The second amendment

Perspectives on our world and our universe, how it works, what is happening, and why it happens. Whether by a hidden hand or natural laws, we come together to hash it out, and perhaps provide a little bit of education and enlightenment for others. This is a place for civil discussion. Please keep it that way.
Forum rules
1) Remain civil. Respect others' rights to their viewpoints, even if you believe them to be completely wrong.
2) Sourcing your information is highly recommended. Plagiarism will get you banned.
3) Please create a new thread for a new topic, even if you think it might not get a lot of responses. Do not create mega-threads.
4) If you think the subject of a thread is not important enough to merit a post, simply avoid posting in it. If enough people agree, it will fall off the page soon enough.
User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:24 pm

For reference, it's unfortunate but you can't easily acquire a machine gun. What we're talking about here is a wide variety of firearms, but mostly a cool-looking version of a semi-auto hunting rifle. And while few (that I know of) madmen are using vehicles to hurt people, flying planes into buildings seems pretty effective.

I don't know if our military would function as it has in some other countries where soldiers follow orders even if it means raiding their parents' house. I doubt it. Having the ability to make that more difficult is something that's important for government officials to remember. Don't think the US government is really the Bourne movies level of sophisticated and cooperative.

Regardless, the really cool thing about a constitutionally guaranteed right is that I should not have to justify why I should be allowed to exercise it. Rather, you should have to justify--quite extensively--why I should be denied it.
Rorschach wrote:I was talking about the amount of mass shootings in America. I personally believe that if that's the cost of complete gun freedom then it's too high.
But Rors, that's what I've been trying to help you understand: the shootings are only possible because there is nowhere near complete gun freedom. As incredibly rare as they are, and as few people die as they do, this kind of shooting only ever happens in places where good people have been banned from carrying a firearm. Allowing those faculty and staff who've gone through the expensive and time-consuming training, testing, and background checks for a concealed handgun license to actually prepare themselves for such a freak occurrence as we saw at Sandy Hook would mean that what we saw at Sandy Hook would've been a tiny blip--if allowed to be reported on at all--about how a gunman was killed rather than a couple dozen innocent children and adults, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. What we have is not complete gun freedom but a twisted twilight version where we leave ourselves unnecessarily exposed to the occasional madman. If you're looking to do something about the mass shootings, you don't need to limit good people's access to firearms. You need to stop preventing them from defending themselves with them. You don't need to censor idiots; you provide a better argument than them.
Say if guns become more difficult to acquire, then they're going to become more expensive. The average mugger or house-breaker is going to have more difficulty getitng hold of one, no? Surely evidenced by their profession, these kinds of people do not have a wealth of disposable income.
When was the last time your average mugger or house-breaker was walking the streets with a semi-auto rifle draped across his chest? More importantly, what makes you think it will honestly have much if any impact on any criminal's access to firearms, when it's already illegal for them to possess one? It's not only that criminalization of firearms ownership means it becomes much easier for criminals to get them than good people, it's that it turns those good people necessarily into criminals. Some people would knowingly and willfully fail to register their firearms with the government, falling afoul and becoming criminals. When the government comes to take their guns--at gunpoint, I might add--some will fight to the death. It would be interesting to see how many. But it's likely more people would die from that than from all the shootings that have been allowed to be perpetrated by legislators and administrators banning guns on campuses.
what do guns have to do with 9/11?
Only that innocent people were killed because no one on the planes, not even the pilots, were allowed to have the tools to fight back. Not only that, but thousands of people died due to weapons no more sophisticated than a box cutter. You can't legislate away lunacy, and it is folly to try to outlaw everything that a lunatics can use as a weapon and anticipate every lunatic's next move. So stop trying to solve it by disarming innocent people. It doesn't work. Shockingly, there are still crimes in countries that ban even decorative swords. Apparently there are still shootings in Switzerland. Unfortunately the shooter couldn't be stopped until the police eventually showed up.

