The second amendment

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Deacon
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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:07 pm

There have been a couple of interesting videos and debates lately on this topic. There was the ridiculous one with that one dude hollering at Piers Morgan the whole time, but it was followed up by a rebuttal from a local journalist in Cincinnati, pointing out actual facts:

[youtube]tRJ0ls_W9XM[/youtube]

There was a follow-up debate on Piers Morgan's show later with a much more reasonable and rational person, Ben Shapiro with Breitbart. Still lots of talking over each other, but at least he's a little more controlled about it. Some good points are made.

[youtube]LJdhAm_oUUs[/youtube]


In the end, I still see the push to strip Americans of semi-auto rifles, force a registration, etc, as a cynical attempt to leverage a sensational news story to re-start the process of marginalizing the Second Amendment since an attempt to repeal it outright is doomed. The '94 ban was a pain in the butt orchestrated for no real purpose by people who don't know guns, as it had no effect on crime, and it's been almost a decade since it expired without the promised apocalypse raining down on us as a result.

Hammers still killed more people in 2011 than any rifles of any sort, scary looking or otherwise, and are dwarfed by the number of people killed by knives. It's disingenuous to imagine that banning semiautomatic rifles will cause a nosedive in crime--if only because there are so few crimes that involve them! Even if you agreed with the idea that no government has ever taken a dark turn, that no massive natural disaster could ever interrupt our society, and that I as a law-abiding American citizen should not be allowed to responsibly own a semiauto rifle because you're concerned about possible crimes committed, that would be the LAST place you start. First you'd go about banning handguns, then knives, then construction tools, then automobiles, THEN rifles.

This isn't even about stopping actual crimes. This is about disarming Americans.

Click the pic to learn more about this concept:

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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:54 am

Anyone happen to hear about this? http://bearingarms.com/derpin-carry-tex ... ationwide/

That article was very well said. Guys swaggering through Target with an AR strapped to their back may not be breaking any laws, but they are damn near criminally negligent in how much they're damaging the progress we've been slowly making toward the restoration of our Second Amendment rights.

As far as I'm concerned, I've said it before that I personally would not choose to open carry any kind of firearm in my normally day-to-day life. I don't think it's tactically sound, it can be needlessly disruptive, and at best it would be convenient here and there.

Regardless, I will continue to utilize my CHL when I feel like it as long as it's legal. I avoid any business with a 30-06 sign. Target is playing a public CYA game. If it were truly important to them they would take whatever action they could to actually ban guns. As a major corporation, they want to avoid both controversy and liability, and that's exactly what they've tried to do here. Nothing more.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:34 am

lucksi wrote:Gun owners ... have guns/rifles that are 200 years more advanced when that was written.

Need a rifle to protect yourself against tyrants? Get a muzzleloader.
Is it better to be a martyr or a hero? Both have their place, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather live for a cause than to die for it.

Many of those in favor of repealing the Second Amendment suggest that both the spirit and and mechanics are no longer valid because the Bill of Rights was put together at the tail end of 18th century. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such an argument. I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is on freedom, but it's never been explained why every other part of the Bill of Rights is exempted from that.

The argument is that technology has advanced, so your rights are no longer applicable, even though the government from which the Bill of Rights was created to protect you has far outpaced any such technology available to individual citizens.

The authors of the Bill of Rights could never anticipate or legitimately envision today's technology and whatever the latest panic is about (Communists? Terrorists?), but somehow the First and Fourth Amendments are still applicable and remain passionately defended?

I think when it comes down to it, we as humans tend to be fairly narrowly focused on their own experiences, the anecdotal evidence used to build a worldview. And if the culture in which someone is raised frowns on self-defense and self-reliance in favor of relying on what is claimed to be a fundamentally sound and incorruptible government (sure, it has its issues here and there but will always be trustworthy and have your best interests at heart and will be there to protect you from the bad people--never become the bad people themselves), where they believe words will be sufficient to stop a violent criminal invading your home, and that it's better to be a martyr than a hero, then the problem isn't with any time period's weapon tech but the very concept embodied in the Second Amendment, crafted by men who understood very well, first hand, that tyranny can easily masquerade as a legitimate government and wished to never have future generations go through that again.

In the interest of invoking Godwin's Law, here are two items that I think helps clarify the question and nullify any argument that your right to free speech or against unreasonable search and seizure or to keep and bear arms is not about or nullified by technology but about fundamental concepts of human rights and tyranny.

