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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
http://blogs.wsj.com/wash...guns-away/

If you've got a gun in your house, I'm not taking it,'' Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. "Even if I want to take them away, I don't have the votes in Congress."


paraphrase...even if I want to take away your constitutional rights, I don't think I have the votes. (I'll work on that after I'm elected)

Hopechange
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9965) 13 years ago
"Even if I wanted to. . . ."

Are we reduced to this . . . what happened to the good old days of Terror!!! Terror!!!

This doesn't even make the cut as fear mongering - it has more the air desperate grasping at straws.

I somehow don't feel nearly as concerned at hearing that as I am over some of the Bush era (Bush error) domestic spying activities that have been eroding away at my traditional & constitutional rights and freedoms.



But kudos for trying to start something other than new Sarah thread - that's freshing. Keep looking maybe you find something that will be worth arguing over . . . ummm . . . debating.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
Just goes back to what I've said before, Hal. The liberal/conservative disagreement comes not so much in whether we should "shred the constitution" Just how, and in what sequence

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/6/2008).]
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+614) 13 years ago
Rick, do you seriously hold an absolutist position on the issue of gun control or do you acknowledge the value of a pragmatic spectrum of regulations in a functioning civil society?
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 13 years ago
You really had to ask that question Joe? Remember the other poster boy of the RP ...."pried from my cold dead hands"!! The far wing nuts like Rick don't understand moderation and responsible control. That represents having to give up their perceived "freedoms".

I've been a R all my life. I just can't understand what the party stands for anymore. I just don't get it. Most of the stuff they want just doesn't match what I see government as anymore.

I also don't understand how anyone can fall for the "D=big government" belief. I mean really.... haven't the Republicans in control now made the government spending totally out of control? If you say no, then how do you explain the national deficit? That wasn't there before they got the power.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
You'd have to specifically define what you mean by absolutist.

And "pragmatic spectrum" can be argued on any amendment from the Bill of Rights, not just the 2nd.

I mean really.... haven't the Republicans in control now made the government spending totally out of control? If you say no, then how do you explain the national deficit? That wasn't there before they got the power.

Cory, Democrats continued happily under mounting deficits for the several decades they controlled Congress. Clinton continued down that course. It wasn't until Republicans took control of Congress in 1995 that anything resembling a balanced budget entered the picture. And again, they had to shut down the government in order to get Clinton on board. Giving him all the credit for what he was essentially forced into isn't really a fair characterization.

Eventually they lost their way. It was easier to grease than to fight. They deserve full blame for that. But I wouldn't bother to pretend that Democrats would do any better. Just listen to them when they campaign.

Got a problem? Let's spend more money. Energy... more federal money. Education... more federal money. Health care... more federal money. Social Security... more federal money. Jobs... more federal money. Economy... more federal money

These guys aren't worried about budgets.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/6/2008).]
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Posted by Cory Cutting (+1274) 13 years ago
OK Rick, let's say I give you that one. And the balanced budget in the 90's was more Repub controlled senate than Clinton. How do you explain today's budget deficit? You can't blame it on the Dems. They haven't had control for very long. And you can't really blame it all on the war. That doesn't do any good for a budget, but that isn't all of it. And if the war IS the problem, that was a Republican President.

I want someone to tell me that the government wants to help, but not be the crutch. That the government wants to see me get ahead, but they aren't going to carry me. That a person does have to want to get better and actually do better, or the hand out stops. I want the government to help make healthcare affordable for everyone, but not give it away to everyone. I want the government to let me have my gun, but to know that I have it and to take it away if I do something that keeps me from deserving it. I want a government that understands that people have religious beliefs, but that being the party in leadership does not give them the right to force that leadership's beliefs on anyone. I want the government to remember why it is there... to serve the people, not just the people with the best lobbyists and the deepest pockets.

That's some of what I expect from a politician that says they are going to "reach across the isle". Not "reach across" to make the other side think like me. The idea of two (or more) sides is to help come to the middle, to the best ground for the good of the country. Not overpower the other and force your beliefs on them.

This country is amazing. But this government is not what the founding fathers were trying to achieve.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
I agree with almost everything you're saying Cory. But the choice you have before you is a compromise.

I'd argue McCain is a far greater compromise to the middle than Obama. He is not the most conservative Republican on the block. He's probably less conservative than I am. Obama's record doesn't show that kind of compromise. His record is as party line as it gets.

McCain has broken with his party and very visibly at times. He's not the most popular guy in the party because of it.

I'm not sure you could make the same argument about Obama.
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+614) 13 years ago
I would describe an "absolutist" position in support of gun control as one holding that the community has no authentic right to, in any way, restrict the ownership, possession, brandishing or use of any firearm in any place, at any time or under any circumstance by any individual as long as no harm comes to any other person.

There are those who advocate such a position but it's difficult for me to believe that you would be among them. What do you say?
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Posted by Eric Brandt (+846) 13 years ago
"And "pragmatic spectrum" can be argued on any amendment from the Bill of Rights, not just the 2nd."

The "rights" argument is one that is likely to continue for decades to come.

Some argue the "ideal" society would be a purely communistic one. Reflecting in this, I conclude that this would be as close to utopia as we could come. I will not endorse communism, however, because my neighbor will not. (because he would kick my butt or steel my resources)

Thus we can conclude that since we cannot all agree that living ideally is the best thing to do, it is logical to also conclude that we cannot all agree on the lines which limits right of one against another.

