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The So-Called Right to Bear Arms
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:

Everyone who owns a gun should be required to take a course in its use and care. It is ridiculous to own one unless you know how to use it and are ready to do so.


Great idea! So when are we starting the training courses for gang members? And let's not leave out the uneducated inner-city freelancer who picks up a gun out of desperation--or for self-defense. Although, come to think of it, they seem to know how to use a gun quite effectively and are ready--even eager--to do so. Just look at the murder rate in Philadelphia, for example, and you'll see that use, care, and willingness to use a gun aren't part of the problem. Availability? Yeah, that might have something to do with it. How about so many teenagers filled with despair, bitterness and rage? I know that's a bigger issue, but the fact that any of these kids can easily get a gun isn't exactly helping the problem.

I've read the Second Amendment and I don't see anywhere in it that the Founding Fathers intended people to have unlimited access to weaponry. Restricting gun ownership is something we need to do. I mean, how many drive-by stabbings have you heard of? Or children mown down in the crossfire of a knife fight? Ask any cop if he or she would rather face a criminal armed with a gun or a sword and you'll see the weapon a "bad guy" uses makes a big difference.

Quote:
I'd love to see a world where everything is Peace and Light. That world doesn't exist ... and probably never will.


As long as we're all arming ourselves against our neighbors and dismissing the deaths of impoverished children as unimportant, I'd say that's pretty much a given.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 2d amendment states: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The statement is the primary clause in the one-sentence amendment and takes precedence.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 274
Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
I've read the Second Amendment and I don't see anywhere in it that the Founding Fathers intended people to have unlimited access to weaponry. Restricting gun ownership is something we need to do.


Thing is, "the people" don't have unlimited access to weaponry already. At least legally. That we need to do a better job about the illegal part is understood. Restricting individual ownership absolutely is another step altogether, however, and is something the Founding Fathers feared. For good reason.

I don't own a gun, any kind of gun, and hope to high heaven I never have reason to wish I knew how to use one. However, that said, I still understand why they put the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution. Utopias with peace and understanding for all always sound great in theory but there are things we should never, ever completely cede to government. Any government.

The right to protect ourselves, our families and our homes is just as fundamental to human liberty and freedom as the right to speak freely ever will be.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to own guns, you should be prepared for the consequences. If a kid gets a hold of your gun and uses it to murder another kid, as happened in Rockford, you need to be charged with murder. When a criminal steals your gun and uses it to commit a crime, you need to accept your part in making his crime possible by being charged with the same crime yourself.

Personally, I think the previous Court was right, and that when we see the problems this new right-wing ideologue court caused with this decision 30 or so years from now, they will go back to the previous interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. How I look forward to that!
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"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."

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is clearly tied to use in a militia--and not just any militia, a well-regulated one. Do you honestly think the FFs, who lived in an agrarian world, really envisioned the violence taking place in our cities? The times have changed, folks, from the good old days of the American Revolution, and we have to change with them.

Yes, we do need to do a "better job" in restricting illegal ownership. What are your suggestions?
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The participial phrase preceding the main clause states the reason why the right shouldn't be infringed, like any other modifier. E.g.: "The brakes having failed, the car crashed."

Further, "militia" usually means a fighting force composed of the citizens rather than professional soldiers, and "the people" includes everyone, not just the army, both points suggesting that the FF's clearly meant what the primary clause states.

And do not their actions support that meaning? The soldiers of the Revolutionary army were themselves militia-men, neither conscripts nor mercenaries.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Western Kentucky, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
"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."

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is clearly tied to use in a militia--and not just any militia, a well-regulated one. Do you honestly think the FFs, who lived in an agrarian world, really envisioned the violence taking place in our cities? The times have changed, folks, from the good old days of the American Revolution, and we have to change with them.

Yes, we do need to do a "better job" in restricting illegal ownership. What are your suggestions?


Hate to agree with Dick. I really do Twisted Evil but my first thought was also that militias are traditionally thought of as the civilian guard who are called up as needed and bring their own weapons from home. Yes, from home.

And arms don't always mean guns either but then again pitchforks aren't much help against machine guns, now are they? And there's the rub. You want a well-regulated militia? Go right ahead. But it's still going to have to be appropriately "armed" against the "enemy" it's facing on a regular basis, whether that's gangs or whatever the current changed times call for. Is that more firepower or less in the homes?

