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  1. #1
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    Second Amendment

    Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    "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."

    My question is whether this 1791 statement has any purchase in today's society, and should it thus be abolished. I believe that the Second Amendment no longer has a use in the modern world, and causes more harm than good, and should be abolished.

    1. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State"

    I thought of this in a TIME link a few weeks ago, to an article about extremist militia groups in Midwestern America. But before I get there: in today's world, where weapons of mass destruction (compared to those in the 18th century) abound, just how effective would a "well regulated Militia" be in the protection of a "free State"

    Also, it seems to me that militia groups may take their Constitutional duty to defend the free State a bit too far; specifically, the "militia phenomenon" (http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...976308,00.html). Quoth:

    "The Southern Poverty Law Center (a group that monitors militias and extremist groups) says that last year alone, the number of patriot and militia groups increased 244%, to 512. Though not necessarily racist, such groups fiercely oppose the federal government. In recent weeks, the health care debate seems to have fueled antigovernment sentiment that is far different from the last noticeable rise in extremist-group activity, after the 1992 election of Bill Clinton."

    Given that Americans, and conservative Midwesterns at that, value their freedom from government control greatly, I'm not really surprised that extremism also occurs in American values. But these militia groups are not particularly well-regulated, and through their opposition of the federal government, cause more chaos than security. The article in my link talks about the Hutarees militia who planned to kill a police officer, then crash his funeral to kill more police officers.

    This does not seem, to me, an effort to maintain the "security of a free State”, which further repudiates the first part of the Amendment.

    That’s really it, because the second part of the Amendment just states that leading from the first part, the gun-carrying rights of Americans should not be infringed.
    "More guns equal fewer deaths...by this logic, the Middle East would be better off if every nation in the region had nuclear weapons."
    — Timothy Egan, NY Times

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    "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."

    My question is whether this 1791 statement has any purchase in today's society, and should it thus be abolished.
    A militia is basically the citizenry (well, every able-bodied male anyway).

    Title 10 USCS 311--The militia consists of all able-bodied males aged 17 to 45, both citizens and those who have declared their intent to become citizens, and of female citizens who are officers of the National Guard. The militia consists of two classes: the organized militia (the National Guard and the Naval militia), and all the rest (the unorganized or reserve militia).

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/10/A/I/13/311

    Right now there is no recognized threat to our freedom, so most the militia has not organized into a fighting force to repel the threat. But unless you can show that a day where such a fighting force (millions of armed citizens defending their land) would not be relevant will never arise, the militia, and the right to bear arms, is still relevant.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    But before I get there: in today's world, where weapons of mass destruction (compared to those in the 18th century) abound, just how effective would a "well regulated Militia" be in the protection of a "free State"
    They could be very effective. I understand if an area gets nuked then no one who is in that area is going to be doing anything except dying. But then nuclear war is only one of numerous potential scenarios of armed conflict so there are numerous scenarios where the population defending their own land can be quite effective.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    Also, it seems to me that militia groups may take their Constitutional duty to defend the free State a bit too far; specifically, the "militia phenomenon"
    But considering that the militia is the citizenry itself, these groups are a small minority of militia members and therefore do not accurately represent the whole of the militia.
    Last edited by mican333; March 8th, 2011 at 12:34 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Second Amendment

    First I would like to point something out. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is what is known as a dependent clause if I am not mistaken. In other words it cannot stand on its own and is dependent on the main clause of the sentence, which is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The latter part can stand on its own and is the main idea expressed by the sentence. The former part merely serves as a modifier and an example of why "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Even without the former part the latter would still hold true and be relevant. So the insistence by gun grabbers to focus solely on the first clause is disingenuous and derails the debate. But don't take my word for it. Let's see what a linguistics expert has to say about it.

    http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/unabridged.2nd.html

    Excerpt:

    [Schulman:] "(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to 'a well-regulated militia'?"

    [Copperud:] "(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people."
    The second point I would like to make is that you are ignoring the meaning of the word "people." The word appears 9 times in the text of the Constitution and nowhere else is it suggested that it means anything other than exactly that. The only time you will ever hear an argument to the contrary is when people argue against the right to bear arms. "People" in this context does not mean "militia" any more than it means it anywhere else in the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment, like the others in the Bill of Rights, outlines a protected individual right.

    Also, your examples of people who might misuse the right is ridiculous. The Southern Poverty Law Center pretty much assumes that any militia group is a hate group from what I can tell, which I don't think is very well supported. If it is I would definitely be willing to listen to such evidence. And being anti-federal government doesn't make you a hate group for the record.

    Even if they all were hate groups, that doesn't mean the right to bear arms is invalid any more than the existence of such deplorable groups as the KKK, The Aryan Nation, The Black Panthers, or MSNBC means that the 1st Amendment is invalid.

    I believe that the Second Amendment no longer has a use in the modern world, and causes more harm than good, and should be abolished.
    How exactly does it cause more harm than good? Research has shown that there are many times more defensive uses of guns than crimes committed with them. Though the numbers are debated, estimates range from about 750,000/year to over 2 million/year. Either way it's no less than 20 times more than the number of gun crimes committed each year.

    I would also like to see how you would propose to disarm those who would not willingly obey the law. Surely you can't believe that those who would knowingly and willingly walk past a "no guns allowed" sign and massacre students at a school, shoppers at a mall, or patrons at a restaurant would just voluntarily surrender their guns because of a law? If you do, maybe you can explain why they would break numerous laws to murder helpless victims in "gun free zones," because I am at a loss to understand this logic.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by ARRAETRIKOS
    My question is whether this 1791 statement has any purchase in today's society, and should it thus be abolished.
    It has as much purchase today as the first amendment.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARRAETRIKOS
    This does not seem, to me, an effort to maintain the "security of a free State”, which further repudiates the first part of the Amendment.
    Their specific actions were not.. but the very worst reason to restrict the rights of the people is because of the fact that it may be abused.
    I believe one of our founding fathers pointed that out.