Because we cannot agree on rights, we must compromise on interpretation of those rights.

Should you be allowed to own a gun? I would say "Maybe". Rather: "Will you be responsible with it?"

Before you balk at this and claim that there should be no limitations on your right to arm yourself, allow me to test another basic right...

According to the First Amendment, I have the right to free speech. Does this mean I can say what ever I want to? I would say "Maybe." Rather: "Will you be responsible with it?"

When testing society against this question, we have repeatedly proven the answer to that question is a communal "no". As such, I am restricted by law from certain kinds of speech. I can be arrested for dropping the "F-Bomb" for example.

We the people established reasonable limitations on freedom of speech. By reasonable, I mean that most people can agree to the terms of the laws restricting certain kinds of speech. Not that every one is offended or in danger, but that prudence protects the minority without significantly hindering the majority.

---

Returning to the gun-control issue, can society agree on a degree of prudence which effectively protects the minority without significantly hindering the majority?

I think we can. I think that limiting ownership of weapons to those who have not demonstrated certain high-risk behaviors is prudent.

The risks involved (in limiting or losing individual rights) require our constant attention and devotion, however. Without jurors, we lose our right to trial by jury. Without participation, we may allow the pendulum to swing too far.

Participation in our society must be a daily devotion. From the simple act of walking 10 feet out of the path to pick up a piece of trash for the good of others, to the more expensive act of accepting jury duty , to the most important acts of political research and voting - we owe it to our neighbors, ourselves and our descendants to build a better world.

Presidential politics is the least important, yet draws the most resources. We need to focus on grass-roots politics; politics with real power to affect our lives. We need to stop voting for the candidate with he most advertising, the best hair do, and the most polite. We need to evaluate the participants for their ethics and principles. It is only through this diligence that we can truly protect our rights.

If we cannot be responsible with our government, then we do not deserve the rights. Be responsible, and your government will also be responsible. Set an example, and your neighbor will follow it. Hold your neighbors accountable for their behaviors, and they will will also be responsible.

In the end, gun control is more a reflection on reality than ideology. It is a continuing discussion on appropriate limitation and education. People are only discussing the topic because some citizens believe it is important. Those who believe we need better gun control have every right to express and act upon that desire. Remember too that those who believe that gun control is not necessary are equally entitled. In the end, the majority will make the decision; rights will be extended tot he minority only in so far as the majority agrees to do so.
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Posted by Todd Larson (+138) 13 years ago
There is where you are dead wrong! Not about Obama, but the constitutional rights. It is not a constitutional for us to own a firearm, it is a privilege.

If you read the Constitution and its Amendments it says nothing about the constitutional right for individuals of this country to own a firearm. Instead, if read the entire phrase and not take out just what you want to hear, it says, "We have the right to bear arms (and this where everyone stops)to form a millitia to defend the country against any enemy foreign or domestic." It say nothing about our right to own a firearm, its a privilege!

It is just like freedom of speech, it is not your right but your privilege to free speech. When you abuse that privilege it can come back and bite you in the keester, huh Robbie!
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 13 years ago
Just goes back to what I've said before, Hal. The liberal/conservative disagreement comes not so much in whether we should "shred the constitution" Just how, and in what sequence.

We must protect our right to view child pornography on the internet, but phone tapping in the name of national security isn't a threat, right Rick?
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 13 years ago
Todd, I dunno if you've been watching the news, but the Supreme Court just ruled that we DO have an individual right to own firearms and what they say pretty much goes when it comes to interpretation of the constitution.

As far as the free speech thing goes, I have no idea where you are getting that.

I think this quote pretty much sums up what the limitations should be on "rights".


"My right to swing my arm ends where my neighbor's nose begins."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (edited 9/6/2008).]
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Posted by Schmitz - Matt (+404) 13 years ago
Todd. The constitution says, according to you, that "We have the right to bear arms". How can you turn "right" into privilege in less than 2 sentences? I just don't see that at all. Maybe I missed something, it's happened before.
I will defend that right, to the death if necessary. I think. I have never been put to that test. But explain to me why any citizen should have the "right" to own a fully automatic weapon, when there is no reason to own that weapon. Not legal for hunting in any of the 50 states. Just a killing machine, that allows killing in much greater numbers, in a much quicker fashion. There just isn't any justification for owning that weapon. For fun? But the right wing views ANY intrusion as the next step towards a complete ban of all personal ownership of guns. We are all allowed to use alcohol and cigarettes until we die from the effects. Does that mean heroin should be legal next? One small step does not equal all the steps in quick succession.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1882) 13 years ago
The Constitution does not account for advances in technology. I doubt our founding fathers imagined RPGs, fully automatic weapons, IEDs, armor piercing shells and many other "advancements". I believe in the individual's right to bear arms and I believe that's what the constitution intended. On the other hand, there has to be some reasonable limit to the types of arms a person can legally possess. A suitcase loaded with plastic explosives could be considered an "arm", but I don't think every schmuck who wants to carry one around is constitutionally protected. I'm with Matt, but I once saw a show on television about a "machine gun festival". Lay people with automatic weapons of various calibers were blowing the living crap out of everything in sight - in a safe and controlled environment(I think). Damn that looked like fun.

I also don't think it is unreasonable for a state, or community to have some sort of control over the types of weapons a person can possess. I can't see the same rules applying to both Chicago's south side and Miles City.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9965) 13 years ago
Rick,

It's not a matter of world vision, ideology, philosophy, or the like that causes me to dismiss this as yet another one of your fear mongering ploys. It's a simple matter of credibility.

