights doesn’t have any such exceptions in it. If the founders had wanted exceptions, they would’ve written them in. As it stands, NO gun laws are allowed by the Constitution.

    So, to answer your question, yes it is too much. What happens if I don’t want to register my gun? Does that mean that I can’t buy one? How about background checks? If I refuse to get a background check does that mean that I can’t buy a gun? That’s how it works now. And that’s an infringement of the 2nd Amendment because I have to meet certain requirements to be “allowed” to own guns, and there are certain actions I must take before being “allowed” to own guns. If I refuse to comply with their requirements, I can’t own a gun. How is that not an infringement of the 2nd Amendment? Setting aside “fighting words” laws, should you have to get a permit and meet arbitrary governmental standards to be able to exercise your right to free speech? Absolutely not! How about the 4th Amendment? Should you be required to prove that you “need” privacy, or that you deserve to be “allowed” to have privacy because you belong to a certain class of people (law abiding citizens)? Hell no! Or maybe we should just come full circle and require that you have government permit to be able to exercise any of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights. Maybe we should require that you obtain a permit to have a jury trial. Why is it that you people pick the 2nd Amendment to mean that you need governmental permission to exercise that right, but whine and bitch when any of the other Amendments are perverted into something that they don’t mean? All of the Bill of Rights needs to be upheld equally. You can’t pick and choose what you want to apply and what you don’t think should apply. For example, the courts have ruled that people don’t have right to jury tial for infractions. Does the 6th Amendment give any exceptions to the right to trial by jury? No it doesn’t. But the courts have perverted it into meaning that you DON’T have that right if you’re charged with an infraction. Does that sound right to you. I would hope it doesn’t because it’s obvious to anyone who can read English that there are no exceptions in the 6th Amendment.

    And since you brought it up: The argument of the governemnt taking away guns depends on who is in power at the time. Really, that’s the bottem line as far as that goes. They may not decide to, or they may decide that they want to. It’s all dependant on who’s in power. A perfect example of this is the Sheriff of Orange County CA (I’m pretty sure it’s this one, may not be. You might want to check for sure). But they issue concealed weapons permits in the county. When a new sheriff got elected, she decided that she didn’t like CCW permits, and decided that she wanted to revoke them. She revoked about 1200 permits as far as I know. The previous sheriff was ok with issuing them and therfore didn’t revoke them. When the new sheriff got into power, she did revoke them. Who’s to say that that won’t happen with guns? Personally, I don’t see it as a huge threat because of the possible repercussions of doing so, but it IS possible, and it all depends on who’s in power at a particular time.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The thing about Heller is that it really isn’t a major victory. The only thing it did is affirm that the government can make gun laws.

    Exactly. Your approach is based on the bizarre assumption that the Bill of Rights exists in a vacuum. That was never the Founders’ intent: if it had been, as I argued earlier, they would have seen no need to establish a federal legislature.

    Justice Scalia understands very well that rights are not absolute, and cites a wealth of legal precedent to back that opinion up. You cite nothing except your own dogma.

    My misunderstanding of rights and privileges? Why don’t you educate me then, if you’re so smart?

    I’ve been trying to do that ever since we started this argument, but you aren’t listening. Let me try again by going back to something you said earlier in your comment:

    They’re saying that the words “…shall not be infringed” don’t really mean that even though it’s written in plain English, but what it really means is “shall not be infringed except for felons, mentally insane, or any other class of people we decide is unfit to own a gun”.

    This is what you misunderstand. Felons, the mentally insane and other relevant classes of people are not having their rights infringed: they have forfeited those rights because by exercising them they become a danger to others. There is an immense amount of legal precedent for this way of thinking.

    Well you obviously don’t know history very well if you think that the Founders would agree with the gun control we have now.

    You are unbelievable. Do you seriously think that James Madison (for example) would have calmly watched Seung-Hui Cho massacre 32 people and then said that there was nothing wrong with him having been able to come into possession of his weapons?

    And I’m not willfully stupid. I just read it for what it is and don’t add any bullshit into it like you do.

    What’s bullshit is your insistence on reading the Constitution as if its authors just conjured it out of thin air, and what’s willfully stupid is to refuse to regard the document in any kind of context.

  • zingzing

    apg, do you actually believe that felons, the mentally ill and children should be able to buy guns?

