The Second Amendment as defense against government

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Deacon
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The Second Amendment as defense against government

Post by Deacon » Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:53 pm

I think many of us could agree that while there might be ancillary reasons for the 2A being added to the Bill of Rights and some level of vagueness regarding the meaning of the “well regulated militia” verbiage, the primary reason the founders added it at the time was to ensure that we the people retained the ability to fight back against the government should the need arise as they decided it had against King George III.

However, does this remain feasible today? Much has been made of the post-9/11 “militarization” of police, and of course most of that revolving around continued prohibition remains its own topic of debate, but even without MRAPs and so on, do most of us stand a chance against overwhelming force in a surprise attack in the middle of the night? I don’t really think we do. It seems like the sole remaining deterrent is more of a macro concept of the individual bloodbaths that would be required to take firearms by force, not a more vague concept of tyranny—much less widespread agreement on that tyranny and what constitutes sufficient tyranny to warrant an armed uprising en masse.

The ill-advised and egregiously executed raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, KY, seems like as good an example as any of the intersection of 2A rights and tyranny. Government agents refused to activate their body cameras as required, by all accounts other than their own did not announce themselves, made numerous tactical errors, and after they broke into the home they met a single shot fired in self defense with several dozen of their own, including afterward from the outside of the apartment. In doing so, they killed the apartment’s unarmed resident. The single shot fired in self defense was by her otherwise uninvolved boyfriend who was staying over and who possessed his handgun legally and even had it licensed/registered. It didn’t matter in the end. That the government agents attacked the apartment prematurely with scant evidence and questionable cause—and yet still rubber stamped by a bored judge—all just to see if maybe there were drugs in the apartment (there weren’t nor any evidence there ever had been) paints a pretty damning picture of what objectively should be easily classified as an example of the tyranny of an overly enthusiastic government that puts on their jackboots too quickly and willingly for highly questionable returns and acquits itself of accountability after the fact.

Someone in the middle of the night starts banging angrily on your front door, remains silent to your shouted demands to know who it is, and as you approach your front door it’s kicked off its hinges. You only get off a single shot in self defense against the intruders who then murder your spouse, tie you up, and take you away while mocking you for being frightened and telling you you won’t be returning. It turns out the intruders were government agents who acted poorly in response to thin and unsubstantiated guess work in support of prohibition, wantonly endangering those around the target of their mistaken use of overwhelming lethal force. If this had happened in 1930, it would’ve been considered an outrage. But 90 years later it’s largely applauded by 2A supporters who seem to mostly hold both the government in contempt as well as a near religious devotion to the presumption of good and right of that same government’s agents even when they themselves refuse to follow their own rules.

Take 20 minutes to walk through the reconstruction of this event and ask yourself how you would’ve reacted any differently than those present in the home (other than possibly using more powerful firearms to defend yourself, as I would’ve) and whether you think you would’ve fared any better, keeping in mind that Kentucky and possibly your state has stand your ground laws in place ensuring the castle doctrine for your own self defense. Would you and your family escape the hail of indiscriminate gunfire into your home from multiple angles?

I live next to a guy who had been in prison for a while for drug charges, and we routinely get packages misdelivered to my address for him and to his address for me. If government agents make the same mistake—as they certainly do from time to time—while using overwhelming lethal force on similarly thin notions that he may be skirting prohibition, what would I do? Would my wife survive? Would I? Would I be a better shot and manage to take out a couple of the intruders before they got to me and maybe took me out? If they didn’t manage to kill me in the name of the government, would I be on the hook for the injuries or deaths I inflicted on the intruders? In my case I think I would probably be let off the hook because even though the government agents tried to hide their actions, I have multiple security cameras streaming to the cloud that would document their lack of identification instead of being everyone else’s word (most of them white) against theirs. If they did kill my wife, rather than a frontline medical worker she works for the government. When agents showed up after the fact to clear her body out, would they share the same look to each other when they came across her ID as they did when they saw Breonna’s uniform?

At some point, we the people are going to have to have a reckoning with our own understanding of what we stand for and why, and at what point we decide to push back against the widespread lack of accountability just because we think the tyranny only happens to our neighbors. I just don’t think the 2A is going to be the mechanism to do so. When the judiciary is in league with the executive branch, where do we turn? Do we turn at all?

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000 ... ticleShare
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 as defense against government

Post by nosystemd » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:53 pm

Deacon wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:53 pm However, does this remain feasible today?
Feasible for whom?