You ask us to fear what might be in the future - whether that fear is groundless or whether it's justified . . . why should we give any credence to what you say?

For some years now you've defended the Bush Administration's actual shredding of the Constitutional. Had you spoken out against those real and actual threats to our constitutional rights and to our traditional freedoms and liberties, you might have a leg to stand on. But for some years now you've shown that you will say whatever you think / hope will work to achieve your goals.

Fear mongering loses it's effectiveness without something to lend it credence.

[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 9/6/2008).]
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Posted by Major Pain (+202) 13 years ago
Cory, Joe, as well as anyone else who supports anti keep and bear arms legislation:

Here's the problem.

If you want to infringe on the rights to keep and bear arms, then the constitution provides an explicit means to accomplish that goal; it is article V, "amendment."

It is *not* OK to just wade in and enact legislation that is directly contrary to the explicit prohibition of a constitutional requirement just because someone wants to. Once you start doing that (and we HAVE started doing that!) then nothing in there means anything. And that is a HUGE problem.

The constitution is literally the constituting document for the federal government. It is the *only* place the feds can derive any legitimate authority from, as a constitutional republic. Note I didn't say power -- they have plenty of arbitrary "we say so" power, and they use it like a crack addict uses cocaine -- I'm talking about legitimate authority here, which is something else entirely.

When the system can decree whatever laws it wants, just because it wants them, regardless of what the constitution says, it is government by fiat, by power -- not delegated authority.

That's why no law that violates the explicit constitutional requirement of the 2nd amendment's operative clause...

"the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

...should be tolerated at any level. (Please don't try and argue the prefatory clause; that's not an instruction to the government and so has no bearing on the issue.)

You want to change the constitution? Think you have good reason? Fine. Really. Absolutely, 100% fine. There's one, and ONLY one, legitimate way to do it. See article V. Amendment.

This is hugely relevant to our other rights, or at least, what is left of them. Those rights are (ok, were...) protected in exactly the same manner. If we accept that the government can violate the constitution any time it wants to, just because it says so, then no part of the constitution, much less any part of the bill of rights (first ten amendments) may be depended upon.

And surprise, surprise, this is exactly what we are seeing today. Free speech zones. The right to remain silent superseded by the right to be tortured until you say what they want to hear. The power to regulate commerce between the states replaced by the power to regulate commerce within the states. The right to keep and bear arms turned into the chance to apply for a license, with no assurance it will be granted. The absolute prohibition against ex post facto law turned into explicitly ex post facto laws. The right of people to be secure against unreasonable searches of their papers turned into the right to be searched at any time, without consent, and without warrant. The right to not be deprived of property without due process turned into the right to have your property seized w/o warrant or due process. And so forth.

If you advocate just legislating anything you want, then you're advocating government with absolutely unlimited power by an elite made up of 545 people: 435 in congress, 100 in the senate, 9 in the SCOTUS, and the president. Not significantly different than any other country ruled by an all-powerful royalty.

But if you look at our history, the entire POINT of the constitution was to relieve us of the burden imposed by this kind of rule. So perhaps you should think twice before getting all enthused about supporting gun legislation because you want "moderation." Because today, they may just come for your gun; tomorrow, they may decide they want your house, your car, your money, your land. Just because they do. And without the support of the constitution, by what authority will you claim the right to disagree?

(echo... echo... echo... crickets... creak of leather boots...)

Either we require the government obeys the constitution, or we don't. There is no middle ground. No moderation. Either they're unrestricted in what they can do, or they are restricted: and there is only ONE thing in our government structure that provides restrictions: Our constitution. It bears considering: Literally the constituting authority for the government.

And again, this isn't really about the ability to restrict the keeping and bearing of arms. Because if that's really needed, and our society agrees that it is, then we can amend the constitution and get it done. The door is not closed. Not at all. The tool is there, and it has been there all along.

The only door that *should* be closed is the one that lets them do so *without* that tool (amendment), because that way lies destruction of the constitutional republic.

Now frankly, we're already well through that door. It's a terrible thing. And I'd even go so far as to say that in some cases, we walked through it for reasons that seemed good; they just weren't good enough.

People who advocate gun control are taking *entirely* the wrong path. You want gun control? See article V. Organize. Push. Get after it. No one is stopping you and there is NO legitimate objection to such an operation.

If you chose to try and restrict keep and bear of arms otherwise, you are *directly* complicit in an attempt to destroy the constitutional republic that is the only authorized form of government we have.

Think about it. Do you want to be that guy, or gal? I sure don't, and that's why I am utterly, absolutely against this kind of legislation, not to mention anything else that contradicts a plain language, common sense reading of the constitution.

What is annoying to me about Obama is that here we have a man who lays claim to the title "constitutional law professor", and he *really* ought to know better. Mind you, McCain is never, ever going to get my vote, but that doesn't mean that Obama is right on this issue. He's not only wrong, he's VERY wrong.
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Posted by Major Pain (+202) 13 years ago
Matt said:

> But explain to me why any citizen should have the
> "right" to own a fully automatic weapon, when there
> is no reason to own that weapon. Not legal for hunting
> in any of the 50 states. Just a killing machine, that
> allows killing in much greater numbers, in a much
> quicker fashion. There just isn't any justification
> for owning that weapon.