Personally, I'd rather see the laws already in place enforced so the police could actually do their jobs to protect and serve. They are already the experts.
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Susan/DC



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1669

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:26 pm    Post subject: Militias Reply with quote

dick wrote:
The participial phrase preceding the main clause states the reason why the right shouldn't be infringed, like any other modifier. E.g.: "The brakes having failed, the car crashed."

Further, "militia" usually means a fighting force composed of the citizens rather than professional soldiers, and "the people" includes everyone, not just the army, both points suggesting that the FF's clearly meant what the primary clause states.

And do not their actions support that meaning? The soldiers of the Revolutionary army were themselves militia-men, neither conscripts nor mercenaries.


Then wouldn't today's militias be the National Guard and the Reserves? Also, wouldn't the phrase "well-regulated" indicate the ability to impose rules and regulations?
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KarenS



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
[quote=KarenS]I am shaking my head over the killing in Tennessee a few days ago. This deranged red-neck goes into a church and kills two people because he didn't like their [B]liberal/B] views. So because their stand on tolerance and love bothered him so much, he felt he had the right to kill a few of 'them liberals'.
Only in America do people feel they have the right to kill because someone is different from them. Can we talk about how screwed up some of us are and try to deal with those issues?


Excuse me? If the perp had been black, would you have felt justified in calling him a N****r? "Redneck" is as distasteful a term as the N-word. And, do you really think this man was sane? Being conservative in religion or politics does not make anyone do what he did. There are very few in America who feel that way .. and it for darn sure isn't "only" America. Go to Saudi Arabia and try driving a car, reading a Bible or anything religious that isn't the Koran, wear pants, etc. You'll find out how fast "others" don't tolerate those who are different. Ask Daniel Pearl how tolerant others are. There are a lot of places being openly Gay will get you a governmental sentence of execution. So, thinking America is the only intolerant country is stupid at best. You want to see some intolerance? Go to Canada and make the statement "I don't think the holocaust happend." Just see how tolerant the Canadians are. Somehow, America Bashing has become the new sport. If you think America is so bad, I suggest you do some traveling to other locations, live in another country and see just how tolerant they are.

I'd love to see a world where everything is Peace and Light. That world doesn't exist ... and probably never will. Until then, there are going to be people who feel nothing about hurting someone else. A gun in the hand of someone who knows how to use it becomes the great equalizer.

Everyone who owns a gun should be required to take a course in its use and care. It is ridiculous to own one unless you know how to use it and are ready to do so. Trust me, someone breaks into my house and starts hurting me or mine, it will end up with the breaker getting hurt more. And I don't think I'd feel much if any remorse.[/quote]

Unfortunately, my problem is that I am too idealistic and I expect better from my country and fellow citizens. We can do better and maybe we will someday. We progress and then we regress in our relationships with each other.

As to a gun being the great equalizer that is so true as long as you know what you are doing. I assume you have had training. You most likely go to the firing range and practice often to maintain your proficiency. I am sure you have had the internal dialogue with yourself that you are willing to take another person's life. Otherwise, you'll end up the victim. Do you keep your gun safely hidden away? You mention your family so I assume you may have children. In Florida as well as elsewhere, it's all too common for kids to get ahold of their parent's guns. Locking up guns is the safest way to keep little fingers away. Be safe with your gun.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Then wouldn't today's militias be the National Guard and the Reserves? Also, wouldn't the phrase "well-regulated" indicate the ability to impose rules and regulations?


I think part of the point of militias is that they are the citizen's recourse against an oppressive government. Tyrants always disarm the citizenry and all that. But if we ever decide to challenge our government, I don't think that guns will help. And let's face it, who is going to start a revolution nowadays? Nobody seem to care what our government gets up to. Funding brutal dictators (let's not forget that Saddam was our friend for a long time before he was our enemy)? Too complicated, let the experts deal with it. Waging wars the American people don't want? A bummer, but what can you do? Handing out no bid contracts to Washington insiders, when it's public knowledge that these vultures are not only endangering the troops (electocutions in the shower, untreated drinking water, cafeterias run by companies so intent on protecting the bottom line that they force soldiers to stand in line for hours--which is not only degrading, but dangerous since the enemy knows just when to attack--the list goes on and on), but also ripping off the taxpayer to the tune of billions of dollars? Yeah, we know already, wouldja just shut up and turn the channel?