On that note: do you believe it's a good idea that everyone learns CPR, even if most people know nothing more about it than what they see in TV and movies? Why? Because it may take 20 minutes for the ambulance to get there, and you'd rather not be left to die during that time? Yeah, me either. Calling emergency services should be the first step, not the last resort. If you need to be resuscitated or defended against an attacker, you're on your own for a while assuming the phone can even be dialed. Just a thought for those who say you shouldn't have a right to defend yourself (yes, it's quite a popular thought in the governments of some parts of the country) or that you shouldn't be allowed to keep and bear arms in your home.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:23 pm

Deacon wrote:For reference, it's unfortunate but you can't easily acquire a machine gun.
I think I likely have my terminology in a twist here.
I doubt it. Having the ability to make that more difficult is something that's important for government officials to remember. Don't think the US government is really the Bourne movies level of sophisticated and cooperative.
Why? Honestly, why? I know there's an infinitesimal chance that the US government might raise arms against its own citizenship but what possible motive could they have for doing so? And why would an armed populace discourage them? You've got to hand it to the Western governments: they don't let things like armed civilians, tactical disadvantages or the presence of opposing forces stop them from doing what they deem necessary in other countries. Should your government decide to invade themselves, why would it stop them in the US? I understand the right to bear arms as a means of defending yourself against criminals. I get the basic premise. I just don't understand this.
By the by, it's been a while since I saw them but I seem to recall the pursuing shadowy agencies were made to look pretty foolish in the Bourne movies. :)
Regardless, the really cool thing about a constitutionally guaranteed right is that I should not have to justify why I should be allowed to exercise it. Rather, you should have to justify--quite extensively--why I should be denied it.
But surely noone's trying to deny you the right to bear arms? Isn't this debate about the kind of arms you are allowed to bear? Obviously I'm completely unfamiliar with the US constitution - is it worded as simply as 'The right to bear arms' and left at that?
As incredibly rare as they are, and as few people die as they do
I guess 'rare' and 'few' are subjective measurements. I was pretty shocked by the number of shootings cited in that article I posted a page or two back.
If you're looking to do something about the mass shootings, you don't need to limit good people's access to firearms.
But referring again to the Washington Post article I posted,the vast majority of shooters in the 60-odd mass shootings in the US in the last 30 years had obtained their weapon legally. It's difficult to argue with your stance that you should have the right to defend yourself against an armed criminal. I'm finding it difficult to see beyond avoiding arming them in the first place. As you mention next:
More importantly, what makes you think it will honestly have much if any impact on any criminal's access to firearms, when it's already illegal for them to possess one?
Well, where are criminals getting the guns now?
Someone - no matter how far back up the chain - is obtaining the weapon legally to begin with before they hawk it or it gets stolen or however weapons make it onto the black market. Or is it feasible that individuals can make guns? This is a genuine question - I didn't know you could make bullets. Is it easy enough to get guns from South America that restricting legal ownership would have no effect on illegal ownership?

criminalization of firearms...turns those good people necessarily into criminals. Some people would knowingly and willfully fail to register their firearms with the government, falling afoul and becoming criminals. When the government comes to take their guns--at gunpoint, I might add--some will fight to the death. It would be interesting to see how many.
Maybe I'm just too British but to me that sounds like bunkum. You live in a democracy. You choose your government. That government makes the law. You abide by them. If you don't like the way the government is working, you vote for a different one. It's a million miles away from a perfect system but it's what we've got. What it isn't is a pick and mix situation where you can start shooting at enforcers of the laws you happen to disagree with. I don't understand this.
what do guns have to do with 9/11?
Only that innocent people were killed because no one on the planes, not even the pilots, were allowed to have the tools to fight back.
Ah, OK. I get you. I shudder at the thought of an Easyjet flight full of tanked-up schemies all carrying guns at high altitudes but it's a persuasive argument for allowing officals - pilots or teachers - more powers to defend their charges. Although I still think that there's no need for any competent gun user to need dozens or hundreds of rounds to bring down a criminal at home, or in particular on a plane or in a classroom. These are the types of weapons that seem to be making it easy for mass shootings to occur which is why I agreed with the suggested proposition.
To Let

