US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

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Dr. Tower
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Post by Dr. Tower » Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:05 pm

Um, the second amendment was written after the Constitution was created, which was after the Articles of Confederation failed, which was put into effect in 1781, which happened to be during the war (Treaty of Paris was 1783).
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Post by Martin Blank » Fri Jul 16, 2004 6:40 pm

[quote="Pudduh";p="370984"]It is quite true that the number of people murdered in 2001/2 was 831. However the number actually killed by firearms was 43 of that number. [/quote]
I've not been able to find from official sources how the firearm murder rates have changed in the UK over the last few years. Perhaps you have some information on this that could be used for comparison?
This is a fraction of the 11,000 gun related deaths in the United States *every year*.
Invalid statistic. If you're referrring to homicides, the number is significantly lower. The following are from the FBI's Universal Crime Report.

Year: Murders / Murders by Firearm
1998: 14,209 / 9,220
1999: 13,011 / 8,480
2000: 13,230 / 8,661
2001: 14,061 / 8,890
2002: 14,054 / 9,369

If you add in suicides and accidents, the number is higher -- according to the CDC, there were 16,869 suicides using guns. Accidents add a small number to the total -- 802. You therefore have a total firearm fatality rate for 2001 of roughly 26,500. The collection methods between the UCR and the CDC's Compressed Mortality Database don't allow for much closer estmation than that.
Also attributing the rise of the gun to the increased number of murders a year is quite simplistic. <snip> Japan for example has been seeing more and more brutal and violent murders every year yet it has one of the lowest amounts of gun related deaths among all the G8 nations!
And thus do you bring forward a major point. Culture has a huge part to do with the methods of death in a given country. Japan's suicide rate far outpaces those of most (all?) industrialized nations, though firearms in private hands are virtually nonexistent. Some nations with high firearm ownership rates have high suicide rates and low murder rates. The question is, then, within a given culture, do gun control laws change crimes of the base cultural level in a positive or negative manner?

[quote="Haggy";p="371000"]The amendment is what allows the Draft, heck, the amendment IS the draft, it states that all people, after a number of restrictions, are part of the millita. So by drafting someone, you are not forceing them to join the army, but be "transfered" into another part of it. That is why the amendment is still written the way it is.[/quote]
Virtually every nation has a draft law. Drafting a person brings them into the military. The militia is a different creature altogether, intended to be largely under state control rather than federal. The militia is described in Title 10, Subtitle A, Part I, Chapter 13, Section 311:
  1. The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
  2. The classes of the militia are -
    1. the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
    2. the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia
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Post by Pudduh » Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:02 pm

And thus do you bring forward a major point. Culture has a huge part to do with the methods of death in a given country. Japan's suicide rate far outpaces those of most (all?) industrialized nations, though firearms in private hands are virtually nonexistent. Some nations with high firearm ownership rates have high suicide rates and low murder rates. The question is, then, within a given culture, do gun control laws change crimes of the base cultural level in a positive or negative manner?
A very good question. And that would depend on a nation by nation basis. In my opinion it is better to be on the safe side and keep guns under strict control.

I might have to point out that I am not in favour of banning guns completely. I am a countryside man in the UK and shooting is very much part of the British countryside way of life. My freind up in the borders (the region on the border with England and Scotland) works in an area which is dependent on the grouse shooting season and the tourism (and thus money) it brings in.

I *am* in favour however of having guns out of the home and in a locked steel safe at the local gun club coupled with very strict licensing.

A survey taken after the Dunblane Massacare found that a majority said that they would be more scared if they knew a next door neighbor stored firearms in their home. In the UK firearms increase fear and mistrust.

In London alot of suicides happen. They also tend to happen in public too. The last couple of nutters who committed suicide with firearms in the last few years also gunned down some innocent pedestrians. Now I know the obvious thing is that these people were paranoid sckizo, etc and thus in theory it was the mind not the gun to blame but if they didn't have the bloody gun in the first place then they could have just thrown themselves off of a bridge and thus not take out a few innocent pedestrians...unless he grabbed one and then jumped off of the bridge into the Thames together I guess :shifty:
Um, the second amendment was written after the Constitution was created, which was after the Articles of Confederation failed, which was put into effect in 1781, which happened to be during the war (Treaty of Paris was 1783).
Actually here is a little known fact of the War of Indpendence. Half a year or so into the war a delegation from the Colonists sailed to London to meet Pitt the Younger's government and have talks to avert war.

