More guns, no guns, gun control? *BANG! BANG!!*

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What is your stance on gun proliferation?

I own a gun. I DON'T TRUST MY DAMN NEIGHBOUR!!!
2
2%
I own several guns, I'm a hitman .(shhhh don't tell anyone)
3
4%
Change the constitution. Outlaw guns once and for all!
14
16%
GIMME A FLAMETHROWER!
2
2%
Nukes for everyone!
7
8%
I don't own one right now, but I seek to acquire some soon as I'm planning a massacre.
2
2%
I'm a hippie. WADDUA THINK I MEAN?? *punches you in the face*
0
No votes
I don't like guns. When I kill people I use a dildo.
5
6%
mmmmmmmmmmmmy Glock.
1
1%
Strict gun control is the way to go.
18
21%
If everyone had guns, less violence would be the result.
11
13%
I'm in a gun club, I only shoot for pleasure.
2
2%
I'm in a gun club, I train for home defense.
3
4%
I like bananas.
6
7%
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3
4%
Militias is our only hope.
6
7%
 
Total votes: 85
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Postby NeoThermic » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:08 am

vanarbulax wrote:I originally voted changing the constitution but then realized that when I read the 2nd amendment it seems perfectly reasonable.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.


The amendment states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed on the people if necessary for a well regulated militia. Which I agree is fair enough, if someone had a gun for the purpose of use when their country need to call upon citizens in defense of the country, then they shouldn't be able to be arrested for carrying one. If America was under threat of possible invasion then this amendment makes perfect sense. No where do I see that you are allowed the right to bear arms outside of "A well regulated militia". As far as I know America has a strong military force for the defense of the country and is not likely to need to call upon citizens if it's military is inadequate. Can any gun owner legitimately claim their gun that they carry is for a well regulated militia. Unless America suddenly finds itself on imminent threat of invasion or lacking military power I see no constitutional reason for them to have a gun.


I think you've got the wrong end of the stick when reading the 2nd amendment. It's more along the lines that by allowing the people to have guns, should a government try to make America a non-free country, the people have the means and weapons to oppose it. Of course, if America had any balls they would have done this a few years ago when Bush started in office, but alas, one can only hope that his replacement this year will be better. Or else....

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Postby vanarbulax » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:28 am

Okay, I can definitely see the that interpretation. But what is the likely hood of America becoming a "non-free" country. While I agree America is losing lots of it's civil liberties by the government in the name of the war on terror I don't see and honestly can't imagine the people forming a militia to overthrow the government. The size of America's army is so big that ordinary civilians aren't going to be able to fight considering most people don't have military training. Honestly if the American government became a complete dictatorship then nobody really has a hope of stopping them, save all out civil war which would absolutely devastate the country. I think I still have enough faith left in the American people that if things do get that bad the will get of their arse and protest, strike, impeach the government. The government was designed for total control not to happen that's why there are three branches to keep each other in check. I personally don't believe that the amount of gun-crime in America is worth the chance that the government might make a ironfisted military dictatorship in which case I can't see the newly formed dictatorship allowing a people's militia to arise.
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Postby NeoThermic » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:45 am

vanarbulax wrote:Honestly if the American government became a complete dictatorship then nobody really has a hope of stopping them, save all out civil war which would absolutely devastate the country.


Bingo. It's happened before, and if nothing changes for the better, will happen again. This is why Americans have the right to keep guns.

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Postby vanarbulax » Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:54 am

NeoThermic wrote:
vanarbulax wrote:Honestly if the American government became a complete dictatorship then nobody really has a hope of stopping them, save all out civil war which would absolutely devastate the country.


Bingo. It's happened before, and if nothing changes for the better, will happen again. This is why Americans have the right to keep guns.

NeoThermic


It happened in a time before tanks, and bombers and fighter planes. I honestly don't see how a civilian army would be able to accomplish anything.
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Postby Feud » Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:00 am

vanarbulax wrote:I originally voted changing the constitution but then realized that when I read the 2nd amendment it seems perfectly reasonable.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


Fixed (you missed a few very important commas).

vanarbulax wrote:The amendment states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed on the people if necessary for a well regulated militia. Which I agree is fair enough, if someone had a gun for the purpose of use when their country need to call upon citizens in defense of the
country, then they shouldn't be able to be arrested for carrying one.


First, there does exist in America "well regulated militias", they are the National Guard which are under the command of the States (unless called upon for national duty in which case they take orders from the President).

It seems unlikely that the 2nd Amendment is intended to be applied to the carrying of issued arms by sworn soldiers, whether in times of war or peace. What government would include in it's Bill of Rights the right of soldiers to be armed, wouldn't such be assumed by the government to be a legitimate and necessary need, and what government would arrest it's soldiers for such?