The armed forces, and everyone in the executive branch as well as members of Congress take an oath to defend the Constitution. The armed forces are more likely to serve the people than Congress at this point (I think Congress stopped caring about the Constitution more than a decade ago) but the only known group of armed forces people with a vocalised commitment to the idea are pretty right-wing.

I lean libertarian and I really don't care which kind of libertarian someone is. One is probably better than the other, as for anarchists there are clear lefts and rights there, but an-coms and an-caps only seem legit when they talk about certain aspects of the human condition. I'm a fan of Quantum Vibe, which is somewhat a ripoff of Atlas Shrugged (No one is more surprised than I am that I'm capable of enjoying such a thing) but I don't really believe that an-coms care about freedom of expression (or thought) and I don't really believe that an-caps care about the poor (but I could be wrong.)

What bothers me most is the idea of a constitutional crisis involving drones. Since they aren't fully autonomous and the operators take an oath, if the Commander in Chief goes completely nuts it is still him against anybody in the armed forces who sides with the people.

For now. But the spectre of drones being misused in such a way has already come up during this term (I was talking about this problem before he was elected.)

It comes down to safety mechanisms and locked controls, which are notoriously flimsy (in the past at least, a lot of drones weren't even encrypted and there were stories of them getting hijacked) so a lot of the reassurances are bunk anyway. They're all "perfectly safe", just like we are.

If there was a need for a revolution, it would likely be people against semi-autonomous robots.

But there are plenty of people already violating their oaths who would gladly use drones against their "own" citizens, so that's what the ugly future looks like.

The biggest problems are about the will of the people. It's harder to imagine them rising up much when they won't even fight for an Article V convention.

More likely you'll just have lone idiots doing dumb and pointless things like Nashville, some of which will be people who want to send a message but have no real idea what to say, along with the government itself throwing in their own false flag nonsense so they can sell more high tech solutions to themselves, paid for with your taxes.

People like to pick on the USA and I get it, the place is falling apart, but for nearly 20 years I've looked for a saner place on Earth and you know what? The whole planet is nuts.

I'd still take USA over China or Russia, but to be perfectly honest I'd prefer the freakin moon thanks very much.

I'm agnostic, but in the next life I would like to live somewhere less completely stupid. This entire monkey-covered rock is a bad joke, sir. So much potential-- so many incredibly stupid ways to squander it on BS. Earth is such a tease. "Progress!" Yeah, right.

Not a diss to the people who at least try, you know. But it's still a dumb place to live.

More realistically speaking, corporations have already taken over the first world-- Jeff Bezos has a greater net worth than a number of countries put together, and in that context the American government is really about as much the American government as the Queen of England is a British monarch. Smedley tried to warn us.

If you didn't like Trump, you're going to hate the McFacist future. But I still think he's a symptom-- worth treating, but not actually cured by voting someone else in. The whole thing is broken, and the will to fix it just isn't there. People work very hard for placebos. Placebos and cheap quick-fix bandages are the opiate of the masses.

I get that some people want things to be better. When it's 2/3 you can actually do it, but I defy you to tell me what will still be left of what we think "America" is by then. Of the people, For the people, By the people doesn't mean a whole lot when most of the people only care about television. If you really want to do something patriotic, destroy your television.

I know it's a cliche at this point, but so are elections. Leadership is entirely decided by commercials now. That's not a hippie talking, it's a Harvard/Stanford law professor. Not that I'm in love with Harvard or anything, by all means disagree-- disagreement is the foundation of freedom. Have your fun now, while saying why you're dissatisfied is still allowed.

"Legalise Freedom" is one of my favourite slogans. It gets funnier every year. America looks nothing like America. If there wasn't a flag, you wouldn't even know where it was.
Last edited by nosystemd on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Deacon
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Re: The Second Amendment as defense against government

Post by Deacon » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:59 pm

nosystemd wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:53 pm More likely you'll just have lone idiots doing dumb and pointless things like Nashville, some of which will be people who want to send a message but have no real idea what to say
That’s some poignant shit right there.
I still think he's a symptom
Oh for sure, a manifestation of multiple illnesses festering, and not just in the hardcore Republican partisans.
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 as defense against government

Post by nosystemd » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:27 pm

I believe in freedom, and progress. Without those, there's really not much point in anything else. I mean you can have some fun, you can see some beautiful places, eat some good food, fall in love and that sort of thing-- but if the world is always going to be stupid and hopeless then the best of those things are a bit fleeting in the joy they bring.

Sooner or later the biggest joy in your life is meeting someone who understands that.

Humanity owes itself better. Again, I'm agnostic-- I care more if someone has a philosophy than a religion, but most people have had their philosophy jammed by corporate culture. This is a culture of perpetual war, total surveillance and every person is a number. It crushes the soul and reduces the meaning of life to servitude towards something completely backwards.