    “an 8-year-old, a schizophrenic and a murderer walk into a gun store…”

    8-year-old: “got any lazer guns? there are aliens everywhere. my sister is one. if i wasn’t high, you’d think i was 8. wait.”

    schizo: “i’ll take that one, both of them, you lovely MOTHERFUCKER. ESPN. dragons, dragons.”

    murder: “can i see the gun i’m going to kill both all three of you with? i’m only going to ask once.”

    apg: “according to the founding fathers, our gods of law and language, whose words shall not be questioned, whose wisdom is infinite, whose sight reaches over centuries undisturbed, whose only law on guns is that there is no law on guns, THESE PEOPLE, by god, MUST HAVE GUNS, OR THIS IS NOT THE AMERICA with whom I SIGNED A CONTRACT! not that i signed any contract. it’s metaphorical.”

  • STM

    APG: “The English Bill of Rights of 1689 declared that only Protestants can own arms”.

    Only because the Catholics, led by absolutist (there’s that word again) Spain and France, were trying to ream them royally, remove the constitutional monarchy that stripped the kind or queen of power and replace it with a catholic ruler who would have done the bidding of Rome, rather than the bidding of the people of England and Wales through their elected representatives.

    Can’t blame ‘em for whacking that bit in given what was going on at the time.

    Unrelated to the issue at hand, going right back to the saxons and vikings under the laws of both in different parts of the country the English kingdoms and the Danelaw), the English not only had the right to bear arms but were expected – even required later on under the Normans – to have them at hand so they could form armies. This is where the whole notion of the right to bear arms comes from in the anglo-american tradition of governance.

    However, in Britain, that is over 1000 years ago. They’ve been smart enough to realise that you might need to change with the times.

    These days the people are armed with something much more powerful than a spear, a bow and arrow or a firearm: rule of law and the right to jump up and down and remove their elected representatives from power if they aren’t happy with what they are doing.

    Interesting how Britons, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and some West Indians have have no real fear of their governments because they trust in the efficacy of rule of law as the REAL protector of freedoms, but Americans DO fear their government and don’t trust rule of law, despite the long-standing evidence that it works (with a few hiccups along the way, like slavery, the Civil War and prohibition).

  • STM

    Also, the main problem with the 2nd amendment is that it has a dangling participle.

    The poor grammar makes it near impossible to clearly understand, and leaves it open to different interpretations.

    No one in their right mind, having read it and understood how the dangling participle renders it near meaningless, can actually base ANY kind of law upon its wording.

    Perhaps it was inserted as a clever joke to test future Americans on how smart they would be.

    If so, they failed miserably.

  • zingzing

    stm, you’re language is too vague. who failed? americans or americans?

  • absolute pro gun

    No, it doesn’t exist in a vaccum. But really, how can you say that the gun restrictions are not an infringement of the law when the law clearly prohibits that? That’s the ludicrous. A lot of legal precedent doesn’t mean that it’s right. There was a lot of legal precendent that said that discrimination against black people was fine. That didn’t make it right, wouldn’t you agree? Just because there’s a lot of legal precedent, it doesn’t mean that the precedent is right, nor does it mean that it’s legal.

    OK so give me an exact explainitation of the differences between rights and privileges. What is a right, what is a privilege, and what’s the difference between them? That’s one of two major reasons why you’re wrong on the whole issue of gun control; because you blur the lines between the two and think that we need permission to exercise rights. And the exact opposite is true. If I have the right to do something, that means that I don’t need permission to do it. According to your perverted beliefs, we need permission to exercise rights. Maybe we should rename it the Bill of Privileges because that’s what you seem to think it is based on your twisted logic and reasoning.

    After a felon completes his punishment, he’s paid his debt to society. There is no Constitutional reason to believe otherwise. According to your logic, felons don’t have the right to free speech, nor do they have the right to privacy. Hell, why don’t we just say that the aren’t protected by the Bill of Rights at all? We can even go a step further and say that they aren’t protected by ANY civil rights laws suchs as anti discrimination laws. Actually, why are we allowing them to do anything at all? After all, drinking can be very dangerous, as well as driving. How about working in construction? There are tons of felons in that field. Yet we trust our lives to them whenever we cross a bridge or enter a building.

    The mentally insane forfeit their rights? Are you serious? It’s not their fault that they’re that way, at least for most of them. Yet you want to deny them the right to own private property because of that. That’s what is really insane. Do you even have a standard by which you would call someone insane? In CA, a person with an IQ of 20 or less is legaly considered an idiot. As far as I know, idiots can’t own guns. That’s only one classification of people who are considered mentally incapable of owning guns, there are more for each state and for the federal government. And it’s also a totally arbitrary standard that really doesn’t mean anything. Maybe next we should restrict people from owning guns if they don’t have a highschool diploma because they’re not smart enough to handle a gun safely.

