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The Gov. to try to take our guns.

I'll defend dad06's right to express his unusual views. They are thought-provoking. But comparing "state control" over US citizens in 2007 to anything that happened under the Roman emperors, French kings, or more-recent dictators just doesn't make any sense to me. Our freedoms are vast, as are the limitations placed on us by the modern world, including our government, corporations, and culture. Dad06 is helping us to see both sides.
I am careful not to include recent states. The French revolution is really the demarcation point. That legitimized the "state as god" aspect of modern political movements.

Here are a few broad things we suffer under that the Romans and Peasants did not:

income tax, property tax, regulation of business, regulation of markets, private vehicle regulation and licensing, restrictions on private use of land, restrictions on private use of your own person.

To be sure the older tyrants were much quicker to use the sword against those who violated their considerably thinner ledgers, but the end result is the same today if disobedience is carried out to its fullest extent.
 

mrob

Moderator Emeritus
dado6,

I do think you are smart and energetic--we just disagree on other things.:biggrin:

Jeff,

I apologize for making my point aggressively and repeatedly. I thought we were engaged in a debate, and was responding to points being made repeatedly as well, but you are right. I made my point, and now its time to drop it.

Serves me right for getting drawn into another gun thread--it happens every time!:redface:

Sorry for beating the dead horse guys--my apologies!
 
John P. I just wanted to say thank you for your service as well as your posts on this subject.

Mark - Navy Vet. NRA Life Member
Thanks Mark, we've got enough of us Navy types here to almost start duty sections....:eek:

Welcome to the forum, Mark, I'm a sucker for this topic, and lucky for me, it seems to come up every couple of months one way or the other...I may never convince anyone their ideas on the matter are wrong, but I'll settle for some folks at least pondering if some of my own are right....
This is one of the few forums I have seen such topics discussed quite as level headedly as it usually goes, and I rather enjoy the debate.
Just wish I wasn't so bad to use run-on sentences....
John P.
 
Horse? WHAT horse? I had that sucker STUFFED, just so I could take him out and give him a whack at my leisure...:biggrin:
John P.
 
I am careful not to include recent states. The French revolution is really the demarcation point. That legitimized the "state as god" aspect of modern political movements.

Here are a few broad things we suffer under that the Romans and Peasants did not:

income tax, property tax, regulation of business, regulation of markets, private vehicle regulation and licensing, restrictions on private use of land, restrictions on private use of your own person.

To be sure the older tyrants were much quicker to use the sword against those who violated their considerably thinner ledgers, but the end result is the same today if disobedience is carried out to its fullest extent.
The ironic part is that the Romans didn't need taxes because they funded the state through wars of conquest. Somehow I doubt this is the ideal model.
 
so true but when the wars started to cost more than the conquests...taxes went up...The further the Roman empire spread the more it cost to fund wars...

Look at the US...what brought us out of the depression..? War..

The reason the war isn't helping us today is that we don't make anything. Industry is gone...

Got to love NAFTA!:censored:
 
This is a long thread and I only read the first and last page, but I didn't see anyone actual list the whole amendment, just took parts of it and it is used for benifit of a particular stance. So here it goes:

"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 old way of writing (without parenthesis) would be to use a comma, as above. If you put in the parethesis, it shows that the militia's right shall not be infringed. There was no full time, regular army (or Marines) at the time, only militias.

If people want to use the fully automatic weapons in defense of our country, there are many spots available to be filled using those very weapons. We need as many as possible, and I promise you, you will get to use all the available auto's you want. You will even get to hunt with some of them, a double bonus.

Enjoy.
I'm not so sure about the parentheses part, but I agree with your interpretation overall. So does just about every court that has written about this. See Silveira v. Lockyer, 312 F.3d 1052 (9th Cir. 2003), cert. denied 540 U.S. 1046 (2003), at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/CB340BA134E0B81688256CBB005A9417/$file/0115098.pdf?openelement.

