Q&A: Guns, politics and the American constitution

Oct 04, 2012 by Jenny Hall
The second amendment to the American constitution is subject to conflicting interpretations, says Professor Ryan Hurl. Credit: Bigstock photo

Mass shootings at a Dark Knight Rises screening in Colorado and at a mosque in Wisconsin this past summer reignited the national conversation about gun control in the U.S. Writer Jenny Hall asked Professor Ryan Hurl of political science at the University of Toronto Scarborough to help interpret the second amendment to the American constitution.

We hear a lot about the second amendment, but many Canadians might not know what it actually says. Can you tell us?

The text states: "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."

What does that mean?

The meaning is not entirely clear and it's subject to contrasting and even conflicting interpretations.

The dominant view today is that the second part of the amendment is most important—the right of the people to keep and bear arms. On the other hand, you have the first part, about a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.

The question is, what is the relationship between the two parts of the amendment? Does the first clause structure the meaning of the individual right? That's what a lot of the disagreement is about.

Does it matter what the intent was at the time it was written?

Historically, the argument is about the dangers of standing armies, of what we might call a military establishment. For many Americans at the time of the revolution, a permanent army was regarded as a threat to freedom.

The problem was that modern states in the 18th century, when the constitution was being ratified, needed a national military. Leaders like Alexander Hamilton, who served in the revolutionary war and saw the limits of citizen militias and amateur armies, knew that the national government would require a professional military. When the constitution was being debated, people said, "We're recreating the imperial British government at home and it's going to be a threat to the autonomy of the states." This is where the second amendment comes in. It's about the national government not limiting the ability of the states to create militias.

From that argument you have to move to a different one, which is the idea that the Bill of Rights, as it was originally meant to function, was not intended as a limit on state governments. The second amendment is a limit on the national government. When people were arguing about how much power the national government should have vis-a-vis the military, they were all in agreement that the second amendment was meant to limit the power of the national government to regulate firearms. For the first century of America's existence, the second amendment was not a question.

So why is it a question today?

The answer is about how the Bill of Rights come to affect state governments. It's a long, confusing, complicated story and it's not even entirely resolved. The story is sometimes referred to as the process of incorporation, in which the courts begin to apply the Bill of Rights to state governments. In the few cases where the Supreme Court dealt with the second amendment, they have said it doesn't make sense to understand it as an individual right in the same way as, for example, freedom of speech.

Since then, though, more people have interpreted the second amendment as an individual right along the lines of freedom of expression. If you look at left-leaning legal thinkers, it's a question of consistency. It becomes difficult to argue for vigorous protection of freedom of expression or separation of church and state and also say, "Oh, but we're not going to treat the second amendment in the same way." There is a pretty strongly developed individual rights interpretation of the second amendment that has bipartisan support.

We certainly think about the U.S. Bill of Rights or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as being about individual rights.

Yes, and it's strange because in the modern era we're skeptical of absolutes. Yet there's nothing more absolute than a right. In Canada or the United States today, people across the political spectrum have become much more enthusiastic about this notion of rights as a kind of "brooding omnipresence in the sky," to use a phrase from Oliver Wendell Holmes. In the past, the Bill of Rights didn't function that way. It was a limit on the national government. Therefore states could go different ways. This original understanding of the Bill of Rights really only started to change toward the end of the 19th century, if not later.

Some people make the point that we have weapons now that the founding fathers couldn't have imagined, things like semiautomatic rifles. Should this change the discussion?

Maybe it should change the discussion, but people will have different views about how the discussion should change! Let's go back to the original point about standing armies. Part of their concern here is that people should have the ability to resist government. Governments can be controlled by tyrants. The notion is that it's a good thing for people to be able to resist the government if necessary. And this is not something that's just a centuries-old concern. In the 1960s you still had Democrats like John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey making these kinds of claims. John F. Kennedy was a member of the National Rifle Association and it wasn't just because he liked duck hunting.

So some people would say, "Of course people need to own semi-automatic rifles. We would need them in those extreme political situations where we need to resist government." I'm not endorsing that view necessarily. But it's out there, and it's not an archaic one—and until relatively recently it might have been endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans. What Canadians often forget is that suspicion of government is something that crosses the political spectrum in the United States.

What about the mass shootings this summer at the Dark Knight Rises in Colorado or at the mosque in Wisconsin?

In the U.S you have to talk about the second amendment when you talk about violence like this because it is a crucial symbol, legal niceties aside. Any attempt to deal with the misuse of guns will have to deal with it just because of the political reality. The National Rifle Association is very organized. It's been an early innovator in a lot of grassroots mobilization techniques. Anyone who wants to deal with the problem of gun control has to take that into account. But I don't think those events are going to change the American discussion about the second amendment all that much.

Is there room for gun control to coexist with an individual rights interpretation of the second amendment?

Yes, absolutely, but there are limits to what can be done. I think gun control advocates are aware of this. To simply say that the second amendment is an anachronism, it's 200 years old and should be thrown in the dustbin of history—that's not going to work in the United States today.

What's your own opinion?

I'm tempted to say that most of these issues have to be left to the political arena. If I was creating a constitution I would probably have a very broad scope for regulation of guns. I would leave it in the political arena for the simple reason that you can't know what kind of regulations are going to be necessary in the future. You can't know how history will change.

But even if we accept the notion that rights should be living, that rights should change over time, people are going to disagree about what time or history is telling them. You can't go to history as if it was a sage on a mountaintop. You have to have a pretty enthusiastic interpretation of the philosophical capacities of judges and lawyers if you think they're going to be able to commune with history and reach the right answer. They'll reach an answer that might very well be plausible. But there is no "brooding omnipresence in the sky," so it will be one possible answer. That's why we have democracy. You argue about these things in the public arena and ultimately it's put to the test of voters.

I'm not saying that there are any easy answers here. When you study political science long enough, you realize that all you understand are the problems; you don't understand any solutions!

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Claudius
3.3 / 5 (16) Oct 04, 2012
Writings from early Americans make it clear that the "arms" referred to in the 2nd Amendment were necessary as a defense against tyranny. Jefferson even went so far as to say he thought there should be a revolution every 20 years or so.

Now historically, "arms" did not necessarily refer to firearms. Any weapon or device of war qualified. So swords, arrows, bricks, etc. were arms. So the 2nd Amendment allows citizens to own and use any of the arms used by any military organization. Complete parity with the nation's military is required as a defense against tyrants. Anything less will necessarily fail.

As far as defending the 2nd amendment is concerned, as soon as citizen ownership of things like cannons, machine guns, etc was restricted, the 2nd Amendment no longer had any force. The current debate is moot. There is currently no mechanism available to overthrow a tyranny.
Noumenon
2.2 / 5 (22) Oct 04, 2012
The right to bare arms is to defend one self generally. This is not under debate. What ever the founding fathers had in mind as a primary justification at the time, may not be the primary reason today. That right is upheld Today on the grounds of defending one self.

Anti-gun liberal mush-heads, can't understand that by definition, banning guns only effects law abiding citizens. You will dissarm law abiding citizens, while criminals continue to arm themselves, as by defintion law does not effect criminals before they commit a crime. And its already illegal to commit a crime with a weapon, but not illegal to defend ones life. Logic is to liberals as oil is to water.
kochevnik
3.2 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2012
Nice straw man you have there, Noumenon. Apparently you can't nail down anything concrete.
Claudius
2.3 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2012
That right is upheld Today on the grounds of defending one self.



Here is another interpretation of "Today's" right:

"What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?"

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
VendicarD
2.5 / 5 (10) Oct 04, 2012
By the same thought process as NumenTard displays, banning child molestation and murder only effect law abiding citizens.

How he manages to scrape enough mental energy to lift a spoon to his mouth is difficult to imagine.

antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (12) Oct 04, 2012
The text states: "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."

Funnily enough there are plenty of nations where militias (or even gun ownership) are illegal.

So the founding father's assessment that this is 'necessary' for freedom is patently false.
Claudius
3.1 / 5 (18) Oct 04, 2012
The text states: "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."