    According to your logic, felons, the mentally insane, and “other relevant classes of people”, should forfeit ALL of their rights. If that’s true, don’t you think that they shouldn’t be allowed to drink alcohol, drive, get married, buy a house, work in jobs that could put other people in danger? Why don’t we just imprison felons for life since they obviously have forfeited their rights? If you bring your “logic” to it’s logical conclusion, you must restrict all rights of felons that could possibly result in harm.

    Of course he wouldn’t have just camly watched him do something terrible like that just because he bought the guns legally. Have you ever heard the phrase “I may not like what you say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it”? People will do bad things regardless of what the laws are. That’s the way it always has been and always will be. Just because he misused his guns and murdered people, that doesn’t make it right to restrict my right to own guns- guns that I have never shot anybody with and hopefully won’t have to.

    The Constitution wasn’t conjured out of thin air, nor do I read it like it was. Or didn’t you read the part where I wrote about the English Bill of Rights of 1689? How much of what I write do you actually read? You’re the one who doesn’t seem to regard it in context because you don’t think that any of the other rights should have the same restrictions as the 2nd Amendment. You’re just picking and choosing a part of the Constitution that you obviously don’t like any saying that it means something different than what it says. I don’t like eminent domain, I think it’s government sanctioned theft. But as it stands, it’s in the Constitution, and as such is the law of the land. Even though I don’t like it, I say that it still must be obeyed. I’d definitely vote for an amendment to ban eminent domain, and if it was important enough to me I’d actively try to get it banned. If that’s what you were doing with the 2nd Amendment that would be fine with me. But you’re not. You’re basically saying to totally ignore the 2nd Amendment because there are people who you don’t believe should own guns. The beauty of this country is that you’re free to try to change a law if you don’t like it. But unless it is changed you MUST abide by it and can’t ignore it just because you don’t like it. We’re a nation built on the rule of law. There’s no point in having laws in the first place if the governemt is going to justify ignoring them by preverting the meaning of the laws.

  • absolute pro gun

    @ comment 139:
    Yes that’s exatcly what I’m saying. But that doesn’t mean that people selling guns can’t decide that they won’t serve people like that. Have you ever heard the phrase “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”? A lot of restauarants have that sign hanging somewhere. Does that mean that you don’t have the right to but food? Of course not. It means that the restauarant doesn’t HAVE to sell you any if they don’t want to.

    @ comment 140:

    That’s exactly why they put that exception in the English Bill of rights. And it’s also exactly why it wasn’t put in the 2nds Amendment. “…All men are created equal..” They deliberately left out any exceptions precisely because they recognized that your rights aren’t dependant on who you are.

    Again, according to your “logic” we should also curtail your right to free speech because they didn’t have phones and the internet when they made the 1st Amendment. Or maybe we should restrict your 4th Amendment protected rights because they didn’t have cars back in those times. How about restricting your right to a trial by jury in cases of infractions or where the punishment is 6 months in jail or less because they didn’t have infractions back then?

    Again, If it should be restricted because of the types of weapons we have now, then change it to mean that. Otherwise you can’t make a legitimate argument for gun control based on that argument when you don’t advocate restrictions on any of the other amendments even though the technology that we use to exercise those rights has advanced so much.

    Which part exactly is confusing? Is it the word “militia” or the word “people”?

  • absolute pro gun

    Also @ comment 139. Read what I wrote about eminenet domain. I don’t think that they were perfect and couldn’t make any mistakes. In fact, I think it was a mistake to allow for eminent domain. You obviously can’t comprehend what I’ve been writing. It is what it is. Don’t like it? Then either shut up and deal with it even though you don’t agree with it (as I do with eminent domain), or change it. That’s why we have the amendment process. You’re free to change it, or to even repeal it just like prohibition was repealed. During the prohibition, alcohol was illegal and it was the law of the land. People obviously didn’t like it so they repealed it. You’re free to do the same.

  • STM

    Zing: “If so, they failed miserably … who failed.”

    The old blokes who included an amendment containing a dangling participle so that no bastard would ever be able to understand the thing … because, grammatically (and that’s what we’re about here, right, when we’re writing down laws), it’s impossible to make any sense of it.

    It can actually be interpreted any number of ways, therefore it’s impossible to know exactly what they meant.

  • STM

    APG: “Which part exactly is confusing? Is it the word “militia” or the word “people”?”

    The whole things is confusing. As I keep saying, it’s written arouind a dangling participle which makes it almost nonsensical. Because of that, no one can possibly be certain of the intent of the founders.