So now that the Second Amendment argument is out of the way:wink:, why not look for a reasonable way to handle gun ownership? Treat it like car ownership? Require training, testing, and registration, and prohibit certain features such as enormous clips, similar to prohibiting cars that are not "street legal?" Now there's a solution that's guaranteed to make extremists on both sides unhappy.

And thank you for your service, Dave.
 
The ironic part is that the Romans didn't need taxes because they funded the state through wars of conquest. Somehow I doubt this is the ideal model.
Oh they had taxes, mostly on the senators, who paid a very hefty price to be in the senate.
The primary citizen tax was a district tax levied every 5 years or so. Folks avoided this tax rather easily by moving around and changing names. Diocletian put an end to that by ordering everyone stay at their current abodes and employment.
The roman historian Rostovtzeff put it this way:

The emperors of the fourth century, and above all Diocletian...took their duties seriously, and they were animated by the sincerest love of their country. Their aim was to save the Roman Empire, and they achieved it.... They never asked whether it was worth while to save the Roman Empire in order to make a vast prison for scores of millions of men.
 
Oh they had taxes, mostly on the senators, who paid a very hefty price to be in the senate.
The primary citizen tax was a district tax levied every 5 years or so. Folks avoided this tax rather easily by moving around and changing names. Diocletian put an end to that by ordering everyone stay at their current abodes and employment.
The roman historian Rostovtzeff put it this way:

The emperors of the fourth century, and above all Diocletian...took their duties seriously, and they were animated by the sincerest love of their country. Their aim was to save the Roman Empire, and they achieved it.... They never asked whether it was worth while to save the Roman Empire in order to make a vast prison for scores of millions of men.
Sure they had some taxes, but it was primarily through conquest that the empire was funded. Once these ended, it was the refusal of the Senate to allow taxation of their latifundia that ultimately played a large role in bankrupting Rome.
 