Funnily enough there are plenty of nations where militias (or even gun ownership) are illegal.

So the founding father's assessment that this is 'necessary' for freedom is patently false.


And are the citizens of those nations free?

The word "freedom" is highly misused. What the Founding Fathers were referring to with that word was freedom "from" government oppression. Freedom "from" tyranny. Not freedom to "do" things, but freedom "from" tyrants.

And this is not just an obsolete issue, that died with the Founding Fathers, it is just as important today, if not more so.
Claudius
2.9 / 5 (16) Oct 04, 2012
In case I haven't made it clear enough.

Freedom "from" extrajudicial indefinite detention.
Freedom "from" torture.
Freedom "from" eavesdropping and surveillance.
Freedom "from" frivolous and unwarranted searches.
Freedom "from" restrictions of speech and assembly (re: free speech zones)

The list goes on.
Claudius
2 / 5 (12) Oct 04, 2012
Still unclear, apparently.

"Oh, Western freedom-loving "left-wing" thinkers! Oh, left-wing labourists! Oh, American, German and French progressive students! All of this is still not enough for you. The whole book has been useless for you. You will understand everything immediately, when you yourself — "hands behind the back" — toddle into our Archipelago."

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2012
By the same thought process as NumenTard displays, banning child molestation and murder only effect law abiding citizens. - Vendicar


LOL, WTF are you talking about, you dolt?
rubberman
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 04, 2012
Guys, please correct me if I'm wrong, but the first part of the amendment worded a "well regulated militia", simply means alot of recruited soldiers. A person recruited to fight, or enforce the law was referred to as a regulator back in those days so a well regulated militia just refers to a well staffed army. At that time more people owned guns than didn't anyways, and carrying them was subject to municipal or state law. In that context of the word regulator, there is no contradiction.....
cantdrive85
2.6 / 5 (17) Oct 04, 2012
Over 200 million men, women and children have been killed by governments over the last century, the common thread among those 200 million is that they were unarmed. Our forefathers understood well that government is the number one threat to the individual and his rights and liberties, this is the reason for the Second Amendment.
antialias_physorg
2.9 / 5 (7) Oct 04, 2012
And are the citizens of those nations free?

Yes.
What the Founding Fathers were referring to with that word was freedom "from" government oppression.

That's why people in these countries vote for politicians - and why the politicians aren't above the law.

Freedom "from" extrajudicial indefinite detention.
Freedom "from" torture.
Freedom "from" eavesdropping and surveillance.
Freedom "from" frivolous and unwarranted searches.
Freedom "from" restrictions of speech and assembly (re: free speech zones)

People in these countries have all these rights - and they don't need the threat of militias to maintain them.
cantdrive85
1.4 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2012
d
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (12) Oct 04, 2012

What the Founding Fathers were referring to with that word was freedom "from" government oppression.

That's why people in these countries vote for politicians - and why the politicians aren't above the law.

Freedom "from" extrajudicial indefinite detention.
Freedom "from" torture.
Freedom "from" eavesdropping and surveillance.
Freedom "from" frivolous and unwarranted searches.
Freedom "from" restrictions of speech and assembly (re: free speech zones)

People in these countries have all these rights - and they don't need the threat of militias to maintain them.


Obviously, you've been sleeping for a number of years now, because we as Amerikan citizens are not free from any of these scenarios. You familiar with the Patriot Act, or NDAA, or any of the other pieces of draconian laws that have been put in place recently? Rube, you are the problem with democracy, where the opinion of lowest common denominator only matters.
Claudius
3.4 / 5 (17) Oct 04, 2012
And are the citizens of those nations free?

Yes.


Nonsense. Look at our own nation. We now have a law (NDAA) which allows indefinite imprisonment of any American without any criminal charges, and no due process of law. Torture of prisoners is official policy and heavily defended "right" of the government. The courts have established that there is no need for a warrant to execute searches. "Free speech" zones are routinely established to prevent political protests. Travelers are routinely searched at airports and other mass transit locations. Is that your definition of freedom? You would have been very comfortable in the Soviet Union.

cont.

Claudius
2.8 / 5 (13) Oct 04, 2012
That's why people in these countries vote for politicians - and why the politicians aren't above the law.


I have seen testimony in Congress by a computer programmer who claimed he hacked the electronic voting machines in a Florida election in 2000 at the request of the Republican commissioner of elections.

There is no chain of custody of the vote once it is cast. Citizen oversight of every stage of the voting process is not permitted. It is well established that security in electronic voting machines is nonexistent, making it easy to hack the machines.

So your vote doesn't count. If your vote doesn't count, what difference does it make who you vote for? It is for this reason that politicians ARE above the law. It is why we see so much corruption in the system.

cont.
Claudius
2.8 / 5 (13) Oct 04, 2012
Freedom "from" extrajudicial indefinite detention. Freedom "from" torture. Freedom "from" eavesdropping and surveillance. Freedom "from" frivolous and unwarranted searches. Freedom "from" restrictions of speech and assembly (re: free speech zones)


People in these countries have all these rights - and they don't need the threat of militias to maintain them.


It is more accurate to say that people have all these rights, exactly as I stated them. You have the right to be picked up and put away forever and tortured at the whim of a government official. You have the right to watch helplessly as the government listens in to your communications and enters your house without a search warrant.

cont.

Claudius
2.8 / 5 (13) Oct 04, 2012
When I was a young boy, I had a summer job with a local newspaper as a photographer. I documented a civil rights protest march around 1963 in which the Governor had called out the National Guard to protect the protesters.

These days, when there is a protest, the police are there to smash heads and spray teargas, arresting protesters en mass. Journalists are arrested for documenting police brutality.

To defend this kind of change is abhorrent. To insist we are "free" when all our rights are being trampled on is disgusting. The degree to which all this is being placidly accepted is frightening.

I visited the Soviet Union in 1984 and was surprised at how similar it was to America. Loss of political freedom did not stop people from wearing blue jeans and hanging around. Tyranny isn't in your face ALL the time, just at crucial moments, like when the tyranny is threatened.
antialias_physorg
3.4 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2012
Look at our own nation. We now have a law (NDAA) which allows indefinite imprisonment of any American without any criminal charges, and no due process of law.

Well, i most obviously wasn't talking about the US when i was talking about free nations (since I was referring to nations without the need for militias)

Violence (i.e. militias or the right to bear arms) is short-term knee-jerk thinking. It is the thinking of children.
If you don't like something: shoot it.

That this sort of approach doesn't give you a stable society, but a highly polarized one, is a no-brainer. A polarized society will always lead to one group trying to limit the rights of the other.

The founding fathers were reactionaries. They saw that one extreme didn't work so they fell into the other extreme (which doesn't work, either). Hotheads. And the american people have to suffer for their short-sightedness.
cantdrive85
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2012
Look at our own nation. We now have a law (NDAA) which allows indefinite imprisonment of any American without any criminal charges, and no due process of law.

Well, i most obviously wasn't talking about the US when i was talking about free nations (since I was referring to nations without the need for militias)

Violence (i.e. militias or the right to bear arms) is short-term knee-jerk thinking. It is the thinking of children.
If you don't like something: shoot it.

That this sort of approach doesn't give you a stable society, but a highly polarized one, is a no-brainer. A polarized society will always lead to one group trying to limit the rights of the other.

The founding fathers were reactionaries. They saw that one extreme didn't work so they fell into the other extreme (which doesn't work, either). Hotheads. And the american people have to suffer for their short-sightedness.

And your's is the opinion of an idealistic moron with zero understanding of history!
Claudius
3.4 / 5 (17) Oct 04, 2012
Violence (i.e. militias or the right to bear arms) is short-term knee-jerk thinking. It is the thinking of children.


"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever."

― George Orwell, 1984

Interesting that there was a recent study which showed that children have an enhanced sense of fair play. Perhaps we should think more like them, since the thinking of modern adults is so obviously degenerate.

antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2012
And your's is the opinion of an idealistic moron with zero understanding of history!

Despite appearances people can learn from history. One such lesson is to teach it and detect trends early - especially those that would require violence if detected too late.