    The should have paid attention to old Mrs Smith, the grammar teacher.

    “What do you mean, what’s a dangling participle? One day, this’ll be the undoing of you, boy”.

    And it was …

  • STM

    And, ah, very clever zing … I did get it on the second look. Bit tired today mate, huge weekend.

    You will be proud of me though … battling off the tiredness and going shooting this week :)

  • absolute pro gun

    As far as the word “militia”, at the time it meant every male citizen between 18 and 46. According to the Dick Act of 1903, “militas” now include all citizens. But even without the Dick Act, the it would be now be considered every citizen. Just like we now consider the word “people” to mean every person, not just white males (as would probably come up eventually in any argument about this) the meaning of militia is expanded to mean every citizen. And the National Guard wasn’t created until later, so that’s not a valid argument against it meaning every citizen.

    “People”: There shouldn’t be any confusion on this at all. It means the individual citizen, just as it does every single place it appears in the Bill of Rights. Anybody who says otherwise is a hypocrite if he doesn’t believe that individual citizens don’t have the right to free speech, or privacy, or any right protected by the Bill of Rights since it protects the rights of the “People”, which, according to them, means the goverment.

  • STM

    Only at paper targets though :)

  • STM

    APG: “Have you ever heard the phrase “I may not like what you say, but I’ll fight for your right to say it”?

    Well, you don’t appear to hold that philosophy from what I can gther in regard to anyone who thinks there might be some legitimacy in believing the 2nd amendment COULD say something different from what you believe it to say.

    We have arguments all the time on here, APG, without people resorting to statements like: “You really are stupid”.

    Sometimes we just agree to diagree and find common ground elsewhere.

    It’s no big deal. That’s the beauty of (modern) democracy (in its currently accepted sense, not the ancient Greek).

  • zingzing

    apg, a murderer isn’t really going to walk up to a gun dealer and say, “i’m a murderer.” so how are you going to refuse to serve someone if you don’t know you should refuse them? your little idea there is horrible. you ever lost anyone to murder? i have. if you had sold him that gun, your head would be the next one off.

    and why did you decide to define two words when stm wasn’t complaining about them? you do know what he’s referring to, right? the ambiguity of the first phrase is the problem (in stm’s opinion).

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    A lot of legal precedent doesn’t mean that it’s right.

    No, but it does mean that it’s legally sound.

    According to your logic, felons, the mentally insane, and “other relevant classes of people”, should forfeit ALL of their rights.

    No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, AGAIN, that rights are not absolute. You just refuse to get it. A convicted felon still has his rights to free speech and privacy because in the normal course of events his exercising of them is not going to endanger anybody or impinge on somebody else’s rights.

    Let’s try another example – a good one, actually, because it shows something of the Founders’ thinking. The First Amendment guarantees the right “peaceably to assemble”. (My emphasis: that word wasn’t just dropped in there for fun.) So, you have the right to gather with a few thousand of your friends outside Congress to demonstrate against gun control laws. But you can’t then start surging forward en masse, yelling and chanting in a threatening manner, and demand that the police let you into the Capitol to continue your protest. By doing so, you are no longer being peacable and your First Amendment right of assembly is impinging on the natural right of others – in this instance the police, the Capitol staff and the members and officers of Congress – to be secure in their persons.

    The police are, in that case, perfectly within their powers to come back at you with all reasonable force.

    In plain terms, your rights end where mine begin.

  • absolute pro gun

    I didn’t try to stop you from making your arguments. Just because I’ll fight for your right to make them, it doesn’t mean that I can’t think that there’s no ligitimacy to them. There’s another phrase that holds true, especially in this discussion “you have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to think it’s stupid”.

    I’m not responsible for what other people do with their property. Of course I’m not going to sell a gun to someone who I know is a murderer. But if I don’t know I don’t care. Are you going to run a background check on everybody you sell a knife to because they might hurt people with it? There are plenty of other objects that are dangerous that can be used to hurt people with, yet we don’t run background checks on people when they buy other things such as knives, cars, alcohol, air guns, nail guns, saws, or other dangerous things. According to your logic and example of a person you know being murdered, if I go into the store and buy some rum, then I drink and drive and kill someone, the person who sold me the rum is responsible. Or if I go take flyig lessons and use those skills to fly a airplane into a building as they did on 9/11, the people who taught me how to fly are responsible. In both cases, most reasonable people aren’t going to serve the customer if they knew that they were going to kill people using the skills or product that was sold. But if they have no reason to believe that something like that would happen, they’re not responsible to the misuse of their product. That’s why we have laws protecting gun manufactures. Yes, it is a dangerous product, but the gun company is not responsible for the misuse of a gun. Or, using your logic, let’s take it a step further. Since you want background checks for anyone who buys a gun, if the person who bought the gun murders someone with it, then the government is also responsible because it approved the sale. The government could also be held liable for any damages caused when someone with a CCW permit misuses a gun since the governemnt determined that the person could safely handle a gun and granted permission to do so. Actually, why don’t we take that even further? Let’s say that the government is now liable for any damages that people cause in car accidents. The government issues a permit which, in effect, states that the person was determined by the government to be able to drive safely and was granted permission to drive.