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police." -- Adolf Hitler, 1942, "Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944: Secret Conversations"

"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." US Constitution, Amendment II
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

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Re: The second amendment

Post by NorthernComfort » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:47 pm

Deacon wrote:That article was very well said. Guys swaggering through Target with an AR strapped to their back may not be breaking any laws, but they are damn near criminally negligent in how much they're damaging the progress we've been slowly making toward the restoration of our Second Amendment rights.
I have no patience for those types of people. Their actions demonstrate exceptionally poor judgement and it's too much risk to be in proximity of such stupid people, especially when they’re armed and out to prove a point.
Deacon wrote:The argument is that technology has advanced, so your rights are no longer applicable, even though the government from which the Bill of Rights was created to protect you has far outpaced any such technology available to individual citizens.
Is that really the argument? There is disagreement as to what are “dangerous and unusual” as opposed to “common usage” weapons, as specified in D.C. v. Heller. That’s the argument I’m familiar with across the country, and I think most people’s views are in this territory.

There is probably some liberal fringe that supports repealing the 2nd amendment, just as there are some who think it’s wise to waltz around Target with an AR-15. I wouldn't spend much time constructing arguments for the lunatic fringes of society, it's usually just straw men bouncing off of straw men.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:24 am

In this very thread Lucksi said to grab a musket, implying the second amendment only applies to technology that existed in the late 1700's when the amendment was ratified. It's a very common argument.

The "unusual" aspect of an argument also seems off. What makes something unusual, exactly, and why would something unusual be specifically or inherently unconstitutional? All arms should be dangerous.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:43 pm

I interpreted the comment about muzzleloaders as hyperbolic rhetoric on his part, but I can't speak for him.

Unusual just means unusual. What's "usual" is relative, and has been relative in historical law as well. Let's dive in. The phrase pops up a couple times in D.C. v. Heller. [1]
DC v Heller wrote:The Government's brief spent two pages discussing English legal sources, concluding "that at least the carrying of weapons without lawful occasion or excuse was always a crime" and that (because of the class-based restrictions and the prohibition on terrorizing people with dangerous or unusual weapons) "the early English law did not guarantee an unrestricted right to bear arms."
The early English law they're talking about was Blackstone's "Commentaries on the Laws of England" (1765) in Chapter 11, "Of Offenses Against The Public Peace" [2], which states:
Blackstone wrote:The offence of riding or going armed, with dangerous or unusual weapons is a crime against the public peace, by terrifying the good people of the land; and is particularly prohibited by the statute of Northampton… upon pain of forfeiture of the arms, and imprisonment during the king's pleasure, in like manner, as by the laws of Solon, every Athenian was finable who walked about the city in armour.
This establishes pretty clearly that being unusually armed is alarming and disturbs the public peace, and that it's a criminal offense to do so. Let's fast forward to the works of a founding father, in "The Works of the Honourable James Wilson" [3].
James Wilson wrote:Affrays are crimes against the personal safety of the citizens; for in their personal safety, their personal security and peace are undoubtedly comprehended. An affray is a fighting of persons in a publick place, to the terrour of the citizens … In some cases, there may be an affray, where there is no actual violence; as where a man arms himself with dangerous and unusual weapons, in such a manner, as will naturally diffuse a terrour among the people.
This restates the points in Blackstone, and clarifies that no actual violence is required for it to be an affray. If it is common for everybody to walk around with a pistol on their waist, nobody will find it especially dangerous or unusual. But when somebody walks into a saloon holding two drawn pistols and two muskets on their back, they've gone beyond what is expected/usual. The concept seems to be that in a peaceful society, there should be no reason to walk around armed to the teeth, as it quite rightly scares people, which in turn breaks the notion of a peaceful society.

The concept of affrays is boiled down to essence in Dunlap's "A Digest of the Law Relative to Justices of the Peace" in 1815, page 8. [4]
Dunlap wrote:It is likewise said to be an affray, at common law, for a man to arm himself with dangerous and unusual weapons, in such a manner as will naturally cause terror to the people.
This concisely cements the logic that simply carrying some weapons is an affray. The type of weapons are not specific, as it is relative to the norm of the day. It's assumed that citizens can recognize what is usual or unusual, and are naturally frightened by the unusual. So it's a very relative statement- relative to the time and era, and also the populace's stomach for displays of especially dangerous weapons. Maybe it's like the famous comment on pornographic material- we know it when we see it.

Hopefully this clears up what "unusual" means in this context. Is carrying a holstered pistol unusual? I don't think so, and most people wouldn't. Is carrying an AR-15 into a Chipotle unusual? I would say, yes, absolutely. So in this sense modern society is far more accommodating of people's right to bear arms than historic legal precedent possibly intended it to be.

My hunch about why "dangerous" is also carefully specified- only dangerous weapons cause alarm. If I walked around with a potato gun it would certainly be unusual, but probably wouldn't inspire much terror. The combination of dangerous and unusual is what disturbs the public peace.