User avatar
Martin Blank
Knower of Things
Knower of Things
Posts: 12648
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2003 4:11 am
Real Name: Jarrod Frates
Gender: Male
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: The second amendment

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:26 am

collegestudent22 wrote:Just for the record, the "military characteristic" thing is merely cosmetic:
Actually, the way the legislation is worded (a foregrip or anything that can function as one), the protruding magazine could be interpreted as a foregrip and thus the entire weapon prohibited from sale after the ban took effect. It would also prohibit all transfers of banned weapons, including inheritance upon death.
Rorschach wrote:Why? Honestly, why? I know there's an infinitesimal chance that the US government might raise arms against its own citizenship but what possible motive could they have for doing so? And why would an armed populace discourage them? You've got to hand it to the Western governments: they don't let things like armed civilians, tactical disadvantages or the presence of opposing forces stop them from doing what they deem necessary in other countries. Should your government decide to invade themselves, why would it stop them in the US? I understand the right to bear arms as a means of defending yourself against criminals. I get the basic premise. I just don't understand this.
It's not just defense against common criminals. It may be defense against a government. Consider that both Libya and Syria started by a few people with some rifles, pistols, and some knowledge of how to make home-made bombs. While the rebels in Libya had the benefit of NATO airstrikes, the rebels in Syria have had no such blessings but have fought on. They now field tanks and artillery, and there have been rumors that they have at least a couple of aircraft, though they're rarely flown because the Syrian government still owns the skies. As I recall, the Irish started out without much more than rifles, shotguns, and pistols before kicking the British out of most of the island.
Isn't this debate about the kind of arms you are allowed to bear? Obviously I'm completely unfamiliar with the US constitution - is it worded as simply as 'The right to bear arms' and left at that?
There was already a long discussion about it. But here's the amendment in its entirety:
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.
This gets confusing because the terminology and grammar of the time is not what we use now. The Supreme Court decided in the Heller and McDonald cases that there is an individual right to bear arms and that this right applies to the states as well as the federal government. The apply to weapons "in common use at the time." While the concept was applied most specifically to handguns and shotguns, it leaves open the possibility that it could apply to other weapons as well.

There's also the fact that the militia is described in the law in 10 USC § 311 - Militia: composition and classes. It includes all males over the age of 17 and under the age of 45 who are or intend to become citizens, plus all females in the National Guard. These make up the unorganized militia; the organized militia are basically the National Guard and Naval and Marine Corps Reserves. It is a reserve to be drawn on in time of national emergency, and as such, historically were expected to provide their own arms wherever possible.

It is understandable to me that you wouldn't understand this position at a basic level. Most people from other countries that I've seen discussing this don't understand, but at least you're trying to get a grip on it. It's possible, perhaps even likely, that US citizens will never need to take up arms against their own government. I'd like to think this is the case. But reputable governments have taken dark turns over time.

I think there's more to it than this, but that's for another post that is being built which touches on this but has a completely different point. I'd post it on Facebook, but for some reason, the basic points have been attacked as anti-gun, something that I think is ludicrous for reasons that will become apparent once you see the post.
If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:45 am

I look forward to reading that post. As usual you seem able to communicate succinctly and with an even tone where I seem to fail. It's hard for me to discuss these subjects when it feels like there's no common convergence, a mutual starting point. It becomes overwhelming quickly.

It's also hard for me to discern when people are simply playing Devil's Advocate or are being sincere. For example, when someone says, "Pish posh. No government that has started out as democratically elected has ever gone awry nor will ever go awry. It's all but impossible." I honestly am not sure how to respond other than, "Uhhh...nuh-uh!" You don't have to look too much further than almost all of Latin America, a good helping of Africa, Germany on its way to WWII, and probably lots of others I'm either forgetting or not widely educated enough to know about or readily recall.