This is why we educate our young and try to give them the skills to become decent, skeptical and knowledgeable human beings - instead of (as happened in the past) trying to form them into an obedient, unquestioning workeforce.

Ignorance begets intolerance. And intolerance begets extremism. Where that leads you can see all over the US (and other, equally unenlightened parts of the worls)
Claudius
2.7 / 5 (14) Oct 04, 2012
The founding fathers were reactionaries. They saw that one extreme didn't work so they fell into the other extreme (which doesn't work, either). Hotheads. And the american people have to suffer for their short-sightedness.


Is there a political system that, in your view, does work? Please enlighten us, oh great one.

Because my reading of history is an uninterrupted saga of abuses by the rulers regardless of whatever system of government is in place. It seems the role of government is to deceive the governed into a placid state in which they are willing workers or soldiers and little else.

I agree the American experiment hasn't worked. T. Jefferson lamented a few years before his death that the soldiers of the revolution had wasted their lives only to see it squandered by their children.

Is this the best we can do? Are humans incapable of creating a system that works for everyone instead of just a few at the top? Or should we just resign ourselves to the lessons of history?
RealityCheck
2.2 / 5 (11) Oct 04, 2012
@Noumenon.
...Anti-gun liberal mush-heads, can't understand that by definition, banning guns only effects law abiding citizens....
That betrays biased political ideology in lieu of the facts. Australia etc have reasonable gun controls. Few if any feel they are about to be over-run by criminals/tyrants. Those NRA 'rationalizations' you spout are stale and lame in the modern context. US founding fathers could not imagine instant independent INTERNET communications/information-sharing which keeps populace NOT so ignorant/vulnerable as then. And "Revolutionary War' began with "Guerrilla' tactics. Such tactics remain today an effective countermeasure to govt tyranny if one is ever established/attempted in US (witness Arab Spring uprisings around globe TODAY). Westminster et democracies have STRICT Separation of Powers that makes it hard for tyranny to establish all-at-once, so populace/branches can act legally, en-masse and guerrilla style very effectively in plenty of time. Bye. :)
RealityCheck
2.1 / 5 (9) Oct 04, 2012
@Noumenon. Please add to above: The rate of mental illness and drug/alcohol induced brain damage is on the increase ever faster as population explodes in number, which will make for ever more "walking time-bomb" mass killers where the victims do not have a chance to defend themselves when 'ambushed' and killed/maimed before any 'defense' by their own guns can be mounted. The more guns in circulation the more easily the crazies and the criminals can OBTAIN same and HIDE (ie, "justify") same as 'legitimate self-defense' approval/ownership. Rights are all well and good, but when it comes to such lethal weapons which are a totally different kettle of fish from right of free speech and right to vote and right to live etc etc, the right to bear such modern 'arms' which are effectively 'weapons of mass destruction' is not what any reasonable intellect would try to 'justify' with those lame and stale 'rationalizations you/NRA keep putting. Rethink it all in the full/modern context please! :)
Calenur
3 / 5 (5) Oct 04, 2012
Why is this on phys.org?
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 04, 2012
Anti-gun liberal mush-heads, can't understand that by definition, banning guns only effects law abiding citizens
That betrays biased political ideology in lieu of the facts. Australia etc have reasonable gun controls. Few if any feel they are about to be over-run by criminals/tyrants.


My statement is purely logical. If guns are banned,... criminals will obtain guns illegally,.. that's what criminals do. Law abiding citizens however, would be prevented from obtaining guns,... that's what law abiding citizens do, they follow the law. So effectively, such a ban on guns, would disarm non-criminals who simply desire to protect their families from criminals,.. i.e. home invasions, etc.

I have no problem with measures to ensure gun owners are checked out,...
ab3a
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 04, 2012
We are not discussing guns. We are discussing the right to arm oneself against a tyrannical government. A well armed militia refers to the right of people to band together to fight against others who seek dominance over them.

This means that people have a right to learn how to fight with weapons. We're talking about guns, swords, RPGs, and just about anything that could be construed as a defensive weapon.

It is worth noting that before nearly every tyranny got started, there has been an effort to disarm the public "for their own safety." Most agree that had this disarmament of the public not taken place, armies would not have gotten very far. There is a limit to what a soldier will put up with when facing deadly force from his own people.

Too many frame this in terms of guns for hunting. This was never about hunting. It is about the right to self defense, from the individual to a state, and everything in between.
kochevnik
2 / 5 (4) Oct 04, 2012
@Claudius Is there a political system that, in your view, does work?
I am fond of the Swiss canton system. Also the Greeks had democracy run by citizens. But only some could become citizens. It was a privilege to be a citizen, not a birthright. Now citizens are produced by broken condoms and trespassing national borders.
RealityCheck
1.5 / 5 (8) Oct 04, 2012
My statement is purely logical. If guns are banned,... criminals will obtain guns illegally,..that's what criminals do. Law abiding citizens however, would be prevented from obtaining guns,...that's what law abiding citizens do, they follow the law...effectively, such a ban on guns, would disarm non-criminals who simply desire to protect their families from criminals,..i.e. home invasions, etc. I have no problem with measures to ensure gun owners are checked out,...
If guns were strictly controlled, any found possessing a gun more readily identified as criminal/unlicensed as prima facie evidence of ill intent and taken to court so preventing many potential home invasions. Again, if military weapons available, no-one has any 'defense' against them in 'ambush' and 'long range' attacks. And again, we get along just fine in Oz and elsewhere in Westminster democracies/societies where guns are strictly controlled (ie, no militias and not being over-run with criminals and tyrants! :)
dan42day
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 05, 2012
Any notion that a well-regulated militia could ensure the security of a free state went out the window in the civil war. Since then advances in weaponry entrusted only to the federal government precludes the people or the states from keeping and bearing arms effective in countering any tyranny the federal government should care to put in place. Game over.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp
packrat
2 / 5 (8) Oct 05, 2012
Firearms are fairly strictly controlled for legal and honest people. To buy a long gun meaning shot gun or rifle in the semiautomatic or manual types you must fill out and pass an FBI form. The information and given over the phone and the licensed dealer gets a yes or no answer right then. In some states you do the same for a handgun where in others you must also get a permit from the local Sheriff which entails more paperwork. Full auto rifles and pistols and even concealed carry permits require a bunch of paperwork now and it isn't cheap either.

The problem is crooks by definition don't pay attention to any of these laws to begin with. The laws in most areas are already setup so punishment is worse if a firearm is used in the crime.

You've both have already been over-run , you are no longer citizens, just sheep for shearing by your governments now.
kochevnik
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 05, 2012
And again, we get along just fine in Oz and elsewhere in Westminster democracies/societies where guns are strictly controlled (ie, no militias and not being over-run with criminals and tyrants!
That's laughable. England is full of petty thieves, muggers and chavs just pining to score their next mark. Watch Eden Lake for a taste of the English perspective. Nine hundred laptops are stolen at Heathrow airport weekly. Brutality is inherent in the English lifestyle. The more civilized Brits simply delegate violence. Streets in US and Moscow are much safer than London.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
I like guns for the history and ingenuity that went into them to make them small while expelling projectiles at great speeds and ranges. My 2 cents of a compromise on gun control of civil ownership is to made all civilian version 2 trigger-pulled shots only, after which the firer have to manually rack the slide or re-cock to use it again. I think 2 shots are adequate enough in most self-defense situations. As for semi or auto military models for collecting purposes, same modification or disabling should be mandated, as the real purpose is displaying and not storing for use. Any fully unmodified models that are collectors items (i am not sure here that you are allow to own such) should have official approved cabinets with timers lock set to open every few months for the purpose of cleaning and oiling, etc, and the gun itself will be fitted with tracking devices and ammo interlock that will give alarms to a central monitor and recording center if it is moved off the premises and loaded.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
My statement is purely logical. If guns are banned,... criminals will obtain guns illegally,.. that's what criminals do.