[1] http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf
[2] http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/comm/f ... stone.html
[3] http://www.constitution.org/jwilson/jwilson3.htm
[4] https://archive.org/details/newyorkjusticeor00dunliala
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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:22 pm

It sounds like it's not a question of whether a weapon is unusual so much as if it's wielded or displayed in an unusual way, or rather an intent to raise alarm. And I would hate to think my right to free speech were to be considered forfeit if I spoke in unusual words.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by NorthernComfort » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:32 pm

Deacon wrote:It sounds like it's not a question of whether a weapon is unusual so much as if it's wielded or displayed in an unusual way, or rather an intent to raise alarm.
It's pretty clear the the adjective "unusual" is referring to the weapons themselves, as the adjective is repeatedly used to describe the weapons, not the mannerisms.
Deacon wrote:And I would hate to think my right to free speech were to be considered forfeit if I spoke in unusual words.
I’m not sure where you're drawing this possibility from.
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The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:49 pm

That commonality is not a good judge of whether someone's rights are available to be infringed. Can someone pull up stats sheets and claim a side by side shotgun isn't common these days, so you're not allowed? What is "unusual" exactly?
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Re: The second amendment

Post by NorthernComfort » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:05 pm

As I said above, unusual means unusual, meaning it's relative to the era. Feel free to check out the sources I've included. It seems like you're hesitant to give credence to the meaning "dangerous and unusual" historically has had. If you believe in an alternate interpretation, I'm curious to hear it, but D.C. v. Heller seems to agree with the historically constant interpretation.

In U.S. v. Henry (2012) a home-made machine gun was deemed dangerous & unusual, while the 20+ other weapons he had in his possession weren't deemed. So that's one example of how this law is being applied in modern times.
http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/o ... -30181.pdf
Defendant-Appellant Matthew Wayne Henry appeals his conviction for illegal possession of a homemade machine gun, under 18 U.S.C. § 922(o). He contends that he has a Second Amendment right to possess a homemade machine gun in his home. We reject this argument because machine guns are “dangerous and unusual weapons” that are unprotected by the Second Amendment. Dist. of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 627 (2008). Henry also argues that Congress did not have the power to enact § 922(o)’s prohibition against possessing machine guns pursuant to the powers delegated to Congress in the Commerce Clause. That argument fails because we already have held that the Commerce Clause authorizes §922(o)’s machine gun possession ban.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:12 pm

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let's not have any native militia or native police." -Hitler, 1942

Beware your rulers seeking to disarm you "for your own good" or for the security of the state. No one has ever been protected by removing their means of defense, and no right should ever have its exercise disallowed based on whether your rulers or neighbors don't see an immediate and pressing need. A free man does not need to beg permission to exercise his rights.
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

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Re: The second amendment

Post by Deacon » Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:54 am

Food for thought, in case you're still under the impression that more guns means more gun deaths. In both raw numbers and then percentages.

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Re: The second amendment

Post by The Cid » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:23 pm

It doesn't matter. We can not, will not, and probably will never be able to have a discussion as a society on guns. A discussion. Forget about a reasonable one. No no, we've all gone beyond that. The idea that, gee, there are a lot of mass shootings going on and they do seem to happen too often in America will never seriously be addressed either. Because when a shooting happens the pro-gun people get hardened into their camps for fear someone's going to take their guns away, and an equal and opposite reaction happens from the people who think only our societal superiors should have guns so they can better tell us what we ought do.

Never mind that these shootings continue to happen. Let's forget about all of them. Because that's way easier than having a national conversation about the second amendment, and about paranoia, and about the dangers of Americans vilifying other Americans slash being convinced the wolves are at the door.

I'm pro second amendment. Guns exist, it's too late if you ask me. You can ban things that exist all you'd like, and they'll still show up in society. But that doesn't mean that every time some nutjob takes a gun and murders a whole lot of people with it, that we can't have some kind of basic conversation about how we've gotten this far down this road and what we might be able to do about it moving forward.

Short of arming everybody, because that's about as insane a solution to me as taking all the guns away.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by NorthernComfort » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:13 pm

I have no problem with guns, but frankly gun nuts creep me out. Too much melodramatic rhapsodizing and seemingly wishful thinking about killing their imagined foes that try to take their guns.
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Re: The second amendment

Post by raptor9k » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:50 pm

I know a LOT of gun nuts and none of them fantasize about killing people....period. As with anything, you're only seeing the most vocal/radical instances on the news and internet because they garner the most attention and generate more page views.

The average gun nut just loves to shoot and train. The NRA hard-line isn't a realistic representation of most members, much less most gun owners. Many shooting facilities require NRA membership to join. Many people join the NRA because for the longest time they were the ONLY group fighting for gun owner's rights. I myself am a life member, yet have no problem with most existing gun laws (just don't get me started on the NFA...).

The reality is, gun control beyond the current measures (which are rarely correctly enforced) doesn't work. California/Chicago/D.C. have some of the strictest gun laws in the country but mass shootings are still easily carried out. You can't put the genie back in the bottle so we should probably stop trying. Focus on fixing the mental health issues in our country. Stop playing security theater and invest in something that ACTUALLY WORKS.

Instead, we will continue this pointless debate on weapons that are used in a tiny fraction of all crimes and account for fewer homicides per year than common household objects.

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