I can explain it to you easily. The reason is so that the government may be checked by the power that remains in the hands of the people. Examine the Virginia constitution; the papers and letters of the authors of the constitution; even more to the point, look what they had just done: Beaten off king George III. How? By force of arms. They did this because king George III abused them at length and in many ways; they did it because their pleas to him, and to his minions, went unanswered and worse; they did it because they could see no alternative; and most of all, they did it because they could, and that was because they were, in fact, armed.

Bob said:

> The Constitution does not account for advances
> in technology. I doubt our founding fathers
> imagined RPGs, fully automatic weapons, IEDs,
> armor piercing shells and many other "advancements".

On the contrary. They knew full well that the future would bring unanticipated change; they provided a mechanism specifically to deal with it. It is article V, amendment. That article allows ANY change you can imagine to the constitution, for any reason deemed sufficient.

But let's look at this a little harder, because it is these surface level hand-wavings that make it seem that an armed populace was never intended.

You'll note that the constitution doesn't say that citizens should have hunting rifles. It doesn't say they should have military class weapons, either; it doesn't say knives, it doesn't say muskets, it doesn't say pistols.

No. It says arms.

Now, what, in fact, were "arms" in those days?

Well, you could keep and bear anything from a small knife up to a huge sword; openly or hidden (sword canes); firearms ranging from a single-shot pocket weapon to a collection of various types of cannon (you could manufacture them as well, by the way); explosives such as and mines and bombs; mobile weaponry in the form of anything from a horse and pike, to a wagon with cannon, to a frigate with multiple decks of cannon, and you could build a dock to pull it up to if you owned the land, too. Many shipowners did exactly that. Lovely things like chain shot, ballistic pitch (think old school Molotov cocktails), poison, brass knuckles, caustics, and so on. Even the vague equivalent of shotguns -- only much worse; a frigate that loaded a cannon with small shot was seeking exactly the kind of broad mayhem that a shotgun creates, only much, much more so. And yes, you bet they did that. The things they shot out of cannons boggle the imagination. Do a little research; aside from being interesting, it is nothing less than revelatory with regard to that simple little word: arms.

These were all "arms" in common use, as were a whole host of things I haven't mentioned -- in numbers worthy of long, long lists that go from the almost absurdly mundane (rolling pins) to the extremely creative (various maces, battering rams, moats (often accessorized with very effective forms of biological warfare) catapults and trebuch├Ęt, crossbows, caltrops, shovels (ever see what undermining can do?) blankets infected with smallpox, buckets of fecal matter, etc.)

Yet with all that known full well by every member of the group that wrote and signed the constitution, the 2nd amendment was written to say arms, not "infantry class weapons" or "pistols" or "hunting equipment" much less "you can only have one."

So it is both disingenuous and incorrect to argue that citizens should only have small guns or guns for hunting purposes. That clearly is not signaled by either the facts of the time the document was crafted or the specific language of the amendment's instruction to the government. And you don't want a tortured reading; you want plain English. The more tortured you let the interpretations get, the less that document means when the chips are down.

The states must follow suit because the 14th amendment says "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States" Local governments must follow the laws of the state; and the 9th and 10th amendments make explicitly clear, if the feds can't do it, and the states can't do it, then the right devolves to the people.

Still, I'd be one of the first to agree that times have changed. And no, I don't particularly want my neighbor to have a fusion weapon, a biological weapon, or chemical weapons, just to put the obvious candidates on the table. But I vehemently disagree that the correct way to go about adjusting for the undeniable increase in the power of weaponry is to throw the constitution in the trash.

Bluntly, if you think the 2nd amendment's explicit grant of rights is too broad, then work to narrow it in such a way that is not destructive to the very fabric of the country, please. There is a mechanism there specifically for you to use to do this and things like this, placed there by people far wiser than you and I added together. Perhaps you should consider using it, instead of running roughshod over the foundation of our way of life.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+983) 13 years ago
Allow me to express my opinion on gun control laws. Neither party is saying anything similar so this is not supporting anyone's opinion other then myself. I feel it is mainly a states right issue. Here in Montana we don't need tight regulations. They are mostly a pain in the butt for sportsmen and collectors. We however live in a very different situation from a lot of the world. Our population is small and our space is large. We do not even have, what most of the world would consider, a city. Now I have never lived in a large city like New York, Boston or L.A,have no desire to and with God's grace never will, but I can see where people living in this different situation may want more gun laws. If the majority there feel they are necessary let them work something out. The problem is we travel easily so it is possible to get around local laws by traveling. This is where the federal government has a right and respectability to step in. How they can prevent abuse of local laws through traveling is not an easy problem to solve and is probably better left to people with bigger brains and more diplomatic skills then I have. Well that is the opinion of one gun owner who enjoys the ringing sound from a steel buffalo a few hundred yards away, particularly if it is created by a weapon designed in the 1800s.
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Posted by howdy (+4945) 13 years ago
I always thought that the bill of rights (1st ten amendments) were sacrosanct and the only way you could challenge them was with a constitutional convention...and if you do that type of convention, you throw the entire fabric of the constitution open and the people invited to the convention, would be able to change the entire constitution. YIKES....but maybe I am wrong and my courses in govenment were so long ago I am not remembering them correctly...
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Posted by Todd Larson (+138) 13 years ago
Matt, you just used the Amendment out of text, you cannot pick and choose phrases out the Amendment to fuel an arguement, you have to use the entire phrase or none of it. That is the point I am trying get across.

Levi, I have not see that on the news do you know the website so it can be read, so that it can be shown in its entire form, not bits and pieces of it?