    The reasoning is simple. If that was the standard then ALL rights would be in danger of removal.


    ---Comparison of nuclear bombs and right to bare arms.


    The internet is to the first amendment what the nuclear bomb is to the right to the second.

    Just as the founders could not have imagined weapons of mass distraction. Neither could they have imagined a "speech" that could slander a person in the eyes of an entire nation.

    Just as the power of arms has increased, so has the power of speech.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    I fail to see how anything in the Bill of Rights has outlived its usefulness. I believe the intent was to guarantee every one of those rights until a new constitution and government are necessary, or until we ceased to exist as a country.
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Right now there is no recognized threat to our freedom, so most militias are not organized into a fighting force to repel the threat. But unless you can show that a day where such a fighting force (millions of armed citizens defending their land) would not be relevant will never arise, the militia, and the right to bear arms, is still relevant.
    They could be very effective. I understand if an area gets nuked then no one who is in that area is going to be doing anything except dying. But then nuclear war is only one of numerous potential scenarios of armed conflict so there are numerous scenarios where the population defending their own land can be quite effective.
    There’s no way that I can completely prove that there will be no situation in which an armed militia would be effective, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in the short-term, or even medium-term future. The chance that there will be a future scenario in which militias will be needed is not really a justification that people should be able to buy lethal weapons now. It’s the same as saying that all planes should have guns onboard to deter terrorists; that may be the case, but the chance that such weapons will accidentally fire or explode and blow up the plane seems to make the possibility of crashing from terrorist attack rather less dangerous than the a midair explosion.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    First I would like to point something out. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State," is what is known as a dependent clause if I am not mistaken. In other words it cannot stand on its own and is dependent on the main clause of the sentence, which is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The latter part can stand on its own and is the main idea expressed by the sentence. The former part merely serves as a modifier and an example of why "the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Even without the former part the latter would still hold true and be relevant. So the insistence by gun grabbers to focus solely on the first clause is disingenuous and derails the debate. But don't take my word for it. Let's see what a linguistics expert has to say about it.
    http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/unabridged.2nd.html
    Excerpt:
    The second point I would like to make is that you are ignoring the meaning of the word "people." The word appears 9 times in the text of the Constitution and nowhere else is it suggested that it means anything other than exactly that. The only time you will ever hear an argument to the contrary is when people argue against the right to bear arms. "People" in this context does not mean "militia" any more than it means it anywhere else in the Constitution. The 2nd Amendment, like the others in the Bill of Rights, outlines a protected individual right.
    I wasn’t aware of the details of the Second Amendment, but I took the first part, the one you outlined, as a justification for the second part, which outlines the right to bear arms. So by arguing about the first part I was trying to debate the justification behind the right to bear arms. I can see how the second part of the clause can stand on its own, but then lacking justification it’s just a statement with no reason to obey it.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    Also, your examples of people who might misuse the right is ridiculous. The Southern Poverty Law Center pretty much assumes that any militia group is a hate group from what I can tell, which I don't think is very well supported. If it is I would definitely be willing to listen to such evidence. And being anti-federal government doesn't make you a hate group for the record.
    Even if they all were hate groups, that doesn't mean the right to bear arms is invalid any more than the existence of such deplorable groups as the KKK, The Aryan Nation, The Black Panthers, or MSNBC means that the 1st Amendment is invalid.
    I don’t think I said that that the militia groups were “hate groups”, just that they seem to abuse the right to bear arms.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    How exactly does it cause more harm than good? Research has shown that there are many times more defensive uses of guns than crimes committed with them. Though the numbers are debated, estimates range from about 750,000/year to over 2 million/year. Either way it's no less than 20 times more than the number of gun crimes committed each year.
    I would also like to see how you would propose to disarm those who would not willingly obey the law. Surely you can't believe that those who would knowingly and willingly walk past a "no guns allowed" sign and massacre students at a school, shoppers at a mall, or patrons at a restaurant would just voluntarily surrender their guns because of a law? If you do, maybe you can explain why they would break numerous laws to murder helpless victims in "gun free zones," because I am at a loss to understand this logic.
    I didn’t know about the statistics on defensive gun use, and I’ll concede that point, but I think that it would be better to stop both criminals and normal people having guns in the first place – I understand that this is an unsubstantiated claim, but I can’t really prove this, I suppose.
    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It has as much purchase today as the first amendment.
    Their specific actions were not.. but the very worst reason to restrict the rights of the people is because of the fact that it may be abused.
    I believe one of our founding fathers pointed that out.
    The reasoning is simple. If that was the standard then ALL rights would be in danger of removal.
    ---Comparison of nuclear bombs and right to bare arms.
    The internet is to the first amendment what the nuclear bomb is to the right to the second.
    Just as the founders could not have imagined weapons of mass distraction. Neither could they have imagined a "speech" that could slander a person in the eyes of an entire nation.
    Just as the power of arms has increased, so has the power of speech.
    So you’re arguing that the reason not to eliminate the right to bear arms is because other rights may be similarly eliminated? That’s not really an argument for the Second Amendment, is it? Only that rights in general should be eternal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    I fail to see how anything in the Bill of Rights has outlived its usefulness. I believe the intent was to guarantee every one of those rights until a new constitution and government are necessary, or until we ceased to exist as a country.
    But the right to bear arms back then was considerably different from what it means now. In the 18th century, “guns” meant muskets and single-fire pistols; today, it means that you can buy a gun that has the ability to kill a dozen people without reloading. A guarantee of the rights is okay, but the justification of those rights change with time.
    "More guns equal fewer deaths...by this logic, the Middle East would be better off if every nation in the region had nuclear weapons."
    — Timothy Egan, NY Times