There are three rational options then, does the 2A mean that States have the right to maintain armed groups of citizen soldiers under local control, does it mean that the individual has the right to keep arms, or both? I personally feel that, having studied the issue more since my last comment, that both is the best answer.

It does not refer to "the States" but to "a State", this seems to imply that it is not specifically talking about the States of the Union but instead to any given State be they in America, Europe, or elsewhere, and is explaining why it is that a free State would require a militia. This gives the States legal basis for maintaining their own military forces. However, these States also have the right to subdivide this authority to the local communities, and such practices were quite common for many years with many major cities and towns maintaining their own State authorized militia forces made up of local people.

However, the sentence then mentions "the right of the People". Who are the people that it is talking about? In every single instance of the Bill of Rights "the People" is always interpreted as the individual. For example, the First Amendment does not mean that the people by means of the State have freedom of speech, it means that the individual has that right. The whole point of arming the people, as NeoThermic pointed out, is so that the people have the effective means of opposing and overthrowing a tyrannical government if and when that government fails to meet it's obligations of the social contract (in this case the Constitution) and all reasonable means of redress have been exhausted. With such in mind, it cannot mean that only the government should have the right to bear arms, but instead (and even a casual reading of the writings of the founders confirms this) that the people must have the right to maintain their own arms.

vanarbulax wrote:Okay, I can definitely see the that interpretation. But what is the likely hood of America becoming a "non-free" country. While I agree America is losing lots of it's civil liberties by the government in the name of the war on terror I don't see and honestly can't imagine the people forming a militia to overthrow the government. The size of America's army is so big that ordinary civilians aren't going to be able to fight considering most people don't have military training. Honestly if the American government became a complete dictatorship then nobody really has a hope of stopping them, save all out civil war which would absolutely devastate the country. I think I still have enough faith left in the American people that if things do get that bad the will get of their arse and protest, strike, impeach the government. The government was designed for total control not to happen that's why there are three branches to keep each other in check. I personally don't believe that the amount of gun-crime in America is worth the chance that the government might make a ironfisted military dictatorship in which case I can't see the newly formed dictatorship allowing a people's militia to arise.


Well, our Revolution was fought against the most powerful military force on earth (did you know that in the first year of fighting the British had more cannon on one ship of the line then we had in our entire military?) by locals with very little formal military training. Certainly we had some outside help, but the people fought on their own with their own arms for several years to buy the time needed to get such help. As for forming militias to overthrow the current government, it happens, ever hear of the Oklahoma City bombing or the Freemen militia?

As for actually stopping it should it ever get out of hand, we very well might not. Our system is designed to resist such an event, but that doesn't mean that such cannot or will not one day happen. Were such an event to happen I would rather see the country devastated by Civil War in resisting such then, even if we lose, then to sit idle while our government and way of life is stripped away. Our country still has far to go until such would be required, you all act like the current state of things is unique to our history but things like the Patriot Act happen about every 50 or so years in our country, they have their heyday of a few years, then go away (the Alien and Sedition act, Lincolns suspending of Habeus Corpus, arresting anti-war protesters during WW1, etc).

As for "allowing" a people's militia to arise, they wouldn't. That's why the individuals right to keep and bear arms is so important, so that if such an occasion arises they don't have to ask permission to fight back, but instead have the means at their disposal.
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Postby All American Mobster » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:29 am

Image

How about a potato gun? It shoots at 300mph at 40 psi. Watch yourselves!

(no thats not me)


-$tanley
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:50 pm

NeoThermic wrote:
vanarbulax wrote:Honestly if the American government became a complete dictatorship then nobody really has a hope of stopping them, save all out civil war which would absolutely devastate the country.


Bingo. It's happened before, and if nothing changes for the better, will happen again. This is why Americans have the right to keep guns.

NeoThermic


You do realize that that ultimately failed right? . . .largely due to lack of resources. And that was before modern weapons. A second civil war would be virtually impossible for anyone other than the government backed side win.

Feud wrote:Fixed (you missed a few very important commas).


Actually both are correct. The one with the extra comma is the one passed by the House and Senate; the one without the extra comma is the original version and the one ratified by the states. In this light the placement of commas shouldn't be taken as the basis for an argument.


Feud wrote:It seems unlikely that the 2nd Amendment is intended to be applied to the carrying of issued arms by sworn soldiers, whether in times of war or peace. What government would include in it's Bill of Rights the right of soldiers to be armed, wouldn't such be assumed by the government to be a legitimate and necessary need, and what government would arrest it's soldiers for such?