Do you realize that 80% of illegal guns in circulation are stolen from their legal owners or given to criminals by the legal owners? Very few guns on the black markets are smuggled in from abroad. If less people own guns, or if guns are locked away properly instead of kept in a shoebox or a car glovebox ready for "self defence", by necessity less criminals have access to them. You can't steal what people don't have!

Did you think that gun manufacturers sell illegal guns out of the back door to criminals?
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
You can't steal what people don't have!

And it would be very easy to identify criminals. You have a gun? You're likely a criminal.

Nowadays anyone in the US can have a gun and it means nothing.

England is full of petty thieves, muggers and chavs just pining to score their next mark.

However, chances that they'll pull a gun on you is next to zero.
And having guns doesn't seem to decrease the amount of petty thieves/muggers and 'chavs' in the US one bit.

That's the point about criminal psychology most normal people forget: Criminals do not plan to get caught. They do not turn to a life of integrity just because the risks are a bit higher. They remain criminal and will adapt to the environment. Citizens carry guns? So OF COURSE will criminals start to carry guns.
TransmissionDump
1 / 5 (1) Oct 05, 2012
Gun Control in Australia.

To acquire a firearm licence I had to:
Have a background check. (anyone with a criminal record, Apprehended violence order, pending violence order can forget gun ownership)
Undergo a firearm safety training course.
Apply for licence.

8 weeks later your firearm licence arrives, you then apply for a "permit to acquire" which one must state the reasons why you need a firearm. In my case feral animal control. One must own a property > 25 Acres or have written permission from a landowner to accompany the application.

Once your permit to acquire turns up, you then proceed to your local armoury and select your "gun safe" which one then dynabolts to the concrete floor so it can't be moved.

Now you go buy your gun. But the ammo and bolt must be kept in a separate lockable compartment to the gun itself.

The police can turn up at anytime and check your safe to ensure the safe and any firearms comply with storage legislation. Any breach and they're confiscated.
TransmissionDump
3 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
Cont..
You can't own automatic, semi automatic, pump action
shotguns unless you are a primary producer and have
a valid reason for using one.

Or you can just go buy an illegal weapon for four times
the price on the black market. Get caught though and
you're in the slammer. Get caught with an automatic
rifle and it's instant 20 years.

If you're going to kill someone you're going to do
it with whatever you have on hand, be it knife, axe,
lump of wood etc.

The catalyst for this strict control regime was the
Port Arthur Massacre where a nut job with a semi
auto and killed lots of people.

Since then we haven't had a massacre as such but
we still get our fair share of drive bys, home
invasions and shootings. Most of this though seems
to be tied to the drug trade and turf wars amongst
rival gangs.

So regardless of how strict the controls, the crims
can and will arm themselves accordingly.
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012


Citizens carry guns? So OF COURSE will criminals start to carry guns.- anti_alias


The above is typical of mush-headed liberals(*),... thats its non-criminals fault that they want to have the advantage in protecting their family and home from criminals, that criminals resort to carrying guns?! This is the lefts core mentality; that every defect in society, say criminals, can be "fixed" by social engineering and controlling human behavior.

What they never understand is that a) you can't do that in a free-society, b) some such defects are inherent artifacts of a free-society, and b) in anycase, none if it will work; the government can't even properly educate children with an near infinite sum of funding,... so anyone wirh sense can see the gov is not competent in designing a utopian society.

* I otherwise find AA posts intelligent and knowledgable in general.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
The above is typical of mush-headed liberals(*),... thats its non-criminals fault that they want to have the advantage in protecting their family and home from criminals, that criminals resort to carrying guns?!

Just look at other countries where there are bans on guns. Do they have home intruders with guns? No they don't. Do you need guns in those countries to defend yourself and your family? No you don't.

This has nothing to do with being a 'mush headed liberal'. This has to do with the REAL state of threat to you and your family as opposed to the IMAGINED state of threat you live in.

Not that this is particular surprising as the US media has been on a doom, gloom and fear rampage since the early 1950s (which'd be hilarious to watch from overseas - if the result weren't 300 million plus utterly paranoid and reactionary people armed to the gills)
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
If guns were strictly controlled, any found possessing a gun more readily identified as criminal/unlicensed as prima facie evidence of ill intent and taken to court so preventing many potential home invasions.


The government can't prevent home invasions, it can only react to them. Also, obviously, a home invader doesn't need a gun to cause a threat to ones family,.. he can carry a axe for example, or and heres a thought,... make his own gun. Criminals find ways, and free citizens have a fundamental and intrisic right to protect themseves and their families,... it is a natural right.

Hard drugs are illegal but you can stil get them easily. There should be restrictions and back ground checks etc, but no banning of guns in a free society.
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
Just look at other countries where there are bans on guns. Do they have home intruders with guns? No they don't. Do you need guns in those countries to defend yourself and your family? No you don't. This has nothing to do with being a 'mush headed liberal'.


It has everything to do with liberal mentality because it is they who think they can tinker with control of human behavior, to fix societal defects. What other countries? Whats the demographic? How many people? It is meaningless to compare other countires crime rates, because the history is different. Right now, the crime rate in the USA is high, and its NOT the fault of people wanting to protect themseves.
.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
If you go to the studies then there's really not much saving grace to 'allowing people to own guns' other than the purely instinctual.

http://www.uphs.u...%201.pdf
Some quotes:
"States with higher rates of household firearm ownership had significantly higher
homicide victimization rates in multivariate analyses"

"Firearms, especially handguns, are
effective lethal weapons with the capability to escalate often-impulsive acts of
interpersonal violence or suicidal thoughts into death."
(Which is why I think weapons are such a curse on humanity. They are force multipliers that turn bad situations into catastrophic ones. There's no middle ground left - only "win or die")

The whole issue is really tainted by where you live. In the US firearm deaths are twice that of anywhere else.
But this also means that no rational case can be made for "gun ownership makes you safe(r)"
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
This has to do with the REAL state of threat to you and your family as opposed to the IMAGINED state of threat you live in.


Typical leftist big-gov mush-headed mentality, they take it upon themselves to dictate to free-citizens that those citizens are the threat, and that any threat imagined by their own free judgement, is imagined and faulty.

The leftists that don't understand what freedom is, and thinks the gov knows better than its citizens and it should protect citizens from themseves.

There are countless such things that such a government could acheive if only they could get rid of that pesky "freedom". Some 40k die every year in car accidents,.. why not restrict their speed electronically to 20 mph,.... or hey, why not control what and how much people eat, that's a do-gooder thing to do and would save lives,... or how about,....

Any social statistical analysis that shows some societal defect could in principal be solved, if freedom of choice was limited endlessly
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
Is there a political system that, in your view, does work?

Ultimately, absolutely? No.

The best possible one I could imagine would be a populace that is thoroughly educated an is willing to work as a society because they understand the benefits it üprovides (the name of this form of government is 'anarchy' - but that has nothing to do with how the word is usually bandied about. Anarchy does NOT equate to chaos in this context)

Because my reading of history is an uninterrupted saga of abuses by the rulers regardless of whatever system of government is in place.

I agree. There will always be people who gravitate to positions of power because they are selfish (epecially in a capitalist society which worships selfishness). That is why anarchy is the only way out. No positions of power - no way for those types of people to capitalize on their greed through the help of others.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
Typical leftist big-gov mush-headed mentality, they take it upon themselves to dictate to free-citizens that those citizens are the threat,

It is the role of government to provide the best possible quality of life to its citizens.

Now what is better:
No guns, an objectively low incidence of homicides with an objectively low feeling of being threatened
or
A subjective high feeling of being threatened with guns that leads to an objective high incidence of homicides.

Sometimes people have to be saved from themselves because they don't understand the global (society-wide) ramifications of their local (individual) choices.
And the gun situation in the US - as seen by anone else in the world - is certainly one of those cases.

Having a gun makes you feel 100% safer. But your gun makes 100 other people feel 50% unsafer. So the net impact on society is one of added fear.
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
If you go to the studies then there's really not much saving grace to 'allowing people to own guns' other than the purely instinctual.


Again, you don't get it. I KNOW social statistics show that if this and that is controlled then this and that will be the benefit. I've clearly admitted above, that in principal control over human behavior can result in improved measured statistics of whatever ill society has.