  7. #7
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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    There’s no way that I can completely prove that there will be no situation in which an armed militia would be effective, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in the short-term, or even medium-term future. The chance that there will be a future scenario in which militias will be needed is not really a justification that people should be able to buy lethal weapons now. It’s the same as saying that all planes should have guns onboard to deter terrorists; that may be the case, but the chance that such weapons will accidentally fire or explode and blow up the plane seems to make the possibility of crashing from terrorist attack rather less dangerous than the a midair explosion.
    Are you talking about explosive decompression here? As a result of a bullet unintentionally penetrating the fuselage? If so you need to be aware that explosive decompression is a myth invented in Hollywood for the purpose of selling movies. It won't actually happen. If not, what exactly are you talking about?

    I wasn’t aware of the details of the Second Amendment, but I took the first part, the one you outlined, as a justification for the second part, which outlines the right to bear arms. So by arguing about the first part I was trying to debate the justification behind the right to bear arms. I can see how the second part of the clause can stand on its own, but then lacking justification it’s just a statement with no reason to obey it.
    That is a pretty unreasonable measure. I urge you to read the Constitution. Nowhere else in the Bill of Rights is there any justification for any of the protected rights. It doesn't say why "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" just that it shall not.

    As for the reason to obey it, how about the fact that it's the supreme law of the land?

    I don’t think I said that that the militia groups were “hate groups”, just that they seem to abuse the right to bear arms.
    In what way?

    I didn’t know about the statistics on defensive gun use, and I’ll concede that point, but I think that it would be better to stop both criminals and normal people having guns in the first place – I understand that this is an unsubstantiated claim, but I can’t really prove this, I suppose.
    It would be nice if criminals didn't have guns wouldn't it? But why would you then disarm people who would then be unable to defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers? In the absence of a firearm I could easily overpower a 120lb female and do whatever I wish, if I were so inclined. With a firearm my 12 year old son could stop someone the size of Conan the Barbarian effectively and quickly. No other weapon is such an equalizer.

    But the right to bear arms back then was considerably different from what it means now. In the 18th century, “guns” meant muskets and single-fire pistols; today, it means that you can buy a gun that has the ability to kill a dozen people without reloading. A guarantee of the rights is okay, but the justification of those rights change with time.
    Remember that when the founders had muskets they were fighting against other with muskets. Now those with guns that have the ability to kill a dozen people are fighting against others with similar guns. Nothing has really changed.

    Besides that, the justification for all of the rights enumerated in and protected by the Bill of Rights is that the rights are natural, not given to us by our government and not able to be taken away by them. Therefore the justification can't change unless our very nature changes and we are somehow no longer "endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights." To the best of my knowledge this has not happened.

  8. #8
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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    There’s no way that I can completely prove that there will be no situation in which an armed militia would be effective, but that doesn’t seem to be happening in the short-term, or even medium-term future.
    So you don't care about Americans of the far-future defending their liberty?

    And what if you're wrong about a threat arising in the near-future. Do you know for a fact that in, say, ten years we won't be in that kind of situation?

    If so, can I borrow your crystal ball?


    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    The chance that there will be a future scenario in which militias will be needed is not really a justification that people should be able to buy lethal weapons now.
    Yes it is. Let's say that in 150 years such a situation that requires the militia will arise. How will those people of the future have access to weapons then if we remove the right to bear arms today?

    If we remove the 2nd amendment today then at no point in the future will there be a 2nd amendment when needed.

    And the 2nd amendment isn't just to let people have guns to repel a threat if it should arise, it is also protection against such a threat arriving in the first place. If, as a possible scenario, the US is run by a person who wants to become a dictator with absolute power, he will be less likely to attempt to seize power with the knowledge that the citizenry is capable of effectively fighting him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    It’s the same as saying that all planes should have guns onboard to deter terrorists; that may be the case, but the chance that such weapons will accidentally fire or explode and blow up the plane seems to make the possibility of crashing from terrorist attack rather less dangerous than the a midair explosion.
    Faulty analogy. One gun on a plane can conceivably kill everyone on the plane and therefore there is good justification to not let guns on planes. But no one gun can kill everyone in the US and if there were such a gun, we'd have justification to ban it. But there is no such gun.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    I don’t think I said that that the militia groups were “hate groups”, just that they seem to abuse the right to bear arms.
    Since the militia consists of every able-bodied male between the ages of 17 and 45, most militia members do not abuse that right.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    But the right to bear arms back then was considerably different from what it means now. In the 18th century, “guns” meant muskets and single-fire pistols; today, it means that you can buy a gun that has the ability to kill a dozen people without reloading. A guarantee of the rights is okay, but the justification of those rights change with time.
    Considering the guns that the founding fathers had were much more advanced than the guns that existed 200 years before, I see no reason to think that they did not believe that the arms of their future would be more advanced.

    And the justification has not changed one iota. There is still a potential threat to our freedom.

  9. #9
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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos
    So you’re arguing that the reason not to eliminate the right to bear arms is because other rights may be similarly eliminated? That’s not really an argument for the Second Amendment, is it? Only that rights in general should be eternal.
    Not "should be".. they ARE.

    The cons didn't grant that right to the people, it only recognized it and limits the Gov in relation to it.