    @ 153: OK, so even if what you say is true- they still have the right to free speech and privacy- there are other rights that are dangerous for them to exercise because they might hurt someone, such as driving or having kids because they might hurt them. After all, that’s what we’re taking about, that we should take away a felon’s rights because the MIGHT do something wrong with them. In that case, let’s take aways all of their rights to do anything that are dangerous to other people.

    Actually, your example of the right to preaceably assemble is a better agrument for my belief than for yours. You gave a perfect example of an exception to a legally protected right. The Founders wanted to make an exception to the right to assemble- so they wrote in “peaceably assemble”. Any time people assemble under the protection of the 1st Amendment, it must fall under the parameters of the word “peaceably”, otherwise it isn’t Constitutionally protected. However, the 2nd Amendment has no such exception. They didn’t intend to limit it; if they did, they would’ve written an exception into the 2nd Amendment as we see they have done in the 1st.

    And since you’re saying that my rights end where yours begin: Where exactly does anyone get the right to restrict my ability to own a gun based on what I MIGHT do with that gun. I have never done anything illegal with my guns, so your “right” do restrict my access to them stops where my right to own, carry, and use them.

    People have misused guns and murdered other people with them, and now I have to pay the price for their actions because I MIGHT do the same thing. One of the underlying principles of gun control is that you stop bad people from doing bad things if you restrict their access to a certain type of object. That’s a total lie. Someone who is willing to murder people in cold blood is NOT going to be stopped from doing so because he suddenly decides to obey the gun laws, but won’t obey laws against murder. You want proof? Look at murders involving guns in countries such as Mexico, England, Australia, or any number of countries that have murders involving guns where guns are illegal. There may not be very many, but there are still murders involving guns where guns are illegal.

  • zingzing

    “But if I don’t know I don’t care.”

    and that’s why we have background checks. so you will know.

  • absolute pro gun

    But I don’t need to know, nor do I care. Based on your line of thinking, we should have background checks on anything sold that is dangerous to other people. But you would know that I already wrote that if you bothered to read what I wrote instead of picking out a sentence out of context…

  • zingzing

    yeah, yeah, heard that argument before. there are laws restricting the sale of knives, cars, alcohol, etc, but you seem to ignore that… guns are a special case, as they are far more dangerous, even when used correctly. (and i know where you’re going next, but suffice to say that 99.99% of the time, the proper use of those other things doesn’t result in death. can’t say the same for guns. they’re designed to kill.)

    (i didn’t pick it out of context at all. you know the context and so do i. without the context, which is implicit, it’s meaningless. don’t get all indignant.)

    you don’t need to know if the person you are selling a gun to is a murderer? outside of your strict interpretation of the constitution, what part of humanity do you lack that that’s true?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Any time people assemble under the protection of the 1st Amendment, it must fall under the parameters of the word “peaceably”, otherwise it isn’t Constitutionally protected. However, the 2nd Amendment has no such exception. They didn’t intend to limit it; if they did, they would’ve written an exception into the 2nd Amendment as we see they have done in the 1st.

    That’s actually the best argument you’ve made so far, although I still don’t agree that you have the right interpretation.

    What this argument boils down to is the intended meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I agree with you that it’s written in plain English. (Well, sort of!) It guarantees you the right to keep and bear arms. I have no dispute with that, much as I think the Founders could not have foreseen the sort of gun culture that might ensue. So far, so good.

    But now there’s that word “infringed”. You take that to mean that there are to be no restrictions whatsoever on the possession of firearms; that it is appropriate for every American from a newborn babe to a multiple murderer to be able to own a gun. I, on the other hand, think it’s a mistake to assume from the extremely general language of the Amendment that the Founders intended there to be no restrictions whatsoever.

    To my way of thinking, if you keep a Colt 45 in your bedside drawer, and there’s a state law which prohibits you from owning an Uzi, then your right to keep and bear arms is not being infringed: you’ve still got your handgun.