In a political culture that fosters never letting a crisis go to waste, it doesn't seem like it would take an apocalyptic set if events to turn our world upside down, though such events are definitely not only theoretically possible but legitimately plausible within my lifetime. Massive natural disasters (the Yellowstone caldera letting loose, an asteroid, a rogue solar flare, etc) or man-made disasters (a nuclear explosion, coordinated dirty bomb attacks, accidental biological agent contamination or nuclear meltdown, a Y2K style problem, who knows), or even just a massive political divide reaching critical mass (Civil War, anyone?) could all potentially throw things into chaos. And that's without even something as simple as a charismatic leader establishing his own new reich. Yes, we're fat and happy today. What does tomorrow bring?

This is America. For all our ridiculous excesses and entitlements and complacency and extremely dubious handling of finances as of late, there's still a strong independent, self-reliant streak through our nation with a distrustful eye toward those whom we allow to govern us. A fundamental part of us *allowing* them to govern us is that if it came right down to it--and I sincerely hope it never does--we could throw off their yoke, fight our way out from under the heel of their boot. No, I as an individual could never stand up to the entire military might of our nation. But you can bet that it will be damn near impossible to start rounding up "my kind" (whatever that may be) into extermination camps. Between armed citizens and defected military, we would not go gentle into that good night. A military coup would be nigh on impossible as well. A Commander-In-Chief declaring himself supreme dictator would not--could not--last long, and it would not be pretty while it did last.

Sure, we like to think of ourselves as more mature, more reasonable, more...genteel and sophisticated than the Latin Americans, Africans, Germans, Irish, and others. Right? We're better than they are. We will never get to a point where people are willing--even compelled--to take up arms against their government. But that's not true. Yes, for the most part politicians are greedy, attention-hungry bastards hoping to keep the carousel turning long enough to carve out their piece of Americans' pie. But some are not. Some are principled. And what happens when they're able to steer the nation toward a principled stand? If it's something you agree with, like say the inherent superiority of the Aryan race, then maybe you're happy. Or maybe if you're a homosexual Jewish cripple you damn well will not be made to board that cattle car.

Shit, what if there is some sort of zombie thing out there one day? OK, so maybe that one's not really borne out in history ;)

Yeah, target shooting is a great time, hunting can be fun and is also the single greatest source of wetlands preservation in the nation and the preservation of other natural habitats, and defending yourself, your family, and your fellow man from attackers is important, and all of those are at least a little of what the Second Amendment is about. But it's really about something much more important: keeping would-be dictators in check. Plus, it just makes sense in the context of the world we live in. The answer isn't Democrat or Republican. The answer is liberty.

The Second Amendment is an integral, fundamental, and foundational part of the Bill of Rights, with grave and solemn reason. This proposed bill, on the other hand, is an ill-advised infringement upon those guaranteed rights. It is an attempt to take advantage of the timely convergence of widespread hysteria and ignorance to further a faction's political dogma. Too many people have grown fat and happy, and complacency is so much easier and tempting, vigilance too much effort. It'll never happen to us, after all. We are immune to both humanity and history.

And at the same time they have become too urbanized and trusting in the myth of lightning-quick police response times, and thus they are terribly ignorant about firearms, their function, and their use, with the entirety of their education being the fantastical representations of Hollywood action movies and TV shows. These same people who've never been attacked in their home and who think the lobby scene from The Matrix was a documentary are sitting on their couches happily munching away on chips and hotpockets when they're horrified to hear of the terrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary, and rightly so. But they take the wrong lesson from the tragedy, leaping to the conclusion--helped along by media and their ever faithful politicians--that so-called "assault weapons" are a scourge in our society, that they uniquely facilitate far more than their share of deaths, that if they could wave a magic wand and leave only government agents holding weapons then we would all be safe forever.