    People have the right to weapons, if the Gov wants to take that right away (or try GL), then they need to have a good reason for doing so.
    The lack of vision for a "need" for a specific use of that right is a very poor reason to take it try and limit it.
    The fact that some would mis-use the right is also a very bad reason.

    So my argument is one against a specific reason as justification by the Gov. Because the Gov is in fact a fire that will consume all rights.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Faulty analogy. One gun on a plane can conceivably kill everyone on the plane and therefore there is good justification to not let guns on planes. But no one gun can kill everyone in the US and if there were such a gun, we'd have justification to ban it. But there is no such gun.
    So if that gun could only kill one person on the plane, five people on the plane, or ten people on the plane, there would be no conceivable reason to ban it?

    And whether or not the analogy has some flaws, it still, going by your logic at least, makes a valid argument in favor of putting guns on a plane. After all, unless you can show that a day will never arise where the good consequences of putting guns on planes will not outweigh the evil consequences, putting guns on a plane is still relevant.

    Yes it is. Let's say that in 150 years such a situation that requires the militia will arise. How will those people of the future have access to weapons then if we remove the right to bear arms today?

    If we remove the 2nd amendment today then at no point in the future will there be a 2nd amendment when needed.
    You are assuming that making something illegal will remove it from everyday life. I doubt that would be the case. Drugs are illegal in this country yet they still get in. Weapons, which can be manufactured with basic knowledge of explosives can also find their way in as well. I certainly think it will limit access to them, but if you are going to oppose limiting access to guns you might as well oppose gun laws in general.

    And the 2nd amendment isn't just to let people have guns to repel a threat if it should arise, it is also protection against such a threat arriving in the first place. If, as a possible scenario, the US is run by a person who wants to become a dictator with absolute power, he will be less likely to attempt to seize power with the knowledge that the citizenry is capable of effectively fighting him.
    I think this is true in many instances, though I do not agree with your dictator scenario. Why would a dictator who has the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force on his side be threatened by a couple of reserve forces and armed civilians who have little to no military training? When in history has any leader ever been deterred from attacking a country or a group which is less powerful than his military?

    Keep in mind, too, that I am in favor of legalized gun ownership. As mentioned before, I think guns are effective deterrents in certain scenarios. I just do not think they have much value in fighting dictators with more powerful militaries behind them, nor is an unidentified futuristic scenario an argument for keeping them.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    Are you talking about explosive decompression here? As a result of a bullet unintentionally penetrating the fuselage? If so you need to be aware that explosive decompression is a myth invented in Hollywood for the purpose of selling movies. It won't actually happen. If not, what exactly are you talking about?
    Okay, that was a pretty bad analogy; I was actually thinking about if a gun blew up, it would ignite the fuel in the plane and blow it up…
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    That is a pretty unreasonable measure. I urge you to read the Constitution. Nowhere else in the Bill of Rights is there any justification for any of the protected rights. It doesn't say why "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" just that it shall not.
    I did run through the Constitution, and I did not see any justifications for anything in it. I see that as a problem. Perhaps the justification back then was self-evident, or ubiquitous throughout the nation, but the lack of a justification just makes us to debate on how to interpret the statements in the Constitution, and doesn’t make the Constitution any more convincing from an interpretive point of view, and seems to me to be as much an imposition of laws on people than a dictator’s anecdotal ‘laws’.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    As for the reason to obey it, how about the fact that it's the supreme law of the land?
    Just because it is the law of the land doesn’t mean that it can’t be wrong, and that it shouldn’t be changed. Didn’t “law of the land” use to include slavery and racist laws?
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    In what way? (do militia groups abuse the right to carry guns)
    “Nine suspects associated with Hutaree, which is purportedly a Christian-based militia group, have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then attack a funeral in hopes of killing more law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors said Monday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the militia members were planning an attack sometime in April.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/29...#ixzz1GCXwCUx9
    Same case, and it doesn’t specifically state that they intended to use guns, but given that they trained with “high-powered rifles” in the “wilderness” I think that’s an okay assumption.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    It would be nice if criminals didn't have guns wouldn't it? But why would you then disarm people who would then be unable to defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers? In the absence of a firearm I could easily overpower a 120lb female and do whatever I wish, if I were so inclined. With a firearm my 12 year old son could stop someone the size of Conan the Barbarian effectively and quickly. No other weapon is such an equalizer.
    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    Remember that when the founders had muskets they were fighting against other with muskets. Now those with guns that have the ability to kill a dozen people are fighting against others with similar guns. Nothing has really changed.
    Besides that, the justification for all of the rights enumerated in and protected by the Bill of Rights is that the rights are natural, not given to us by our government and not able to be taken away by them. Therefore the justification can't change unless our very nature changes and we are somehow no longer "endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights." To the best of my knowledge this has not happened.
    Nothing has changed in terms of the balance of power between the offender and the defender (sic) but what the right to carry guns means has. Carrying a musket around is kinda difficult, since it’s heavy and not concealable, and requires something like two minutes of reloading time after firing, but carrying a pistol no longer than your forearm that can kill a dozen people without reloading is considerably different from that.
    But natural rights are defined as:
    “a right considered to be conferred by natural law natural rights , such as life and liberty, from rights that are part of the compact between citizen and government —L. H. Tribe>”
    (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/natural+right)
    Do we have different definitions of the term “natural right”?
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    So you don't care about Americans of the far-future defending their liberty?
    And what if you're wrong about a threat arising in the near-future. Do you know for a fact that in, say, ten years we won't be in that kind of situation?
    If so, can I borrow your crystal ball?
    Of course I don’t know that for a fact. But the danger of guns being needed in the future and not being available seems less dangerous to me than guns being used to kill innocents today.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Yes it is. Let's say that in 150 years such a situation that requires the militia will arise. How will those people of the future have access to weapons then if we remove the right to bear arms today?
    If we remove the 2nd amendment today then at no point in the future will there be a 2nd amendment when needed.
    Well, removing the right to bear arms indefinitely doesn’t mean that the government cannot arm the people at some point in the future if deemed necessary. But I’m assuming that your point is that the people are fighting against the government itself; if so, refer to my next comment below.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And the 2nd amendment isn't just to let people have guns to repel a threat if it should arise, it is also protection against such a threat arriving in the first place. If, as a possible scenario, the US is run by a person who wants to become a dictator with absolute power, he will be less likely to attempt to seize power with the knowledge that the citizenry is capable of effectively fighting him.
    I agree with Czahar; just how effective do you think a citizen militia would be against a modern-day dictator who rules the US?
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Since the militia consists of every able-bodied male between the ages of 17 and 45, most militia members do not abuse that right.
    So all American citizens that fit the criteria of being an “able-bodied male between the ages of 17 and 45” are automatically members of a miltia? That’s surprising, I had no idea I was part of a militia.
    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And the justification has not changed one iota. There is still a potential threat to our freedom.
    Which is not going to be utterly destroyed by nuclear bombs and all the shiny gear the US military has?
    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Not "should be", they ARE.
    The Constitution didn't grant that right to the people; it only recognized it and limits the Government in relation to it.
    People have the right to weapons, if the Government wants to take that right away (or try GL), then they need to have a good reason for doing so.
    Firstly, what’s GL?
    Secondly, you’re saying that the right to bear arms existed before the Constitution recognized it as an inherent human right? It seems to me that this is just a justification for the rights in the Constitution, and not a very good one at that; after all, the rights you say are inherent are disputed as not being rights by others, and other cultures also espouse “inherent” rights that do not exist in the US Constitution.
    "More guns equal fewer deaths...by this logic, the Middle East would be better off if every nation in the region had nuclear weapons."
    — Timothy Egan, NY Times