    Really, the only thing being impeded is your freedom as a consumer. I’d be pissed too if, for example, I ordered a Double Whopper with Cheese and was told that under state law I was only allowed to buy a cheeseburger. But that’s not a constitutional issue.

    I have never done anything illegal with my guns, so your “right” do restrict my access to them stops where my right to own, carry, and use them.

    Separate issue again. I’m not arguing with you about gun control as it applies to sane, law-abiding citizens. But what you seem to have been arguing, AbsoluteProGun – unless I’m wildly misreading you – is that gun rights are absolute; that it is absolutely OK for a two-year-old, or a felon serving a prison sentence, or a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, to keep and bear arms.

    Would you be comfortable with a convicted armed robber having a gun in his cell? Do you think a law prohibiting that is valid? If so, then your 2nd Amendment rights are NOT absolute.

    One of the underlying principles of gun control is that you stop bad people from doing bad things if you restrict their access to a certain type of object. That’s a total lie.

    And that’s a strawman. I haven’t said anything about gun control as a crime prevention measure. In fact, I think the reason for the extremely high incidence of gun crime in the US is a lot deeper, and has more to do with the culture which resulted from the 2nd Amendment guarantee than with relaxed (or not) gun laws themselves.

  • absolute pro gun

    There you go again with the argument that guns a special because they’re dangerous. I’m not going to disagree. Many gun designs were designed for shooting people. That’s exactly why a lot of people own them; so they can shoot someone if they have to. But that doesn’t change the fact that you can kill someone just as easily with a car as with a gun. Guns aren’t a special case. They’re still dangerous. And if you follow the 4 basic gun safety rules, you WILL NEVER have a negligent discharge. Accidents are things like a mechanical failure of the gun, or something else that is out of your control that causes harm to people. Most gun “accidents” are really negiligent dischaarges. The would not have happened if the people were following the rules of gun safety. An old spring that fails and causes the gun to fire is an accident. Someone messing with a loaded gun who points it at his friend’s head and pulls the trigger is negligence. And I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be prosecuted for doing things like that. They should. You have the right to own and use a car, but that doesn’t mean that you have the right to kill someone with it without justification. Saying that guns are a special case is just a cheap cop out for you discredit my argument in the previous post.

    And the same is true for not needing to know what type of person I’m selling the gun to. If I know that the person is a murderer, I’m not going to sell him a gun. But I shouldn’t be legally obligated to go out of my way to find out. If I thought that it’s my responsibility as the seller to do so, that should be left for me to decide, not the government to decide for me.

    And yes, if I have Colt .45 but can’t own an Uzi, that IS an infringment of the 2nd Amendment. Again, the right to trial by just has been perverted into meaning that you only have that right if the punishement for the charged crime is 6 months in jail or more. But, according to your thinking, that’s not an infringment. Or your example of a cheeseburger. If that was written into the Constitution (which, remember, is the ultimate law of the country), and the government said that you can only buy a cheese burger, you’d consider that an infringment. How is that only impeding me as a consumer? The government is saying that I can’t own a full auto, not that I can’t buy them at certain places. An Uzi is considered an “arm”, right? Then how is it not an infringmenet to not allow me to have one?
    I guess out entire difference is on the word “infringe”. Laws that restrict the keeping and bearing of arms are an infringment. It’s totally hypocritical for the government to say “you have the right to own guns, except for people we determine can’t handle them safely, and except for x y and z types of guns”.

    You anti gun people are always coming up wit some kind of argument as to why we need more gun control based on needing a gun. Most people don’t ‘need’ a gun. But do you need the right to freedom of the press unless you own a newspaper? You don’t seem to get what rights are. The ability to exercise a right means that you don’t ‘need’ a reason to do so.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I guess out entire difference is on the word “infringe”.

    As I’ve been saying from the get-go. And I’m not the only one to view your absolutist to-hell-with-the-consequences interpretation as departing from common sense. I’d like to think the Founders possessed more than a modicum of the quality. But perhaps they didn’t.

    I would like to get your take on whether a prisoner should be allowed to have a gun, though.

    It’s totally hypocritical for the government to say “you have the right to own guns, except for people we determine can’t handle them safely, and except for x y and z types of guns”.

    No, not really. Any more than it’s hypocritical for a doctor to refuse to prescribe Vicodin to someone with an addiction problem, or to a pregnant woman.