Freedom of speech is a privilege, an example lives right here in Miles City and proves that one cannot abuse the privilege of free speech. This person threaten to kill a public official, in writing, and look where he went. Now if it was "our right" to say anything we want regardless of the outcome, no one, including the government, could do anything about it, no matter what was said. Instead it is privilege, look up the definitions of privilege and right, there is be difference, thus abuse to this privilege can be punishible as this person found out.

It is my privilege to speak out against an idea or concept, for example, but it is my right to go to any church I decide. Do you see the difference? If I became abusive to someone and threatened to do bodily harm, either in person, over the telephone, or write the threat on paper (ciber paper included)then I have violated the privilege of free speech. If you don't believe me go ask the person who found out the limitations of free speech, just look for a messiest yard in town.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14985) 13 years ago
The whole point of the rIght to bear arms is so the people would have the means to defend themselves from a tyrannical government. Conscientious objectors alway wear long sleeve shirts because they refuse to bare arms. Yeah, the ROTC instructor I had at MSU didn't see the humor in that last line either.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 13 years ago
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Posted by wayne george (+22) 13 years ago
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 Second Amendment protects an individual right that existed before the creation of any government. The Declaration of Independence made clear that all human beings are endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are created to protect those rights.


The language of the Second Amendment prohibits the Federal Government from "infringing" on this right of the people. What is so ambiguous about "shall not be infringed." The language of the Second Amendment is about as clear as the First Amendment's prohibiting Congress from infringing the right to freedom of speech, press, and religious expression.

The Second Amendment refer to "a well-regulated militia."The right of the people to form citizen militias was unquestioned by the Founders.

The Second Amendment begins with the phrase "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State." Some people will say that this phrase limits the right to keep and bear arms to militias only ... which they say means the National Guard. Though not a scholar I do understand that many legal documents from the 1700's included a preamble. The Constitution has a preamble, are we limited to it?

Before the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment, many states enacted laws that made it illegal for slaves and for free black people to possess firearms (unless they had their master's permission or a government approval). Is it really just a state issue?


Several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that theSecond Amendment does not confer an individual right, but only a collective right of states to form a militia. The federal court decisions cite United States v. Miller as precedent. The 1939 Supreme Court case, United States v. Miller, did not make that ruling. Even in Miller, where only the prosecution filed a brief and the defendant's position was not even briefed or argued to the Court, the Supreme Court held that the federal government could only regulate firearms that had no military purpose. This one is a doosy in that both sides believe it was a victory.

The supreme court has actually tackled this issue many times not counting the highly publicized heller decision. These are not always the core issues of the case but relevant.

acres v us 1896 164 us 388
adams v williams 1972 407 us 143
adamson v california 1947 332 us 46
alberty v us 1896 162 us 499
albright v oliver 1994 510 us 266
allen v us 1896 164 us 492
allison v us 1895 160 us 203
andersen v us 1898 170 us 481
bailey v us 1898 516 us 137
barrett v us 1976 423 us 212
beard v us 1895 158 us 550
beecham v us 1994 511 us 368
bousley v us 1998 523 us 614
brown v us 1921 256 us 335
brown v walker 1896 161 us 591
bryan v us 1998 524 us 184
burton v sills 1969 394 us 812
busic v us 1980 446 us 398
caron v us 1998 524 us 308
castillo v us 2000 530 us 120
cruikshank, us v. 1875 92 us 542
cummings v missouri 1866 71 us 277

ok there are lots more, like dred scott, haynes, logan, miller, miranda, roe, etc. If someone would like the complete list let me know or why and how certain ones like roe would have anything at all to do with guns. My typing is poor and I may have mixed up a citation or two with the names associated.

[This message has been edited by wayne george (edited 9/7/2008).]
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Posted by wayne george (+22) 13 years ago
Three times faster than the musket of the time. Shot square bullets for the Turks and round bullets for the Christians. And patended in 1718, could it have been our first machine gun?



http://www.wedmore.org.uk.../James.htm
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
For some years now you've defended the Bush Administration's actual shredding of the Constitutional. Had you spoken out against those real and actual threats to our constitutional rights and to our traditional freedoms and liberties, you might have a leg to stand on

And I'm pretty sure the whole time I said that you couldn't claim any greater love of constitution, because you fall just as silent as anyone when your party's doin' the shreddin'

And we can debate Bush's policies again if you like. I, for instance, think applying constitutional rights to non-resident non-citizens is a relatively new invention. As I've said, mostly what I've seen Bush get attacked over has actually been precedent under many administrations for many years.

But we're talking 2nd amendment here. The most dangerous part of the Democrat approach to gun control doesn't have to do with wanting people to have access to every weapon imaginable. Nobody's arguing that we should be allowed .50 cal turrets on top of our SUV's.

But it is just as absurd to argue that your right to firearms should be based on where you live, and how inconvenient it is to the government. The biggest myth sold the American people on Gun rights is that they're for hunters and outdoorsmen. You'll hear Obama address it this way all the time. The founding fathers very explicitly viewed the right to bear arms as instilling a healthy fear in government of its people. Yes it's inconvenient for government to deal with, but that's really the whole point. It's not there for their comfort.

To respect the reasoning behind the 2nd amendment, people should be allowed at least the same arms any average police force has access to. And it should not be up to each individual jurisdiction to establish. It's enshrined in the Constitution for a reason.