The history of the Amendment goes back to England. Militia at the time referred to the mass of able bodied men who kept arms and armor in order to answer a call to arms in defense of the country. Some monarchs tried to keep their political opponents from keeping personal arms. The fear of the anti-Federalists at the time of the writing was that the proposed national standing army would be able to forcibly impose the will of the current national leadership on any state. The Second Amendment was aimed at protecting the rights of the states to keep arms which could be used to defend themselves from the federal army.
Last edited by Stewsburntmonkey on Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tripper » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:53 pm

What Stew said.

Disclaimer, I'm not an American But:

It's a shame the 2nd amendment didnt have a preamble defining what the words meant. You can certainly interpret it in a lot of different ways according to what you mean by

  • Well regulated
  • Militia
  • security
  • free
  • State
  • right
  • People
  • keep
  • bear
  • arms
  • infringed


No, I'm actually not being facetious ... please discuss any and all of the above ... but anyway my understanding was that the 2nd amendment meant the Feds can't prevent the States from arming State Militias, thus allowing individual States to defend themselves from a hostile Federal govt. So it's a States Rights issue rather than an Individual Rights issue.
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Postby shinygerbil » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:34 pm

Hah. I was actually going to point out that "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State" is a bit of an assumption to be making in the first place, depending on how you define such things. ;)
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Postby Feud » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:39 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:The history of the Amendment goes back to England. Militia at the time referred to the mass of able bodied men who kept arms and armor in order to answer a call to arms in defense of the country. Some monarchs tried to keep their political opponents from keeping personal arms. The fear of the anti-Federalists at the time of the writing was that the proposed national standing army would be able to forcibly impose the will of the current national leadership on any state. The Second Amendment was aimed at protecting the rights of the states to keep arms which could be used to defend themselves from the federal army.


I disagree with the idea that it was solely mean to protect the states, and numerous founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton among them (Hamilton and Adams being two of the leading federalists) advocated the need for individual citizens to keep and bear arms, not just the states.

The courts have, at best, been inconsistent with either of our stances. U.S. v. Emerson and the current D.C. case are both lower courts decisions but affirm the individual, while U.S. v. Miller straddles the fence by saying that militias are meant to protect the state, but upholding the ban on "sawn-off" shotguns being held by individual citizens since there was no evidence to show the weapon "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument." This raises the question of, if there were a practical military application, would the courts have struck the law down?

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the D.C. case (which affirmed the right to belong to the individual), and hopefully by this summer there will be a more firm legal decision on the matter.
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Postby Rkiver » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:09 pm

My understanding, however limited by the fact that I am not a US citizen, of the second ammendment was twofold.

1) To enable the citizens to help protect their state (or the entirity of the states) if invaded.

2) To enable the citizens to remove those in power of the government if they started taking away rights etc (which has indeed happened, yet no uprising as of yet).

When it comes down to it, it'd be nice if guns weren't so readily available, as the availability of them makes it easier for them to fall into the hands of criminals. Of course most gun deaths use illegally accquired weapons so banning those legally wont do much.

Still, remove the ability to get weapons easily would reduce the chance of gun crime in my opinion, be that factually correct or not.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:44 pm

Feud wrote:
Stewsburntmonkey wrote:The history of the Amendment goes back to England. Militia at the time referred to the mass of able bodied men who kept arms and armor in order to answer a call to arms in defense of the country. Some monarchs tried to keep their political opponents from keeping personal arms. The fear of the anti-Federalists at the time of the writing was that the proposed national standing army would be able to forcibly impose the will of the current national leadership on any state. The Second Amendment was aimed at protecting the rights of the states to keep arms which could be used to defend themselves from the federal army.


I disagree with the idea that it was solely mean to protect the states, and numerous founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton among them (Hamilton and Adams being two of the leading federalists) advocated the need for individual citizens to keep and bear arms, not just the states.


I think are missing the way militias worked in that era. Militias did not own communal weapons as say the National Guard does today. Men used their own person weapons (and horses and armor before the era of the gun). Thus individuals needed the right to keep arms individual in order to be useful in the militia. The purpose, however, was to provide a check to the standing army which historically had been used by those in power to impose martial law to varying degrees.
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Postby Feud » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:48 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:I think are missing the way militias worked in that era. Militias did not own communal weapons as say the National Guard does today. Men used their own person weapons (and horses and armor before the era of the gun). Thus individuals needed the right to keep arms individual in order to be useful in the militia. The purpose, however, was to provide a check to the standing army which historically had been used by those in power to impose martial law to varying degrees.


There were, in fact, some militias who maintained communal weapons, and virtually all of the artillery used by militias were communally or state owned. A good example of this can be found in the early days of the revolution, the attack on Concord was a raid against a communal store of powder and cannon, one of many such raids that the British had conducted against such stores during that time.