I really hate the whole right to bear arms argument. It leaves me feeling like I'm fighting against shadows. The defenders have all sorts of legal arguments I can't dispute. They honestly believe what they're saying and who am I to tell anyone not to protect their families? We're all afraid these days. We're afraid of what might happen and what already has. We're not sure who is to blame--the issues are complicated, we're overworked and overstressed and picking up a paper is a surefire recipe for depression and anxiety. Scapegoating is a natural reaction, so we pick a target (terrorists, immigrants, whatever) as a focus for our fears. If owning a gun makes you feel more in control, I can't stop you. I can't even come up with a good argument against it. I just worry about the kids growing up in a culture of violence--and I'm not just talking about inner city kids, I'm talking about all our children. I'm not looking for utopia (though I wouldn't say no to it) but I am asking that people stop and think about the very serious issues facing this country. I'm hoping for a citizenry that's not well armed, but well informed--and willing to call our representatives to account. Maybe then we wouldn't have to be so scared.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
LisaW wrote:

Everyone who owns a gun should be required to take a course in its use and care. It is ridiculous to own one unless you know how to use it and are ready to do so.


Great idea! So when are we starting the training courses for gang members? And let's not leave out the uneducated inner-city freelancer who picks up a gun out of desperation--or for self-defense. Although, come to think of it, they seem to know how to use a gun quite effectively and are ready--even eager--to do so. Just look at the murder rate in Philadelphia, for example, and you'll see that use, care, and willingness to use a gun aren't part of the problem. Availability? Yeah, that might have something to do with it. How about so many teenagers filled with despair, bitterness and rage? I know that's a bigger issue, but the fact that any of these kids can easily get a gun isn't exactly helping the problem.



You've made the giant leap to "give everyone a gun, leave 'em all over the place for anyone to grab." Come on ... read what you wrote and you'll see you are merely giving an example of what I stated. Most "gang members" are under 21yo ... the older ones that aren't already dead are generally in prison. So, right off, you've got people who have guns illegally -- enforce the laws we've got. Teenagers filled with despair? If they're interested in killing themselves, doesn't matter if they have a gun or not .. they'll find a way. If they're interested in killing others (i.e., the school shootings), again, if the laws are enforced, they'll have a harder time getting guns. They can also poison the food or hand around poisoned booze (oops, under 21 ... they can't get that either, right?). These kids want to do something bad, they'll find a way. Instead of restricting my rights because others abuse the rights, how about controlling that bad action instead of those who aren't going to use the weapons for ill?

KarenS wrote:
Unfortunately, my problem is that I am too idealistic and I expect better from my country and fellow citizens. We can do better and maybe we will someday. We progress and then we regress in our relationships with each other.


You can expect all you want ... and be glad when you get what you're expecting. But be aware there are those who aren't respecting you, your rights, your property or your life.

KarenS wrote:
As to a gun being the great equalizer that is so true as long as you know what you are doing. I assume you have had training. You most likely go to the firing range and practice often to maintain your proficiency. I am sure you have had the internal dialogue with yourself that you are willing to take another person's life. Otherwise, you'll end up the victim. Do you keep your gun safely hidden away? You mention your family so I assume you may have children. In Florida as well as elsewhere, it's all too common for kids to get ahold of their parent's guns. Locking up guns is the safest way to keep little fingers away. Be safe with your gun.


Exactly what I stated -- if you are going to own a gun, you have to know how to use it. Practice at a range and development of the mindset that if I pull a weapon on someone, I'll use it and use it effectively ... otherwise, if you are weaker than your opponent (and, generally, most women are weaker than most men), all you've done is brought the gun out to hand it to someone else. I grew up in a house where my Father traveled for work. Mother and Sis and I were home, alone, all week. Mom had a gun under her pillow every night Dad was gone (and, yes, Mom was quite a good shot). I knew where that gun was. I knew where other guns were. They were not locked up ... rather, I was taught (what a concept anymore!) to respect the power of weapon. I was taught that any gun was loaded, no matter what. I was taught not to touch that weapon.