  12. #12
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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    Of course I don’t know that for a fact. But the danger of guns being needed in the future and not being available seems less dangerous to me than guns being used to kill innocents today.
    Really? I would forward Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia as the kinds of things that can happen when the people can't defend their own liberty.

    And it is certainly debatable that law-abiding citizens having guns is dangerous. People often use guns to defend themselves and therefore make themselves safer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    Well, removing the right to bear arms indefinitely doesn’t mean that the government cannot arm the people at some point in the future if deemed necessary. But I’m assuming that your point is that the people are fighting against the government itself; if so, refer to my next comment below.
    That is one scenario. Nor is it a given that the government will be able to arm the population if needed. The only way to guarantee that the population is armed is to let them arm themselves.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    I agree with Czahar; just how effective do you think a citizen militia would be against a modern-day dictator who rules the US?
    VERY effective. Hundreds of millions of armed people defending their own land can be very effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    So all American citizens that fit the criteria of being an “able-bodied male between the ages of 17 and 45” are automatically members of a miltia? That’s surprising, I had no idea I was part of a militia.
    And now you know. I supported that a few posts back by providing the definition of the militia.

    To repeat:

    Title 10 USCS 311--The militia consists of all able-bodied males aged 17 to 45, both citizens and those who have declared their intent to become citizens, and of female citizens who are officers of the National Guard. The militia consists of two classes: the organized militia (the National Guard and the Naval militia), and all the rest (the unorganized or reserve militia).

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/10/A/I/13/311

    I assume that if you had to fight to protect your freedom, land, and family, you probably would. Which makes you part of the unorganized militia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    Which is not going to be utterly destroyed by nuclear bombs and all the shiny gear the US military has?
    But who says that's the way it's going to go down? First off, nuking an area means that no one has access to that area for a long time so there's a great incentive to not use nukes if your goal is conquest.

    And if there is some kind of dictator taking control, it's not a given that he will have the entirety of the military backing him. What if a significant portion of the military backs the revolution and not the dictator and the armed citizenry is what is needed for the revolution to succeed?

    There are an infinite number of possible scenarios of dictatorship and revolution and in many, many of them the citizenry taking up arms to keep their freedom would be quite effective.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    So if that gun could only kill one person on the plane, five people on the plane, or ten people on the plane, there would be no conceivable reason to ban it?
    I'm talking about guns on planes per se. The argument I was responding to was about a gunshot bringing down the whole plane and it's a flawed analogy.

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    And whether or not the analogy has some flaws, it still, going by your logic at least, makes a valid argument in favor of putting guns on a plane. After all, unless you can show that a day will never arise where the good consequences of putting guns on planes will not outweigh the evil consequences, putting guns on a plane is still relevant.
    If the overall positives of allowing guns on planes outweigh the negatives, then I'm for allowing guns on planes. But I don't think the positives do outweigh the negatives so I'm generally against allowing guns on planes.

    And conversely, I believe that allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns outweighs the negatives.

    And I'm not interested in debating guns on planes - you can assume that if you make a great argument that guns on planes is a good thing then I will change my mind about guns on planes.

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    You are assuming that making something illegal will remove it from everyday life. I doubt that would be the case.
    It won't remove them entirely but it will certainly decrease the number of citizens that have access to them, especially amongst the law-abiding, likewise limiting the militias effectiveness of defending their freedom should such a situation arise. So my argument stands.