Hi again Stephen, perhaps you are right to an extent about the moral panic you speak of, but it is interesting to me, that the very industry claiming their movies etc. have absolutely nothing to do with violent acts that make the news are the first to proclaim loudly that it is the fault of the weapon, somehow, that people do these things. My feeling is that people need to be conditioned to kill, programmed, if you will. Killing is not something that comes naturally, or armed forces boot camps would consist of handing new recruits a gym pass, a uniform, and a rifle. I would argue that the inanimate object is NEVER at fault, and the person weilding it to do harm to another IS. I also think responsibility lies heavily with those who have helped condition the killers toward murder in the first place... Why, when after a movie about a computer programmer finding out he is the "chosen one" who then discovers everyone and everything around him are computerized "drones" "agents" and the like, is then portrayed inflicting massive violence with various weapons concealed inside a black trenchcoat (perhaps due to the cinematic appearance...) do they not make the connection when school children who no doubt identify with similar characters, walk into their school, wearing black trenchcoats, and large amounts of ordnance. They stumble over themselves blaming the weapon, never mind they just planted the idea in the minds of millions...that dealing with one's problems in an excessively violent way is a "cool" way to go out. I think entertainment like this is great, but it needs to be countered by upbringing, as well. The line between fantasy and reality is not emphasized enough, sometimes, and I feel parents need to be re-empowered to do just that.
John, I agree wholeheartedly, except for the part about people needing to be conditioned to kill. I don't question the media's impact in determining what constitutes "cool", and if your point is about people becoming unable to distinguish the hyperreality of the Matrix from reality then I think it's an important one, but simply because people are in trenchcoats doesn't demonstrate anything more than a stylistic influence. Everyone could kill given certain circumstances - conditioning simply standardizes them as much as possible to produce a fighting force. The kids that have shot up schools don't do it to imitate their video games, they do it to lash out at peers and to imitate Columbine. While I wouldn't want to say that there's no impact whatsoever of violent video games, the fact is that unless one is already a seriously disturbed or unstable individual they're simply not going to start imitating their first-person shooter. Further, the existence of virtual arenas for aggressive expression might very well serve as a safe outlet that lets violent steam off that would in the past have spilled into their everyday lives.
Actually, I disagree; it only takes ONE firearm in a home to serve as a deterrent; knowing that EVERYONE has one is even more of a deterrent. Someone considering ill toward a given homeowner (regardless of the government issues mentioned above) will often weigh the likelihood that the occupants are armed prior to forcing entry, etc. but if he KNOWS there is a weapon there, guaranteed...the deterrent level raises even more. Making sure everyone who owns one is trained in its use (vis a vis Switzerland, again) increases that even more still. Multiple weapons might be nice to own, but the reality is a citizen is only likely to be able to use ONE of them at a given time. While there are collectors of almost anything you can imagine, including firearms, the idea of an arms race is not really valid here, I think. Firearms are not cheap, and a person can only use one at a time, anyway. Criminals do not generally seek out the most difficult target in town. They go for the unlocked house with people they known they can overpower inside, that they have a good idea are unarmed...no need for an arms race. Just one is fine.
I think the "arms race" analogy still holds. Why have a gun? Power. A gun gives one more power to do violent harm. If you have a gun and I do not, that gives you an enormously greater power to do me violent harm than I you. In order to rectify this imbalance of power, I need a gun too. But now you've lost the original advantage that you seeked by buying the gun in the first place. What do you do? Buy a better gun. Whether or not it really constitutes an arms race, the idea is quite similar to the state of the cold war - peace through deterrence. And I think that's a terrible basis for a community.
Actually I would consider this move unconstitutional and a further restriction, as the 2nd amendment we all love to debate gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Which means carrying it and using it. There are of course restrictions already in effect which I have no issue with, such as firing a weapon inside the city limits...unless one's life is in danger, firing a weapon inside a metropolitan area puts other citizens at too much of a risk outside of controlled ranges and the like, where the projectile is not allowed to keep moving and cause unintentional damage to anyone.
If the purpose of the second amendment is to ensure that the citizenry have the capacity to forcibly remove the government if necessary, then other usages of arms, while still perfectly legal, are not constitutionally protected. There is, however, nothing constitutional about using arms. To bear simply means "hold", so I see no reason why it cannot mean that one simply has the right to keep the arms in one's possession.
I think we have so many laws already that it is ridiculous, most of the things you are mentioning are in all practicality already in effect. One is usually not allowed to carry a weapon in his/her vehicle with ammunition in the same area, and some areas have even more draconian laws that I won't go into. The simple matter is, I think a lack of honest knowledge about firearms as well as massive disinformation by political entities against firearm ownership and the media, is causing much of the problem as well as the hysteria about the supposed problem. Had I not grown up with firearms, I would think they routinely go off, for no reason, regardless of whether or not they are loaded/charged/cocked/whatever, and kill (if you watch TV, always an innocent child or bystander), I would also believe that if I had a firearm in the house, that it was no doubt going to be used against me if there were an intruder.
None of the above is true, and I think the numbers are lacking in one point, which is prevented crimes. For every drug deal gone wrong, how many times have citizens defended themselves with a firearm, regardless of if they actually had to FIRE the firearm. How many murders, robberies, rapes...have been prevented by the simple SOUND of a 12GA pump shotgun being racked. I know of a couple instances myself.
I think the real issue isn't citizen ownership of firearms, I believe they should have them if they want. In fact I would PREFER that all citizens first received TRAINING (which I think would be in keeping with the intent of the second amendment) and owned at least one firearm. No, I believe the problem is the breakdown, whether intentional or not, both in the schools, the media, and eventually it had to have some effect, society...of what is right, and what is wrong. Parents are not allowed to discipline children, those same children see appalling things happen on the screens portrayed as "cool" and the mindset of "ends justifying the means" is prevalent. "He's a hard worker" becomes more important than "He came into the country illegally and stole an honest citizen's identity to allow him to work". "I have a great car" becomes more important than "I didn't work to EARN the car".
I think what we have is not a firearms problem (when they decide to take them all, unless they continue to be really really sneaky, is likely when the shooting war would start, just like at Lexington-the American revolution was not a tax revolt specifically....the tax revolt was the Boston Tea party...the shooting didn't start until British troops were sent to disarm the colonists....) sorry...rambling....
What I think we have, instead, is a SOCIETY problem,
and it's roots are deeper than any gun law might reach. Politicians screaming gun control are offering a placebo, that not only does not solve the inherent problems people REALLY worry about (no doubt most aren't afraid of the gun so much as a drug dealer USING it on them), but actually makes things a bit worse. They are stirring up hysteria amongst the uninformed citizens, so they can have a new "bogey man" to in turn be seen as protecting those same uninformed masses from. Nevermind that they are assaulting the rights of honest citizens, and demonizing people who are simply honest citizens with no ill will towards anyone.
Rambling, again,
concluded.
John P.
John, I wholeheartedly agree that what we're talking about is a society problem - I just think that encouraging people to get guns to protect themselves from one another isn't going to solve anything. Further weaponizing a destructive society doesn't seem to be that plausible a way to make it into a better one. I actually share your great admiration for the Swiss model, but I think one must keep in mind that Switzerland's policy arose not as a means of internal protection, but external: citizens don't have weapons to protect themselves from each other, they have them to protect their state from other states. To promote arms-possession on the basis of internal distrust of one's fellow community members in a democratic state seems rather odd in comparison.
 