In fact, none of those are true. There are millions (I think!) of "assault rifles" out there, including all those manufactured and sold in the last 9 years since the last silly and entirely ineffectual ban expired (with none of the rivers of blood and chaos in the streets predicted by Feinstein and her ilk). Yet ALL rifles of ANY type all lumped together are still responsible for only roughly 2/3rds the deaths of straight murders committed with the common hammer, numbering between 250 and 450 total in any recent year according to the FBI's stats. These school shootings are extremely rare. Shootings with any of the "assault rifles" are still incredibly rare even if you count them all. The one common factor in all of them? By law the victims were not allowed to stop the attacker.

These shootings could only take place because the good, responsible, brave, and qualified adults on the scene were disarmed by cynical politicians, offering feel-good legislation they knew perfectly well would facilitate a lunatic's rampage of this nature. At best, these politicians were obnoxiously naive and angrily negligent. And being either cruelly cynical or criminally cretinous, they have attempted to seize upon this tragedy THEY had a major hand in facilitating, not to redress their grievances but to redouble their folly on a grand scale.

Guns themselves are not the problem. Preventing good people stopping bad people is the problem. Guns are necessary in so many ways to the security of a free state, to keep that state free, to defend it, and to defend, feed, and even entertain the individuals within that free state. It is not for me to justify why I should be allowed to exercise a right. It is for you to justify why you should stop good people from doing so. There is almost never such a justification, and there certainly is not one here.

And now I find myself needing to get up in less than 3 hours so I can exercise my Second Amendment rights in the pursuit of delicious venison, so I'll step off my soap box. Lest I be misunderstood: to disarm good people--especially citizens of America--is folly, misguided at best, insidious at worst.

PS This was written on my iPhone, as are nearly all my posts in recent history. This is just longer than most. Please forgive any typos or solar odd hiccups in language.
Last edited by Deacon on Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:23 am

Martin Blank wrote:It is understandable to me that you wouldn't understand this position at a basic level.
I agree. It's not a conversation I've had in much length with my own peers but they seem to feel as I do.
Deacon wrote:Guns themselves are not the problem. Preventing good people stopping bad people is the problem.
The shortness of this reply does little justice to your post, but I believe we're approaching this from slightly differing viewpoints. I don't think preventing good people stopping bad people is the problem. I think preventing bad people from getting their hands on guns is the problem - if that's even possible. Or stopping good people becoming bad people with the aid of a gun and a hitherto-unmanifested mental problem.

Good hunting. Although real men use pool cues. :p
To Let

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:34 am

"Assault rifles" aren't the problem. Neither are hammers. Not is it access to hammers or rifles. A bad guy with a bow, a hatchet, a knife, a revolver, a semi auto handgun, a bout-action rifle, a semi-auto rifle, a pipe bomb, gasoline and a match, gasoline styrofoam and a match, or a simple pear burner, will not be stopped by a sign that says, "no violence allowed." He will be stopped by rapidly moving lead, however.

A lunatic will be a lunatic, and you can't necessarily tell who will become a lunatic of this nature ahead of time. It's already generally illegal for felons and crazy people to purchase and possess firearms. But you cannot--shall not--use such occurrences to use crazy people to limit my constitutionally guaranteed rights. You don't get to force me to submit to a government psychologist's examination and recurring check-ups, for example, in order to allow me to own a firearm. You don't get to take it by force when I die to forbid it from being handed down through my family.

What you're asking for is basically impossible without severe infringements upon a whole host of rights and freedoms and dramatic intrusions into privacy, all at great cost to the whole nation, both monetarily and morally.

Bad guys and lunatics will always exist. Some are born, some are made, and some seem to simply become. Do not make it illegal for good people to stop them, and you'll find the damage that can be done will be drastically reduced without having to infringe on the rights and freedoms of free men. It's a clear example of a problem that can be solved with more freedom instead of less. It's the "less" part, infringing on the Bill of Rights, that allowed the death toll to be as high as it was. To me it's a miracle these instances are so rare, considering there's nothing to stop them happening unless an otherwise upstanding citizen is willing to risk family, career, and freedom to break the law in case the lottery-like odds just happen to fall against them one day. Make no mistake, such a hero would be torn apart and lose all of those things after the fact, made an example of lest anyone else think of intervening to stop a madman.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:08 am

You, in the US, want a gun to stop criminals with guns.
I, in the UK, don't want a gun as our criminals generally don't carry them.