The point is, the end result is less freedoms. Read history. Such a state is not worth it in the end. It is far better to accept such societal defects as artifacts of a free society. Freedom of choice and speech means not being oppressed by statistics. Freedom implies, individualism, which means free from statistical oppression.

The greatest threat to liberty in a free society is do-gooder social engineers and their army of statisticians.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
The point is, the end result is less freedoms.

There's freedoms and there's freedoms.

The right to install a nuclear warhead in your back yard is a freedom. Having that right taken away does not result in an 'unfree' society.

Freedom implies, individualism, which means free from statistical oppression.

There is a tradeoff between individualism and living in a society. You can't have it both ways (ultimate societal integration precludes individual freedom, while ultimate individual freedom precludes society). As always there is more than the black/white approach (I know, I know - that is the only approach that US citizens know about, but trust me on this one).
For both to work you have to find a middle ground where both sides benefit most without unduly weakening the other.

Gun ownership unduly destroys society while having no net/objective benefit to the individual.
Guns are luxury items - not necessary for survival or society. You can do without easily.
rubberman
1.8 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2012
"Is this the best we can do? Are humans incapable of creating a system that works for everyone instead of just a few at the top? Or should we just resign ourselves to the lessons of history?"

Yes...no...and yes. However if we learned from history it wouldn't keep repeating itself now would it?

"Typical leftist big-gov mush-headed mentality, they take it upon themselves to dictate to free-citizens that those citizens are the threat, and that any threat imagined by their own free judgement, is imagined and faulty."

From a global perspective, the US is a scary place right now. The government is worried about the very thing this debate is centered around, how do you control a well armed "free" population that is starving? The worst case scenario for the next 10-20 years features a simultaneous economic collapse/ unparalleled environmental crisis that will leave all nations reeling...if this happens the US will make Rwanda look like a resort. Plus what AP said above.

Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
As always there is more than the black/white approach (I know, I know - that is the only approach that US citizens know


I get the impression you know very little about US (conservative) citizens. Its black and white when it comes down to fundamental rights, as it should be. Gun ownership is just one of those 'taking a stand" issues in the name of freedom. Black and white implies Logic, while liberals and their endless shades of grey, impies mush-headedness, and subjective judgements that the gov has no business making of free individuals,... like your statement here,...

Gun ownership unduly destroys society while having no net/objective benefit to the individual. Guns are luxury items - not necessary for survival or society. You can do without easily.


Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
From a global perspective, the US is a scary place right now. The government is worried about the very thing this debate is centered around, how do you control a well armed "free" population that is starving? The worst case scenario for the next 10-20 years features a simultaneous economic collapse/ unparalleled environmental crisis that will leave all nations reeling...if this happens the US will make Rwanda look like a resort. Plus what AP said above.


This entire post came straight out if your ass.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
Its black and white when it comes down to fundamental rights, as it should be.

As I said: one needs to dsitinguish rights from privileges.
Gun ownership is not a 'right' (despite it being written as such).

Rights are things that are granted by society. They are there in order for society to function.
Gun ownership does not classify as such.

Sure it's a "taking a stand" issue - but one where the stand is patently crazy. Just because one takes a stand (or it's written somewhere) doesn't make it sensible (cf. the Bible).

and subjective judgements that the gov has no business making of free individuals

The government has business making society great to live in. If individuals are acting against that goal then of course it's government's business to intervene.
You don't accord terrorists the 'freedom of expression' their terrorist activities indubitably are to them? Why do you not defend their right? Because they hurt society at large.
Dito gun ownership.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
With each new generation, a new set of naive liberals, who because they have little historical perspective, think They have discovered something new, in that, if the gov bans this or that then some many lives could be saved. And because of them, freedom must be constantly defended.
Noumenon
1.7 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
You don't accord terrorists the 'freedom of expression' their terrorist activities indubitably are to them? Why do you not defend their right? Because they hurt society at large.


So, free American citizens who merely want a gun to protect their family, are to be equated with terrorists in your poluted mind, to justify themseves? Another example of how the left wing no-nothings seek to "criminalize" free citizens, to justify the supposed need to control them.

Study history, then come back to me in one year.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
As I said: one needs to dsitinguish rights from privileges. Gun ownership is not a 'right' (despite it being written as such). Rights are things that are granted by society. They are there in order for society to function. Gun ownership does not classify as such.
False. Defending one self is a fundamental and natural right in a free society. YOU don't get to choose how that is acheived. Guns are legal in the USA.
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
Its black and white when it comes down to fundamental rights, as it should be.

As I said: one needs to dsitinguish rights from privileges.
Gun ownership is not a 'right' (despite it being written as such).

Rights are things that are granted by society.


Things that are granted by society are called "privileges." Rights are inherent and can be violated, but never taken away.
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
@Claudius Is there a political system that, in your view, does work?
I am fond of the Swiss canton system. Also the Greeks had democracy run by citizens.


Interestingly, both systems have/had citizens armed to the teeth. The crime rate in Switzerland is vanishingly small. Who would want to break into a Swiss home, where trained militia have machine guns on hand? It is similar to trying to hold up a gun store, which has been tried with predictable results a few times.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2012
Rights are inherent

I would disagree. Rights make no sense beyond the context of a society. Picture a human being without a society - completely alone in the wilderness away from society. What rights does he have? None whatsoever. The concept of 'rights' (and demanding that those rights be honored) make no sense in that situation.
Such a person can do whatever he/she wants and there is no 'right' or 'wrong'.

The universe grants no rights. Least of all inalienable ones. It's all dependent on the right (societal) context and in a different context what rights are sensible will be different.

and can be violated, but never taken away.

A tiger (or a virus) kills you. It's taken your right to live. Other people can take your rights away, no problem.

The question is: is gun ownership even a right? Or isn't it just a case of "I just wanna have a boom boom".
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
So, free American citizens who merely want a gun to protect their family, are to be equated with terrorists

No. Just that sometimes claiming that something is a 'right' which makes sense is absurd.
Claiming that prohibiting gun ownesrhip limits freedom is as aburd as claiming that prohibiting heroin ownership limits freedom is absurd (an fo much the same reason).

That you WANT to protect your family isn't the issue here. There are man other ways (besides violence) which lead to far better results. But as long as your mind will only look at this in a black/white manner (violence or complete defenselessness) I can see that you will not understand this.
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
Rights are inherent

I would disagree. Rights make no sense beyond the context of a society. Picture a human being without a society - completely alone in the wilderness away from society. What rights does he have?


We disagree. I say rights are inherent, not from belonging to a society or any other conditions.

A man living in the wilderness has a right to his own life, whether a predator disagrees or not, because he takes that right as his own, not because of any relation to society. We assume certain rights to ourselves and they are inherent because they are necessary for our survival and well being. I have a right to defend myself from a threat, and even an amoeba will take evasive action to avoid a threat.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
The universe grants no rights. Least of all inalienable ones. It's all dependent on the right (societal) context and in a different context what rights are sensible will be different.


You must not comprehend what 'inalienable rights' even means to make such a post. A natural instinct of man is to protect himself from harm with force as HE sees fit. Government does not grant such rights, they come from the nature of man. All government can do is to oppress these instincts.

I know there must be compromises in society,... but not about such fundamental basic rights. Yes, about owning a bazooka, or a tank,... but NOT about banning guns period.
Claudius
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
A tiger (or a virus) kills you. It's taken your right to live. Other people can take your rights away, no problem.


I see it differently. A tiger kills me. It has violated my right to self-preservation, not taken it away. My right to live allows me to try to avoid being killed by whatever means I can use, and if I fail, my right has been violated, not taken away. The tiger's taking of my life is not equivalent to taking my right to life and self-preservation.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 05, 2012
There are [many] other ways (besides violence) which lead to far better results.

LOL, your naiveté is adorable.. The "anti-violance" crowd has been proven wrong every time in history. Violent defense is absolutely necessary, when its necessary. If someone breaks into your home and threatens your family,.. are you going to be as arrogant and self-absorbed as Chamberlain was in thinking he could "reason" with Hitler?
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
The question is: is gun ownership even a right? Or isn't it just a case of "I just wanna have a boom boom".