John, I agree wholeheartedly, except for the part about people needing to be conditioned to kill.
Oh, they do. Contrary to what some may think, it takes considerable motivation or desensitization for someone to kill. Whether that comes from a need for drugs or money that outweighs the life of the other person (obviously, I'm talking about the first time one kills) or like those of us in the armed forces, through repetitive training shooting at vehicles and "sillouettes" with every effort placed on not thinking of the other person as a human being, but a "target". Yet people still usually hesitate.
I don't question the media's impact in determining what constitutes "cool", and if your point is about people becoming unable to distinguish the hyperreality of the Matrix from reality then I think it's an important one, but simply because people are in trenchcoats doesn't demonstrate anything more than a stylistic influence. Everyone could kill given certain circumstances - conditioning simply standardizes them as much as possible to produce a fighting force. The kids that have shot up schools don't do it to imitate their video games, they do it to lash out at peers and to imitate Columbine.
I think it is more than a stylistic influence; to the contrary, I think Columbine imitated "The Matrix", not the other way around. While it's a matter of record that the shooters at Columbine wanted to lash out at peers who they felt had done them some wrongs, I would argue that it is not an accident that "The Matrix" hit the screens in March of 1999 and the Columbine massacre happened in April of 1999; the most violent scenes in the movie involving the "geek" come saviors in black trenchcoats, blasting all comers, and less than ONE MONTH later, the first bullet flew inside Columbine High School, fired by students who might as well have been acting out the same scene, only the targets weren't computer generated, but real people. To me, this is a perfect example of desperate people carrying out ideas planted in their minds from outside sources. The movie gave them an idea of how to "really make them pay" so to speak....when that is EXACTLY what they wanted to do. I feel it takes less to tip someone over that edge when they are already teetering on the precipice, than others, let alone ignoring weeks or years of warning signs, then when they find their "outlet" wondering what happened and how could we not have known....
While I wouldn't want to say that there's no impact whatsoever of violent video games, the fact is that unless one is already a seriously disturbed or unstable individual they're simply not going to start imitating their first-person shooter. Further, the existence of virtual arenas for aggressive expression might very well serve as a safe outlet that lets violent steam off that would in the past have spilled into their everyday lives.
And therein is the two edged sword. The school mass murderers ARE seriously disturbed individuals; so that has to be taken into consideration. I also do not put too much stake in letting off "virtual" steam if you will. A little genuine aggression is necessary in real life, I think, unless one wishes to be walked on throughout life. Steam, and if you will, competition, in life, are generally healthy, I think. Restricting this to a simulated environment I feel leads to continually increasing amounts of violence to reach the same amount of stimulation, until nothing works. For a person with pre-existing weaknesses, the "real deal" could become the next step. Much as nowadays when one hears about a sexual predator of some form or other being captured, there is almost ALWAYS mention of large amounts of illicit pornography on their computers as well. So, who's to say the person did not already have a weaker character than most, and perhaps tried letting off this steam through simulations (video games, movies, etc.) for years before finally stumbling across the line and killing someone (or whatever). I'm having a difficult time for some reason putting my thoughts to the page, here, for some reason, but I hope you at least understand what I'm trying to get at here.