You argue that the necessary means should be permitted to stop armed criminals.
I believe that those means are arming the criminals. That belief, in fairness, is only that.

I know what you're saying that criminals will arm themselves with whatever they can, but I think guns are a unique case in that they're the most efficient killing device we have. They're impersonal, you can kill lots of people quickly with them at a distance, you don't get your hands dirty and they're almost impossible to defend yourself against unless you can match gun with gun. None of which can be said about knives, hatchets or hammers, which is why, I suppose, they're not used to kill groups of people.
I'd much rather fancy the chances of two or three people stopping someone wielding a knife than a gun, although, of course, that's a difficult case to make when you're talking about an elementary school and it's a big assumption to make that people will tackle an assailant unarmed anyway.

I don't know. I can see both sides of the argument - which is more than in the past. I also understand the vehemence with which you will protect your constitutional right and I find it difficult to argue with. It'd be like you arguing that Macaroni Pies should not be a part of our national diet. It's an abstract to you, but a way of life to me.
To Let

ampersand
Crazy Person
Posts: 7404
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:43 pm
Real Name: Andrew Kunz
Gender: Male
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: The second amendment

Post by ampersand » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:30 am

Rorsch, isn't there kind of a similarity with the outlawing of Fox hunts in Britain?

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:09 pm

Yeah, from the point of view that it's an ingrained part of some people's lives, I suppose there is.
It might be a little more divisive than gun control is there, but I'm not sure.
To Let

User avatar
BtEO
Crazy Person
Posts: 4785
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 2:28 pm
Location: England

Re: The second amendment

Post by BtEO » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:23 pm

ampersand wrote:Rorsch, isn't there kind of a similarity with the outlawing of Fox hunts in Britain?
There is no ban on hunting foxes, there remain numerous legal methods to lure a fox from its den to then shoot it dead.

There is only a ban on "fox hunting" as a heavily ritualised upper-class event they would like to believe is the only way to kill foxes and control the population (not to mention many hunts actively bred and kept foxes to that they could ensure there was enough stock when the hunt season came around). Sending 30+ trained hounds to chase and maul foxes while hunters in brightly coloured uniforms shout battle cries atop horses — where the only direct action a hunter might take is to put a near-dead fox out of its misery — has about as much place (in my opinion naturally) in the world as cockfighting or badger baiting which were both outlawed in the UK in the mid 1800s.

I can see some similarities though. As Rors said, it can be very deeply ingrained for some people such that for them there should never have been any discussion on its legality; to do so is to guarantee foxes overrun the country killing or injuring livestock and pets alike with impunity and also create mass unemployment in countryside communities because all their friends' employment depends in whole or part on the hunts.

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:14 pm

Rorschach wrote:You, in the US, want a gun to stop criminals with guns.
I, in the UK, don't want a gun as our criminals generally don't carry them.
As it applies to the US, there's no real way to unring that bell. In the UK, you're used to a certain way of doing things, while some of those things don't really translate across the pond. There are limitations to free speech (e.g. showing the parliament in session) that wouldn't even be considered here, with examples in other European countries such as nazi symbolism in Germany. The same very much applies to guns.

For the sake of clarity, there are really two disparate discussions going on here. First, there's the discussion of the Second Amendment in the first place, as an overall concept. Second, there's the question of this ridiculous and sweeping "assault weapons" ban.

On the first, remember that this is a nation founded in revolution. Unlike our neighbors to the north, the Queen isn't on our money. Part of the reason for that is the very strongly liberty-minded nature of those who declared and fought for independence. So deep were these roots that founders like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry spoke of rebellion as in fact necessary for a proper free democracy to flourish, and nearly all the big names championed liberty over the promise of security. In America, we furnish our own security. Hopefully the authorities will deal with whatever's left when they eventually show up. I realize there's a pretty deep chasm there between our two cultures, one of quite a few. We're more alike than different, but identical twins we certainly are not.