The next 8 years will be about ownership of ideas. Every year that goes by this gets less in line with the First Amendment.

Nobody fights it. CASE just passed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CASE_Act Years ago, the internet "went dark" over SOPA/PIPA. Now it's here. Years ago, people cared about this stuff. They will continue doing this until the internet is just Smart TV. My guess is this will at least be fought until memes are legal again. But DMCA is 20 years old and still overrides first sale doctrine, which overrides copyright law.

When I say first sale doctrine, I mean nothing less than the legal reality that makes libraries and used books NOT a crime. America just takes what it can get. Libraries can only exist at the mercy of publishers who have always fought libraries, even though libraries actually increase book/media sales? Everybody is basically cool with that.

Everything fundamental is being eroded, even the watchdog organisations (EFF for example) are being bribed and bought. They still cover important stuff, but what they don't cover they don't cover most likely because of who donates what.

Freedom bores people. If you tell them they're free, that's good enough for most of them. Who goes to a library, anyway? You can just go online, even while they attack that just as fiercely as the alternatives.

It's not that the Second Amendment is unimportant. It's that people really don't care about the Constitution at all. It's been 20 years since the Patriot Act replaced it, and 20 years since they made a law that made it illegal to move your own books from one device to another without permission. And basically everybody is cool with that.

All jokes aside, if you replaced the USA with an app, most people would go for it. It's way more convenient, and you don't have to think about it. I don't think everybody is that stupid, but in a democracy it only takes a majority of people with better (or more entertaining) things to do for everything to go to hell-- and here we are. I'm not ignoring the people who aren't paying attention because they're too busy working n+1 jobs-- that's much easier to forgive but just as bad in terms of the effect.

It's a huge cultural problem. I have no idea what the solution is, but I can tell you all about the problem. There will never be freedom in a land where people generally don't give a damn. Some people think they can make them care-- I don't. I don't think you can. One more thing I'd love to be wrong about. As for the things enough people care about-- they care because they're told to. Sadly, honestly, I think that's all it is. That isn't how it's supposed to work at all.

It's sort of like the 5-minute hate in 1984, but in reverse. It's the 5-minute give a damn. Then everybody says "we did a good job!" and they go back to what they were doing before, which has so little bearing on freedom or progress. And that's good enough for everybody.

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Re: The Second Amendment as defense against government

Post by Deacon » Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:47 am

I think you’d have to define “progress” to get much buy in on that part.
nosystemd wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:27 pmAnd basically everybody is cool with that.
I think it’s less that people are cool with it and more that they do t have any good way to fight it. We just sort of put our faith in the courts and hope for the best. But of course someone has to be willing and able to take the fight to the courts in the first place, and courts have to rule properly. And then you get lawyers on the part of the defendants (including the government of course) to advise their clients on how to skirt the spirit of the law/ruling without outright breaking it.

Then you have the fetishization of men in uniforms, especially law enforcement and generalized military. Like I said, the same guys that rail against the LEOs in the ATF will also declare that those who chose a law enforcement career are nigh-on infallible and rush to their defense in all cases. 9/11 hits? Time for endless wars that kill far, far more Americans. Time to give up our rights for a security blanket that promises that sort of singular event can’t possibly happen again and the monsters under our beds can’t get us. While in the meantime we sign away any semblance of private “rights” by clicking “I Agree” in every app without hiring a team of lawyers to read through 38 pages of legalese.

The whole thing is a giant problem, and I think generally I agree with your assessments. But I think it’s more important within the context of this topic to specifically address what happens when government agents working within their extensive authority break and enter into people’s homes and meet self defense with overwhelming force.
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 as defense against government

Post by nosystemd » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:51 am

Deacon wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 2:47 am But I think it’s more important within the context of this topic to specifically address what happens when government agents working within their extensive authority break and enter into people’s homes and meet self defense with overwhelming force.
That's fair.

It's always going to be the homeowner's word against those forces. The law is already written against all citizens, it's already unconstitutional and thus illegal. But who will void it? Not SCOTUS, they're USELUS. In a constitutional country with due process, those people would have to justify their actions and prove THEY were innocent. It's not like that anymore, though. If you're a citizen, you have a right to surrender. If you're an authority, anything goes. That's clearly not how it's supposed to work.

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Re: The Second Amendment as defense against government

Post by Martin Blank » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:44 am

From DC v. Heller, written by Justice Scalia (citations omitted):
We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons."

It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.
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