    Removing the second amendment does make us less capable of defending our freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    I think this is true in many instances, though I do not agree with your dictator scenario. Why would a dictator who has the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force on his side be threatened by a couple of reserve forces and armed civilians who have little to no military training?
    Because the civilians outnumber the armed forces. Likewise it's not a given that the whole of the military will back the dictator. What if about a third opposes the dictator? Either way, a civilian population defending themselves can be a formidable force, especially since they have little to lose.


    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    When in history has any leader ever been deterred from attacking a country or a group which is less powerful than his military?
    How am I suppose to point out an attack that never happened? Aren't you asking me to prove a negative?

    For all we know, there have been a few US Presidents who would have attempted to become dictator but realized that they couldn't do it due to the armed citizenry. I'm not saying this has happened of course but how would we know if it did?


    Quote Originally Posted by czahar View Post
    Keep in mind, too, that I am in favor of legalized gun ownership. As mentioned before, I think guns are effective deterrents in certain scenarios. I just do not think they have much value in fighting dictators with more powerful militaries behind them, nor is an unidentified futuristic scenario an argument for keeping them.
    But there are so many ways that a dictator-revolution scenario can play out. And I find it very hard to believe that hundreds of millions of armed people fighting to defend their freedom and homes would not be a very significant in many, if not most, of those scenarios.
    Last edited by mican333; March 10th, 2011 at 05:40 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Second Amendment

    What about hunting? Hunting is a fairly essential part of environmental managment.

    Taking away guns only takes guns from those who would legally gain access to them, and then legally use them to defend themselves. THose determined to break even greater laws than owning a gun(i.e. murder, kidnapping, theft), would certianly have no issue breaking one more law. Sure it might be harder for the criminal to get the gun, but it now becomes easier for the law abiding citizen to be harmed by the criminal.

    Arn't there studies that have shown citys that banned guns had an increased crime rate from when they had allowed the right to bare arms?
    Those who do not respond to reason can not be conquered by it.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Justice Scalia clearly articulated what the verbiage of the Second Amendment means in DC v. Heller: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html

    "The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose."

    Please read the whole opinion, as it covers just about every anti-gun and anti-RKBA argument that currently exists.

    SCOTUS also dealt with whether this applies to the states in McDonald v. Chicago: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1521.ZS.html

    The opinions, along with the filing briefs and amici, of these two cases are demonstrative of both the current facts around the Second Amendment along with its history and the history of the U.S.

    Author Michael Z. Williamson has collected a rather exhaustive list of the absurdities that a person needs to believe in order to think gun control is a good idea: http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/rants/guncontrol.php

    Guncite.com also collects a significant amount of firearms-related information from a variety of sources: http://guncite.com/

    Gary Kleck, a professor and Ph.D of Criminology, has studied crime, violence, and firearms and published multiple books and studies on the issue, all of which have found no causal link between firearms and crime or violence.

    John Lott, a Ph.D in Economics, has studied and published multiple books on firearms as well, all of which come to the same conclusion that Kleck has come to: firearms don't influence crime, but law-abiding firearms owners *are* measurably safer than citizens who don't own firearms.

    The JPFO's book, "Death by Gun Control" includes significant amounts of research into the direct link between laws confiscating or banning the ownership of firearms and major genocides of the 20th century. ( http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm ) There is a definite, direct link between the subjugation of a people and their disarmament by their own government.

    Finally, if there's still any question about the threat to a government that a sufficiently motivated populace represents, one only needs look as far as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising ) and the use of the 4 Winds Shotgun in the Philippines against the Japanese ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/13116475/4-Winds-Shotgun ) to get a sense of both the effectiveness of firearms in the hands of guerillas as well as the mechanical simplicity that allows common household materials to become the tools of revolution.
    "... freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty for every man to do what he lists but a liberty to dispose, and order as he lists, his person, actions, possessions, and his whole property, within the allowance of those laws under which he is, and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own." -- John Locke, Second Treatise on Government

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by Arraetrikos View Post
    Okay, that was a pretty bad analogy; I was actually thinking about if a gun blew up, it would ignite the fuel in the plane and blow it up…
    I'm going to have to insist that you explain how that would happen. First start with how a gun that isn't being handled by anyone is going to blow up. And in the infinitely unlikely even that it did how it would ignite the fuel and blow up the whole plane. This is really an irrational fear that has no basis in reality. Guns just don't work that way.

    I did run through the Constitution, and I did not see any justifications for anything in it. I see that as a problem.
    If you see a problem with the fact that there is no justification for rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion other than the fact that you are a human and you deserve to be free, then I'm afraid I can't really argue with you on that. In fact I feel for you. I mean do you hold yourself in such low regard that you think you aren't worthy of freedom without the government providing it to you and then providing justification? Help me understand this.

    Perhaps the justification back then was self-evident, or ubiquitous throughout the nation, but the lack of a justification just makes us to debate on how to interpret the statements in the Constitution, and doesn’t make the Constitution any more convincing from an interpretive point of view, and seems to me to be as much an imposition of laws on people than a dictator’s anecdotal ‘laws’.
    I think either you're looking at it backwards or I am understanding you backwards.

    The Constitution was not meant as a means of imposing laws on citizens but rather a guide to limit the government from doing so. That's why there are phrases like, "Congress shall make now laws" and "shall not be infringed." In other words it's meant to limit the number of laws passed.

    Just because it is the law of the land doesn’t mean that it can’t be wrong, and that it shouldn’t be changed. Didn’t “law of the land” use to include slavery and racist laws?
    Very valid point. But those laws were eventually overturned because they limited the freedoms of citizens. What you are proposing is going in the exact opposite direction.