We all hear repeatedly about how inner cities need tight gun control to avoid violence. But I ask, why is it the 2nd amendment that's targeted in these cases? Most of that type of violence ties back to gangs and drugs. Seems you could kill two birds with one stone, if instead of dismissing the 2nd amendment in those cases, you got rid of search and seizure restrictions. Why isn't this being suggested? Then police could just make routine weekly sweeps through neighborhood homes to make sure nothing illegal's going on. I guarantee, you'd have higher reductions in both violence and drug trafficking then if you just tried to get guns off the street.

So if we're sweeping the Constitution under the rug anyway, why not attack the heart of the problem? Random search and seizure in the inner cities. Makes just as much sense as making guns illegal.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/7/2008).]
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9965) 13 years ago
I'm not seeing anything there that lends credibility to the fear mongering premise you began this thread with. IYou've not sold your original message of fear anymore successfully than you've defended what the Bush Administration has done.

"Even if I wanted to. . . ."

Man, that is a pale shadow of an imaginary threat when compared to the reality of what has been done.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1286) 13 years ago
This is a very tough issue, but at least it is an issue. From what I can find after a short check is there are between 300 and 20,000 laws on the books governing the sale, ownership and use of fire arms, so I guess a new law isn't going to make much difference. I'm afraid it's an all or nothing proposition when it comes to the right to own guns. Trying to separate hunting from non-hunting guns is an exercise in futility and best left alone in my opinion.

I have owned guns in the past and like the vast majority of the 60 million adults who now own them I managed to do so without killing or maiming anyone, so I guess you'd have to say I come down on the side of leaving it alone.

When G. Gordan Liddy was ask after his felony conviction in the Watergate break-in how many guns he owned he stated NONE. Then he went on to say However Mrs. Liddy has quite and extensive collection of fire arms. I don't even know what this has to do with anything but I got a kick out of it.

Remember guns don't kill people, it's the hollow tipped bullets that do.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
"Even if I wanted to. . . ."

Man, that is a pale shadow of an imaginary threat when compared to the reality of what has been done.


The reality is that Bush didn't live up to your standards, but those were standards invented, remarkably, just in time for his presidency.

And unfortunately everything with Obama has to be an "imaginary threat." That reminded me of a quote from David Brooks.

It's about the future, and Barack Obama loves the future because that's where all his accomplishments are

Anywho, if you think Obama's gun rights position is worth defending, let's kick it up a notch.

I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer's lobby.

Barack Obama, from the Audacity of Hopenchangen

-Grand Arbiter of where in America the bill of rights apply. I think his fear of gun manufacturers is overstated, though. It's the NRA he needs to worry about.

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 9/8/2008).]
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+9965) 13 years ago


>> because you fall just as silent as anyone when your party's doin' the shreddin'

I see you've now gone from grasping at straws to playing the strawman. Keep building your house of straw and soon we can call in Rumpelstilzchen and make a killing in the gold market



As far as your desperate ploy of placing words in my mouth . . . well heck, I'm sure you'll be happy to post the links showing where I've condoned shredding the constitution for partisan gain (or on any basis for that matter).

If that doesn't pan out for you, perhaps try something simpler - show where I've spoken out against 2nd Amendment rights.

Actually when I look at what you wrote, it's not even a straw man ploy - there's not a shred of truth to it.


= = = = = = = = =

"Even if I wanted to. . . ."

I'm still not seeing anything that doing much for your credibility shortfall. It's just more of the same old stuff we've saw you pull out of your trick bag many times before.

Fear!! Fear!! Maybe you could break up the routine once in while and cry Wolf!!

It's obvious that you are only mongering that fear in the hopes of partisan gain. If you were sincere about preserving our Constitutional rights you'd surely be concerned when anyone, from any party, assaulted them. But you want us to believe that it's okay when a Republican does it and just ever so terrible when a Democrat does (or in this case because you imagine he might do it).

If even a small minority of Americans had believed that party affiliation was the determinant of right and wrong - our Republic would have fallen within decades of its creation. If we today buy into we are flushing the future of the Republic down the drain.

If we excuse our leaders, whatever their party affiliation, when they act in unconstitutional ways (for any reason), then we lose and we lose the most important thing we as a People possess.

Anytime we have elect strong willed person (or person with ethical shortcomings for that matter) . . . the danger is that they may attempt to exceed their constitutional powers. So yes, we must be vigilant - we must remain alert.

And, if we desire to retain our Constitution rights and our traditional freedoms & liberties, then when a President crosses the line, we must stand up and say this is wrong - this is not to be done. It is this tension and dynamic that keeps the Republic alive. They sometimes try to exceed what is theirs and we must always defend what is ours. We must not defend them when act outside of their constitutionally mandated powers simply because it helps our party or our person achieve partisan political gain (or any other gain). The precedence of a past wrong should not become a get out jail free card for a present wrong. Party affiliation is no justification for trampling on the Bill of Rights or any other provision of the Constitution.

So keep defending Bush. Monger that fear for all you are worth. We both know what my response will be




I apologize if this riddled with typos and the like - but I'm feeling poorly this evening, and I'm not going to proof it.