I think the "arms race" analogy still holds. Why have a gun? Power. A gun gives one more power to do violent harm. If you have a gun and I do not, that gives you an enormously greater power to do me violent harm than I you. In order to rectify this imbalance of power, I need a gun too. But now you've lost the original advantage that you seeked by buying the gun in the first place. What do you do? Buy a better gun. Whether or not it really constitutes an arms race, the idea is quite similar to the state of the cold war - peace through deterrence. And I think that's a terrible basis for a community.
Stephen, I agree that having a gun does give power; I feel that this power belongs with the people; the government should not monopolize the power. If you are simply discussing the use of a gun as a deterrent to crime, and for self defense and defense of one's home, you are making the assumption that because "John has a gun, therefore I need a LARGER gun" this only applies if you or I had ill intent toward each other in the first place; it also makes the assumption anyone having ill will toward you enough to MURDER you is actually going to bother OBEYING laws concerning which tools he or she may use to carry out that task....the reality is, dead is dead, and most criminals are opportunists, and generally rather than bring a HUGE gun to your house, because he thinks you have a gun, he will simply go down the street. If there is an arms race, you are likely collectors trying to outdo each other's collections. An intruder is more likely to know about A gun in the house and move on, rather than going home, grabbing his buddy and a few M240's and setting up interlocking fields of fire on your house, (and still risk being shot FIRST-which ultimately is more important than who brought the most ordnance) just so he can steal your VCR....
If the purpose of the second amendment is to ensure that the citizenry have the capacity to forcibly remove the government if necessary, then other usages of arms, while still perfectly legal, are not constitutionally protected. There is, however, nothing constitutional about using arms. To bear simply means "hold", so I see no reason why it cannot mean that one simply has the right to keep the arms in one's possession.
The key word in this quote, Stephen, is the word "If". Regardless of what we ascertain the purpose of the 2nd amendment is, (I agree by the way, that such a capacity of the people is indeed part of it by the way) it does not make the distinction. It simple delineates a right, the words "only in case of" do not appear...while other writings of the gentlemen who penned the document can give us plenty of clarification (Thomas Jefferson, for instance, quite obviously supports both the right of the people to overthrow the government should it become too overbearing as well as the people's right to defend themselves with firearms). Also, in the case of arms, to "bear" them generally means more than simply to hold. For instance, to "bear arms against the United States" is considered an act of treason, or to "bring one's guns to bear" on a target doesn't mean holding them, either. So while I agree that the term "bear" can mean "hold" I do not believe this is the case when referring to impliments of lethal force; (ALL arms are protected, the amendment does not say "firearms")....