    “Nine suspects associated with Hutaree, which is purportedly a Christian-based militia group, have been charged with conspiring to kill police officers and then attack a funeral in hopes of killing more law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors said Monday. U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said agents moved on the group because the militia members were planning an attack sometime in April.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/29...#ixzz1GCXwCUx9
    Same case, and it doesn’t specifically state that they intended to use guns, but given that they trained with “high-powered rifles” in the “wilderness” I think that’s an okay assumption.
    Well then there goes the entire Bill of Rights then because I can certainly find anecdotes where every single right enumerated in them was abused. So certainly you would be in favor of having no rights at all then. Or do you believe as I do that a very small minority abusing rights is pretty silly justification for losing them?

    Nothing has changed in terms of the balance of power between the offender and the defender (sic) but what the right to carry guns means has. Carrying a musket around is kinda difficult, since it’s heavy and not concealable, and requires something like two minutes of reloading time after firing, but carrying a pistol no longer than your forearm that can kill a dozen people without reloading is considerably different from that.
    So rights are only valid as long as they're talking about 17th and 18th century technology? Besides just because something is capable of something doesn't mean that's the only possibly use and that you should completely remove someone's right to self defense just because something you don't like exists.

    But natural rights are defined as:
    “a right considered to be conferred by natural law natural rights , such as life and liberty, from rights that are part of the compact between citizen and government —L. H. Tribe>”
    (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/natural+right)
    Do we have different definitions of the term “natural right”?
    It appears we do. I'm not sure how a natural right can possibly be given to me by the government. That's a complete oxymoron.

    Of course I don’t know that for a fact. But the danger of guns being needed in the future and not being available seems less dangerous to me than guns being used to kill innocents today.
    What about the guns that are used orders of magnitude more times to save innocents? Is that dangerous too?

    Well, removing the right to bear arms indefinitely doesn’t mean that the government cannot arm the people at some point in the future if deemed necessary. But I’m assuming that your point is that the people are fighting against the government itself; if so, refer to my next comment below.
    So how exactly do you propose that the government keep arms and ammunition for over 300 million people? And how would they distribute them quickly in a time of need? And if it's the government against whom the people must defend themselves how exactly are we to get them?

    Is the right to bear arms the only one you believe I should lick the boots of my elected officials to exercise? Or are they all equally out of the reach of mere mortals such as myself?

    I agree with Czahar; just how effective do you think a citizen militia would be against a modern-day dictator who rules the US?
    I don't know. But I'd probably ask Mubarak and Qadaffi what they think about it. If he were alive today Czar Nicholas II might have an opinion on the matter as well.

    Which is not going to be utterly destroyed by nuclear bombs and all the shiny gear the US military has?
    This is endemic of most all anti-gun arguments. There are only two possible outcomes: the one they envision where banning guns leads to world peace, does away with world hunger, and cures cancer; and the one that ends in the destruction of the Earth, throwing it off its axis and out of its orbit colliding with other planets and eventually destroying the known universe.

    The problem is that reality is somewhere in between. The nuclear option is unrealistic for reasons already pointed out. I know when I was in the Army I and most of those with whom I served would never have backed a dictator if it ever came to that. And we had the keys to the arms rooms and vehicles, tanks, aircraft, etc. If civil war ever were to happen again in this country it is very likely that both sides would be extremely well armed and equipped.

    Secondly, you’re saying that the right to bear arms existed before the Constitution recognized it as an inherent human right? It seems to me that this is just a justification for the rights in the Constitution, and not a very good one at that; after all, the rights you say are inherent are disputed as not being rights by others, and other cultures also espouse “inherent” rights that do not exist in the US Constitution.
    I honestly can't see why you have a problem with inherent rights. By your reasoning we shouldn't intervene in any problems outside our own country. We would have had no reason to get involved in World War II in Europe because Hitler didn't justify the Jews having a right to not be burned in ovens. I really can't get my head around how you are arguing that only the government can give you rights and only if they spell out each one.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    I'm going to have to insist that you explain how that would happen. First start with how a gun that isn't being handled by anyone is going to blow up. And in the infinitely unlikely even that it did how it would ignite the fuel and blow up the whole plane. This is really an irrational fear that has no basis in reality. Guns just don't work that way.
    See also, "Hoplophobia" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoplophobia )

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    The Constitution was not meant as a means of imposing laws on citizens but rather a guide to limit the government from doing so. That's why there are phrases like, "Congress shall make now laws" and "shall not be infringed." In other words it's meant to limit the number of laws passed.
    I'll add that the legal system is more than just what's in the Constitution. The full extent of the law includes the U.S. Code, established case law and jurisprudence, as well as things like William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England (http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/blackstone/ ), which is an often cited work in Supreme Court cases dealing with constitutional history and how our legal system is derived from English common law.

    A simple reading of the Constitution in isolation is *not* going to tell you everything you need to know about rights, privileges, and how a government interacts with its people.

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    So rights are only valid as long as they're talking about 17th and 18th century technology? Besides just because something is capable of something doesn't mean that's the only possibly use and that you should completely remove someone's right to self defense just because something you don't like exists.
    I'll add that this is demonstrably false because the First Amendment applies to much more than just the printing press. There is plenty of precedent from SCOTUS alone to make this line of reasoning a dead end.

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    It appears we do. I'm not sure how a natural right can possibly be given to me by the government. That's a complete oxymoron.
    Where natural rights intersect with civil rights is something that is explored by John Locke's Second Treatise on Government. ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ri.../#GenIdeHumRig and http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtr02.htm )

    The founders were heavily influenced by Locke, Hobbes' Leviathan, and the laws used by the Iroquois nations. Our concepts of rights are derived from these and other sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    This is endemic of most all anti-gun arguments. There are only two possible outcomes: the one they envision where banning guns leads to world peace, does away with world hunger, and cures cancer; and the one that ends in the destruction of the Earth, throwing it off its axis and out of its orbit colliding with other planets and eventually destroying the known universe.
    Don't forget that throughout the 80s and 90s, many states passed "shall issue" concealed carry laws. Every time one of these laws was being proposed or passed, the newspapers ran numerous stories and editorials claiming that it would cause the state to "return to the Wild West" and that there would be blood in the streets and all manner of paranoid hyperbole.