    BTW, I note that the Supreme Court has so far been careful only to address gun rights cases as they apply to federal law. It, at any rate, seems to view state gun laws as the states’ own business; though that may change as some test cases are brought before it, which I understand is in the offing.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    By the by, APG, could you do a bit more to indicate who it is you’re addressing? It took me a while to realise that you were addressing zing, not me, in the first paragraph of your last comment.

  • STM

    Wouldn’t you love to be cornered by APG at a party, listening to him droning on about guns, the 2nd amendment and, ahem, “accidental discharges”.

    “Oh look, there’s the woman who introduced a friend of hers to another woman who knew my mother and they remembered each other from contrapuntal flower arranging classes in London in 1962 before they moved to Sydney … gotta go mate. Nice torkin’ to ya”.

  • STM

    APG: “Gun murders … England, Australia”.

    Yeah, but there’s a lot less of them. And in Australia, there hasn’t been a mass shooting since gun controls were introduced over a decade ago. We’re happy about that. Any life saved is worthwhile.

  • STM

    APG: “And it’s also exactly why it wasn’t put in the 2nd Amendment. “…All men are created equal..”

    Well, at the time of writing, only if your were a rich white bloke with money, power or influence. Ordinary Americans who didn’t own land couldn’t even vote.

    And next time someone decides to start a country and bases it on a myth of equal rights, liberty, the pursuit of happieness and all that guff, it’d be a really good idea if they remembered to tell the blackfellas down the back in the shed at the same time.

    “All men are created equal” … fine sentiment, but unfortunately it didn’t become reality in the US for nearly 200 years after the revolution.

    If you’re black and can’t use the same shithouse as a whitefella, you’re not equal. Obviously, there’s way more to it than that in terms of just how unequal some people are in the US, but you get my drift.

    I still can’t believe that some Americans hold up Jefferson, a slave owner, as a beacon of light and freedom, along with some of the other slave-owning founding fathers.

    It’s a disgrace.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    APG –

    As it stands, NO gun laws are allowed by the Constitution.

    Okay, so by your logic, ANYBODY can own a gun. Five-year-old children can take loaded guns to school…and so can pedophiles. Murderers and rapists just released from prison can go pick up a Browning .50 Cal and go looking for the witnesses who put them in jail. In fact, by your logic even prisoners in jail for life for murder most foul would be allowed to own guns!

    But none of these are allowed. Why? Because we have gun LAWS. Because we live in the REAL world and not a gun-nut paradise like Somalia.

  • zingzing

    stm, not that slavery wasn’t evil and a stain on the founding fathers’ legacy, but it was a hotly contested point of conversation while the constitution was being written. in the end, there is something in there that pretty much was designed to kill off slavery by 1808, but it failed to do so. i believe (although i’m not going to look it up, so i may be wrong*) that jefferson was one of those fighting to end slavery in the united states, but the south would never go for it and ratify the thing if he had won out. (plus, the economic power of the south made it so that there was no way the nation could survive without them.)

    *he also wrote a paragraph in the declaration of independence that strongly condemned slavery as a “cruel war against human nature,” but that got struck out by the south as well. he might have given up hope by the time the constitution was being written, but i’m not sure.

    so, in order to create this nation, slavery had to be allowed. less than 100 years later, in order to save this nation, slavery had to be ended. a sad state of affairs, and it’s shameful that it took that long to sort out, but, you know, the 1800s were a pretty nasty time in a lot of ways.

    so jefferson may have been a nasty slave owner, but he did recognize the hypocrisy. there just wasn’t much he could do about it. (that doesn’t explain the raping the slaves part, but no theory is perfect.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Wouldn’t you love to be cornered by APG at a party, listening to him droning on about guns . . .”

    I’d shoot him on sight and ask questions later.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Oh, cut Jefferson some slack, Stan. After all, he’d fathered most of his. Can’t blame him for being a bit paternal. :-)

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t know if APG is using two names or has a friend with him but the comments being made under the name “EJ” are coming from the same IP address…

    Christopher Rose
    Blogcritics Comments Editor

  • zingzing

    they certainly seem to be in agreement with each other.

  • absolute pro gun

    @ 169; they’re two different people…

    And yes, as I said before and will say again, THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY GUN LAWS REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT TYPE OF GUN YOU WANT TO OWN EVEN IF IT’S A .50 BMG MACHINE GUN, A .223 AR-15, AK-47, .22 CALIBER SUPRESSED PISTOL, OR ANY NUMBER OF DIFFERENT GUNS WE HAVE TODAY.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “As far as I know, idiots can’t own guns.”

    Think again

  • absolute pro gun

    Does that mean you’re speaking for yourself?