[This message has been edited by Hal Neumann (edited 9/8/2008).]
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Posted by JOE WHALEN (+614) 13 years ago
In an attempt to invite some clarification of the original post to this thread, the responses thus far illustrate that:

a. Gun control is a "third rail" issue in this crowd, much as Proposition 13 is off-the-table for open debate in California,

b. The 2nd Amendment is parsed such that the first clause, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state", is ignored and the second clause, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", is usually pulled entirely out of context. BTW, doesn't "regulate" suggest that someone's "right" shall be infringed?

c. Rick is not an absolutist with regard to the right to keep & bear arms. He supports your right to own, possess, brandish, or use your arms anywhere, under any circumstance, provided you harm no other unless your firepower exceeds that available to your police force (or, you wish to mount a .50 caliber in a turret on your SUV).

d. Major Pain, an eloquent poster on most issues and perhaps a fine lawyer somewhere who has me at a disadvantage since I don't know the poster behind the clever name, is not an absolutist either. The rights that "shall not be infringed" end at the possession of weapons-grade plutonium, biological or chemical weapons even though he acknowledges that "the right to bear arms" is not limited to pistols, shotguns and rifles.

e. The Montana GOP, through its spokesman Erik Iverson, intends to insult our intelligence by assuming that we're all absolutists over the shopworn mantra of Gun Control/Abortion/Gay Rights as wedge issues in the final two months of this campaign.

f. Senator Obama is a constitutional scholar. He's bright enough to understand the value of local control, as Steve has addressed, when he offered the following remarks: "There's been a long standing argument by constitutional scholars about whether the second amendment referred simply to militias or it spoke to an individual right to possess arms. I think the latter is the better argument. There is an individual right to bear arms, but it is subject to common-sense regulation just like most of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation. So I think there's a lot of room before you getting bumping against a constitutional barrier for us to institute some of the common-sense gun laws that I just spoke about."

Levi: I have enthusiastically agreed with everything you've posted here and I have great respect for your father, as a poet and a man of great character, but I need to disagree with you on this issue. I understand that you live in the Livermore/Pleasanton area. I'd encourage you to spend a summer night near E. 14th St. in Oakland, Hunter's Point or the Lower Mission District in S.F., or the Overfelt neighborhood in E. San Jose. The gunfire in the projects will keep you awake and a trip to the trauma centers will break your heart.

"If fistfights were legal, there'd be a lot less drive-by shootings." - Sonny Barger, founder, Oakland Chapter, Hell's Angels
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Posted by Major Pain (+202) 13 years ago
Joe Whalen enquires:

> BTW, doesn't "regulate" suggest that someone's
> "right" shall be infringed?

No, actually it doesn't. Regulate in this context meant (and so still means) "consistent", and the specific use of it was modeled after militia call-up laws that specified how many bullets, how much dry powder, which weapons, etc., that a citizen who qualified as militia was required to bring with them if they were called to organized service. Here's the complete modern reading of the prefatory clause, based upon the English in use at the time of its writing:

"A" -- "a"

"well regulated" -- consistently armed and prepared

"Militia" -- armed male citizens of ages appropriate to armed combat (not army, not national guard, not organized in any fashion. Just armed citizens.)

"being necessary to the security" -- required to keep and maintain

"of a free State" -- either (a), the state of freedom as regards citizens (this interpretation is well supported by the generally citizen-centric nature of the other amendments) or (b) A political state that holds freedom (often used interchangeably with the word "liberty" at the time) as a core principle. Personally, I favor the former rather than the latter reading, because the constitution consistently talks of "the nation" and "the states", not the nation as a nation-state.

The reason that the prefatory clause is ignored when correctly parsing the second amendment is because it is not an instruction; it doesn't' say "do this", and it doesn't say "don't do that."

This is 100% similar to the constitution's prefatory clause (major preamble); it's informative to any reader, but not instructive to the designated entity which it is authorizing.

The operative clause of the 2nd is, on the other hand, quite specific in its instructional content, and so this is where we look for the behavior required of the government as a constitutionally authorized organization acting on behalf of a consenting body of citizens.

Congresspeople, senators, judges and the elected members of the executive take an oath that they will obey and defend the constitution. So the operative clause is very important, in that it contains the instructions that define the relevant oath-compliant behavior. The prefatory clause does not.

> Major Pain, an eloquent poster on most issues and
> perhaps a fine lawyer somewhere

Thanks.

> who has me at a
> disadvantage since I don't know the poster behind
> the clever name

Really? Explain the disadvantage and perhaps I'll provide my name.

Personally, I don't think my name, handle, or nickname has any bearing on the validity or basis in reason with regard to my opinions, which, I hope, can either stand or fall on their own, regardless of the fact that they are mine. But feel free to explain, I'm not inflexible.

> is not an absolutist either. The
> rights that "shall not be infringed" end at the
> possession of weapons-grade plutonium, biological
> or chemical weapons even though he acknowledges that
> "the right to bear arms" is not limited to pistols,
> shotguns and rifles.

Absolutely not. -10 points for failure to parse.

Constitutionally speaking, the citizens do have the right to keep and bear these arms, and any other you care to bring to the table.

My position is that we should have already, and at the very least as soon as possible, tried to arrange for amendment of the constitution so that an amended version of the 2nd disallows these weapons (I select these because they are extremely difficult to aim... I have both a moral and an ethical problem with a weapon you can't ensure will hit the target, and nothing but the target.... the list doesn't end with those three, they're just strong examples.) Others may disagree; that's a perfect example of why it is absolutely appropriate that the amendment mechanism to affect the rule is a democratic process built in by the authors, and not a matter of my (or anyone else's) opinion.