I know a person who was the victim of a serial rapist. She was abducted while getting into her car and driven out to a remote location where an hours long nightmare ensued, threatened with a knife, tortured, raped. She normally kept a pistol in her car. That day, she had it on the kitchen table for cleaning and decided that she could leave it because she was only going to the laundromat, where she was abducted.

She spent the entire ordeal wishing she had not left her pistol on her kitchen table. She had a right to self defense, but no practical means of defense.

She definitely wanted and needed a "boom-boom." By the way, the rapist got 10 years for this act, and was tied to about 5 other rapes. So if he survived his brief stint in prison, I suppose he is out there doing more of the same.

Even an amoeba has the right to self defense. Are you less than an amoeba?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
The "anti-violance" crowd has been proven wrong every time in history.

As you yourself have already admitted: The statistics speak a different language.

If someone breaks into your home and threatens your family,

Again: this is an IMAGINED case - not a real one (on any appreciable scale that would justify arming an entire populace and incurring the problem of a much mor eprevalent use of weapons during a heated arguemnt). You're killing thousands to prevent a dozen cases. Not very clever.

are you going to be as arrogant and self-absorbed as Chamberlain was in thinking he could "reason" with Hitler?

No. But that is case for an educated populace (not prone to fall for demagogues) ...and in extreme cases for international efforts (if need be armed efforts - but only as a very last resort)
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
She definitely wanted and needed a "boom-boom."

And if she'd had one she'd be dead now. Because the perp certainly had the knife out when he accosted here (he certainly didn't ask "pretty please" and only pulled the knife when she said "no".) So between the time she'd have fumbled for her gun he'd have done what? Looked on? She'd be dead.

A self defense class would have been more use to her than a gun. It would ensure survival no matter whether she won or lost a fight.

It may sound harsh: but dead is worse than raped. Considering these two alternatives she was 'lucky' to not have her gun with her.
Claudius
1.9 / 5 (9) Oct 05, 2012
@antialias

She tells me that while she was being tortured, she felt she was already dead. He was telling her he was going to kill her.

As far as whether she could have used her gun if she had had one, she said it would have been easy. There were opportunities. It went on for hours, after all, and the pistol was usually under the seat.

She has taken a self defense class. They instructed her to use a pistol. The class was given by a Sheriff's deputy and retired military policeman. She only weighs 105 pounds.

And interestingly enough, persuasion didn't work.

As far as raped and tortured being better than dead. She has had post-traumatic stress disorder for 30 years now. She feels as if she is dead even now. Wakes up at night in cold sweats screaming. For years she dreamed of finding her attacker and assassinating him.

Walk the walk before you talk the talk.
RealityCheck
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
Hi Noumenon. Mate. I'm seriously beginning to worry about your patent hatred of what you call "liberal mushheads" who you seem to blame for all society's ills. You said one should look at history, so...

Remember the Zimmerman and the african-american teenager he killed? He had no right to follow or question him in the dark and in confrontational manner which made the kid react and was shot. Would Zimmerman have done all that unauthorized following and menacing if he hadn't been carrying a gun? NO of course not, he wouldn't have started following him, but just reported to the police as the police had instructed him to.

Just how many of those Bell Tower snipers and crazy mass killers using rifles and machine guns are "liberal mushheads"? The majority are right wing crazies who own guns or stole them from vacant farmsteads etc.

So next time you spot a man on a roof holding a rifle, you better pray he is NOT a right wing crazy who believes a gun solves all his problems by killing YOU.
antialias_physorg
2.8 / 5 (4) Oct 06, 2012
As far as raped and tortured being better than dead. She has had post-traumatic stress disorder for 30 years now. She feels as if she is dead even now.

I didn't say it was good. I said it was better.

And obviously it IS better - even by her standards. Because otherwise she'd have comitted suicide by now.
This is not an issue of being off good or bad. This is an issue of being off very bad or even worse.

The point here is: The knee-jerk solution (putting a gun in everyone's hand) doesn't work. As the gun lobbysist are so fond of saying: "If you ban guns only criminals will have guns"
But they forget: if you give out guns then criminals will ALSO, ALWAYS carry guns.

So in the case of your friend the perp would have pulled a gun on her and not a knife and she'd be either dead or raped just the same.

This is one of the cases where you have to take the long and difficult route and try to make society better so it doesn't need guns. It may sound 'mush head' but it works.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
Making gun ownership illegal will not cause criminals to give up their guns, nor prevent a black market of such weapons. Tons of cocaine are brought into the USA every year all gaurded by illegal weapons,... yet all this is suppose to be illegal. So, banning guns would disarm non-criminal minded citizens who merely wish to have a means to protect themselves.

Yes, it is true that by banning guns you would reduce deaths, as you would reduce domestic violance. However, JUST because one can show such a reduction in such social statistics, does NOT imply it is appropriate to do so in a free society. Liberals can't comprehend this point,....

Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
,... There are many many more such statistical ills that can in principal be improved. For example, three times as many people die in car accidents every year than get murdered via a gun in the USA. Many of these deaths due to weapons are via domestic violance. As a society, we ACCEPT that 40,000 people die in car accidents each year (most innocent of even driving poorly), because it is UNACCEPTABLE to limit speeds so that it is reduced in a free society.

In the Zimmerman case, there is already a law which clearly states the stand-your-ground law becomes null if one positions themselves into the situation.

Zimmerman had every right to patrol HIS own neighborhood and ask questions while carrying a gun. He took it upon himself to assume responsibility for it, and he may pay for his judgement in following the thug when he shouldn't have.

That thug is dead because if his own actions. You don't go around attacking another adult because you're being asked questions.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
This is one of the cases where you have to take the long and difficult route and try to make society better so it doesn't need guns. It may sound 'mush head' but it works.


Society is better when freedom prevails, not when social engineering statisticians tinker with the dials and buttons trying to tune the stats down, in a naive attempt at a utopian society fantasy.

The # of people who die early each year due to poor health dwarfs deaths due to guns and accidents combined. Why not save them from themseves? Why not dictate what and how much poeple are allowed to eat?

Recall the social liberal Bloomberg banning large sodas in NY? This is the socialist mentality,... assume the people need to be saved from themseves, assume they are negligent and potentially criminal at the start, and implement big gov control over human behavior based on statistical analysis.

This has been tried before in history, with predicable results. Such "defects" of society are the cost of freedom.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
The only social statistics liberals ignore are those that threaten to control THEM and expose the failure of THEIR idealistic mentality.

For example the USA is rated around 26th place world wide in effectiveness of its public education system, despite spending more money than most countires GDP on public education. Liberals support teachers unions who despite clear statistical proven failures, activily oppose accountability in measuring performance and supporting the outdated and irrelevent notion of senority wrt job security.

They also ignore stats demonstrating their failure of the crisis level of the government created and run welfare state,.. more are on food-stamps, welfare, and fraudulent disability, than at anytime in US history. The country spends over a $ trillion per year more than it takes in.

If the idiot left can't solve those MAJOR problems first, then they have NO credibility in claiming THEY can create a better society, by baning guns and french-fries.
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (9) Oct 06, 2012
p.s. To the rating troll, "lite" hiding under your desk, clicking on a '1', doesn't pass as an argument.
Noumenon
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
Just how many of those Bell Tower snipers and crazy mass killers using rifles and machine guns are "liberal mushheads"? The majority are right wing crazies who own guns or stole them from vacant farmsteads etc.


I speak of policy makers, not criminals. If you want to get silly, most prisonors in the USA vote democratic, as do most welfare recipients, and generally low class smelly people. If you're from Australia, you're entire country was criminal at one time,.. so its no surprise that most of you are lefties. :)

The most recent sniper incident in the USA i'm awhere of was two black men shooting people at random in D.C.. Now I think most low class criminals of this sort don't know enough about politics for one to meaningfully tie them around the neck of a particular political party,.. but since you like statistics, the vast majority of blacks in the USA voted for Obama.
Noumenon
1.8 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
Typical leftist big-gov mush-headed mentality, they take it upon themselves to dictate to free-citizens that those citizens are the threat,
It is the role of government to provide the best possible quality of life to its citizens.