John, I wholeheartedly agree that what we're talking about is a society problem - I just think that encouraging people to get guns to protect themselves from one another isn't going to solve anything.
I agree, actually. I support responsible ownership of firearms, not the paranoid assumption that one needs firearms to protect themselves from each other. This assumes that the mere presence of a firearm somewhere inside a house is tantamount to a threat to the neighbors requiring them to respond in kind with still larger armaments. Most neighbors do not buy firearms with the plan for an eventual gun battle with the guy across the street. The only implied threat is to those entering with obvious ill will in the middle of the night, or some such, same as a police car on the road behind you is not a threat unless you are actually breaking the law...my intent is not to convince people to get guns here, rather, the purpose is to correct some misconceptions that always arise, which would then allow someone trying to decide to make a more informed decision for themselves, and more importantly to stick up for the right of those who choose to own arms, to do so. If I happen to champion training in responsible use, so be it. I feel training is important any time someone gains possession of something that can cause harm. Your parents didn't give you your first book of matches and some gasoline, and say "have fun". No, you were TAUGHT first (hopefully)...same with firearms.
Further weaponizing a destructive society doesn't seem to be that plausible a way to make it into a better one. I actually share your great admiration for the Swiss model, but I think one must keep in mind that Switzerland's policy arose not as a means of internal protection, but external: citizens don't have weapons to protect themselves from each other, they have them to protect their state from other states. To promote arms-possession on the basis of internal distrust of one's fellow community members in a democratic state seems rather odd in comparison.
There are a plethora of good reasons for a citizen to own arms, distrust of fellow community members is only one possible such. Where I grew up, it was common to leave keys inside one's car while shopping, and many people did not even have a locking door on their house other than that to the bathroom. Quite a few people own firearms there. Are the firearms responsible for the low crime rates or the trusting type of community? I have no idea. What I do know, is none of those things are something I would dare do where I presently live, and far less people own firearms, and the rules are indeed more strict. In a utopian society, people would not need firearms other than for sporting competitions, "I can hit X mark faster/farther away/more times....than you" and it would be safe to assume all visitors to one's house, even in the wee hours of the morning, had nothing but good intentions. Until such a society happens, (it would seem both sides of this discussion agree there are some societal ills at work here) a firearm inside the house can serve as pretty good backup life insurance, whether against tyrannical governments or the more likely case, the more and more common home invasion attacker, which, actually, hits very close to home.
Ok, done rambling for awhile....thoughts?
John P.
 
while other writings of the gentlemen who penned the document can give us plenty of clarification (Thomas Jefferson, for instance, quite obviously supports both the right of the people to overthrow the government should it become too overbearing as well as the people's right to defend themselves with firearms).
A point often overlooked by those who argue that the amendment is a "collective rights" statement (or other arguments to limit individual possession) is that none of the framers, Federalist or Anti, nor any other commentator at the time argued that citizens should not own or use a firearm. The debate never centered on this. It was about the fear of a standing army, the ability of the states to raise militias and to what extent the central government should control these citizen brigades - that's it. There simply was not any controversy over personal gun ownership.
 
:thumbup: An appeals court struck down the Washington D.C. law about owning/possessing handguns:thumbup:

Rick
I didn't want to resurrect this thread but since you did....the response in the WaPo was classic. Radical. Dangerous. The NYT hung their *** out pretty far too and got bit. They said this was the first ruling in history that recognized an individual right. Took blogs all of about 2 minutes to note Emerson from...2001. The Times had to "update" their story. Wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that discussion.

If you get bored enough....Everything Parker.
 