The fact that I don't like the idea that you have the right to own a nuke doesn't mean that you don't have the right. I endorse an attempt the constitutional process that would legitimately remove that right. ASAP. Doesn't mean I'll get such a process, or that the process will go my way, either. However, without it, you do have the constitutionally authorized right to own those things. Which again is not to say that the government will comply with its limits; power is not a synonym for authorization. In our form of government, governmental power supposed to be a consequence of authorization; but that, unfortunately, is not the present case.

Speaking personally, I think the fact that the government has skipped attempting the amendment process and just thrown illegal legislation into the hat instead is one of the most damning indictments of our elected officials one could possible cite.

> There is an individual right to bear arms, but it
> is subject to common-sense regulation just like most
> of our rights are subject to common-sense regulation.

This is disingenuous. The actual fact, constitutionally speaking, is that most of our rights are not subject to "common sense regulation"; what we have is arbitrary and unauthorized regulation in the form of violent coercion by constitutionally unauthorized government exercise of power.

What Obama is indirectly referring to here is the (wrong) idea that judges have the constitutional authorization to amend the constitution. In fact, they do not (though this is emphatically not to be confused with the power to do so, which is something else entirely.) Article V (amendment) delegates no such authority; Article III, which specifically authorizes powers to the judiciary, allows them to decides constitutional issues - not to amend.

This means that they can look at a law that, for instance, says "you can't own guns", and then look at the constitutional law, and say, no, this doesn't pass muster. It does not mean they can suddenly say, "sure, you can say that, because we've decided that "shall not be infringed" means "sure, infringe if you find it convenient." This is just like a lower court judge that when faced with a law that says "you can't steal someone's car", suddenly says it means you can. Judges cannot make law. SCOTUS is no exception; they have no such authorization.

> I'd encourage you to spend a summer night near E.
> 14th St. in Oakland, Hunter's Point or the Lower
> Mission District in S.F., or the Overfelt neighborhood
> in E. San Jose. The gunfire in the projects will
> keep you awake and a trip to the trauma centers will
> break your heart.

This is an enormously strong argument for amendment. It is not an argument for disregarding the constitution. If you are serious, and I presume you are, then this is where you should direct your energy. By all means do so.

There are other arguments. One is that the citizens should keep enough power so that they can form a credible threat to the government if it gets out of hand (one such example some people would suggest might be when it disregards its constituting authority.) Another is that preemptively presuming that ownership of a dangerous device means that device will be used dangerously is assumption of guilt before demonstration of any criminal intent or activity. There are plenty of perfectly legitimate laws about the use of arms that can address the gunfire in the projects; one wonders why, in fact, these areas are not more strongly policed and those laws enforced -- they're obviously in dire need of same. A social issue truly unrelated to gun ownership. Who wants to pay for the protection of the poor, when they cannot do so themselves?

Those arguments may not stand against the welfare of the people in the projects. But the only legitimate way to put those arguments into play in a legal sense is as propose
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4462) 13 years ago
You lost me at enquire.
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Posted by Major Pain (+202) 13 years ago
Buck, no problem. If you get over your sesquipedalophobia, you can try again. In the meantime, there is alternative material you can practice on:

http://www.magickeys.com/books/
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 13 years ago
I'd encourage you to spend a summer night near E. 14th St. in Oakland, Hunter's Point or the Lower Mission District in S.F., or the Overfelt neighborhood in E. San Jose.

If I was to do that, I would surely want to be armed .

Honestly, I have walked through the Tenderloin in San Francisco at 11PM on a Friday night, and it is certainly a very scary and sad situation, but I can't personally reach the conclusion that guns are the cause nor that banning legal use of firearms would be the solution.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (edited 9/9/2008).]
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Posted by ike eichler (+1228) 13 years ago
Ever notice that the folks that would abolish or amend the 2nd amendment as out dated are the very same that tout the 1st amendment with it's freedom of speech et al as if it were written in stone?

I personally think they are just fine as written. Only my opinion though. Ike
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4453) 13 years ago
>> because you fall just as silent as anyone when your party's doin' the shreddin'

As far as your desperate ploy of placing words in my mouth . . . well heck, I'm sure you'll be happy to post the links showing where I've condoned shredding the constitution for partisan gain (or on any basis for that matter).


I'm not sure who's putting words in whose mouth. I didn't say you condoned it. I said you fall silent when it's someone from your side of the aisle. I'm not saying I'm better. But what I've been saying all along is that the attacks we typically see here about people "shreddin'" are usually political first, and protecting the constitution strikes a distant second (if at all) It seems we might share parts of the same playbook after all.

Joe, the argument about the 2nd not being an "individual" right, intended only for militias is completely off the mark, which I'm guessing you know. It violates standing legal precedent, the precedent throughout our nation's history, and most importantly the clear intent of the 2nd Amendment's authors.

Word games can't erase the volumes of history stacked against it. And forming new Constitutional precedent based on word games is a much more dangerous precedent in itself, as Major pointed out.

That said, the difference between limiting types of arms vs geography of arms is obvious. It's one thing to say nobody can own nukes. It's quite another to say you can only own firearms if you live on the right side of the tracks. As I tried to show with the search and seizure analogy... you'd never dream of granting any other Constitutional right based solely on class or demographics.

The intent of the 2nd was to ensure that there was a credible threat to the government provided by an armed populace. To that end, the "pragmatist" in me says it's really about what direction, not about what end. This is a democracy. We exist in a constant state of compromise. This debate isn't about pitchforks vs backyard nuke silos. How, realistically would either of those ends be met? It's about how we match the intent of the Constitution with the reality as it stands today, and what direction that leads us to go.
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