This is factually incorrect. It is NOT the job of the western government to PROVIDE a ife style to its citizens..
RealityCheck
1.8 / 5 (9) Oct 06, 2012
Hi Noumenon. Mate, now I am really, really, really worried about you. Your last spate of posts drip with one-eyed, rightwing crazy, redneck NRA illogics. Most British "criminals" transported to Oz as punishment were for "crimes" like stealing a loaf of bread to feed themselves and their families. Children were transported for the crime of being orphans living by their wits. All these 'criminals' were made "criminals" as excuse for transporting them to a new colony where people would have not gone voluntarily. And most of those who were transported to Oz then was like "Press Ganging" process which was used to "recruit" for the royal navy back then. So your trivializing of what was abject poverty and unconscionable injustice and tragedy for those poor people railroaded and sentenced to cruel and inhuman fate in the penal colonies, is immediate proof you haven't a clue or a fair and humane bone in your body. Are you Mitt Romney in disguise? He hates the poor and disadvantaged too.
RealityCheck
1.7 / 5 (10) Oct 06, 2012
@Noumenon. Add: Mitt Romney says he wants to rein in the debt. How is he going to do that while letting the rich pay lower tax rates than the working poor? He says he wil "close tax loopholes". What loopholes, and who's not paying their fair share now because of them? You guessed it. Loopholes that let him "offshore" his money and avoid tax. Will he close that loophole? Not a chance. So he is full of shit, just like every lying rightwing crook pretending patriotism while looking out to scam his fellow americans. And his "job creation" plans are? Firing americans (his Bain Capital MO) and offshoring their jobs to make more profit at the expense of american workers who he made unemployed and then despises for being poor and unemployed because of him? You could be "channeling" him! Traitorous liar, hypocrite & conman who'd sell out americans in a flash if he could make a dishonest UNpatriotic buck out of it, which he did during those other years for which he won't release his tax returns!
RealityCheck
1.7 / 5 (9) Oct 06, 2012
@Noumenon. Add: You decry the debt. Who created most f it? That's right, the same rightwing crazies whom you love and adore so much. They instigated a "War on Drugs" which (like Prohibition years) made "criminals" of ordinary citizens while prviding opportunities to mafia groups to make huge amounts of money flow for running drugs and affording the guns. That war on drugs has cost at least a trillion dollars in law enforcement, courts, filling jails with otherwise ordinary people, vastly increased govt/police/customs etc department/infrastructure (so much for small govt cries from repubs/conserves, hey?). And there are more and cheaper drugs and drug addicts and drug crimnal gangs on the streets today than when the "war on drugs" started! All that money wasted and interest being paid on it to this day! Not to mention the "War on terror" expenditure. Nor the Middle East Wars. All trillions of dollars in debt which YOUR buddies created and all americans are paying interest on. One-eyed!
RealityCheck
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 06, 2012
@Noumenon. Add: You certainly have a one-eyed way of ignoring inconvenient points. The bell tower type rightwing crazies who kill the most people are those I already pointed out: YOUR kind of patriotic upstanding citizen. They killed en Masse with high-calibre weapons from a distance. No defence possible. But you prefer to 'recall' only petty criminal gun use incidents and ignore the facts. Most of those crazy right wing 'patriotic' mass murderers were NOT poor, nor "liberal mushheads" nor the great unwashed you say are the trouble with society. No, they were rightwing crazies with mass murder in their hearts, shit in their heads and guns in their hands. If guns weren't so easily obtained because they are all over, then anyone in possession of such would be SPOTTED EARLIER as the rightwing crazy he is. If the criminals hadn't the money flow from the modern "prohibition" of the "war on drugs", then they would not have the money to buy military weapons, and the debt would be much less.:)
RealityCheck
1.7 / 5 (11) Oct 06, 2012
@Noumenon. Add: And you are also one-eyed in the Zimmerman case. The scene was dark, the child was going about his lawful business, he was followed by someone who looked and acted suspicious to HIM. He was assaulted out of the dark by someone aggressive and demanding, which SCARED the child into reacting in HIS self defense and anger at being accosted like that. Zimmerman was in contravention of the law (as he was not being threatened when he decided to follow and obstruct/challenge the child IN THE DARK). He was in contravention of the police instructions for him to report ONLY and not follow or approach. Zimmerman followed and precipitated the CHILD KILLING because he was a puffed up rightwing crazy who thought his GUN gave HIM the right to contravene law and common sense. Face it, he was drunk on power-trip that night and his gun was part of his "psyche". He's just another gun toting rightwing crazy who blames his victims for his own faults. One-eyed again, Noumenon? Enough?
Doyoulikeduckmeat
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 06, 2012
" All these 'criminals' were made "criminals"

Which seems to be exactly what you want to do to gun owners. And in this case had any of these people owned guns they would not have been "made criminals" at least not easily. I own many many many guns, none of them I have I think of to use just for self defense. Some are merely relics still in working order. Many I have are just for the joy of shooting. Some I have because I love to hunt. Some I have just to have because it is my right. And I will die with any of those guns in my hand before anyone takes this right from me.

This "child" you speak of was moved to Florida because he was involved with gangs and getting into a lot of trouble. What transpired no one except, Zimmerman, God and Travon know, so do not presume to tell us the story. The fact is you have no clue what happened. I may not agree with what Zimmerman did but he had every right to do it. As US citizens we can arrest people same as cops.
Doyoulikeduckmeat
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 06, 2012
The entire Constitution was written to list rights all people have and to expressly limit government. The government has already proven the only time the Constitution matters is when the people violate the Governments rights. The Argument is moot from the perspective of a nation and government built on the US Constitution. The only reason law makers argue it is to lessen the freedoms and rights of the populace to grab more power. I think we could agree that people in power no matter how good their intent get greedy (sorry if I assume). I do agree with you on the idea of Anarchy, but with out weapons and means to defend ones self do you prevent the power hungry wacko's from taking power?

Guns are not the cause of murder nor mass killings for this matter. Those wacko's in bell towers are frankly put to shame by those killing people by means they can buy from a grocery store. See for example the Japanese man who claimed to be Jesus and his use of sarin (if not mistaken. Cntd.
Doyoulikeduckmeat
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 06, 2012
Or the Oklahoma city bombing. People will steal, murder, and kill in mass regardless of the owner ship of fire arms. So why not regulate everything to the air your breathe by your logic? Its not feasible, just like banning weapons in the US. If you think this would not start a new "revolution" you are living with your head in the dirt. Perhaps this would be a good thing though.