The actual talks produced an aggreement which enabled the Colonists to expand out slightly further into Indian land (a key demand of the Colonists) and slightly more representation. Pitt had negotiated on behalf of the Crown and thus had kept the Colonies in the fold. There was little mention of taxation and the issue of representation was a last minute fix but it was agreed and signed.

But by the time the delegation had arrived back, everything else had happened and the Crown forces had capitulated and thus the agreed document was invalid.

Imagine what had happened if they had gotten back a few months early :lol:
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Post by Martin Blank » Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:24 pm

[quote="Pudduh";p="371022"]A very good question. And that would depend on a nation by nation basis. In my opinion it is better to be on the safe side and keep guns under strict control.[/quote]
What if it can be shown that come gun control can lead to an increase in crime or deaths? Would it not be better, then, to back off on controls?

There's an interesting experiment of sorts coming up soon, when the US ban on manufacture and importing of "assault-style weapons" lapses (unless Congress passes an extension to the ban and the president signs it before September 13, which is unlikely to happen). Will murder rates soar? Will crimes cause the breakdown of society? Tune in soon to find out!
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Post by peter-griffin » Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:52 pm

Martin, you brought up an extremely relevant point with the question of culture, one that seems to make rather perfect sense, as well.

American culture formed around the gun in the same way Japanese culture formed around the sword, the latter of far more important significance since chivarly was tied in tightly to swordsmanship. The sword just has that much more of a cultural connection with the Japanese; it was used and mastered for a much longer period of time than the gun, whereas swords were never used primarily in American culture.

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Post by Dr. Tower » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:03 pm

Could you give some sources for that? I lived in the Washington D.C. area for 18 years, I studied American History quite a bit. I have taken courses on early US history in college and I have never heard that stated before.

And you say Pitt the Younger's government did this 6 months after the war started. He became Prime Minister in December 1783, you know, after the Revolutionary War was over. In July 1782, he was named Chancellor of the Exchequer, essentially the minister of finance. Hardly the head of the government. Not to mention that he wasn't even in parliment until January 1781, almost 6 years (hardly 6 months) after the war started. In 1776 he was graduated from Oxford using a clause that because he was a nobleman's son, he didn't have to take examinations.

Until you can back up that claim, I won't believe it.

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page161.asp
http://www.hfac.uh.edu/gbrown/philosoph ... unger.html
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.c ... %20Younger
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Post by peter-griffin » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:05 pm

What?

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Post by Dr. Tower » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:08 pm

Read the last part of Pudduh's post.
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Post by Deacon » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:24 pm

[quote="Pudduh";p="370984"]Very true. It is quite true that the number of people murdered in 2001/2 was 831. However the number actually killed by firearms was 43 of that number.

This is a fraction of the 11,000 gun related deaths in the United States *every year*.[/quote]
Ah, so we have another Moore devotee with random numbers and no sense of perspective or proportion.
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Post by Pudduh » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:34 pm

Good god man I do live in the UK! I know what Chancellor of the Exchequer is -.-. The actual term exchequer was first used by Henry I and then the term chancellor was started by Henry VIII, the two terms were glued together and it was the Chancellor who originally had the power.

Pitt rather than being hardly the head of government he was made Chancellor in his *early twenties* and more or less became the alternative centre of power in Lord Rockingham's government. He also expertly put off taking the top job of being Prime Minister until the Duke of Portland failed so miserably, thus with him being the only major candidate for the job (Charles Fox being of no competition really) he was asked again to form a government.

What you have to understand is that rather than having single centres of power the UK's system has formed through evolution than forced change. The American system with the President offset by the checks and balances of the Supreme Court and Congress while the British system operates under a Cabinet with sits in the legislature with a selected Minister chosen to lead the Cabinet and be the voice of all their choices when in government. That man slowly developed to be the Prime Minister. That means that there can be other centres of power other than the Prime Minister. For example under Rockingham and Portland, Pitt was the more powerful member of the cabinet and yet he was not the PM.

Even today the current Chancellor Gordon Brown has probabbly just as much power as the Prime Minister Tony Blair? How? Because of the loose way that British government operates and the lack of clear and defined powers for the Crown's Ministers and Prime Ministers. So on the other hand if Blair wishes to create his *own* Foreign Policy and Finance unit with his *own* foreign policy and Finance head s to rival the Foreign Office and Treasury he may do so.