    Fast forward to today, where 34 states have some form of permit for carrying a concealed firearm, most of them "shall issue" permits where the government needs to supply a valid reason for blocking the issue of the permit such as a felony record or diagnosis of insanity. Yet, over the last decade, crime has actually been on the decline and there have been no major incidents resulting from the establishment of "shall issue" concealed carry laws. No massacres. No neighbor shooting neighbor over minor disagreements. Oh, but there *has* been a steady reduction in national crime rates over the last decade.

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    I honestly can't see why you have a problem with inherent rights. By your reasoning we shouldn't intervene in any problems outside our own country. We would have had no reason to get involved in World War II in Europe because Hitler didn't justify the Jews having a right to not be burned in ovens. I really can't get my head around how you are arguing that only the government can give you rights and only if they spell out each one.
    This is the prevailing mindset in Europe. We can see how a nearly complete ban on firearms has done wonders for England, where the crime rates are nearly triple what they are here in the U.S. and where citizens have been successfully sued by criminals for injuries sustained during the commission of crimes.

    Currently, many British newspapers are complain about "knife crime" in the same way that they complain about "gun crime", as if it's the tool's fault that the crime exists.

    Personally, I think every city, state, and country would do well to learn the lessons demonstrated in Kennesaw, Georgia. ( http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=41196 )
    "... freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty for every man to do what he lists but a liberty to dispose, and order as he lists, his person, actions, possessions, and his whole property, within the allowance of those laws under which he is, and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own." -- John Locke, Second Treatise on Government

  17. #17
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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by ARRAETRIKOS
    Firstly, what’s GL?
    Secondly, you’re saying that the right to bear arms existed before the Constitution recognized it as an inherent human right? It seems to me that this is just a justification for the rights in the Constitution, and not a very good one at that; after all, the rights you say are inherent are disputed as not being rights by others, and other cultures also espouse “inherent” rights that do not exist in the US Constitution.
    GL = "Good Luck". As in, "Good luck to a Gov that TRIES to deny u.s. citizens their right to bare arms."

    Yes, according to the view of our founders that rights do not come from gov. Therefore, rights existed before the Gov. Especially the U.S. right or wrong, that is the frame of reference our Const was constructed in, and any other frame of reference is going to produce faulty interpretations of the Const. That is why such phrases as "We hold these truths to be self evident" are found in our founding documents.

    As for not a very "good" one, in terms of reasoning. That is a fine opinion to have, but it is irrelevant to reading and understanding our founding documents. In other words, "Too bad". If you think a better gov can be formed on a different premise then go for it. However, America is founded on the above reasoning. I don't have to justify it. It is the change that needs to be justified.

    Why should I accept a reasoning that has failed other nations time and time again? (see examples of atrocities inflicted on unarmed citizenry) Especially when our history is one of success.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by wakko View Post
    Fast forward to today, where 34 states have some form of permit for carrying a concealed firearm[.]
    Actually it's 48 states, 37 of which are shall-issue (38 if you include Alabama which is in practice though not in law). Only Illinois and Wisconsin have no mechanism to issue a permit to carry. To be fair Hawaii and New Jersey are no issue states in practice as well.

    We also saw the same hyperbole you mentioned with the laws allowing guns in restaurants in Tennessee and Arizona, state parks, and national parks. And despite the same results time after time, the gun grabbers continue with the same tired rhetoric.

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by LagerHead View Post
    Actually it's 48 states, 37 of which are shall-issue (38 if you include Alabama which is in practice though not in law). Only Illinois and Wisconsin have no mechanism to issue a permit to carry. To be fair Hawaii and New Jersey are no issue states in practice as well.
    I had a feeling my number was way off. Thanks for updating it.
    "... freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty for every man to do what he lists but a liberty to dispose, and order as he lists, his person, actions, possessions, and his whole property, within the allowance of those laws under which he is, and therein not to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own." -- John Locke, Second Treatise on Government

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    Re: Second Amendment

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Why should I accept a reasoning that has failed other nations time and time again? (see examples of atrocities inflicted on unarmed citizenry) Especially when our history is one of success.
    MT, this is a slippery slope. You're making a presumption that an unarmed citizenry leads to tyranny and is more prone to tyranny than an armed citizenry, irrespective of other factors. This requires empirical support. Sure atrocities have been inflicted on unarmed citizens of other countries, but they have also been inflicted on armed citizens of other countries as well. The difference between an armed or unarmed citizenry is not necessarily the deciding factor between whether or not the government is tyrannical (for example, Yemen has the 2nd highest rate of privately owned firearms, only one spot behind the US, but that does not seem to have acted as a defense against government tyranny).

    You're also implying that the successful absence of tyranny in American history is the result of having had a well-armed citizenry, but there is absolutely no support that an armed-populace has been the reason why the United States has never slipped into tyranny. There may be other, more significant, factors that you should consider which would hinder the regression of the United States towards tyranny (e.g. an entrenched separation of powers of the federal government, Bill of Rights (more than just the 2nd amendment), checks and balances, effective democratic institutions, etc).
    "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY deserve neither LIBERTY nor SAFETY."--Pennsylvania Assembly

 

 
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