I agree though that the purpose is to provide a check against an oppressive government and it's army, however I don't see that the need for that check has gone away, nor that the corralling of local militias into the National Guard has changed the fundamental need of the private citizen to be armed. If anything, by changing the nature of the state militia from local units to a state operated military force the need of individual citizens to maintain that check is increased as they no longer have the protection of local military forces that keep and maintain the means of defense at the local level. Just as the State's military is, in theory, supposed to be a check against an oppressive Federal military the individual needs a check against the State.

Now, obviously times have changed significantly since the 1780's. My home city is larger population wise then some of the States at that time, and probably economically stronger. At the same time the military has developed weapons far beyond the financial means of the individual. However, if Iraq has taught us anything it is that people armed with relatively low grade weapons can through asymmetrical means cause significant damage and harassment to a larger, better equipped, better trained, and better funded force. Now, while the U.S. military in the hands of a dictator would crush any attempt at rebellion in the open field, and likely crush any National Guard attempt to resist (unless such resistant was acted upon in concert with numerous states simultaneously), an armed society at the individual level would provide an effective check by providing the foundation for a partisan resistance movement. Would they win? Who knows (I hope we never find out). But, like all checks it is based upon the idea that by putting up means to prevent such an action in the first place we can hopefully avoid ever coming to it.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:16 pm

Feud wrote:There were, in fact, some militias who maintained communal weapons, and virtually all of the artillery used by militias were communally or state owned. A good example of this can be found in the early days of the revolution, the attack on Concord was a raid against a communal store of powder and cannon, one of many such raids that the British had conducted against such stores during that time.


It only makes sense that artillery, powder and ammunition were done communally. We are, however, talking about the guns themselves.

Feud wrote:I agree though that the purpose is to provide a check against an oppressive government and it's army, however I don't see that the need for that check has gone away, nor that the corralling of local militias into the National Guard has changed the fundamental need of the private citizen to be armed. If anything, by changing the nature of the state militia from local units to a state operated military force the need of individual citizens to maintain that check is increased as they no longer have the protection of local military forces that keep and maintain the means of defense at the local level. Just as the State's military is, in theory, supposed to be a check against an oppressive Federal military the individual needs a check against the State.


One of the main commentaries on the Constitution was written by Joseph Story and has this to say about that:

"How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see."

There is a reason the phrase "well regulated militia" is used as well as the usage of "keep and bear arms" which implies a military use.


Feud wrote:However, if Iraq has taught us anything it is that people armed with relatively low grade weapons can through asymmetrical means cause significant damage and harassment to a larger, better equipped, better trained, and better funded force.


This is true, but you can't win a civil war this way. It works well enough harassing an occupying power, but in a civil war it would be rather useless.

Feud wrote:Now, while the U.S. military in the hands of a dictator would crush any attempt at rebellion in the open field, and likely crush any National Guard attempt to resist (unless such resistant was acted upon in concert with numerous states simultaneously), an armed society at the individual level would provide an effective check by providing the foundation for a partisan resistance movement. Would they win? Who knows (I hope we never find out). But, like all checks it is based upon the idea that by putting up means to prevent such an action in the first place we can hopefully avoid ever coming to it.


This is doubtful. In Iraq the US Army is hamstrung by the need to avoid civilian casualties. In a civil war this need is largely nonexistent.
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Postby Feud » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:53 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:
This is doubtful. In Iraq the US Army is hamstrung by the need to avoid civilian casualties. In a civil war this need is largely nonexistent.


They would have to. Were there to be wholesale slaughter of civilians then they would risk losing what ever popular support they may have and splintering the military. If we are talking about a sudden power grab we must remember that it would be working against he social conditioning on the majority of Americans, and a movement too quickly risks alienating those that they need to support it. Further, while the U.S. military is strong it requires a lot of support, and an all out war without regards to the civilian population, either in lives or opinion, risks destroying the vital logistical and structural support the military needs to run on.

An American dictatorship would require the significant support of the people in it's early days, the country is too large and the military too small to effectively rule without popular support of some kind, and they need the manufacturing facilities of the mid west just as much as the high tech corridor of California and the bread basket of the plains, and that's only if they wanted to maintain the military much less the nation. If they started bombing suburbs or strafing crowds of people they risk losing control, and until a stable authoritarian system was in place they would be forced to do things as delicately or more so then they have in Iraq.

It would be in this early time that a revolution would have it's greatest chance to succeed, and it's goal wouldn't be to win as it would be to delay things long enough to win support of those in the military still loyal to the American ideal and those foreign powers who would not like to see a dictatorial America to get involved with their greater access to resources.

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