It is a proven fact that within 20 feet a knife is just as deadly as a pistol, ask any cop, soldier, or self defense specialist. And people still commit murder, suicide, home invasions ect.ect. in nations where guns are completely banned or so strictly regulated you can forget owning one. Limiting anything to include drugs to protect someone from them selves is insane to me. If you have a so called free society then society should be free to make any and every choice on their own conscious. Statistics are cited many times where gun ownership causes more deaths by guns this is hog wash. cntd
Doyoulikeduckmeat
2.3 / 5 (6) Oct 06, 2012
In the time of the Constitution most every person had guns and the murder rate was immensely lower. In the time when you could buy morphine from any drug store, drug abusers were fewer as well. Limiting something does not eliminate it, all it does is as the user above me says, "creates criminals" where there were none before. Hence the vastly over populated prisons we have. Who are you to tell me I can not smoke crack? I don't but if I wanted to that is my choice. Who are you to tell me I can not own guns? It is my choice. Who are you to say that I can not do anything in my home or to my self that does not effect you? Banning drugs and guns makes no more sense than banning gay marriage. Who are you and me to tell others how to live? How dare you be so arrogant to tell me how to live. How dare any one besides me deem themselves "good" enough to presume to tell me how to live. This is the mentality of the tyrants. Shame on anyone who would tell another what they do to themselves is wrong
RealityCheck
1.9 / 5 (8) Oct 07, 2012
Hi Doyoulikeduckmeat. I agree 100%. Drugs 'prohibition/war' is counterproductive and creates lucrative cash flow for mafia, as I said. But weapons for killing en masse are legitimate to ban for everyone's safety, especially with more and more drug addled and drunken characters (and just plain crazy rightwingers too) who would pick up a gun and shoot on the spur of the moment. Guns are everywhere in US and easier to obtain and deploy than poison/bombs. Bombs/poison takes more planning. More time/chance to detect and prevent. So your solution is that because crazies can get other means of killing, it's ok to give them the full range of automatic high powered guns as well? More sensible to remove as many temptations/choices for mass destruction as possible? Why should crazies have EVERY way of mass killing at their fingertips? Minimization, detection and education. Guns no use for defense when ambushed. Zimmerman had the gun and admitted he should not have approached. End of story. :(
kochevnik
3 / 5 (4) Oct 07, 2012
@Doyoulikeduckmeat Or the Oklahoma city bombing.
Bad example the explosion came outward from inside the building. The safest place to be at the time would be standing behind Timothy McVeigh's truck. Moreover McVeigh's doctor also happened to be the #2 man in the MK-ULTRA experiments. Another proud graduate of MK-ULTRA experiments was the unibomber.
Doyoulikeduckmeat
1 / 5 (5) Oct 07, 2012
You raise a great point Kochevnik, however the vast majority of the US believe the US Government to be benign. Why is beyond me.

@Reality. Crazies will kill regardless of what means they have the ability to obtain. I would disagree on the "detect-ability" of guns vs bomb/poisons. Then I guess society would play a role in this too. Anyways. The sarin attackers in Japan had their bombs in brief cases ect. There is nothing suspicious about this, same for box trucks int he US. And both examples killed more people than they ever would have with any Gun automatic and large mags included. You and me can go to the local shopping center and have the ability in 2 days time to take on any well stocked military or police force. Taking guns away will never solve the issue of "crime" or of people going nuts. Nutters will always be. Thank God its easy to get a gun and most do not know how to make DTX or others. Because most of us have the needed materials in our home already.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (6) Oct 07, 2012
I definitely made at least one post on this thread yesterday, and now it's gone.

Physorg didn't even bother to send me a PM explaining why?

It was most certainly "on topic" and getting right to the heart of the issue, so why the heck was it deleted?
Jeddy_Mctedder
2 / 5 (8) Oct 07, 2012
the entire constitution was formed around the idea of LIMITING government . the reason is because government is inherently tyranical, because authority lends itself to abuse eventually.

all nations experience hard times. when this happens the government usually responds with pressure on people and groups. victimizing certain people in favor of the success of others. eventually this pattern can lead to uprisings against the authority, which the authorities ruthly attempt to supress.
this happens AGAIN AND AGAIN. people talk about the 2nd amendment in isolation. this is a big mistake. the proper view of the amendment is as PART of the constitution, read in conduction with the idea of limiting government and protecting oneself from it.

its not just about guns, it's about freedom of the press, of the internet, freedom from MONOPOLISTIC control of the press and of capital . freedom from unlimited central planning by government ( communism ) or by oligarchic capitalists.
Doyoulikeduckmeat
1 / 5 (4) Oct 07, 2012
@ Reality, No I do not think its okay to give a nutter a gun so they use this instead of poison/bombs. The lesser of 2 evils is still evil. I do not think its a good idea to give "crazies" anything they can use to harm themselves or others.

My point was that getting rid of guns will not cure mass murder. These mass killings almost always are planed way in advance. By this logic if I kill some one with my 45 then my gun should go to jail not me. Getting rid of guns will not stop mass killings, this is proven in countries that have no guns and mass killings still happen. People will find a way to kill, it is what people do. Mass killings happened before guns even existed. Guns can only kill when a PERSON pulls the trigger. To blame one political party over the other is just as crazy. Most gang members are minority, most minorities vote Democrat. Both parties, lie, have off shore funds, etc. Both parties have nutters who commit crimes. Mass murder is not a symptom of guns, but of humans
loneislander
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 07, 2012
This debate is somewhat astonishing. It is very clear that the sentence is grammatically correct with the first comma left out and is not a sentence at all if it is left in. Clearly the first comma was added (by a zealot) or left in by an accident (tragic) of history.

Any person untainted by the politics of this can read it only one way: States have the right to have militias.

It is consistent:
- with the historical use of the word militia
- with grammar
- with common sense (the historical debate was whether a state *might* have this right -- no country would ever in history have intentionally given this right to ~each~ individual -- "Army of One" slogan notwithstanding
Doyoulikeduckmeat
1 / 5 (4) Oct 07, 2012
Lone. By the definition of the word "militia" is any 2 or more people with weapons is a militia. Yes a country in history has done it, The US just to name 1. The right is given to "each" individual in that individuals are the ones that form the "body" of an ill-regular army or "militia". The founding fathers gave this in writing because Every other country in history has disarmed its public in order to oppress and control. The militia of their day, was regular citizens such as you and I who carried gun in defense of potential invaders, criminals, and Government etc. There is no "might" to the argument even with your comma it says PEOPLE and RIGHT, and SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. Regardless of your political alignment and those damn comma's aside, PEOPLE free non-commissioned PEOPLE form Militias. See the dictionary for more info. http://dictionary.../militia To say other wise is laughable the constitutions sole purpose is to LIMIT government, not give it more power.
RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (9) Oct 07, 2012
Doyoulikeduckmeat :)
It's matter of social/national mindset. In Oz, anyone carrying a gun in the street is assumed to be up to no good. If everyone was carrying, detecting/prevention is almost impossible unless arrest everyone. See? And citizens COULD be allowed to have arms within easy reach via local armouries kept by local community, not by individual. These accessible within minutes at local level in emergency situations. See? Reasonable/safe 'community access/ownership' rather than access individually by any crazy, stalker, criminal or suicide-by-cop unfortunate using a 'home-kept' and 'street carrying' gun on the spur of the moment in a personal/domestic/political 'episode'. If bombs/poisons so available/undetected, US would be bombed and poisoned every day by crazies. Before US founded, it was British colony, not nation "of the people, by the people, for the people" democracy. Context changed. US nation not colony now. YOU the people vote in policies/institutions/rights. :)
Doyoulikeduckmeat
1 / 5 (4) Oct 07, 2012
The access the ingredients to make these things is a million times easier than getting a gun, there is no back ground nor showing of ids, the difference is most people (thank God) are not intelligent enough to construct such things. I can make a DTX powered laser guided artillery piece in 48 hours time. I can make C2/C3 in 4 hours time with house hold cleaning products. The access to these materials is at ever corner store in the world. If you read not just the Constitution but also the journals and records and other "ideas" for this Amendment you can see that their intent was to prevent having to go to a central Armory to gain access to arms.

If everyone was carrying, you would have a lot less violence. If a robber assumed his victim was armed as everyone is he would be much less likely to commit the crime. I refer you to colonial times up to the 1930's when the government started over steeping its power. Again violence is a symptom of being Human, guns are not murders.
RealityCheck
2 / 5 (8) Oct 08, 2012
Doyoulikeduckmeat :)
Modern 'sniffer' and surveillance/tracking etc because of recent terrorism, make it likely that someone mixing dangerous chemicals and transporting to site will be detected or foiled (how many such attempts are foiled already every year that we don't hear about, I wonder?). Also, as I said, the "impulse" to mass murder is more easily turned to tragedy if all it takes for someone 'in a suicidal/murderous' mood (from domestic/work/mental trigger) to just "reach for his gun" in home/car or on his/her person. A bomb/poison attack takes sustained craziness and cold blooded planning time. That is less readily sustained by people who are just 'impulsive' hater. For the cold-blooded criminal/mercenary/political/serial killer, nothing will save you. Your gun is useless if ambushed by gun, bomb or poison. Minimization, detection, education. Society's mindset. That is the point I tried to make. Good luck with your election over there, mate! May the lesser of two evils win! :)