Oh, they do. Contrary to what some may think, it takes considerable motivation or desensitization for someone to kill. Whether that comes from a need for drugs or money that outweighs the life of the other person (obviously, I'm talking about the first time one kills) or like those of us in the armed forces, through repetitive training shooting at vehicles and "sillouettes" with every effort placed on not thinking of the other person as a human being, but a "target". Yet people still usually hesitate.
In that broad sense of "conditioning", I agree completely.
I think it is more than a stylistic influence; to the contrary, I think Columbine imitated "The Matrix", not the other way around. While it's a matter of record that the shooters at Columbine wanted to lash out at peers who they felt had done them some wrongs, I would argue that it is not an accident that "The Matrix" hit the screens in March of 1999 and the Columbine massacre happened in April of 1999; the most violent scenes in the movie involving the "geek" come saviors in black trenchcoats, blasting all comers, and less than ONE MONTH later, the first bullet flew inside Columbine High School, fired by students who might as well have been acting out the same scene, only the targets weren't computer generated, but real people. To me, this is a perfect example of desperate people carrying out ideas planted in their minds from outside sources. The movie gave them an idea of how to "really make them pay" so to speak....when that is EXACTLY what they wanted to do. I feel it takes less to tip someone over that edge when they are already teetering on the precipice, than others, let alone ignoring weeks or years of warning signs, then when they find their "outlet" wondering what happened and how could we not have known....
Oh, I'm not saying that there isn't more than a stylistic influence - there might very well be - but the fact is that such a claim is presumed far more easily than proven. The trenchcoats certainly show a copycat style, but that doesn't demonstrate that the violence itself was caused by Matrix-like influences, though I'd absolutely agree that that such media certainly can "tip" already unstable individuals.
And therein is the two edged sword. The school mass murderers ARE seriously disturbed individuals; so that has to be taken into consideration. I also do not put too much stake in letting off "virtual" steam if you will. A little genuine aggression is necessary in real life, I think, unless one wishes to be walked on throughout life. Steam, and if you will, competition, in life, are generally healthy, I think. Restricting this to a simulated environment I feel leads to continually increasing amounts of violence to reach the same amount of stimulation, until nothing works. For a person with pre-existing weaknesses, the "real deal" could become the next step. Much as nowadays when one hears about a sexual predator of some form or other being captured, there is almost ALWAYS mention of large amounts of illicit pornography on their computers as well. So, who's to say the person did not already have a weaker character than most, and perhaps tried letting off this steam through simulations (video games, movies, etc.) for years before finally stumbling across the line and killing someone (or whatever). I'm having a difficult time for some reason putting my thoughts to the page, here, for some reason, but I hope you at least understand what I'm trying to get at here.
John, you conveyed your point perfectly and it's an entirely reasonable one, but the problem is that it's simply not backed up by hard proof. The pornography example is an excellent one, since it presents a similar dilemma which has received a far greater degree of research attention in the past. You're absolutely correct that sexual predators almost always have pornographic addictions, but that doesn't demonstrate a causal relationship, nor does it help refute the suggestion that the virtual arena might help alleviate their obsession, particularly since rape crimes have dropped something like twenty-five percent since the rise of the internet. Your position is entirely reasonable, and it's far from disproven, but it's far too soon to condemn such virtual activities as negative (or positive) based on current evidence. And, in the absence of evidence, I just tend to lean against the cultural conservatives, if only because they tend to spark unfounded moral panics with enough regularity that I've lost confidence on there actually being a wolf out there.
Stephen, I agree that having a gun does give power; I feel that this power belongs with the people; the government should not monopolize the power. If you are simply discussing the use of a gun as a deterrent to crime, and for self defense and defense of one's home, you are making the assumption that because "John has a gun, therefore I need a LARGER gun" this only applies if you or I had ill intent toward each other in the first place; it also makes the assumption anyone having ill will toward you enough to MURDER you is actually going to bother OBEYING laws concerning which tools he or she may use to carry out that task....the reality is, dead is dead, and most criminals are opportunists, and generally rather than bring a HUGE gun to your house, because he thinks you have a gun, he will simply go down the street. If there is an arms race, you are likely collectors trying to outdo each other's collections. An intruder is more likely to know about A gun in the house and move on, rather than going home, grabbing his buddy and a few M240's and setting up interlocking fields of fire on your house, (and still risk being shot FIRST-which ultimately is more important than who brought the most ordnance) just so he can steal your VCR....
:laugh: John, you have quite imaginative descriptions! I might quibble over a detail or two, but I think we very much agree as far as the above goes. I don't disagree with your characterization of how that situation would play out, I only feel that "peace through deterrence" is what ends up being advocated, instead of addressing the real issue of why the community contains dangerous people. The problem is simply shifted around as symptoms are treated as the problems themselves and temporary personal relief is valued while the long-term good of the community is set aside.