Britons, to my understanding, have never had an intrinsic right to self defense (not at any cost, at least), and certainly there's never been any right for the crown's subjects to keep and bear arms. What for, after all? They are subjects of the crown, and the crown will take care of defense both national and personal. Leave that to "your betters" I'm sure. They've for centuries known that the stags in the forest and the swans on the lakes belong to the crown, and poaching is not encouraged. Wales was not a wilderness to be tamed in the 19th and much of the 20th century, and your whole island fits in Texas alone almost three times over. That simply has never existed over here, neither reliance on our rulers not the intrinsic trust that they'll make it all alright. We disbelieved that so much in fact that we fought a war about it. And from there we've had significantly different histories.

Even if we were to pretend that the US as a nation were beyond any possibility of chaos, dictatorship, coup, or any other such upheaval, that no natural or man made disaster could make things take a dark turn, that we are the first in history not not to be subject to history, the first to rise above humanity forever, we still have way too many guns and way too many people who would rather not give them up for anything less than a protracted and bloody war against door-to-door Gestapo raids to even make a dent. Some would begrudgingly roll over, but not all, and few criminals. It's already damn near illegal in Mexico to own or possess a firearm--you think the cartels are going to give them up, too?

No, even if I thought it was a good idea, that it would solve anything at all, which I do not, repealing the Second Amendment and then seizing this nation's privately held arms (at gunpoint, I might point out once again) would be basically impossible, and certainly costly in every regard, and we cannot have the stomach for it. Only then could we even start on the criminal element, which after having a field day would not suddenly become upstanding citizens but would use any one of a dozen other weapons, probably knives most likely.

No, the Second Amendment neither causes nor prevents any societal problems. Mass murders (which is what you seem to be wanting to avoid) remain very rare and almost always preventable. Why do you think you hear about these shootings only in schools and the like, places where only those who abide by the law are disarmed, never in police stations, shooting ranges, etc? Hell, if guns were the problem, shooting ranges would be the continual scenes of horrific bloodbaths. They're not.

As to the second, this proposed bill, if it were in place--and followed to a T even-- it would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the events at Sandy Hook. Literally, it would not have changed a thing. Do you realize that? It would have changed nothing about how it went down, the body count, none of it. The only thing that could've changed that is allowing qualified faculty and staff who passed the background checks, the training, and the tests, to arm themselves so as to stop the killer. Instead we get a massacre, followed by this meaningless piece of ridiculous legislation. Vultures.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:16 pm

Aren't you supposed to be hunting today? Are you posting this from inside a hide? :)

I'm only going to address the second part of your post if that's okay. And with a question, too.
Deacon wrote: As to the second, this proposed bill, if it were in place--and followed to a T even-- it would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the events at Sandy Hook.
Do you think the limiting of shell capability might make such future atrocities less likely?

If not, I agree with you that the proposal is a waste of time.
To Let

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:53 am

Nope. Not even a little. At worst it can be inconvenient to carry an extra magazine or two with you. Tuck an extra in the other hip pocket.

PS Yes I posted it within a deer blind :)
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

User avatar
Rorschach
The Immoral Immortal
Posts: 17691
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:35 am
Gender: Male
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: The second amendment

Post by Rorschach » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:35 am

Ah, a detachable magazine and one military characteristic. I read 'or.

Catch anything? Is that the right word? That seems like a fishing term. Land much? Shoot much? Get much?
To Let

User avatar
Deacon
Shining Adonis
Posts: 44137
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2003 3:00 pm
Gender: Male
Location: Lakehills, TX

The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:12 pm

It was a successful hunt. No trophy bucks or whatever, just a happy coincidence where responsible wildlife management calls for another couple of mature does to be taken while the freezer calls for another couple of does worth of cruelty-free, free-range, organic, partially corn-fed venison.
The follies which a man regrets the most in his life are those which he didn't commit when he had the opportunity. - Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men, 1922

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Common Crawl (Research), Petalbot and 0 guests