  • zingzing

    heh. pretty sure you can figure out what that means…

  • absolute pro gun

    Unless I decide to ignore your obvious intention to mean that you’re the idiot.

  • Jordan Richardson

    THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY GUN LAWS REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT TYPE OF GUN YOU WANT TO OWN

    Nonsense.

    The whole introductory portion (“well organized militia, blah blah blah”) is a qualifying clause that essentially guides the “right to bear arms.” It’s a pre-condition and protects the rights of those serving in a militia, not a five-year-old looking for some action or a drug dealer packing some heat.

    You have to realize the context of the constitution in order to start interpreting it properly and a BIG part of understanding that is knowing how they spoke back then and what they were referring to. To suggest that the Founding Fathers were somehow aware of automatic weapons and the extent to which guns would become romanticized and abused in American culture is absurd.

    Moreover, the Second Amendment could be argued as a civil obligation. This argument has weight especially considering the context, again, but modern gun nuts seem to refuse to do that. In the 18th century, “bearing arms” meant to do so in a military context rather than a civilian one. This is supported, again, by the pre-condition in the amendment.

    In terms of your well-regulated militia, you can check out Alexander Hamilton and Federalist No. 29 for that.

    So no, I don’t think the Founding Fathers (or anyone in their right minds, for that matter) would agree with your absurd opinion that anyone should be able to own any kind of gun. It’s ridiculous and completely ignores the context of your founding documents and the meaning of liberty, freedom and your whole damn country.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Furthermore, when Scalia (I think) delivered the 5-4 decision on District of Columbia v. Heller, he said the following regarding the Second Amendment:

    “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

    He added that the right “should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

  • zingzing

    apg, you’ll note i didn’t write 172. so my “obvious intention” has nothing to do with it. if you can’t figure it out, i won’t spoil the fun. i’m pretty sure you can come up with something more clever than 173 and 175’s responses, can’t you? whip it out.

    (btw-you’re coming off as a hothead here… not sure that’s a good thing in a gun nut, although it is a common thing… maybe that explains the attraction.)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Jordan (@ #177), I made that same point to APG a day or two ago. He (I’m assuming it’s a he) just thinks Scalia was wrong.

  • STM

    Goo-goo ga-gah. Can’t accept that the constitution gives the federal courts the wherewithal to make laws in regard to other bits of the constitution.

    Likes one bit of the constitution because it allows you to have a bang-bang, but not the other bits that might restrict your supposed right (which after all, let’s be honest, is just a bit of guff written by some old fellas 200 years ago on a piece of paper) to have a bang-bang.

    “Aaaaaah, but I WANT my bang-bang”.

  • absolute pro gun

    @ 179: So, if the Supreme Court tomorrow rules on a case and says that it’s ok to discriminate against black people again and prohibit them from attending white only schools, would you think that they’re wrong? Or would you just say because it came from the Supreme Court that it’s ok and isn’t wrong? Scalia IS wrong. Just because he’s a Justice doesn’t change that. What DOES matter is that the Court’s rulings are binding. I never said that they weren’t. I simply said that it’s wrong, that he’s wrong, and that any court that makes similiar rulings are wrong. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” That’s just totaly wrong. He has no concept of what a right is. Having the right to keep and bear arms is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he said; it means that you CAN carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. Otherwise the you (through the government) are now deciding what weapons I can carry, where I can carry them, and what constitutes a good reason to carry them. That’s exactly how it is in San Diego County, CA. The sheriff requires “good cause” for issuing a CCW permit. He’s arbitrarily deciding what constitutes a good reason for me to be able to carry a gun.

    @ 180: I can accept that just fine. What you just can’t get into your thick skull is that NOWHERE in the Constitution is the government granted (yes GRANTED, if the Constitution doesn’t grant the federal government certain powers, the federal government doesn’t have them) permission to make laws in regard to the 2nd Amendment. In fact, just the opposite is true, the government is SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED in making laws in regards to the 2nd Amendment.

  • absolute pro gun

    and that “guff written by some old fellas 200 years ago on a piece of paper” is the ABSOLUTE LAW OF THE LAND. Most of the laws we have now are just shit written by a bunch of dumbass lawyers, but they’re binding on the government and on the citizens. You don’t like it? Too damn bad. Change it. If not, then don’t use that shit as an argument because it has absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

  • Leo James, Nigeria

    I really think America has a big problem,since when did ownig a gun become as comon place as having a cold? the way gun violence is in America is it not time we started re-thinking the 2nd amendment, is the sancity of that provision on paper worth so many human lives lets ask ourselves?