The key word in this quote, Stephen, is the word "If". Regardless of what we ascertain the purpose of the 2nd amendment is, (I agree by the way, that such a capacity of the people is indeed part of it by the way) it does not make the distinction. It simple delineates a right, the words "only in case of" do not appear...while other writings of the gentlemen who penned the document can give us plenty of clarification (Thomas Jefferson, for instance, quite obviously supports both the right of the people to overthrow the government should it become too overbearing as well as the people's right to defend themselves with firearms). Also, in the case of arms, to "bear" them generally means more than simply to hold. For instance, to "bear arms against the United States" is considered an act of treason, or to "bring one's guns to bear" on a target doesn't mean holding them, either. So while I agree that the term "bear" can mean "hold" I do not believe this is the case when referring to impliments of lethal force; (ALL arms are protected, the amendment does not say "firearms")....
Ah, but the second amendment makes quite clear that the right is granted for the express effect of ensuring a state militia, so I don't see why it couldn't be interpreted exactly as such, leaving restrictions on arms ownership perfectly legal so long as they did not infringe on that key area. Note that I'm not saying that there's no way it could be interpreted otherwise, only that my alternative seems quite reasonable given the language used. Also, while there certainly would be some debate as to how to interpret what a modern "militia" would consist of, I think there would be an excellent case to me made that it would indeed include a great deal more "arms" than just "firearms".

John, would you mind clarifying what exactly you believe "bear" to mean when referring to weaponry? My original point was that the term could be interpreted in such a manner, which you agreed with, so I don't think we're in disagreement on that point. Just for my own edification, however, I'd appreciate a further definition of how you believe "bear' should be interpreted and how it would practically impact how weapons could be lawfully utilized.

I agree, actually. I support responsible ownership of firearms, not the paranoid assumption that one needs firearms to protect themselves from each other. This assumes that the mere presence of a firearm somewhere inside a house is tantamount to a threat to the neighbors requiring them to respond in kind with still larger armaments. Most neighbors do not buy firearms with the plan for an eventual gun battle with the guy across the street. The only implied threat is to those entering with obvious ill will in the middle of the night, or some such, same as a police car on the road behind you is not a threat unless you are actually breaking the law...my intent is not to convince people to get guns here, rather, the purpose is to correct some misconceptions that always arise, which would then allow someone trying to decide to make a more informed decision for themselves, and more importantly to stick up for the right of those who choose to own arms, to do so. If I happen to champion training in responsible use, so be it. I feel training is important any time someone gains possession of something that can cause harm. Your parents didn't give you your first book of matches and some gasoline, and say "have fun". No, you were TAUGHT first (hopefully)...same with firearms.
I think I'd be much more supportive of people owning firearms if they weren't so darn happy with the arrangement. I have no problem with the person who lives in a dangerous 'hood keeping a shotgun by the bed or the libertarian who stocks a bunker in case of government oppression (heck, in twenty years I might build one myself), but there seems to be an attitude that people actually like the power of their guns with something that strikes me as almost a phallic fascination. The terribleness of actually having to possess a tool designed purely for killing seems lost in the pleasure of being the one to carry the power to do so.
There are a plethora of good reasons for a citizen to own arms, distrust of fellow community members is only one possible such. Where I grew up, it was common to leave keys inside one's car while shopping, and many people did not even have a locking door on their house other than that to the bathroom. Quite a few people own firearms there. Are the firearms responsible for the low crime rates or the trusting type of community? I have no idea. What I do know, is none of those things are something I would dare do where I presently live, and far less people own firearms, and the rules are indeed more strict. In a utopian society, people would not need firearms other than for sporting competitions, "I can hit X mark faster/farther away/more times....than you" and it would be safe to assume all visitors to one's house, even in the wee hours of the morning, had nothing but good intentions. Until such a society happens, (it would seem both sides of this discussion agree there are some societal ills at work here) a firearm inside the house can serve as pretty good backup life insurance, whether against tyrannical governments or the more likely case, the more and more common home invasion attacker, which, actually, hits very close to home.
Ok, done rambling for awhile....thoughts?
John P.
Other than the existence of firearms in a utopian society (I like to think that in a utopia we'd no longer value proficiency in the use of an archaic killing machine), I don't disagree at all. My apologies on the delay in responding, but it's a terrible time of the year, so I may not be back for another week yet!
 
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