Kass's idea that I should be held responsible if someone breaks into my house and steals my weapon is as silly as holding Kass responsible when someone steals her car and kills someone with it. So, Kass should be charged with vehicular manslaughter because her car was the vehicle that killed someone? No. No more than any weapon owner should be held responsible for a thief breaking in a stealing the weapon and using it to kill someone ... be it a gun, a knife, a rope, an axe, a kitchen knife or a gallon of water.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to SusanDC: At one time, both the National Guard and the Reserves could well be considered the "militia." After being drafted into two years in the Army, for example, I was required to serve an additional six years (IIRC) in the Reserves. But the draft has been in abeyance for quite some time, so right now, I don't think so.

And you're right. The amendment doesn't preclude rules and regulations. It all depends, I think, on how one interprets the word "infringe." As the latest Supreme Court ruling suggests, it can't mean the complete denial of the right to keep, to own. Beyond that, as I'm sure you're aware, there are lots of rules and regulations surrounding guns--hand-guns and what are considered assault weapons at least. I don't think there are many when it comes to rifles and shotguns though.
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LizA



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 140
Location: Austria, Europe

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="LisaW]
The problem in this country is not too few gun laws, it's too few of the current gun laws on the books being applied and prosecuted. And, too many pleasure palace prisons (ever seen the pictures of the one in Austria? It shows up in some emails as "Cook County" ... except for the bars, might as well be in a resort!). A prison should rehabilitate ... but part of that has to make the situation such that people do not want to end up back there not the "oh well, I can do 5-10 standing on my head." It should also include so much discipline and control, the prison gangs cannot exist.

.[/quote]

I'd be really interested in this pleasure palace prison that is supposed to be in Austria, esp since Austrian prisons have a very bad reputation here in Europe... never heard of it, really. There are not all that many prisons in Austria, and those that exist are very much in the news for being overcrowded!
Luckily violent crime is not a big issue here. Our murder rate is about 70 a year (Austria having 8 Millions of inhabitants). We have pretty strict gun control but if you really want to have a gun, you can get it legally, unless you are insane or convicted. However, if you own a weapon, you are required to keep it locked away. Every now and then there are news stories of people who did not do it (it's not like the police is checking all the time) and where children played with the gun & shot themselves or others... so the general sentiment is mostly against gun ownership.
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Cora



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 1129
Location: Bremen, Germany

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually stumbled across that bit, too. A place named Cook County in Austria? Which has a luxury prison?

Actually, I assume that there was some confusion here and the luxury prison is not in Austria at all, but either:

A. in some town in North America which happens to be called Austria.

B. Cook County is actually in Australia and the original poster made a typo.
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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="KarenS"]
LisaW wrote:
[quote=KarenS]
So, thinking America is the only intolerant country is stupid at best. You want to see some intolerance? Go to Canada and make the statement "I don't think the holocaust happend." Just see how tolerant the Canadians are. Somehow, America Bashing has become the new sport. If you think America is so bad, I suggest you do some traveling to other locations, live in another country and see just how tolerant they are.


Wow, have you tried saying that in Canada? If you said exactly that - 'I don't think the holocaust happened' - what would occur is most people would view you as sadly mal-educated and probably a conspiracy theorist, but nothing more. However... when a few wildly weird individuals - Ernst Zundel, et al - begin to spout garbage about Jewish conspiracies to rule the world and then burn crosses and organize hateful marches to try to instigate violence... then we get very angry and demand that they be prosecuted for hate crimes. We have a justified reputation for being one of the more tolerant of nations, and I like it that way. You have a perfect right to express an opinion in our country, but not to try to use vicious lies to misinform the maladjusted among us.

My Dad fought in WW II, and that was not so some radical idiots could lie about what he fought for. Holocaust Deniers have a subtext always, of racial intolerance toward Jews, African-Canadians, First Nations, Roman Catholics and anyone who doesn't believe them. They are not merely saying 'I don't think the holocaust happened.', but rather that the 'holocaust myth', as they would call it, is an untruth created by the Jewish people to justify the creation of a homeland, etc.

Do some Canadians indulge in 'American Bashing'? Yes, but most of us don't listen to them, either.
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