Overall you do rather seem to underestimate the man who is acknowledged to be one of the Great Britain's most talented Prime Ministers. Also he was educated at Cambridge and was called to the bar :roll:

Basically the news of this aggreement came from This Sceptered Isle. A series on BBC Radio 4 which followed Winston Churchill's "A History of the British Isles" and other sources. I will have to listen to it again to find out the sources but you can order it on CD from the amazon.co.uk and find out just what the good man Churchill and the sources of the time said for yourself!

Posted Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:37 pm:

Anyway I'm getting buried in quoteys again so could you lot PLEASE talk about something else about the 2nd Amendment while I go to work for 8 hours and I'll quite happily answer your concerns at 8am GMT tomorrow okay?
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Post by Dr. Tower » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:56 pm

Yes, I made a mistake, it was Cambridge, not Oxford. The sources that I provided said as much. However, you still haven't reconciled that he wasn't even in parliment until 1781. He wasn't called to the bar until 1780. His Prime Ministership was completely after the United States had broken off. I didn't say he wasn't a good Prime Minister, just that it wasn't even his government in 1775-1776, the perported half a year after the war started, or until after the war was even over fore that matter.

And did it ever occur to you that the description of that term was for other people? I had never heard of it before doing this research. I thought that other Americans might also not know, and decided to include it because it is a term not widely used by most people who read this board. Sorry for trying to be helpful to others.
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Post by peter-griffin » Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:14 pm

Sorry, Towerboy. You scared me at first ;)

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Post by Pudduh » Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:49 am

However, you still haven't reconciled that he wasn't even in parliment until 1781. He wasn't called to the bar until 1780. His Prime Ministership was completely after the United States had broken off. I didn't say he wasn't a good Prime Minister, just that it wasn't even his government in 1775-1776, the perported half a year after the war started, or until after the war was even over fore that matter.
I did understand that he wasn't elected as a member until 1781. That shows just how incredible he rose in the ranks. He got into Parliament in 1781 and was made Chancellor in 1782! No member of Parliament on the government benches has ever made such a meteoric rise.

Thus even though the war had even started he had incredible influence over the Cabinet. In the UK - up until the governments of Thatcher, Major and now Blair - there is a system of collective cabinet agreement and responsibility. It is just a convention and there is no written set of rules for this but the cabinet must be pursuaded by the PM and not the other way around. If the cabinet does not agree then they can overrule the PM. This is an excellent way for the PM's enemies inside of the Cabinet to use events against the current PM. While Pitt didn't really want to force the PM he was serving out; he did want to stretch his muscles to the full and exercise his dominance in Cabinet.
And did it ever occur to you that the description of that term was for other people? I had never heard of it before doing this research. I thought that other Americans might also not know, and decided to include it because it is a term not widely used by most people who read this board. Sorry for trying to be helpful to others.
No, no its quite alright, you really shouldn't be helping others at all! :happyroll:
Sorry it was my fault. I was rushed for time, read the line and went "what" without thinking.

*holds hands up* My bad. No hard feelings?

Posted Sat Jul 17, 2004 6:54 am:

Martin Blank said before the William Pitt business..
What if it can be shown that come gun control can lead to an increase in crime or deaths? Would it not be better, then, to back off on controls?

There's an interesting experiment of sorts coming up soon, when the US ban on manufacture and importing of "assault-style weapons" lapses (unless Congress passes an extension to the ban and the president signs it before September 13, which is unlikely to happen). Will murder rates soar? Will crimes cause the breakdown of society? Tune in soon to find out!
Now that is a very good pair of questions. Both I could honestly not be able to answer. If you could say pick a G8 country and gather statistics on gun related deaths, suicides, violent crime/street crime and murders we should be able to find out. Top marks for managing to wade through the miles of paperwork at the Home Office website. If you could find both sets of statistics (the set for 'reported crimes' and the other set for 'arrests') then we could take a closer look. :)
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Post by Wite_Rabit » Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:44 am

Has anyone had the notion in their heads, that like the NRA - the unorganized (governmentally) militia could be an organization you request to join and must pass tests to enter? Rather like a license to drive a car, a license to fire a weapon in defense of the state in the unorganized militia. I forgot where I was going, I didn't have a keyboard at the time, and now i'm ludicrously hungry.
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Post by Deacon » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:49 pm

What?
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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